Phoenix is a large and ever-growing city with so much to offer. But if you just moved to Phoenix, it can feel overwhelming. It’s hard to discover the restaurant scene when you are worried about navigating the numerous freeways. Forget ride sharing. Ride the light rail!
Part two of Exploring Phoenix will get into the good stuff – by that, we mean food! Read on to uncover our favorite restaurants and shopping destinations along the Phoenix light rail.
Dining and Shopping Along the Phoenix Light Rail
Enter through the Famous Kitchen Backdoor and step into another time. Durant’s Steakhouse has been around for over 70 years, providing the finest steaks to the likes of professional athletes, legendary mobsters, cowboys, and politicians – Durant’s is a landmark for a reason. Whether you visit for the full dining experience or just stop in for one of their heavenly desserts, it will be a memorable dining experience.
Bitter & Twisted
Ironically, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is housed inside the former Arizona Prohibition Headquarters downtown. With numerous awards and recognition for its above-par cocktail program, this venue offers unique and delicious bites paired with world-class cocktails. Just perusing through their cocktail menu is a visual treat! This is a 21 and over establishment.
Cityscape is located in the heart of downtown, spanning two city blocks and boasting a mix of retail, restaurants, nightlife, and lodging. This $500 million project has been a part of the gentrification of the urban downtown area, which has had a positive ripple effect on surrounding businesses. Whether you’re looking for live entertainment, a few rounds of pool or bowling, or just some of the best restaurants along the Phoenix light rail, you can find it at Cityscape.
Changing Hands Bookstore
New books, used books, events, workshops, unique gifts, and a stellar beer, wine, and coffee bar make Changing Hands Phoenix such a great find. The whole family can stop by and find something to enjoy here.
Cornish Pasty Co.
This literal hole in the wall is so unassuming, and you just may walk past it! The pastie is a food that originates in Cornwall of Southwest England as early as the early mining days of the 1200s. The basic concept is that this was a meal prepared by the women as an easy-to-hold, filling pastry for the miners at work. One side of the pastie might be filled with meat and vegetables, while the other side was filled with something more sweet. Today, the Cornish Pasty Co. serves up countless varieties of pasties.
Certainly one of the classier restaurants along Mill Ave., Cafe Boa offers homemade pasta, hand-tossed pizzas, organic ingredients, and a beautiful wine list. With an emphasis on supporting biodynamics and the local community, bread is sourced from local bakeries and produce from local organic farmers; only wild-caught seafood and free range, antibiotic-free meat products. Cafe Boa truly is a dining destination.
Pedal Haus Brewery
As a winner of countless awards, but most notably, Best Brewery in America (2019), Pedal Haus Brewery has a few locations across the valley. The industrial chic vibe on the inside and relaxed dog-friendly patio offer a great environment to get down on some creative American cuisine like rustic pizzas, ‘cauliwings,’ and a number of pub sandwiches. With vegan and gluten-friendly options, this brewery is worth a visit for anyone.
Dine in, shop the supermarket, or take some food with you at the Mekong Plaza. The plaza is a place to sample cuisine from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines. This is your all-in-one stop if you want to experience Asian food and groceries.
Novel Ice Cream
How does artisan ice cream stuffed between two warm waffles sound to you? We just described The Leslie Knope featured at Novel Ice Cream. If your mouth is watering, you may want to just ‘treat yo’ self’ and add Novel to your list of stops along the Phoenix light rail.
This small gem right on Main Street Mesa offers a dimly light environment to enjoy tasteful seafood dishes and a cocktail menu with a lot of personality. If you’re interested in (or passionate about) Mezcal, the staff here can gladly take you on a journey of exploration.
Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea & Gallery
Locals and visitors alike agree that Jarrod’s is a favorite spot. Grab a coffee, tea, smoothie, or Italian soda, have a conversation with your friendly barista, then shop around the gallery while you sip your hand-crafted beverage. Jarrod’s Coffee, Tea, and Gallery brings coffee and art culture together; you may even find a fun event to check out!
Nash Vintage Collective
If you’re looking for a fun, eclectic spot to shop curated vintage clothing, this is it! Nash Vintage Collective offers vintage and modern attire, home decor, handmade items, and a beautiful collection of rocks and crystals. For the lovers of the old and the new, this place is for you.
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