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Best Mechanic Duo
E P Automotive
E P Automotive stands for Emmett and Paul. It’s simple—how the mechanic team likes it. The two have been in business on Edison Street for more than 20 years, and many before that working together at Emmett’s father’s shop next door. Emmett primarily works the desk and does diagnostic testing, while Paul is in the back getting dirty. It’s hard to find a good mechanic, and even harder to find an honest one, but E P Automotive gets high marks from its customers, who have stuck with them over the years, driving from as far as Ogden and Park City for service.
951 Edison St. (150 East), Salt Lake City, 801-355-4614
Best “Human Kangaroo” Gear
Okkatots Baby Carriers
There are plenty of ways to carry an infant, but most of them are uncomfortable for carrier or carry-ee. These versatile front-carriers are created in Utah by a trained nurse and allow for holding babies in an orthopedically sound position, with the ability to adjust the carrier easily so baby can be facing inward or outward, and be removed when sleeping without being disturbed. And life just got even easier with the carriers’ insulated pockets for your accessories (keys, phone, etc.) or baby’s (sippy cups, pacifiers).
Best Board Game Fix
Game Night Games
For any fan of board games, both social and more competitive, there’s one place in town to get your fix—the prime Sugar House location of Game Night Games. You’ll find games you can bring home to mother, like Apples to Apples, Farkle, Othello and more, plus more unusual games with a science-fiction, mystery or hard-core strategy bent. With as much space dedicated to open play area as retail, you can buy and play all in one trip.
2148 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City,Â 801-467-2400, GameNightGames.com
Two Dancing Cats
Every corner, surface and wall of this whimsical shop is filled with tastefully arranged treasures, so whatever your budget, you can find a fun gift to suit anyone in your life, from babies to the fashion-conscious to foodies. Spend a few bucks on a picture frame and some delightfully packaged bath salts, or invest in an Italian leather Taxi travel wallet printed with scenes from vintage Nancy Drew books. Drinkers will appreciate the classy and quirky wine glasses and liquor decanters, while cooks (and eaters) will love the array of local and unique snacks, spices, condiments and drink mixes—go whole hog and have the shop’s staff pack it all up in a wooden Two Dancing Cats gift box.
1790 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City,Â 801-485-0554, TwoDancingCats.com
Best Musician Turned Barber
Drew Danburry Shop
The thing about being a traveling musician and playing more than 700 concerts in five years is that your audience isn’t always a captive one. And the thing about cutting hair is that a barber always has a captive audience. For singer-songwriter Drew Danburry, it’s all about that personal connection. He still writes music but no longer performs live shows; his main focus is cropping mops and applying aftershave. With his slicked-back hair and oversize, Dad-like glasses, holding a pair of clippers and a comb, this artist not only looks the part of classically trained barber, but actually is one—his trimming skills are legit.
55 N. University Ave., No. 145, Provo, 801-607-1093, DanburryBarber.blogspot.com
Best Fashion Finds
One of the finest additions to the 9th & 9th area over the past decade has been Fresh, the modern-clothing store, catering to both men’s and women’s styles, that unites Salt Lakers with today’s most innovative styles and independent brands. Everything in the shop has been carefully chosen by the owners. Explore the shelves and you’re sure to find something—a svelte jacket, a killer pair of jeans or daring leather boots—that seems to have been made with you in mind.
870 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City,Â 801-532-3458, FreshPremiumGoods.com
Best Park City Gift Shop
Olive & Tweed
It’s unthinkable to visit this mountain town without picking up a classy gift that you can give to someone and say, “Oh, just a little something I picked up in Park City.” The perfect middle ground between the moose-adorned T-shirt shops and the pricey galleries is Olive & Tweed. Step down into the fashion boutique for a gift that’ll please any woman, or visit the loft for unique home items, fun games and toys for kids and classy gifts for discerning guys.
608 Main, Park City, 435-649-9392
Best Travel Concierge
Forget Kayak. When you want a travel plan and a pro to call when you miss your connection to Rome, you want Susie Amoss, travel concierge, on your side. She plans exotic adventures anywhere in the world, or can simply book overnight stops on your Argentine bike tour, or a hotel in San Diego. You’ll get the best deal around, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to use her services.