Not too downtown, not too suburban. Central City is just right. Home to historical landmarks, haute couture, hip enclaves and culinary arts, this ‘hood is actually near perfect.
EAT & DRINK
Work your way from South Temple to Liberty Park, and nosh on great bites along the way. VENETO (venetoslc.com) dishes out big helpings of Italian delicacies. Rye (ryeslc.com) offers soft egg scrambles, waffles with whiskey syrup for breakfast and lunch. Neighborhood bar Dick N’ Dixie’s (801-994-6919) is where Real Salt Lake fans congregate. Tulie Bakery (tuliebakery.com) is a baked-goods paradise, while Desert Edge Brewery (desertedgebrewery.com) in Trolley Square serves great pub fare and house brews. The Park Café (theparkcafeslc.com) at Liberty Park is a locals’ favorite for hearty breakfasts and bottomless coffee and upscale Pago (pagoslc.com) offers homey fare with a creative air. Stop in for a java at the Coffee Garden (801-355-3425). Favorite lunch spots are Mazza Middle Eastern Cuisine (mazzacafe.com) and East Liberty Tap House (eastlibertytaphouse.com) where select brews meet bar food with a gourmet twist.
At 80 acres, Liberty Park (at 600 and 900 S.) is packed with playground equipment, tennis courts, kickball fields, drum circles and a pairs-friendly running trail. For nighttime fun, hit Urban Lounge (theurbanloungeslc.com), which hosts rising bands nearly every night. Or join the cerebral crowd at an art-house flick at Tower Theatre (saltlakefilmsociety.org).
Trolley Square (trolleysquare.com) is a mall and a destination. In a former life, it was the hub for the city’s trolley cars. Notable shops include high-end stationer Tabula Rasa (tabularasastationers.com) and kitschy gift shop Cabin Fever (801-363-0828.). The 9th & 9th area is also a strollable gem for a shopping day out with boutiques like Apt. 202 (apt202boutique.com), Hobnob (801-750-6487), Hip & Humble (hipandhumble.com), The Children’s Hour (childrenshourbookstore.com) and Koo De Ker (koodeker.com).
WHAT THE LOCALS KNOW
One of the area’s oddest at- tractions, Gilgal Sculpture Garden (gilgalgarden.org) is home to 12 quirky sculptures—notably, the Sphinx statue bearing the face of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith’s head.