The Salt Lake Valley has dozens and dozens of locally owned, non-chain coffee shops, sometimes more than a few per neighborhood. It’s easy to find a cozy place to land, on most any morning, in a place where the baristas know you and start making your drink before you’re even two feet from the cash register.
The hard part is cataloging them all.
We published our first coffee shop roundup in September, and immediately heard from readers and Instagram followers who told us that we had missed some great spots — especially on the west side and further out into the suburbs around Salt Lake City.
So here’s our second compilation of coffee shops worth trying. No doubt, we’ve missed some favorites. But, like a good cup of coffee, we can always go back for another round.
Azúcar Mexican Coffee Shop • 2843 S. 5600 West, West Valley City.
This coffee shop opened next door to La Casa de Tamal in late June. The interior is airy and modern, done in cream-colored stone and metallics, and offers plenty of seating. Its main specialty drink is café de olla (Mexican spiced coffee), but its drink menu also includes horchata latte, Mexican mochas, Gansito lattes, Mexican-style hot chocolate (familiarly called Abuelita), and such seasonal drinks as marzipan lattes. They also serve classic espresso drinks, teas, ice cream and pastries, including pan dulce, delivered daily from a local Mexican bakery.
All drinks are made with beans sourced from local small-batch roaster Logos Coffee.
Bjorn’s Brew • 2165 S. State St., South Salt Lake; 2358 Foothill Dr., Salt Lake City; 4679 S. Highland Dr., Salt Lake City.
Their tagline is “drink coffee, save animals,” and so the baristas are often having to explain that the dog-shaped cookie on the lid of your coffee is for you to eat, not for your pet. What they do give to pets is charitable support — when you redeem your coffee punch card, the cafe donates $1 to such organizations as Nuzzles & Co. and Best Friends Animal Society.
Bjorn’s serves drip coffee, espresso drinks, chais, iced teas, Italian sodas, blender drinks and such snacky foods as bagels, cookies and stuffed croissants. It’s also one of the handful of non-chain cafes that offers a drive-thru.
Buzzed Coffee • 132 S. 800 West, Salt Lake City.
Co-owners Dominic Oliver and Sierra Hibl relaunched the Buzzed Coffee truck earlier this year, and in October, settled into a space in the Sugar Space Arts Warehouse. The truck is still on the road, but now the Poplar Grove neighborhood has another brick-and-mortar cafe. Buzzed brews with beans from Park City Coffee Roasters, and offers café de olla, dirty chai, drip coffee and a full range of espresso drinks, plus a specialty drink that changes monthly. They also sell beans by the bag.
Coffee Noir • 1035 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City.
Nestled away in the middle of an autumn-esque Liberty Wells neighborhood, Coffee Noir is small on space but big on good drinks. The indoor and outdoor seating areas are a bit tight, but with headphones it works perfectly for a Zoom meeting. Coffee Noir has a great selection of coffee drinks, teas and pastries/eats to choose from.
Their “Purple Rain,” a white mocha with lavender, is perfect for a cold day.
Hidden Peaks Coffee & Roasting • 4879 S. Redwood Rd., Taylorsville.
This family-owned roastery, started in 1989, air-roasts small batches of arabica beans every weekday, both for serving in the coffee shop and for selling by the pound. Though it’s located in an outdoor strip mall, the interior has a classic urban coffee shop feel, with concrete floors, corrugated metal detailing and chalkboard menus.
Hidden Peaks is a regular haunt for Taylorsville residents, offering both cozy corners and big tables where large groups can spread out.
IndieGo Coffee • 3310 S. 500 East, South Salt Lake.
Indie Go Coffee is serving chai — real chai. Chai brewed the way it was meant to be, not just a powder that’s mixed in like most coffee shops do, but simmered: slow and steady to make a savory, aroma and spice infused drink. The chai mixes are all made in-house, too.
The South Salt Lake coffee shop’s name is a nod to several things — the owner Vini Joseph and her son Derrick being from India (and where the traditional chai brewing method comes from), being an independent coffee shop and Vini being a single mother.
The shop’s seating area is a bit small, but it’s right across the street from the new Granite Library branch, and it also serves delicious treats, such as samosa puffs, paneer and chicken tikka pies and tandoori chicken sandwiches and tacos. Upon request, they even bake cakes, including a Black Forest cake — which has its origins in Germany, but is quite popular in India.
Kahve Cafe • 57 S. 600 East, Salt Lake City.
Kahve Cafe brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Utah, alongside Turkish coffee and tea — also made the traditional way. They serve such treats as baklava, Turkish fig cake, borek (a savory filled pastry), gozleme (a stuffed turnover) and seasonal specialities. In the winter, different soups and monthly servings of manti (a type of dumpling). The shop operates around the words of a Turkish proverb: “One cup of coffee creates a 40-year friendship.”
Mestizo Coffeehouse • 631 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City.
Mestizo opened in 2008 as a cafe/art gallery with a focus on serving the community. Both the interior and the menu evolved as regulars and neighbors gave input to owners Ruby Chacón and Terry Hurst. The cafe is still serving as an important community space, with regular programming including Dia de los Muertos observances and back rooms that can be used for community meetups. The gallery focuses on underserved and socially conscious artists.
The cafe itself, with its warm red walls and wooden tables, has a cozy, welcoming feel. On the drink menu, you’ll find drip coffee, espresso drinks, Mexican mocha and dirty horchata. There’s a substantial breakfast menu, including the Mez waffle, which is topped with Mexican chocolate, and several sandwich options for lunch.
Roots Coffee & Co. • 774 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City.
This coffee shop, just about a year and a half old, has a playful vibe, with a coffee wall featuring suggested phrases from customers like “grab life by the beans” and “coffee loves all.” Some of its most popular specialty drinks include the caramelo (caramel, vanilla and a dulce de leche drizzle) and the horchata latte. It also serves locally made bagels and cinnamon rolls from The Dough Lady.
The Rose Establishment • 235 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City.
The Rose Establishment is tucked away from view, but worth the hassle of the limited parking. The open seating area, with the exposed wood and wide windows, makes for the perfect coffee shop experience. The Rose Establishment serves equal amounts of good coffee and great bakery treats, too.
Tres Gatos Coffee • 567 S. Main St., Midvale.
Tres Gatos in old-town Midvale is housed in a building with murals nearby, perfect for a quick coffee run and stroll. This shop not only makes homemade chai and their speciality, Mexican mocha, but also has plant-based caffeine drinks. If you’re on the go, they have a drive-thru, but step inside and behind the spacious counter/bar space, you’ll find syrup bottles in every flavor and color to choose from.