For many of us, starting off a day playing outside with a cup of coffee isn’t just an occasionally nicety, it’s practically mandatory. But where to turn when you’re from out of town and can’t stomach gas station joe? While Salt Lake City certainly has its share of chain coffee shops serving the same bland brew and sterile atmosphere, it also boasts a slew of locally owned java spots serving up tasty drinks, grab-and-go eats, and a welcoming vibe.
Whether it’s a two-foot powder day and you’re on your way to Alta, or you’re racking up for a sunny day of cragging in Big Cottonwood Canyon, here are five of our favorite spots in town to fuel up and catch a morning buzz.
1. Higher Ground Coffee
2005 East 3300 South
Described by Outdoor Research as, "the nexus of ski, bike, climb and coffee culture in Salt Lake," Higher Ground is a cozy neighborhood spot that is owned and operated by local climbers and skiers. A full menu of espresso drinks, fresh baked goods, and tasty sandwiches will have you primed and ready for any day outside. They also sell a huge selection of energy bars, cold drinks, and other snacks in case you forgot to pack your lunch.
2. Blue Star Juice and Coffee
2795 South 2300 East
With some of the best fresh juices in Salt Lake, in addition to a full coffee bar and sandwich menu, Blue Star is located just south of I-80 on 2300 East and has a drive-thru for grab-and-go stops. Not only does Blue Star have great food and coffee and a comfy, dog-friendly atmosphere, but inside is Wasatch Bike Support , a full-service bike shop that handles quick tune-ups and repairs on both road and mountain bikes.
3. Silver Bean Coffee
6556 South 3000 East
One of the closest local coffee stops to the Cottonwood Canyons (the epicenter of four-season recreation in the Wasatch), Silver Bean is conveniently located in Old Mill Plaza, just off of Big Cottonwood Road in Cottonwood Heights. Owned by two-time Olympic ski medalist Shannon Bahrke Happe and her husband Matt, Silver Bean roasts all of its own coffee locally, and offers a full food menu of pastries, sandwiches, soups, and non-coffee drinks.
4. Coffee Garden
878 East 900 South
A fixture in the 9th and 9th neighborhood, the Coffee Garden is always buzzing with professionals, artists, and people gearing up for a day outside. The bustling, eclectic scene is for good reason, as the Coffee Garden has great coffee as well as pastries, desserts, and other baked goods. In warm weather, the outdoor seating is great for chilling out in one of SLC’s best neighborhoods.
5. Jack Mormon Coffee
82 E Street
With no WiFi, cozy seating or foofy drinks, Jack Mormon isn’t your typical coffee shop experience, but it’s a must-stop for anyone who takes coffee consumption seriously. A staple of the Avenues neighborhood just north of downtown, Jack Mormon offers coffee by the pound that’s roasted fresh to-order, with more than 60 single-estate coffees to choose from. And in addition to a full menu of fresh-brewed coffee and delicious espresso drinks, Jack Mormon also has nitro cold-brew coffee on tap—a perfect start to a warm summer day of climbing or mountain biking.