I’ve been asked many times by people traveling in for events, ski trips, short stopovers on their way to the mountains or Park City, on how to spend a day or half-day in Salt Lake City, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite shopping venues, eateries, and things to do in Salt Lake City that should help you spend a great day in the capital of Utah.
Left: The Children’s Hour. Right two images: Arte Haus Collectif
Fun Things To Do in Salt Lake City in a Day:
For the Early Riser: The Best Coffee Shops & Breakfast Spots in Salt Lake City
You may not expect it, but coffee culture is growing in Salt Lake City. Many new hot spots have popped up over recent years, and each one that opens up seems better than the last! Whether you’re looking for coffee only, or a bakery to boot, I suggest you start your day at one of these spots.
- Campos Coffee – The newest spot, and my personal favorite. Perfect for a few things – a good cup, catching up with a friend over a meal, or working for a few hours. 228 S Edison St.
- Three Pines Coffee – perfect for those in need of a good espresso on the go downtown. 165 Main St.
- Tulie Bakery – If baked goods are calling, this is your spot. They also have fresh beignets!!! 863 East 700 South.
- Eva’s Bakery – it’s not only Instagram worthy on the outside, but the food is IG worthy too. 155 Main St.
- Publik Coffee Roasters – If you crave coffee and a variety of toasts, this is your spot. It’s also perfect if you need to get a few hours of work done as they have ample workspace. 975 S West Temple.
- Publik Kitchen – If you need more than just a coffee. 931 East 900 South.
Midday Musings: Shopping in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake isn’t just full of strip malls and chain restaurants, though if you venture out to the ‘burbs, you may feel that it is. But if you happen to spend time in Salt Lake City itself, you’ll be wowed by plenty of local shops, some of which have become personal favorites for gifts and home decor. It’s my dream to own a shop like this, so, for now, I’ll continue to browse these favorites until I have one of my own!
- Arte Haus Collectif – gifts/decor – perfect for picking up something for a friend, or even for your own home. If you’re like me you go in to buy gifts for others and leave with things for yourself. 352 East 900 South.
- Thyme and Place – A botanical boutique, as they call themselves, great for small plants and other botanical items. They even have a new herbal store inside called Green Thread Herbs, which is an herbal apothecary and plant medicine boutique. 362 East 900 South.
- Koo de Ker – a women’s boutique in the newly formed Maven District. 177 East 900 South.
- The Children’s Hour – Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s a great shop if you have to buy for females whether they’re seven or thirty seven. They carry both children’s and women’s clothing as well as books, plus it’s perfect if you need something gift wrapped. 898 900 East.
- The Stockist – Clothing and home for both men and women. A personal fave if you need to pick up a good Brixton hat or Herschel luggage. 875 East 900 South.
All five of these shops in Salt Lake City are off 900 south (also known as 9th south). They start on the west side with Koo de Ker in the Maven District, followed by Arte Haus Collectif and Thyme and Place just a few blocks east, and end with The Children’s Hour and The Stockist furthest east in 9th and 9th. If you’re reliant on Uber or Lyft and the weather is decent, I suggest starting on one end and walking to the other. It’s an easy, flat walk.
Arte Haus Collectif
Sunset Scenery: Easy Hikes In Salt Lake City
If you happen to have a full day, the best wrap up your evening is with a hike that overlooks the Salt Lake City skyline. The two most popular hikes are Ensign Peak and The Living Room. Another option is to even start your day here depending on the weather and your schedule. Ensign Peak is a relatively easy hike and is only one-mile roundtrip, whereas the Living Room is a moderate, 4-mile hike. Depending on your time available and interest in intensity, either hike is a smart option so you can get picturesque views of the entire city.
And take note, these can really be done in any order. You can easily start your day in Salt Lake City with a hike, or you can finish it. And if you only have three or four hours, I suggest coffee and a quick hike.
If you have time for dinner in Salt Lake City…
- Bodega/The Rest – My personal favorite, but that’s if you end up at the Rest. Bodgea is the main floor bar – think younger, louder, etc. If you want to have a quick shot with a few friends, you stop here. If you want to enjoy a well crafted cocktail, make reservations for The Rest in advance, or hopefully you can get lucky by telling the staff you would like a seat at the bar downstairs. The Rest is a speakeasy, and known for it’s food and drinks. Make reservations and order the beer can chicken. It takes 40 or so minutes but it’s well worth the wait. 331 Main St.
- HSL – I finally made it to this spot just recently. I had heard about it for the past year and was finally excited to go for a friends birthday just recently. The decor is chic and the food is delicious. If you’re traveling by yourself, sit at the bar and enjoy the company around you! 418 East 200 South.
- Copper Onion – this is one of those Salt Lake staples that always seems to be included on my list when people ask where they should eat. Order the namesake burger or the saag paneer. Or the french dip. Or just order it all. 111 East Broadway #170.
When a nightcap is needed
While I don’t frequent bars as much as I used to (ok let’s face it, I’ve always been this way), I do appreciate a good cocktail to top off the evening. These are some of our favorites bars in Salt Lake City that we have frequented over the past seven or so years.
- The Rest – go for dinner, stay for drinks afterwards. I order the beignets along with a whiskey or rye based cocktail. Can you tell I like beignets? 331 Main St.
- White Horse – a sister bar to Whiskey Street, which is just next door. It’s newer, a bit trendier, and skews to a slightly older (older than college) crowd. 325 Main St.
- Under Current – About two or so years old, this spot is modern, trendy, and a tad bit pricey but worth it if you want to go to a bar that feels similar to something in a big city. 279 300 E.
- Bar X – this was one of our favorites for the first few years. It’s owned by Ty Burrell and known for the mixologists it staffs, however with that said, expect a longer-than-average wait time for drinks because you are ordering well crafted cocktails. 155 East 200 South.
I hope you enjoyed this Salt Lake City itinerary! I will keep it updated as new places pop up. If you happen to take any of my recommendations, please leave a comment below. If you have a recommendation of a favorite spot or fun things to do in Salt Lake City that you think would be a great addition to this list, please let me know as well.
Note: Salt Lake City is on a grid system with the Temple downtown being at the 0, 0 coordinates. This should help you navigate streets more easily.