There are any number of reasons to escape the house and go hang out or host an informal party at a restaurant instead of home. Maybe you have a bunch of unwrapped presents hanging around that you don’t want to be seen. Perhaps your parents are in town, and you’d rather them not hear you and your friends talk about a miserable job. Or you’re tired, don’t have time to clean, and want something fun to do instead of just sitting at home. Sound familiar? I’ll be honest; that’s me too.
Here’s where I will be escaping family or hanging out with friends from now until the end of the year. Each place has a vibe. Find the one that fits you. And then go there. Often.
The Low-Key “Hang Over Wine and Cheese” Vibe
Casot is my current favorite hidden gem of a wine bar. They have a very curated wine list without the stuffiness of a wine bar; this is your perfect hang for a girl’s night out. Their cheese board is top-notch with a rotating cast of seasonal cheeses and accoutrements.
Retro Christmas of Your Dreams Vibe
Flanker Kitchen & Sporting Club Holiday Parlor. The Utah arts alliance went over the top decorating a special Christmas parlor inside Flanker Kitchen. With classic Christmas movies paired with distinctive holiday cocktails, You will feel like you are immersed in a Christmas story. Bonus points for food + activities. This is the place you take your crazy out-of-town cousins. Book a bowling alley, a karaoke room, or a sports simulator while you’re here. Reservations are strongly recommended.
The “I’ll Take Some Learning With My Hangout” Vibe
Scion Cider Bar—grab some food to-go from Central 9th Market and head over to Scion. Pull out a game, grab a big bottle of cider to share, and settle in. Play. Sip. Repeat. My favorite is their cider education night every Thursday. Learn about a region, a style of cider, or a brewing topic. Then taste, taste, taste. Perfect for your foodie friend who’s done it all and tried it all. They haven’t tried this.
The Something for Everyone Vibe
TeaZaanti —Tea and sympathy? Check. Build your own charcuterie board? Check. Wine? Check. Warm and cozy? Check. This charming little tea room/wine cottage is one of my favorite hidden spots in the city. Perfect for mixed groups—those that love wine and those that prefer their beverages without alcohol. Based on Bacchanal in New Orleans, I love to gather a group; everyone orders their beverage and food of choice, and we can pop in or linger longer. If you take a tin of tea home, all the better.
Brunch and a Movie Vibe
Oh, Brewvies. I used to live near the Downtown location, and I miss Sundays wandering over for brunch and a movie. I’m determined to get back to it. Their cocktails are appropriately kitschy, and the food is better than your standard cinema fare. Plus, did I mention cocktails? And beer. And wine to pair with your movie. For brunch, grab food, and the movie is included every Sunday at noon! They will be closed on Christmas day, but I confirmed that they will be open on New Year’s Day if you decide to make the trek.
They are playing Avatar 2 as one of their regular showings. If you can’t go through a whole 3-hour 12-minute movie without extra sustenance, this is your place.
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