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15th & 15th
For those who seek a small-town feel while retaining the amenities of a big city, 15th & 15th is the area for you. Tucked away in the middle of tree-lined streets and small, friendly parks, you'll find a great little selection of locally owned shops, restaurants and even a grocery store. It's a perfect walkable 'hood for locals, but a great place for out-of-towners, too.
Points of Interest
Indulge your inner foodie with Mediterranean delights such as a falafel sandwich, shwarma, or other treats from Mazza (1515 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9259, MazzaCafe.com). Caputo's Deli & Market (1516 S. 1500 East, 801-486-6615), a Salt Lake City staple that's been expanding its menu recently to include breakfast and lunch, and Einstein Brothers Bagels (1520 S. 1500 East, 801-466-8669, EinsteinBros.com) are perfect spots to grab a quick breakfast on the way to work.
15th & 15th is a dog-friendly neighborhood; you can't walk more than a few feet without running into a four-legged friend or two. There are water dishes in front of many shops (and a few homes, too). There's even The Dog Show (1508 S. 1500 East, 801-466-6100, DogShowGrooming.com) to get your pet looking its best.
You'll find just about everything you need without ever having to leave the area. Harmons took over the old Emigration Market, and it's now called Harmons Emigration Market (1706 E. 1300 South, 801-583-3663, HarmonsGrocery.com). Jolley's Gift & Floral (1676 E. 1300 South, 801-582-1600, JolleysGifts.com) also offers a small boutique clothing store. Finally, Sea Salt (1709 E. 1300 South, 801-349-1480, SeaSaltSLC.com) boasts an Italian menu in support of the Slow Food movement, a celebration of locally sourced food and drink.
The King's English (1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, KingsEnglish.com)—a beloved locally owned bookstore in a converted house—hosts a Lesbian Book Club meeting on the first Wednesday of every month. The club is open to gay, lesbian, bi-, transgender and family, but the readings aren't always LGBT-themed. It's a great way to get together, meet some new friends and read a great book each month.
15th & 15th is always full of surprises. Each December, for example, a neighborhood cul-de-sac (Glen Arbor St., 1735 S. 1500 East) turns into a winter wonderland called Christmas Street. Nearly every house on the block goes all out with decorations, maintaining a long-standing tradition that keeps carloads of nostalgia buffs cruising by each year. (By Trevor Hale)
Sugar House radiates out from Monument Plaza located at 2100 South and 1100 East for blocks and blocks in all directions. Once a relatively small, unique neighborhood, the past few years have brought dramatic growth and more national chains to co-exist with locally owned shops and eateries. The challenge for Sugar House during this rapid pace of change is how to maintain its identity. While newer buildings attempt to be architecturally cohesive, their sheer size and numbers dwarf mainstays like Sugar House Coffee (1100 E. 2011 South, 801-883-8867, SugarHouseCoffee.com) and Sugar House Furniture (2198 Highland Drive, 801-485-3606, SugarHouseFurniture.com).
Most of us know Sugar House for its ample shopping and eating opportunities. But what about those quirks that make it unique? Take, for instance, the high-gabled English Tudor building that houses the Sprague Branch of the Salt Lake City Library (2131 Highland Drive, 801-594-8640, Slcpl.Lib.Ut.Us) nestled smack-dab in between Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble. In front of the library, you can still find the larger-than-life sugar-beet sculptures. You also have to marvel at how Hidden Hollow at 2100 South and 1300 East, the tucked-away park located in the middle of a shopping center, is now connected with Sugar House Park (1300 East and 2100 South, SugarHousePark.org) by The Draw, a underground passageway recently built beneath busy 1300 East. (By Jacob Stringer)
Points of Interest
Now that the majority of buildings in Sugar House have become mixed use, meaning more and more people live near to where they shop and eat, the neighborhood feels more alive and vibrant. Where there used to be a handful of options for eating and drinking, the heart of Sugar House now has a lot to choose from, including Epic Brewery's local restaurant, The Annex (1048 E. 2100 South #110, 801-742-5490, TheAnnexByEpicBrewing.com), Wasatch Brewery's first Salt Lake City restaurant (2110 S. Highland Drive, 801-783-1127, WasatchBeers.com) and a slew of bars like Sugar House Pub (1992 South 1100 East, 801-413-2857), Campfire Lounge (837 E. 2100 South, 801-467-3325, CampfireLounge.com) and The Tap Room (2021 Windsor St., 801-484-6692, SLCTaproom.com).
400 South / 700 East/ Trolley Square
A 19th-century fairgrounds turned 20th-century transit hub turned 21st-century shopping mall, Trolley Square (600 S. 700 East, 801-521-9877, TrolleySquare.com), continues to serve a diverse population traveling by car, bus, bike, foot and TRAX to dine out, burn calories and stock up on niche goods. The nearby intersection of 400 South and 700 East is halfway between downtown and the University of Utah, making it a go-to spot for quick lunch breaks and errand runs.
Points of Interest
This district is "Grocery Store Central" with Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Smith's Marketplace and Sprouts conveniently located within walking distance of the city's light-rail system. Don't feel like cooking? A variety of locally owned restaurants are located nearby, including Skewered Thai (575 S. 700 East, 801-364-1144, SkeweredThai.com), a long-awaited brick-and-mortar offshoot of the food cart that gained its following at Utah festivals and outdoor markets. In Trolley Square, Desert Edge Pub & Brewery (273 Trolley Square, 801-521-8917, DesertEdgeBrewery.com) serves award-winning, handcrafted microbrews and American fare on the mall's upper level. Head a few blocks north to Caffe Niche (779 E. 300 South, 801-433-3380, CaffeNiche.com), which prides itself on a menu that's sustainably sourced, cage-free, organic and delicious.
Print books are alive and well at Weller Book Works (607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, WellerBookWorks.com), an independent haven for the written word since 1929. The beloved mom & pop shop is a somewhat hidden treasure well worth hunting down for its vast selection of new, used and rare gems along with knowledgeable staff members happy to help you find your next favorite read. Want (or need) to work up a sweat? Get the gear to strike a pose at Uintah Standard (680 E. 600 South, 801-554-1379, UintahStandard.com), an active-lifestyle boutique owned by two Utah natives whose Uintah Collection line of colorful workout gear is inspired by the state's great outdoors. The store also stocks goods by other homegrown brands including Stance socks and H Works jewelry. (By Jamie Gadette)
While Salt Lake City isn't nearly as much of a college town as other schools in the Pac-12, the University of Utah is seemingly omnipresent. The love for the school and its sports programs (football and women's gymnastics, notably) pours out and has a far greater reach than just to those living on campus. But if you do feel like taking a stroll around the campus, you won't be disappointed. There have been major changes in just about every section of the campus over the past decade—and aside from the still-awful parking situation, it's all been for the better. Some old buildings have undergone much-needed upgrades, while others have been torn down and rebuilt. Students love the new paths, bridges and sidewalks that make navigating the expansive campus easier than before. The best part is definitely the upgrade in the food department with restaurants like Aristo's Greek Cuisine (224 S. 1300 East, 801-581-0888, AristosSLC.com) and Indochine Vietnamese Bistro (230 S. 1300 East, 801-582-0896, IndochineUtah.com).
Points of Interest
Foothill Village (1400 Foothill Drive, 801-487-6670) is a prime shopping center, offering a mix of toy shops, sporting goods and clothing stores, such as Bloomingsales (801-583-9117, ShopBloomingsales.com). Food options abound with Vietnamese (East-West Connection, 801-581-1128, EastWestConnection.net), Mexican (Costa Vida Mexican Grill, 801-582-7873, CostaVida.net), sushi (Hi Sushi, 801-906-8320, HiSushiUtah.com), Irish (MacCool's Public House, 801-582-3111, MaccoolsRestaurant.com) as well as classic grub from Red Butte Café (801-581-9498, TheRedButteCafe.com) and Boulevard Bistro (801-953-1270, BoulevardBistroFoothill.com).
For those living on campus or staying at nearby hotels, the area has plenty to offer in the way of outdoor recreation. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BonnevilleShorelineTrail.org) extends behind the campus and stretches along Foothill Drive to East Millcreek. It's the perfect place to go running, hiking or mountain biking. Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way, 801-585-0556, RedButteGarden.org) has more than 100 acres of walkable grounds and trails, and it is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West. During the summer, Red Butte hosts an impressive concert lineup. Nearby is a living history park built to memorialize Brigham Young's arrival in Utah. This Is The Place Heritage Park (2601 Sunnyside Ave, 801-582-1847, ThisIsThePlace.org) features a petting zoo and holiday activities. The park is barely a stone's throw away from the 42-acre Hogle Zoo (2600 Sunnyside Ave, 801-582-1631, HogleZoo.org), home to more than 800 animals. Top off your adventures with pizza and beer from The Pie Pizzeria, 1320 E. 200 South, 801-582-0195, ThePie.com) (By Trevor Hale)
See that big dome perched on the hill north of downtown? That's the Utah Capitol (350 N. State, 801-538-3000, UtahStateCapitol.utah.gov). Regardless of how you feel about state government, the Capitol campus is a beautiful and worthwhile destination. Inside the Capitol rotunda are some impressive frescos on the ceiling that will captivate you while you wait to take a historical tour of the joint. Across the street is the Pioneer Memorial Museum (300 N. Main, 801-532-6479, DUPInternational.org), offering a free excursion through the times of Utah's first settlers, complete with buggies, furniture and other Old West memorabilia.
Points of Interest
You can escape downtown very quickly by heading up Memory Grove (375 N. Canyon Road, 801-521-7969, MemorialHouse-Utah.com) and through City Creek Canyon. The paved road that starts at the base of Capitol Hill runs aside City Creek for miles, giving bikers, runners and pooches room to breath and take in views of both city and country.
Even though the Utah Pride Center (255 E. 400 South, 801-539-8800, UtahPrideCenter.org) recently moved from the Marmalade to a downtown location, that doesn't mean the neighborhood is any less welcoming or tolerant, and the "Gayborhood" remains home to fun bars like Club Jam (751 N. 300 West, 801-382-8567, JamSLC.com).
It's taken a while to get it built, but the Marmalade Library, a branch of the City Library (slcpl.lib.ut.us) located at 500 North and 300 West, is slated to open this summer. Expect loads of green features and art spaces.
If you stumble even a block outside of the manicured Capitol grounds, you'll think you've time-warped about 40 years back. The Marmalade district is where the younger and older crowds embrace their counterculture ways while still respecting the history of the place. Perhaps that's why unconventional Salt Lake Acting Company (168 West 500 North, 801-363-7522, SaltLakeActingCompany.org) is based there. In the thick of it all is Em's (271 N. Center St., 801-596-0566, EmsRestaurant.com), a cozy bistro where locals enjoy farm-to-table dining while hobnobbing with elected officials and state employees who work nearby.
A walk amid the steep hills takes you by the thickest concentration of historical homes in the city, most of which feature all manner of flora, fauna and artwork in the yards. But it's not all historic. There are plenty of upscale condos that connect to the hip vibe. (By Joe Beatty)
Long recognized as a liberal enclave within a liberal enclave (Salt Lake City is to Utah what Austin is to Texas), this district bleeds blue but tolerates red. It was established in 1860 by both Mormon pioneers and Democratic shipping magnates (including Salt Lake Tribune founder Sen. Thomas Kearns), and evidence of their good life can be seen in historic McCune Mansion (200 N. Main, 801-531-8866, McCuneMansion.com). It remains a place where LDS, Catholic and Presbyterian houses of worship stand within blocks of each other, a place to take a long scenic walk, run or bike ride through the tree-lined streets of an easy-to-follow 123/ABC grid. Home prices climb as you cruise up the hill, but you can still score a wallet-friendly apartment in the lower Aves (good news for University of Utah students).
Points of Interest
Thirsty? Fuel-efficient vehicles with "Namaste" and "Lotoja" stickers queue up for drive-thru coffee at Java Jo's (401 First Ave., 801-532-2899, JavaJos.com). Or get a buzz at nearby Jack Mormon Coffee (82 E St., 801-359-2979, JackMormonCoffee.com). Hungry? In recent years, respected foodies have made the Aves a destination for craft brew and pub fare with Avenues Proper Restaurant & Publick House (376 Eighth Ave., Suite C, 385-227-8628, AvenuesProper.com); for fine wine and brunch on the patio; Avenues Bistro (564 Third Ave., 801-831-5409) / The Wild Grape Bistro (481 S. Temple, 801-746-5565, WildGrapeBistro.com); and for authentic ethnic cuisine (Cafe Shambala (382 Fourth Ave., 801-364-8558) / Saffron Valley East India Cafe (26 E St., 801-203-3325, SaffronValley.com).
In 2014, the city approved Popperton Plots (300 N. Popperton Way, WasatchGardens.org), the Avenues' first community garden, allowing residents to grow their own produce for a low $30 fee. Popperton's mission is to "grow healthy food and cultivate relationships." Such community-minded efforts come alive at the annual Avenues Street Fair, a free block party featuring timeless favorites including local radio station KRCL's vinyl record sale. (By Jamie Gadette)
Rose Park/Glendale/North Temple
The most diverse of Salt Lake City's neighborhoods, the west side of town boomed after World War II. The Utah State Fair, (155 N. 1000 West, 801-538-8400, UtahStateFair.com) on the North Temple grounds since 1902, runs for 10 days every September and is a true neighborhood affair, with nearby houses offering parking on their lawns during the fair's run. The grounds host year-round events and activities. Changes could be coming in the next couple of years, with the owners of the Real Monarchs planning on building a minor-league soccer stadium on the fairpark grounds.
Points of Interest:
Choo choo: The addition of the TRAX (Green) line to the airport has spurred a boom in apartment construction. The new buildings along North Temple cater to those who enjoy rolling out of bed and onto a train and are convenient for the budget-conscious. Stops along this route incorporate unique art that highlights local culture or industries, such as the station near the power plant with benches that look like wind turbines.
Chew chew: If there's one thing that draws people from all over town to this neighborhood, it's the food. The Red Iguana (736 W. North Temple, 801-322-1489, RedIguana.com) is a Mexican food institution so popular that Red Iguana 2 (866 W. South Temple, 801-214-6050, RedIguana.com) was built a block away to handle the overflow crowd that lines up out front.
The People's Market, aka the 9th West Farmers Market, springs up on Sundays from May to October. Located at Jordan Park adjacent to the International Peace Gardens at 1000 South and 900 West, the vendors and entertainers reflect the diverse cultures of the area. Extend your visit to the gardens themselves for one of the most interesting strolls in town. Volunteer with various cultural groups maintain plots for individual countries. Check out the Japanese garden with its stone lanterns and the Danish garden with its replica of a Viking burial mound. (By Joe Beatty)