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Phoenix - New to Neighborhood (Central and Camelback)

Hi There. I just moved to my 1st place on Central and Camelback from North Phoenix and was wondering if there are any great restaurants that I have to try. I have been to Durants, Pane Bianco, and Lola's Tapas so far. I've driven by China Chili and FEZ and are they worth trying? Also, are there any good restaurant deliveries in the area? Thanks for your help!

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  1. FEZ is fun, but loud. I think they have decent burgers.

    China Chili was on Central until Light Rail construction began and now they are open/opening on 3rd Street near Virginia. When they were on Central, I thought their food was pretty good (it was about a block from where I work). Nothing stupendous, but pretty good.

    Sonora Brewhouse on Camelback and about 4th Street or so is pretty good. There is also some decent Vietnamese places around 19th Avenue and Camelback, give or take.

    Of course, you can head east exactly 32 blocks and have the best burgers in Phoenix at Delux. :o)

    1. Heading south about two miles on 7th St., you have Trente-Cinq 35, a Belgian restaurant which I think is pretty good. There's also Lisa G Winebar and Cafe LaBella, which I have not yet tried. Both are right next to Trente-Cinq just a bit south of Thomas.

      Heading north on 7th St., there's Sierra Bonita Grill just south of Glendale Ave. Sierra Bonita's sister restaurant, Phoenix City Grille, is also nearby at 16th St. and Bethany Home Rd.

      As mentioned above, there are additional options on the Camelback Corridor beginning around 24th St.

      1. Fez is pretty good -- they have a good burger (or did when we last tried it, several months ago) sort of on the style of Delux, and there are several variations of a flatbread topped with lamb or eggplant. Haven't tried China Chili since they reopened, but I would stay away from the lunch specials and order off the menu instead.

        I work in that area but don't go out for lunch very often, unless I get in the car and drive to Carolina's or the Ranch Market at 16th St. and Roosevelt.

        Sarah C

        1. Central and Camelback you say? You can have fun....

          -Zest @ 16th St/Indian School. We've have a couple of stellar dinners there. Their appetizer list is great and you can make a dinner out of several like I did once. They have a small bar that you can sit and eat at.

          -Chevrount Wine Bar @ Central/S. of McDowell (across from library). Nice wines and a great selection of cheeses. They recently added a full lunch/dinner menu.

          -Richardson's @16th/Bethany Home (NW corner). New Mexican style food with a nice warm and toasty feel this time of year. Try the prickly pear margarita.

          -Phoenix City Grill @ 16th St/Bethany Home(south of BH, across from Starbucks). It's locally owned with a great Sunday brunch. Try the corn cakes!

          -TexAZ Grill @ 16th St/Bethnay Home(NE corner). Seeing a pattern? There's a lot of good stuff in this little area. This is an institution in Phoenix. Those of us who grew up here have had some great chicken fried steak here over the years. It's kitschy and with a basic menu. You go for the chicken fried steak, mashed taters and cream gravy. Very casual.

          -Rokerit @16th St/Maryland. Same owner as Richardsons. Again, a great feel on colder nights. The cellar bar is small but very nice. I've made dinners out of apps here as well - the sausage and white beans app is fantastic. My husband likes their ossu bucco.

          I'll think of more.....

          1. hey, you're right around the corner! drop by for dinner :)

            actually, i'm always completely underwhelmed by Fez. The food is eh, the drinks are overly priced, and the staff couldn't be less concerned. But the new cousin Ticoz is suppossed to be good.

            1 Padres, on Camel. and 12th. Amazing food that is upscale mexican. Love it.

            2 Diamonds 7th Ave and s. of Indian School. Best Chinese Food around, hands down.

            3. I'm a huge fan of the fish market, particularly the oyster bar and sushi bar. The actual dinner menu is ok.

            4. Rokerij is amazing.

            5. Dick's Hideaway uis also great (its Richardsons, but more intimate)

            6. For food that all men seem to adore, but I can't understand why, there's Texaz Grill at 16/Bethany.

            7. Avoid the Starbucks at 16th/Bethany like your life depends on it. head to 7th St and Missouri instead. Place is always dead.

            8.For chinese delivery, I go with Bamboo China, at 16th and Glendale. Pretty good, but Autumn Court will also deliver.

            9. For amazing pizza, go to Niccoli's Deli, at 16th, just N of Camelback.

            10. For greek, 7th St and Dunlap, Greektown.

            11. There's an ok place for vietnamese at 19th Ave and Camelback. Like I said, its OK.

            12. For kick ass italian, Avanti on indian School and 51.

            13. Don't overlook Macqayos downtown. We go there all the time, and Sylvia's La Canasta on 7th Ave and Missouri.

            14. Zest is FABULOUS. try it.

            I'll say this. everyone is different. I think Sonora Brewhouse is a total dud (a local food reviewer agrees), Trente Cinq underwhelmed me though my friends adore it and go once a week, and Lisa G's is never open. We've tried a few times to go. Chevuront is wonderful,and you should consider everything out to 40th Street your territory, so Postino, Delux (totally skip zen32 and g spot), archellino, etc are totally in your territory.

            Also, a charming if not know your socks off place is Feeny's, on 12th and Northern, and Pat's Pizza Plus is amazing delivery pizza..... tastes like it was overnighted from NY.

            Also, for nights you want to stay home, give Fresh Gourmet To Go at 16th and Camelback a try. They rock.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hzp

              Great Post.

              I like that Vietnamese place you mentioned... Pho bang? It's not a fancy destination by any means. But if you want cheap Vietnamese, it scratches an itch. It also has that certain charm of a place that doesn't give a damn. On my last visit the two floor ladies were clearly overwhelemed and simply gave up on dealing with new customers. Most of the newcomers left in a huff, but the ladies eventually served us and laughed at the situation. It's a funny point of view also embraced by Thais... sometimes you simply can't deal with the situation so why fret? There's a funky Asian market next door as well. I say it's worth a visit.

              Likewise, I noticed a number of other signs in the neighborhood indicating ethnic fare... it seems a mix. Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. Nothing aimed at most Phoenix folks, but I would bet there are some gems for explorative types.

              1. re: tastyjon

                i don't disagree, and as i said, its OK. i also find their apathy amusing. mostly, i'm in it for the summer rolls, and i just find theirs lacking. but their soups, etc are pretty decent, and come with whopping plates of fresh herbs, which i like.

            2. We like Moto at the corner of 16th and Glendale. Slightly farther is El Bravo on 7th Street north of Northern which is fantastic Mexican. Also for an amazing experience try the Saturday morning market at Vincent's on Camelback which is really more like a really amazing food court with a whole bunch of breackfast/lunch options. As for Pat's I fear that our secret is getting out--its the best NY style pizza in town. And their Sicilain pizza is out of this world.

              1 Reply
              1. re: avandelay

                Pat's has been around for years - it was our local pizza joint when we lived up the street. BONUS: THEY DELIVER

                My hubby from NY actually prefers the slices at Pinos al Centro in terms on NY style. He'll choose to eat two slices over splitting a whole pie any day.

              2. As long as we're recommending up to Northern Avenue and beyond, let me add a plug for my favorite Chinese restaurant: Super Dragon at 12th St. and Northern

                1. Marcellino at 12th & Northern is good too. Marcellino and his wife Sima are such an engaging couple, and the food is top notch.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mamamia

                    Great choice! How could I forget that my favorite Italian restaurant is across the street from my favorite Chinese restaurant?

                  2. Hey You need to try Fuego Bistro at 713 E. Palo Verde.. They have great Latin cuisine, and they have a beautiful patio... plus the service and atmosphere are tops...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Legitfatgi

                      I've heard good things about Fuego Bistro. But it's so hard to find!! You need GPS to locate it.

                    2. Here are a handful spots I have always enjoyed, I hope this is not to long, I got carried away reminiscing... And now hungry...

                      Oregano's Pizza Bistro -
                      1008 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ (been a bit over a year)
                      (602) 241-0707 They have a few spots, nice low key, not too pricey.

                      George & Dragon Restaurant
                      4240 N Central Ave
                      (602) 241-0018
                      I LOVE this place.
                      Great atmosphere and food (Shepard's pie is gooda) true British pub. One night a week they (or used to?) have a quiz night. A bunch of intellectuals drinking stouts.

                      Matador Mexican Food Restaurant -I like this spot, have a few friends that are pretty obsessed with it.
                      125 E. Adams Street
                      (602) 254-7563

                      Carlos O'Brien's Mexican This is a bit far, but a long time favorite. Pollo Fundido is a good reason to push your cholesterol.
                      1133 E Northern Ave
                      (602) 274-5881

                      Blue Fin - good for lunch, a mom and pop teriyaki joint. Real crab puffs. I just went there before the Art museum, simple & never disappoints and the service is from the heart.
                      1401 N Central Ave
                      (602) 254-3171

                      Camus Restaurant -
                      401 W Clarendon Ave
                      A hipster joint. Djs spinning and such. Up and Coming chef that is experiential with classics and really puts is brain and heart in the food.

                      Cheuvront Wine & Cheese Bar - Had a nice stop in here after the museum. We had a bit of time to kill and it was delightful/ Good noshing
                      1326 N Central Ave
                      (602) 307-0022

                      Honey Bears BBQ - I think this spot is so good. I have the craving once in a while and this fills it. Good for lunch, or take home maybe?
                      2824 N Central Ave
                      (602) 279-7911

                      Far but last month these were excellent:
                      Atlas Bistro
                      BYOB! wine shop next door that entertained us for a while (and took lots of our money ;) Duck with a cherry, pinot, and hibiscus reduction was everything I wanted it be. It is the food that touches your mouth like liquid platinum. I ate until I was almost ready to die and had wished I could get more food in me.

                      AZ88 is in Old town Scottsdale, maybe if you want to go to SMOCA or something.
                      I think this place is great. Ever changing art above the bar, and wonderful drink menu, the water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, St. PETERSBURG Potatoes, Great burgers. Every time I am in town I go no matter if it means eating one extra meal that day. Very accommodating.

                      Mosaic Very good, chef owned and she puts her all into it. I think her husband runs the front of house. as possible to
                      Scottsdale (480) 563-9600

                      1. Try the salt and pepper calamari at China Chili, it is served with jalapenos, and if you are an orange chicken fan, their sliced version is a treat! I have found that the chef oftens sends out special sauces with dishes that are not even on the menu. It is one of my favorites for quick take-out, but pick it up on time---they will fuss at you for ruining the food if it sits too long! Welcome to downtown!

                        1. Rosie McCaffrey's around 9th St & Camelback has great fish & chips and a real Irish pub feel.

                          Ticoz on 7th St North of Missouri is good too.

                          1. Try Fuego Bistro behind Appollo's on palo verde st (7th st and bethany home) down the street is Ticoz which attempts so called costa rican food, but pales in comparison to the same stylings Fuego has.