Best of Phoenix

Best of Phoenix 2018: Dan Bickley's Favorite Local Spots

Best of Phoenix 2018: Dan Bickley's Favorite Local Spots
Carrie Wheeler
Carrie Wheeler

Dan Bickley isn’t sure he wants to share his favorite dining spot and watering hole. “It’s the best-kept secret in Valley,” the renowned local sportswriter says of Dick’s Hideaway, “so I’m tempted to keep this one to myself.” The vibe there is perfect, he says. “The mimosas are stunning, the staff is awesome, and the chefs work magic.”

When he’s not tucked away eating, the co-host of 98.7 FM’s weekday Bickley and Marotta program likes to gobble up the great outdoors. “Camelback Mountain is the crown jewel of hiking trails,” he says. “The Cardinals once trained on this mountain, because the final ascent duplicates the challenges of getting through the final quarter of a NFL game.”

Bickley escapes the mundane and predictable with a trip to Roosevelt Row, where he finds everything “from murals painted by local artists to the youthful energy driving a new downtown spirit. I always end up at Angel’s Trumpet Ale House, which features a rotating collection of awesome beer choices and a menu that never disappoints.”

Staycations are a 21st-century fad, and Bickley’s determined to perfect this trend. “There’s nothing as luxurious as checking into one of our local resorts with my wife and kids, swimming in someone else’s pool, and taking the elevator home for the night,” he insists. “My favorite is the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.”

There are nearly 200 golf courses in Arizona, but the 16th hole at the unfortunately named Waste Management Phoenix Open is one Bickley calls “a tribute to anarchy — the only hole where the hazard is the people in attendance.” Still, he wouldn’t miss it for anything. Game over.

• There’s no marquee outside Dick’s Hideaway (6008 North 16th Street, 602-241-1881), and no name on the front door, so you won’t find the place unless you’re looking for it. But there’s a sign inside that reads, “No Kardashians Allowed.” Perfect.

• There’s no shortage of great vistas in Arizona, but none compare to the satisfaction and euphoria of standing on the summit of Camelback Mountain.

• I don’t wait for First Friday to visit Roosevelt Row (Roosevelt Street between Seventh Street and Central Avenue). Likewise Angel’s Trumpet Ale House (810 North Second Street, 602-252-2630), right around the corner from all these great galleries and shops.

RoadHouse Cinemas (9090 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, 480-750-7295): A movie theater that delivers beer on command, sells reserved seats online, and puts you in a giant leather chair that fully reclines? Yeah. Heaven.

• The 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (held at the Tournament Players Club, 17020 North Hayden Road, 480-585-4334) is a place where golfers are subjected to the same heckling and madness bestowed on professional athletes. It’s also the best stadium venue in Arizona.
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela