Where should I eat and what should I see in Phoenix?
September 2, 2013 6:06 AM   Subscribe

I am going to Phoenix, AZ for a business trip and staying at the Doubletree Suites. What are some great places to eat and what sights should I not miss?
posted by sgo to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The Desert Botanical Garden is pretty nifty.

Depending on how much time you have, the Grand Canyon is a very reasonable day trip.
posted by jeffjon at 6:42 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I stayed there when I was in Phoenix. You are shockingly close to Phoenix Chinatown and Szechwan Palace, which is great.

Taliesin West is totally stunning, go there!
posted by spaceheater at 6:42 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

For campy fun visit Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.
posted by tinker at 7:33 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're traveling to Phoenix in September, keep in mind that it will still be quite hot, so strolling around outside in the middle of the day may not be a good idea. In October the Desert Botanical Garden, as recommended by jeffjon, will begin their music in the garden events on Friday evenings. Close to the DBG is Hole in the Rock, which offers stunning sunset views. For more strenuous hiking and even better views, try Piestewa Peak (but not in the middle of the day - and make sure you have water with you).

For food - I recently discovered Switch on Central Ave in uptown Phx - it's a bit trendy and hipsterish, but the food was fantastic! Or if you're craving Italian food Guiseppe's on 28th Street is surprisingly good. If the weather is mild, you could try The Farm at South Mountain for breakfast (although they may not even be open for a few more weeks - I think they close for the summer months).

While Organ Stop Pizza may be campy fun, the pizza is awful and most of their customers are either over the age of 75 or under the age of 10. Unless you're a lover of oldies played on a Wurlitzer organ, don't subject yourself to this. (sorry tinker!)
posted by kbar1 at 10:35 AM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ponchos on South Central. I've been eating here since 1972. Family atmosphere, great prices and yummy food.

Monti's la Casa Vieja is a fun place for a steak.

Casa Grande Ruins are very cool.

Heard Museum.

Tovrea Castle.

Mary Coyle Ice Cream.

Have fun!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:12 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Music Instruments Museum is really interesting.

Barrio Cafe does unique Mexican food. I moved away from Phoenix a few years ago and this is the place I miss the most.
posted by creepygirl at 1:30 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Agreed on the Desert Botanical Gardens--if the weather complies, it's amazing. Same for Taliesin West. Unfortunately, this is the very worst time of year to visit, weather-wise, so outdoor activities may not be much fun if you're not acclimated. Even those of us who live here are gasping right now.

Here are some more suggestions: the Phoenix Art Museum is actually quite good, as is the Heard Museum. While you're downtown, it's worth stopping by the Burton Barr Library--go upstairs to the atrium for some great views. If you want to check out some live music, Crescent Ballroom is the place to go (they have really good, casual food, too). If you have a car, and are into the oddball, head up South Mountain to the Mystery Castle, a testament to human weirdness.

In terms of food (my favorite subject!), I'm not a huge fan of Switch, myself--I much prefer Fez, owned by the same people. Best fries in Phoenix--ask them to serve you the sweet potato fries with harissa. I'd also recommend Pizzeria Bianco (especially now that there are no longer 5-hour waits), Rice Paper, and any of the Upward Projects restaurants: Windsor/Churn, Postino's, and Federal Pizza. If you're in the mood for a delicious burger, it's worth heading to DeLux; if fancy Japanese is more your speed, Nobuo at Teeter House is amazing. For Mexican, I'd recommend the modest La Condesa or the hipper Gallo Blanco. Stop by Hanny's--an old department store converted into a bar/restaurant--for some great cocktails. Make sure to go upstairs to the dressing-rooms-cum-restrooms, the old elevator shaft, and if you're not too easily creeped out, the basement.

(Everything mentioned here except Mystery Castle, Rice Paper, La Condesa and DeLux is easily reachable via the light rail.)
posted by Superplin at 6:20 PM on September 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Vincent's Cafe is wonderful. Inexpensive, friendly, and yummy. The restaurant is very good as well, but I'm recommending the bistro.

Also thirding (fourthing?) both the Desert Botanical Gardens and Taleisin West.
posted by Gusaroo at 8:48 PM on September 2, 2013

If you haven't eaten at an In 'N Out before, there are several in the Phoenix area. It's not unique to Phoenix, but if you aren't from an In 'N Out area, it's an experience. I lived in Tucson for several years and it's somewhere I make sure to go any time I'm back.

If you have a bit more time/mobility and an interest in antique aircraft, Pima Air Museum is really cool, especially the Boneyard tour.
posted by bookdragoness at 7:21 AM on September 3, 2013

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