Lists

10 Restaurant and Coffee Shop Walk-up Windows in Greater Phoenix

Driftwood Coffee Co. is cool beans.
Driftwood Coffee Co. is cool beans. Allison Young
Takeout windows are as easy as one (walk-up), two (order), three (eat). Super convenient and low contact, even without a pandemic they feel like a novel way to grab a sip, a slice, or even a soft serve. Here are a few of our favorite restaurant walk-up windows serving food and drink through a different frame.

Driftwood Coffee Co.

8295 West Jefferson Street, Peoria

Driftwood Coffee Co. in downtown Peoria checks all the boxes. Nuanced drip coffee and “spros” by local roasters like Pair Cupworks and Mythical Coffee. A seasonal lattes menu that tempts with house-made syrups like lavender and cookie butter. A design-forward space with sleek seating, rotating art, and a bold mural by local artist Timmy Ham. And a takeout window and patio for both quick pit stops and stay-awhile sips.

click to enlarge Topo can't be missed — both on the street and for the elote. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Topo can't be missed — both on the street and for the elote.
Lauren Cusimano

Topo

301 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert

More roadside attraction than restaurant, you can’t miss Topo. Hello, there’s a giant gopher on top of the Gilbert Heritage District spot. Just as iconic as the building is the takeout window and menu, a small but mighty selection of burritos, elote, and soft serve, including prickly pear. It's all served through the pickup window with a giant gopher-sized smile. Stay for dinner: Joe’s Real BBQ has a takeout window right next door.

click to enlarge Olive+Vine's bar windows double as takeout windows. - ALLISON YOUNG
Olive+Vine's bar windows double as takeout windows.
Allison Young

Oven+Vine

14 West Vernon Avenue
First, you have Oven+Vine, a neighborhood wine bar tucked off central with cozy-up delights like shareable flatbreads and build-your-own charcuterie boards served through a big bar window. The patio has spread out seating and grassy space to make it feel all your own. Second, you have Birdhaus Coffeebar, a walk-up coffee shop with local Xanadu Coffee Co. drip, fluffy made-to-order waffles, and picnic tables right next door. Owned by Michelle and Dylan Bethge, both are rare finds you’ll either want to tell all your friends about or keep it hush-hush — no in-between.


click to enlarge Kream Coffee's walk-up window makes to-go trendy. - ALLISON YOUNG
Kream Coffee's walk-up window makes to-go trendy.
Allison Young

Kream Coffee

5102 North Central Avenue

Bean nerds come to Kream Coffee for the single-origin, direct-trade roasts. Pastry lovers come for the perfect pop-tarts made by Süss Pastry. Design aficionados come for the modern, minimalist vibe. Tucked in the front of For The People, a gift and furniture shop that sells only the most beautiful wares, all of the above come for the takeout window, a coffee convenience that makes to-go trendy.

click to enlarge Grub up at Mike's Grub in Tempe. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Grub up at Mike's Grub in Tempe.
Lauren Cusimano

Mike’s Grub

1845 East University Drive, Tempe

Mike’s Grub knows friends don’t always agree on where to eat. One wants pizza, the other wants tacos, but the twain shall meet at Mike’s, a walk-up window and patio only spot near Arizona State University with something for everyone. A mix of salads, street tacos, pizza, breakfast burritos, and coffee. As for treats, find a sweet cinnamon bun and oat milk horchata — both of which can hang with the carne asada fries and a Mexican Coke.

click to enlarge Red Devil in action. - ALLISON YOUNG
Red Devil in action.
Allison Young

Red Devil Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

3102 East McDowell Road
The best part about the takeout window at Red Devil’s mother ship location on McDowell Road is the front-row seat you get to pizza tossing. Up goes the twirling dough and down it comes, a frenzy of slinging, stretching, saucing, sprinkling, and sizzling that can leave the spectator hypnotized. It’s spellbinding to watch … and later eat. Using the same recipe since it opened in 1960, Red Devil has time-tested pizza, all bubbly with blistered cheese and a crispy crust. Delizioso!

Decadence and virtue combine in the Ultimate Stak from Grubstak. - STEPHANIE FUNK
Decadence and virtue combine in the Ultimate Stak from Grubstak.
Stephanie Funk

Grubstak

4165 South Gilbert Road, Chandler

It’s no shocker Grubstak was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It’s not just the punchy flavors and hefty portions, but the mountain-like meals that give the food a Guy Fieri feel. Take the Sweet Lou’s BBQ, shredded braised beef, applewood-smoked bacon, and house-made slaw piled on crispy waffle fries. Or the stacked chilaquiles with its layers of corn tortilla crisps, Southwestern beans, shredded chicken, ranchero sauce, cheese, and scrambled eggs. In the words of Fieri, it’s bomb-dot-comb tasty, and Grub’s pick-up window only makes it more dynamite.

click to enlarge Order at the walk-up window at Welcome Diner and let the food and fun come to you. - JAHIR CARBAJAL
Order at the walk-up window at Welcome Diner and let the food and fun come to you.
Jahir Carbajal

Welcome Diner

929 East Pierce Street

Welcome Diner feels like such a close friend, it’s easy to forget it has a walk-up and takeout window … and flawless Southern-style fried chicken on flaky homemade buttermilk biscuits. And crispy shoestring jackfruit fries topped with coleslaw and Caroline barbecue sauce that’s last-meal epic. Oh, and a hurricane cocktail to beat all hurricanes. And finally, an open-air patio perfect for most small gatherings.

click to enlarge Fàme Caffe makes takeout brunch a thing. - ALLISON YOUNG
Fàme Caffe makes takeout brunch a thing.
Allison Young

Fàme Caffe

4700 North Central Avenue

Fàme Caffe has the breakfast-meets-lunch indulgences you'd expect from a brunch go-to, like hunky French toast, gorgeous eggs Benny, and a breakfast sandwich stacked with eggs, cheese, and thick-cut bacon on a billowy buttermilk bun that leaves an impression. And yes, it has plenty of boozy excuses to drink before noon, like mimosas by the pitcher and a bacon-pickle-olive-studded bloody mary. But what we didn’t expect: its walk-up window is making takeout brunch a thing. Translation: Breakfast tacos in bed … or park … or patio.

click to enlarge The order window at Liyuen Chinese Restaurant gets the job done - ALLISON YOUNG
The order window at Liyuen Chinese Restaurant gets the job done
Allison Young

Liyuen Chinese Restaurant

1602 South Seventh Avenue

The ordering system at Liyuen isn’t exactly an art form, but it works. First, you wait your turn. Lineups are common around lunch, but even, say, a Wednesday at 4 p.m. can draw a crowd. To order, you shout through the window and you’re given a token with a number on it. You can exchange it for popular dishes include jalapeno chicken wings, orange chicken, and shrimp fried rice. The service isn’t anything to brag about, but who cares when portions are hefty, prices are not, and the food comes out piping hot.

click to enlarge The Vanutzel at Shakes & Cones is vantastic! - ALLISON YOUNG
The Vanutzel at Shakes & Cones is vantastic!
Allison Young

Shakes & Cones

7215 East First Street, Scottsdale

Shakes & Cones’ walk-up window feels nostalgic. Could be the whiff of a waffle cone or the swirly nod to Dairy Queen — not that this is anything like the artificial stuff from childhood. Creamy and dense, its organic soft serve is made from scratch in small batches, with no preservatives or chemicals. Get it twirled on a cone, served sundae style with organic hot fudge, or whirled in a milkshake with banana, brownie bites, and Butterfinger — all bomb.
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Allison Young has written about food, nutrition, and travel for Sunset, Women’s Health, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Mindbodygreen, and Prevention. Her local jam is food writing, where she happily eats her way across the Valley to discover the best hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, pizza joints, and the latest Phoenix food trends. She also loves to pick Valley chef’s brains for their favorite food finds. On her website, TheGlitterList.com, she posts one thing she’s looking forward to each day, from food to books and podcasts.
Contact: Allison Young