Fly into Salt Lake City and it’s likely you’ll be in love before you even touch ground. Mountains welcome you from every direction, enticing you to come out and play. There aren’t many cities where you can order an espresso from a hipster cafe, and then climb to the top of a mountain within a thirty minute timespan.
If you are someone who has always been torn between the buzz of urban life and the serenity of nature, you’ll be pleased to find that here in Salt Lake City, you don’t have to choose. In today’s city guide, I will be sharing some of Salt Lake City’s best in farm-to-table restaurants, vegan eateries, sustainable and locally-owned shops, and things to do and see.
Where to Stay
from $129/ night
Kimpton Hotels are certified by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program. Their commitment to environmental sustainability includes the use of nontoxic cleaning products, an extensive recycling program, minimizing water consumption, and serving organic coffee.
They are also partnered with The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land.
Their rewards points are appropriately entitled Karma Points, which you can start earning at any of Kimpton Hotels’ 62 boutique hotel locations.
Restaurants & Bars
Coffee Garden serves locally roasted Caffe Ibis beans, which are organic, fair-trade, and shade grown, with plentiful indoor seating.
This un-assuming counter-serve sandwich shop, selling all-vegan sandwiches, is the perfect post-hike fare (AKA- quick and filling). Their popular Barbacoa sandwich features BBQ pulled-jackfruit, shredded cabbage, fresh guacamole, and ginger “sour cream,” housed between a sourdough hoagie. Order your sandwich from a window, and then enjoy it out on the patio.
Head to The Rose Establishment for an incredible latte made with house-made cashew milk, a healthy brunch, and a cozy ambiance marked by modern-rustic decor.
Vive Juicery started as a delivery-only juice company by then 23-year old Brittany Shimmin. It has now expanded with multiple storefront locations throughout the area, offering a variety of cold-pressed juices packaged in glass containers. They have a bottle return program to help reduce waste; you can bring your container back for $1 off your next juice. Their food offerings include delicious plant-based meals, like an acai-chia parfait, cacao chia pudding, and overnight oats. All of these come in glass jars.
Head here for a vegan meal made from ingredients that are locally grown and organic whenever possible. Their cuisine is decadent yet nourishing, with entrees like mushroom stroganoff and basil-macadamia pesto pasta.
During they day, they are a farm-to-fork, health-focused organic/vegan/vegetarian/gluten free restaurant, and at night they turn into a bar serving local, organic beer, wine, and spirits.
An American-cuisine farm-to-table restaurant passionate about cooking local, seasonal, responsibly-sourced foods. They offer vegetarian options on their menu and are accommodating to other dietary restrictions.
A Spanish tapas restaurant sourcing local, sustainable ingredients. Finca, which translates to agricultural estate, caters to both vegetarians and meat-eaters.
Inventive, farm-to-table food served in an intimate, rustic atmosphere. The restaurant was constructed using green-building techniques, reclaimed wood, and other organic materials, and the business seeks to minimize its environmental impact with recycling efforts, eco-friendly take-away containers, and other community involvement initiatives.
A local favorite, Avenues Bistro on Third is a family-run, LEED certified restaurant that sources its food from local farms. While the menu is very meat-centric, there are a few options for vegetarians.
Uinta Brewing is a local craft brewery that is strongly dedicated to sustainability. They have been powered by 100% renewable energy since 2001, they donate leftover grains to a local rancher, and their beers are all filtered without the use of chemicals.
Attached to Healing Mountain School of Massage is Healing Mountain Crystals, a small gift shop selling a variety of crystals and other new-age gifts.
This company takes the top spot in outdoor active-wear brands with a conscience, and you might be able to score some good deals at their Sugar House outlet store.
Open from June through October, Pioneer Square is home to SLC's most beloved farmers market. Browse the stalls for locally grown produce and other homemade culinary delights. The Arts & Crafts Market hosts dozens of local makers selling everything from jewelry to textiles, woodwork, pottery, and more. Open from 8 AM- 2 PM.
If you happen to be in the area during the winter, don't fret! Since 2013, the Winter Market at Rio Grande has provided local produce all year round.
These two local jewelers share a brick & mortar retail space and have a beautiful selection of locally-made jewelry items and other local goods.
A selection of herbal tonics and other botanical wellness products made in-house by local herbalist, yoga instructor, and esthetician Amy Stephens. Products are currently being sold in Vive Juicery locations, The Land of Salt + Mineral and Matter's retail store, and We Are Yoga.
Things to Do
A spa-like experience for fair prices is a perfect way to end an adventure-fueled trip. With a focus on holistic healing, this massage school offers a variety of treatments including massage therapy, reiki, acupressure, and body wraps. Be sure to book in advance.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Within walking distance of downtown Salt Lake City is access to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, a 100+ mile system of trails where you can run, hike, or mountain bike. Work your way up to find some amazing views of downtown SLC.
This meditation and yoga studio provides a self-proclaimed "non-competitive environment" in a studio that is newly remodeled using non-toxic, green materials. The classes offered are focused on a more gentle, restorative style of yoga.
Renting a bike for the day is an eco-friendly way to get in some exercise and tour the city. A 24-hour pass will only set you back $7, and with 30+ stations throughout the city, it's a convenient way to get around.
Park City makes for the perfect adventure-fueled day trip from Salt Lake City. In the Winter, Alta, Deer Valley, and Snowbird are just a few of several ski resorts where you can spend a full day on the slopes. Alternative winter activities are endless- snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling, and more. In the summer time, you can go rafting, hiking, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, and zip-lining. Visit Park City has an extensive directory of activities for all seasons and all ages.