Mill Ave Options?
Any recommendations for dining on or near Mill Ave? Our hotel is closer to Mill Ave. than to Old Town Scottsdale, so imagine we'll have an evening or two in the area. Casual dining preferred as we are traveling with a young child. Ethnic is fine too, he's not strictly a mac-n-cheese child. Wouldn't mind take away suggestions either.
As mentioned, Chuckbox is a great place for a casual burger (*very* casual).
I think La Bocca is very good; really good salads, pizza, bruschetta etc. with a decent wine list and a nice atmosphere.
Restaurant Mexico is a unique spot that has been around forever; not your typical Mexican fare, and it seems a good family option.
While it's not necessarily a kid-spot, I have to mention Canteen Modern Tequila Bar. While I think it's a bit pricey for what you get, their happy hour is phenomenal, with 50% many of their food options (which takes them from "too expensive" to "great deal"). Their tacos (street style) are really, really good and they make a good margarita (also 50% off during happy hour). It's a modern, dark, sleek spot, and would be fine with a child during happy hour I think.
Oh, another very casual spot worth mentioning is Bison Witches...decent thick-bread sandwiches and soups in a bread bowl. And a good beer selection.
One place that I try to stop into when I'm on that side of town is Rula Bula. It's an Irish restaurant that is a little more innovative than the run of the mill shepards pie fare. This time of year is excellent for taking advantage of their great patio.
Cafe Lalibela on University Ave is just about a mile west of Mill. It's a great little Ethiopian place where foods are intended to be picked up with your hands, so if your little one is okay with the flavors, they might really like the chance to really dig into their food.
The Chuck Box on University just two blocks east of Mill and is an old school hamburger joint. Really friendly people and tasty burgers cooked over an open flame. They have a condiment bar so you can build your burger however you like. Last time I was there, it was cash only and I nave no reason to believe that has changed since.
Lalibela Cafe Ethiopian
849 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
401 S Mill Ave Ste 101, Tempe, AZ 85281
202 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Rula Bula does turn into a bar later at night. I doubt you'll be staying out with a young child but wanted to mention that just in case.
Overall Mill Ave and the surrounding Tempe area are more known for their ethnic eats and that's what I would lean towards if I were you.
La Bocca is definitely good food and when it first opened I used to go there when I was in the area but it is nothing I would go out of my way for.
401 S Mill Ave Ste 101, Tempe, AZ 85281
La Bocca Pizzeria
699 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
A couple of my long-time sentimental favorites in that area are Restaurant Mexico (actually on Mill) and El Pollo Supremo (about 2 blocks west of Mill). Both are very casual and extremely inexpensive.
On Restaurant Mexico's menu you will see a lot of familiar offerings (e.g.,enchiladas, sopes, tacos). What sets them apart from a lot of places in town is their focus on D.F./central Mexico-style preparations. So, instead of everything being smothered in molten orange cheese, their food comes dressed with a tomatillo-based salsa (red sauce available upon request) and stuffed and/or topped with crumbled queso Cotija.
El Pollo Supremo is a bit of a hole in the wall with a limited menu, but I've always thought that their chicken was outstanding.
For a family with young kid, I'd guess that Restaurant Mexico would be the better of these two options.
And while you're in that area, you might want want to head over to Paletas Betty for dessert, though, I must say that I am partial to Restaurant Mexico's flan. :-)
423 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
El Pollo Supremo
221 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
Paletas Betty (Tempe Mill Avenue)
425 S Mill Ave #109, Tempe, AZ 85281