I have lived in Salt Lake City my whole life, and as such I feel like I know it well. The city has its problems, like any city, but it also has some great local flavor. Here now are a few of my favorite hang outs/restaurants/bars/etc. in Salt Lake.
HIRES BIG H
There are three locations for this famous restaurant, but the definitive one is on 7th East and 4th South in Salt Lake. I have been eating at Hires since I was a kid, and have always loved it. Its really not very ballsy as a Salt Laker to say, "I love Hires" because, frankly, who doesn't? That is the point though, the fries, the onion rings, the frosty mugs of root beer and the Big H with that fabulous sauce are the stuff of Utah legend. The shakes and freezes are amazing too, in case you didn't already know.
Walk down the stairs and into the dark brick-walled pizza joint that has been feeding University of Utah students for decades, and you will be changed forever. Just like Hires, the Pie is an institution in Salt Lake. With pizza so cheesy that it makes cows cry, and pitchers of cola or beer on the table, its impossible to leave the Pie hungry or unsatisfied. While the pizza is great, the best thing is the Cheese Pull Apart with a side of ranch and marinara. Again, most people from Salt Lake will not be surprised by my picking the Pie, but I don't care.
THE BAR X
Gone, but never forgotten, The Bar X was Salt Lake's greatest watering hole. Serving the coldest beer in town, it gained a steady following of regulars that were drawn to its no frills atmosphere and the transcendent "appetizer platter." We can only hope that when it re-opens it retains some of the dank magic that made it so great in its heyday.