Art Detour Dining Guide Part 1: Phoenix Art Museum and the Grand Ave. Strip

This Saturday and Sunday is Art Detour 22, the annual do-it-yourself gallery and studio tour of downtown Phoenix. Our "Arty Girl" Lilia Menconi has been diligently previewing some of the most interesting Art Detour shows this week -- but what about the eats? Heaven (and your growling stomach) knows you can't look at paintings and sculptures all day without downing some decent grub first.

Breakfast is the most important meal of Art Detour day...except lunch, of course. And dinner.
Breakfast is the most important meal of Art Detour day...except lunch, of course. And dinner.

Breakfast is the most important meal of Art Detour day...except lunch, of course. And dinner.

​That's why we've compiled this handy-dandy list of food within easy walking distance of Art Detour's major stops. Check back tomorrow for dining options near galleries on Roosevelt Row and the Central Corridor.

A Good Place to Start

Art Detour begins at the Phoenix Art Museum at Central Ave. & McDowell, where you can pick up a free map and guide to the open galleries and studios. If you're already hungry, Arcadia Farms at the museum offers upscale farm-fresh salads and sandwiches. The digs look pretty classy, but the prices are reasonable and no one will give you the stinkeye for wearing paint-splattered jeans or a Metallica t-shirt.     

Stock up on protein at La Piccola Cucina.
Stock up on protein at La Piccola Cucina.

Moving over to 7th Street near Vicki Reed Gallery and Cuervo Studios, there are tons of dining options.

  • America's Taco Shop at 2041 N. 7th St. offers carne asada street tacos, burritos and other Mexican platos, with lard-free beans. Tip: America's fresh ceviche runs out fast on weekends, so go earlier in the day if you're craving it.
  • Share an old-fashioned chocolate malt at the adorably vintage MacAlpine's at 2303 N 7th St., or head over to neighboring La Piccola Cucina for the best selection of charcuterie-style meats around.
  • Main Ingredient Ale House, which replaced Lisa G's in the cute historic house behind the Drip/Toast building, is new but worth a stop for libations. Frankly, you never know when an artist is going to start ranting about politics or the cost of art supplies, so you might need a drink. Main Ingredient also has snacks and sandwiches to soak up the booze.  

vegetarian and vegan entrees, plus fresh daily specials, pasta dishes and paninis. Seriously tiny, so expect a wait. (Tip: You can always waste a little time at the Mutant Piñata Show right next door!) 

  • If you just need a quick sugar rush, try Sweets & Beats at 1504 Grand Ave. for classics like candy buttons, Lemonheads and licorice. Open Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
  • The Paisley Violin café at 1030 Grand Ave. is offering BBQ specials all weekend, plus their usual menu of sandwiches and pastries, and a full bar.
  • The ultra dive-y Bikini Lounge at 1502 Grand Ave. is great for a cheap beer or five, but don't expect any grub beyond bar peanuts.
  • Grab a slice, some hot wings or fried pub grub at Valley Pizza Downtown, 1348 W. Roosevelt St. A little greasy, but it'll do in a pinch.
  • A little further out (but well within walking distance), you'll find margaritas, enchiladas and a very Americanized "Gringo" menu at Oaxaca Restaurante y Cantina, 1516 West Van Buren St., and standard Chinese at Golden Moon Palace Restaurant (Closed Sunday), 1408 West Van Buren.

    Art Detour Dining Guide Part 1: Phoenix Art Museum and the Grand Ave. Strip

    The Lowdown on Lowbrow Fast Food

    While we've focused on cuisine that's a little better for you -- or at least better tasting -- rest assured there's no shortage of drive-thrus and quick noshes around Phoenix's galleries. Look for Church's Chicken and McDonald's at the Van Buren/7th Ave./Grand Ave. intersection, Pei Wei Asian Diner at McDowell and 7th Ave., and Taco Bell, Subway and McDonald's on McDowell Rd. between 3rd St. and 7th St.     

    More Art Detour dining options on Roosevelt Row and the Central line tomorrow...


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