Our City + State

10 Things We Love About Liberty Park Neighborhood

8/31/2021 | Katie Bald
Kerri Fukui

1. Liberty actual Park. Be it during our lunch break or post-brunch, one of our all-time favorite places to mill around is undeniably Salt Lake City’s centermost oasis, Liberty Park (and, judging by the population of said spot on any remotely sunny day of the week, it seems that teems of our city’s saltiest agree). Why? There's a veritable smorgasbord of activities to engage in here. Of course, there’s the obvious people watching/picnicking/sports courts, but Liberty is also home to a few treasures: beyond the Farmer’s Market (Fridays June through October) and close proximity to everywhere, this park holds a pond chock full of both ducks and paddleboats as well as a miniature carnival at its center! Come for the LARP-ers, stay for the corndogs...and read more about it all here

2. Artesian Water Well. This little courtyard, just a block north of Liberty Park, is unassuming from the street, but a true “if you know, you know” SLC institution that's been wetting whistles for over a century. In fact, in days of yore—when the Salt Lake Temple was still under construction—this spot was used to hydrate oxen on their journey from Little Cottonwood's granite quarry to Downtown. Pulled from a natural, underground aquifer, the water here is rich in minerals and ever-flowing, and—thanks to a recent renovation—easily accessed from all sides via a slew of spigots. Whether filling up a 5-gallon jug or taking a water break from a jog, folks can be found at all hours taking advantage of this watering hole...and you’d be wise to do the same. 

3. Tradition. Just across the street from Liberty Park itself, the patio at this eatery is one of the most perfectly positioned in all of SLC. From here you’ll not only have access to home-style cookin’ that equates to “comfort food” no matter where in the 50 contiguous you’re from, but you can have it with a side of stellar park-people watching. The southern-friend roots are palpable here, but the menu is not devoid of Beehive-inspired basics. Think: fried green tomatoes and funeral potatoes. We recommend ordering up some bubbles and a bite, then popping southward for a stroll. Happy brunching! 

4. Southeast Market. Southeast Market is a true SLC staple, and the shelves of this specialty food market are brimming with fantastic international finds. Pop in to see this friendly bunch and grab yourself some salted egg-flavored Lay's chips or a pack of green tea Kit-Kats, or cruise over to @southeastmarket on Instagram for updates on coveted shipments as well as recipe inspo! 

5. George's Salvage. Touting wares of "Alternative Uses and Architectural Salvage", this salty staple is a veritable treasure trove for lovers of home reno. There's a slew of vintage doors, drawers, sinks, lamps, and other assorted bric-a-brac to be found here. When you've an afternoon to spare, visit George's to find all the household gems you never knew you needed...and be prepared to fall squarely in love with this charmingly quirky spot.

6. Tracy Aviary. The country's largest and oldest free-standing aviary, Tracy Aviary is one of Liberty Park’s absolute best offerings. Scattered throughout these various exhibits, you will find beautiful birds of all shapes, sizes, and colors from myriad habitats around the globe. Beyond entertaining visitors, this fine operation also leans heavily into education and conservation initiatives aimed at advocating for our flighty friends at every turn. Plus, the aviary has seen plenty of renovations over the years, making it a tip-top habitat for birds and visitors alike. At some point during your visit, be sure to pay your respects to Andy the Andean condor—this fella’s sizable personality makes him a bit of a local celebrity and an absolute must-see. 

7. Proximity to...everything. One thing we love about the Liberty Park 'hood is its proximity to so many of our other favorite SLC spots, including 9th & 9th. This bustling borough is home to oldies-but-goodies like The Tower Theater, Coffee Garden, and The Stockist, but there are always fantastic, new additions to be found (we're looking at you, LOLA and Pie Fight). All the goodies of this walkable intersection—East Liberty Tap House, Salt & Honey Market, and Publik Kitchen among them—are just two city blocks from Liberty Park proper. Looking to head further north or south? Liberty's proximity to 700 E has some clearly discernible advantages: chief among them is the ease with which this street can transport you north to the Avenues and Downtown SLC or south to Holladay, Sandy, and beyond. And yet, for all the convenience it affords, 700 E is certainly not busy enough to prove a major disruption to those living just off of it. And, should you head just a few blocks west, you'll hit one of Salt Lake's most up-and-coming areas, Central 9th. This cozy pocket is home to a few of our favorite patios (a few of which can be found at Manoli's, Chanon Thai, Barrio).

8. The Park Café. A time-honored haunt, The Park is on the radar of most locals, and for good reason. The food, for starters, is perfectly indulgent and the service is some of the friendliest you’ll find. All the usual suspects (french toast, biscuits and gravy, etc.) are certainly solid here, but more unique concoctions like the Michigan Hash elevate this place to the pantheon of breakfast greats (plus, thanks to the high caloric content of each of its plates, this spot has become a favorite among local athletes, and it’s not uncommon to squeeze past a group of Jazz players or U of U defensive backs on your way to a table). No matter what you order, though, a post-meal stroll around Liberty Park is the perfect way to wrap things up.

9. Herman Franks Park. Part off-leash dog park, part Central City Baseball field, this green space takes up almost a full city block just southeast of Liberty Park. The dog park, which is fenced off but still within view of the diamonds, features a fountain and agility course, so you can post up with your pup to watch a play or two—just keep your eyes peeled for pop flies! 

10. Bagel Project. This adorable, brick corner shop boasts hot and fresh bagels and refreshing takes on the standard breakfast sando. Try the Lox & Loaded, Trout & Truffle, or the Hava Tequila with soy chorizo and avocado salsa. Not sure where to start? You really can’t go wrong with Everything. Go early or order online ahead—they sell out! 

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