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.