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Coming to Phoenix and need to know a fun, good place to eat alone at a bar!

  • w

LOVE SW food and fusion, really good "local fare" and will be staying at The Clarendon Hotel downtown Phoenix. WIll be eating alone most nights and like to sit at a bar when I do that - any recommendations? Really don't care too much about price, but do NOT want "pissy/uptight" place and would prefer a good place to people watch, gay patrons, etc.

Thanks!

Warren

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  1. Since you mentioned it, I'll give you the two favorite places of my favorite gay friend.

    1. My Florist Cafe. I thought the food was pretty good, but apparently the highlight at night is the piano player. I wish I had more details for you, but this is the place that sprang to mind because it has entertainment that would make being alone more fun.

    2. Fez. I've never been here, but he goes weekly for margaritas with his friends and just adores the place.

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    My Florist Cafe
    534 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85003

    Fez
    3815 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

    1. At least one meal should be consumed at the Clarendon's on-site restaurant, Gallo Blanco, which features Interior Mexican food. There's a small counter where you can sit and watch what's going on in the kitchen.

      If your visit includes a Thursday night, you might want to go to Noca, sit at the small bar, and enjoy the special bar bites menu sometimes offered on Thursdays.

      Cheuvront is a good wine bar and restaurant with nice counter seating. It's about two miles south of the Clarendon.

      Tarbell's has been a reliable player in the Phoenix dining scene for the past 15 years and has a very nice bar where the full menu is served.

      Over in Scottsdale, the suburb immediately east of Phoenix, Digestif is set up with a counter wrapped around the kitchen. It's a good place to watch the market-to-table food being prepared. Of all the restaurants listed in my reply, it's the one farthest from your hotel, but might be worth a trip.

      If you like sushi, both Hana and Moira are within a few miles of your hotel. Both are enjoyable places to sit at the counter, watch the kitchen talent, and enjoy a mix of traditional Japanese and more fusion-oriented dishes.

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      Hana Japanese Eatery
      5524 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

      Tarbell's
      3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

      Cheuvront Wine & Cheese Bar
      1326 N. Central, Phoenix, AZ 85004

      Digestif
      7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85351

      Noca
      3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

      Moira Sushi
      215 E McKinley St #102, Phoenix, AZ

      Gallo Blanco Cafe
      401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

      5 Replies
      1. re: silverbear

        are we loving moira? really? eh. i was totally kinda underwhelmed by it all. though i totally agree on all the rest.

        1. re: hzp

          Yes, I like Moira. Do I think it's so special to be worth a drive from Buckeye or Queen Creek? Probably not, but that's not really the point of the restaurant. It fills a huge void Downtown and does it well enough for my needs.

          1. re: silverbear

            hana is so close, i'd just rather zip there.

            1. re: hzp

              For me, it depends. Hana is closer to home, unpretentious, and better for a family dinner with the kid. Moira is good when my wife and I have a date night and want to combine sushi with a Downtown event. I need to try Yasu, but your recent report has convinced me that's definitely not a place to take a child.

              1. re: silverbear

                well, i was SO bummed abt our experience, but it had little to do with the kids. its probably not a kid friendly place, period. its dark and quiet, etc. but for a date night yasu would be great.

      2. The walk from the Clarendon to the light rail is not too bad so that opens up all kinds of possibilities. Firstt on my list would be Kincaid's which is near the U.S. Airways Center and is probably about a 10 minute ride. Nearby are many other possibilities including Marjerle's and, if the Diamondbacks are at home, TGIFriday's. Friday's is open every day but sitting there watching a ball game live is pretty cool. It's located in left field. The trip to Tempe by light rail is probably close to 25-30 minutes but there are all kinds of places there.

        It's not a bar but more of a lounge but the rooftop pool at the Clarendon is kind of neat. Nice views in the evening.

          1. For Southwestern/non-Sonoran Mexican food: I know Barrio Cafe and Los Sombreros both have bars, does anyone know if they're good bars to eat at, or are they more for drinks? The food at both places is great, and they're nice without being fussy.

            PF Chang's is a national chain. A lot of people like it, but it's not a place for local flavor.

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            Barrio Cafe
            2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: bortukan

              I would say you can eat comfortably at the bar at Los Sombreros, and the bartender is friendly. But, it's a very small bar, and the people watching aspect is not really there. I haven't really checked out the bar at Barrio, but, it might be a little better - perhaps a more diverse crowd.

              1. re: johnseberg

                The bar at Barrio is downright claustrophobic--very short bar (maybe 5 seats) in a space that doubles as the restaurant's waiting area. At the height of dinner service, that space has all the ambience of a rush hour subway car. Despite the nose-to-armpit crush, people watching opportunities are pretty limited because the cow pen is behind you as you face the bar.

            2. Cibo Pizzeria is downtown. The food is fantastic, and I've eaten at the bar a couple of times by myself after work. The restaurant is in an old house, which I like a lot, and I feel creates a unique dining experience. Though if you're looking for an actual bar to go along with your meal, it's just beer and wine. Switch has some pretty decent food, and caters to the gay crowd, though is a little farther away, and I'm not sure if you have a car.

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              Switch
              2603 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

              Cibo
              603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103

              1. Not sure why I didn't think of this previously but Roosevelt Tavern would be a good bet, wouldn't it? Maybe two light rail stops. It's owned by Matt of Matt's Big Breakfast which doesn't have a bar and doesn't serve dinner but is a must for at least one breakfast. Near Roosevelt Tavern at 1st and Roosevelt.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Poerz

                  Assuming the OP boarded at Indian School and took the train to Roosevelt, it would be a ride of five stops.

                2. It doesn't *exactly* fit your criteria, but, you're within walking distance of the Fry Bread House. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/393837

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                  Fry Bread House
                  4140 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013