Welcome to Dining Guides, an intermittent series on what the many dining hubs around the greater Phoenix area have to offer. From breakfast to happy hour drinks, quick coffee to sit-down dining, we break down some of our favorite places in each neighborhood. Today: zeroing in on the Central Avenue Corridor.
There’s a section of Central Avenue, an artery right between Midtown and Uptown, with an abundance of dining options. Here are some of our favorite eateries and watering holes, from Indian School and Camelback roads, in this distinct Phoenix neighborhood.
JL Patisserie4700 North Central Avenue, #121
JL Patisserie, opened by pastry chef Jenna Leurquin in December 2019, offers coffee, pastries, and Wi-Fi in a comfortable, café-like setting. The espresso and house blends here come from Espressions Coffee Roastery, an Arizona coffee roaster. There's also a matcha latte.
Lux Central4402 North Central Avenue
Lux offers an extensive list of espresso drinks with baristas who know their stuff. All coffee beans are hand-roasted in house and come from Brazil, Sumatra, Nicaragua, and more. In addition, Lux serves a variety of great first-meal eats.
BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH
Fame Caffe4700 North Central Avenue
When an eatery feels more like a well-loved home than a restaurant, there’s a good chance some excellent food is about to land on your table. At Fàme Caffe (fàme meaning “hunger” in Italian), the chalkboard menu lists breakfast and brunch items like a veggie scramble, Tres Breakfast Tacos, and the much-loved Frenchie Toast.
Pane Bianco4404 North Central Avenue
Also the best lunch spot in Phoenix, Pane Bianco offers sandwiches served between round cuts of wood-fired focaccia with ingredients like Mozzarella, basil, tomato, Provolone, soppressata, and relish. Chris Bianco’s little sandwich shop also offers a house-made mozzarella salad, albacore tuna salad, and more.
Yoshi’s4050 North Central Avenue
First, some history: This was the site of the first McDonald’s to feature the golden arches when it opened in 1953. The structure was demolished in the 1960s, and Yoshi’s now fills the spot. This local, quick-service Japanese chain is the place for teriyaki chicken combos, dragon beef bowls, noodle dishes, and sushi — best snagged via the drive-thru.
Rott n' Grapes4750 North Central Avenue, #140
For a happy hour at home, swing by Rott n' Grapes for curbside pick-up from 5 to 9 p.m. Bottles of wine start at $15, and mix-and-match beer options start at $10.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce cans and $12.99 for 16-ounce. You can also get your growler, 32 to 64 ounces, filled here. Takeout food includes pizza and bruschetta or charcuterie boards. Call or text 602-888-1667 to order.
Yama Sushi House4750 North Central Avenue, #28
Another takeout idea is Yama Sushi House, which offers a happy hour menu from 2 to 6 p.m. (except Mondays, when it’s closed). Highlights include $2 edamame, $4 Sapporos and sushi rolls, $5 sake bombers, and the $6 Godzilla Roll.
Central Baking Company4727 North Central Avenue
John Pagoto and Drew Gomez, partners in business and life, own Central Baking Company as well as the neighboring Dilemma Hair Salon. Here you can find quick yet from-scratch treats like a pistachio cannolo, pineapple upside-down cupcakes, and an uber fudgy plain brownie.
Persepshen4700 North Central Avenue
After building a following at the Uptown Farmers Market, Jason and Katherine Dwight, a married chef-butcher and baker, opened a Persepshen in late 2019. Everything is scratch-made, right down to bitters, tortillas, and ketchup. The food is New American, with lots of touches from afar: China, India, France, Mexico, and so on. Recommended orders include the impressive charcuterie boards, the duck a l’orange, and the gingerbread if it's available.
The Clever Koi4236 North Central Avenue, #100
This Asian-inspired kitchen and craft cocktail bar has a one-page menu dedicated to food, and the same goes for drinks. Clever Koi makes a great pork or lemon pepper chicken ramen, both in paitan broth, the chicken katsu sandwich, and the Korean hot chicken steamed bun. For a drink with dinner, the Lemongrass Swizzle — a bright and aromatic cocktail served tall — also comes recommended.
Scooptopia4700 North Central Avenue
The team at Scooptopia likes to get creative with its hand-crafted, globally inspired desserts. That means you can score a scoop of lavender, pumpkin, or kulfi-flavored ice cream. As well as shaved ice, boba, milk tea, Thai tea, halo-halo, and taho — or soy and bean curd pudding.
My Tea4750 North Central Avenue
Located in the Landmark Towers, My Tea offers some imaginative shaved ice flavors, including Tiger’s Blood, Blue Cotton Candy, and Honey Dew. Signature shaved “sno” specials are also fun, especially the S’mores order — vanilla sno, Graham Crackers and Oreos, chocolate sauce, and, of course, marshmallow.
George & Dragon English Pub4240 North Central Avenue
Around since 1995, George & Dragon is the Valley’s first and longest-running English pub. Here’s where you can enjoy an imported beer (or whatever American swill you prefer) on the patio along Central Avenue with a view of Central Avenue. Or your favorite mixed drink at a Union Jack-topped table inside this well-loved neighborhood pub.
Across the Pond4236 North Central Avenue, #101
A sushi and cocktail bar (or maybe the other way around, depending on how your evening’s going), Across the Pond offers a big-time craft cocktail experience in petite environs. We recommend the Yojimbo, the Berry White, and the concoction known as the Ms. Paka — lady-shaped glassware, sunrise-colored mixers, and a garnishing of mint, a dried blood orange wheel, and flowers.
See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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