When I moved to Salt Lake City nearly five years ago, I didn’t expect to love it. It was a stopping point while I went to school and then I would be on my way to bigger and better places. But the longer I stayed and the more I explored, the more I grew to love this beautiful city by the mountains with its passionate people.
The people here truly love this city and want to make it a better place as evidenced by the many public events, community gardens, and pushes to make the city a more welcoming, clean, and healthy place. I’ve particularly grown to love the food community that is very tight-knit and friendly, leaning on and supporting one another to share their delicious goods.
The city has so much to explore and appreciate. This here guide can only reach the surface, but hopefully it will give you a great jumping-off point to truly delve into what Salt Lake City is all about.
Click through to see Bethany’s full Salt Lake City travel guide!
EAT & DRINK
- Eva’s Bakery — Here is a little slice of France in the West. Eva’s has a delicious breakfast and lunch menu if you have the time, but if you’re on the run you can find a plethora of delicious pastries to suit your fancy. I highly recommend their seeded baguette and eclairs.
- Current Fish & Oyster — New to Salt Lake City, Current was a quick hit in its beautiful location on 3rd South. They feature high-quality sustainable fish and oyster dishes in both small plates and larger entrees. And don’t pass up the incredible creative desserts!
- Rye — A newer member of the food community, Rye is a casual joint with a delicious menu full of comfort food with a twist. I highly recommend the mac & cheese and the shoyu chicken. While you’re at it, head next door for a show at the music venue owned by the same people!
- RubySnap — RubySnap is a fun, retro gourmet cookie shop on the west side of town with the most incredible cookies you’ll ever taste. Each month, they feature at least 2 new flavors in addition to their 18 classics. The classics include a peanut butter truffle cookie dipped in chocolate, a lemon sugar cookie with Lemonheads candies baked into it, a chocolate mole cookie and a cherry-flavored sugar cookie with dried cherries and milk chocolate baked inside. Make sure to ask for samples!
- Fresco Italian Cafe — Salt Lake City has its fair share of Italian restaurants, but Fresco is hands down the best. You’ll love the sweet romantic atmosphere and the incredible food.
- The Dodo — In my favorite neighborhood of Sugarhouse, The Dodo features a modern American menu and the best pie I’ve ever had. If you can manage to leave room after eating their large entrees, you must try the coconut cream pie or toll house pie.
- Moochies Meatballs & More — A quirky little hole in the wall on 8th South, Moochies is home to amazing fried fare like fried ravioli and my favorite french fries in town. But you can’t pass up their famed Philly cheesesteak (that even my Philadelphia friends approve of).
- Oh Mai — It’s no wonder that after a few years of being open Oh Mai now has three (soon to be four) locations around Salt Lake. The pho is spot on and their refreshing bahn mi sandwiches are to die for. And the prices can’t be beat!
- Food Truck Gatherings — Salt Lake City has an awesome food truck community that includes asian fusion tacos, mac & cheese, hot dogs, korean cups, waffles and grilled cheese. Every Thursday you can find a variety of them at Gallivan Plaza downtown and on Monday nights during the summer, you can find a large gathering at Sugarmont Plaza in Sugarhouse.
- Tony Caputo’s Gourmet Food Market & Deli — When it comes to shopping, I tend to spend my money on gourmet food items and Caputo’s is full of them! They carefully curate everything in stock and only provide the best- including a section full of artisan chocolates (many of them local!).
- The King’s English — This is my favorite little bookstore in the cute 15th and 15th neighborhood. The owners are so sweet and have a great selection housed in a converted home. I could spend hours there!
- Koo De Ker — A fun little clothing shop in the 9th and 9th neighborhood, Koo De Ker stocks the cutest clothes and accessories at a good price point.
- Now & Again — While Salt Lake City has its fair share of vintage markets, Now & Again is my favorite as it’s filled with carefully curated vintage furniture, kitchenwares, decor, clothes and many other trinkets. And the prices are great!
- Unhinged — My favorite hipster boutique! They sell a lot of vintage and local goods as well as carefully curated clothing. Their location in Sugarhouse is a fun 2-story space with the friendliest staff that makes it their duty to help you find items that suit your style.
- Uptown Cheapskate — I’ve been to my share of secondhand clothing stores and Uptown is definitely my favorite. Not only do they pay you well when you sell clothes, but they keep their prices low and their clothes are in good shape. I always find something I love and feel good about recycling clothing.
- Deseret Industries Thrift Stores — Born-and-raised Utahns might scoff at me for including this, but these are the greatest and most well-priced thrift stores I’ve ever been to and I sorely miss them when I’m not in Utah. The Sugarhouse location has the best selection, but all feature incredibly low prices. Of course it will require patience to look through everything.
- Downtown Salt Lake City Farmers Market — Of course the farmer’s market could be included in the “eats” or “shopping” section, but there truly is so much to explore! Not only can you find great local farmers selling fresh produce, but also lots of baked goods, canned items, plants, and even goods like jewelry, handmade clothing, beautiful art prints. Spend a whole morning there eating food, getting to know the vendors, and listening to the musicians on every corner.
- Liberty Park: Snag a bagel at The Bagel Project a few blocks north and spend a nice morning at this beautiful park. It features a large pond, a splash pad, a few jungle jims, pool, tennis courts, and the Tracy Aviary.
- Temple Square: Whether you want to marvel at the architecture, learn more about Utah’s history, or find out about the LDS Church (or Mormons), Temple Square is a fantastic place to spend your afternoon. Take a tour, check out the visitor’s center, or just enjoy a nice day amidst the beautiful gardens.
- Ensign Peak: If you’ve got the shoes, take a short hike up to Ensign Peak! Nestled right above the Avenues neighborhood, this hike is short and sweet and at the end of it all you get a beautiful view of the entire Salt Lake Valley as you stand in the hills directly above city center.
- Salt Lake City Public Library: The central library is a giant, gorgeous modern building right in the heart of the city. Take a gander up to the roof gardens and look out over the city, grab a coffee at their cafe, picnic outside on their grounds, and of course browse through their huge collection of books.
- SLC Bike Share: A newer program in the city, you can now rent bicycles at different locations around the city so you can give yourself a self-guided tour downtown while you ride! You’ll find the city to be very bike friendly.
- The Salt Flats: Go visit Salt Lake City’s namesake — the beautiful and seemingly neverending salt flats. Pack a picnic and play!
- Sugarhouse: Salt Lake City has a few awesome little neighborhoods, but Sugarhouse is my favorite as it’s full of great food, cute shops, and hidden parks and trails. Spend a day exploring and eating!
- 45 minutes: Park City, Utah — You can’t pass up a trip up the canyon to the beautiful Park City. Shop on Main Street, eat at Handle, El Chubasco, or The Bridge, and stop in at Ritual Chocolate for some local artisan chocolate bars. And of course pack some comfortable shoes so you can go on a hike through the beautiful mountains!
- 1 hour: Ogden, Utah — In the past few years, little Ogden city in the north has seen a recharge with amazing restaurants and shops moving in. Farr’s Ice Cream is a city staple that can’t be passed up and make sure to walk down Main Street where you’ll find plenty of delicious restaurants.
- 45 minutes: East Canyon State Park — Take a drive through the beautiful East Canyon through beautiful mountains and bluffs. It will take you through small towns, past lakes, and through gorgeous tree-covered hills. There are trailheads every few miles so make sure you’re prepared for a hike!
Bethany Grow //
Bethany Grow has an intense love for food and an irresistable urge to travel. She is well practiced at spending hours in the car singing to Journey and munching on salt & vinegar chips while roadtripping to beaches, cities, and great eateries. She recently completed culinary school where she got to spend every day learning about, making, and eating food and can’t wait to continue her studies underneath talented chefs. In the meantime, she works on her subpar photography skills, golfs, reads book after book, and explores her city’s food scene..