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Nov 27, 2011 07:38 PM

Visiting Tempe on business: Looking for tapas, wine bars or any other suggestions

Last visit, I chowed at Haji Baba, Cafe Lalibela and Thai Elephant; BTW are fantastic place to go. I didn't have much time to venture out. This trip I am thinking tapas and wine&cheese bars. I heard of two names Cork and D'vine.

Any input on wine bars is much appreciated (not restricted to just these 2 establishments).

Any tapas plate places? Urban eats, Izukaya, tapas bar etc

Any other recommendations/ suggestions? I'm open to any ethnic cuisine

While I love mexican, I'm keeping off limits seems cliche

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  1. I can't think of many true tapas bars in Tempe, but La Bocca at Mill & 7th Street might come close. It serves individual pizzas, but has several lighter items on the appetizer menu, as well as a good selection of wine by the glass.

    As for the two places you mention, I've heard good things about Cork, but it's in the far southern reaches of Chandler, 20 miles from Tempe. D'vine is equally far. You might therefore find that tapas places and wine bars in Central Phoenix (Nobuo, Sens, Cheuvront, & Postino) are actually closer. Likewise for places in Old Town Scottsdale, although I'm really out of touch about dining in that part of town. Others can probably recommend some places there.

    1. For Tapas in Scottsdale, you can check out Tapas Papa Fritas, as well as Iruna. Wine in the same area- 5th and Wine is good, and I would say Kazmierz is a must for wine.

      Closer in Tempe, probably the closest thing you'll get to a wine bar is Caffe Boa- they also have lots of appetizer-type things you could call tapas.

      Caffe Boa
      398 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281

      5th and Wine
      7051 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      Tapas Papa Frita
      7114 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      1 Reply
      1. re: cactuschowdah

        I would have to advise to avoid tapas papa fritas, i went there the other night and everything was pretty much horrible after ordering there left and went somewhere else it was that bad

        overcooked shrimp, too much sauce and questionable freshness on the mussels and bony oxtail that tasted more like a beef stew from a can than oxtail

        i agree with cactuschowdah that cafe boa is good
        cork is also very good as well

        if price was no object i would pick cork over cafe boa but cork is more $$

        if you want an ethnic place that is good although not tapas but close to you in tempe

        Khai Hoan in tempe makes very good Pho (Vietnamese)
        I also like their banh xeo - which is a cripsy crepe / pancake slightly sweet with pork and shrimp it - if you want it meatier ask for double shrimp - be aware it is HUGE - but you get the sweet and savory

      2. >> "Izukaya"

        Nobuo at Teeter House is good for this. Chef won a James Beard award a few years back. Here's an over-the-top review (it's definitely NOT a 5* place IMO) by the local food critic, now out-of-date since they aren't offering omakase due to supply problems after the Japan earthquake, but it gives an idea of the dishes:

        ... but the izakaya service is still very good. Special fixed menu meals on Friday and Saturday, which I prefer.

        Cork, which you mentioned, is also a good choice for a wine bar with good food.

        Nobuo at Teeter House
        622 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

        1. Just saw this write-up of "Top 10 wine bars in Greater Phoenix" on the local newspaper's web site and remembered this thread. This should provide you some additional ideas ... Caffe Boa is on this list plus recommended by cactuschowdah, a good sign.