Fall Festivals and Openings We Can't Wait to Sink Our Teeth Into

Fall means farmers market season in Phoenix.
Fall means farmers market season in Phoenix. Rudri Bhatt Patel
Fall is in the air. And it smells — like a hot dog from Ted’s.

One of our all-time favorite spots (which currently has outposts in Buffalo, New York, and Tempe) is opening a new spot at the corner of Gilbert and Germann roads, complete with a drive-thru, so we can get our footlongs, chili dogs, and corn dogs on the go. The opening date for the newest Ted’s Hot Dogs has still not been confirmed, but the company is promising a ribbon-cutting sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That’s not all that’s cooking in metro Phoenix after Labor Day. From food festivals to seasonal favorites and more restaurant openings, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Keep your pumpkin spice latte (although if that’s your thing, know that Starbucks will have it starting in September). For us, it’s just not fall in Phoenix without a pumpkin macaron from Essence Bakery, pumpkin spice ice cream from Sweet Republic, or — of course — Four Peaks’ wildly popular Pumpkin Porter, available in October.

Looking to try some local restaurants that have been on your must-visit list for a while? Arizona Restaurant Week runs September 15-24. Dozens of restaurants are offering $33 and $44 fixed-price menus. Among the more notable on the list are Little Cleo’s (just about everyone’s favorite Sam Fox restaurant), Nobuo at Teeter House, and Vincent on Camelback.

Used to be that all the farmers markets closed up shop in May and didn’t come back till fall. For the most part, that’s over, thankfully, but there are still a few that wait out the summer. We can’t wait for Singh Meadows to reopen in October. The Singh family’s newest venture — along a former golf course in north Tempe — is gorgeous and tasty, with a juice bar, coffee, and healthy menu options, and of course the freshly picked produce we’ve come to know and love them for.

Goat’s milk caramel production is in full swing year-round at The Simple Farm in Scottsdale, but the beautiful little spot only opens for markets once in a while. Keep an eye on the website for news of fresh pastries and lots of charm.

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings this fall is Aaron Chamberlin’s Taco Chelo, coming to Roosevelt Row in September — or so we’re told. Described as a collaboration between chef Suny Santana, artist Gennaro Garcia, and Chamberlin, the restaurant aims to deliver a short menu of tacos, verduras (vegetables), and a rotating selection of daily specials. The restaurant will nixtamalize corn for its house-made tortillas, an ancient process for producing masa that involves soaking the kernels in a solution of wood ash or limestone and water. Expect to find a well-stocked bar with an assortment of Mexican wines and agave-based spirits.

More Mexican food is coming your way, downtown Phoenix. El Chino Restaurant & Cantina is being launched by the folks behind Taquerias El Chino, the Phoenix outpost of the popular Sonoran microchain. The chain’s first sit-down restaurant in the Valley is coming to 711 South Central Avenue by late September.

Ted’s is not the only Valley favorite opening another location this fall.

We are looking forward to a Central Phoenix location of the beloved Pomegranate Café. The Ahwatukee vegan and vegetarian eatery will take over the former home of Scott’s Generations Deli in the Bashas’ shopping center at Seventh Street and Missouri Avenue. The menu will mirror that of the original, with a focus on seasonal, organic ingredients. No firm opening date has been announced yet.

click to enlarge ALEXANDRA GASPAR
Alexandra Gaspar
Hope you’ve saved room, because festival season is about to go full-swing. You can sample some of Four Peaks’ Pumpkin Porter at Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake October 13-15, and tickets to the Arizona Taco Festival on October 14 and 15 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick are already on sale. The eighth annual Pie Social — sponsored by Roosevelt Row and New Times — is coming to Margaret T. Hance Park November 19, featuring pies baked by local celebrity chefs as well as members of the community. Stay tuned to for more details on that and other upcoming fall food events and news.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.