It’s an eclectic scene. A private college, Westminster College, brings vitality and new life every fall with its hip college students. Young families and long-standing residents are proud of Sugar House and take action in community and civic engagements. And, of course, there’s the bevy of Salt Lake City’s best shopping spots, dining establishments, and hidden gems.
The heart of the neighborhood is the vibrant hub at 2100 South and Highland Drive, where you can find people walking, talking, and shopping until late into the evening.
At this corner, a long-time stagnant development property (called the “Sugar Hole” by residents) has risen from the ashes to become a multi-use structure with condos, restaurants, and shops. As the construction at the intersection continues to clear and more commuters use the brand-new Sugar House Streetcar—connecting the Central Pointe TRAX station and South Salt Lake with the Sugar House Business District—the area will take on even more vibrancy and continue to reign as one of the hottest spots in Salt Lake City.
The neighborhood serves as an excellent jumping off point to Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons from the downtown district, which makes it an ideal place to stay during a ski vacation. Come visit Sugar House, and you’ll see just how sweet it is.
EAT & DRINK
Hungry Salt Lakers come to Sugar House for pub fare of the highest order. Two of the area’s foremost breweries recently opened restaurants in the new development property at Highland and 2100 South. When you stop by Wasatch Brew Pub have a Polygamy Porter, or three—its beer’s catch phrase, after all, is “Why have just one?”—and then stick around for the killer food (salmon salad pictured) in the comfy industrial-modern vibe.
Epic Brewing offers the good goods at The Annex, where artfully crafted and unique beers are met with the same thoughtfulness toward food. Try the Chicken & Waffles with a Big Bad Baptist and you'll be hooked.
For a hearty plating of comfort food, visit long-time neighborhood staple Sugar House BBQ. The Dodo Restaurant is another local favorite for delicious American fare. To watch your favorite sports team play on one of many TVs and to mow on the Sunday brunch buffet, Fiddler’s Elbow is a big win for everyone. Sugarhouse Coffee is the community hub for buzzing conversation and a hot cup of java; on any given day, students park at tables to study, cute couples flirt over lattes, and business folk indulge in a danish and a casual meeting. For nighttime activities, Sugar House Pub is the quintessential college bar in all the right ways—it’s dark, cozy, and comfortable. The new bar in the neighborhood is Campfire Lounge, where whiskey is the preferred spirit and the hobo dinners bring the nostalgia of summertime camping. If you really want to tap to the ones and twos with a lil’ Latin flare, Club Karamba has a number of themed evenings, all centered around dancing.
Sugar House is all about the "Buy Local” movement, so make sure to check out the abundance of cool shops, whose shop owners will give fashion advice or dish on the history of the ‘hood. For all things board sports, BlindSide is your go-to to tune up and get ready for the mountain. And if you have a cute lifty to impress, buy flowers at Trifecta on your way to the canyons.
Unhinged Boutique offers one-of-a-kind goods from local artists, as well as vintage found items in an eclectic setting. You can shop for used clothes and costumes at Pib's Exchange or head to Central Book Exchange to peruse stacks of paperbacks. And while you’re digging through cool consumables and media, slide around the corner to Raunch Records to restock your supply of music of the alternative and punk persuasion. Local Colors of Utah Art Gallery features Utah artists’ fine and folk art.
Get together with your people at Sugar House Park. The park’s expansive, rolling hills encompass more than 110 acres in the middle of Sugar House. Dog walkers and runners circle around the large pond, reunions and parties commence at the many pavilions, and, of course, there's tubing in the winter. Fairmont Park offers different options for recreation. Kids congregate at one of Salt Lake City’s best skate parks, the soccer fields are always brimming with competition during the summer, and the Fairmont Aquatic Center is a great place for a swim. Or to get away from the commotion of the city, find respite along Parley’s Creek in the quaint, wooded Hidden Hollow Nature Area.
On the cozy, unique side of the sleep-and-stay spectrum in Sugar House is Wildflowers Bed & Breakfast. This 1891 Victorian home features hand-carved, original chandeliers and period furnishings, where you can relax among the charm after a long ski day. For the “it’s just a place to sleep” crowd, the Extended Stay America offers economy lodging with quick access to the interstate.
As you’re poking around Sugar House, be sure to keep your eyes to the sky to spot the abundance of vintage signs, which add a splash of character and history to the area’s skyline. A hefty dose of cute can be found at the Best Friends Animal Society; the adoption center is full of furry friends looking for a good home. Omar's Rawtopia is the only spot in town with an exclusively raw menu for the veg-heads amongst us. Finally, the Sugar House Santa Shack is the place to get your photo taken with Ol’ Saint Nick during the holiday season.
Words & Photos: Austen Diamond Photograpy