The second-largest city in Utah, West Valley City is on the rise. In 2011, the city unveiled a plan to create a bustling downtown area, to beknown as Fairbourne Station, over the next decade. They're pumping a whopping $500 million into the 40 acres, which will host a hotel, a rapid transit line, and a civic center, among other things. In the meantime, this city has some of the most diverse culinary experiences in Utah, as well as family- and adult-oriented entertainment all year round.
Fun Fact: What do Hillary Clinton and Axl Rose have in common? They've both been awarded the key to West Valley City. Yep, it’s true.
EAT & DRINK
Within walking distance of the Maverik Center, Myung Ga is widely agreed to be the best Korean BBQ in the valley. Coppercreek Pub & Grub is famous for the Chubby Melt, a ground chuck patty smashed between two grilled cheese sandwiches, but it also serves a wide range of pub fare and cold beers.
Redwood Road has some of the most diverse and interesting international food in all of the Wasatch Front. Jugos y Tortas El Morelense specializes in al pastor (spicy pork roasted on a vertical spit) and you can get tacos with cheese and pineapple for the best lunch on the West Side.
In the back of an Indian grocery store, Qaderi Chaat House sells Indian street-style food on the weekends. A must is the patacones (sandwich using smashed fried plantains instead of bread) at Andinitas Restaurant. West Valley City has a love affair with Vietnamese and pho, it seems, which is delicious at any of these spots: Pho Cali, Pho 99, Pho Bien Hoa, and Pho Green Papaya. For serious Middle Eastern eats, including amazing chicken and lamb kabobs, as well as hummus, falafel, and more, run straight for Shahrazad Restaurant and Market. If an ethnic food you're craving isn’t in this list, just drive down Redwood a few blocks until something perks your palette. You’ll find it.
Folks flock to the country-themed The Westerner, where there’s free dance lessons on Friday nights before the crowds roll in troves. The Westerner also boasts karaoke (in a soundproof room), a mechanical bull, and a spacious dance floor. Dart throwers flock to Club DJ’s for its wall-to-wall boards and regular tournaments. The club also plays host to karaoke, DJs, and comedy shows. And West Valley Billiards is the place for a cold beer and a game of 8-ball in West Valley City.
When you swing by the Backcountry.com Retail Store, you can pick from the online retailer’s large catalog, and runners will fetch your gear from the connected warehouse. This means no wait times for delivery and more options than any other gear shop in town. The Sundance Catalog also calls West Valley City home, so swing on by to stock up on housewares for your rustic cabin in the woods. And be sure to swing by the Overstock.com warehouse on select days when the outlet is open; you can save huge on dented and return goods. If you can’t find what you need there, you’ll probably find it at the massive Valley Fair Mall with its 120 retail shops.
Check out some hockey when the Utah Grizzlies take the ice at Maverik Center, which was the official venue for men’s and women’s ice hockey during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Utah Olympic Oval can also be found on the west side, where you can skate for only a $4 admission. The Maverik Center also hosts arena-rock concerts featuring marquee touring bands. Bands also take the stage at USANA Amphitheatre during the summer, when you can enjoy stellar music by your favorite acts on the lush lawn.
The community theater in the round, Hale Centre Theatre is Utah’s premier family theatre destination. Hale showcases nationally renowned productions with a talented cast of local actors. At its gorgeous facility, Utah Cultural Celebration Center offers world-class programs and concerts, which make it a gem in Utah. Rev your engines at Rocky Mountain Raceways. You’ll see an array of races on the oval and motocross tracks and the drag strip. And while you’re in West Valley, don’t miss hitting the links at Stonebridge Golf Course or Westridge Golf Course.
You’ll find tons of hotels and motels at the bustling hub at the corner of I-215 and 3500 South. Some favorite hotel options include Embassy Suites Salt Lake City/ West Valley City, Staybridge Suites Salt Lake-West Valley City, and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Salt Lake City West Valley.
The seasonal, double-feature screenings at Redwood Drive-In Theatre are a timeless tradition in Utah. Drop the top on your convertible or make your car smell of buttery popcorn and steamy smooches.
Photos: See Credits
Words: Austen Diamond