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Mar 8, 2011 01:40 PM

in search of amazing espresso and vegetarian food

Heading down to Phoenix in a few days and am starting to panic as my internet research is coming up short on coffee and vegetarian-friendly recommendations! We're a party of 3 - two vegetarian adults and one vegetarian five year old who are extreme foodies - the food part of a vacation is just as important as activities and local history. We're also all hopeless tex-mex/mex food fiends. Authentic or bust.

We'll be hanging out around Sun City / Peoria / Glendale (yup, baseball) and have a rental car, but aren't really trying to drive an hour for a cup of joe. So that rules out Village Roastery and puts Press Coffee on the bubble.

We'd like to try one or two really good "native" cuisine restaurants - it appears to be sonoran/tex-mex type food?

So far we've got Tuck Shop, St. Francis, Citizen Public House, Gallo Blanco, Eliana's, and Maizie's on the list (yays? nays?) and will check out Cartel Coffee Lab when we're downtown. I'd love a slew of recommendations to try out!

Thanks so much :)

Eliana's Restaurant
1627 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008

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

Citizen Public House
7111 E. 5th Avenue, Suite E, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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  1. It's not super close to where you're going to be but Cafe Lalibela in Tempe is probably something that you may enjoy... It's Ethiopian cuisine which you just don't find everyday... Its quite delicious too... There are several vegetarian options on their menu... Good luck in your search.

    Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
    849 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

    1 Reply
    1. This isn't as close as you might like but it is not as far as Tempe -- North Scottsdale has a very nice vegetarian restaurant called Fresh Mint that is vegetarian (most dishes are vegan) with an Asian bent. It's not far off the 101 so that might be convenient.

      I personally am not a fan of Sonoran Mexican cuisine, which predominates in these parts. My current personal fave for Latin American cuisine is The Mission in downtown Scottsdale.

      Fresh Mint
      13802 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

      The Mission
      3815 North Brown Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      1. Oh, you have to go to Ground Control for coffee.

        I personally find Tex-Mex to be a little gross and I feel a little faint and panicky that you or other people around our country might have the impression that Tex Mex is Arizona's "native" food. Like New Mexico, in Arizona you are more likely to find chile on your Mexican food than chili, which is as it should be. Straight Mexican food is really great here -- Gallo Blanco and Barrio Cafe and Los Sombreros won't let you down. You will find much more than Sonoran food here -- there's Michoacan, Oaxacan, Chihuahuan, Sinaloan -- lots of seafood. Very fresh and tasty.

        I am also surprised you're having trouble finding vegetarian recommendations. Any of the Pita Jungle locations are great, lots of Italian places use seasonal and locavore ingredients here -- and since we are more agricultural than ranching here, any locavore spot is veggie-heavy.

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

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

        Ground Control
        14140 W Indian School Rd Ste B1, Goodyear, AZ 85395

        Pita Jungle
        7530 W Bell Rd Ste 106, Glendale, AZ 85308

        1. All of the places you have listed are good, but they're also quite far (20 miles or more) from the northwest portion of the metropolitan area, which is where you'll be spending your time. Themis has a good suggestion with Pita Jungle. There's a location of that local vegetarian-friendly chain at Arrowhead in north Glendale.

          1. Thanks for the recommendations...just arrived today and am realizing what a crazy suburban stripmall sun city is! Guess we'll be making the trek into the city for good food and coffee! A lady has standards!! Pita Jungle hit the spot for dinner tonight :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: HeatherHeatherHeather

              If you end up in Old Town Scottsdale (You listed Citizen's Public House in your original list), you may want to consider making a reservation at FnB. The chef there has a wonderful touch with vegetables and their menu is very focused on what's in-season. A recent Yelp review even complained that only 4 items on their current menu contained meat.

              7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251