Best Place to Meet a Stranger - 2009
Phoenix is not a serendipitous city. We're stuck in our cars most of the time, deliberately driving from point A to point B in our strip-malled, paved-over landscape. How in the world does anyone make a new acquaintance here? You just have to be more proactive, and places like Welcome Diner go a long way in creating an intimate, neighborhood feel. Of course, if you don't care to banter with the cook or acknowledge the person sitting next to you, don't bother with this postage-stamp-size vintage diner, where a compact, nine-seat counter faces a short-order kitchen (complete with antique potato slicer for the French fries). Privacy is nil, and the bohemian crew of downtown regulars are friendly indeed. Stop by for a burger, and you might leave with a new pal.