Skip to content

These are the best bars to visit in Utah [2023]

Welcome to the vibrant and diverse bar scene of Utah! Despite the state’s reputation for strict liquor laws and a predominantly teetotaling population, Utah boasts a thriving array of watering holes that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. From upscale cocktail lounges to cozy dive bars, Utah offers a surprisingly rich selection of establishments where you can enjoy a fantastic drink.

If you’re new to town or simply unaware of Utah’s liquor laws, we recommend taking a moment to familiarize yourself with the current regulations here. Once you’re up to speed, join us as we embark on a journey through Utah’s finest drinking establishments, showcasing our favorite bars and revealing some of the state’s best-kept secrets.

Utah’s bars are as diverse as its breathtaking landscapes, providing a unique blend of ambiance, craftsmanship, and creativity. From Salt Lake City’s bustling downtown to the quaint charm of Park City, each bar has a distinct character that reflects its surroundings and the people who frequent it. Whether you’re looking for a classic speakeasy experience, a rustic tavern vibe, or a chic rooftop lounge with panoramic views, Utah’s bar scene has something to offer for everyone.

Whiskey Street interior

Best selection of whiskey in Utah

Whiskey Street

With a name like Whiskey Street, you better believe they have an inventory to back it up. With probably the biggest section in the state of Utah, the Main Street bar has row up row of whiskies from around the world. It doesn’t hurt that the food is top notch as well here. We’re proud to have Whiskey Street as the sponsor for this page.

323 Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 433-1371

Copper Common - bar setup
Copper Common – bar setup

Best low key downtown hang out

Copper Common

The cozy Copper Common offers a big city feel in a snug spot, just next door to sister restaurant Copper Onion. Some of the best mixologists in town work her, meaning your visit should definitely start with a look over their current cocktail menu. If the weather is amenable, absolutely get a seat on the covered patio along Broadway. Copper Common is the antithesis of that loud, obnoxious barn of a bar that you’re looking to avoid.

11 E Broadway Suite 190, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 355-0543

Flanker - The Big Tacowski
Flanker – The Big Tacowski

Best bar to watch the game

Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club

Located on the North side of The Gateway, Flanker Kitchen is a mix of food, fun and great drinks. This 21+ only spot covers some 17,500 square feet and boasts a kitchen of upscale bar classics, supported by a range of local beers, wine and cocktails by master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi. Flanker also offers hands on entertainment too – everything from karaoke through to sports simulators and classic pub games too. The bar is littered with TV’s and a huge big screen, and always has the big game or fight to watch.

6 N Rio Grande St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 683-7070

Rio Connelly at Scion Cider
Rio Connelly at Scion Cider

Most unique bar

Scion Cider

This innovative spot is located in the trendy Central 9th neighborhood. The neighborhood bar has the largest collection of hard cider in Utah. In fact, it’s probably one of the largest in the entire country. In 2023 the lineup comprised more than 200 options which the business reckons is the second largest on site selection of hard cider in America. If you love cider, this should be your first and last stop for hundreds of miles.

The modern space at Scion Cider affords a tap list featuring a rotating selection of ciders, some made in Utah and other parts of the Mountain West region and beyond. The bar also offers cider flights, which allow customers to sample several different ciders at once.

In addition to its focus on ciders, Scion Cider also offers a food menu designed to pair well with ciders, and includes options like charcuterie boards, conserves, and sometimes daily specials from other local makers. Scion Cider is a popular destination for cider enthusiasts and those looking for a unique drinking and dining experience in the Salt Lake City area.

916 Jefferson St W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Acme Bar Co - Mike Edwards, Festivus Swizzle
Acme Bar Co – Mike Edwards, Festivus Swizzle

Best showstopping spectacle


The second outing from the Water Witch team sees them tap local tiki experts Sam Miller and Mikey Edwards. The duo have made the former Campfire Lounge spot in Sugar House their permanent base of operations for their roaming ‘Island Time’ tiki concept. The menu changes seasonally but is always centered around fire and flare. Here’s a full writeup on the business I wrote in 2022.

837 E 2100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 467-3325

Bewilder Brewing - Suffolk sausage over mash
Bewilder Brewing – Suffolk sausage over mash

Best brats n beer

Bewilder Brewing

Hands down the best brats in town, not least because they’re all made in house by the especially talented Justin Fields. In 2021 Bewilder switched from a restaurant to bar license meaning you can now enjoy a range of drinks at this downtown craft brewer (with or without their stellar food). See our first preview story here.

445 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(385) 528-3840

Franklin Ave wagyu burger
Franklin Ave wagyu burger

Best bar burger

Franklin Avenue

Franklin Avenue is the fourth bar from the Bourbon Group – and maybe their best yet. Located a few minutes walk of the busier Main Street on Edison Street it’s home to plenty of chef Matt Crandall’s fine creations. One of the star’s of the menu is his exceptional burger. Rather than load on extraneous toppings Crandall keeps things simple and focuses on a stellar patty that uses Snake River Farms wagyu beef.

231 S Edison St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(385) 831-7560

BTG Wine Bar - blushing beauties wine flight
BTG Wine Bar – blushing beauties wine flight

Best wine bar


This one goes to BTG Wine Bar easily. With more than 50 different wines By The Glass (get it?) this is the spot for wine lovers of all types. The bar offers wines by the glass in two different pour sizes, full bottles and also wine flights. The flights and larger wine list are always in flux and flow – ably maintained by sommelier Louis Koppel – who you might remember as the talented chap that helped build up the extensive wine cellar at Spencer’s steakhouse (still a great wine spot too!).

Koppel is always plotting something new on the list, so stop back often and you’ll always be sure to find something new to explore; if in doubt just ask, he keeps the whole team well drilled and educated too. Also notable are the wine dinners and tastings held often at this wine bar. Paired with food from sister restaurant Cafe Molise, wine dinners are held regularly showcasing a specific winery or varietal. Always a great time and value.

63 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 359-2814

Inside Millcreek's Bongo Lounge
Inside Millcreek’s Bongo Lounge

Best dive bar

Bongo Lounge

In our humble opinion, SLC’s best dive bar is The Bongo Lounge – a kinda blink and you’ll miss it spot on Highland Drive. Indeed nestled between the two ritzy Forsey’s furniture locations, and with no windows of its own, most people don’t even know this gem is here. And what a gem it is. In operation continually since opening in 1952, and showing no signs of slowing down, this a diamond in the rough. Inside, you’ll find a familiar and friendly crowd always eager to strike up a conversation about anything and nothing – or maybe just catch the game on one of the screens. There’s pool, darts and a pinball machine too.

You can grab an ice cold stein from as little as $2.75 if that’s your poison, but there’s also a decent selection of local craft brews for $4 a stein too. There’s plenty of liquor if that’s your thing, just don’t be the chump that asks about the cocktail list. Know what you want before you order.

Extra bonus points: the Bongo is cash only, yep you read that right. In my experience, this is a good thing, one drink at the Bongo can turn into five, real easy…

2965 S Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 466-1577

Best gourmet bar bites

The Pearl

The Vietnamese street food of chef Tommy Nguyen takes center stage at The Pearl. The Central 9th spot features a rotating menu of small bites as well as a craft cocktail menu that competes with the best in town; as you would hope it does, coming from some of the same team as downtown SLC’s Alibi You can read our full first look at The Pearl here.

917 200 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Salt Lake Brewing Company - Jason Stock pouring Dog Lake Pale Ale
Salt Lake Brewing Company – Jason Stock pouring Dog Lake Pale Ale

Best brew pub

Salt Lake Brewing Co

SLC’s original brew pub in the contemporary sense, kicked off a local renaissance of sorts in the late 1980s. Before that, Salt Lake’s last brewery shuttered in the 60s. Yeah, we’re glad we weren’t around in that barren twenty years either. We’re fans of the downtown original, it offers a wide variety of food and beer in a cool historic building. The central downtown location means it also makes a great base to explore the rest of the city from.

Squatters long lived popularity meant it was acquired by Fireman Capital becoming part of the larger CANarchy group in 2012. That in turn was purchased by Monster Drinks in early 2022. The local brewpub part of the company returned to local ownership at that time – under the name of Salt Lake Brewing Co. Here’s the full story

147 West Broadway (300 South), Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 363-2739

Shooting Star Saloon - bar
Shooting Star Saloon – bar

Utah’s oldest bar

Shooting Star Saloon

O.k. so what has the Bongo’s 1952 beat? Only a select few, but Huntsville’s Shooting Star Saloon has the honor of the longest running bar in all of Utah. In operation since 1892, some say the bar is oldest West of the Mississippi, a hard fact to disprove and then some.

The modest bar is definitely worth a trip if you’re within an hour to two’s drive. It’s beer only but don’t let that put you off. While you stop in to sink a few cold ones in the amazingly unique space (rumor has it thats $15K of dollar bills on the roof) order up one of their famous burgers too. No kale, no artisan buns, just simple, honest burgers cooked fresh on the grill.

7350 E 200 S, Huntsville, UT 84317
(801) 745-2002

Van Ryder - view from rooftop bar
Van Ryder – view from rooftop bar

Best rooftop bar views

Van Ryder

Found atop the Le Meridien and Element hotels in downtown SLC – this bar affords stunning Westerly views of the Salt Lake valley and Oquirrh mountains. The outside patio area is expansive and also includes all weather covered and heated seating – not least cosy firepits. On the menu, craft cocktails, beer and wine, as well as a light snacks menu.

131 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 658-4400

Bar Nohm interior
Bar Nohm interior

Best izakaya style bar

Bar Nohm

This fusion of former Nohm and neighboring Water Witch was one of the most exciting openings in 2023. Top talent mixology and cuisine all brought together under one roof. The crowds immediately came. You can read my full first story on the bar here. The TL;DR is that Bar Nohm is made in the image of a modern izakaya, a place to come to share a few drinks, a few plates, and a few stories.

165 W 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(385) 465-4488

Best neighborhood bar

Dick N Dixie’s

This is a subjective one for sure, but when asked, people time and again name Dick N Dixie’s as the best neighborhood bar in Salt Lake City.

The relatively smallish bar has plenty of components that add up to make it great place to hand out: cheep drinks, a friendly crowd of regulars, a pool table, smoking patio, plenty of TVs…and it’s the official hone of the Real Salt Lake. So if it’s game day we’re going to name this the best bar in SLC to watch Real Salt Lake too!

479 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 994-6919

Beer Bar interior
Beer Bar interior

Utah’s best beer selection

Beer Bar

Stop your searching now and just head on down to the The Beer Bar in downtown Salt Lake City right away; sister bar to the adjoining Bar-X, Beer Bar is all about, well, the beer. The Beer Bar menu has enough selections to keep you going for weeks and weeks. Everything’s served not only at the right temperature abut in the correct glassware too. These guys take their beer as seriously as you do.

Due to the selection, care and quality this place can get exceptionally busy in the evening. If you want to take some time to mull that IPA or gose in peace and quiet definitely come here on off hours. Also available at the Beer Bar are a range of gourmet brats – that match the German beer hall vibe inside – made by local butcher Frody Volgger of Salt And Smoke meats.

161 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(385) 259-0905

under current long bar shot
Under Current in downtown SLC

Best cocktail bar

Under Current

When we want hand crafted cocktails, Under Current is always our number one destination. This chic little bar tucked away behind companion restaurant Current Fish And Oyster is the perfect spot for the whole evening or just a solitary sip. Managing partner, Amy Eldredge heads up the bar program at Under Current and is one of THE super-brains of the cocktail scene in Utah; having created bar programs all around town including noted luminaries such as Bar-X.

Under Current’s offerings are always changing with the seasons, as is the small bites menu available as well. Cocktails poured here are creative, considered and classy; so much so, we lied, you won’t be able to come here for just one…

279 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 574-2556

Ice Haus - outside patio
Ice Haus – outside patio

Best vegan friendly bar

Ice Haus

Head honcho Dave Morris actually co-owns a range of vegan friendly bars in town: Ice Haus, Piper Down, Ogden’s Funk N Dive. As a vegan himself, you can rest assured that each stores, preps and cooks their vegan menu they offer completely separately. Ice Haus is the pick of the bunch though; it has a friendly welcoming atmosphere to everyone, great food (meaty options as well), tons of drinks and a space that routinely hosts special music and comedy nights.

7 E 4800 S, Murray, UT 84107
(801) 266-2127

Best hipster bar – Twilite Lounge

When we asked people to name their favorite bars for this page, The Twilite Lounge came up over and over. The message was the same, this is SLC’s hipster hangout for the downtown crowd. Here’s what people said when we asked them to sum up the Twilite:

Twilight Lounge. Sure it’s full of so-called Hipsters but get over yourself. They’re just regular people that don’t dress the same as you. Cheap drinks. Cash only. Great vibe.

Cash only, cheap drinks, carpet that hasn’t been changed since 1974, and a tabletop Pac Man machine? How could you go wrong?

Heck, Google even agrees saying about the 1947 opened bar: “No-frills bar with a retro vibe offering billiards, a few arcade games & a jukebox.” Twilite also routinely hosts a number of food trucks, so you can grab a bite to eat too – check their Facebook pages for more details.

347 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 532-9400

Bar area at Lake Effect in downtown SLC (Lake Effect)
Bar area at Lake Effect in downtown SLC (Lake Effect)

Best bar to take a date in SLC

Lake Effect

Naturally this depends on the preferences of your date of course. That said, it’s usually a safe bet that your date won’t might comfortable surroundings, an extensive drinks menu and a more than competent food menu as the backdrop for your night out. With all that in mind, we think Lake Effect makes a perfect first date spot if bars are your thing. Inside Lake Effect, there’s an eclectic mix of seating too; from the chic and lively bar to more private and snug sofa spaces.

Bonus points: Lake Effect is located right in the heart of downtown SLC making it ideal for your destination for the evening or merely as the starting point before you head off out for a night on the town.

155 W 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 532-2068

Our list of favorite bars in Utah features a mix of time-honored institutions and up-and-coming hotspots. We’ve included everything from sophisticated craft cocktail bars, known for their inventive concoctions and top-notch mixologists, to friendly neighborhood pubs where locals gather to catch up over a cold brew. Regardless of your preferred tipple, these establishments are sure to please even the most discerning of palates.

In addition to the quality of the drinks, we’ve also taken into account the atmosphere and overall experience offered by each bar. We’ve sought out establishments that provide exceptional service, a welcoming environment, and often, some form of entertainment to complement your night out. Whether it’s live music, trivia nights, or simply the engaging conversation of fellow patrons, these bars go above and beyond to create memorable experiences.

Salt Lake City bar FAQ

When do bars close in Salt Lake City?

Last order in Salt Lake City is 1 a.m. Some bars may close earlier, but most of the big names stay open until the legal maximum. The law says that a bar must give patrons one hour to finish their served drinks. That means that bars who serve until 1 a.m. must legally allow patrons until 2 a.m.

What about opening?

Bars can legally serve from 10.00 a.m.

Are bars open on Sundays in Utah?

Yes they are. Bars are legally allowed to open seven days a week in Utah

Other handy links

Late night eats in SLC – headed out for a night on the tiles? Bookmark this list of late night spots, and thank us later.

Utah County bars – for those looking for a spot to drink a little farther South in the valley.

Utah liquor laws – our continually updated guide to liquor laws in Utah; they’re not half as bad as you imagine, find the full details here.

Utah brewers and breweries – Utah’s craft brew scene is stronger than you think, here’s the current list of all our craft brewers

Utah’s distilleries – or maybe the strong stuff is more your speed, check out our guide to all of Utah’s top distilleries.

Our sponsors and this page

This page may contain information about one of our sponsors. We only work with the very best businesses in the state, and routinely turn down offers to work with businesses we don't enjoy. If we can't hand on heart recommend them - they can't be a sponsor.

At this time we have the following sponosrs: Avenues Proper, BGR Sugar House, BTG, Caffe Molise, Craft by Proper, The Dough Miner, Downtown Alliance, Feldman’s Deli, Flanker, Garage On Beck, Hearth And Hill, Hill’s Kitchen, Kao Thai, Kin Sen Asian Noodle Bar, Kyoto, Laziz Kitchen, Log Haven, Oasis Cafe, Pirate O's Gourmet Market, Proper Brewing, Proper Burger, Scion Cider Bar, SLC Eatery, Squatter’s Downtown Salt Lake City, Stoneground Italian Kitchen, Urban Hill, Wasatch Brew Pub Sugar House, Whiskey Street, White Horse.

I encourage you to Google any of our sponsors and see the stellar reviews on multiple sites that they enjoy. For a list of all our current and past relationships see our partnership history page.