Despite their less-than-appealing name, dirty soda shops have become a standard part of the culture of Utah. This unique carbonated beverage contains various soda types mixed with various ingredients. You’ll find dirty sodas with lime juice, coconut creamer, and many more unique additives. There are dirty soda shops all over Utah, including its capital, Salt Lake City.
Today, we’re sharing some of the best dirty soda shops in and around Salt Lake City that are worth trying. Let’s look at these sugary sodas and what you and your taste buds can expect.
About Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City sits in the state’s northern section and is Utah’s capital. As of 2020, the city had a population of just over 200,000 people.
However, the metropolitan area surrounding balloons up to 1.2 million people. It’s the largest city in the entire state.
The city has grown tremendously since it was established on July 24, 1847, by Brigham Young and the settlers traveling with him. The city was created as a settlement for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
However, Native American tribes of Shoshone, Weber Ute, and Paiute had been dwelling in the valley for thousands of years before Brigham Young and his fellow settlers arrived.
The region experienced a tremendous boom in tourism and infrastructure when it hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. The infrastructure improvements throughout the region have helped the area to grow its tourism industry. The state hopes to be a serious contender to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics.
What Is a Dirty Soda Shop?
A dirty soda shop is a beverage location that sells found sodas spiked with flavored syrups, creams, and various flavor add-ins. One of the state’s most popular dirty soda shops is Swig, started in 2010 by Nicole Tanner in Saint George, Utah.
Several other dirty soda shop chains have opened their doors across the state, including Sodalicious, Twisted Sugar, and Fiiz.
Are Dirty Sodas a Utah Thing?
Dirty sodas began sprouting up all over Utah shortly after the LDS clarified its position on caffeine. LDS church members must abstain from tea, coffee, and other “hot drinks.”
With many Utahns embracing caffeine, these unique beverages became wicked popular. You’ll find them in Salt Lake City and all over the state.
If you love eating like a local, this is how to eat your way through Yuma, Arizona!
Best Dirty Soda Shops in Salt Lake City
If you want to experience the best when it comes to dirty soda shops, there are quite a few in and around Salt Lake City. Let’s look at a handful of the best dirty soda shops and some recommended menu items you might want to try.
Address: 3667 Highland Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
About: Sodalicious has been “serving happiness to humanity and your mom since 2013, one cup at a time.” If you’re looking for the easiest and most accessible dirty soda shop in Salt Lake City, Sodalicious is it. However, you’ll also find locations for this popular chain outside of Utah, in Idaho and Arizona.
Its mixologists are typically young but can craft some of the most unique and delicious sugary beverages. If you’re unsure what to order, its staff can help you find the right drink. One customer, Kellie, describes it as the “best soda shop in town.”
Recommended Menu Items: Sodalicious, like many dirty soda shops, offers a variety of drinks. Start with one of its 16 base sodas and customize until your heart’s content.
The Castaway is a skinny beverage featuring 7UP, coconut, guava, and fresh lime. Its sweetness will make you feel like you’re on a tropical island.
If you need a bit of a boost for that upcoming workout, the Leg Day is Red Bull, guava, passionfruit, and strawberry. It’s exactly what many need to get into the right headspace to work up a sweat.
In addition to the nearly infinite combinations of its menu, they offer cookies, big fat crispy treats, and other seasonal delights. If your drink isn’t enough, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least something to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Address: 38 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
About: Ethan and Sierra started Thirst Drinks in 2016 on the back of “kindness and gratitude for customers.” This dirty soda shop has a mantra of “Drinks and treats are our commodity, but what we are selling is an experience.”
Its goal is for customers to leave its shops happier than when they arrived. What better way to cheer you up than free popcorn?
You can find Thirst Drinks at six locations in Utah, including Vivint Smart Home Arena, Rio Tinto Stadium, and Smith’s Ballpark. The deliciousness that Thirst Drinks serves up makes it easy to enjoy at a sporting event or anytime you need a little pick-me-up in your day.
Recommended Menu Items: If you want to taste and experience the classic dirty soda, the Smooth Classic (coke, coconut, vanilla, and half & half) is a great place to start. However, there’s a long list of possibilities when creating the perfect drink for you.
Some of the customer favorites include the April O’Neal (Mountain Dew, pomegranate, fresh lime), Miss Abby (sparkling water, fresh orange, strawberries, sugar-free strawberry, coconut cream), and Pubbin’ (Barq’s root beer, vanilla, and ice cream).
Its menu offers a variety of sweet treats and an endless offering of dirty sodas. You’ll find beignets, cookies, and pretzels that are all equally as tasty as its extensive drink selection.
Address: 2339 East 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
About: Swig started in 2010 and specializes in fast service, delicious drinks, and some of Utah’s best-tasting treats. While this chain may have started in Utah, it’s expanded to include locations in Texas and Oklahoma.
Swig describes itself as a location that is a “colorful, kid-friendly counter-serve doling out flavored sodas in creative flavors, plus cookies.” This location is popular and can experience longer than average wait times. However, it’s worth the wait!
Recommended Menu Items: The menu at Swig is as diverse as it comes when it comes to dirty soda shops. They offer all of the standards but are constantly churning out new creations and limited-edition beverages.
Its fan favorites include Frozen Hot Cocoa, Raspberry Dream, Beach Babe, and Spring Fling. However, if you can’t find anything that sounds right, you can create your own.
In addition to drinks, Swig also offers mini cookies, lemon drop sugar cookies, and a triple chocolate cookie that many customers love to pair with a dirty soda. Your tastebuds will thank you, one swig at a time!
Address: 2223 S Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010
About: If you want to experience a Hug-in-a-Cup, you’ve got to visit Sips. This local business takes pride in getting to know its customers and learning its favorite drinks. It thinks of its customers as friends.
They want to provide the small-town experience just outside the big city. While its branding may not be as brightly colored as its competitors, its beverages and menu do all the talking.
Recommended Menu Items: Its menu includes a variety of soda and Monster blends that will be pleasing in every sip. Some of the recommended menu items here include the Dr. Feelgood (cherry and lime wedge), the Sunset (mango puree and pineapple), and the Snow Cap (coconut, vanilla, and cream).
They also offer a limited amount of kid-friendly drinks that feature no caffeine.
Sips separates itself from the competition by having a rather extensive hot and iced coffee selection and other cold drink options. You’ll find cold brew, ice tea infusions, and handcrafted juice blends.
If you need to grab a bite to eat while visiting Sips, they have breakfast sandwiches and sweet treats like banana bread, donut holes, and much more that will do the trick.
Address: 1302 East Draper Pwy (12300 South), Draper, Utah 84020
About: The Fix started in 2015 in a gas station in Draper, Utah. While The Fix may serve up dirty sodas, they’re mostly known for its off-the-charts cookies. However, the two complement each other nicely, and we recommend trying both whenever possible.
Its cookies are in over 400 gas stations and coffee shops in Utah. They know how to create delicious items that customers love.
Recommended Menu Items: If you’re looking at its menu and having a hard time deciding what to order, the Galaxy (Dr. Pepper, raspberry puree, and coconut cream) is a popular choice.
One customer, Michael, says, “We drive 20 minutes to get my fix. The Galaxy is the way to go! Even with Diet Dr. Pepper is amazing!!”
The Jukebox (Coke/Pepsi, cherry, and coconut) is also a solid choice. If you’re looking for a more tropical experience, the Mexico sunset (Sprite, pina colada puree, coconut, vanilla cream, and fresh lime) is as good as it gets.
Are Dirty Soda Shops in Salt Lake City Worth It?
A dirty soda shop is worth visiting in Salt Lake City if you enjoy unique experiences that allow you to sample a bit of the local culture. The tremendous amount of sugar can be an acquired taste for some customers, but it is delicious nonetheless.
Looking for a fun place to hang out while you wind down at the end of the day? Simply need something special to brighten up your day? Dirty soda shops can check all the boxes. Give one a try the next time you’re in Utah!
If You Love RVing, You Need to Stay Informed
Don’t rely on biased RV industry news sources to keep you informed with RVing news.
Stick with Nomadic News. We publish daily articles and breaking stories that matter to your RV lifestyle.