- Jess Leonard
- Anniversary Inn, Logan
Best Place to Be Someone Else for a Night
The Anniversary Inn, Logan
The romantic theme rooms at The Anniversary Inn make couples feel like they’ve taken a trip to a faraway land. Here, you can lounge in the splendor of the Taj Mahal, climb the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse or even take a trip back in time to rediscover the glories of young love. The Joanie’s Diner suite is a sweet throwback to the ‘50s, complete with rose wallpaper, a chenille bedspread, dressing tables, charming vintage knick-knacks and even your own personal jukebox and retro dining area (with complimentary banana splits). And it’s more than just cutesy—as in all of the inn’s suites, there’s a large bubbler tub and two flat-screen TVs for the ultimate night of relaxation and romance.
169 E. Center St., Logan, 435-752-3443, AnniversaryInn.com/Logan
Best Nail Love
Aesthetics By Shelece
We’ve all found strip-mall nail salons to drop in on for some tootsie love. And sometimes, that experience can be in a noisy setting, with somewhat indifferent operators, who provide rough, ticklish or even painful treatment. But make an appointment with Shelece Salazar and you’ll see you’ve been denying your feet a gentle, pain-free pedicure, one that leaves your feet moisturized and callous free, with nails perfectly clipped and polished. The best part: It’s all done in a peaceful room that accommodates only you, or if you must, a best friend or spouse.
Melt Away Retreat, 1910 E. Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-231-9585, AestheticsByShelece.com Best Furniture in Living Color
$99 Furniture Outlet
If you want to create a groovy lounge straight out of the ’50s or ’60s, you’ll need a wide leather sofa, a glowing bar table, a giant photo of Audrey Hepburn and a neon mirror in the shape of a martini olive. At $99 Furniture Outlet, furniture comes in all textures, shapes and hues. Pick a purple chair as an accent piece, or go wild and furnish your home with pieces inspired by every decade and color of the rainbow.
711 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-355-8000, 99FurnOutlet.com
Best Coffee For Your Body
You start your day with a healthy dose of coffee, anyway—but maybe what you really need is to have some of that coffee on you rather than in you. Blissful Bean founder Sherri Williams—a veteran massage therapist and wellness consultant—created Turtle Scrub, making use of the coffee bean’s natural astringent and anti-inflammatory qualities. Find it at local merchants, including The Kura Door and Cali’s Natural Foods, or purchase online.
Best Utah Cigars
You know it’s a Utah smoke when you find old Brother Brigham right on the label—that’s also how you know you’ve stumbled onto Beehive Cigars’ new line of custom-rolled and-crafted cigars. The Sandy cigar and pipe emporium has been lauded previously by City Weekly when it was Hungry Trout Cigars; now, the shop has rebranded itself with the aid of a new line of cigars. The Beehive Gold cigar carries a subtle, toasted-honey flavor in a golden Connecticut wrap. The more medium-bodied Beehive Classic features a Habano wrapper, while the Beehive Signature combines the best of both worlds: combining the Gold and Classic wrappers, interwoven into a cigar that is almost as visually smooth as it is to smoke.
8634 S. 700 East, Sandy, 801-566-5178, UtahCigars.com
Best Mad-Men Style
Best Local Lenders
America First Credit Union
It’s hard to have respect, admiration or gratitude for big banks after the largely bank-created economic meltdown-cum-recession of the past few years. That’s prompted some customers to move their money from Wall Street to Main Street banks. As a member-owned, nonprofit credit union that was founded at Fort Douglas in 1939, few banks have local cred like America First, which is also the 11th largest credit union in assets and has 100 branch locations. You don’t have to give up the frills of the big banks to go local.
Multiple locations, 800-999-3961, AmericaFirst.com
Best Alternative Gallery
Opening in an old photography studio in 2010, Caleb and Hillary Barney started up the clothing shop/art gallery as a forum for alternative and pop-culture artwork that probably wouldn’t see the light of day in normal gallery settings. Since then, they’ve seen massive success from their line of affordable T-shirts, hosted packed crowds for their open-gallery nights and brought new life to their small section of 400 South.
15 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-9075, BlondeGrizzly.com
Capital City Antique Mall
If you’ve ever been riveted by Antiques Roadshow, here is a spot you shouldn’t miss. More than 60 antiques collectors and dealers have found a home in one giant warehouse (that was formerly Moriarty’s), with furniture, finery, jewelry, memorabilia and more, open seven days a week. And if you’re in the market to sell or are liquidating an estate, this is the place for you. The inventory is constantly turning over, so every visit might be a chance to find a one-of-a-kind treasure.
959 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 801-521-7207, CapitalCityAntiqueMall.com
Best Urban Chicken Outfitters
So, you’re into organic and cruelty-free foods. Why not feed yourself organically and get a few fine-feathered friends in the process? By gearing up with Chickoopy, you can get your hands on its unique mobile chicken coop. The coop rolls on wheels, so you can move your chickens over different patches of your yard at a time. Since the floor of the coop is mesh and sets down over the lawn after it’s been moved, you don’t need to worry about messy cleanup, and the eggs remain in the mobile coop. With Chickoopy’s gear and helpful Website that keeps you up to date on supplies, tips and local urban chick-coop ordinances in Utah, any city slicker can become an urban farmer with ease.
196 Sugar St., Studio 5, Layton, 801-706-6001, Chickoopy.com
Best Kitsch-Free Living
Best Assistance When a Pet Passes
Cottonwood Canyons Pet Memorial Garden
Animal companions are members of the family, and that includes thinking about how to remember them when they’re gone. This Salt Lake Valley pet cemetery offers a variety of services for those who feel they’ve lost more than just an animal. Pet burials, cremations and memorial services are standard features, but Cottonwood Canyons also offers monthly grief-support groups for those coping with the loss of a beloved pet. For those who wish to remain close to that companion forever, there are even personal burial spaces for pet parents east of the pet garden.
3115 E. 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights, 801-943-0375, UtahPetCemetery.com
Best Witch Crafts
Earth-centered spirituality in this country has gone from being celebrated only at the risk of one’s life to gradually increasing in acceptance. Another milestone on that road to the mainstream is this new multi-use facility in Salt Lake City. The retail store offers materials for a variety of pagan rituals and other needs, from candles and herbs to educational materials and clothing. A lounge, classroom and large ritual/demonstration space are also part of the operation, allowing Utah’s wiccans the comfort that comes from knowing it has a place of its own, and a place to educate the community about what it means to be pagan.
2470 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-906-0470, CronesHollow.com
Best Fashion for Boarders (and Poseurs)
Decade Snow & Skate
People who spend each winter on the slopes say they’re there purely for the love of the fresh pow, but, come on—at least some small part of their obsession with gnar is motivated by the cool fashions that make up any snow bro’s wardrobe. Now you, too, can wear the baggy pants and fluorescent colors that are the hallmark of those who ride the snow (or the cement). Decade Snow & Skate has a huge selection of the coolest outerwear and accessories fit for the best boarder—or the person who just wants to look like the best.
1695 E. Skyline Drive, No. 5, Ogden, 801-475-7433, DecadeSnowAndSkate.com
Best Sleep Relief
Ever tried getting a good night’s sleep when you just got a new tattoo? Had a broken leg? Or were pregnant, perhaps? If you have, you know that cotton sheets, while otherwise comfy and inviting, can sometimes conspire to ruin your night by bunching up around you as you toss and turn. That’s why West Jordan’s Peggy Mills of Body Pains Solutions blog has created a fitted sheet made of special materials that enable the sheet to move with you, without friction, as you shift your position at night. The sheet also comes with a two-week money-back guarantee, also comforting to the buyer looking for a sheet to rest on, not wrestle with, at night.
Best Fancy Jewelry Without the Fancy Price
Tucked away in Trolley Square, the standout at Casa Bella is the jewelry, from silver charms to milky pearls to elegant cameos to sparkly owl rings and exotic beads. The proprietors cull these unique adornments from estate sales and from local and international artisans. Best of all, the pieces—all gorgeous—range in price from the shockingly affordable to the extravagant.
Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-0256, CasaBellaTrolley.com
Best Utah Iconography on a Mug
Everett Ruess Blockprint Merchandise
Everett Ruess may have been a native Californian, but he became a part of Utah history when the writer/artist/explorer disappeared in Escalante in 1934 at the age of 20. His linoleum-block prints provided unique images of Utah wilderness, and after they were restored in the 1980s and 1990s, local designer Steve Jerman made them available in officially licensed T-shirts, prints, mugs, journals and more.
Best Little Shop of Fashionable Horrors
Best Darning of the Moth Hole
Express Tailoring & Reweaving
Repairing anything might seem passé in the disposable culture we find ourselves in, but economic concerns have people thinking how to keep older items in good shape. Woolen items damaged by time, moths or other factors aren’t often the purview of tailors, but Express Tailoring is a rare exception. Owner Dung Nguyen has been turning first-time customers into regulars for years, taking that sweater or pair of pants that has seen better days and making it look almost new.
672 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-596-1321
Best Torquing & Taming of Teeth
Do your chompers qualify you for a lead role in an Austin Powers movie? Crowded, crooked teeth might be OK on the other side of the pond, but in the U.S. of A., you need an all-American smile. Orthodontist Jack Feller has a straightening method for every mouth, lifestyle and budget. For adults in a hurry, his SureSmile and Damon wires put accelerated torque on the teeth to get the job done fast. His office is a visual stunner, with murals, colorful furnishings and vivid epoxy floor coverings that help calm each patient’s freaked-out inner child. On your way out, grab a fresh-baked cookie, but don’t forget to floss.
2505 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-466-0040, FellerOrtho.com
Best Place to Surround Yourself with Cuteness
Frosty Darling is Salt Lake City’s epicenter for stuff you don’t need but really, really want—a pastel-colored melting pot of home décor, accessories, personal care, candy and stationery. You might not die without a jewelry box made out of a Candy Land game board or a pillow shaped like a cupcake. But once you know there’s a place where such wonders exist, you won’t be able to pass them up.
177 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4790, FrostyDarling.com
Best Locals Gameshop
After a South Ogden Game Crazy store closed, a few die-hard employees decided to start their own store. But for cash-strapped gamers Joseph Graber and Andrew Patten, getting the store up and running required them to use their own personal game collections to stock the store’s inventory. In a gesture as touching as Frank Bailey using his honeymoon cash to keep the bank from folding in It’s a Wonderful Life, Patten and Graber’s sacrifice paid off: It cemented the duo’s reputation as being gaming gurus dedicated to providing the best games.
4300 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, 801-689-2397, GameVaultStore.com
Best Computer Repairs
These guys know what they’re doing: They’ll replace your laptop’s broken screen, solder on a new DC jack or recover your lost data. “We do repairs A to Z, fix broken computers, get rid of a nasty virus or rogue anti-malware agent or do data recovery when others have given up,” says James Gingras of the West Jordan store. They also sell custom-built computers that start at $899 that come with a lifetime service warranty. And check out Geekbox bargain prices: a 22-inch brand-name monitor is $180, a keyboard is $20.
3078 W., 7800 South, West Jordan, 801-566-4335; 8912 S. 700 East, Sandy, 801-233-9333, GeekBox.com
Best Camouflage Duds
General Army-Navy Outdoor
If you are a hunter, SWAT team member, survivalist or a wannabe soldier, you’re going to need some camouflage duds in your closet. This Army-Navy surplus store offers one-stop shopping for everything from do-rags to backpacks. Choose between desert and forest camouflage patterns. Buy a can of camo-green spray paint or camo cloth by the yard. Think of what environmental artist Christo could do with a few bolts of camouflage cloth.
4974 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, 800-433-9185, GeneralArmyNavy.com
Best Housecleaning Done Green
Being messy and concerned about the environment are not mutually exclusive. Greener Cleaners provides cleaning services for your home and business that use only gentle, natural cleaning products. The Greener Cleaners offers affordable rates and can tailor ongoing service to meet specific jobs and budgets. The small, family-operated business offers peace of mind for customers looking for regular cleaning, one-time deep cleans, post-construction cleaning, move-in and move-out cleans and other solutions that are Earth and wallet friendly.
Best Celtic Shapeshifters
Gypsy Moon Emporium
If Celtic blood is racing through your veins—or even if you just wish it did—few places evoke the Celtic soul like Gypsy Moon. Browse through a book collection specializing in folklore and mythology, or find specialty jewelry and clothing that will make you feel as though you’re wandering over the mist-covered moors. Come in for a henna tattoo, or find everything you need to plan a Celtic-themed wedding or a tour of the British Isles. Tá fáilte romhat—that’s “you’re welcome.”
1011 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-9100, GypsyMoonEmporium.com
Best Hardened Case
Hard Case for iPad
Park City plumbing contractor Daniel Schulz shuddered at his $500 iPad’s vulnerability. Schulz looked around his van and saw the menacing copper pipes, fittings, power tools and building materials just lying in wait for a chance to crush his technological wonder. So he fashioned a hard case made of durable aluminum that looked like a clipboard on the outside. Open it up, and you’ll find high-density foam with a space carved out for the iPad. Not only is it nearly indestructible, Hard Case also keeps his expensive device out of sight, or at least camouflaged as a nondescript clipboard. Next thing he knew, all his friends wanted one, and now you can buy one, too.
Best Homemaker Inspiration
Hip & Humble
So, you haven’t used your oven in months. So what? You still need that flower-shaped serving bowl, or this ingenious fuschia cutting board. Every nook and cranny of Hip & Humble’s cozy shop is packed with colorful items for your home—stuff that’s useful and stuff that’s just plain cool. Browse for just a few minutes, and you’ll suddenly feel compelled to head home and get reacquainted with your kitchen.
1043 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-3130; 559 W. 2600 South, Bountiful, 801-298-3373, HipAndHumble.com
Best Record-Setting Timepieces
Hour Place Clocks
The march of technology consigns much of our old-school media to the landfill. There are some who don’t give up that easily, however. Karen and Craig Russell, for example, have repurposed vinyl records into ornamental clocks. Choose from a wide variety of themes, from your favorite professional sports team to wildlife and nature scenes to pop stars. Decorate your home with a unique wall clock, knowing that you’ve also saved one more old record from the garbage heap of history.
Best Born-Again Furniture
Jacobsen Restoration & Art
There comes a time in every old table or dresser’s life when you have to save it or chuck it—what’s it gonna be? If your furniture is on life support, the talented folks at Jacobsen Restoration know how to give it a second (or third) life. Not only can they restore wood finishes, but they can also re-create missing ornamentation and trim that may have been lost or damaged over the years. They work with every budget and strive to meet your highest hopes for your cherished antiques and sentimental furnishings. Best of all is working with Nan, Abi and Judd, craftspeople who love what they do, are conscientious about every detail and won’t waste your money.
150 W. 1400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-486-6331
Best Anatomically (& Socially) Correct Shoes
Buying a good running shoe doesn’t seem like something you’d want to do over the Internet, but this Salt Lake City-based operation offers about as much peace of mind as you could hope for. Testimonials from around the world attest to the designed-in-Utah ergonomic qualities that reduce heel and foot problems common to runners. They offer free exchanges on all products that don’t meet your needs within 35 days of purchase. And with each purchase, you get to select one of several charitable enterprises that will receive a percentage of the company’s profits. Your feet and your conscience will be more comfortable for the experience.
Best Stylist Heartthrob
Best Divinely Green Architecture
LDS Green Meetinghouses
Like a revelation of greenness, the LDS Church has unveiled a new prototype for green and eco-friendly meetinghouses that are LEED-certified, energy-efficient and conserve water down to the most needed drop. The flagship is the Farmington stake center, which is completely powered by rooftop solar panels and is fitted with plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by 50 percent. It also has Low-E Solarban 70 Windows that block 78 percent of the sun’s heat. The house is not a one-off, either—it’s a pilot for similar meetinghouses planned for sites across the United States.
347 S. 200 West, Farmington, 801-451-1900
Best Place to Spend Money on Your Own Bad Self
Whether you need spa pampering or shoe shopping therapy, Got Beauty is your one-stop. Here, you’ll find fragrant candles, luxurious bath bubbles, glamorous makeup and every type of hair potion and tool, as well as an ever-changing selection of adorable shoes and handbags. And among all that beauty lies frilly, funny, quirky and girly gifts for every persuasion.
900 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-474-2090, GotBeauty.com
Best Bulls Eyes
Lina’s Dart Shop
The art of the dart is not just for British pubs. If you fancy throwing sharp objects in a socially sanctioned form, visit this South Salt Lake purveyor of all things dart-y. Pick up a board of your own, or adorn the ends of your old-fashioned steel-tipped darts with a favorite specialized flight design.
3149 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-467-0577
Best Gear For The Active Local
Locals Have More Fun
An ex-Coloradan who disdains city life, Brian Kahn moved to Park City in 2006 and soon had a vision for celebrating—and sustaining—the ski-, bike- and other activity-friendly environment that we may take for granted. Teaming up with artist Bob Commander, he created a line of clothing to help remind those of us who live here of our good fortune, while using materials like organic cotton, bamboo yarn and EPA-approved inks. The resulting shirts and jackets are vibrant reminders of our state’s beauty, and the need to make choices that keep it that way.
Best Haircuts for Modest Women
In the West, the notion of women being required to wear scarves, hijabs or even burqas is a charged one. But the reason for it, Muslims say, is simple modesty: Muslim women do not seek unwanted attention. However, just because she is modest in public doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to look beautiful for her spouse and family in private. The question is, where does such a modest woman get her hair done, away from the eyes of strangers? In recent years, Cheree Aldrich began offering salon services to Muslim women in a private room at Malstrom Salon. Soon, she built up a following as word of mouth spread. Beginning with the shampoo, through the cut, color and style—all the way through to the final hiss of hairspray—she takes care to guard the modesty of her clients.
535 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-537-5313, MalstromSalon.com
Best Way to Be Beautiful
Mandi Nuttall’s Beauty Campaign
Pleasant Grove photographer Mandi Nuttall thinks every woman should have a photo to give to her kids and spouse. But more importantly, she needs a photo of herself to see her own beauty, regardless of her age, shape or size. Nuttall started her Beauty Campaign photography sessions as more than a photo shoot. She gives her clients preliminary “homework” to build their self-esteem. Then, on the day of the shoot, her clients enjoy a day of beauty styling and spa pampering. During the shoot, Nuttall provides her clients exercises to help them relax and bring out their personalities. These aren’t boudoir sessions, but rather journeys to a woman’s soul.
Best Gals & Guys Boutique
Mary Jane’s Shoes
Don’t be fooled by the name or the pink exterior—this is a shop for the coolest gals and guys. The boutique, tucked away on historic Main Street in Park City, sells items you can’t find elsewhere in Utah, so your style won’t be duplicated. The store was originally envisioned for sexy fashionistas to craft their look, but in recent years, the shop has added men’s clothing and accessories—stuff “real men” actually want. So make it a date: With each shopping trip, you can double your pleasure as you both find something you like. 613 Main, Park City, 435-645-7463, MaryJanesShoes.com
Best Designated Driver
My Sober Guy
No need to contemplate driving drunk (or even tipsy) because you don’t want to leave your car parked downtown at the bar. The unique taxi service offered by the entrepreneurs at My Sober Guy can handle that logistical problem. For about the same expense as a cab, they will drive you home in your own vehicle. Your driver—your sober guy—will get a ride back from another driver. That way, you can drink to your heart’s content (and your liver’s regret) and wake up the next morning—or afternoon—and take comfort knowing your car will be parked out front where your sober guy left it.
Best Shopping Karma
In a challenging economic climate, shopping secondhand has become a smart choice for more and more Americans. And if you’re going to support the idea of giving used goods a second life—whether as a donor or a buyer—you might as well do it while supporting a great cause. Our Store offers appliances, electronics, clothing, books and much more, and does so with all proceeds going to support the People With AIDS Coalition; individuals with HIV/AIDS also have the opportunity to receive vouchers to shop in the store.
358 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-819-7884, YourThriftAlternative.org
Best Warehouse Discounts
No matter the weather, there will be devoted discount shoppers lining the periphery of the Overstock.com warehouse at least an hour before the mayhem begins. Drinking coffee or coddling babies, people seem peaceful enough, but it’s merely the calm before the storm. Every Saturday at 8 a.m., the doors open to the general public to buy what didn’t sell that week on the liquidator’s Website. So that means even deeper discounts on linens, couches, eyewear, you name it. Imagine Black Friday-esque frenzied running every Saturday—but the deals are worth getting trampled over.
955 S. 3800 West, Salt Lake City, 800-843-2446
Best Meat for the Masses
Palace Meat Company
Palace Meat is a little-known secret that meat-lovers should file away. For over a century, this Salt Lake City business has offered premium cuts of steaks, roasts, chops, sausage and deli meats—all at wholesale prices. Its custom cutting and portioning of beef, pork, lamb and poultry is just the ticket at any family reunion, barbecue or company party. Palace even does curing and delivery. It’s all cut fresh and exactly the way you want it. So for your big meat needs, just phone in your order.
715 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-5621, PalaceMeat.com
Best Electrical DIY-ers
If a recession’s good for one thing, it’s reminding us that we can fix our widgets instead of just buying new ones—but when it comes to electronics, that may be a little daunting. Luckily, the brain trust at the family-run Ra-elco Electric shop has got all the wires, cables, fuses, amp tubes, doodads and assorted gadgetry you might ever need to repair your appliances and electronics. Better yet, they’ve also got the know-how to show you how their wares can fit right into that electronics project of yours.
2780 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-487-7749
Best Gifts for Perfect Strangers
Where do you go to find a gift for your future mother-in-law whom you’ve never met? How about the biggest gift store in the state? Located at the mouth of beautiful Ogden Canyon, Rainbow Gardens was formerly a hot springs resort, with indoor pool, ballrooms and a bowling alley. Now, the sprawling complex encompasses themed boutiques, where you can buy kitchenware, holiday décor, gourmet foods and candies, cards, stationery, Utah souvenirs … no matter whom you’re finding a gift for, Rainbow Gardens is sure to have something that’ll please. 1851 Valley Drive, Ogden, 801-621-1606, RainbowGardens.com
Best Locally Made Golf Tools
Ever wish you had a stylish wet towel in your back pocket to wipe your golf balls with? Local entrepreneur Joe Borgenicht did and he fashioned ruletwentyone, a handy, stylish clip-on towel that’s wet on the inside and dry on the outside, allowing golfers to think more about their putt than cleaning their golf balls. On that success, he came up with rulesixteen, a unique slide-action ball marker/divot tool that allows golfers to mark their putting line and then read their putt after moving their ball. And finally, ruleeleven is a reusable, distance tee made from recycled materials—all made by a golfer who dreamed about clean balls.
Best Wedding Scent of a Woman
In Utah—where the wedding industry nears the GDP of some small countries—wedding planners and services abound, offering everything from gowns to documentation. But how many offer the bride a chance to design her own signature scent for the Big Day? She can pick the fragrance itself, the color and the bottle to create something as unique as any other part of the event. The bride can then keep it for herself or make it a special wedding-party gift.
Signed & Numbered
Many worried what would become of Signed & Numbered when it packed up and moved from below Slowtrain to the east side of town. But those worries were quickly quashed once her shop’s big cartoon-dog sign made its appearance in Sugar House. Residing on the corner of 2100 South and 2100 East (next door to Blue Plate Diner), the traffic from hungry patrons and art lovers alike has helped Leia Bell’s place flourish and exposed many print artists to a new audience.
2105 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-596-2093, Signed-Numbered.com
Best Sliding-Scale Acupuncture
A subtle health-care reform is taking place one filliform needle prick at a time. SLC Qi is a community acupuncture clinic, where multiple patients are seen simultaneously in the same room. This helps with the goals of affordability and accessibility. The clinic charges fees on a sliding scale, from $15-$40 per treatment. While the practitioners say it’s not a replacement for Western medicine, acupuncture has been known to help those who suffer from arthritis, migraines, depression and more. That’s a potent bunch of little pokes.
177 E. 900 South, Suite 101D, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3337, SLCQi.com
Best High Fidelity Sales Staff
Independent record stores can seem intimidating, as seen in the film High Fidelity. Lucky for us, Slowtrain Records is anything but. If you need affirmation that you have excellent taste in music, buy a record when Matt Hoenes is working. He will invariably commend you on your “good choice.” Each and every one of the four staff members—including Vanessa Wardy and owners Chris and Anna Brozek—are friendly, knowledgeable and not elitist in the least. They will special-order records, guide you through the massive selection of music and help you decide which album is really a good choice.
221 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-364-2611, SlowTrainMusic.com
Best Iconic Threads
Best Salvaged Parts Backed by Integrity
Tear a Part
This self-service auto recycler is operated by Chris Mantas and his family. They take pride in running a clean, organized yard, and they actually warranty their parts. They have a wide variety of vehicles arranged in aisles and up on blocks, making it easy for customers to access the undercarriage and pull the parts they need. Customers place the parts in a wheelbarrow and bring them to the checkout stand, just like in a grocery store. After the vehicles are stripped, Tear a Part disposes of them by draining the oils and fluids and removing all mercury switches, AC gases and batteries. Then they dispose of potential hazards in an EPA-approved manner. Their environmental stewardship puts them in good standing with the EPA. Finally, a salvage yard that gives you warm fuzzies!
652 S. Redwood Road, 801-886-2345, Salt Lake City, TearAPart.com
Best New Fashion Locale
The married duo of Melissa Christensen and Patrick Bogdanich branched out from Koi Piercing to take over the empty space next door, transforming it into a small fashion boutique on the corner of 900 East and 1300 South. The two shipped in trend-setting fashion both local and from around the country, ranging from finely stitched dresses and designer earrings to fishnets and garter belts, and displayed them at affordable prices for the public at large. Almost overnight, Tempest has become a hotspot for unique and sometimes risky debut fashions.
1305 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-1188
Best Hispanic Grocery Chain
If you’re homesick for South America or Mexico, or if you just want to find the largest selection in Utah of Latin American produce and meat, this is the place. The meat counter alone is 90 feet long, with bargains like cooked pork ribs for $3.99 a pound. Tenochtitlan stocks more fresh peppers than you ever knew existed, along with white and red corn for pozole, a dozen different kinds of yerba mate, and the fresh bags of cellophane spices that have all but disappeared from the major supermarkets. One section is a restaurant, with mariscos and a taqueria, plus housemade menudo on weekends.
Multiple locations, TenochititlanMarkets.com
Best Full-Service Shower
The 7 Club
More than a spa and salon, the new 7 Club offers private locker service, HCG weight-loss programming and personal training through the 24 Hour Fitness located in the same building. That’s in addition to all the usual spa offerings like facials and waxes. Tucked away in Trolley Corners, 7 Club offers the perfect shower away from home for busy business people or an antioxidant pumpkin exfoliator treatment for when you are wearing the weight of the world on your face and need it scrubbed off.
515 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-596-7700, The7Club.com
The Art Floral
Don’t know jack about floral arrangements? No big deal—just don’t grab a bouquet from the grocery store. Instead, go to The Art Floral, which has been beautifying Salt Lake City for 60 years. From helping you select apology flowers and bridal bouquets to decorating your entire home with exotic flower displays, the staff will work with you (and your budget) to fulfill the floral desires you didn’t even know you had.
580 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-0565, TheArtFloral.com
Best Place to Add to Your Library
A new visitor to this bookstore might not realize that this is version 3.0 of the Ogden institution, recently relocated to a new space. The store’s huge interior is lined with books that look as though they’ve sprung organically from the walls and shelves—a vast hodgepodge of recent fiction, vintage mysteries, classic kids books, as well as comics, videos and games. After a stop at this store, you’re gonna need a bigger bookshelf.
2671 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-621-4752, BookshelfUtah.net
Best Literary Action Figures
The Library Store
There are few better places in the state to help accessorize your favorite lover of words, from Scrabble-tile earrings to quotable refrigerator magnets. But raging bibliophiles might really love being able to fill their curio cabinets with figurines representing literary giants. Pick up the Jane Austen (complete with writing desk!), Edgar Allen Poe or William Shakespeare, and supplement the gift with other great items celebrating those legendary authors.
Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8238
Best Hand Wax & Tooth Pull
Best Video Company
The Occidental Saloon
Most bands don’t have the money or the resources to put together a music video of their work to help get their name out. So a small production company dedicated to that notion has been a blessing to the music scene. The small outfit (which includes Velour’s Corey Fox) has produced videos for Isaac Russell, Shark Speed, Joshua James, Parlor Hawk and Neon Trees, giving the bands a YouTube presence and helping establish Utah music in the Internet age.
Best Green Packing
The Other Box
Moving is stressful enough for everyone involved, never mind the time spent rounding up boxes and wondering if all that packing material is going to wind up in a landfill. The Other Box has come up with an alternative to the traditional cardboard solution: Reusable, recycled plastic packing boxes that the company will deliver to your door (for free in Salt Lake City) and retrieve when you’re done. You can even get biodegradable packing peanuts and bubble wrap to help with the fragile items.
Best Goat-Milk Lather
Willow Lane Soap Cottage
Nestled in the heart of West Jordan, Drake Family Farms has been a mainstay of responsible and wholesome agriculture for six generations. At its Willow Lane Soap Cottage, purveyors offer the best in goat-milk soap products. Before you say “bah!” to the idea of goat-milk soap, remember that for thousands of years, goat milk has helped to make a natural moisturizing soap, packed with good stuff like vitamins—not bad stuff like pesticides or other chemicals. These are all good reasons to shop natural, shop local and get your goat milk on.
1856 Drake Lane, West Jordan, 801-255-6455, DrakeFamilyFarms.com
Best Reason to Be Bottle Fed
It may be a luxury nowadays to have milk delivered, but one Utah family dairy has kept the dream alive for six generations over 130 years. Not only can you have all-natural milk (in returnable bottles) delivered to your porch each week by Winder Dairy, but you can also receive bakery products, produce, juice, meats and cheeses. And all this pampering is mostly guilt-free. First, congratulate yourself for contributing fewer plastic jugs to the landfill and burning less gas driving to the grocery store. Second, feel the love from the local food producers whose products are delivered by Winder: Tooele County eggs, Cache Valley jams, Lehi Roller Mills pancake mixes, Weber County bread and, of course, all that milk that comes from Summit and Wasatch county cows.
4400 W. 4100 South, West Valley City, 801-969-3401
Best Phone Recycling
The rate of technological change has plenty of people upgrading cell phones faster than their service contracts can expire. All that old gear could end up in a landfill, but entrepreneur Paul Evans thought there was a market for buying back those older phones and re-selling them to buyers looking to upgrade their own phones at a bargain price. At kiosks in five Utah malls—plus more states being added all the time—you can buy or sell used phones, or even get phones (and iPods) repaired rather than making them one more part of disposable culture.
Multiple Locations, CellAgain.com
Best for Cleaning Your Clock
O.C. Tanner Factory Outlet
It's hard to find a local place that can repair and clean all your timepieces, from large chiming wall clocks to watches. Don’t suffer through a series of incompetent, outrageously expensive stores—just go straight to O.C. Tanner. If the repair is physically possible, they can do it, and for a reasonable price. The outlet also offers golf clubs, telescopes and crystal, but it's the excellence of the work on timing devices that makes this store a real find.
1865 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-493-3062
Best “Square” Meal
Whole Foods Trolley Square
Since Whole Foods Trolley Square opened in mid-March, foodies have flocked to this sumptuous grocery store for a near-religious experience. Many choices abound, but the real treat is the pay-by-the-pound dining options. For breakfast, Burt’s Big Bowl is a steal at $2.99 for make-it-your-way oatmeal. Later in the day, the salad bar—with both organic and conventional produce—has doubled in size for crafting the perfect green mix. The drool-inducing hot bar expanded from three trays to over 30 housemade options—rotated daily—from Asian fusion to modern American. The hard decision isn’t whether to visit the new digs, but where to dig in.
544 S. 700 East, 801-924-9060, WholeFoodsMarket/stores/TrolleySquare
Best Color-Coded Tableware
Best Gas & Trivia
Maverik Country Store at 600 South
“Adventure’s First Stop” may be Maverik’s company slogan, but for knowledge lovers, the 600 South Maverik is trivia’s first stop. For no charge, this Maverik offers patrons the chance to beat the daily trivia question and win a tasty candy bar. It doesn’t matter that the trivia questions are so random and encyclopedically obscure that they would stymie Ken Jennings on a good day, it’s just nice to see a little character reflected—at least at this station—by an otherwise corporate gas Goliath.
615 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, 801-359-9407
Best Perfect Diamond
AAA Jewelers & Loans
Are you heading for that trip down the aisle, a special event that begs for a bauble, looking for an anniversary necklace or a make-up bracelet because Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas—or do you just plain want to spoil yourself on a beer budget (despite your champagne taste)? Well, maybe a high-end whiskey budget, but you get the point: At AAA, you’re not going to pay through the nose for that perfect diamond or piece of silver or gold that will mend all of the above and also save you some green in the process. Much of the inventory comes with a built-in memory, but you’d never know. Also, if discreetness is important, just set an appointment for next door at Michael Angelo’s Jewelers (cleverly named after brothers Michael and Angelo, natch), where you can gaudy up in total privacy. While you’re there, sell them your gold. These fellows love to buy the real heavy stuff.
601 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-359-2035
Best Easy Green Transition