I frequently meet a friend who lives in Central Phoeix, and because I live some 90 blocks away in another part of the Phoenix area, I'm looking for luncheon places somewhere between both of us. I see this as somewhere in the area between 24th Street and 44th Street in Phoenix. and between Northern and McDowell. Any suggestions?
Just to clarify... is this a M-F lunch? Or weekends as well? And is it a day when you need to chow and head back to work or have time to linger? I ask because a good friend and I are in similar situations... but it's a whole different agenda if we're meeting for a meal during the week versus on the weekend (given that we're both M-F, 9-5 workers).
A few places come to mind that haven't been mentioned:
-True Food Kitchen - Biltmore Fashion Park
-Taylor's Cafe - 44th St / Camelback
-La Grande Orange - 40th St / Campbell
La Grande Orange Grocery
4410 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
5053 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E Camelback Rd # 216, Phoenix, AZ
The recommendations I'll give you depend on whether you're talking about luncheon or plain ol' lunch. For me, luncheon is a subcategory of lunch. Luncheon is the genteel version of lunch; a menu of mostly classic sandwiches and mayo-bound meat salads, and a relaxed atmosphere that would be the antithesis of the three-martini business lunch. For a good luncheon, not much comes to mind in that area except for Au Petit Four, a delightful little French cafe tucked away in the Esplanade buildings on 24th Street and Camelback. Sit out on the patio, sip cafe au lait, and watch as the harried businessmen rush to and fro. Give them a little smirk and wave if you're feeling mischievous.
If you expand the search area, Arcadia Farms over in Scottsdale would be most worthwhile. Note that it is a place where "lunch" is a verb, i.e. Ladies Who Lunch are all over the place. Their museum satellite locations (Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, Arizona Science Center) don't have the same atmosphere, which will be either a plus or minus depending on who you ask.
Both of the old-fashioned ice cream parlors in town, Mary Coyle and the Sugar Bowl, would make for excellent luncheons, even if they are three or four miles outside of where you were hoping. My nod goes to Mary Coyle, mostly because I like their ice cream more. And really, if you aren't in the mood for ice cream, going to either of those two would be just plain silly.
Mary Coyle Ice Cream & Yogurt
5521 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor
4005 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Au Petit Four Ltd
2501 E Camelback Rd # 18, Phoenix, AZ
Arcadia Farms Restaurant
7014 East First Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
Since I've recommended APF many times, I feel I must note that my last two lunches there have been less than stellar. Now, my beloved chocolate croissant does not seem to be suffering, but quite frankly the bread has not seemed quite up to standards. My last panini sandwich was not only light on the ingredients, the bread was not reminiscent at all of the bread I've had there in the past. My last baguette was similarly not that great, with a different crust and crumb than usual.
Hopefully it's just been me, but I felt it necessary to note.
I have found that Delux at 32nd Street and Camelback is a good luncheon place. It has gourmet hamburgers and salads. It can be very busy, but they have inside, outside and communal seating.
I am a big fan of Miracle Mile Deli at 20th Street and Camelback (behind the Best Buy). Lots of deli sandwich choices as well as blue plate specials.
3146 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Miracle Mile Delicatessen
1949 E Camelback Rd Ste 160, Phoenix, AZ 85016