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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.

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  1. 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.

    4 Replies
    1. re: crsin

      Place link:

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      Phoenix Ranch Market III
      1602 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

      1. re: crsin

        Is there a food court in all of their locations or just Ranch Market 3?

        1. re: aaronling

          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.

      2. re: crsin

        Thanks for the reply.

        I'm sorry for any confusion about budget and what I'm looking for. I was trying to say, however poorly, that I know of places for dinner and would like some lunch ideas that work.

      3. 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

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        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

        Noodles Ranch
        2765 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 107, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

        The Dhaba
        1874 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Cafe Istanbul & Market
        1310 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Phoenicia Cafe
        616 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

        Nile Cafe (Scottsdale)
        7051 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ

        2 Replies
        1. re: silverbear

          I would definitely second Haji Baba close by you, and add Al-Hana @ Baiz Market to the list. I love the kafta kebab and chicken shawarma. It's about a 10 minute drive on the 202.

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          Baiz Market
          523 N 20th St, Phoenix, AZ

          1. re: silverbear

            Thank you so much for those suggestions. I have two weeks, so I'll check out many of those.

          2. Khai Hoan is a popular Vietnamese place in that area. The extended family owns quite a few Vietnamese restaurants around the Valley.

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            Khai Hoan
            1537 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

            1. Also check out The Cornish Pasty Co. in Tempe. Not ethnic, but mighty tasty and within your budget.

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

              1. For your lunch budget, you can't go wrong with Mucho Gusto. This is if you are ready for some new mexican/southwest kick.

                1. 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/.

                  )

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

                  Restaurant Mexico
                  423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  Med Fresh
                  414 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  De Falco's
                  2334 N Scottsdale Road, scottsdale, az

                  Ma'i Island Grill
                  705 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  Chuck Box
                  202 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bortukan

                    Kabab Palace place link.

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                    Kabab Palace
                    710 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ

                  2. Thanks to all that have made suggestions.

                    It is really helpful to receive so much information. It also seems as if there will be many selections nearby.

                    It'll be a few weeks before I make it out and I plan to make the most of it.