Asian-Owned Business Are Plentiful Around Salt Lake 

Asian culture is deeply entwined in Salt Lake’s history.

Plum Alley served as the heart of the city’s Asian neighborhood in the early 1900s. There was once a bustling Japantown that filled much of 100 South with noodle houses, tofu makers, grocers, and fish markets, as well as the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, dedicated in 1925 which is still standing today. 

An effort to revitalize the area as an official Japanese cultural district with cherry blossoms, origami sculptures, and a more open gathering space for the community is underway. It will join the block-long Chinatown in South Salt Lake. Enter through the traditional Chinese Gate to explore restaurants, a K-pop dance studio, and the city’s largest Asian supermarket.

Looking to support more Asian-owned businesses and cultural organizations? We have ideas.

Eat & Drink

The cuisines of Asia are expansive—and you can savor many of the diverse flavors in the Salt Lake area. 

Opened in 2009 in the old Patrick Dry Goods building in Downtown Salt Lake City, J Wong’s Thai and Chinese Bistro offer’s cuisine from both cultures. The Wong family wanted to create a space where they could share both their heritages. From Thai noodle dishes to Chinese dumplings, visitors can enjoy classic staples in a beautiful setting. 

Find bao buns at Graffiti Bao (inside HallPass food hall); pho and healthy bowls at quick-service Tamarind; Southeast Asian street food at Ginger Street; and those on a plant-based diet will find a lot to love on Veggie House’s Chinese-American menu (don’t worry: carnivores can add proteins to their orders).

More to Explore

Sapa Sushi Bar & Asian Grill transports diners to Vietnam with its verdant outdoor garden, century-old tea houses surrounding the patio, and a menu of pho and Japan-influenced sushi rolls and creative bento boxes.

You’ll also taste the Asian inspiration in some of Purgatory’s better-than-bar food, like the breakfast udon and kimchi or curry-topped fries.

Up your Japanese whiskey expertise with the sprawling menu at Post Office Place. Tip: Japanese whiskey is 20% off all day on Wednesdays.

Arts & Events

The annual Utah Asian Festival—held in July in Sandy— brings together culture, food, and tradition with various live performances of lion dancing and martial arts. The Chinese Folk Art Festival also hosts events in and around SLC, including plenty of hands-on classes and youth-focused creative offerings.

Of course, you can always explore the permanent collection of Asian art at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts; the assemblage of Japanese works is particularly noteworthy, thanks to its newer additions.

Bring Asian art—both functional and decorative—into your home with a visit to one of Asian Gifts’ three locations.

Salt Lake is rich in Asian culture, and we invite you to soak up all the traditions, food, and art for a memorable SLC experience.