Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City Neighborhoods
Check out these neighborhoods on your next trip to Salt Lake City
As the younger generation flocked to the urban center of Salt Lake City, downtown was revitalized. Now it’s a hub for dining, business, arts, entertainment and nightlife for both visitors and residents.
Food & Drink: SLC’s love of locally sourced food shines at the Downtown Farmers Market in Pioneer Park, a nearly year-round affair that connects residents to local produce and artisan goods. Downtown is also home to hundreds of unique restaurants and bars. Head to Rye for a farm-sourced brunch, drink coffee (or a yerba latte) underneath the white-tile walls at the Rose Establishment or hit Takashi for innovative sushi rolls. For an evening drink, sip cocktails at the Prohibition-era Bar X, and then pop over to Beer Bar next door to finish your night with high-quality brews.
Arts & Entertainment: There’s no better place in SLC to experience the highest concentration of history, entertainment, and art than downtown. Stroll between the towering spires of historic Temple Square during the day (read: The Geographical and Musical Heart of Salt Lake), catch a sunset over the Wasatch Range from the rooftop of the public library and then watch live music at the Depot or catch a performance at the Eccles Theater.
Local Life: In recent years, millennials moved to new condos and high-rises downtown, which popped up as the city center transitioned into a place where residents desired to live. Downtown boomed as tech jobs brought in a wave of new Salt Lakers. Downtown has now become more bike and pedestrian-friendly, and updates to the GREENbike bike share and TRAX public transit system improved accessibility throughout the city. Transit and GoRide in the UTA app center make purchasing fare and planning trips easier. These shifts have resulted in a fresh vibrancy as residents spend post-work evenings downtown. If you’re staying outside of downtown, take the TRAX into this city center to see what it has to offer without the hassle of a car. Hop on a bike or start walking: the Public Library, Clark Planetarium, Leonardo Museum and Temple Square are all within a mile of each other.
Ballpark (Granary District, Central Ninth)
In the Granary District, old auto shop fronts mesh with new businesses and community spaces. Publik Coffee Roasters, a hip coffeehouse in a repurposed industrial warehouse, sits across from an antique market overflowing with vintage furniture, ornate glass bottles, and animal trinkets. This neighborhood is ripe with change yet enthusiastic about maintaining its roots.
Food & Drink: Many Salt Lake staples have found a home in the Granary District. From slow-cooked smoked meats at R&R BBQ to the retro-inspired RubySnap cookies, you’ll marvel at all this neighborhood has to offer. Enjoy the craft beer at Epic Brewing or Fisher Brewing (read: Rediscovering a Piece of Utah’s History) and take advantage of the thriving restaurant scene. Locals know Lucky 13 has the best burgers in Utah, but hey, why not see for yourself?
Arts & Entertainment: Fleet, a shipping container pop-up space, emerges in the summers and brings the community together through beer gardens, commercial shops and open plazas. For more entertainment, the State Room brings in an array of musical acts, and the Front Climbing Center serves as the watering hole for the SLC climbing community.
Local Life: Commercial and residential areas merge to make this up-and-coming neighborhood “human-centered” and walkable. After a large-scale art initiative breathed new life into the Granary District about a decade ago, once-vacant buildings transformed into public spaces, nonprofits and music venues. Now the future of the neighborhood looks bright as innovative creators and long-standing residents work in harmony. Take the time to check out the local businesses and enjoy mountain views by walking Central 9th (accessible by the TRAX system). Grab a vegan-friendly bite at Vertical Diner before ending your night with cocktails at Water Witch.
Central City/East Central (Liberty Park, 9th and 9th)
If you want to visit Salt Lake City like a local, look no further than this area, which consists of the smaller neighborhoods of Liberty Wells and 9th and 9th. The largely residential area close to downtown has a little bit of everything. Grab a coffee on Main Street before hopping on a bike and cruising around the parks and quaint streets in Central City.
Food & Drink: If you’re in town on the weekend, it’s hard to catch the Park Cafe without a line out the door. The popularity of this brunch spot is a testament to the quality of its food. Alternatively, head nearby for French pastries at Tulie Bakery, grab a Middle Eastern lunch at Mazza and finish the day with a trendy dinner at Pago.
Arts & Entertainment: Central City has its fair share of attractions—shoppers come for the eclectic boutiques along 9th & 9th, joggers and dog-walkers rejoice over Liberty Park and movie-goers watch independent films at the Tower Theatre.
Local Life: Historic brick houses sit along tree-lined blocks near one of the largest green spaces in Salt Lake City. Bike-friendly streets, a range of housing options and accessibility to public transportation draw a diverse population to this inviting neighborhood. Experience the local life by renting a GREENbike at the docking station on 900 S by the northwest corner of Liberty Park. Twenty-four-hour memberships make this bike share available in 30-minute increments. Ride through the park, stopping at the Tracy Aviary or the Chase Home Museum of Folk Arts. Then, cruise south beneath tree-lined streets through the residential Liberty Wells area, stopping to admire the charming homes wrapped by front porches. On State Street, you can swap out your bike with another before heading back up to 9th and 9th for lunch.
The Avenues/Capitol Hill
Salt Lake City’s first neighborhood has a lot of history. As you walk around the hills high above downtown, you’ll notice the impressive Gothic and Victorian-style architecture of the homes. Experience the liveliness of this charming liberal neighborhood by staying at a cute B&B or grabbing a bunk at the Avenues Hostel.
Food & Drink: Avenues Proper is a local pub and brunch spot in the heart of the Avenues. Quirky cafes, like Cafe on 1st or Publik Coffee Roasters, are filled with locals meeting with friends or studying. If you’re craving a delicious meal, indulge your inner foodie at the Avenues Bistro on Third.
Arts & Entertainment: With ample access to trails and open space, the Avenues makes an excellent base-camp for the neighborhood adventurer or morning runner. Bring your pup and head out on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, or toward the Avenue Twin Peaks, to catch the violet glow of the sun as it sets over the Wasatch Range and the Salt Lake Valley. On a crisp autumn night, the downtown lights glimmer in the distance. If you’re seeking nightlife, the Garage on Beck has live music most nights of the week. (Read: Urban Vibe and Funeral Potatoes on the Fringe of Downtown.)
Local Life: From the steep, winding streets of Capitol Hill, to the gridlike blocks of the Avenues, these neighborhoods have everything from apartments filled with college kids to elaborate mansions of upper-class Salt Lake families. The pace of life is slower than in downtown, and visitors are charmed by its character. To experience it, park at the visitor center at Council Hall to tour the Capitol Building or stroll Memory Grove and City Creek Canyon.
This neighborhood — named after the sugar beets that were cultivated in the fertile soil found by early pioneers — retains a small community vibe, but with plenty of options for eating, drinking and playing. Residents love living here for easy access to both downtown and the Cottonwood Canyons.
Food & Drink: Stand at the intersection of 2100 S and Highland Drive, and you’ll see both sides of the Sugar House district. A new shopping center that includes a Buffalo Wild Wings and the Wasatch Brew Pub spans the block, but if you walk a bit further, you’ll find a tree-lined street with small businesses, such as Sugar House Coffee. This cozy cafe is a community hub where residents congregate over morning coffee, remote workers sit along the counter, typing away on their laptops, and baristas joke around with their regulars.
Arts & Entertainment: Buy local by checking out one of the many independent shops, such as Copperhive Vintage or Raunch Records. Or play like the locals and grab a book or a picnic and head to Sugar House Park.
Local Life: Quaint single-story homes with flourishing front-yard gardens are interspersed with local businesses. Take a stroll around the neighborhoods in the Sugar House district and you’ll see vines of squash overflowing from garden fences, rainbow flags dangling in windows and yellow yard signs donning the phrase, “Protect Wild Utah.” Residents in the Sugar House neighborhood are local-minded, progressive and passionate. Young energy and neighborhood dedication mix as college students share the block with young families and long-standing residents. The best way to get to know the Sugar House neighborhood is on foot, so stroll the streets north of 2100 S before following Parley’s Trail from the Commons into Sugar House Park.
Written by Hannah Singleton for Matcha in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.
Let's Talk Utah: Accessibility to the Outdoors in Utah
Our friend and local city planner Ashley Cleveland walks us through the many ways in which Utah offers incredible access to the outdoors. Learn how easy it is to access the outdoors — both through inclusive culture and unrivaled metro to mountain ways of getting around.
Fervor on Foot: Tracking Salt Lake's Food and Spirits
Salt Lake City, Utah is a walkable town with a flourishing and ever-evolving food and spirits culture. Find a neighborhood district to stroll, taste, touch and see!
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City makes a great gateway for travelers making a trip to Utah's ski resorts or southward to Utah’s renowned red rock country.
Explore the biggest cities in Utah and the top things to do. Find out where to stay on the Wasatch Front, from Salt Lake City to Park City, and other Utah cities.
Arts & Museums
Utah has many arts and cultural museums, as well as regular performing arts festivals.
Seven Must-Ride Mountain Biking Trails in Utah
To help you plan a Utah mountain biking trip, we've assembled a list of seven of Utah’s best mountain biking trails followed by a roundup of Utah’s best fat-tire destinations.
Journey Through Utah's History at This Is the Place Heritage State Park
This Is the Place Heritage State Park has a major place in Utah’s history — quite literally.
10 Routes Chosen by Utah Cyclists
We reached out to cycling experts and enthusiasts — in some cases to people who literally wrote the book on cycling in Utah — to get a feel for some of Utah's best road cycling routes.
Best Trails for Horseback Riding Within an Hour of Salt Lake City
Here's a list of the best trails for horseback riding within an hour of Salt Lake City, Utah. Note, these five trails are for those with access to horses and trailers.
8 Elevated Ski Experiences That are Uniquely Utah
If you dream of the possibility of hitting six resorts in one day or carving your own lines from snow-covered summits served by helicopters, then this listicle is made for you.
Everything in its Right Place
Bring your snowboard on your Brighton Ski Resort trip. Visit the six terrain parks – with new designs each week – to add some exhilaration to your ski vacation.
Utah’s Factory-to-Slope Culture
Utah’s gear scene benefits from being able to use its backyard as a testing ground, making the complete ski and snowboard cycle uniquely Utah
11 Family-Friendly Activities Near SLC
Find fun family activities in Salt Lake City with this guide from the Utah Office of Tourism. From roller coasters to ski slopes, SLC has it all. Plan your trip now!
Best Spots to Get Olympic Spirit
Just because the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games are in the past doesn’t mean that the Utah Olympic spirit is has been snuffed out. Athletes still train here, and ski schools in Utah resorts might be the start of a future Olympian’s career.
10 Places to Honor Women's History on Your Trip to Utah
Notable places you can visit where women have shaped history
8 Reasons Why Ski School Is Cool
Ski school is cool, and it’s where beginners to experts find the secrets to skiing (and Utah’s secret powder stashes). Learn to ski the entire resort.
Planning Your Big Snow Trip
Let’s plan a powder ski trip to Utah and even help you save some time and money while you’re there. Just answer these three questions: Who? When? How much?
Music of the Cottonwoods
Discover the sound of two iconic Utah bands — Talia Keys and the Love and Pixie and the Partygrass Boys — whose music is inspired by their love of life and nature.
11 More Utah Winter Experiences Outside the Ski Resorts
No matter your level of adventure, you will find good reason to save some time for a day away from the resort.
How To Experience Utah Virtually
During this season of social distancing and staying safe at home, we have created a round-up of virtual experiences to bring arts, music, culture, entrepreneurship, nature and more to you at home.
Legacy and Craft
Three of Glen Thompson’s custom leather horse saddles are fitting examples of craftsmanship and a Utah folk art tradition. See more at the Chase Home Museum.
11 Classy Ski Experiences That are Uniquely Utah
From sheer proximity and the biggest mountains to a ski-in distillery and a celebrity-owned resort, these are the reasons to ski Utah now.
Movies Filmed in Utah: Plotting a Cinematic Drive-Through
Follow a Germany-based film enthusiast on an extended road trip to discover the rich history of Utah cinematography.
A Utah Ski Vacation (or Two) for Less
Shop for ski gear like a local. Get discounts on lift tickets. Learn everything you need to know for a cheap luxury ski trip.
The Salt of Sound: Live Music in Salt Lake City
Check out the live music scene while visiting Utah. Salt Lake City’s numerous music venues offer something for every music lover. Watch Salt of Sound for a taste.
Discover the Breweries of the Wasatch Front
Over the past two decades, Salt Lake’s breweries have grown into a culture all their own. Here’s what you need to start planning a pub crawl with this collection of Salt Lake’s most popular breweries.
How to Support Local On Your Utah Road Trip
Many small businesses in Utah rely on tourism for survival. These expert tips help road trippers make a real difference in communities by supporting local.
Utah Female Artists Explore the Sublime Through Art
See how Utah women artists are creatively interpreting a dramatic landscape into art.
Salt Lake City’s Rainbow Colors Fly Year Round
Take a trip to Salt Lake City, an LGBTQIA+ friendly city, which over the past two decades has become a destination for those who enjoy both a hip urban atmosphere and easy access to the great outdoors.
Salt Lake City’s Must-See Street Art
Salt Lake City, Utah has more than 80 murals and art installations to discover. Come and see how these urban street artists showcase their own flavor and perspective.