Aug 1, 2022 - Food and Drink

Three bars to try on Salt Lake City's Main Street

Two cocktail glasses clink in a toast.
A toast at Alibi Bar & Place in downtown Salt Lake City. Photo: Courtesy Craig Buschmann

COVID hit just as I was wrapping up the early years of parenting, so Salt Lake City's nightlife more or less passed me by.

Yes, but: That makes a night on the town all the more exciting, as my husband and I found out. This weekend, we spent our anniversary pub crawling on Main Street.

  • The street between 400 South and South Temple is closed to traffic on weekend afternoons, giving pedestrians plenty of room to stumble and veer as needed.

Here are some Main Street highlights:

1. CarnEvil at Quarters Arcade Bar
A sign says "You're a pinball wizard, Harry" in multi-colored letters, behind a shelf with a cocktail on it.
Quarters Arcade Bar has dozens of video games and 20 pinball machines. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

In a bar with close to three dozen video games, CarnEvil was my favorite by far.

Tip: It's 50 cents per player, so be sure to put in all four quarters before starting a two-person game.

The Breakfast Club cocktail ($11) is the best accompaniment for a shooting game with ghosts, zombies, and almost no need for accuracy.

2. Alibi's mezcal concoctions
A bartender prepares a cocktail behind a bar full of fresh fruits and herbs.
A bartender sprinkles garnish on a Bad Orchestra cocktail behind mounds of fresh fruit at Alibi Bar & Place. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

The airy bar makes the fierce, early-evening sun feel acceptable. It's loaded with fresh ingredients and looks more like a fruit stand than a tavern.

• Try the Palermo Soho ($13) or Bad Orchestra ($13) for a fantastic blend of fruit and smoke.

3. Oyster shooters at White Horse
A shot glass of bloody mary mix with an oyster on top.
A delectable oyster, ready to be gulped at White Horse on Main Street. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

Oysters don't immediately come to mind when you think of Salt Lake delicacies, but White Horse does great shooters ($7).

  • For cocktails, go for The Omega ($14) — a summery mix of Roku gin, Waterpocket Oread, Luxardo Maraschino and lime.
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