By Jenie Skoy, Paste — The Sundance Film Festival is exciting enough to draw almost 50,000 people to Utah each year, but if you love good food and the outdoors, the festival is just an added perk.
During the 10-day event, screenings take place in multiple cities, so we’ve mapped out great activities and delicious food close to the most popular Sundance theaters for those of you who want to do more than stare at a screen all day.
Downtown Salt Lake City
Do: City Creek Canyon and Gallivan Center Ice Rink
Run, jog or hike up City Creek Canyon on the north side of downtown Salt Lake City. The entrance to the Canyon is a park filled with war memorials, and the path takes you into the canyon for miles and miles alongside a creek and under fir and pine trees. Dogs are welcome.
If you’re more comfortable on ice, skate outside at the Gallivan Center Ice Rink in downtown Salt Lake.
Dine: Even Stevens Sandwiches and Avenues Bistro
For a daytime bite, hit up Even Stevens Sandwiches, where, for every sandwich you order, they donate a sandwich to someone or some organization in need. Our picks include the sloppy Joe made with beef and chorizo slow-simmered with pickled red onion, and the banh belly sandwich stuffed with soy glazed pork belly, pickled slaw, roasted jalapenos, cucumbers, garlic aioli and cilantro.
A casual restaurant set in an urban homestead (honey and eggs are from the backyard bees and hens), Avenues is a tight-knit eatery in the city’s popular Avenues neighborhood. Eat simple yet delicious dishes from food raised (or caught) and cooked with integrity. The breads are made on site by the owner’s daughter of Back Alley Bakery—don’t miss her marbled rye bread made with Valona Chocolate or brown butter monkey bread, thick with pecans.
See: Broadway Centre Cinema and Eccles Theater
If you spend the day in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 25, you can catch The Land of the Enlightened (pictured above) at 6:45 p.m., in which director Pieter-Jan De Pue takes viewers into war-torn Afghanistan, where young gangs of boys sell explosives from leftover mines, control trade routes and make their playgrounds amid the ruins of war. Otherwise, on Friday, Jan. 29 at 11:59 p.m., catch Yoga Hosers, a funny, quirky film starring Johnny Depp, Depp’s daughter and screenwriter Kevin Smith’s daughter. Both films will be screened at the Broadway Centre Cinema.
Plan to be in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. if you want to see Other People, a film that captures a funny and relatable family. For something more serious, visit Salt Lake on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. or Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. for screenings of Little Men, in which two middle school children deal with new friendships and gentrification. Both will be screened at the Eccles Theater.
East Salt Lake City
Do: Mill Creek Canyon
Rent skis or snowshoes then drive to Mill Creek Canyon in the Wasatch National Forest. Move to the sound of your own breathing, trees creaking and the soft thud of snow as it topples from boughs.
Dine: Fresco Italian Cafe
After 5 p.m., join diners in what feels like someone’s home with adobe tiled floor, white linens and wine glasses reflecting fire. Warm up with risotto and other old-style Italian dishes. The cherry on top is Fresco Italian Cafe’s torta di mandorla cake soaked in liquor with a poached pear, salted caramel, candied almonds and gelato.
See: Tower Theater
On Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. you can catch Eat that Question—Frank Zappa in His Own Words. With archival footage, the film has been described as, “fun-poking” and “acidic.” If you’re down for a double feature see The Birth of a Nation that day at 9 p.m. Set in the South, the film follows a literate slave/preacher who comes up with a plan to lead his people to freedom.