Explore Another Neighborhood
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Once strictly an industrial zone, the Granary District and Ballpark neighborhoods got a shot of lifeblood when many visual artists moved into the abandoned warehouses a decade ago. Now, this is a neighborhood on the rise. There’s a proposed neighborhood brewery and a multi-million dollar Homeless Youth Shelter in the works, along with a wellspring of restaurants, shops, and hotels.


Enjoy some smoky, meaty goodness at one of Salt Lake City’s best barbecue joints, R&R BBQ, or take on an enormous, world-famous burger at Lucky 13, which also boasts a killer Bloody Mary. As you're walking around the industrial district on an urban photo safari, take note of the large mural of Frida Kahlo before you head into Rico's to have your tastebuds blown away by the regional Mexican dishes. Around the corner is where the proposed Kilby Brewery will take root. For serious Mexican eats for nearly pennies, check out the taco carts between State and Main and from 800 to 900 South. 

The Granary/Ballpark area takes its beverages quite seriously. Nobrow Coffee Werks moved to the ‘hood three years ago, signaling changes to come. Publik Coffee Roasters, a minimalist, modern space, opened up shop with the goal of community before corporations, and it has an event space for parties and community shindigs. Epic Brewing offers a large selection of high-point craft beers straight from its brewery on State Street. And Mamachari Kombucha Taproom sells its fermented, healthy beverage from its tea brewhouse.

Rounding out the diverse bunch of eateries in the neighborhood is the celebrated, family-owned-and-operated Chanon Thai Cafe. Vegans flock to Frisch Compassionate Eatery for interesting meatless entrees. The fixed menu of molecular gastronomy at Forage has created a stir in the city and beyond—be prepared for a culinary adventure!

There’s a number of watering holes in the area, mostly along State Street, for an eclectic bar crawl. You can start out at The Bayou, which offers Louisiana-inspired cuisine and a massive beer selection, before you head to The Woodshed for the always-free bar games. Then, on to Scottish-themed The Republican, where soccer is always on the TVs, and Irish-themed Piper Down. Off of State, Club Try-Angles is a buzzy LGBTQ bar and club.  


Level up on your outdoor gear at Level 9 Sports, which specializes in ski and snowboard gear at hyper-competitive prices. Find the ski onesie from the ‘70s that you’ve always dreamed of at Deseret Industries. Speaking of new-to-you, there’s an a massive concentration of pawn shops on State Street, where you’ll also find some hip shops, including vintage consignment store Decades, modern for-the-home design specialists Bohem, and unique styles at Nappi Clothing.

Pictureline has all of your photo needs covered, so you can keep snapping pictures of one of the most photogenic cities in the country. Peruse the stacks of wax at Randy’s Record Shop before taking a tasting tour of the facilities at Utah Brewers Cooperative, where both Wasatch Beers and Squatters Brewing are crafted.


Send some plastic or drop in for a yoga class at the Front Climbing Gym, a bouldering gym with thoughtful, challenging problems and friendly (not to mention good-looking) members.

The all-ages Kilby Court brings soon-to-be-huge indie rock bands to Utah, and The State Room is considered by many locals to be Salt Lake City's best live music venue. It's intimate but not crowded, offers both standing and sitting room, and brings in a variety of awesome bands and musicians.

The Granary District also has several family-friendly haunted houses, such as Fear Factory and Nightmare on 13th, if you’re looking for a good fright. And when you want a classy night out with a quality play, go check out Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theatre, which is a Sundance Film Festival venue in January.


The towering Red Lion Hotel has staggering views of the valley and clean, comfortable rooms. Get first-class service and spacious accommodations at Springhill Suites by Marriott. Or try Rodeway Inn and America’s Best Inn for budget-friendly options. 


The fluorescent rooster at Earl Jones' studio in Liberty Wells is lit only during figurative drawing classes.


Lovingly referred to as “Sugar Hood” by locals, this little ‘hood sits west of Sugar House, and is actually called Liberty Wells. Historically, Native Americans gathered here for its fresh spring water, and the Mormons made their first encampment here. People are still congregating here, because there’s everything you need: drinks at Alchemy Coffee, artistic classes and stuff for sale at Red Kiln Pottery, and tats at Apparition Ink.

Photos: See Credits
Words: Austen Diamond Photography