A Spring Training Guide to Food and Drink - East Valley

This week Chow Bella takes a look at the culinary options available to Spring Training fans outside of the stadiums. Today we'll feature dining and drinking options for all games held in the East Valley.

Phoenix Municipal Stadium 599 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix Inside the Ballpark: Phoenix Municipal Stadium, home to the Oakland A's, is nestled among the striking red rock hills of Papago park. With close proximity to Desert Botanical Gardens, Papago Golf Course, and the Phoenix zoo, "Muni" is a family-friendly destination and the perfect place to soak in some desert scenery.

The ballpark offers a good selection of microbrews and standard ballpark fare, with barbeque sandwiches added to the menu this year. Inside you'll find a shaded grassy picnic area where you can hang with the family while you nosh on foot longs.

Just outside the park, options are limited, with a Starbucks and sub shop just up Priest Drive.Luckily, many other destinations are just a short ride in the car.Or better yet, hop the light rail just down the street from the stadium.

Moon Shots: Pre and Post Game Drinking

Papago Brewing Co. - The décor says dive bar, but the awesome beer selection will have you proudly planting yourself on that peeling barstool anyway. With over 30 beers on tap and an entire wall of bottled beers, this place is a beer connoisseurs' paradise.


Four Peaks Brewery - Just a 5 minute walk from the light rail and a short ride from the stadium, the Tempe location of Four Peaks Brewery offers a great selection of locally made beer on tap. They are regular award winners at the Great American Beer Festival, and with their recent nod as one of the best microbreweries in the nation, this place is not to be missed.

1340 East 8th Street, Tempe


The Library - Though it is known for being an ASU party destination, this large venue offers everything a great bar requires, tons of seating - a plethora of drink specials, and a primo corner spot for people-watching.

501 South Mill Ave., Tempe


Hazelwood's First Place Sports Grill - Around a fifteen minute drive from the stadium, this sports bar offers 31 flat screen TV's, trivia events, and free Wi-Fi. Not up for a guitar hero competition? Just escape to the covered patio while you sip your suds.

3626 Indian School Road, Phoenix


Table Setters: Family Friendly

Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles - About a ten minute drive from the stadium, the Scottsdale location of Lo-Lo's offers great combination plates of chicken and waffles sure to please the pickiest pint-sized pitchers on your team.

2765 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale


Alice Cooper'stown - Fifteen minutes from the stadium, this downtown Phoenix restaurant has something for everyone, including mac n'cheese, barbeque sandwiches, and a 22 inch long hot dog. The walls are filled with rock and roll memorabilia among giant TV's, and though your teens are too young to remember the original Kiss, they'll be impressed by the way this place rocks.

101 East Jackson Street, Phoenix


Pita Jungle - Just off the light rail, this local Mediterranean spot is known for its friendly staff and great menu with tons of tasty vegetarian options. Ask for the kids menu or be adventurous and order one of the combination platters.

1250 E. Apache Blvd, Tempe


Cornish Pasty Co. - This diveish spot is known for its flakey pastries baked until golden fluffy and loaded with dozens of delicious fillings. The steak and rutabaga a little too adventurous for your tot? No worries, the PB& J pasty can't be beat.

960 West University Drive, Tempe


Sweet Spots: Fine Dining

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine Bar - Not your average pizza joint, the pies are topped with gourmet ingredients like roasted artichokes and heirloom tomatoes. Order a hand crafted cocktail or check out the wine list which includes a well-edited selection, both by the glass and bottle.

699 S Mill Ave, Tempe


Café Boa - Just 5 minutes from the stadium, this stylish bistro is serious about wine, winning several Wine Spectator awards with its extensive list of wines by the glass, bottle, and selection of wine flights. The menu is seasonal and fresh with a focus on local, organic, and sustainable items.

398 South Mill Ave., Tempe


Quiessence - Though Quiessence is around 20 minutes from the stadium, the relaxing vibe embodied by this restaurant located within The Farm at South Mountain will be well worth the drive. The menu, which changes daily, includes a spring line up of whatever ingredients are freshest at the farm. Reservations are recommended.

6106 South 32nd Street, Phoenix


Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players

Though they keep a low profile, word is that sometimes players can be spotted milling around Tempe's Mill Avenue. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Tempe Diablo Stadium 2200 West Alameda Drive www.tempe.gov/diablo

Inside the Ballpark:

Tempe Diablo Stadium has been the home of the 2009 AL West Division Champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 1993. The stadium originally opened in 1969 but underwent a $20 million dollar renovation in 2005. It seats 9,600 and the Angels use the first base dugout. Concession-wise, nothing fancy, it's mostly dogs and beer, but hey it's baseball. Fans are permitted to bring food into the stadium as long as it is not in bulk quantity. Cans, thermoses, ice chests and hard containers are prohibited with the exception of bottled water no larger that 1 liter. You can also get a "Bigger Better Burger" (try saying that 3 times fast), which is a ½ lb. bacon cheeseburger. This park is a good place to score a picture or autograph. Players walk from the practice field just west of the main stadium through the west parking lot on their way into the ball field. Turnstiles open an hour and a half prior to event time and Tempe Diablo can boast of a picturesque setting with beautiful desert mountains right behind the left field line. Batter up!

Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking

Rula Bula: Located in the Mill Avenue walking district, Rula Bula serves up traditional pub fare - delicious fish & chips, shepards pie and of course, pints of Guinness and Harp. Live music in the evenings. Happy hour is Mon.- Sat. 2-6 PM and Sunday 2 PM until close.

401 S. Mill Ave 480-929-9500


Doc & Eddy's: A tad dive-y, but a good place for just hanging out sports bar style -- we're talking pool tables and wings.

909 E. Minton Drive 480-831-0635

Cartel Coffee Lab: Sometimes what you need to get pumped up is a quality cup of java. Cartel offers seriously good coffee in a cool setting. Grab a latte or cappuccino and enjoy the people watching.

225 W. University Dr. Suite 101 480-225-3899


Table Setters: Family Friendly

Cornish Pasty Co. - A local favorite, don't be surprised if you make more than one trip -- or stock up with extras to carry with you into the stadium. Have a pint while you wait. This is good grub prepared with care. Try The Oggie, the Chicken Tikka Masala, or the Cheese Steak. One drawback, the place is small. If you're eating in, it's best for parties of 2 or 3.

960 W. University, Suite 103 480-894-6261


Los Dos Molinos: Flavorful and spicy, driving a ways to get to the always-worth-it Los Dos Molinos location in South Phoenix is recommended. The service can be spotty, but the margaritas and carne adovada -- not to mention the kitschy, colorful vibe -- more than make up for it.

8684 S. Central Ave 602-243-9113


Monti's la Casa Vieja: Look, it's an institution -- practically as old as the sport of baseball itself. Think steaks in a cavernous, wood-paneled setting. Slide into a red leather banquette and look at the old black and white photos of historic Tempe that cover the walls.

100 S. Mill Ave 480-967-7594


Sweet Spots: Fine Dining

House of Tricks: Cozy restaurant in a 1920's cottage with patio dining. With a canopy of trees and large wine menu, it's the romantic option. Closed Sundays.

114 E. 7th Street 480-968-1114


Dave's Electric Brewpub: The food here is as American as baseball and apple pie, but Dave's Electric Brewpub delivers with Arizona microbrews on tap. Also check out the patio and indoor-outdoor bar.

502 S. College Ave 480-967-5353


The Dhaba: Looking for a changeup? Well if tasty lamb curry and homemade garlic naan are your thing, don't miss The Dhaba specializing in the cuisine of the Punjab region of Northern India.

1876 Apache Boulevard East 480-446-2824


Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players

It's a bit of a drive - hey this is Phoenix - but our sources tell us to check out The Lodge or the nightclub Dirty Pretty. Chicago Cubs: HoHoKam Park 1235 N. Center Street, Mesa www.hohokamstadium.com

Inside the Ballpark: Although recent reports say this may be the last spring the Chicago Cubs spend at Hohokam Park, insiders say there's little chance they'll move to Florida. That's good news to the masses of fans that flock to the winter home of the Cubs each year, frequently selling out the largest capacity of seats of any Major League spring training stadium. And while baseball buffs can't bring food inside the stadium, the concession stands offer a variety of foodstuffs including the Arizona Fajitas Dog (topped with salsa, onions, green peppers and guacamole) and the New York City Rueben Dog (piled high with sauerkraut, cheese and 1000 Island dressing). Not into hot dogs or overpriced ballpark chow while singing along to Take Me Out to the Ballgame? Don't expect to nosh nearby. Get into a car, Arizona style, and head into downtown Mesa.

Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking

Diamond's Sports Grille (formerly Sluggo's): Steeped in Cubs history (opened by former Cubs broadcasters Harry Caray and Steve Stone) and just blocks away from the stadium, Sluggo's may have changed its name, but its reputation as a hangout for Cubs fans has stayed true blue. Boasting TVs, fabulous fare, Old Style Beer, and baseball memorabilia up the yin-yang, it's springtime in Chicago...in Mesa.

161 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, 480-844-3888


R.T. O'Sullivans on Southern: Tons o' TVs, decent drink prices on a wide selection of brews, and a large interior and exterior patio make this Irish-themed sports bar perfect for game-time celebrations with fellow groupies. Skip the food if you can - it's sketchy.

1010 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, 480-844-1290


Sun Devil Liquors: Inside what appears to be a run-of-the-mill booze shop, complete with drive-thru window, lies a first-rate liquor and wine establishment with a charming downstairs drinkery. Midwestern baseball banterers will enjoy the basement feel.

235 N. Country Club Dr., Mesa, 480-834-5050


Table Setters: Family Friendly

Los Dos Molinos: While the exterior is not as attractive as its downtown locale, inside, it's the same fiery fiesta of taste. With scrumptious salsas and handmade tortillas, bring-the-heat fans will find themselves washing it all down with large pitchers of margaritas magnífico at this moderately priced Mexican restaurant.

260 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa, 480-969-7475


Queen's Pizzeria: Gourmet pizza, crazy-good meatball sandwiches and sweet treats in this artsy, downtown setting. Make sure your party will fit into its cozy quarters.

125 W. Main St., 480-964-1609


Grandma's Kitchen: Grandma's cooking breakfast and lunch for fans big and small in this cute little spot specializing in unique, off-menu specials like: grandma's meatloaf, spinach quiche, and blueberry pancakes. Like Nanna, the portions are sensible, the play area fun, and the toys free (but only for good little baseball bambinos).

19 N. Robson, Mesa, 480-969-7219

Sweet Spots: Fine Dining

De la Cruz Bistro: Casual dining with a modest price tag, patrons can enjoy noshing from fare on a simple, but outstanding menu that includes prime rib and crawfish etouffee. Share a baseball story or two inside the welcoming interior or on the outdoor patio.

11 W. Main St., 480-258-6942

Il Vinaio: Push past the Denny's-like exterior, and newcomers to this American/Mediterranean restaurant will find a un-diner like, casual atmosphere of delectable cuisine, live entertainment, and a solid selection of boutique wines and micro-brews.

70 W. Main St., 480-649-6476


Nunthaporn's Thai Cuisine: Thank goodness one of the few Thai places in Mesa is a good one. As pre- and post-game patrons decide between reasonably priced drunken noodles or red curry, appetizers and soups are served in a cozy, understated setting with lots of tables for two. Make sure to share or prepare for leftovers.

17 W. Main St., 480-649-6140


Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players: Word has it the Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn and Resort draws a Cubbie or two, as well as the Best Western Mezona Inn. San Francisco Giants: Scottsdale Stadium
7408 East Osborn Rd.

Inside the Ballpark:
The spring home of the San Francisco Giants is one of the prettiest stadiums around, with over 200 trees, grassy areas, and a 12,000 seat arena on 11 acres in the heart of Scottsdale. The original Scottsdale Stadium was built in 1956. After the Giants started training there, the stadium was razed and a new, state-of-the-art facility with framed baseball memorabilia and sidewalk bricks in the shape of home plate was unveiled in 1992. In keeping with the sleek new digs, grub at Scottsdale Stadium isn't limited to hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks. In addition to those ballpark staples, look for fresh fruit and salads at the Farmers Market stand, tacos and nachos in the concession booths and Gordon Biersch's amazing garlic fries. Just remember to steer clear of the latter if you're on a date, or consider heading out to any one of the dozens of great restaurants in nearby Old Town Scottsdale after the game.

Moon Shots: Pre- and Post-Game Drinking

Cien Agaves Tacos and Tequila: Pitchers of red sangria, lobster tacos and a mind-boggling selection of tequilas make for an upscale alternative to crowded sports bars.
7228 E. 1st Ave.


Upper Deck Sports Grill: You won't miss a second of the game on the 15-foot projection screens and 30+ plasmas here. Not exactly gourmet eats, but decent.
4224 N. Craftsman Court


Pattie's 1st Avenue Lounge & Patio: Prized for its shaded brick patio and dive-y atmosphere, this casual hangout yields cheap bottled beer and an unpretentious crowd.    
7220 E. 1st Ave. 


Table Setters: Family Friendly

The Sugar Bowl: Satisfy your post-game sweet tooth with sundaes and waffle cones at this nostalgic ice cream parlor which had a recurring role in Bil Keane's comic strip The Family Circus.
4005 N. Scottsdale Rd.


Los Olivos Mexican Patio: Faux stone temples, mushroom skylights and an entirely blue room are feasts for the eyes, while fairly authentic grub is a treat for the palate.
7328 E. 2nd St.


Bacon: Get ready to pig out at this eclectic breakfast spot, where everything from omelets and sandwiches to the cute egg-in-a-hole breakfast comes loaded with the restaurant's crispy, delicious namesake. 
4175 N. Goldwater Blvd.

Sweet Spots: Fine Dining

The Mission: Finding a seat at this trendy Latin-inspired Old Town eatery is a mission in itself, but it's worth it for the ambience and Chef Matt Carter's amazing short ribs and pork shoulder tacos with pineapple glaze.
3815 N. Brown Ave.


Daily Dose: Though known for comforting brunch dishes like the banana split pancakes and hangover sandwich with bacon, turkey sausage and cheddar on sourdough, don't pass up the dinner entrees at this chic hangout, which average $15 a plate.
4020 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Stingray Sushi: Fresh sashimi, rolls and dumplings, with half-price sake carafes and food specials under $5 during happy hour from 3-7 p.m. weekdays.
4302 N. Scottsdale Rd.


La Petite Maison: With just 33 indoor seats and a menu that includes foie gras, coq au vin and bouillabaisse, this quaint French bistro from Chef James Porter is small on space and big on flavor.
7216 E. Shoeman Ln. 


Circus Catch: Places to Spot Players
The San Francisco Giants used to hang at Scottsdale's famed Pink Pony until the sixty-year-old institution folded last year. Rumor has it they're migrating to Don & Charlie's at 7501 E. Camelback Rd. in Scottsdale, so it's likely you'll spot a Giant or two (or twenty) there after a game.

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