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LA Chowhounder Visiting PHX for Long Weekend

Hi all --

We are heading out to PHX in a couple of weeks to hit up Cactus League Spring Training and we will be looking for some good eats for in between games. Since this a baseball trip, we are not looking for anything fancy or too expensive - just good food, and maybe good atmosphere (not required however), for good prices. The only place we clearly must hit is Sonic Drive In because they advertise this here in LA, despite the fact that the closest one is hours away in the desert.

Since we are from LA, we are more than familiar with fantastic Mexican, Japanese/sushi, and Chinese food, although if there are standouts in this area, please list them anyway. As a note, great BBQ is hard to find out in LA, so any suggestions for that would be greatly appreciated.

So the deets: we are staying closer to the airport, but will have a car for transportation. We need places for both lunch and dinner (please, no breakfast, as we won't be awake for it :P). For lunch, we are looking at $5-12 pp, per entree. For dinner, about $8-15 pp, per entree, not inclu. alcohol. Also, any suggestions for fun bars would be great - we like bars with plenty of beer on tap, pref. European imports.

Thanks so much AZ Chowhounders!

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  1. A must-hit for lunch is the Fry Bread House - great food. This is about 20-25 minutes northwest of the airport.

    A bar I think you guys might really enjoy is the independent brewery Four Peaks - good food makes it a viable dinner option, great beer both brewed on site and a good selection, college-centric atmosphere but still a lot of fun. This is in Tempe, about 20 mins east of the airport. Avoid on Thursday and Friday nights - the college crowd really loves this place.

    Four Peaks Brewing Co
    1340 E 8th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

    Fry Bread House
    4140 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

    1. I second the Four Peaks recommendation. The atmosphere is great (really nice patio) and it's housed in a turn-of-the-century brick building that was once a Borden creamery. Good beer, and surprisingly good food. Another place you may want to check out is Papago Brewing, which is actually only about 15 minutes from your hotel. They have about 30 beers on tap (some of their own, usually several Belgian/German beers, and American micros) and a huge bottle selection. The food isn't fancy, but the pizza and sandwiches are tasty enough, and it's a very casual friendly atmostphere.

      Also, you're quite close to downtown Tempe which at least offers a few options (including a Gordon Biersch location). Sounds like your best bet there may be Rula Bula, a great Irish bar with decent food.

      Papago Brewing Co
      7107 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

      9 Replies
      1. re: boingo2000

        Link for Rula Bula:

        Rula Bula
        401 S Mill Ave Ste 101, Tempe, AZ 85281

        1. re: boingo2000

          For pub-grub and a good imported brew, I second Rula Bula. Not the best fish n' chips in AZ, but good. Plus, they offer some really good regular pub-fare.

          While I do collect brews, along with my wines and frequent pubs from London to DC, I do not know what is on tap. Back in Colorado, I could give you a dozen micro-brew-pubs, but not in Phoenix. Sorry.


        2. re: boingo2000

          Four Peaks is a great choice - their brews are awesome, and the food is all you can ask for in bar food IMO.

          Also in the vicinity besides Rula Bula is Casey Moore's Oyster House. In Scottsdale, Papago Brewing would be a good choice for a large selection of beers (I'd skip the food).

          If you skip the hot dogs at the stadium, give Ted's Hot Dog's a shot in Tempe - the hot dogs are shipped in from Buffalo NY and they were on Gourmet's list of top 10 dogs in the country some years back. Bring cash, they don't take cards. Also in Tempe, some cheaps eats and good BBQ can be found at Urban Campfire.

          If you're not burnt out on trendy burger joints in LA, you might enjoy Delux Burger, not too far from the airport. They also have some good brews on tap which is a big plus.

          Ted's Charcoal Broiled Hot Dogs
          1755 E Broadway Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282

          Urban Campfire
          921 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

          Casey Moore's Oyster House
          850 S Ash Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

          1. re: azhotdish

            The Delux link...

            3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

            1. re: azhotdish

              If the OP is familiar with Father's Office, Delux serves a similar burger and sweet potato fries without nearly the hassle. I like Delux better, truthfully.

              It's worth your while to go to Four Peaks - nothing like it in L.A. that I've found.

              Have fun!

              1. re: dustchick

                While both Father's Office and Delux have great burgers, I think Delux wins in my book simply because of their awesome root beer float.

                Still, I think Father's Office does a better burger ... but only slightly.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Love the Father's Office burger, but not so in love with the $14 price tag [and that DOESN'T include fries!], so we will definitely consider Delux for a Burger Fix.

                  1. re: umeakai


                    I can live the $$$ of the Father's Office burger ... it's the long wait and hassle to get a table that turns me off from that place.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I can't remember the last time that someone at Delux hovered over my shoulder while I ate, like at FO. Now that I'm back in Southern CA (San Diego), I miss Delux.

        3. For bars in downtown Phoenix, I would check out The Lost Leaf.

          It's a art gallery-cum-bar with a wide selection of microbrews, a nice wine list and to top it off a few sake selections to keep things interesting.


          The Lost Leaf
          914 N 5th St, Phoenix, AZ

          1. For a Sonic, you need to make it the one in Tempe. I say "the one," because I do not know how many there might be in Tempe, but A Tempe Sonic has been used to film most of the commercials. There is even a current one, that makes reference to Phoenix. As you can probably tell, I do not know my Sonics well. Have not dined at one since about 1968.

            You might want to check out the great article on "Superbowl" dining, that was posted, just prior to that event. There is a wide range of dining options, and it is laid out geographically, so you can pick an choose, by where you will be. It goes from the upper-end "usual suspects," down to family-style spots.


            1. The Yardhouse (2 locations) is a chain that claims they have the largest beer selection on tap...anywhere, along with decent food. It's on the higher end of your budget as far as food goes, but if you want to have the variety of beer, it's generally the place to go. The closest one to your hotel is at Fashion Square, just minutes away from all of the bars at Old Town Scottsdale.

              Otherwise, Four Peaks is a great choice, not as many beers on tap, but there's generally something for everyone. Get the fries. They also have fantastic happy hour deals on the beers if that's something that appeals to you.

              1. Wow! I'm excited to help an LA-er. ...I relocated to Phoenix from OC in October, and I've been on restaurant finding rampage.

                The restaurant I'd recommend that has great pizza and unbelievable wings (they roast 'em for 3 hours before grilling them to give them a nice cripsy layer) is La Grande Orange on 40th and Campbell.

                It's not too far north from the airport... From just north of the 202, I'd say it's a worthwhile 15 min. drive. I assume you're staying in that area b/c it's really really ghetto south of the airport.

                Anyway, La Grande Orange can be slighly pretentious, but the prices aren't high. I usually grab a bite with a drink for <$15, and I always have some leftovers. Plus, there's a great gelato place nextdoor. This place ephasizes quality. In addtion, there's a 42" flat which always has a game on, so it's not uptight by any means.

                One more thing... This place is in the same class and will attract similar clientele to Doughboys of West Hollywood or Havana of Costa Mesa. It's been the best find since I moved out here...


                6 Replies
                  1. re: roy_be

                    one more note:

                    My reference to Doughboys is from when the restaurant was in its prime on 3rd Street before moving to La Brea where it has turned into shit... I realize the quality is gone way way down in the past 10 months.

                    1. re: roy_be

                      Haha - I havn't been to Doughboys in about 3 years ... I've cut out of the WeHo brunching scene other than Hugo's because it's too trendy/busy for me :)

                      1. re: umeakai

                        Yeah. The whole west hollywood scene can be tiring. ...But I really loved Doughboy's S.O.S. Where else can one get an S.O.S. What's in that thing: shredded pork, poached eggs, potatoes, gravy, cheese, diced potatoes, all over texas toast??? Plus, I'd be lying if I said that spotting celebs wasn't an enticing factor.

                        And ugh... Now I'm reminiscing parties in Silverlake, and the Vista and Arclight movie theaters, and having drinks at the Cat and Fiddle, Jones Bar, and Renee's was always fun... Needless to say, I miss LA...

                        Three places I wish I could transport this very second to PHX are: Din Tai Fung (obviously for their pork dumplings), Shin-Sen-Gumi (for my ramen crave), and Phillipe's in downtown. God damn. What an amazing LA landmark! (help me out here Phoenicians!)

                        Well... I found an affordable burger joint near work that has served me well. Their burgers taste like home-style grilled burgers, and they use spreadable cheddar cheese!!! mmmmm... It's in Glendale and is an independent fast food shop (at least it seems like one). It's called 'Sweet Home Chicago' and is on 59th Ave. and Bell. If you're driving form the Peoria Spring Training fields and you're using the 101 loop north, you'll drive right by it.

                        Don't go out of your way for it though.

                        BTW, I'd recommend staying away from Japanese and Chinese food here. I'm an asian, and me <3's me asian food. I spend about 50% of dining expenditures into finding asian food, and I've struggled immensily. I've found good places, but nothing exceptional.

                        On the other hand, the pizza is definitely better here.

                        1. re: roy_be

                          dude, I'm a fellow Asian American that just relocated to PHX from West LA and I'm a little concerned about the lack of good Asian/Japanese food here. You mentioned Shin-Sen-Gumi and I got homesick. Man, I could walk to Santouku :( If you find a good, legit Ramen place please post. Also, if you find a good izakaya, Musha/Furaibo-like, please post, as well. btw- I went to Taneko already and it is what it is, I guess...a Japanese version of PF Changs

                          1. re: WooinAZ

                            Another LA transplant here.

                            Nothing like SSG here in the Valley, but for a good bowl of pho go to Maxim.

                            Maxim Restaurant
                            3424 N 19th Ave # 8, Phoenix, AZ

                1. A couple more spots for you to check out:
                  The Cornish Pasty Company in Tempe www.cornishpastyco.com
                  The Roosevelt Tavern in Phoenix (near downtown


                  816 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                  Cornish Pasty Co
                  960 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  1. Hi guys -

                    Thanks for these fantastic places - I'm going to be compiling a list, but keep them coming! The suggestions for pubs / gastropubs are welcome because I'll be there with my bf, but a few friends and family will be there too - it's really a "guys" trip where they love beer, burgers, wings, hot dogs, etc. Good thing I do too :)


                    11 Replies
                    1. re: umeakai

                      A good UK-styled pub, though a bit away from you, is George & Dragon, on Central Ave., just north of the Downtown area. I think their pub-grub is a notch above Rula Bula's, but RB's is probably much closer to you and quite good. If you find yourself in Downtown (Phoenix), you're probably 15 blocks from G&D. I'll try a link, but it has been crashing a lot lately.


                      PS Wo-ho, it worked. Maybe it's been fixed.

                      George & Dragon
                      4240 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        There's also a George and Dragon at 48th St. and Broadway, which is very close to the airport. I haven't been to that location, so I can't comment on it.

                        1. re: boingo2000

                          Even though George and Dragon on 48th St has basically the same menu as the one on Central, but the draft beer never seems to taste as good

                      2. re: umeakai

                        A new pub opened in the old Ruby Beet / Circa 1900 (placelink says the latter) spot, Rose & Crown. According to the article, they have 28 beers in bottles and 12 on draft.


                        Circa 1900
                        628 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                        1. re: azhotdish

                          i love the rose & crown - it looks great, the beer's fab, and the fish and chips are top notch. service could use some help ;) but i loved the fish & chips

                          1. re: winedubar

                            definitely have to try their fish and chips - had a pretty weak version at ranch house grille a couple weeks ago, and could go for the good stuff. thanks for the report.

                            1. re: winedubar

                              Just got a rec. last night for a spot called Roosevelt's, and it sounded like the same general neighborhood. Did my "source" get it wrong? Is there a pub called "Roosevelt's" near-by?

                              I'm off to London next month, so I'll check on the disposition of my favorite F&C location, Murphy's in Shepard's Market. Last time there, it was closed, for what I hope was refurbishment. If not... well, there are two other Murphy's not far from Mayfair. Afterwards, I want to do Rose & Crown, Rossevelt's (if that is correct) and the Codfather in N. Phoenix on Bell, just to make a comparison. 'Cause I like Strongbow, or Woodpecker, cider with my F&C, I'll see what sorts out. Not sure of the beer/ale/cider offerings at any PHX shops, but will explore, for the sake of the board! For me, an avowed wino, the cider works better with the vinegar, than any wines, that I've tried. Next, a Porter is my go-to with F&C. We'll see.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Bill, about a 1/2 mile or so from the location azhotdish mentioned, there is a pub called "The Roosevelt" on 3rd St near McKinley. Perhaps this is what your contact was referring to?

                                It appears to have been mentioned a few times here, but I've yet to visit.


                                1. re: hohokam

                                  Thanks for the info. Had not seen the threads on it, so source's comment was new to me. Sounds like more and more options are opening up in the CBD.


                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Yes, the Roosevelt is under the same ownership as Matt's Big Breakfast. Great little place in a refurbished house. Good selection of wine and beer and great "bar" food. Try the pretzel!

                                  1. re: sunshineinaz

                                    I would go to lowdown cafe on 24th street and osborn. awesome lunch all wraps and salds with the best cookies $8 for everything.

                          2. Hello Everyone -

                            Thanks for all of the wonderful recommendations. We just got back last night, and I thought I would report on the places we hit while we were there.

                            We didn't have as much time as I would have liked to putter around the area because we saw 5 games over the course of 4 days. The baseball was great though, and what food we did eat was pretty good. So here's the rundown:

                            -Sonic - Grease fest all around; limeades hit the spot.
                            -Pizzaria Bianco - Yup, we waited for 2.5 hours to eat here. We had a party of 6, so we got each pizza, save the Rosa and opted for 2 Wiseguys. We also had the Proscuitto wrapped Fontina and the Tomato slices with the mozzarella for appetizers. Fantastic mozarella - salty and smoky. The Margherita was AMAZING - the purity of the flavors really stood out. On the whole, fun times, worth the wait. Not sure if it's the best pizza in the country - I'm sure Pizzaria Mozza by Batali will give it a run for it's money - but it a great atmosphere, tasty and a great value.
                            -Montis - So before I get killed on this one, my dad said he wanted us all to go here, on him, just because he was nostalgic about it because it's where he ate when he used to come to Phx back in the day. It wasn't anything special - their method of cooking steak leaves it too charred on the outside, there's no seasoning, and the meat quality is pretty mediocre, but the prices were cheap and the company rather than the food was more important.
                            -Delux - SO GOOD. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECOMMENDATION! It's EXACTLY the same as FO - same burger, same shopping cart of fries, and same endless tap. I was disgustingly full after a burger and fries, but I HAD to try to the root beer float, which was phenomenal - Thomas Kemper on tap + Haagan Daaz ice cream...Heaven.
                            -The Orange Table - my cousin and his gf took us here for brunch. Let's put a few things out there - service was terrible; the wait was frustratingly long, but the food was pretty darn good. One breakfast platter will serve 2 people! Everyone at our table got some version of corned beef hash and it's salty goodness was worth the wait. I had the regular hash with poached eggs, and I managed to put only half the plate away (I consider myself a big eater :)

                            So thanks everyone! I'll keep the rest in mind when I might drop by again before the year's out!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: umeakai

                              Yeah, very good point on Orange Table. Definitely something folks need to be ready for when they go.

                              Service can be very not good and it always takes forever.

                              You kind of need to have a PB attitude, only go when you have a lot of time and then settle in & relax because it's going to take a while. Been with some folks who weren't warned & it can ruin the entire meal.

                              They even have a disclaimer on the bottom of their menu. Something to the effect of "everything is prepared from scratch so it takes a while - if you don't have time to wait, come back when you do."

                              For me the white flannel is worth the wait though.