8 Best Bars in Downtown and Central City, Salt Lake City

The Pearl

Fodor's choice

This chic, contemporary cocktail bar opened in summer 2022 in the buzzy Granary District/Central 9th neighborhood and has quickly become a trendy go-to for artfully crafted drinks and Vietnamese street food—lemongrass pork skewers and crispy fish-sauce wings. On warm days, snag a seat on the patio to enjoy your ice-cold ca phe, a robust concoction of Averna amaro liqueur, Vietnamese coffee, chicory, and spices. Check the bar's Instagram page for details.

Bar X

Part-owned by Modern Family star and SLC native Ty Burrell, this trendy cocktail lounge with cozy banquette seating stands out for its extensive selection of spirits and Prohibition Era–inspired cocktails. Next door, sister establishment Beer Bar is a great place to sample local brews.


Opened in 2022 in the lively Central 9th corridor, this big, beautifully designed LGBTQ+ club has a huge stage and dance floor, a game room with darts and pool tables, a patio, and a pretty substantial food menu, too—and yes, milk and cookies is one of the dessert options. Theme nights include karaoke Sunday and country-western Wednesday.

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A mix of LGBTQ+ folks, musicians, artists, and hipsters converge at this inclusive, mod-industrial tavern on the south side of downtown, which has a spacious enclosed patio strung with twinkly lights and a menu of decadent, internationally inflected bar bites, from pork belly bao to K-pop fries smothered in braised beef, kimchi, and gyochu mayo. The eclectic music's on point, and Purgatory frequently hosts parties, drag shows, and other festivities.

Scion Cider Bar

This friendly newcomer to the Granary District's hip Central 9th strip offers a vast selection of ciders from all over the world, with about 20 available on tap and many others sold in bottles and cans. Scion also produces its own small-batch ciders, and the staff is incredibly knowledgeable—if you're new to cider sipping, they'll steer you in the right direction. Wine, beer, cider cocktails, and cheese and charcuterie plates are offered, too.

Squatters Pub Brewery

Arguably Utah's most famous microbrewery, Squatters' flagship downtown pub is lined with well-deserved awards from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. The pub has friendly staff and an easygoing, casual vibe, although it can get crowded on weekends and when there are conventions in town.

The Red Door

Martinis are a specialty at this cosmopolitan bar with an attractive sidewalk seating, but you'll find plenty of other intriguing elixirs.

The Tavernacle Social Club

Dueling pianos (Wednesday through Saturday) and karaoke (Sunday to Tuesday) make for a festive atmosphere in this bar just east of downtown. The musicians only play requests, and if you don't like the current song, you can pay $1 to change it. The Quorum of the Queens drag brunch on Sunday is always a crowd-pleaser.