The Best of What the Beehive is Best at…Edition

For this year’s 2023 Best of the Beehive, we are taking a look at what Utah is the best at compared to other—less best—places. Utah has been dubbed the happiest state, the nerdiest state, the most business-friendly state, etc., etc. This year, Utah also has the new distinction of being the best state. Period. It’s science. U.S. News & World Report ranked Utah as the best overall state, largely thanks to its high scores in the ranking’s categories of “Economics” and “Financial Stability.”  However, there are some categories where the Beehive State falls short. In those cases, we prefer to see it as…we’re the best at being the worst. 

Best of the Beehive 2023

The Best at Being Happy

Utah is ranked among the happiest states in the union, according to WalletHub, but not so much for our actual emotional and physical well-being. Rather, we scored high in the “Work Environment” and “Community & Environment” categories.

Places that bring us joy >>>

The Best at Inviting the Supernatural

Utah has something of a reputation for the unexplained and supernatural. Not only are our residents adept at magical thinking, but the Beehive State is reportedly home to some of the most haunted places in the country.

Top supernatural attractions >>>

The Best at Geeking Out

Utah is ranked as the nerdiest state—most recently by Zippia in 2022, which looked at our super geeky internet search history—earning supporting distinctions as well, like the state that plays the most Dungeons & Dragons.

Where to get your nerd on >>>

The Best at Shopping in Style

In the days where much of the shopping for home can be done from home, a place has to be pretty special to lure us outside. These home-design retailers aren’t just shops

They’re experiences >>>

Best of the Beehive 2023
Best of the Beehive 2023

The Best at Starting a Business

Utah is the most entrepreneurial state in the country, as found by a 2020 Seek Capital study. The study looked at factors like the growth of the working-age population, employment rates, business tax climate, cost of living and business survival rates.

Utah-bred businesses of note that have grown from cool local startups >>>

Best Adventures for Kids

Utah is the fastest growing state because we’re the best at having kids, but it takes a little extra planning if you’re traveling with the whole family.

Parent and adventure blogger Stephanie Reed of Salt Project has some tips for getting kids excited about outdoor adventures >>

Best of the Beehive 2023

The Best at Digging up Dinosaurs

We even have our own raptor named after us! Just as an example of our dinosaur discovery supremacy, more than 6,000 different fossils have been found at a single dig site in Emery County.

Top paleontological spots to visit >>>

The Best at Getting Outside

There is a lot that makes Utah’s outdoors remarkable, and having the highest concentration in the world of International Dark Sky Association-certified Dark Sky Parks is certainly one of them.

At 24 parks, there is no shortage of places to go outside at night and look up >>>

Best of the Beehive 2023
Best of the Beehive 2023

Wasatch Faults

Some things maybe we wish we weren’t the best at.

The dubious distinctions >>>

Best of the Beehive 2023 Reader’s Choice

We asked, you answered. This year, we wanted to hear from our readers about their own Utah favorites. On our website and Instagram, you shared your local love with these Beehive State favorites.

Best Brunch: Oasis Cafe
Best Coffee Shop: Coffee Garden
Best Karaoke: Highlander Pub
Best Sports Bar: Flanker Kitchen + Sportling Club
Best Seafood: Current Fish and Oyster
Best First Date Venue: Red Butte Garden
Best Food Truck: Black’s Sliders
Best Pasta (TIE): Antica Sicilia | Osteria Amore
Best Restaurant Ambiance: Log Haven
Best Mexican Food: Red Iguana
Best Deli (TIE): Feldman’s Deli | Caputo’s Market and Deli
Best Pizza: Pizza Volta
Best Chinese Food (TIE): Little World | Pan Wok
Best Burger: Proper Burger Co.
Best Patio: Ivy & Varley
Best Vegetarian/ Vegan: Sweet Hazel
Best Steakhouse: Spencer’s For Steak and Chops
Best Bakery: Eva’s Bakery
Best Desert: Gourmandise
Best Boutique: Amy’s Boutique
Best Farm-to-Table Program: Arlo
Best Brewery: TF Brewing
Best Distillery: Holystone Distilling
Best ‘Staycation’: Hilton Salt Lake City Center

Want to find more Beehive favorites? Read our Best of the Beehive picks from 2022!

Christie Porter
Christie Porter
Christie Porter is the managing editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, writing about everything under the sun, but she really loves writing about nerdy things and the weird stuff. She recently published her first comic book short this year.

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