Guidebook for Phoenix

Shawn
Guidebook for Phoenix

Food Scene

A classic American diner, and a great place for breakfast especially.
Jerry's Restaurant
2323 East Thomas Road
A classic American diner, and a great place for breakfast especially.
A Mexican restaurant which escapes the clichés and provides a unique experience.
Asi Es La Vida Restaurant
3602 N 24th St
A Mexican restaurant which escapes the clichés and provides a unique experience.
If you have an extreme sweet tooth this is the place for it: most items are over-the-top sweet and rich. If not, well, the apple fritters are more down-to-earth, and much better than what you can find in a grocery store. There are a couple of tables so you can have it with coffee; or get it to go.
Barbs Bakery
2929 North 24th Street
If you have an extreme sweet tooth this is the place for it: most items are over-the-top sweet and rich. If not, well, the apple fritters are more down-to-earth, and much better than what you can find in a grocery store. There are a couple of tables so you can have it with coffee; or get it to go.
The nearest drive-through taco stand (of many in the area). Good for a quick fix as long as you like your tacos or burritos big and meaty. You can get there from the house in a couple of minutes without making any left-hand turns.
Vaqueros Carne Asada
3414 N 24th St
The nearest drive-through taco stand (of many in the area). Good for a quick fix as long as you like your tacos or burritos big and meaty. You can get there from the house in a couple of minutes without making any left-hand turns.
Pretty good British food, fish and chips being perhaps the headliner.
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George and Dragon English Pub
4240 North Central Avenue
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Pretty good British food, fish and chips being perhaps the headliner.
A quirky blue-collar fish-and-chips establishment. The breading is unusually crusty and crispy.
Knock Kneed Lobster
3202 Washington St
A quirky blue-collar fish-and-chips establishment. The breading is unusually crusty and crispy.
They have a couple of pretty good dishes on the menu; my favorite is probably the Jamaican jerk shrimp. Or go for breakfast and get the bagel with smoked salmon. For lunch or dinner they always bring a basket of bread; ask for olive oil to dip it in, and they will bring that too. You can sit inside or outside. Plenty of space. After their kind of dinners, there's never enough room for cheesecake, but if you really like cheesecake, you could make a separate trip just for that.
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The Cheesecake Factory
2402 East Camelback Road
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They have a couple of pretty good dishes on the menu; my favorite is probably the Jamaican jerk shrimp. Or go for breakfast and get the bagel with smoked salmon. For lunch or dinner they always bring a basket of bread; ask for olive oil to dip it in, and they will bring that too. You can sit inside or outside. Plenty of space. After their kind of dinners, there's never enough room for cheesecake, but if you really like cheesecake, you could make a separate trip just for that.
Hmm that's a new location, I haven't tried it; but if it's the same as the ones in Tempe and Scottsdale, they have the best crispy thin-crust pizza in the Valley. And there was a half-baked chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top, last time I was there, which is amazing. If you like New York style pizza better, then go to NYPD instead.
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Oregano's Pizza Bistro
1008 East Camelback Road
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Hmm that's a new location, I haven't tried it; but if it's the same as the ones in Tempe and Scottsdale, they have the best crispy thin-crust pizza in the Valley. And there was a half-baked chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top, last time I was there, which is amazing. If you like New York style pizza better, then go to NYPD instead.
Best pizza in the neighborhood (assuming it hasn't changed since last time I was there; it was called NYPD then).
NYPD Pizza
1949 East Camelback Road
Best pizza in the neighborhood (assuming it hasn't changed since last time I was there; it was called NYPD then).
It's the best value for sushi in Phoenix: good sushi, good prices, good portion sizes, and good service. At this location there is teppanyaki, too. But there are some smaller locations in other places around town if you just want sushi, and it's consistently good at all of them.
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Sakana Sushi & Grill
5061 E Elliot Rd
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It's the best value for sushi in Phoenix: good sushi, good prices, good portion sizes, and good service. At this location there is teppanyaki, too. But there are some smaller locations in other places around town if you just want sushi, and it's consistently good at all of them.
The best Thai food in the valley. It's also a nice area to explore, before or after: lots of art galleries and touristy stuff. Go for a walk after dinner and then visit the nearby Sugar Bowl for ice cream if you still have room for it.
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Malee's Thai Bistro
7131 East Main Street
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The best Thai food in the valley. It's also a nice area to explore, before or after: lots of art galleries and touristy stuff. Go for a walk after dinner and then visit the nearby Sugar Bowl for ice cream if you still have room for it.
One of the best Sunday brunches in Phoenix, in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Not cheap, but the price is normal, and worth it in my opinion, if you want such a classy experience.
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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
2400 East Missouri Avenue
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One of the best Sunday brunches in Phoenix, in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Not cheap, but the price is normal, and worth it in my opinion, if you want such a classy experience.
Another restaurant with an amazing view.
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Top of the Rock Restaurant
2000 West Westcourt Way
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Another restaurant with an amazing view.
Good alternative for basic burgers & fries.
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In-N-Out Burger
4840 N 20th St
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Good alternative for basic burgers & fries.

Drinks & Nightlife

An awesome micro-brew within walking distance. They always have several varieties. There is plenty of space inside, and outside in the covered patio area. It has a sports bar atmosphere. If you want it go, you can get a growler, a keg or a pony keg. So far we have one 32-oz growler in the kitchen which you can borrow if that's enough.
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Helton Brewing Company
2144 E Indian School Rd
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An awesome micro-brew within walking distance. They always have several varieties. There is plenty of space inside, and outside in the covered patio area. It has a sports bar atmosphere. If you want it go, you can get a growler, a keg or a pony keg. So far we have one 32-oz growler in the kitchen which you can borrow if that's enough.

Parks & Nature

A very good variety of desert plants on display, and a nice place for a walk. (You do have to pay for admission though.)
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Desert Botanical Garden
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A very good variety of desert plants on display, and a nice place for a walk. (You do have to pay for admission though.)
A pretty nice zoo with a lot of space for the animals. You have to pay for admission but it's worth it. A good place to keep kids entertained for the day.
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Phoenix Zoo
455 North Galvin Parkway
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A pretty nice zoo with a lot of space for the animals. You have to pay for admission but it's worth it. A good place to keep kids entertained for the day.
A handy place for leisurely hikes; the mountains aren't steep enough to be truly challenging, but it's OK for a couple hours of moderate exercise. There is a tunnel to cross under the highway and go to trails on the west side, and also some trails on the east side which go up to peaks where you can have a nice view. There are also ramadas and grills for picnics.
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Dreamy Draw Recreation Area
2421 E Northern Ave
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A handy place for leisurely hikes; the mountains aren't steep enough to be truly challenging, but it's OK for a couple hours of moderate exercise. There is a tunnel to cross under the highway and go to trails on the west side, and also some trails on the east side which go up to peaks where you can have a nice view. There are also ramadas and grills for picnics.
It's a big area with a lot of hiking trails. You can see the red lights on all the radio towers at night, from all over town. I would recommend driving all the way south on 24th Street until it runs out; when you get there, there's a parking lot on the left, and you can start your hike from there. It's a good mountain for longer hikes, serious calorie-burning and mountain biking. If you take the ridgeline trail in the evening you can get a great view of the city lights - but in that case, wear boots, take a flashlight, plenty of water, and watch for snakes.
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South Mountain Park and Preserve
10919 South Central Avenue
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It's a big area with a lot of hiking trails. You can see the red lights on all the radio towers at night, from all over town. I would recommend driving all the way south on 24th Street until it runs out; when you get there, there's a parking lot on the left, and you can start your hike from there. It's a good mountain for longer hikes, serious calorie-burning and mountain biking. If you take the ridgeline trail in the evening you can get a great view of the city lights - but in that case, wear boots, take a flashlight, plenty of water, and watch for snakes.
This is very near the peak of the famous Superstition Mountains, and has quite a view over the whole valley. But the trail to get there is quite strenuous. You absolutely need all day: start at Lost Dutchman Park at dawn, take plenty of water, a compact lunch and a couple of granola bars. You don't need ropes, but very near the top there is a place where you might think that you do. Other hikers might help you find the right footholds to get up and down. And don't try this when the weather is too hot, or when it has recently been raining too much.
The Flatiron
This is very near the peak of the famous Superstition Mountains, and has quite a view over the whole valley. But the trail to get there is quite strenuous. You absolutely need all day: start at Lost Dutchman Park at dawn, take plenty of water, a compact lunch and a couple of granola bars. You don't need ropes, but very near the top there is a place where you might think that you do. Other hikers might help you find the right footholds to get up and down. And don't try this when the weather is too hot, or when it has recently been raining too much.
A short but very tough trail. But the parking is terrible, and it tends to be overrun with pretty serious athletes running up and down. If you aren't really in shape you might not enjoy it much; and don't try it on a hot day, either.
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Camelback Mountain
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A short but very tough trail. But the parking is terrible, and it tends to be overrun with pretty serious athletes running up and down. If you aren't really in shape you might not enjoy it much; and don't try it on a hot day, either.

Sightseeing

Arizona's smallest town; not much to see, really. But it's a standard stop for tourists, and it's on the way to Roosevelt Dam.
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Tortilla Flat
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Arizona's smallest town; not much to see, really. But it's a standard stop for tourists, and it's on the way to Roosevelt Dam.
The dam itself is kindof interesting and historic, and there is a good lake behind it for boating, fishing etc. You will see a lot of scenery on the way.
Theodore Roosevelt Dam
The dam itself is kindof interesting and historic, and there is a good lake behind it for boating, fishing etc. You will see a lot of scenery on the way.
Well everybody knows this is the main attraction in Arizona, right? It's worth the drive if you haven't seen it yet. Another great way to see it is to take the "heritage" railroad from Williams. You'll feel like you're in a Western the whole time. And then they give you a couple of hours to see the Canyon, and then it goes back.
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Grand Canyon Village
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Well everybody knows this is the main attraction in Arizona, right? It's worth the drive if you haven't seen it yet. Another great way to see it is to take the "heritage" railroad from Williams. You'll feel like you're in a Western the whole time. And then they give you a couple of hours to see the Canyon, and then it goes back.
Good for a one-day drive to see the red rock country and drive the winding roads through Oak Creek Canyon. Also a very nice place for a motorcycle tour. But if you plan to stop, you will need to buy a Red Rock Pass to pay for parking.
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Sedona
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Good for a one-day drive to see the red rock country and drive the winding roads through Oak Creek Canyon. Also a very nice place for a motorcycle tour. But if you plan to stop, you will need to buy a Red Rock Pass to pay for parking.

Arts & Culture

A museum from the Native American perspective.
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Heard Museum
2301 North Central Avenue
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A museum from the Native American perspective.
The exhibits are always changing so it's worth a visit every few months. It's not just for local art.
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Phoenix Art Museum
1625 North Central Avenue
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The exhibits are always changing so it's worth a visit every few months. It's not just for local art.

Essentials

My first choice for fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. They also have health food, supplements and bulk foods in bins. Friendly and local.
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Sprouts Farmers Market
2824 East Indian School Road
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My first choice for fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. They also have health food, supplements and bulk foods in bins. Friendly and local.
Specialty grocery store; also good for cheap wine and beer. I highly recommend the French-style flat bread in the frozen section. (They look like pizza but they're not.) Those fit great in toaster oven for an appetizer or a quick breakfast or snack.
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Trader Joe's
4821 North 20th Street
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Specialty grocery store; also good for cheap wine and beer. I highly recommend the French-style flat bread in the frozen section. (They look like pizza but they're not.) Those fit great in toaster oven for an appetizer or a quick breakfast or snack.
I prefer to give Trader Joe's the business because WF is getting too big... but there is one right next to TJ's.
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Whole Foods Market
4701 North 20th Street
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I prefer to give Trader Joe's the business because WF is getting too big... but there is one right next to TJ's.
Big supermarket that has everything.
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Fry's Food And Drug
4724 N 20th St
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Big supermarket that has everything.
Big fancy supermarket that has everything.
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Safeway
3132 East Camelback Road
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Big fancy supermarket that has everything.

Entertainment & Activities

The closest theater, and it has very convenient parking: go north on 24th Street, make a right into the driveway just before you get to Camelback, and go down into the underground garage. Take the elevator to the top, and you're there.
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AMC DINE-IN Esplanade 14
2515 East Camelback Road
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The closest theater, and it has very convenient parking: go north on 24th Street, make a right into the driveway just before you get to Camelback, and go down into the underground garage. Take the elevator to the top, and you're there.
A nearby ice skating rink which has lots of open hours between the occasional hockey games. A good way to beat the heat in the summer if you know how to skate.
AZ Ice Arcadia
3853 East Thomas Road
A nearby ice skating rink which has lots of open hours between the occasional hockey games. A good way to beat the heat in the summer if you know how to skate.