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 Portland Parkway Park.
Over the years, the dining options surrounding Portland Parkway Park — the small strip of greenery along Portland Street between First and Third avenues — have grown to the point of creating their own, unique neighborhood. Yes, this is considered part of downtown Phoenix, part of Roosevelt Row, but if you ask anyone living around Portland Parkway Park where they like to go for nearby coffee, lunch, dinner, or drinks, you most likely won’t be traveling far.
With that, here’s an all-day guide to the many food and drink options around Portland Parkway Park.
Coffee and Tea
Lola Coffee1001 North Third Avenue
It's easy to see why this veteran shop is so beloved. Owner and latte art aficionado Daniel Wayne founded Valley favorite Lux Coffee before selling the concept in 2005 and launching Lola Coffee. Home to some of the best coffee in the Valley, Lola also offers decadent homemade pastries, and a Tortilla Española that evokes Madrid. The European rustic charm is just an added perk. Try the Matador, espresso and milk with a hint of mocha and the aforementioned whipped cream, and sip inside the cozy interior or on the patio. Other crowd favorites include the chai and almond milk latte.
Teaspressa100 West Portland Street, #108
Caffeine comes not only as coffee, but as fancy teas as well. The second Valley location of Teaspressa offers a menu of SpecialTEA signature drinks and custom-made Teaspressa blends. What makes this place different is how the drinks are made, looking more like gourmet coffee drinks than just a cup of hot water and a tea bag. There are also coffee, pastries, and toast, as well as afternoon tea services and a small retail area.
Fair Trade Cafe1020 North First Avenue
The original Fair Trade Cafe has occupied its spot at First Avenue and Roosevelt Street for a while. The locally owned coffee shop and small art gallery serves fair- and direct-trade coffees, as well as pastries, ice cream, and a seriously comfortable vibe. There’s also a full menu, listing first-meal items like the breakfast burrito with organic rosemary potatoes, vegetables, ham, and cheese, plus breakfast sandwiches, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, and more.
Daily Jam888 North First Avenue
Whether you prefer OG waffles or their adventurous red velvet cousins, Daily Jam has the best in Arizona, according to the Food Network. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., so don't sweat it if you prefer to sleep in. Take your pick between simple items like yogurt and granola or oats and berries, variations on eggs Benedict, chilaquiles with fresh corn tortillas, lots of omelets, and sautes — sauteed potatoes topped with grilled vegetables and two "almost hard" fried eggs. If none of that sounds appealing, you can always BYOS — build your own sandwich — or slurp down a smoothie. The PB+J is a personal favorite, made with soy milk, blueberries, strawberries, and peanut butter.
Pita Jungle1001 North Third Avenue, #4
The downtown Pita Jungle location is a fun one. There’s garage parking, a beautiful patio, and a big, sunny dining room in what was the 1925-built Gold Spot Marketing Center. Go-to orders include the cilantro jalapeno hummus, the broiled chicken salad, the chipotle black bean burger, and the glazed-chicken lavash pizza. PJ also recently released a keto-friendly menu, and yes, desserts, hot sauces, and adult beverages are available.
SoSoBa214 West Roosevelt Street
Ramen is fun to eat whether it’s hot or cold — it’s warm, delicious, there’s not a lot of chewing, and you can blame your excessive sweating on something. SoSoBa offers a number of fun ramen options, plus cocktails, beer, and starters like sweet chili tofu and bao buns. The Tantanmen Ramen comes recommended, as it packs a little heat. You’ll be served a steaming bowl of ramen noodles in spicy miso pork broth, hoisin ground pork, sautéed greens, sesame seeds, menma, scallions, and a soft egg. You can also add chicken, beef, pork belly, carnitas, tofu, mushrooms, or saku tuna.
The Larder + the Delta200 West Portland Street, #101
Whether or not DeSoto Central Market went kaput, Chef Stephen Jones had to move his New Southern, counter-service eatery to a higher-volume space to keep up with demand. Thus, the Larder + the Delta was relocated to Portland Street. The spot offers a sleek, lengthy bar, some tables, and a wildly scenic patio. And while some menu items include chicken skins, crispy pig ears with Cheetos, and Miller Light (part of some killer happy hour specials), other, veggie-heavy dishes include the Buffalo “chicken” cauliflower, parsley root, Hoppin’ John, and more. Jones is one of the Valley’s many vegetables wizards, as we’ve gone on about before, and downtown Phoenix is a better place for it.
Match Restaurant & Lounge1100 North Central Avenue
Step inside the art boutique Found:RE hotel for some avant-garde vibes, and stay for the food, cocktails, and dog-friendly patio. This property has no shortage of creativity. Match Restaurant & Lounge, Found:RE's stylish neighborhood eatery, serves modernized comfort food in a small-plate format all day. Keep it classy with charred wings in an apricot habanero sauce or go for a wood-grilled hamburger with white cheddar and a side of fries. Plus, it's a fun place to stop by before or after a visit to Portland Parkway Park.
Rott n' Grapes4750 North Central Avenue
Spotted at Roosevelt Street and Third Avenue, Rott n' Grapes RoRo, as the name would suggest, is another spot for drinks nearby Portland Parkway Park. There’s an eclectic wine menu, beer, cocktails, and even a full menu. There’s also the Onyx — Rott N’ Grapes' speakeasy-style lounge for customers getting cozy among the comfy couches, candlelit tables, and soft atmosphere.
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GenuWine Arizona888 North First Avenue, #101
GenuWine Arizona has several attributes we’d like to highlight right off. It’s a female-owned, self-serve wine and beer bar, bottle shop, and cafe offering build-your-own cheese boards and small plates. Its drink menu lists primarily Arizona wines and beers from Carlson Creek, Merkin Vineyards, Helton Brewing Company, SanTan Brewing Company, and more. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, when guests get $2 off draft beers, full glasses of wine, and small plates.
FEZ105 West Portland Street
FEZ, which relocated to the Portland Parkway Park area from its midtown Central Avenue spot years ago, has a lot to offer. There’s a great weekend brunch, lunch daily, two happy hours, and not much beats those garlic and rosemary fries. But what really helps FEZ stand out is its late-night availability. It’s open till midnight on school nights, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Pair your FEZ burger or honey cashew chicken with a FEZombie or B-Spot well into the night. Plus, the light rail stop is right across the street, waiting to zip you on home.