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29 Favorite Places to Eat in Downtown Phoenix: Quick PHX

Quick PHX is your pocket guide to things to do in the city.
Quick PHX is your pocket guide to things to do in the city.
Sarah Hurwitz

Quick PHX, our annual pocket guide to art, shopping, eating, and partying in Phoenix, is on stands now -- just in time for Viva PHX on Friday, March 7, and Art Detour 26 on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9. Illustrated by Sarah Hurwitz, the hand-held guide will keep you busy this weekend and beyond. If you don't see a copy of the cute little guide on the streets, message Chow Bella on Facebook and we'll send you one.

Here are our 29 favorite spots to eat in Downtown Phoenix.

See Also: 5 Best Restaurants in Downtown Phoenix Right Now

Breakfast Got time to stand in line? Try Matt's Big Breakfast. Scratch cooking and fresh ingredients make chef Matt Pool's plates of fluffy griddlecakes, eggs and off‑the‑bone ham, and luscious veggie‑stuffed omelets worth waking up to. For breakfast all day and into the night, head to Jobot for crepes and scrambles; Squash Blossom serves traditional, well‑prepared a.m. dishes like pumpkin pie pancakes and tender corned beef hash. For the veg, Bragg's Factory Diner serves up vegan and vegetarian breakfast items like coconut curry waffles, homemade biscuits with poblano gravy, and even vegan pie. And with a menu that reads like a culinary travelogue (Portuguese doughnuts, New Orleans‑style French toast), breakfast at Vovomeena even includes a cup of Japanese cold‑brewed iced coffee.

Welcome Diner This nine‑seat diner is packed with seriously good, Southern‑inspired dishes like fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, stuffed po' boys, and hamburgers stacked to the ceiling.

 

There are plentiful pizza options in Downtown Phoenix .
There are plentiful pizza options in Downtown Phoenix .
Sarah Hurwitz

Pizza Thanks to a little spot called Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix became a pizza mecca. Try Pomo, home to outstanding pies with super‑thin crusts, including the Regina Margherita. This restaurant's new downtown location is almost as perfect as its certified authentic Neapolitan pizza. Another good bet is Cibo, where an outdoor patio and wood‑fired pies can be counted on to lift your spirits. Pino's is a bustling little bistro from Pino and Lucia Martnino that serves Italian‑ and New York‑style pies (and slices) made with homemade sausage and a signature marinara. And if soft‑centered, real‑deal Neopolitan pizza is your thing, then La Piazza Locale from chef‑owner Justin Piazza (of Glendale's La Piazza Al Forno) is your place.

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe Elizabeth's White's 50‑year‑old restaurant is still the best place in town for soul food like smothered pork chops, pond‑raised catfish, and her one‑of‑a‑kind Southern fried chicken.

 

Asian Eats Hong Kong‑born chef Johnny Chu mixes top‑notch Asian fusion fare with sake‑based martinis and a house‑party vibe at his see‑and‑be‑seen restaurant, Sochu House. New on the scene, Clever Koi features deliciously inauthentic Asian dishes and cocktails like the Koi Reviver. In the mood for sushi? Head to Squid Ink, a CityScape spot that even has a walk‑up window for sushi to go. Reathrey Sekong, Arizona's only Cambodian restaurant, highlights chef Lakhana In's remarkably redolent soups, vibrant salads, and dishes like baiynchaiv, the crispy rice‑flour crepe. And at his cozy Heritage Square bungalow, James Beard Award winner Nobuo Fukuda offers the closest thing to a real izakaya (a casual Japanese eating and drinking establishment) this side of the Land of Rising Sun.

Little Cleo's Seafood Legend Tucked inside The Yard, restaurateur Sam Fox's massive dining complex, this East Coast‑inspired eatery boasts an oyster bar and an eclectic array of seafood dishes.

 

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Sarah Hurwitz

Cool Treats Asian shaved ice treats (bao bings), put together with things like mochi balls, mango, and even Oreos, make Snoh Ice Shavery incredibly cool. For ice cream, try Melt , a funky shop featuring flavors like tamarind and cucumber, Chinese take‑out boxes as bowls, and a "frozen flower bouquet," or head north to Churn for homemade cookies, pretzel cones, and scratch‑made ice creams with flavors like peaches and honey and Almond Joy. Pink Spot has seasonal ice cream flavors like candy corn and hot chocolate, and for the lactose intolerant and/or vegan, there's a Tsoynami -- a Blizzard‑like creation -- at Nami , Damon Brasch's all-vegan sweet shop.

Ollie Vaughn's Score stacked sandwiches on just‑made bread, fresh salads, and homemade treats like apple pie and lemon bars at this charming new breakfast and lunch cafe.

 

Spice up your downtown dining routine with these Mexican joints.
Spice up your downtown dining routine with these Mexican joints.
Sarah Hurwitz

Mexican Restaurants Doug Robson's easygoing Otro focuses on very good, familiar Mexican dishes (think tacos, tortas, and street snacks) as well as a few elevated ones. Or head to Tortas el Güero, where you can choose from around 20 varieties of the popular, monster‑size Mexican sandwich, each for about five or six bucks. Experience chicken burro nirvana, as well as smoking grills of excellent parrillada and whole grilled chicken, at Asadero Norte de Sonora, a no‑frills gem of Sonoran‑style eats. Don't miss Así Es la Vida, where Acapulco‑style shrimp cocktail, thinly sliced top sirloin, and Veracruz‑style fish celebrate the regions of Mexico at this over 20‑year‑old casual‑upscale restaurant.

El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant and Bar Peruvian food comes to Phoenix at this modest new spot featuring dishes such as refreshing ceviche, spicy shrimp chowder, and cilantro beef stew.

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Related Locations

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Matt's Big Breakfast
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Jobot Coffee

918 N. Fifth St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-501-9076

www.jobot-coffee.com

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Squash Blossom - Closed
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Bragg's Factory Diner
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Vovomeena

1515 N. 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

602-252-2541

www.vovomeena.com

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Welcome Diner
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Pizzeria Bianco

623 E. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-258-8300

www.pizzeriabianco.com

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Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

705 N. 1st St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-795-2555

www.pomopizzeria.com

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Cibo Urban Wine Cafe & Pizzeria

603 N. Fifth Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

602-441-2697

www.cibophoenix.com

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Pino's Pizza Al Centro

139 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013

602-279-3237

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La Piazza PHX

1 N. 1st St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-795-7116

lapiazzaphx.com

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Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

808 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

602-262-9256

www.mrswhitesgoldenrulecafe.com

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SoChu House

2801 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-340-9777

www.sochuhouse.com

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Clever Koi

4236 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

602-222-3474

www.thecleverkoi.com

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Squid Ink Sushi

2 E. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-200-0000

www.squidinksushi.com

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Reathrey Sekong

1312 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85014

480-238-0238

www.reathreysekong.com

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Nobuo at Teeter House

622 E. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-254-0600

www.nobuofukuda.com

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Little Cleo's Seafood Legend

5632 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85014

602-680-4044

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Snoh Ice Shavery

914 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85014

888-488-1693

www.snoh-ice.com

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Melt

910 N. 5th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-472-3246

www.meltphx.com

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Churn

5223 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012

602-279-8024

www.churnaz.com

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Pink Spot - Closed

49 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013

602-265-3889

www.pinkspoticecream.com

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Nami

2014 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-258-6264

www.tsoynami.com

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Ollie Vaughn's

1526 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006

602-625-3664

www.ollievaughns.com

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Otro Cafe

6035 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85014

602-266-0831

www.otrocafe.com

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Tortas El Guero

2518 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006

602-252-9228

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Asadero Norte De Sonora

122 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

602-253-4010

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Asi Es La Vida
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​El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant & Bar

2605 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85006

602-279-8425

www.elchulloperu.com


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