Salt Awards 2016

And the winners are...

Salt can transform, delight and leave you wanting more. With the first Salt Awards, The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Digital Services celebrate enterprises that add vibrant local flavor to life in Utah.

Our passionate readers cast thousands of votes for what they love to eat, do and see in Utah. Browse the winners in the 20 Readers Choice categories to learn to learn what your neighbors say are the best places to enjoy the arts, chow down on burgers, raise a local brew — whether in a brewery or a coffeehouse — explore with family or escape the desert heat.

Tribune staffers also couldnt resist including some longtime favorites in our Editors’ Picks. But most of our winners are new players on the scene that you might not have tried yet — standout restaurants and businesses that deserve to become your favorites, too.

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune
Tori A. Baker of the Salt Lake Film Society accepts a Salt Award from Marcus Hardy at the 2016 Salt Awards at The Gateway on Oct. 12. Find more photos and a video from the event here.

2016 Readers' Choice Winners

Discover Utahns favorites in 20 categories, from food to festivals. These descriptions are from Tribune staffers or the winners themselves.

Performing Arts

Salt Winner

Ballet West

Ballet West, one of America’s premiere ballet companies, has earned an international reputation for artistic innovation and excellence since its founding in 1963. For more than 50 years, the Salt Lake City-based Company has entertained and excited audiences in its home state and worldwide by presenting the great classics, fascinating historical masterpieces, and new cutting-edge creations with the highest artistic and professional standards. The Company continues to build future ballet artists and audiences by providing classical ballet training through its four campuses of The Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy. Ballet West also offers impactful education and outreach programs each year to over one hundred thousand children and adults across the state of Utah.
Submitted by the winner.
50 W. 200 South, balletwest.org

1st Runner-up

Hale Centre Theatre

A dedicated community theater for three decades, Hale Centre Theatre brings comedy, tragedy and classic family favorites to loyal audiences year-round.

3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, hct.org

2nd Runner-up

Salt Lake Acting Company

Since 1970, Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) has been producing thoughtful, provocative new work for Utah audiences. From its humble beginnings in the basement of the First Unitarian Church, SLAC has grown into a nationally recognized company, and one of the Mountain West’s premier new play hubs. SLAC has earned a loyal following by providing audiences the opportunity to experience plays that would otherwise likely not be seen in Utah. Producing challenging and diverse new work is just one facet of SLAC’s commitment to engaging and enriching community through brave contemporary theatre. Additionally, SLAC makes significant contributions to arts education and new play development through programs like its Title 1 Matinee series, which allows underprivileged K-2 students to see SLAC’s annual children’s play at no cost, and its exciting new Playwrights’ Lab which brings together artists from across the country to spend an intensive week investigating and developing new scripts. SLAC's work artistically and charitably enhances the quality of life in the community through its firm belief that art matters. SLAC reaches an audience of over 37,000 people through both plays and outreach programs; the inspiration for each outreach effort stems from the collaboration of art and service, and each production informs where SLAC can grow its audience and reach. SLAC's community-centered mission reflects Salt Lake Acting Company's vibrant work onstage and its passion to be a resource to a community that has given the theatre so much.
Submitted by the winner.
168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City, saltlakeactingcompany.org

Beer/Sports Bar

Salt Winner

The Bayou

The Bayou was founded in 2002 by a few of Utah's most passionate beer lovers. It is currently owned by original owners Mark and Kileen Alston. The Bayou is and will remain an independent, locally owned, one-off place for beer and food lovers to relax and explore the wonderful world of beer. The Bayou's kitchen is open late every night and serves a full range of entrees and snacks with a strong emphasis on Cajun and Creole cuisine. Since choosing a beer from our list of over 400 different beers can be quite difficult, The Bayou designed and wrote their own custom smartphone app. Available on iTunes and Google Play, The Bayou App shows our entire beer list in real time with filtering options for things like alcohol content, color, style, hoppiness, bottle size and more. When you walk into The Bayou you immediately know you have arrived at Beervana!
Submitted by the winner.
utahbayou.com

1st Runner-up

Beer Bar

A downtown Salt Lake City fixture since its March 2014 opening, this German-inspired watering hole co-owned by "Modern Family" star Ty Burrell offers a wide array of artisan sausages and craft beers.

beerbarslc.com

2nd Runner-up

The Garage

The Garage on Beck Street in downtown Salt Lake City is a former auto repair shop transformed into a great place to see live music from both local and touring acts. Its menu features a classic selection of comfort food.

garageonbeck.com

Pool/Water Park

Salt Winner

Lagoon A Beach

Lagoon A Beach has hundreds of thousands of gallons of water fun; for swimming, soaking, floating, splashing and sliding. There is something for everyone including several great slides. For thrill seekers there are three serpentine slides and two drop slides as well as pipeline slides and the Outrigger slide which uses a tube and has six splash pools on the way down. There is also the Lazy River for those who want a relaxing float. The Lazy River is surrounded by waterfalls, exotic tunnels and a castaway island for kids. Lagoon A Beach also features two activity pools for water lovers of all ages.

Submitted by the winner.

375 Lagoon Drive, Farmington, lagoonpark.com

1st Runner-up

Seven Peaks Resort

Seven Peaks Resorts operates water parks in Salt Lake City and Provo that feature wave pools and tall slides for the daring and lazy rivers for the not-so-daring.

Multiple locations, sevenpeaks.com

2nd Runner-up

Crystal Hot Springs

Crystal Hot Springs is a northern Utah landmark in Honeyville. Natural hot and cold springs feed pools for soaking and swimming, and camping is available for those who don't want to leave.

8215 UT-38, Honeyville, crystalhotsprings.net

Ski Resort

Salt Winner

Snowbird

Dick Bass, who helped found Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, has described its guiding philosophy as “providing a year-round destination mountain resort for the enhancement of body, mind and spirit,” The Tribune has reported. The Little Cottonwood Canyon resort says it averages more than 500 inches of annual snowfall per year.

1st Runner-up

Brighton

Brighton is Utah’s only resort that can boast that 100% of its terrain is accessible by high speed quads. Our five quads, one triple and magic carpet service 1,050 acres and 1,875 vertical feet of incredible Utah skiing. Other amenities include The New Millicent Chalet, three additional day lodges, high quality rentals, top notch ski and snowboard school, lockers, cafeterias, a pub, frequent public bus transportation from many points in downtown Salt Lake City and park & ride lots around the valley. What’s more, kids 10 and under ski and ride free.

Submitted by the winner.

2nd Runner-up

Alta

At the core of its existence, Alta Ski Area is managed (by skiers) for the benefit of skiers. We measure our successes by providing a consistent, quality product that doesn’t interfere with our responsibility to provide a memorable ski experience. Alta’s legend is rooted in steep, deep and extreme, yet skiable terrain offers 25% beginner, 40% intermediate and 35% advanced terrain.

Submitted by the winner.

Burger

Salt Winner

Lucky 13

Lucky 13 is a bustling Utah roadhouse with a huge patio and lots of character. We focus on using fresh, local ingredients in our made-from-scratch American dishes, and have become famous for our signature gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and salads as well as our house-smoked bacon and fresh-roasted chilies and innovative Sunday brunch. First and foremost a bar for those over 21, we feature an impressive variety of beers, wines, and liquors from Utah and all over the world. We are located right next to the baseball park at 135 West 1300 South in Salt Lake City, just off the 1300 South exit of I-15, and across the street from the “Ball Park” Trax stop.

Submitted by the winner.

lucky13slc.com

1st Runner-up

Crown Burger

Crown Burgers is definitely royalty in Utah, as its signature hamburger — piled high with pastrami — is considered the state's best gift to the sandwich world.

crown-burgers.com

2nd Runner-up

Cotton Bottom Inn

This cozy, old-school Holladay tavern serves only beer and has the best garlic burgers on the planet, in one Tribune staffer's opinion.

cottonbottominn.com

Vegetarian/Vegan

Salt Winner

Oasis Cafe

Like a true sanctuary, Oasis Café is located in the heart of the city but tucked away like a well-kept secret. Family owned and run, the whole team is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable balance in both the menu and surroundings. They make a daily commitment to their guests of delicious, high quality cuisine, friendly and knowledgeable service, service to the community and a warm welcome. Oasis Cafe is located at 151 South 500 East in downtown Salt Lake City. Reservations can be made by calling 801-322-0404 or by visiting www.oasiscafeslc.com. Hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 -8:00 a.m. for coffee and pastries, then 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Submitted by the winner.

1st Runner-up

Zest Kitchen & Bar

Fresh, organic ingredients inspire both the food and drink at Zest Kitchen & Bar, a 21-and-older restaurant catering to Salt Lake’s conscientious and open-minded fun seekers.

2nd Runner-up

Sage's Cafe

Ian Brandt opened Sage's Cafe in 1999 as a full-service restaurant with a menu of classic vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as carrot butter pate, shiitake escargot and mushroom stroganoff. The cafe moved to its present home in Salt Lake City’s Central 9th business district in 2013.

Brewery

Salt Winner

Squatters

It all began with a business trip to the Northwest. Jeff Polychronis and Peter Cole, business partners long before Squatters Pub Brewery came to be, had frequented brew pubs and noticed that they seemed to be "the" place to be for a lot of the locals. So after a year-long pub crawl, visiting more than 40 brew pubs throughout the west, and with a swill, a swallow and many nights of appreciating great beer, they decided it was time that Salt Lake had a brew pub of its own. Squatters Pub Brewery opened in downtown Salt Lake City on September 5, 1989. By 1994, considerable demand existed for Squatters beers from restaurants, hotels, bars and resorts, which resulted in opening a production brewery to bottle and keg their brews. Jeff and Peter opened a second pub at Salt Lake City International Airport in 2002 as well as merged their microbrewery operations for draft and bottle production with Wasatch Brewery, creating the Utah Brewers Cooperative. A third Squatters location opened in Park City in 2006. Salt Lake Brewing Company now operates 5 brewpubs, a wine and ale house and employees over 500 individuals.

Submitted by the winner.

squatters.com

1st Runner-up

Red Rock Brewery

The Red Rock Brewery, among the first brew pubs in Salt Lake City, serves a variety of pub food favorites as well as a fine selection of its house-brewed beers.

redrockbrewing.com

2nd Runner-up

Epic Brewery

David Cole and Peter Erickson launched Epic Brewing Co. in May 2010, earning a big reputation for their boutique, full-strength ales and lagers. Now with expanded brewing facilities in Colorado, Epic produces more than three dozen beers, including the lower-strength Utah Session Series available in local grocery stores.

epicbrewing.com

Sushi

Salt Winner

Takashi

In a vibrant downtown setting, the innovative menu at Takashi features an extensive selection of sushi and sashimi, inspired small plates and entrees, and a delectable selection of house-made desserts. The award-winning cuisine is beautifully complemented by carefully selected beverage offerings. You will find Salt Lake’s most extensive selection of premium sake and shochu, unique specialty cocktails with a focus on local and Japanese spirits, a staff-curated wine list, and craft beers from Utah and Japan. Lunch Monday-Friday. DinnerMonday-Saturday. 18 West Market Street. 801-519-9595.

Submitted by the winner.

1st Runner-up

Tsunami

Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar treats diners to imaginative and skillfully crafted sushi rolls that have gained enough acclaim to warrant four locations from Salt Lake to Lehi.

tsunamiutah.com

2nd Runner-up

Ichiban Sushu

Ichiban has been serving the city of Salt Lake for 20 years. Our location built in 1894 as a Lutheran church, houses original stained glass windows and a choir loft re-purposed into private Tatami room dining. We pride ourselves with serving high quality sushi at an affordable price. It is our goal to treat each guest like our only one so that we may continue serving the city for another 20 years.

Submitted by the winner.

watkinsrg.com/Ichiban_Sushi_Utah.html

Chinese

Salt Winner

Mandarin

One of northern Utah’s most popular Chinese restaurants is the Mandarin in Bountiful. Last year, The Tribune reported there’s usually a wait to eat at the restaurant, where favorites include beef with locally grown green beans (or asparagus) tossed in a black bean sauce; five-taste shrimp with candied walnuts; or the Mediterranean lamb, with sautéed vegetables and feta cheese. 348 E. 900 North, Bountiful; 801-298-2406.

1st Runner-up

Charlie Chow's Dragon Grill

A stone's-throw from Salt Lake City's downtown library, Charlie Chows Dragon Grill is best known for its bottomless, affordable — and delicious — Mongolian BBQ.

2nd Runner-up

La-Cai Noodle House

A State Street staple, La Cai Noodle House serves up flavorful and authentic Vietnamese and Chinese dishes in a low-key environment befitting a midday work break or an after work wind-down.

Brunch

Salt Winner

Penny Ann's Cafe

Penny Ann’s Cafe is a family affair. The restaurant’s namesake, Penny Ann, and her sister, Cindy, can often be found seating patrons, serving tables or chatting pleasantly with the restaurant’s regular customers. Penny’s brother Warren is the executive Chef and brother Paul is behind the scenes helping with day to day operations. Wayne and Jane, the parents of the bunch, can often be seen around too helping with all aspects of the business. There are also many nieces and nephews who help cook, prep, serve and bus tables as well as the outstanding staff who feel like family. Originally from upstate New York, the Willey family prides itself on creating the east coast diner family atmosphere where guests can feel comfortable, and relax while they indulge in homemade comfort food.They are known as the Home of the “Heavenly Hot Cakes”, and the pancakes are a fantastic place to start when trying to decide on something from the menu.

Submitted by the winner.

pennyannscafe.com

1st Runner-up

The Park Cafe

This small and sunny restaurant doesn’t overhype or overpromise, satisfying diners with straightforward breakfast and lunch options, quick-paced service and an ambience that allows guests to take in the sun and a bit of vibrant local art, The Tribune has said. Part of the Liberty Park community more than 20 years, the Park Cafe offers comfort food in a cozy setting.

theparkcafeslc.com

2nd Runner-up

Tie: Market Street Grill/Eggs in the City

Market Street Grill Salt Lake City has had a decades-long love affair with seafood restaurants, thanks to Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar, where clam chowder and oysters on the half shell are favorites.

marketstreetgrill.com

Eggs in the City A gas station turned Sugar House hot spot, Eggs in the City has been called "a breakfast and lunch place as hip as they come" by The Tribune. The restaurant is a community favorite for homestyle breakfasts and brunch.

eggsinthecityslc.com

Food Truck

Salt Winner

Cupbop Korean BBQ

After working for an advertising company, Jung Hun Song started this food truck that specializes in Korean barbecue served with rice and veggies and more in a to-go cup. The business has grown to serve Utah, Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Morgan, Tooele and Summit counties.

1st Runner-up

Waffle Love

Adam Terry started the Waffle Love food truck — which specializes in crispy, Belgian-style waffles with fruit toppings — in 2012 and the business is really cooking now, The Tribune recently reported. Waffle Love has 45 employees and includes four trucks — one each in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties and Gilbert, Ariz. — as well as a retail shop in Provo. Terry and his two brothers, Jared and Steven, recently competed on “The Great Food Truck Race” on the Food Network.

2nd Runner-up

Chow Truck

In 2010, SuAn Chow's bright yellow Chow Truck rolled into the capital city, serving fresh-made tacos and mini-sliders with an Asian twist and blazing a trail for Utah's food truck dining scene. While Chow sold the business last year, The Big Yellow Truck continues to roll, with a popular catering business also part of the menu.

Coffee

Salt Winner

Beans & Brew

Beans & Brews Coffee House was established in 1993 by the Laramie family in Salt Lake City Utah. Our focus from our inception has been an unwavering commitment to the principles of Quality, Freshness, and Integrity. Today, the Laramie family still owns and operates the parent company of Beans & Brews but we have extended our family by adding franchise owners/operators to our already successful business model. We take great pride in being a part of the neighborhoods and communities in which we are privileged to do business. We believe in “giving back” to these neighborhoods and communities, and we make good on this belief by providing donations to many non-profit organizations.

Submitted by the winner.

beansandbrews.com

1st Runner-up

Publik

This city, our city, is on the rise, and we’re fanning the flame. We believe in quality over quantity, community over corporate, planet over profit and sweating the small and the big stuff. Our drive to serve the flawless cup of coffee is all consuming and we’ve been known to blur the fine line between aficionados and addicts. We’re humbled by the love and passion of the coffee farmer. We’re inspired by the craft and the quality of the coffee pioneers who came before us. We’re emboldened by the artisanship of devoted roasters and baristas among us. We chose the name Publik because it means, "community." Our roastery is entirely solar powered and our commitment to sustainability is fierce. We believe that coffee breeds community and coffee houses are the anchors that ground them. We are Publik Coffee Roasters.

Submitted by the winner.

publikcoffee.com

2nd Runner-up

Salt Lake Roasting Co.

Owner John Bolton opened Salt Lake Roasting Co. in 1981, and for many residents, it was their introduction into the world of organic and fair trade beans. The cozy shop helped pave the way for the capital city’s booming coffee culture.

roasting.com

Downtown Nightlife

Salt Winner

Brewvies Cinema Pub

Brewvies opened in February 1997. Original owners Dave and Matt returned from a road trip to the northwest, where they discovered beer and movies made a great combination. Since then, Brewvies has been host to local film premiers, community events, fund raisers, live performances and great hollywood films. With a focus on local craft breweries and 19 beers on tap, handmade food and unique cocktails, guests will find more to discover at Brewvies!

Submitted by the winner.

677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City, brewvies.com

1st Runner-up

Wiseguys Comedy Club

From Tracy Morgan to Margaret Cho to David Spade, Wiseguys Comedy Club has brought top-flight comedians to Utah for the past 15 years. Laughs abound at locations in downtown Salt Lake City and Ogden.

194 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, wiseguyscomedy.com

2nd Runner-up

Whiskey Street

Whiskey Street has been designed as a space that downtown executives, hip urban locals, and Utah guests will rub shoulder while sipping great cocktails. It is a friendly but stylish establishment with knowledgeable bartenders and great music. Pull up a bar stool. Let us put down a pint down on your piece of the 72 foot-long cherry wood bar. We have over 250 different Whiskeys, 150 Beers and 1000's of cocktail combinations. Dancing with sunlight during the day and lively with guests during the evening, we’ll serve you your favorite beverages from 11am until 1am every day.

Submitted by the winner.

323 S. Main, Salt Lake City, whiskeystreet.com

Family Activity

Salt Winner

Hogle Zoo

Occupying 42 acres at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, for more than 85 years Hogle Zoo has been home to lions, tigers, bears and more, delighting thousand of visitors every week.

2600 Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City, hoglezoo.org

1st Runner-up

Lagoon

Lagoon is the granddaddy of Utah amusement parks. First opened in 1896, the park features 10 roller coasters, the oldest opening in 1921. Its Lagoon A Beach, with attractions from thrilling slides to relaxing soaks, won the first-place Salt Award for Pool/Water Park.

375 Lagoon Drive, Farmington, lagoonpark.com

2nd Runner-up

Discovery Gateway Children's Museum

Our mission at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum is to inspire children of all ages and abilities to imagine, discover, and connect with their world to make a difference. We’re committed to educating Utah’s children through hands-on learning, engaging workshops, and interactive exhibits. Discovery Gateway is a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization, and membership at our museum gives your family the opportunity to enjoy unlimited access to engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits while also making a meaningful investment in our mission and community.

Submitted by the winner.

444 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City, discoverygateway.org

Festivals, Fairs and Parades

Salt Winner

Utah Arts Festival

The Utah Arts Festival started in 1977 as the Salt Lake Festival of the Arts through a “City Spirit Grant” from the National Endowment for the Arts. Held on one block of Main Street, it featured 55 visual artists and 43 performing artists. Today, we bring together some of the nation’s leading artists and arts organizations, as well as prominent local artists and organizations in order to produce Utah’s largest multi-disciplinary event. Over the course of four days each June we present more than 1,100 artists and provide hands-on experiences, workshops and demonstrations for an average of 80,000 patrons each year. The mission of the Utah Arts Festival is to promote the arts and enhance the quality of life in Utah through the production of an annual outdoor, multi-disciplinary event in downtown Salt Lake City. We strive to maintain the highest artistic quality in our production and programming, represent excellence among a range of artistic mediums, and promote an appreciation for fine art while supporting the creation of new works.

Submitted by the winner.

Learn more at uaf.org

1st Runner-up

Utah Pride Festival

Considered one of the best Pride Festivals in the western United States and the second largest outdoor festival in Salt Lake City, this celebration attracts tens of thousands of LGBTQ people and our allies each year. In 2016 our parade had over 70,000 spectators and our festival over 54,000 festival goers and vendors from across the states and our local communities. Events during the week included a gala, march and rally, interfaith services, and a 5K run.

Submitted by the winner.

Learn more at utahpridefestival.org

2nd Runner-up

Sundance Film Festival

Robert Redford's showcase event — held every January in Park City and Salt Lake City — puts the world's spotlight on emerging talent, fresh independent films and fascinating documentaries.

Learn more at sundance.org

Late Night Bites - Food served 10 pm and later

Salt Winner

Alberto's

Cheap and dependable Mexican food and excellent service make this Salt Lake City landmark a great way to round out your bar hopping, The Tribune has reported. Open to midnight, but take-out window stays open all night. 511 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City; 801-531-0411 (Also at 3090 W. 3500 South, West Valley City and 4935 S. State, Murray).

1st Runner-up

Porcupine Pub & Grille

Porcupine Pub & Grille opened its first location at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon on April 27th, 1998. The vision, to create the perfect gathering place for skiers, mountain bikers, outdoor enthusiasts, families, and friends to come relax and enjoy great food while meeting new friends and experiencing exceptional service. Since we opened our doors we have welcomed the community in being an integral part of our family. We are a “family-minded” driven establishment in the sense that our patrons are our friends and we strive to provide an atmosphere that welcomes everyone. Porcupine now has found another perfect spot for our newest location in the heart of the University/ Downtown SLC area. The building is the old firehouse #08, the second oldest standing firehouse in Salt Lake. We are so excited to be fortuned with this amazing location to add to the family. Here you can enjoy the same great menu and bar service that Porcupine Pub is known for while nestled in the energy of the city. Come for lunch, dinner, or brunch and make sure to include us on your stops to game days, nights at the theater, and anytime you want to meet up with special friends or family.

Submitted by the winner.

2nd Runner-up

The Bayou

The Bayou was founded in 2002 by a few of Utah's most passionate beer lovers. It is currently owned by original owners Mark and Kileen Alston. The Bayou is and will remain an independent, locally owned, one-off place for beer and food lovers to relax and explore the wonderful world of beer. The Bayou's kitchen is open late every night and serves a full range of entrees and snacks with a strong emphasis on Cajun and Creole cuisine. Since choosing a beer from our list of over 400 different beers can be quite difficult, The Bayou designed and wrote their own custom smartphone app. Available on iTunes and Google Play, The Bayou App shows our entire beer list in real time with filtering options for things like alcohol content, color, style, hoppiness, bottle size and more. When you walk into The Bayou you immediately know you have arrived at Beervana!

Submitted by the winner.

utahbayou.com

Locally Made Snack

Salt Winner

RubySnap

A cookie isn't just a cookie at RubySnap. Think fruit-infused doughs, chile ganache centers, light-as-air frosting and monthly specials that incorporate butternut squash or fresh raspberries. Though nothing beats a fresh Frida or Nina — all the cookies have fun pin-up-style names — many varieties are also available to buy in frozen-dough form at Harmons. 770 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City, rubysnap.com

1st Runner-up

Beehive Cheese Company

Founded in 2005 by brothers-in-law who ditched their corporate life for another whey, Uintah's Beehive Cheese Co. has aged into one of Utah's most celebrated artisan cheesemakers.

2nd Runner-up

Hatch Family Chocolates

Hatch Family Chocolates opened in 2003 in the heart of Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood. We are a community driven small business which specializes in hand-dipped chocolates, as well as our house-made ice creams. Our goal is to provide a relaxed environment for the community to come and remember what really is sweet in this world. Come and listen to our wonderful live music the first and third Saturdays of each month. Be mesmerized by the amazing magic of Elias “Lefty’ Caress every Monday evening for our “Magic Mondays”. Finally, relax under the stars while watching our annual outdoor movies during our Avenues Block Parties each summer.

Submitted by the winner.

Mexican

Salt Winner

Red Iguana

The Cardenas Family has owned and operated Mexican Restaurants in Salt Lake City since 1965. For over 60 years, they have been serving an extensive menu of award-winning original recipes created by the Cardenas family of chefs that has stood the test of time, received national media and nationally televised praise, and been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of patrons every year at their three locations: Red Iguana, Red Iguana 2, Taste of Red Iguana , and through their catering, private party affairs and continuing donations and support to community events.

Submitted by the winner.

1st Runner-up

Taqueria27

Taqueria27 blends traditional and new interpretations of Latin American street food served in a casual, yet upscale environment. The emphasis Taqueria27 places on fresh, high quality ingredients, sourced both locally and from across the globe make this a great place to stop in with family, friends or for a quick business lunch. Taqueria27 is also proud to offer a large and varied selection of 100% Agave Tequilas and Tequila based cocktails, as well as a fine selection of beer and wine. All three Taqueria 27’s are locally owned by Chef Todd Gardiner and his wife and partner Kristin Gardiner. Alongside a dedicated Staff, we work tirelessly to ensure that each location is welcoming and provide guests with a high level of interesting food, beverages and service.

Submitted by the winner.

2nd Runner-up

Salsa Leedos

We are family owned and operated. We opened our doors in 2002 and since then we have moved to a great location in Riverton Utah and we are happy to be a part of the community and giving back is a huge part of our success. Salsa Leedos is always sponsoring fund raisers for cancer, life saving surgeries and we have even been awarded the top fund raiser in the United States for the Jimmy V foundation and Leukemia Lymphoid for cancer research. Jake Bright is Salsa Leedos General Manager and is also involved in giving back to the community. He sits on the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce and spends countless hour’s volunteering for the Teen Outreach program speaking throughout the Wasatch front. Salsa Leedos has also been catering throughout the valley catering parties as small as 15 and up to 5000 people. At Salsa Leedos we pride ourselves with a culture of making a positive impact on those weather it be an employee or a guest. Our mission is “to provide a delightful service, make a loyal lifelong friend, and portray the true meaning of providing our guests with an extraordinary experience.

Submitted by the winner.

Museum

Salt Winner

Natural History Museum of Utah

The Utah Museum of Natural History features educational exhibits, youth programs, research in anthropology, biology and geology — and dinosaur bones that captivate kids, parents and grandparents.

301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, nhmu.utah.edu

1st Runner-up

The Leonardo

The Leonardo is Utah's center for exploration. Exhibits let visitors learn about art and science, with an emphasis on hands-on experiences.

209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, theleonardo.org

2nd Runner-up

Clark Planetarium

Clark Planetarium is Utah's connection to the stars. The facility includes exhibits, daily star shows and an Imax theater.

110 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, clarkplanetarium.org

Music Venue

Salt Winner

Red Butte Garden

From its beginning in the 1980’s as a series of five or six “alfresco summer concerts” in the Garden on Sunday evenings, to the current 3,000-capacity Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre with top-name acts and a schedule chock-full of consistently sold-out shows, Red Butte Garden is the place to experience some of the best summer concerts in Utah. You get it all—panoramic alpine-glow views of the Wasatch Mountains and the Salt Lake Valley sunset, a botanical garden, your blanket and picnic spread out on the Amphitheatre lawn in the foothills, and then, of course, the amazing artists on stage. Major and diverse acts such as Chicago, Taj Mahal, Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Robert Cray, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Trombone Shorty, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thievery Corporation, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Peter Frampton, John Fogerty, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Black Crowes, Mark Knopfler, Steely Dan, Cheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, Jackson Browne, Dead Can Dance, David Byrne, TOTO, Wilco, Santana, Bon Iver, Chris Isaak, Ryan Adams, Michael Franti, and the Utah Symphony—to name a few—have performed at Red Butte Garden to sold-out crowds—many artists have performed here multiple times because they enjoy the Garden and the Utah crowd so much. The 95% sold out, 31-show lineup of the 2016 Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series started on May 25 with The Lumineers and ended September 20 with a knock-out performance by Tears For Fears. We thank you for coming to our concerts and nominating Red Butte Garden as one of the Top Music Venues in Salt Lake City.

Submitted by the winner.

300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, redbuttegarden.org

1st Runner-up

Usana Amphitheatre

Many bands return to the 20,000 person Amphitheatre as its reputation in the music community continues to grow. The USANA Amphitheatre, only 20 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, is firmly rooted in our community as a getaway destination for both locals and patrons from out of state. Concertgoers return year after year for the entire concert experience, not for just a one-time event. The amphitheatre-style seating allows for premium viewing and ultimate sound quality from any location and our commitment to customer service creates a friendly atmosphere where concertgoers feel welcome.

Submitted by the winner.

5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley City, usana-amp.com

2nd Runner-up

Tie: The Depot/The State Room

The Depot has become the preferred downtown location for live music, corporate and social events. Artists such as Robert Plant, BB King, Cyndi Lauper, Jeff Beck, Slash, The Black Keys, Chris Isaak, Morrissey, 311, Black Crows, Ziggy Marley, Macklemore and Lindsey Buckingham have performed on The Depot stage. With an unmatched roster of artists and shows, The Depot has earned the reputation as the best places for live music in Utah.

Submitted by the winner.

.13 N. 400 West, Salt Lake City, depotslc.com

The State Room
Voted Best Music Venue year after year, The State Room is a cozy, 300 person venue located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Full bar and 21+. "The State Room's cozy atmosphere gives it a reputation among big and small names alike who see this unique space as Salt Lake's perfect spot to perform intimate, unforgettable shows. The sound quality is superb, and the repurposed church pew seating hints that the 300-person venue is the perfect place for a discerning crowd who might as well consider good live music as their religion.

.Submitted by the winner.

638 State St.

2016 Editors' Picks

From our beautiful canyons to the diverse flavors of local restaurants, staffers at The Salt Lake Tribune have selected a dozen Editors’ Picks for the first Salt Awards. Read on for descriptions of the winners by Tribune journalists.

Best shopping district

9th and 9th

There’s nothing like a fall day in the neighborhood of 900 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City, whether you’re getting an early jump on holiday shopping, engaging in some retail therapy, rewarding yourself after dropping off the dry cleaning or sweating it out at yoga or Pilates. Browse fashion, gifts and home goods at local boutiques Hip & Humble, Apt 202, Mabo, The Stockist, Katie Waltman Jewelry and The Children’s Hour; outdoor gear at Contender Bicycles and Western River Flyfishers; and quirky (or naughty) gifts at Cahoots — and that just scratches the surface. Those who prefer not to shop till they drop have options to rest and revive (films at Tower Theatre, a hot shave at Gene Mondragon’s) plus all-day fuel, from Coffee Garden (which starts pulling espresso at 6 a.m.) to East Liberty Tap House (open till midnight most nights). 900 South between 800 East and 1100 East, 9thand9th.com

Best new bookstore

Booked on 25th

Ogden’s 25th Street got even better this summer with the addition of Booked on 25th, an independent bookstore that specializes in handpicked, quality selections and works from local authors. Those looking for a gift (or a good read for their own nightstands) will find the latest buzzed-about books, topical titles — including a shelf of “Black Lives Matter” titles — and recommendations from booksellers and locals. Browse delightful literary-themed doodads, from Jane Austen mugs to tote bags, pins and games that celebrate reading. Signings, poetry classes and other events are held weekly, and book clubs meet in the cozy alcove of used tomes. 147 25th St., Ogden, 801-394-4891, Facebook.com/Booked-on-25th

Best new dining atmosphere

Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar

Rising from the rubble of the former Faustina, Stanza Italian Bistro & Wine Bar beckons to diners from 300 South with the promise of fine Italian-inspired cuisine enjoyed in sleek and beautiful surroundings. Prominent wooden arches float above the main dining room, which is drenched in daylight from floor-to-ceiling windows, while modern lighting elements add visual interest from the ground floor and second-floor event area. By adding 3,000 square feet of restaurant space, the new two-story restaurant can seat more than 350 guests — including patio seating for 80. But not all of the historic Faustina has disappeared. To maintain grandfathered status in the state’s “Zion Curtain” liquor law, contractors built a plywood box around the existing bar while the rest of the restaurant was demolished and the new Stanza rose around it. With no structural changes made, Stanza’s customers can watch their drinks being made or poured in full view. Stanza is at 454 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-746-4441. Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information, visit www.stanzaslc.com.

Most picturesque public golf course

Wasatch Mountain Golf Course, Midway

The 36-hole facility in Wasatch Mountain State Park is annually one of the state’s most popular venues, mainly because of the setting. Wasatch is especially beautiful in the fall, with trees framing the Lake and Mountain courses. Easily accessible from the Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley, Wasatch creates a feeling of isolation from the first tee shot. Find information about tee times and more at www.wasatchgolfcourse.com/index.htm.

Best hike with a dog

Bowman Fork in Mill Creek Canyon

Dogs in Mill Creek Canyon must be on a leash on even-numbered days and may be off-leash in undeveloped areas on other days. Bowman Fork lets the two of you pass creeks and springs, so you don’t need to pack extra water for your dog. There’s enough open space for your dog to run around on those odd days, but there’s enough elevation that your pet won’t be shooting up the trail too far ahead of you. The trailhead is across from the Terraces Picnic Area — 25 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. The trail offers multiple routes. You can hike all the way up to Mount Raymond or Gobbler’s Knob, about an 8-mile round trip, if you wish.

Best theater concessions

Broadway Centre Cinemas

The variety of choices of independent, art-house and documentary films at the Salt Lake Film Society’s Broadway Centre Cinemas are matched by the vast array of concessions. Sure, the popcorn machine pumps out fresh hot popcorn, but there also are the flavored varieties of Salt Lake City-based Pop Art gourmet popcorn. There also are packages of bulk candy and nuts, imported Ritter Sport chocolate bars and Manner wafer cookies, specialty bottled sodas, gourmet coffee drinks, and more. 111 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, http://www.saltlakefilmsociety.org

Best new cheap eats

Straw Market

In this day and age when $5 buys you little at a restaurant, Straw Market stands out as an inexpensive treasure in the Avenues. Like the original location in Ogden, Straw Market is best known for the $1 pastries and cinnamon rolls sold out of the case every day. Plenty of other breakfast items are just $4, like the three-egg Denver omelet generously laden with ham and sautéed peppers, or the breakfast quiche loaded with fresh mushrooms, green pepper, spinach and cheese surrounded by a flaky, buttery crust — making the case that quality and affordability are not mutually exclusive. At lunch, $5 and $6 sandwiches are a delicious bargain, too. Straw Market is at 390 4th Ave., Salt Lake City; 801-935-4420. Open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.straw-market.com.

Best new Italian restaurant

Sicilia Mia

Tucked in a strip mall in Millcreek, you’ll find the charming Sicilia Mia. Inside the restaurant, owner and chef Franco Mirenda and his son Giuseppe bring their rich Italian culture to life with laughter, fine food and decadent desserts. This is no better illustrated than with an order of the spaghetti alla carbonara. Fresh spaghetti is tossed with eggs and pancetta that’s then delivered to a flaming half wheel of Parmigiana Reggiano in the center of the restaurant, where it’s twirled around to pick up melting bits of cheese and then plated in a bowl artfully garnished with balsamic vinegar and parsley. A shave of Reggiano tops the eggy, rich dish that will leave guests swooning. If that weren’t enough, pastry chef Gaetano Cuttaia’s works of sugary art — such as the Sicilian staple of cannoli — are always on display in the dessert case. Sicilia Mia is at 4536 Highland Drive, Millcreek; 801-274-0223. Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Sicilia-Mia-570959233066509.

Best new Park City restaurant

Tupelo

When new restaurants open on Park City’s Main Street, everyone takes notice. In Tupelo, it’s immediately apparent that executive chef and co-owner Matt Harris and his team have thought long and hard about the best ways to deliver fresh ingredients and fine service to every guest. The menu is inspired by both Harris’ and his wife and co-owner Maggie Alvarez’ travels around the world in addition to the people who catch, make or grow what appears on the plate in the form of starters and entrees. Don’t miss the lightly fried Maine crab fritters accented with hot sauce butter and tangy okra. Game meats, such as rabbit and elk, are widespread across the menu. And Sunday brunch features a photo-worthy Bloody Mary bar. Finally, save room for dessert as pastry chef Shirley Butler makes the biscuits and all the sweets — like the sticky toffee pudding with Earl Grey bitters ice cream— from scratch in-house. Tupelo is at 508 Main Street, Park City; 435-615-7700. Open Wednesday through Saturday, at 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.tupeloparkcity.com.

Best new Greek restaurant

Manoli’s

Owner and chef Manoli Katsanevas grew up in the restaurant business. With Manoli’s, he crafted a fresh take on the small plates or “meze” concept and offers inventive vegetarian, seafood and meat selections in addition to salads, larger main courses, filling sides and delectable desserts. Standout meze include the creamy three-cheese orzo loaded with white cheddar, parmesan and feta, and mouthwatering piquillo peppers stuffed with a creamy smoked feta and black sea salt. A weekend brunch menu delivers some crossover items from the dinner menu, but notable Greek nods such as the citrus ouzo-cured salmon dako with a green olive relish and whipped myzithra cheese bring new flavors to the table too — which can all be enjoyed while sitting at the kitchen counter watching the chefs on the line, in the main dining room or outside on the patio. Manoli’s is at 402 E. 900 South, #2, Salt Lake City; 801-532-3760. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Monday. For more information, visit www.manolison9th.com.

Best new Indian restaurant

Everest Curry Kitchen

Sandy’s Everest Curry Kitchen features a vast menu highlighting Nepalese and Indian dishes, such as curries and kormas along with items baked in the tandoor clay oven. Across the menu, Everest Curry Kitchen artfully balances flavors — like the coriander and cumin spices supporting braised lamb in a tangy tomato coconut cream sauce found in the classic lamb coconut korma entree. Pair the korma or any of the dozens of other offerings with bubbly and buttery naan served hot from the tandoor to scoop up any saucy leftovers on the plate. Topping off spot-on tastes, dishes are served in beautiful copper bowls with a large dish of perfectly prepared basmati rice. Everest Curry Kitchen is at 68 E. 10600 South, Sandy; 801-571-4015. Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.everestcurrykitchen.com.

Best new fine dining

HSL

HSL, the sophomore restaurant of Briar Handly, brings fresh and fascinating American cuisine to downtown Salt Lake City. A remodel of the former Vinto space with a calming green color palette and a lineup of some of Utah’s best restaurant minds mean that HSL is the talk of the town right now — for what many consider to be the best burger in town to a stellar cocktail program. Start dinner with the lavash, featuring dry-aged beef tartar topped with capers, cornichon, an egg yolk and herbs. Then move on to the addictive General Tso’s cauliflower brined in coconut and soy. Every dish at HSL is artfully presented with great attention paid to even the last microgreen. Furthering the dining experience here are ingredients carefully roasted in the wood-fired brick oven and pastry chef Alexa Norlin’s imaginative dessert creations. HSL is at 418 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City; 801-539-9999. Open Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 5 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.hslrestaurant.com.

The Awards Ceremony

The first Salt Awards were announced Oct. 12, 2016, at The Gateway, in a ceremony hosted by Comedian Marcus and featuring local performers.

The awards, from The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Digital Services, recognize Utah enterprises whose products, services and reputation consistently represent excellence.

The Tribune invited winners to savor appetizers and beverages before the ceremony, providing a unique view of the Salt Lake City skyline from its seventh-floor patio.

At a street party below in The Gateway mall, guests enjoyed music and dance from singer-songwriter Talia Keys, Scenic Byway, DJ Jesse Walker, DJ Brisk and the urban dance group, The BBoy Federation.