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Jan 18, 2009 03:06 PM

What does Tempe have to offer?

Hi! I am traveling with a group colleagues to Tempe for a week and am looking for some recommendations. We typically go out to eat on a regular basis and have a few foodies in the group.

We are pretty open to most types of food. In terms of price, we are interested in entrees priced between $15 and $25. Our preference is more for good food and atmosphere. Thank you in advance!

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  1. Tempe is a suburb of Phoenix. If you limit your eating strictly to Tempe, you'll have lots of good choices, but generally at price point lower than what you envision. For the most part, Tempe is about college-oriented places and strip mall ethnic. In that vein, there are dozens of good Indian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, etc. places. It sounds, however, like you're looking for something a bit more upscale. If that's the case, there are two options I can think of within Tempe borders.

    The first is Caffe Boa, which combines Italian and eastern European influences with an emphasis on pasta.

    The second is House of Tricks, which combines French, Southwestern, and Mediterranean influences with a beautiful setting in an historic home and its surrounding patio.

    Beyond those choices, there are dozens more options at lower price points within Tempe or in the same price range in adjacent areas of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Please post again if you have specific interests along those lines.

    House of Tricks
    114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

    Caffe Boa
    398 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281

    1 Reply
    1. re: silverbear

      Thanks Silverbear. I would definitely be open to recommendations that are at lower price points as well. Being on a travel budget, I have to be careful not to go over so I try to set a mid-price range to be safe.

    2. This is well below your price but Cheba Hut (sandwiches) and Pasties (like a baked sandwich). Cheba does not have alcohol but Pasties does.

      House of Tricks IS truly excellent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JerryMe

        I'm assuming you're talking about Cornish Pasty Co.?
        BTW, the Mesa location is very near the Tempe border.

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

      2. House of Tricks..Robin and Bob are lovely and take good care of their guests..excellent food and wine.
        Chuckbox for a great cheeseburger..charbroiled beauty.
        Four Peaks Brewery has decent food and beer.
        Carolines by the airport which is a dive but some of the best Mex.
        Durant's Downtown Phoenix if you venture out of Tempe..old school classic

        Love Casey Moore's in of my all time favs..I mostly drink there but have had some great food.

        1. Ted's Hot Dogs at Broadway / McClintock made Gourmet's top 10 hot dog some years back, and I love that place. Charcoal grilled hot dogs, white hots, polish from Buffalo NY. Excellent onion rings and milkshakes. Nothing fancy, but sometimes you just want a good hot dog. They also have burgers and a chicken sandwich. Bring cash.

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: azhotdish

            News flash: Ted's now takes credit cards! I've seen it with my own eyes.

            And yes, Ted's is great as hot dogs go; just be ready with your order well before you get to the front of the line.

            I also agree with Beach Chick's recommendations of Chuckbox (do bring cash for their excellent burgers) and Four Peaks Brewery.

            All these places are very casual, Chuckbox the most so (they don't even have chairs--only plywood boxes to sit upon).

          2. Does the location within Tempe matter to you?

            I imagine you're already checking the board if you want high-end dinners on a few nights; these places are near Tempe but not in it. Here are a couple more of my favorite casual places:

            Classic Italian Pizza: great food (order the bread with tomato sauce appetizer, it's much more interesting than it sounds) in a small, quiet restaurant. Make sure you get detailed directions, it's well hidden in a strip mall.

            Restaurant Mexico: near ASU. Most Mexican restaurants around here are Sonoran style, this place is a little different. I love the Clare burro and the Friday special chiles rellenos.

            Los Sombreros: more upscale Mexican, but within your price range. The better items are meats, in my opinion. N Tempe very near the Scottsdale border.

            Essence Bakery Cafe: Near ASU. Mostly organic, healthyish sandwiches and salads, offset by some decidedly unhealthy (but worth it) desserts. I love their two grilled cheese sandwiches and LOVE their macarons. Breakfast and lunch only, and possibly closed Sundays?

            I also like House of Tricks, Chuckbox, Med Fresh Grill, and Lalibela Ethiopian, all near ASU.

            Classic Italian Pizza
            1054 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

            Essence Bakery Cafe
            825 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

            Restaurant Mexico
            423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

            Taj Mahal
            1849 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

            3 Replies
            1. re: bortukan

              Good list. The place link for Los Sombreros, however, looks wonky to me. Did they move from their location up near Oak (see place link below) down to Tempe?

              Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
              2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

              1. re: hohokam

                I don't think they've moved-- yours looks like the right one. (Why are there multiple link options, some wrong?) I guess they're over the border into Scottsdale after all!

                1. re: bortukan

                  Phew! Now at least I know I wasn't hallucinating the last time I drove down that stretch of Scottsdale Rd. ;-)