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Home to the University of Utah, Westminster University, and Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City has a lively, thriving student population. Take a look at our guide to discover the best things to do in Salt Lake City, including the best off-campus places to eat, drink and make memories with your college friends.

The best places to eat in Salt Lake City

From fried chicken to comforting bowls of ramen, there’s something to tickle every tastebud in Salt Lake City. Here are our top four recommendations to get you started exploring the city’s diverse dining scene.

Pizza Nonno 🍕

For the best pizza in town, be sure to check out cozy neighborhood pizzeria, Pizza Nonno. Try the famous Beehive pizza with pickled jalapeño and honey. Or if it’s a white base you fancy, the Yes Yes pizza topped with pancetta, goat’s cheese and truffle is delicious.

Pretty Bird 🍗

Like fried chicken? Then you’ll love Pretty Bird. Get your teeth around the fried chicken sando – a boneless chicken thigh, covered in Pretty Bird sauce and pickles, all resting in a soft buttered bun. 

Tosh’s Ramen 🍜

Affordable, quick and tasty, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of warm ramen on a chilly day. Tosh’s Ramen is a genuine no-frills ramen experience. Try the Karai Ramen for the ultimate Japanese taste explosion.

Purgatory 🌯

Purgatory is a trendy spot for a tasty brunch. Available every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 3pm, choose from breakfast bowls, burgers, French toast and burritos. There’s also an amazing outdoor patio that’s perfect for alfresco dining. 

The best places to drink in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is packed with great bars, pubs, and breweries. Just remember – the state of Utah has a strict 21+ drinking policy, so don’t forget your ID! 

The Green Pig Pub 🍺

The Green Pig Pub is a friendly and buzzing sports bar serving the best beers and the tastiest appetizers. Did somebody say nachos? There’s also live music two nights a week, karaoke, regular group trivia events, and a pretty special rooftop bar.

Quarters Arcade Bar 🎯

If you hadn’t already guessed by the name, Quarters Arcade Bar is a bar and arcade offering specialty cocktails and beers alongside old-school pinball machines and video arcade games. Open until 2am, it’s the ideal spot for a casual drink and some friendly competition.

Bar-X 🍹

Located in the heart of Downtown, Bar-X is a laid-back prohibition-era bar serving up the finest cocktails in the city. Feeling indecisive? Go for the Roulette option on the menu and let the bartender choose for you.

Twist Bar 🎸

With an affordable and extensive beer and cocktail menu, live music, weekly entertainment, and the friendliest service, it’s no wonder that Twist Bar is a firm favorite among local college students.

The best nightclubs in Salt Lake City

Despite the city’s strict liquor laws, Salt Lake City’s nightlife is booming. The city’s Downtown area has no shortage of live music, DJs and nightclubs, with something going on every night of the week.

Why Kiki 🏳️‍🌈

Why Kiki is a fun, lively and inclusive LGBTQ+ bar in the heart of the city. With regular comedy nights, silent discos, drag shows, and the infamous drag brunch every Sunday, Why Kiki is one place you’ll never get bored.

The Exchange 💃🏾

Run by the owners of Twist Bar, The Exchange is a high-energy nightclub with a welcoming atmosphere. Regularly playing host to world-class artists and DJs, it’s the perfect place to dance the night away and create unforgettable memories.

Good Grammar 🕺🏼

This trendy neighborhood bar is a great spot to see in the small hours. As well as craft beers and cocktails, there’s an indoor and outdoor area that hosts some of the best DJs in the city, and a dance floor inside that’s always full.

Sky SLC 🏙

This 15,000 square-foot, open-air venue has become a staple of Salt Lake City’s nightlife and entertainment scene. It’s hosted thousands of nationally recognized touring artists and the rooftop bar provides the best location for its sunset house parties every Sunday.

Top attractions and things to do in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is packed with places to go and things to explore. Next time you take a break from studying, why not check out these fun activities?

Explore the great outdoors 🏔

Surrounded by spectacular mountains, Salt Lake City is a popular destination for outdoor pursuits. For great views and easy hikes, take the City Creek Canyon, Ensign Peak or Bonneville Shoreline trails. The Great Salt Lake is also just a short drive away. Here, you can go swimming, boating or simply take in the views of this stunning lake from the shoreline.  

Catch a movie 🎬

Grab some popcorn and head over to Redwood drive-in theatre. You can catch old classics or new releases for just $10 a ticket. Or try Brewvies Cinema Pub – a cozy cinema serving up pub grub and craft beer from the comfort of your seat.

Get some retail therapy 🛍

Need a bit of retail therapy? Located centrally in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, City Creek Center includes more than 100 stores including Macy's, Nordstroms, Free People, H&M and Sephora.

Take to the slopes 🎿

Just an hour’s drive away from Salt Lake City airport lies Powder Mountain – one of North America’s largest ski areas. With over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, it’s the perfect place to blow off steam with your friends in the winter months.

So, there you have it! That’s our guide to the best things to do in Salt Lake City, including best hangout spots and fun activities. But, have you thought about your accommodation? Find your perfect student living space here and get ready for an awesome time in Salt Lake City!