Things to do in Salk Lake When You're (not) Dead
May 5, 2007 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Looking for "can't miss" stuff to do in Salt Lake City (preferably downtown), the evenings of May 13 thru May 17. Difficulty: no Mormonism.

I'll be in SLC with a couple of coworkers. I already know about the Gateway, the Park City outlet mall, etc. But I am not finding anything on Ticketmaster or Google about much else "special" going on. We will be staying downtown, so events or places we can walk to are a plus, but we are not averse to Traxx or taking the rental car. Here's what comes to mind:

-Concerts or other performances, plays, improv, etc.

-NICE nightclubs with good music. I don't think my (married, female) coworkers would appreciate "Hey it's a dive and kinda smoky and nasty, and you might get hit on, but GREAT wings and music!" (Dancing not needed.)

-Can't-miss restaurants.

-Artsy, interesting, but not expensive shops. Think of taking something home for teenage daughters and a toddler girl, or for (their) hubbies. Or maybe some locally crafted clothing that may not be available elsewhere.

-Shopping. Our hometown shopping is pretty limited. We loved Gateway and the outlet mall in Park City last time we went. Anything else like that?

-Sporting events. (Not interested in baseball, and the indoor football at the e-center happens after we leave, unfortunately.) Anything else?

-The art musem at the Salt Palace is on my list to see. Anything we should see in addition, or even instead?

Feel free to toss any thoughts this way. Better to have too many ideas than not enough. And, if you are a resident, here's your chance to brag on your town to the world! (Again: Temple tours, choir practice, Mormon history, and the like are not on our list of must-sees.)

posted by The Deej to Travel & Transportation around Salt Lake City, UT (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Quick restaurant ideas: Red Iguana on N. Temple if you like Mexican food, and this is Mexican food you might find hard to find elsewhere. They have precolonial? (not sure the term) Mexican food and also have a liquor license.

If you like Japanese food, try Shogun at 321 S. Main. I haven't had the sushi bar, but apparently that's good. I've enjoyed the lunch special in the tatami rooms.

I also remember liking Lamb's Cafe (169 S Main St) as being unique and tasty (serves American food).

Still thinking about the other requests.
posted by artifarce at 12:12 PM on May 5, 2007

For the teen/unique shopping, you could try Retro Rose (Broadway is 3rd S.). As far as Utah-made clothing goes, you might find that to be a lot of Mormon clothing. :) Utah Woolen Mills started out making their own clothing, but I think it's now just a retailer.
posted by artifarce at 12:26 PM on May 5, 2007

Definitely eat at the Red Iguana. It is the best!
posted by sulaine at 12:45 PM on May 5, 2007

- The Off Broadway Theatre does a decent improv show if you're into that sort of thing.

- There's an art museum at the University of Utah that is probably better than the one at the Salt Palace.

- Several shopping malls: Fashion Place, Cottonwood Mall, South Towne... none of them amazing, but your profile says you're from Billings, and they are bigger than the malls there.

- The Quilted Bear is the biggest place for handcrafted clothing and other items, but you will find it leans heavily toward the Mormon side of things. I've also seen a very similar store in Billings so it won't be too exotic.

- We have a bunch of good Indian restaurants (Taj India, Star of India, and The Himalayan are all downtown), excellent Thai food (I recommend Pawit's in Cottonwood, but there are some downtown too), and Sushi places (Tsunami, etc) that might offer more variety in cuisine than you're used to.

- Park City's main street (not the area by the outlet mall) has lots of good shops and restaurants, and it's the off season so it isn't likely to be crowded.
posted by mmoncur at 1:26 PM on May 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

(disclaimer: my knowledge of Utah is 2 or 3 years out of date, so any of these restaurants may be kaput.)

We loved Gateway and the outlet mall in Park City last time we went. Anything else like that?
Trolley Square Mall is great (and fairly close to the university of Utah.) I like it much better than the Gateway. If it's still around, the 'Brewery at the Pub' was a very good place to grab lunch. Rodizio grill and Spaghetti Factory are both awesome, too.

Closer to downtown, The Bayou is a fairly tasty restaurant, but it's main claim to fame is that it has like 300 kinds of beer.

Also, Sugarhouse, which is a part of Salt Lake a bit to the south, is a neat area to look/shop around in. (As I remember it.)

If your into that sort of thing, the local amusement park is Lagoon, which is a ways north of Salt Lake City (in Farmington, I believe.)
posted by blenderfish at 2:20 PM on May 5, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the input so far!
The Red Iguana was on my list when we were there a couple weeks ago, but we didn't make it. I'll for sure try it this time. There is also a Blue Iguana nearby. How's that?

I like Trolley Square. I was there a few years ago, but I didn't think about it last time. Thanks for the reminder.

I'll check with the ladies about Lagoon. It looks like Sunday night would be our only shot at it since they are only open weekends for now. Might be iffy after flying in at 7 and getting settled into our rooms. But, I'll throw it out there and see if it sticks.

Thanks for all the other recommendations as well. I'll refer to this page while we are there.
posted by The Deej at 2:39 PM on May 5, 2007

Excuse my ignorance, but alcohol is for sale in SLC, correct? On and off sale that is.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 2:41 PM on May 5, 2007

The capital building is interesting enough to warrant a visit if you like that kind of thing. Statues of important Utahn historical figures and whatnot.

I recommend the Pie Pizzeria. It's tasty and has a liquor license, if that's important. The atmosphere is a bit unusual: the restaurant is below ground and invites customers to write on the walls. It seems to be popular with (presumably non-Mormon) UU students.
posted by jedicus at 2:59 PM on May 5, 2007

Excuse my ignorance, but alcohol is for sale in SLC, correct?

Yes. Off-sale of anything more potent than 3.2 beer is limited to state-run stores (that are, of course, closed on Sunday). On-sale is more complicated, but available.

Utah's liquor laws are different, but anyone who tells you that they couldn't buy a drink in Utah wasn't trying very hard.
posted by toxic at 3:03 PM on May 5, 2007

The Pioneer Theatre Company is a major regional theatre in a beautiful space. They will (still) be doing Les Misérables when you are there.

And there is a fantastic seafood restaurant just up the street from the theatre, but unfortunately I don't remember its name.
posted by sueinnyc at 3:07 PM on May 5, 2007

Cottonwood Mall was a ghost town last time I was there, so stay away. If you want less of a mall experience and more local, crafty shopping, check out Gardner Historic Village in West Jordan.

Near Trolley Square is Gilgal Garden, a bizarre sculpture garden. The art contains some Mormon themes, but it's way out fringe stuff, definitely not the kind of thing the church smiles upon.

Seconding The Bayou for eating out. Also seconding that the art museum at the University of Utah has a better collection than the Salt Palace.
posted by baho at 7:13 PM on May 5, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the U of U museum recommendations. I'll try and check it out. The Salt Palace museum is right across the street from my hotel, so I'll probably peek in there anyway.

baho, bizarre is right! Thanks! Looks like a good place for photographs.

And just to clarify: my "no Mormonism" edict was not to mean "I am offended by anything Mormon related." It's just that it's so easy to say "see the Temple... see the choir practice... go to the church history museum..." and that just doesn't appeal to me.

More thanks all.
posted by The Deej at 7:40 PM on May 5, 2007

If you go to Trolley Sq, try the Brazilian restaurant there (especially if you like meat). It's sorta buffet style; you get your sides at the buffet, and lads are walking around with cuts of different meat for you try.
posted by zaphod at 9:59 AM on May 6, 2007

Cotton Bottom Burgers!
posted by 4Lnqvv at 10:09 AM on May 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! It's hard to make a "best answer" because, well, you are all winners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
posted by The Deej at 1:54 PM on May 10, 2007

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