If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in Utah Valley, you’ve probably expended at least an hour or two on Center Street in Provo. What started as a small business district in the heart of Utah’s third largest city has now become a cultural center for Utah Valley residents.
The recent construction on I-15 has thwarted southbound seekers of entertainment in their attempts to taste of the bounties of Provo’s historic downtown. Still, those of us brave enough to drive through town, screaming as they navigate the obstacle course of blue and white-clad jaywalkers, are still enjoying the cultural hub that is Provo Center Street. When you arrive, you’ll find yourself swimming in a menagerie of choices as you visit the many restaurants, salons, theaters or shops that Center Street has to offer.
The number and variety of foods presented on Center Street boggles the mind and titillates the tummy. In fact, 17 of the 61 restaurants that Utah.com lists within the Provo city limits are found on Center Street, an area that is only half a mile in length.
From Mexican to Japanese, Center Street has the food you want. Indian food for an after-Bollywood snack? Say “Han Ji” to India Palace. Chinese food? Lotus Garden Restaurant. Vietnamese? Rice King Noodle. Japanese sushi? Demae Japanese Grill. Add a variety of American dining options like Guru’s, Station 22 and The Sensuous Sandwich, and you can find almost anything your foodie heart desires.
Still, for my sandwich dollar, nothing beats Hickory Kist Deli for sheer, mouth-exploding deliciousness.
Needing to get ready for your big weekend? Hair salons, beauty supplies and custom tailoring can be found on Center Street. Whether you need some makeup tips from the people behind Taylor Maid’s iconic storefront, or a bit of style from Starzz Salon to add character to a boring hairdo, you can find it all within walking distance.
The spirit of high-class boutique shopping lives on at What’s Hot Boutique, a stylish little shop that carries the best in cutting-edge fashion for men and women.
Between galleries, art classes and theatre venues, Provo’s Center Street is a refuge for those of us who want to unleash our inner beret-wearer.
The Window Box Gallery and Museum is a perfect place to start if you’re itching for a beautiful showroom of Utah’s fine art. If your interest in art is more on the “creating” side than it is on the “rubbing-your-chin-while-looking-at-it-thoughtfully” side, perhaps art classes at Provo Art and Frame are more your style.
If, instead, you are looking for something a bit more active in your unending quest for sophistication, or at least the air of it, anyway, look no further than The Covey Center for The Arts, one of Utah Valley’s best-known artistic venues.
Though the variety of showings at The Covey Center necessitates it being mentioned as an entertainment venue, the entertainment on Center Street is almost as diverse as the people who frequent it.
For example, if Salsa dancing lessons and the pump of the nightclub hold an allure, The Salsa Chocolate Nightclub, housed in historic Southworth Hall, may be just the thing you’re looking for.
What if you’re the type who doesn’t make plans? Utah’s leading improv comedy ensemble at Comedy Sportz will have your sides in unscripted stitches on any weekend you choose.
Between all the things to see and do, Provo Center Street has all the delicious food, eye-catching style, must-see entertainment and erudite arts that any denizen of Utah Valley could want.
Hickory Kist Deli
42 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601
What’s Hot Boutique
110 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601-4418
The Covey Center for the Arts
425 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601
36 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601
Fridays and Saturdays: 8:00 & 10:15 p.m.