| Lists |

29 Favorite Places to Eat in Downtown Phoenix: Quick PHX

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

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.

QuickPHXE atArt6.jpg
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.

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.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.