I’ve been living in this city for 2.5 years now and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the coffee scene now. There’s dozens and dozens of coffee shops, I still have a list of places I need to try. However, I have already chosen what I think are the best coffee shops in Salt Lake City.
Ultimately, I’m going to share my three favorite that I go to over and over. I will also share coffee shops that are pretty decent and meet my requirements for good coffee. I will not mention any that I did not like or would not go to again. That means if a coffee shop is not on here it is probably not worth going to.
What makes a good coffee shop?
I’m a traditional Italian espresso coffee fan. I’m not sure what those blonde roast lovers are thinking. I’ve ended up at a couple of those innovative places and they do not make it on this list. I like rich, I like bold. I do not like sour or weak.
I also like both cold and hot drinks. Sometimes I prefer one over the other but I like them both equally. That means I love a coffee shop that can make both amazingly well.
This is second in importance. I don’t need a bright, new clean starbucks but it shouldn’t smell or look like a trash heap. Artistic clutter is nice but garbage is not. A clean bathroom is a necessity as you can tell if they prioritize cleanliness based on their toilet. Overall, a clean sitting area makes me trust that the area they make my coffee in is also clean.
I’m a sucker for good ambiance. I really love places you can just sit around for a while. I love a good white and metal space as well as a grungy (but clean!) interesting art space. I also like a variety of places to sit. A small table, an arm chair, and bar stools are all great and if they’re all available – even better!
Now that you know what I look for in a good coffee shop, let’s get down to the list.
Three Best Coffee Shops in Salt Lake City
I typically go to the downtown location but I have been to both of the other locations. They are both drive thru so the ambiance doesn’t apply to them. However, the downtown Raw Bean is clean, neat and has an upstairs area with lots of seating.
I tend to order off of their monthly special board because I have not been disappointed. I’ve been pleased with everything I’ve ordered there. I’ve tried hot, cold, and even blended. Some of their specials have multiple syrups so if you like less sweet try something else or ask for half sweet.
Recommendation: Shot in the dark with cream (flavors, optional)
Bad Ass Coffee Salt Lake City
I’ve only gone in twice because I typically go here when I’m driving down State Street headed somewhere. Here’s why I love them:
- The nicest employees. Once I asked for something with cinnamon and so they just made me something. I don’t know what it was but they were extremely nice and it was extremely delicious.
- Really great coffee. Hot, iced, or blended.
- A fun, clean, space, decorated with hawaiian flair.
Recommendation: Jitter juice (hot or iced)
This is the only one of my favorites that is not dine in. There are several locations but I like the one by the University. Their menu is not extensive but their specialty drinks are all amazing. The cinnamon dolce is my go to. Their hot drinks are best in my opinion, second is blended, and last is iced. Iced is still good, just not as good as their hot drinks. Their Italian Soda’s are also some of the best I’ve had.
Recommendation: Hot cinnamon dolce or Frozen Mocha
This is a list of places I like. I prefer to go to my top 3 but if I’m running errands and one of these places are near I’ll swing by. These are also places I will take friends (aka my sisters) to. They are somewhat ordered from my favorites to not my favorites. If it didn’t make it on this list chances are I tried it and didn’t like it. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried most places in SLC so if there’s a place you love that’s not on this list, let me know! I would love to check it out and maybe add it to this portion.
The Red Moose
Cute little cafe in a neighborhood, right down the block from a good park to hang out with your drink.
Interesting, large interior. An old building but clean. The specials are named after gods which is super fun and I’ve liked all the ones I’ve tried. They also have amazing croissants from a local bakery.
Blue Copper Coffee Room
Super tiny but clean interior. Really nice barista and good drinks.
I’ve not made it inside yet but I’ve been through the drive thru a few times. Drinks are great and they have a delicious croissant sandwich. There’s a few locations.
Non-pretentious coffee place with great out door seating. Great customer service and drinks.
The Rose Establishment
The environment is very conducive for group get togethers.
Publik Coffee Roasters
Tried once but I will go back. A huge, minimalist interior with hipster type drink and food options.
I hope this is a helpful resource for anyone looking for the best coffee shops in Salt Lake City! There are so many good places it’s not worth going to somewhere subpar.