Welcome to Dining Guides, an intermittent series on the many dining hubs around the greater Phoenix area and what they have to offer. Breakfast to drinks, quick coffee to sit-down dining, we break down some of our favorite places in each neighborhood. Today, we want to zero in on lower Seventh Avenue in the Coronado District.
The Coronado District is easily one of our cuter neighborhoods, if we may use that word to describe some serious eats along lower Seventh Street in central Phoenix. It’s as versatile as it is historic, with a plethora of vegan options, classic diner, killer cocktails, and worldly eats. Let’s break it down.
Urban Beans3508 North Seventh Street
Urban Beans offers freshly brewed coffee and espresso drinks as well as teas and other specialty beverages. Think latte, chai, mocha, and the UB 24 Hour Cold Brew. In addition to your caffeine dream, you can order Italian soda, juice, horchata, smoothies, and frappes. Oh, and don’t forget the pear almond scone or zenergy bar.
Bikini Beans Coffee2330 North Seventh Street
So, this place is kind of like the Hooters of coffee shops, but if you’re looking for a local coffee shop on Seventh Street, Bikini Beans offers hot or iced versions of caffeinated concoctions like the tuxedo, toasted coconut, and the White Ninja. Just pick a size — A-Cup (12 ounces), B-Cup (16-ounces), or C-Cup (20 ounces). The two-pieces come out as early as 5 a.m. weekdays.
The Coronado2201 North Seventh Street
This casual, vegetarian eatery and coffee shop serves breakfast all day, including two freshly baked biscuits topped with rosemary-mushroom gravy. There’s also a breakfast burrito, chia pudding, avocado toast, and a farmyard vegetable scramble with your choice of egg or tofu. There’s also a selection of coffee, fresh pastries, and a dog-friendly patio. The Coronado opens at 7 a.m. daily.
Nami2014 North Seventh Street
The all-vegan brunch menu at Nami is available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Brunch-A-Tizers include the “Sinful” cinnamon sticky buns, while entrees include tres leches French toast and chilaquiles. To beef up brunch, though no beef is involved whatsoever, you can add sage sausage hash, organic tofu scramble, and organic tempeh bacon.
Green New American Vegetarian2022 North Seventh Street
This 100 percent vegan restaurant serves comfort food ideal for lunch out of the office or a just a midday break. Those vegan buffalo wings can hang with the real thang, while the peanut mock chicken salad is yes, a big salad, but it will go fast. Another recommendation at Green is the original “g” spicy po-boy — a messy handheld just waiting to be ordered. The house-made drinks are also a treat, and include the organic sweet lime, strawberry lemonade, electric nectar, and organic fair trade (unsweetened) green tea — all made with unrefined organic sugar.
America's Taco Shop2041 North Seventh Street
If you’re on the hunt for Mexican food, head for the 2008-established America's Taco Shop. The menu offers al pastor, char-grilled chicken, and carne asada in the form of tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, quesadillas, and nachos. Even for a quick snack, you could order chips and guacamole, or just a homemade agua fresca for the road.
Thai Recipe Bistro2234 North Seventh Street
The recently opened Thai Recipe Bistro offers lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. Diners can pick a protein and pair it with jasmine rice and a veggie roll. The menu lists curry, soup, fried rice, noodle dishes, and more. One recommendation is the Crying Tiger — char-broiled marinated beef served on a hot plate with house chili lime sauce.
Urban Cookies Bakeshop2325 North Seventh Street
This beloved bakery is ideal for a quick treat in the Coronado district. Pick up anything from a snickerdoodle to a pineapple coconut cookie to a dark chocolate cookie with sea salt, or head in for the cupcakes, dessert bars, doughnuts, or ice cream. If it’s just a boost you need after lunch, Urban Cookies offers a full menu of Passport Coffee & Tea products.
Taco Guild546 East Osborn Road
In additional to tequila, Taco Guild’s bar has dark and light rum, beers, wine — a full bar, really. And you can mix anything with Mexican Coke (which they have in bottles at $3 a pop). But the best part is the piping hot bowl of tortilla chips that come spinning out once you sit at the bar — complete with three sauces. Other quick snacks include the Diablo Eggs, yucca fries, and the queso fundido.
Bri2221 North Seventh Street
This house restaurant in the Coronado neighborhood offers delectable small plates and outdoor seating. The patio consists of picnic-style booths, sunshades, heaters, and of course, swooping bistro lights, all while inside, the setting is cozy, quaint, and welcoming. The food is good, but the drinks and snacks are better. Be sure to try the Bri Paloma, and do not sleep on those honey butter chips. The eatery is closed Monday and Sunday, so plan for that happy hour happening Tuesday through Saturday. And by the way, Wednesday is all-hours happy hour pricing. Expect $2 off beer and house cocktails, $5 glasses of Spanish wine, or $20 bottles.
The Main Ingredient Ale House & Café2337 North Seventh Street
Attention, mac and cheese fans. This is where to be. Sergio’s Mac & Cheese at The Main Ingredient Ale House & Café is a baked dish of cheese pasta with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a drizzle of pesto. The cozy little house restaurant also has wine and specialty cocktails like the Dream Daquiri, the TMI Negron, and the Alameda Margarita, but this place is an ale house for a reason. Choose from a full page of draft, bottled, and canned beers. During happy hour (11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday) it’s $2 off all draft beers, well liquor, and select wines by the glass, plus $4 off specialty cocktails.
El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant & Bar2605 North Seventh Street
For super-fans of Peruvian food, the family-owned El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant & Bar has probably been your spot since its 2014 opening. Starters include a crispy chicharron, the salchipapa (french fries with fried sliced hot dogs), and the beloved anticuchos — marinated grilled beef heart kebabs. For entrees, get excited for the tacu tacu de mariscos, ceviche mixto, and the arroz chaufa — a Peruvian-meets-Chinese fusion-style dish of chicken fried rice. The menu also offers vegetarian dishes, soups, sides, and desserts — as well as killer margaritas and other craft cocktails. All this and more can be enjoyed in the small yet colorful dining room.
Humble Pie2333 North Seventh Street
This is your pizza place on lower Seventh Street. One of nine locations across Arizona, Humble Pie offers a full menu of red and white pizzas, Italian-focused appetizers, and pastas. But diners can also expect salads, sandwiches, burgers, and a lengthy wine list. That drink list also include beer — imported, domestic, and Arizona-based — as well as signature cocktails like the Skinny Size “0.”
Rice Paper Vietnamese Restaurant2241 North Seventh Street
Every list needs a token hip spot, and the Coronado neighborhood provides that place with the cozy, house-turned-restaurant Rice Paper. Advertised as a spring roll bar, the menu is dominated by its many rolls, but fear not, the small pho section certainly makes up for its size through flavor.
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Nami2014 North Seventh Street
Yes, Nami is on here twice, because the tSoynami is easily the best frozen vegan dessert in metro Phoenix. It is basically a vegan version of a Dairy Queen Blizzard. We're super into the Doughboy, which features vegan cookie dough. In the mood for something more sophisticated? Try the Chai Tiramisu. Granted, it's not really all that tiramisu-like, but the animal crackers take the place of ladyfingers and bring a crunchy texture to the soft-serve chai blend. And with more than 15 tSoynami combos on the menu plus a seasonal recipe, there are plenty of choices for every taste.
MacAlpine's Diner & Soda Fountain2303 North Seventh Street
MacAlpine's is an iconic spot with its red booths, jukeboxes, and attached antique store, along with endless syrup options and ice cream sodas available to order with fun, pop-culture referencing names. The staff wear those pink dresses you won't see anywhere else; essentially, this is an dessert haven.