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area of Phoenix with lots of restaurant choices?

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We'll be in Phoenix for 2 weeks early Jan. 2011. Would like to mostly walk to restaurants (short public transport is OK). Is there an area of the city where most of the restaurants are congregated? We're not beef eaters - prefer fish, seafood & chicken. Looking for quality contemporary dining suggestions. Thanks!! Deborah, Ottawa

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  1. I would stay in "Old Town" Scottsdale, given your preferences. Scottsdale is not known for cheap eats. And, even though this might be the most densely packed area of good chow, you might run out of new places to try over 2 weeks.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=33.494...

    Plan B would be to stay somewhere along the light rail, which would yield a little more diversity, but, you would have to be willing to ride and walk a bit more. It would take a little more research, given the larger coverage area. In this case, you could stay in Tempe, near the airport, DT Phoenix, or Midtown Phoenix. There is an excellent blog written by one of the contributors, here.
    http://www.phxrailfood.com/
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

    I think the 2011 College Football Bowl season might have an impact on your stay, but, I'm not sure of the details. I think it's going to be a bit busier, this year, but, the impact will probably be felt more in Glendale.

    1 Reply
    1. re: johnseberg

      Thanks so much John. Your recommendations (and great links!) makes choosing where to stay not nearly so confusing!

    2. There is no single dominant area, but there are some clusters:

      Central Corridor of Phoenix -- Downtown, Midtown, & Uptown -- some walkability, especially Downtown, but should be considered more an archipelago of restaurants linked by light rail. Traditionally strongest for artsy places, wine bars, and coffee houses, but gaining foodie cred thanks to places like Nobuo at Teeter House, Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, District, Gallo Blanco, Sens, and St. Francis

      Old Town Scottsdale -- Home to a lot of foodie favorites like Petite Maison, FnB, Metro Brasserie, the Mission, Cowboy Ciao, and Marcellino. Somewhat walkable and a free faux trolley provides shuttle service around the area.

      Tempe -- the area around the ASU campus is walkable, near light rail, and home to a lot of low-cost "ethnic" restaurants along with a few somewhat more upscale places like Caffe Boa and House of Tricks

      Downtown Chandler -- Emerging dining cluster in the southeastern part of the metro area. I'm least familiar with this area, but some good things coming out of places like Santan Brewing and Latitude 8.

      -----
      Cowboy Ciao
      7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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

      Pizzeria Bianco
      623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

      Caffe Boa
      5063 E Elliot Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85044

      Pane Bianco
      4404 N Central Ave Ste A, Phoenix, AZ 85012

      ASU
      Tempe, AZ, Tempe, AZ

      Metro Brasserie
      7114 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      Petite Maison
      7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      FnB
      7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      Marcellino
      7114 E Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      1 Reply
      1. re: exit2lef

        This is the fun part of travel. Looking forward to researching your recommendations. Thanks!

      2. Besides Old Town Scottsdale, the Camelback corridor is very good, though not as densely packed. From just before 24th St. through 40th St., you have some great restaurants. While there are some of the "adult McDonalds" - Morton's etc., you have quite a few choices in the Biltmore Center (Camelback & 24th), and then Tarbell's and NOCA at Camelback & 32nd St, with Vincent's on Camelback at 40th. Those are all short drives, or lovely walks when the weather is good, if one enjoys a good walk (to Vincent's). The distances are a bit longer, than Old Town Scottsdale, but some of the restaurants are well worth the trek.

        Enjoy,

        Hunt

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        32nd Cafe
        2822 N 32nd St Ste 1, Phoenix, AZ 85008

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          "Adult McDonald's"... how have I never heard this term to describe the high-end steak chains before? It's just plain perfect.