the Stylish Saguaro Guidebook

Kelli

the Stylish Saguaro Guidebook

Food scene
Restaurant recommendations
MEXICAN FOOD This place has great food! Try the baked potato with meat toppings and the authentic salsa bar! Tuesdays all tacos are $1.95
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Backyard Taco - Mesa North
1524 E University Dr
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MEXICAN FOOD This place has great food! Try the baked potato with meat toppings and the authentic salsa bar! Tuesdays all tacos are $1.95
MEXICAN FOOD-TAMALES Literally best tamales ever! BUT make sure to go early in the day (by lunchtime) for best selection. On a Saturday I once waited until near lunch to get my green corn chicken tamales and they were sold out for the day! This place is quite "authentic" & closes at 6pm.
Old El Paso Tamales
730 E Brown Rd
MEXICAN FOOD-TAMALES Literally best tamales ever! BUT make sure to go early in the day (by lunchtime) for best selection. On a Saturday I once waited until near lunch to get my green corn chicken tamales and they were sold out for the day! This place is quite "authentic" & closes at 6pm.
MEXICAN FOOD I've been eating at the original Carolina's for gosh 35+ years. Truly the best tortillas in the world and often the local Phoenix & Mesa winner year after year! If trying something new I recommend the 3-way burrito. It's red chile, green chile, and refried beans. My fave here! The Mesa location is new and the downtown Phoenix location is original. I recommend sticking with the Mesa location.
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Carolina's Mexican Food - Mesa
1450 S Country Club Dr
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MEXICAN FOOD I've been eating at the original Carolina's for gosh 35+ years. Truly the best tortillas in the world and often the local Phoenix & Mesa winner year after year! If trying something new I recommend the 3-way burrito. It's red chile, green chile, and refried beans. My fave here! The Mesa location is new and the downtown Phoenix location is original. I recommend sticking with the Mesa location.
MEXICAN FOOD AND BBQ This is a locally owned restaurant. It's in an odd location and almost always busy! Both the mexican food and BBQ have both been great! They have a number of BBQ sauce options to explore. They only offer outside seating so summer lunches may not be on your list, but when it's cooler outside sitting amongst the citrus groves at picnic tables is sure fun!
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Jalapeño Buck's
3434 N Val Vista Dr
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MEXICAN FOOD AND BBQ This is a locally owned restaurant. It's in an odd location and almost always busy! Both the mexican food and BBQ have both been great! They have a number of BBQ sauce options to explore. They only offer outside seating so summer lunches may not be on your list, but when it's cooler outside sitting amongst the citrus groves at picnic tables is sure fun!
MEXICAN FOOD This is some of the best true Mexican food I've eaten. Their salsa is outstanding and everything I've eaten there is top-notch! There can often be a wait for dinner so go by 5 pm or get a reservation! Also, the area around the restaurant is a fun place to stroll if you are waiting for a table.
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Barrio Queen
388 N Gilbert Rd
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MEXICAN FOOD This is some of the best true Mexican food I've eaten. Their salsa is outstanding and everything I've eaten there is top-notch! There can often be a wait for dinner so go by 5 pm or get a reservation! Also, the area around the restaurant is a fun place to stroll if you are waiting for a table.
ITALIAN FOOD An older but nice restaurant with quality food. We've held special dinners here because the food is sooo good.
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Vito’s Pizza & Italian Ristorante
1947 N Lindsay Rd
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ITALIAN FOOD An older but nice restaurant with quality food. We've held special dinners here because the food is sooo good.
ITALIAN FOOD Fresh homemade Italian tasting Italian...not American Italian. Food made fresh daily!
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Alessia's Ristorante Italiano
5251 E Brown Rd
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ITALIAN FOOD Fresh homemade Italian tasting Italian...not American Italian. Food made fresh daily!
ITALIAN FOOD & GELATO Locally owned and a HUGE gelato favorite! Big time YUM all the way around! They also have a small restaurant side with all homemade Italian foods (super great pasta dishes) and a deli & grocery with imported items. Great for dinner and dessert!
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Gelato Dolce Vita
5251 E Brown Rd
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ITALIAN FOOD & GELATO Locally owned and a HUGE gelato favorite! Big time YUM all the way around! They also have a small restaurant side with all homemade Italian foods (super great pasta dishes) and a deli & grocery with imported items. Great for dinner and dessert!
AMERICAN FOOD & DESSERT---LUNCH A full bakery with a small but tasty menu. Their salads are tasty, the quesadilla and pulled pork sandwiches are great, and their homemade oreo cookies are out of this world! (They close at 5pm.) An independent locally owned bakery/restaurant.
Sassy's Cafe & Bakery
4210 E Main St
AMERICAN FOOD & DESSERT---LUNCH A full bakery with a small but tasty menu. Their salads are tasty, the quesadilla and pulled pork sandwiches are great, and their homemade oreo cookies are out of this world! (They close at 5pm.) An independent locally owned bakery/restaurant.
AMERICAN/BBQ If you haven't eaten at Rudy's in Texas then you are in for a treat! Everything is excellent but the creamed corn is our favorite side. (This is a chain from Texas; we use to live near the original)
Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q
1733 North Higley Road
AMERICAN/BBQ If you haven't eaten at Rudy's in Texas then you are in for a treat! Everything is excellent but the creamed corn is our favorite side. (This is a chain from Texas; we use to live near the original)
AMERICAN/BBQ Red, White, and Brew does have lots of wines and brews but they are first and foremost an excellent restaurant with choices to make everyone happy. Very busy for dinner seating. In by 5 pm usually gets a quick table. Winter months expect a long wait (after 5pm) for a table without a reservation! Locally owned and operated.
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Red White and Brew
6740 East McDowell Road
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AMERICAN/BBQ Red, White, and Brew does have lots of wines and brews but they are first and foremost an excellent restaurant with choices to make everyone happy. Very busy for dinner seating. In by 5 pm usually gets a quick table. Winter months expect a long wait (after 5pm) for a table without a reservation! Locally owned and operated.
ASIAN - THAI A nice restaurant with quality Thai food. We’ve held special dinners here because the food is sooo good. Our favorites are BBQ Pork, Cashew Nut, and Thai Panang Curry. One of our favorite servers is Alyssa. Ask for her...she'll take good care of you as will every server here! Locally owned and operated.
5 R Cha Thai Bistro
2011 North Recker Road
ASIAN - THAI A nice restaurant with quality Thai food. We’ve held special dinners here because the food is sooo good. Our favorites are BBQ Pork, Cashew Nut, and Thai Panang Curry. One of our favorite servers is Alyssa. Ask for her...she'll take good care of you as will every server here! Locally owned and operated.
Known for the best sandwiches in Arizona they also are known for their coffee. Open till 9pm.
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Worth Takeaway
218 W Main St
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Known for the best sandwiches in Arizona they also are known for their coffee. Open till 9pm.
OTHER TYPES OF FOOD A Brazillian style steakhouse but affordable. Three options: menu, buffet, or buffet plus meats brought to your table. The all you can eat buffet is about $20 and FULL of lots of tasty foods so skip the $30 buffet plus meats. Truly the buffet is PLENTY!
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Rodizio Grill - Mesa
1840 S Val Vista Dr
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OTHER TYPES OF FOOD A Brazillian style steakhouse but affordable. Three options: menu, buffet, or buffet plus meats brought to your table. The all you can eat buffet is about $20 and FULL of lots of tasty foods so skip the $30 buffet plus meats. Truly the buffet is PLENTY!
BREAKFAST & LUNCH Excellent food and fabulous pineapple jalapeno salsa!
Morning glory Brunchery
4545 E McKellips Rd
BREAKFAST & LUNCH Excellent food and fabulous pineapple jalapeno salsa!
PIZZA This is truly a unique one of a kind pizza place. Come here for the ambiance and music. In the center of the room is at vintage Wurlitzer pipe organ built for a theatre in Denver in the 20s (the 1920’s that is) The room is centered around the organ which has over 6000 pipes. Not only does the organist play songs by request only, they also control all the other “instruments” including birds, horse hooves, snare drum, cowbell, bubble blower, whistles, and the list goes on and one. Kids and teens especially like this restaurant. Organ Stop is ONLY open for dinner, organists take a short break every 15 minutes, and they ONLY take CASH. It’s really a fun dinner if you get the chance! I remember coming here at a teenager and the organ doesn’t disappoint. More recently we’ve rented the facility for a private luncheon for our family reunion. Their gluten-free pizza is great!
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Organ Stop Pizza
1149 East Southern Avenue
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PIZZA This is truly a unique one of a kind pizza place. Come here for the ambiance and music. In the center of the room is at vintage Wurlitzer pipe organ built for a theatre in Denver in the 20s (the 1920’s that is) The room is centered around the organ which has over 6000 pipes. Not only does the organist play songs by request only, they also control all the other “instruments” including birds, horse hooves, snare drum, cowbell, bubble blower, whistles, and the list goes on and one. Kids and teens especially like this restaurant. Organ Stop is ONLY open for dinner, organists take a short break every 15 minutes, and they ONLY take CASH. It’s really a fun dinner if you get the chance! I remember coming here at a teenager and the organ doesn’t disappoint. More recently we’ve rented the facility for a private luncheon for our family reunion. Their gluten-free pizza is great!
MEXICAN FOOD (ish) A great eatery similar to Chipotle which also is at Dana Park, but better in my opinion. I recommend the sweet pork salad and burrito enchilada style!
Costa Vida
1744 S Val Vista Dr
MEXICAN FOOD (ish) A great eatery similar to Chipotle which also is at Dana Park, but better in my opinion. I recommend the sweet pork salad and burrito enchilada style!
Neighborhoods
Fun neighborhoods
The downtown Gilbert area is historic and has fabulous food, is fun to stroll around, has a local theatre for plays, and even a vibrant night scene.
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Gilbert
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The downtown Gilbert area is historic and has fabulous food, is fun to stroll around, has a local theatre for plays, and even a vibrant night scene.
A fun upscale area. It's easy to walk around and no shortage of expensive restaurants with good food!
Scottsdale Old Town Plaza
A fun upscale area. It's easy to walk around and no shortage of expensive restaurants with good food!
Fun with Kids
A fun city park with splashpad for younger kids and a tall climbing "tree" even teens will LOVE to climb! Splash pad is open 9 am - 10 pm 7 days a week. The lake area has fishing and it's a great place to walk when it's cooler outside. Also, it's located adjecent to the Cubs spring training facility.
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Riverview Park
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A fun city park with splashpad for younger kids and a tall climbing "tree" even teens will LOVE to climb! Splash pad is open 9 am - 10 pm 7 days a week. The lake area has fishing and it's a great place to walk when it's cooler outside. Also, it's located adjecent to the Cubs spring training facility.
This is truly a unique one of a kind pizza place. Come here for the ambiance and music. In the center of the room is at vintage Wurlitzer pipe organ built for a theatre in Denver in the 20s (the 1920’s that is) The room is centered around the organ which has over 6000 pipes. Not only does the organist play songs by request only, they also control all the other “instruments” including birds, horse hooves, snare drum, cowbell, bubble blower, whistles, and the list goes on and one. Organ Stop is ONLY open for dinner, organists take a short break every 15 minutes, and they ONLY take CASH. It’s really a fun dinner if you get the chance! I remember coming here at a teenager and the organ doesn’t disappoint. More recently we’ve rented the facility for a private luncheon for our family reunion. Their gluten-free pizza is great!
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Organ Stop Pizza
1149 East Southern Avenue
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This is truly a unique one of a kind pizza place. Come here for the ambiance and music. In the center of the room is at vintage Wurlitzer pipe organ built for a theatre in Denver in the 20s (the 1920’s that is) The room is centered around the organ which has over 6000 pipes. Not only does the organist play songs by request only, they also control all the other “instruments” including birds, horse hooves, snare drum, cowbell, bubble blower, whistles, and the list goes on and one. Organ Stop is ONLY open for dinner, organists take a short break every 15 minutes, and they ONLY take CASH. It’s really a fun dinner if you get the chance! I remember coming here at a teenager and the organ doesn’t disappoint. More recently we’ve rented the facility for a private luncheon for our family reunion. Their gluten-free pizza is great!
Jakesumlimited.com All you can eat Pizza/salad/etc Buffet Home of the unicorn tacos (cotton candy tacos filled with more sugar!) Laser Tag arena, bowling, bumper cars, arcade, mini-bowling which is super fun, rides like Radius and Teacups, arcades, two full bars for the adults who are kids at heart, and more. Also, every evening starting at 8 pm they have Jakes After Dark. Admission is free and everything is a-la-carte.
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Jake's Unlimited
1830 E Baseline Rd
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Jakesumlimited.com All you can eat Pizza/salad/etc Buffet Home of the unicorn tacos (cotton candy tacos filled with more sugar!) Laser Tag arena, bowling, bumper cars, arcade, mini-bowling which is super fun, rides like Radius and Teacups, arcades, two full bars for the adults who are kids at heart, and more. Also, every evening starting at 8 pm they have Jakes After Dark. Admission is free and everything is a-la-carte.
Fatcatsfun.com/gilbert Fatcats is similar to Jakes Unlimited in that this is a play place. Attractions include: Movie theatre, Bowling, Arcade, putt putt golf, and thunder alley (night bowling with rock music) Their movie selection can vary by day/week Food selection is typical bowling alley type of food.
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Fat Cats Gilbert
4321 E Baseline Rd
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Fatcatsfun.com/gilbert Fatcats is similar to Jakes Unlimited in that this is a play place. Attractions include: Movie theatre, Bowling, Arcade, putt putt golf, and thunder alley (night bowling with rock music) Their movie selection can vary by day/week Food selection is typical bowling alley type of food.
THE ARIZONA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 53 N Macdonald Mesa Arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org This is a fun place for younger children. They get to see dinosaur bones and some animatronics, superimpose themselves into western movies, walk through a territorial jail and even pan for gold. There are many hands-on activities to play with. Trip advisor rates this as the #5 thing to do in Mesa
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Arizona Museum of Natural History
53 North Macdonald
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THE ARIZONA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 53 N Macdonald Mesa Arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org This is a fun place for younger children. They get to see dinosaur bones and some animatronics, superimpose themselves into western movies, walk through a territorial jail and even pan for gold. There are many hands-on activities to play with. Trip advisor rates this as the #5 thing to do in Mesa
This is a HUGE park! Includes nearly everything you'd want in a park. - Lots of grass - carousel - train rides - baseball/softball fields - huge hills to slide ice blocks down - 2 lakes stocked with fish for fishing - skate park - trails for walking go through here - lighted sand volleyball courths - lighted basketball and tennis courts - RESTROOM FACILITIES and more! Open daily 5:30 am - 10 pm
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Freestone Park
1045 E Juniper Ave
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This is a HUGE park! Includes nearly everything you'd want in a park. - Lots of grass - carousel - train rides - baseball/softball fields - huge hills to slide ice blocks down - 2 lakes stocked with fish for fishing - skate park - trails for walking go through here - lighted sand volleyball courths - lighted basketball and tennis courts - RESTROOM FACILITIES and more! Open daily 5:30 am - 10 pm
Entertainment
Great comfy seats, Tuesday movies all day are $5.50 and you can book online!
Cinemark Mesa 16
1051 North Dobson Road
Great comfy seats, Tuesday movies all day are $5.50 and you can book online!
Your local AMC Movie Theatre. Great comfy seating! On Tuesday's movies are discounted until 5 pm showings. I recommend reserving tickets online if it's a newer movie to ensure you get in.
AMC Mesa Grand 14
1645 South Stapley Drive
Your local AMC Movie Theatre. Great comfy seating! On Tuesday's movies are discounted until 5 pm showings. I recommend reserving tickets online if it's a newer movie to ensure you get in.
This is a fabulous local theatre for plays and musicals! A truly fun and unique experience. The theatre is round, the stage located in the center and stadium seats go up from the ground floor. No need to dress up! Jeans or shorts work just fine. HIGHLY recommend securing your tickets in advance and pick up at Will Call. This downtown Gilbert area is great for dinner and a stroll too! www.haletheatrearizona.com
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Hale Centre Theatre - Arizona
50 West Page Avenue
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This is a fabulous local theatre for plays and musicals! A truly fun and unique experience. The theatre is round, the stage located in the center and stadium seats go up from the ground floor. No need to dress up! Jeans or shorts work just fine. HIGHLY recommend securing your tickets in advance and pick up at Will Call. This downtown Gilbert area is great for dinner and a stroll too! www.haletheatrearizona.com
Jesterz is clean improv comedy. It's a fun environment with lots of audience involvement. Recommend purchasing tickets on-line ahead of time but there is typically plenty of seating. We’ve known the owner for years and my cousin is a long time comedian there also.
JesterZ Improv
1061 N Dobson Rd
Jesterz is clean improv comedy. It's a fun environment with lots of audience involvement. Recommend purchasing tickets on-line ahead of time but there is typically plenty of seating. We’ve known the owner for years and my cousin is a long time comedian there also.
BARK BARK
All things associated with Doggies!
A fun park for humans AND dogs! Off-leash play areas and separately fenced areas for timid dogs and active dogs. They also have benches and water fountains for both dogs and humans. Closed Tuesdays for maintenance and daily from 12:00-1:00.
Countryside Park
3130 East Southern Avenue
A fun park for humans AND dogs! Off-leash play areas and separately fenced areas for timid dogs and active dogs. They also have benches and water fountains for both dogs and humans. Closed Tuesdays for maintenance and daily from 12:00-1:00.
I love buying my dog food and treats here. They only carry top of the line product and the employees are experts on how to help your pooch. The owner Rick is a wealth of knowledge that has been invaluable to me and my super sensitive girl. I haven't used their boarding facilities. I've always been able to get in to see a vet if needed here.
Bark Avenue Pet Supply
3109 E McKellips Rd
I love buying my dog food and treats here. They only carry top of the line product and the employees are experts on how to help your pooch. The owner Rick is a wealth of knowledge that has been invaluable to me and my super sensitive girl. I haven't used their boarding facilities. I've always been able to get in to see a vet if needed here.
Sightseeing
This is on my list of things not to miss in the Phoenix Area! The Deseret Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place and fun for all ages. They often have different events and class so check out their calendar for your the time you are visiting. Their schedule is found at https://www.dbg.org/explore/events/ They also publish a quarterly magazine at https://www.dbg.org/publications/ This is an especially fun place to visit for budding photographers! There is a lot of beauty at the Deseret Botanical Gardens!
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Desert Botanical Garden
1201 North Galvin Parkway
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This is on my list of things not to miss in the Phoenix Area! The Deseret Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place and fun for all ages. They often have different events and class so check out their calendar for your the time you are visiting. Their schedule is found at https://www.dbg.org/explore/events/ They also publish a quarterly magazine at https://www.dbg.org/publications/ This is an especially fun place to visit for budding photographers! There is a lot of beauty at the Deseret Botanical Gardens!

Porady dla podróżnych

Co spakować

Bring clothing for HOT climates. If you aren't used to hot weather it can feel extra hot.

Outside of what you normally would like to have with you when you travel, here are a few things we recommend you bring. Swimwear - Swimming season for kids is a little longer than adults as kids tend to tolerate the colder water better than adults. Swimmable pool temperatures are easily seen mid-May-mid Oct for kids. The hot tub is always a good idea though! Sandals- The ground is really hot during summer and warm most other times of the year. Your favorite water bottle (empty if you are flying in). We might be cooler in the winter but it's still dry. The need to ensure you hydrate cannot be understated here!
Przydatne zwroty

Use manners

The best advice I can offer is to use manners. What do I mean by that? Say "hello". When you enter a store, say hello to the clerk. Say hello when you meet someone's eyes while standing in line. etc. Say "please" and "thank you" at appropriate times like when asking for something or when someone does a kindness toward you. Say "excuse me" or "sorry" when you bump into someone or make an error. You can always say these even when it's not your fault because you may not realize that it was actually your fault.
Zwyczaje i kultura

Expect long delays at restaurants from mid October - mid April

Our winter months (Oct-Apr) bring lots of visitors to the Phoenix area. This makes for long lines everywhere, and odd traffic patterns.
Poruszanie się po okolicy

HOV (aka carpool lanes) Rules & Rush Hour

HOV LANES On our freeways, the left lanes are often designated HOV lanes. HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle (defined as 2 or more in a car). Lanes may be entered or exited at anytime. See the freeway signs for appropriate HOV times. When not HOV times, the lanes may be used as regular freeway lanes. RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC PATTERNS Traffic generally flows toward Phoenix in the AM and away in the PM. Rush hours are approx 6:30-9:00 am, and 4:00-6:30 pm AND can greatly impact travel time