Looking for the best cocktails, arcades or wine bars in Salt Lake City? Don’t miss this boozy guide to the best bars in Salt Lake City.
OK, we know what you’re thinking. When planning a vacation to Utah, alcohol isn’t the first thing on your mind. And at one time, the liquor laws in Utah were famously stringent. Things have changed.
While there are still some limitations, and the last call may be earlier than in places like NYC, there is a healthy bar scene in Salt Lake City that rivals some of the best cities in the Rockies.
So where are the best bars in Salt Lake City? Read on to learn about the surprisingly vibrant nightlife in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Best Bars in Salt Lake City
BTG Wine Bar
Located in a storied 105-year-old building with a vintage awning and stained glass windows, the setting is as impressive as the reputation, and mind-boggling 75 wines by the glass are available any day they’re open.
Plenty of great food, from charcuterie to steaks and pasta, pairs well with wines from across the world. Stop by this haunt if you want to sample fine wines on your trip to Utah.
Keys On Main
You might get into a friendly debate with locals discussing the best piano bar in Salt Lake City, as Tavernacle Social Club has a devoted following.
But the small chain, Keys On Main, featuring dueling pianos playing classic rock and modern pop music, is the perfect place to spend an evening out. There’s a small cover charge on the weekends ($5), but it’s more than worth it for the quality of entertainment and lively atmosphere.
Expect classic pub food, an assortment of non-alcoholic and boozy beverages, and slightly higher prices than other pubs due to the location.
Bodega and The Rest
Keen to step back in time and find a prohibition bar in Salt Lake City? The atmospheric speakeasy Bodega and The Rest is the classic bar within a bar motif, and we love the concept.
Bodega is a popular restaurant on its own, but The Rest is their famed coktail bar downstairs. You’ll want to make reservations to ensure you get a spot, as the cozy bar downstairs fills up quickly with a crowd that’s ready to try some incredible mixed drinks.
You can sample expertly crafted cocktails in a setting full of taxidermy, brick walls, candelabras and oversized chairs that become far too comfortable after a second or third cocktail.
Arrive early and prepare to stay late at this exciting addition to Downtown SLC.
Good Grammar is a popular late-night haunt that offers a nice selection of wines, beers, and spirits.
It’s also a well-known cocktail bar with inventive libations like the Night Shift, which features two rums, freeze-dried blueberries, coffee, and coconut cream (yum).
It’s a great place to grab a drink, eat some sliders or vegan wings, and check out a rotating DJ sure to liven up the already vibrant space between Downtown and Central City.
Whiskey Street Cocktails & Dining
Whiskey has been having a moment in cocktail culture for over a decade. Utah is no exception.
High West Distillery is a trusted name in whiskey, and you’ll find most of their stellar lineup here.
But whiskey enthusiasts can also find rarities like Eagle Rare 17 and Pappy Van Winkle that are increasingly hard to come by, even at the rather expensive markups. There are also plenty of approachable choices if you’re not a connoisseur.
Dick N’ Dixie’s
Choosing a great dive bar in Salt Lake City affords you several great options. But pressed to choose just one, Dick N’ Dixie’s is an easy answer.
Why? Great drink prices, a loyal following and an airy space (as far as dive bars go) make this a perfect pick for a casual night out drinking.
You can order food to take in from the Japanese restaurant next door, making it an excellent option for late-night drinking, requiring a hearty bowl of ramen to soak it up.
Are you looking for fun bars in Salt Lake City? You’ve found it here.
Club Try Angles
Looking for gay bars in Salt Lake City? You won’t find options around every corner, but the good news is there are a couple of very good choices. And Club Try Angles is the best gay bar if you’re looking for a welcoming atmosphere that’s laid-back, friendly and has a neighborhood bar feel with a mix of regulars and the weekend crowd.
You can partake in plenty of activities any night of the week, including pool, holiday events, and delicious bbq.
Keen to find a fantastic karaoke bar in Salt Lake City? Club Try Angles hosts a weekly event that’s a local legend in the eyes of people who want to sing their hearts out.
Utah has a reputation for being more strict on alcohol than most states in the USA. But, as mentioned, a lot has changed, and you can find nearly any type of bar you’re looking for in Salt Lake City.
That said, Curiosity is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a dry bar in Salt Lake City. Schedule a tasting or walk in and see why the non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails) at Curiosity are sparking interest from visitors and locals.
A friendly, youthful and hip vibe sets the stage for delicious and inventive cocktails that honestly don’t need liquor in them to satisfy your craving for a complex beverage.
Searching for seriously cool bars in Salt Lake City that rival some of the best in the USA?
Junior’s Tavern is a laid-back hangout that offers the perfect combination of dive bar prices and a chilled-out crowd. All set to some great tunes in the best jazz bar in Salt Lake City.
Beer cans adorn the walls like trophies, there’s a pool table often waiting for you to challenge some locals, and the bartenders are knowledgeable and social enough after a couple of drinks.
Between the prices, the ambiance and the rotating cast of characters, this is one of the best bars in downtown Salt Lake City.
Quarters Arcade Bar
Looking for an arcade bar in Salt Lake City? Quarters Arcade Bar is fantastic for trying your luck at some video games while enjoying a snack or cocktail.
Grab a craft beer or mixed drink and try your luck at pinball, Mortal Kombat or other vintage video games that will tug at the heartstrings of nostalgic millennials visiting downtown Salt Lake City.
The food menu is a bit sparse, but they have a vending machine and allow you to bring food in from many delicious restaurants nearby.
Piper Down Pub
What do we love about Piper Down Pub? Well, just about everything. It ticks so many boxes on the best bars in Salt Lake City list it’s hard to keep track.
Looking for the best Sports bar Salt Lake City has? Check. How about the best rooftop bar in Salt Lake City? You can find that here, too. And the menu, which has extensive vegan options, will satisfy nearly any hungry patron at one of our favorite Irish Bars in Salt Lake City.
Expect pub food, friendly service and a dog-friendly patio open to service animals. The rooftop is heated, so you can enjoy a pint out in the outdoor space even in the colder months.
And although not technically a lesbian bar in Salt Lake City, Piper Down Pub is known to be a welcoming spot for the LGBTQ+ community.
Practical Tips for Exploring the Best Salt Lake City Bars
- This goes without saying but drink sensibly. This is important no matter where you are, but Utah has a tradition of being less tolerant of alcohol, so cut yourself off before the bartender does.
- Don’t give your bartender a hard time for using a measured pour spout. It’s the law in Utah, so asking them to free pour won’t get you very far.
- If you want an IPA or other more robust beer styles, you’ll need to order them in a bottle most of the time.