If you’re anything like the people we talked with in a very non-scientific poll, you too might mistakenly think Salt Lake City is “dry” — read as, no alcohol.

However, booze laws were revamped in 2009, and the codes that remain on the books (like using only a certain amount of a specific proof alcohol in a given drink) force SLC’s mixologists to get even more creative with the cocktails they create.

Both the beer and cocktail scenes are exploding, with distillers and brewers capitalizing on the city’s shrinking Mormon population. The results of the craft bars popping up throughout SLC are nothing short of delicious.

Here’s a list of the ones definitely worth dropping-in-at for happy hour, a nightcap, … or heck, an all-nighter (you’re on vacation, after all). Click through the slider below, and page down for more info on the specific locales.

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Under Current

270 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111; (801) 574-2556
With 59 on their menu, Under Current has the largest cocktail selection in the state. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they see themselves as serving a larger mission, according to partner Amy Eldredge.

“We’re very focused on educating the community about what it’s like to [experience] a real cocktail bar,” says Eldredge.

Our recommendation? Their signature drink, The Siren. It will make you want to go frolic in SLC’s ample outdoors. Eldredge recently showed us how they made it. Note: the shake is key.


Bar X

155 E 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111; (801) 355-2287
Ask anybody in Salt Lake where to go for a cocktail, and they’ll undoubtedly mention Bar X. It opened its doors in 1933, so it’s fitting that they serve up masterful renditions of Prohibition-era staples, but the extensive menu will impress any speakeasy lover.

It doesn’t hurt that one of its owners is Modern Family’s Ty Burrell—a SLC resident when he’s not on location in L.A. filming the ABC sitcom. Burrell, along with a group including his brother, revived the bar in 2010. After it saw great success, the team launched its sister joint right next door: Beer Bar.

The combination of the two will satisfy any and all booze-cravings you and your friends have on a Friday night.

MORE: The 6 Things You’ve Got to Eat in Salt Lake City


237 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101; (801) 935-4431
While both Pallet and Finca are restaurants first and foremost, their cocktails deserve their own shout-outs. At Pallet, craft mixology pairs well with a true understanding of flavor profiles — case in point: The Garden Smash. This gin go-to features a surprising combo of jalapeno, shishito peppers, and local honey.

You can thank us for that recommendation later.

MORE: Coffee-Lover’s Guide to Salt Lake City


327 200 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101; (801) 487-0699
Pallet might not be the place to go for “just a drink and some bites,” but Finca can definitely serve that purpose. While the restaurant serves up a variety of large plates, its real creativity comes in its tapas and apps — perfect for ordering a round or two.

Topping their cocktail menu, you’ll find a list of their house-made tonic and gin combinations. Tasty, but if you want some more unique and vibrant choices, stick to the mixed cocktails below. A suggestion: the tequila and mezcal Smoking Dove. It’s all smoke, citrus, and a touch cinnamon-sweetness.

Bohemian Brewery

94 East Fort Union Blvd, Midvale, UT 84047; (801) 566-5474
This one is off the beaten path, which gives visitors a chance to see more of the city (think: mountains). Bohemian brews their own beer (one of the few in the city), but it’s that in conjunction with the local decor that really make it worth the jaunt.

Call in advance to find out about tours, to get the most out of your visit.

For more personalized must-dos in Salt Lake, check out our “build your own itinerary” tool.

Here’s an interactive map with a complete roundup of the bars we highly recommend. Click on the tablet icon in the top left corner to reveal the full list, and click on each one for location details.

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