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Guidebook for Salt Lake City

Justin

Guidebook for Salt Lake City

Food Scene
higher-end, quality food. It's a bit pricier but they have very good dishes with a casual atmosphere. And it's a 5-minute walk!
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Provisions
3364 S 2300 E
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higher-end, quality food. It's a bit pricier but they have very good dishes with a casual atmosphere. And it's a 5-minute walk!
Excellent food. They only do breakfast/brunch, but well worth it, especially when it's only a 5-minute walk from the house. Expect a wait on weekends - it's a well-known brunch spot amongst the hipster crowd.
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Roots Cafe
3474 South 2300 East
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Excellent food. They only do breakfast/brunch, but well worth it, especially when it's only a 5-minute walk from the house. Expect a wait on weekends - it's a well-known brunch spot amongst the hipster crowd.
Awesome little bakery, specializes in British pastries. I know the owner and she used to be a chef at a Michelin star restaurant in London and a pastry chef. Not a huge selection, but whatever you get there will be delicious.
The Baking Hive
3362 S 2300 E
Awesome little bakery, specializes in British pastries. I know the owner and she used to be a chef at a Michelin star restaurant in London and a pastry chef. Not a huge selection, but whatever you get there will be delicious.
Best Indian food in Utah - hands down. There are other good places, but Bombay House is the best. Long wait times on weekends in the evening. Each plate will be around $12 - $18.
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Bombay House
2731 Parleys Way
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Best Indian food in Utah - hands down. There are other good places, but Bombay House is the best. Long wait times on weekends in the evening. Each plate will be around $12 - $18.
My favorite Mexican restaurant in Utah and many local's too. Their moles are fantastic. (I get the Enchildas Suizas often but they have a lot of great options) It's been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and most locals know about this place - so it's a long wait most nights and especially weekends. I like to go late (around 8:30-9pm) so the wait is pretty short and they're open until 11pm. It's a cool scene too. And not that expensive. Totally worth it.
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Red Iguana
736 West North Temple
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My favorite Mexican restaurant in Utah and many local's too. Their moles are fantastic. (I get the Enchildas Suizas often but they have a lot of great options) It's been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and most locals know about this place - so it's a long wait most nights and especially weekends. I like to go late (around 8:30-9pm) so the wait is pretty short and they're open until 11pm. It's a cool scene too. And not that expensive. Totally worth it.
This isn't "authentic" Mexican food by any means but it is super tasty. It's a Utah-based franchise - when I lived outside of Utah, this was easily one of my top restaurants I missed. Sweet pork smothered burrito or the sweet pork salad are the two staples to get here. It's relatively cheap, and quick (fast-casual - so no waiter service, you just order at a counter). I recommend this place to almost everyone visiting. Be prepared for long lines around dinner-time. The nearby high-school kids love this place.
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Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
3025 East 3300 South
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This isn't "authentic" Mexican food by any means but it is super tasty. It's a Utah-based franchise - when I lived outside of Utah, this was easily one of my top restaurants I missed. Sweet pork smothered burrito or the sweet pork salad are the two staples to get here. It's relatively cheap, and quick (fast-casual - so no waiter service, you just order at a counter). I recommend this place to almost everyone visiting. Be prepared for long lines around dinner-time. The nearby high-school kids love this place.
This is a bit more authentic-style Mexican food and also California-style. Great burritos (Mixed breakfast burrito is my favorite). They also have good horchata. It's cheap too. They don't have a large inside - so it's a real nice place to eat outside in the fresh when it's warm out. Great for after long bike ride.
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Hector's Mexican Food
2901 East 3300 South
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This is a bit more authentic-style Mexican food and also California-style. Great burritos (Mixed breakfast burrito is my favorite). They also have good horchata. It's cheap too. They don't have a large inside - so it's a real nice place to eat outside in the fresh when it's warm out. Great for after long bike ride.
So this place is not well-known at all but is as authentic Mexican/Central American food as you can get. And it's good and cheap. It's owned by a family that lives there and almost all of the customers are from Central America too. The restaurant is also part-store with imported goods. They have black mole tamales (central american style wrapped in banana leaf) that are good and $5. They've also got some really interesting variations of horchata. I'm not saying this is everyone's cup of tea - but if you're looking for good, authentic food at a great value off the beaten-path, this is it.
La Oaxaqueña
495 2700 S
So this place is not well-known at all but is as authentic Mexican/Central American food as you can get. And it's good and cheap. It's owned by a family that lives there and almost all of the customers are from Central America too. The restaurant is also part-store with imported goods. They have black mole tamales (central american style wrapped in banana leaf) that are good and $5. They've also got some really interesting variations of horchata. I'm not saying this is everyone's cup of tea - but if you're looking for good, authentic food at a great value off the beaten-path, this is it.
It's hard to say but this could be in my top 3 overall restaurants in Utah. Everyone should visit this place when they come here - and I'm not just saying that :) Especially since it's so close to the house. My favorite go-to place for pho (vietnamese beef/noodle soup - which is perfect for cold, winter days), the panang curry is great and spicy (the more heat, the more flavor!), the vermicelli noodles are always a solid choice, and the banh mi sandwiches are cheap and tasty. The atmosphere is great, the food is delicious and the price is low. Stop reading this and just go here!
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Oh Mai South Salt Lake
3425 State Street
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It's hard to say but this could be in my top 3 overall restaurants in Utah. Everyone should visit this place when they come here - and I'm not just saying that :) Especially since it's so close to the house. My favorite go-to place for pho (vietnamese beef/noodle soup - which is perfect for cold, winter days), the panang curry is great and spicy (the more heat, the more flavor!), the vermicelli noodles are always a solid choice, and the banh mi sandwiches are cheap and tasty. The atmosphere is great, the food is delicious and the price is low. Stop reading this and just go here!
This has become my favorite Thai restaurant in Salt Lake (and honestly, as good as any I've had anywhere else outside of Thailand). Family-run out of their house - it's not the most impressive setting - but that's often a good sign for me. They run their spiciness levels very high! so beware - but wow, it is tasty. I get the panang curry often because it's so good. But massaman curry is great and Pad Prikh King too. Whatever you order will be good and a very reasonable price.
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Tea Rose Diner
65 East 5th Avenue
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This has become my favorite Thai restaurant in Salt Lake (and honestly, as good as any I've had anywhere else outside of Thailand). Family-run out of their house - it's not the most impressive setting - but that's often a good sign for me. They run their spiciness levels very high! so beware - but wow, it is tasty. I get the panang curry often because it's so good. But massaman curry is great and Pad Prikh King too. Whatever you order will be good and a very reasonable price.
Good Italian restaurant that is reasonably priced. I like their gnocchi.
Per Noi Trattoria
1588 Stratford Avenue South
Good Italian restaurant that is reasonably priced. I like their gnocchi.
Excellent quality Italian food, especially for the price. It's honestly just about as good as some of the higher-end Italian joints around town. Their signature dish is a carbonara pasta that they cook in a gigantic flaming cheese wheel done table-side - it's worth it just for the experience alone. Also - their pastry desserts are super good. Sometimes I just go in to grab a pastry to go. You will probably have to make reservations though
Sicilia Mia
4536 Highland Dr
Excellent quality Italian food, especially for the price. It's honestly just about as good as some of the higher-end Italian joints around town. Their signature dish is a carbonara pasta that they cook in a gigantic flaming cheese wheel done table-side - it's worth it just for the experience alone. Also - their pastry desserts are super good. Sometimes I just go in to grab a pastry to go. You will probably have to make reservations though
This is a chocolate shop run by a family of dwarves. They have cool paintings of themselves being rained on by chocolate. It's a fun place to grab a rich hot chocolate on a cold night if you're near the downtown area. It's a fun place to check out.
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Hatch Family Chocolates
376 8th Avenue
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This is a chocolate shop run by a family of dwarves. They have cool paintings of themselves being rained on by chocolate. It's a fun place to grab a rich hot chocolate on a cold night if you're near the downtown area. It's a fun place to check out.
Authentic Italian cafe / lunch spot / store. They import a lot of cool/unique foods - some of the best selection of imported chocolate in Utah. Great place to grab lunch. It's in a newly built part of town too
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Caputo's Market & Deli Holladay
4673 S 2300 E
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Authentic Italian cafe / lunch spot / store. They import a lot of cool/unique foods - some of the best selection of imported chocolate in Utah. Great place to grab lunch. It's in a newly built part of town too
Excellent wood-fired pizza and great pasta. If you're looking for a nicer pizza place that's a 3-minute drive, this is a great option.
Nuch's Pizzeria and Restaurant
2819 S 2300 E
Excellent wood-fired pizza and great pasta. If you're looking for a nicer pizza place that's a 3-minute drive, this is a great option.
Cool. Hip. Trendy. $5-overpriced tacos. It's got a cool, fun environment - which means you're going to pay a bit more for it. But it's still a nice place that sells fancier tacos and good cocktails.
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Taqueria 27
4670 Holladay Boulevard east
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Cool. Hip. Trendy. $5-overpriced tacos. It's got a cool, fun environment - which means you're going to pay a bit more for it. But it's still a nice place that sells fancier tacos and good cocktails.
This is as fun, dive-bar, college atmosphere as you get. It's been a local-favorite on the University of Utah campus for decades. Live music on weekends too. Really good (but heavy!) pizza for good price. And cheap beer! ($1 PBRs - it is a college joint after all) as well as draft. There's a closer location to the house - but it's worth the atmosphere to drive a small bit farther to eat here.
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The Pie Pizzeria - Underground
1320 East 200 South
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This is as fun, dive-bar, college atmosphere as you get. It's been a local-favorite on the University of Utah campus for decades. Live music on weekends too. Really good (but heavy!) pizza for good price. And cheap beer! ($1 PBRs - it is a college joint after all) as well as draft. There's a closer location to the house - but it's worth the atmosphere to drive a small bit farther to eat here.
great bakery - they have daily baked bread, good pumpkin chocolate chip bread, cinnamon rolls/bread, and some of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Nice little cafe area to hang out in too
Great Harvest Bread Co. - Holladay
4655 Holladay Boulevard east
great bakery - they have daily baked bread, good pumpkin chocolate chip bread, cinnamon rolls/bread, and some of my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Nice little cafe area to hang out in too
Parks & Nature
This is one of my favorite go-to hiking spots. It's an easy out-and-back hike, super close and accessible, and you can go as long as you want. Within minutes of the parking lot you're walking in trees and feel like you're out of the city. Once you do a short climb you can also get some good views of Salt Lake City. If you stay towards the western-side of the trails you can find a little cave that you can walk into for about 100 feet too.
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Neffs Canyon
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This is one of my favorite go-to hiking spots. It's an easy out-and-back hike, super close and accessible, and you can go as long as you want. Within minutes of the parking lot you're walking in trees and feel like you're out of the city. Once you do a short climb you can also get some good views of Salt Lake City. If you stay towards the western-side of the trails you can find a little cave that you can walk into for about 100 feet too.
Millcreek Canyon is a beautiful canyon that is a 5 minute drive from the house. One of my favorite canyons in Utah for all seasons: https://slco.org/parks/millcreek-canyon/ Winter: snowshoe desolation trail or dog lake. Cross country ski on the closed road (super easy access). Spring/Summer: mountain bike pipeline trail (great valley views), great hikes Fall: some of the best hikes to see Fall colors!
Millcreek Canyon Road
Millcreek Canyon is a beautiful canyon that is a 5 minute drive from the house. One of my favorite canyons in Utah for all seasons: https://slco.org/parks/millcreek-canyon/ Winter: snowshoe desolation trail or dog lake. Cross country ski on the closed road (super easy access). Spring/Summer: mountain bike pipeline trail (great valley views), great hikes Fall: some of the best hikes to see Fall colors!
This is a great hike in any season. Snowshoeing in winter is fun (the first half is a bit of a climb and will wear you if you're not used to elevation). Really pretty hike in the summer.
Willow Lake
This is a great hike in any season. Snowshoeing in winter is fun (the first half is a bit of a climb and will wear you if you're not used to elevation). Really pretty hike in the summer.
Nice, easy hike. Good views of aspens. It's at the junction between SLC and Park City. Closed in winter
Bloods Lake
Nice, easy hike. Good views of aspens. It's at the junction between SLC and Park City. Closed in winter
really nice hike to do in the Summer located at Alta resort. It can be pretty crowded on weekends - lots of people go with families.
Cecret Lake from Albion Base Trailhead
really nice hike to do in the Summer located at Alta resort. It can be pretty crowded on weekends - lots of people go with families.
One of the best hikes in the Salt Lake area. Easy hike for all ages and payout is a cool waterfall that you can hike under. This draws large crowds on weekends for obvious reasons, but it's worth going to.
Donut Falls Trailhead
One of the best hikes in the Salt Lake area. Easy hike for all ages and payout is a cool waterfall that you can hike under. This draws large crowds on weekends for obvious reasons, but it's worth going to.
Really nice park nestled up between downtown and the Capitol building. Dog walkers/joggers/bikers all frequent this year round. Really pretty in Fall when the colors turn but it's pretty anytime (I've gone for very small/easy hikes there in Winter,Summer,Fall, Spring)
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Memory Grove Park
300 Canyon Road
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Really nice park nestled up between downtown and the Capitol building. Dog walkers/joggers/bikers all frequent this year round. Really pretty in Fall when the colors turn but it's pretty anytime (I've gone for very small/easy hikes there in Winter,Summer,Fall, Spring)
great park if you want to spend time there. Close to a bunch of restaurants and shops as well.
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Sugar House Park
1330 2100 South
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great park if you want to spend time there. Close to a bunch of restaurants and shops as well.
Essentials
solid grocery store. i prefer this to most others due to convenience and quality
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Smith's Marketplace
3215 South Valley Street
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solid grocery store. i prefer this to most others due to convenience and quality
super close grocery store for basics. It's not my favorite (i prefer smith's), it's kind of older and doesn't have as much - but it will have your basics.
Fresh Market
3865 S 2300 E
super close grocery store for basics. It's not my favorite (i prefer smith's), it's kind of older and doesn't have as much - but it will have your basics.
It's your local Whole Foods. Hooray
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Whole Foods Market
1131 Wilmington Avenue
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It's your local Whole Foods. Hooray
Shopping
cool little second-hand/vintage shop - it's connected to Roots Cafe - so you can browse around while you wait to be seated for breakfast/brunch.
Old Flamingo
3474 S 2300 E
cool little second-hand/vintage shop - it's connected to Roots Cafe - so you can browse around while you wait to be seated for breakfast/brunch.
Newest (higher-end) mall in the heart of downtown and part of Temple Square. Pretty touristy with a bunch of retail shops.
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City Creek Center
50 Main Street
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Newest (higher-end) mall in the heart of downtown and part of Temple Square. Pretty touristy with a bunch of retail shops.
Arts & Culture
The old Baldwin Radio Factory (built by the inventor of the headphones) is now an art gallery that houses various local artists in their studios. Hours of the studios vary - but it's a 5-minute walk from the house and you can pop in and see if any are open. They're all super friendly.
the historic Baldwin Radio Factory
3474 S 2300 E
The old Baldwin Radio Factory (built by the inventor of the headphones) is now an art gallery that houses various local artists in their studios. Hours of the studios vary - but it's a 5-minute walk from the house and you can pop in and see if any are open. They're all super friendly.
Sightseeing
You're in Utah - the mecca of Mormonism. Go check out the temple and headquarters of the American religion to get a little more cultured. The whole area has been done up nicely to cater to tourists - and in the heart of downtown. There's actually a world-renowned genealogy center there too. Talk to some lovely sister missionaries and pick up a free Book of Mormon, then walk 5 minutes to the Eccles Theatre and watch the Book of Mormon musical too!
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Temple Square
50 N Temple
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You're in Utah - the mecca of Mormonism. Go check out the temple and headquarters of the American religion to get a little more cultured. The whole area has been done up nicely to cater to tourists - and in the heart of downtown. There's actually a world-renowned genealogy center there too. Talk to some lovely sister missionaries and pick up a free Book of Mormon, then walk 5 minutes to the Eccles Theatre and watch the Book of Mormon musical too!
Not sure what to say really but this random (free) sculpture garden is fun if you want to see some odd sculptures, like a sphynx with the head of Joseph Smith. It's only worth spending 20-30 minutes but if you've got time to kill and want to get some very unique/local photos, stop on by! (even many locals don't know about this)
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Gilgal Sculpture Garden
749 East 500 South
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Not sure what to say really but this random (free) sculpture garden is fun if you want to see some odd sculptures, like a sphynx with the head of Joseph Smith. It's only worth spending 20-30 minutes but if you've got time to kill and want to get some very unique/local photos, stop on by! (even many locals don't know about this)
Drinks & Nightlife
cool, eclectic bar that is a locals-only bar in an up-and-coming part of town (shares kitchen with Laziz Kitchen)
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Water Witch
163 W 900 S
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cool, eclectic bar that is a locals-only bar in an up-and-coming part of town (shares kitchen with Laziz Kitchen)