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 24th Street.
You could call it 24th Street, Green Gables, Lower Biltmore, or Arcadia West. It’s the eclectic mix of bars and restaurants between Indian School and McDowell roads that have turned the area into an eating mecca. From dive bars to fine dining, crafty beers, unbeatable bread, authentic Thai street food, wood-fired tapas, or a 20-course tasting menu, this flourishing food hub has you covered.
COFFEE & BREAKFAST
PIP Coffee + Clay2617 North 24th Street
Pip Coffee + Clay is the hippest hybrid on 24th Street. The industrial-chic space, which boasts a coffee bar, clay studio, chic boutique, and coming-soon natural wine bar at night, is the ultimate place to throw back a cold brew and throw down some clay — as in wheel throwing. Take a ceramics class or sign up for open studio time. Newly opened by graphic designer couple Mara and KC Bonnem, who share a love of coffee and clay, the place is brewing with creativity.
Reap & Sow Coffee Bar2303 East Indian School Road
What do you do when you’re a live music venue struck down by COVID? If you’re Rebel Lounge, you turn into Reap & Sow Coffee Bar by day. But it's not just any coffee bar. Overseen by Luke Bentley and Lance Linderman, owners of the design-forward Driftwood Coffee in Peoria, Reap & Sow offers edgy drinks (try the seasonal Cereal Killer Latte), amplified pastries (OMG, the pop tarts!), and the venue is amplified with inspiration, from the local art on the wall to the hip baristas.
Nomada Provisions3410 North 24th Street
Opened by Valentina Huerta and chef Gian Franco Brugaletta of Nonna Urban Eatery in Scottsdale, Nomada Provisions feels like an intimate tour of the couples’ globally inspired pantry. It's stocked with fresh-baked bread, rose and bubbles, cheese and charcuterie, curated snacks and condiments, spices and teas. plus there’s a full coffee bar, ready-made salads, and fresh pasta.
Deseo A Coffee Shack2330 East McDowell Road
Deseo is a true hidden gem. Tucked in on the corner of McDowell Road and 24th Street, the chic shack is the personification of cute, cozy, and charming, with plenty of pops of millennial pink and photo-worthy murals for your Insta feed (the cactus giving you the middle finger is a must-snap). Not that the design outshines the menu. From Mexican-inspired specialty lattes, including a Canelitas cookie sip, to local pastries and avocado toasts, it’s a trendy treat.
Noble Eatery4525 North 24th Street
Noble Eatery serves the best bread in town. Its country loaf is a crusty-on-the-outside-soft-in-the-middle delight, its semolina is a sesame-crusted marvel, and its seeded multigrain will elevate any sandwich. But stopping at the bread would be sacrilege. This lunch nook also serves glorious salads, artisanal sandwiches, perfectly charred pizzas, and even whole family take-and-bake meals that are just as noble.
Nelson’s Meat + Fish2415 East Indian School Road
If you want the freshest catch and freshest cut in Phoenix, Nelson’s Meat + Fish is your place. The seafood case is loaded with fresh-off-the-boat selections, like swordfish, soft-shell crab, scallops, wild striped bass, fancy tuna, and Icelandic cod, while the meat cooler is stocked with premium bone-in pork, hanger steaks, and super porterhouses, It's claimed to be a meat and fish shop first, but the weekly ready-to-eat menu, which includes $2 oysters on Thursdays, "chowdah" on Fridays, and the best damn “lobstah” roll of your life on Wednesdays, makes us wonder.
Khyber Halal Restaurant4030 North 24th Street
Eating at Khyber Halal is like dining in three counties at once. Specializing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indian dishes, the family-owned eatery serves veggie samosas, curries, spicy pilaf dishes, and meaty kabobs alongside lesser-known delicacies like badanjan (smoky eggplant stewed topped with a tangy yogurt sauce) and mantoo (beef-filled dumplings covered in spiced tomato sauce and yogurt). The décor may be no-frills but the food will take you places.
Barb’s Bakery2929 North 24th Street
The display case at Barb’s Bakery will have you drooling. Packed with glazed doughnuts, decorated cookies, perfect petit fours, stacked cakes, and cupcakes galore, everything looks too good to eat, especially the famous pink champagne cupcakes, — pretty in pink confections topped with a cloud of fluffy frosting and sprinkles. But eat you will, each bite filled with a touch of champagne and the creamy delight of buttercream frosting. In other words, bring your sweet tooth.
Old Heidelberg Bakery2210 East Indian School Road
Old Heidelberg Bakery opens daily at 9:30 a.m., but the bread goes fast, especially the hefty loaves of rye. Ditto for the log-sized apple and cherry strudel, flaky danishes, and coffee cakes — all baked fresh daily. That's without mentioning the famous sesame seed-topped pretzels and pretzel croissants. “We’re not responsible for addiction to those,” disclaims owner Chris Laukenmann. Family-owned for more than 50 years, the German bakery and market also sells a full roster of sausages, mustards, fruit jellies, and condiments.
La Purisima Bakery 22318 East Indian School Road
La Purisima’s pan dulce game is strong. Stop in for a selection of colorful conchas coated in crystallized sugar, triangular turnovers filled with fruity guava and cherry, and gingerbread “piggies” you can’t help eating like a piggie yourself. But it’s not just sweet treats coveted at this popular Mexican panaderia, there’s also a savory menu of tempting tamales, fresh homemade tortillas, and green chili burritos that push it way beyond bakery.
Pa’La2107 North 24th Street
Earthy, elevated, chewy, nutty, crunchy, colorful, captivating, hearty, and wholesome. These are just some of the words to describe the Navarro Bowl from Pa’La, a revelation of whole grains, wood-roasted vegetables, toasted seeds, and cannellini beans dressed just right with olive oil, cabernet vinegar, and smoked shoyu soy sauce. So simple, yet so good. Housed in a 1920s bungalow and helmed by chef-owner Claudio Urciuoli, a master at showcasing simple ingredients and a wiz on the wood-fired oven, Pa’la’s always-changing menu of Spanish tapas and South American-influenced seafood bites, is an undisputed delight.
Glai Baan2333 East Osborn Road
This first challenge at Glai Baan is getting a table. Lineups are the norm at the neighborhood spot on Osborn Road. The second is what to order. Focusing on the authentic Thai street food chef/owner Cat Bunnag grew up eating, this is the place that will push you past pad thai to spicy surprises like ka na moo grob (stir-fry with Chinese broccoli and caramelized pork belly), peek gai tod (crispy chicken wings), kanom jeeb (steamed pork dumplings). But desert is easy: kanom custard (steamed coconut custard with spongy Japanese milk bread).
Binkley’s2320 East Osborn Road
Chef Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s doesn’t just serve food, he serves an unparalleled gastronomical experience like no other in the Valley. We’re talking a three-hour, 20-course tasting menu spotlighting elevated ingredients, many picked from the onsite garden, matched with masterful execution. The menu is an ever-evolving symphony of delights, each course building on the next — expect revelations like Spanish octopus with white bean chimichurri, mustard caramel glazed baby back ribs served with coleslaw sorbet, smoked pork ravioli with corn, fava beans, and barbecue beurre rouge — yet the vibe is comfortable and casual.
Wren House Brewing Co.2125 North 24th Street
The beers at Wren House are mesmerizing. Yes, the sought-after Spellbinder for sure, a tropical-tasting hazy IPA in a can designed to leave you seeing double (it won gold at the renowned Great American Beer Festival to boot). But all the craft brews, from sours to stouts, are hypnotically good. Sipping them in their cozy taproom on 24th with fellow beer nerds/lovers, in a 1930s converted bungalow that’s both modern and charming, only adds to their grip.
Helton Brewing Company2144 East Indian School Road
Helton Brewing Company owner Brian Helton knows beer. A Brewmaster and Certified Cicerone, which is basically the holy grail of beer aficionados, and winner of multiple accolades from the World Beer Cup Awards and The Great American Beer Festival Awards, a lot of love and knowledge goes into his stellar suds. There's his crisp Valley Venom Pilsner to his sweet-tart Boysenberry Sour. Hungry? Wash it down with a Bavarian pretzel served with house-made beer cheese and beer mustard or loaded nachos in the spacious taproom.
The Wandering Tortoise Beer Shop & Taproom2417 East Indian School Road
The Wandering Tortoise is a one-stop craft beer crawl. With 21 beers, sours, ciders, and meads on tap and a stocked cooler, hop from the Dreamy Draw IPA from Wren House to the Peanut Butter Jelly Crime mead from Superstition Meadery in Prescott to the Blueberry Cheesecake Frutaleta Sour from Oxnard, California. Go for single drafts or the build-your-own-flight of four-ounce pours. Pair everything with the dog-friendly vibe, beer-savvy staff, and standout tacos, burgers, and hand-cut fries from the Corny Masa Food Truck parked out front, and it’s a full-on trip.
Kat’s Neighborhood Bar2309 East Indian School Road
Everything is a little off-kilter at Kat’s. When your eyes adjust to the dark interior, you’ll see Barbies in compromising positions, including one flying naked on a trapeze, tinsel spinning from the fan, Hot Wheels floating above head, signs askew, and crocodiles crawling on walls, and you’re not seeing double (yet). A neighborhood hang in the best sense, Kat’s delivers pinball, pool, and pours with plenty of personality in addition to drinks.
Shady’s Fine Ales and Cocktails2701 East Indian School Road
A cocktail bar disguised as a dive bar, Shady’s is full of dichotomies. The wood-paneled, dimly lit den is the place to guzzle both cheap beer and sip martinis made with top-shelf spirits. Load up the jukebox with Sinatra and Dean Martin or go more alt with The Pogues, The Specials, and Pretenders. Play pool or lounge in one of the leather banquettes. Either way, Shady’s delivers both pub and polish.
The Rebel Lounge2303 East Indian School Road
The Rebel Lounge is hallowed rock 'n' roll ground. Back in the day, when it was The Mason Jar, it hosted Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Jane’s Addiction, Green Day, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and Nirvana. Still one of Phoenix’s most exciting independent music venues, the intimate space boasts emerging bands like Twin Ponies and Crack Rabbit, plus punk trivia and open mic nights. But here concerts are paired with killer cocktails. Example: the Red Carpet combines Commerce gin with pear simple syrup, ginger beer, and cranberry bitters.
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