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PHX Lunch Ideas

jameson.ellis Jun 7, 2009 11:10 AM

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.

  1. j
    jameson.ellis Jun 8, 2009 09:11 PM

    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.

    1. bortukan Jun 8, 2009 03:05 PM

      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

      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
        Firenza00 Jun 8, 2009 04:17 PM

        Kabab Palace place link.

        Kabab Palace
        710 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ

      2. d
        danieli10 Jun 8, 2009 09:56 AM

        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. h
          hollyeve Jun 8, 2009 09:28 AM

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

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

          1. Firenza00 Jun 7, 2009 10:54 PM

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

            Khai Hoan
            1537 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281

            1. silverbear Jun 7, 2009 09:19 PM

              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

              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
                azhotdish Jun 7, 2009 10:31 PM

                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.

                Baiz Market
                523 N 20th St, Phoenix, AZ

                1. re: silverbear
                  jameson.ellis Jun 8, 2009 04:54 AM

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

                2. c
                  crsin Jun 7, 2009 12:25 PM

                  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
                    crsin Jun 7, 2009 12:28 PM

                    Place link:

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

                    1. re: crsin
                      aaronling Jun 8, 2009 07:59 AM

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

                      1. re: aaronling
                        JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jun 9, 2009 12:17 AM

                        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
                      jameson.ellis Jun 8, 2009 04:53 AM

                      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.

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