PHX Lunch Ideas
I'll be in the Phoenix metro soon and am interested in trying local offerings. I've perused the board for dinner suggestions and there seems to be some strong consensus for places like NOCA, Binkley's and T Cooks among others.
I'm looking for interesting lunch options in S Scottsdale and Tempe. I'll be near the 101 and Mcdowell also near the airport. Any ideas are appreciated. I would especially like Greek, Middle Eastern, and Indian possibilities if available.
I need to keep lunch around $20 as I can only expense about $70/day.
Thanks for any suggestions.
In the McDowell/101 area, I really like DeFalco's Italian deli for sandwiches. If you're willing to drive a few minutes to the Arizona State University area (where a bunch of the already-recommended places are) I'd add Restaurant Mexico (central Mexican rather than Sonoran style-- try the Clare enchiladas/burro, salpicon tostadas, or Friday special chile relleno), Med Fresh Grill (Turkish, great babaganoush), and Essence Bakery Cafe (good sandwiches and salads, and French macarons to counteract any lingering health benefits of the salads-- caramel is my favorite). If you get a hankering for meat, the Chuck Box has charcoal grilled burgers and hot dogs with plenty of condiments, and Ma'i Island Grill has good short ribs and katsu. Lunch at any of these places is normally around $10 or less.
If you want a less fancy dinner one night, try Kebab Palace; given your liking for Middle Eastern and Indian food, you'd probably really like Afghan food too. Despite the name, it's a nice sit-down place with an extensive menu (I like the ravioli-like aushak, and the sweet pumpkin appetizer). They also have a good lunch buffet, although it's a bit farther from where you'll be. (I forgot to add the place link to this one and can't edit, but their website is http://www.kababpalace.biz/.)
Essence Bakery Cafe
825 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
414 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
2334 N Scottsdale Road, scottsdale, az
Ma'i Island Grill
705 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
202 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Good lunch options in that area:
Noodles Ranch -- Vietnamese pho and stir-fried
Nile Cafe -- Egyptian
Blue Nile and Cafe LaLibela -- Ethiopian
The Dhaba -- Indian; not the usual buffet
Delhi Palace & Indian Delhi Palace -- the usual northern Indian with a lunch buffet
Cafe Istanbul -- not Turkish, but Lebanese
Haji-Baba -- popular Middle Eastern place with rock-bottom prices
Phoenicia -- Middle Eastern, next to the Islamic Cultural Center in Tempe
Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
849 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Blue Nile Cafe
933 E University Dr Ste 112, Tempe, AZ 85281
Delhi Palace Cuisine of India
933 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Indian Delhi Palace
5104 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Haji-Baba Middle Eastern
1513 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
2765 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 107, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
1874 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
Cafe Istanbul & Market
1310 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
616 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
Nile Cafe (Scottsdale)
7051 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ
By your mention of Noca, Binkley's, T. Cooks (none of which, aside from T. Cooks, are open for lunch), $20 budget, and request for ethnic restaurants that--in this area, at least--are traditionally pretty cheap, it's tough to tell if you're looking for cheap hole-in-the-wall ethnic, or a leisurely, upscale lunch. With that said:
Outside of your ethnic specifications, but WAY inside your budget: Food court at Phoenix Ranch Market...grab a horchata, a bunch of street tacos (or any of their myriad options), and youre set. People seem to like Tradiciones at the market, too, but I find it tough to make it out of the food court., so haven't tried it.
They have them in every location, but the 16th and Roosevelt is something of the flagship location in town, as it has the biggest food court, Tradiciones next door, and is also home to their regional office. You can also almost eat your way around that particular one since the pescateria in back sells ready to eat ceviche and fish tacos.