SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – In recent years, it’s no secret that Utah has seen an influx of new residents. And of this in-migration, movement to Salt Lake City makes up 15.9% of total growth. As our city continues to grow, new residents are looking for neighborhoods where they can explore, shop, dine, and live. And especially with so many new Utahns coming from trendy California locales, newcomers will likely be looking for cute cafés, scenic parks, stylish shops, and Instagram-able spots. Luckily, if you know where to look, Salt Lake City provides many of these things in spades — and across many different neighborhoods.
Whether you’re new to the city or just want to show a friend around, here are our top picks for some of Salt Lake’s best spots.
1. Sugar House
With a charming central shopping district, plenty of locally-owned and chain restaurants, and a park with sweeping views of the city, Sugar House is Salt Lake City’s downtown away from downtown. The area has several shopping plazas, with stores ranging from local boutiques, used bookstores, and thrift shops to big-box chains like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Petco. Sugar House has become an increasingly popular rental destination for young professionals, too, and addition to the previously mentioned access to shops and restaurants, the area also boasts a great deal of green space, ideal for dog owners. Sugar House Park is just a quick walk from most of the apartments in the area, and Hidden Hollow, a forest-inspired landscaped area nestled between shopping plazas, is also a great place for a midday work-from-home break.
2. 9th & 9th
Salt Lake City’s aptly named 9th & 9th neighborhood, located at the intersection of 900 E and 900 S, is probably one of the most well curated collections of boutiques and restaurants in the city. For dining, East Liberty Tap House is a standout, offering an eclectic mix of cuisine — from burgers, to chili, to tacos, to Asian-inspired wraps. They also offer a great selection of local, craft beers from many of Salt Lake’s favorite breweries. For a fancier night out, Lola provides modern Mexican cuisine that is as beautifully-plated as it is delicious. As for shopping, stop in to Stockist for trendy clothes and home goods, and Salt & Honey for great gifts from many of Utah’s local makers.
3. Capitol Hill/Marmalade
Salt Lake City’s Capitol Hill isn’t just for politics. Aside from the sweeping views of the city afforded by a stroll or a picnic on the great lawn, the surrounding neighborhood is a great place for a bite, drink, or snack. The Capitol Hill-adjacent stretch of 300 W boasts several coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and — this writer’s personal favorite — a boba shop. A walk or drive through the winding, hilly streets of the Marmalade district will complement the views of the city with cute, whimsical homes and a smaller-town feel without straying too far from downtown.
4. The Avenues
Climbing the hill above Salt Lake City, the Avenues neighborhood is slightly offset from the city’s typical grid of streets, giving it a bit of a different feel. And even though the neighborhood is typically residential, there are plenty of restaurant and retail gems nestled along the tree-lined streets, too. Avenues Proper is a standout for beer and upscale bar food, and Publik Coffee Roasters is another favorite local spot. In the Avenues, you’ll also be closer than ever to hiking and mountain biking, with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail just up the hill. As far as housing in the area, those looking to rent will find many converted historic homes that offer cute treatments and fun features — like bay windows and fireplaces — but many not have all the amenities of newer apartment complexes.
5. 15th & 15th
A smaller version of 9th & 9th, Salt Lake City’s 15th & 15th neighborhood is a microcosm of the city’s best shops and restaurants. Stop in to Finca, a Spanish-inspired eatery with a romantic patio, or Trattoria Di Franceso, an upscale Italian bistro, for a fancier bite, or opt for grab-and-go at Tulie Bakery or Caputo’s Market and Deli. 15th & 15th is also home to The King’s English Bookshop, a locally owned bookstore in a converted house, Sweetaly Gelato, and the 15th Street Gallery, which houses an eclectic collection of contemporary art.
Even if you’re not a student or a football fan, there’s no reason to stay away from the University of Utah. Perhaps because of all the students, the area is full of life and boasts a unique restaurant and shopping scene all its own. The stretch of 1300 E between Broadway and 200 S is particularly vibrant, with college-friendly food options like The Pie Pizzeria and B&D Burger, as well as sit-down eateries like Indochine Vietnamese Bistro. As for shopping, OffWhite is a great stop for women’s clothes and gifts, and even has a bridal boutique upstairs.
7. The Maven District
One of Salt Lake’s newer neighborhoods, the Maven District has become a central location for many local artisans, makers, and shop owners. Maven Create, a coworking space, is located in the middle of the mix, with local businesses like Mineral and Matter, a handmade jewelry store, and Art Haus, a full-scale art studio offering pottery, drawing and painting classes, flanking it on either side. A stroll down 900 S in either direction reveals more gems, like La Barba Coffee on the State Street side, and Thyme and Place, a house-turned-plant-store, nearer to Liberty Park.
Did we miss any? What are your favorite SLC neighborhoods? Let us know on Facebook.