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South Salt Lake is full of little bungalows, ethnic eateries, and amazing access to the major thoroughfares in town. Lovingly referred to as SoSaLa by its residents, this city makes for an excellent place to poke around and uncover some hidden gems.

EAT & DRINK

A staple of the ever-present Salt Lake barbecue scene, Pat’s BBQ has been doing it longer and better than most of joints in town. Host to live music on the weekends and succulent ribs every day, Pat’s is a worthy dinner spot. On the other side of the dietary spectrum, the vegan mainstay, Vertical Diner, serves up meat- and dairy-less diner grub that’s satisfying and delicious in a faux ‘50s vibe. 

There’s plenty of ethnic eats in South Salt Lake. For Peruvian perfection, head to Del Mar al Lago, where you can nibble on traditional ceviche or nosh on lomo saltado. Perhaps the best deal and one of the tastiest options in the city, Oh Mai dishes up delicious Vietnamese sandwiches (bahn mi), as well as noodle salads and pho. Wash it all down in the island-themed coffee shop in a big ol’ barn, Bad Ass Coffee.

Many folks are surprised to learn that there are several wineries in Utah, two of which are found in SoSaLa. Kiler Grove Winegrowers produces Rhône-style wines from grapes grown on 15 acres near Paso Robles, Calif. They make it in South Salt Lake, where you can taste and purchase it. Ruth Lewandowski Wines is celebrated at several of Salt Lake’s finest restaurants. The winemaker specializes in natural wine—"the true expression of the land by way of the grapevine." Tastings are by appointment only.

Local micro-distilleries are on the rise, and Sugar House Distillery is producing vodka and whiskey, which you can buy at their storefront and take home for your apres ski enjoyment. And speaking of drinking, there are plenty of dive bars in the area, if that’s your thing, such as Gino’s and The Dawg Pound.

SHOP

Kirkham’s Outdoor Products is where you can gear up for your adventure. Known nationwide for manufacturing springbar canvas tents that set the benchmark in the industry, they also maintain a huge selection of outdoor and casual footwear, technical clothing, sportswear, travel gear, and backcountry ski equipment.

Need an inexpensive fixer-upper fixie or an entry-level mountain bike? Or maybe some bike-mechanic know-how? Well, the non-profit Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective is your place for all of the above.

If you’ve searched high and low for ethnic grocery items, your search is over in South Salt Lake. Some of these grocery stores selling imported items include Rancho Market, La Guadalupana Market, and Mediterranean Market & Deli.

The city’s west side serves as an industrial and machinery district with many makers. And on State Street there's a large concentration of used car lots and car-accessory stores galore. 
 

PLAY

Ski City is one of the few places where you can get fresh turns in the morning and make it down to the city for your 3 p.m. tee time. Hit the links at Central Valley Golf Course to mix up your ski vacation. If hitting a seven-ten split with a 12-pounder is more exciting than hitting a dimpled ball with your seven iron, South Salt Lake's Bonwood Bowl has one of the most iconic signs in all of the valley. 

Learn a thing or two about the culinary arts at Salt Lake Culinary Center, which helps you become a confident cook in a fun, interactive, and hands-on environment. 

STAY

Two major interstates intersect in South Salt Lake—I-15 and I-215 Westbound—which makes it a great jumping-off point for any adventure around the Wasatch Front. The father-and-son-owned Ramada Limited Salt Lake City provides quick access to the Interstate, a continental breakfast, and rates that won’t break the bank. The Days Inn Salt Lake City is another excellent option for accommodation, with a clean bed and a restful night away from bustling downtown.

HIDDEN GEMS

Enter through the colorful, gold-roofed Chinatown gate and be transported to another time and place. The Salt Lake Chinatown is a little complex on State Street. Inside, you’ll find the spacious Chinatown Supermarket, the city’s largest Asian market, and plenty of places to chow down, such as Ho Mei BBQ, Hot Dynasty, and Chinatown Buffet.

Photos: See Credits
Words: Austen Diamond