Festive food and drink events happening this December around Phoenix | Phoenix New Times

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Festive food and drinks events happening around Phoenix this December

Food-centric holiday markets, a mezcal white elephant and a night of pies are among the Valley's December events.
Brunching with the Grinch at The Lola is one of several food and drinks events happening around the Valley this December.
Brunching with the Grinch at The Lola is one of several food and drinks events happening around the Valley this December. The Lola
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there are plenty of ways to mingle and jingle your way through December. Feel the holiday spirit at a festive cocktail pop-up or pick up holiday treats for the foodie in your life at one of many seasonal markets. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a food or drinks event for everyone. Here are our picks for 15 food and drinks events happening around Phoenix this December.

Visit a Holiday Pop-up Bar

All month
Multiple locations
There’s plenty of ho-ho-holiday cheer and spirits at these limited edition bars, which will pop up across the Valley and feature holiday-themed drinks, bites and decor. Get cozy in a forestry dome in The Ember Lounge at Desert Ridge Marketplace, experience a “Die Hard”-like story with Rudolph's Wrath at the Trophy Room or sip and savor a boozy brunch with the Grinch at The Lola. Check out our full list of the holiday bars not to miss this season.

Phoenix Food Co-op Pie Night

Dec. 1
5070 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix Food Co-op is hosting a pie tasting at Practical Art. Taste a selection of pies made by baker Karen Olson, including pecan pies highlighting local ingredients from the co-op. Guests also have the option to receive a plate made by ceramist Judith Amiel Bendheim as part of their ticket. Tickets are $25-50 and proceeds from the event support the co-op.

click to enlarge Wine Girl Scottsdale bar
Bring a toy to Wine Girl and toast your good deed with a tasting or mimosa bar.
Wine Girl

Fill the Bus Toy Drive

Dec. 3
4205 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Wine Girl will host its third annual toy drive benefitting the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children. Those who bring a toy to donate can step onto the Wine Bus, which will be decorated for the holidays, and enjoy a mimosa bar, wine tastings, pictures with dirty Santa, games and giveaways. Festive attire is encouraged.

Taste new restaurants at The Global Ambassador

Dec. 6
4360 E. Camelback Road
The Global Ambassador, the highly anticipated luxury hotel from longtime restaurateur Sam Fox will open its doors, along with four of its five new restaurants, this month. The restaurants take inspiration from around the world and include Parisian steakhouse Le Âme; bakery and cheese shop Le Market; craft cocktail room Lobby Bar; poolside Mexican and Peruvian restaurant Pink Dolphin; and théa Mediterranean Rooftop, which will be Arizona’s largest rooftop restaurant when it opens in mid-January.

Holiday Wine and Dine

Dec. 7
8777 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The Holiday Wine and Dine returns to the SHOPS at Gainey Village where attendees can sip, shop, listen to live music, take a horse and carriage ride and meet Santa. This free event includes hot chocolate by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, juice tastings at Kaleidoscope Juice and cookies from Sprouts Farmer’s Market. Complimentary wine tastings will be available at participating restaurants including Lure Fish House and Village Tavern, among others.
click to enlarge Heritage Night Market
Heritage Night Market is a twist on a traditional farmers market.
Heritage Night Market

Heritage Night Market

Dec. 7 and 21
9600 W. Sportsman's Park South, Glendale
Heritage Night Market, a twist on a traditional farmers market, gets a dose of holiday cheer for its December events. On Dec. 7, Santa Claus will be at the market. Grab a selfie with Jolly ‘ol St. Nick and then enjoy food and beverage specials, watch the Thursday night football game from the beer garden or listen to some live music. On Dec. 21, Rainbow Ryders will offer a tethered hot air balloon experience. During both nights of the market, expect local food items to enjoy in the moment or to buy as a holiday gift. There will also be local artisans and vendors.

Local Love: Holiday Market

Dec. 9
1325 W. University Drive, Tempe
Get gifts for the foodies in your life at Local Love, a holiday market hosted at Tracy Dempsey Originals and ODV Wines. The bakery will have a selection of artisan cheeses and sweets including mini cakes, brownies and bars and The Original Bacon Pecan Brittle. The wine shop will showcase a variety of Arizona bottles. Other options include Carolina’s Chocolate, coffee from What’s Brewing AZ, non-alcoholic beverages from The Sober Somm, Midge Chocolate and Twisted Union Wine Co. Shoppers are encouraged to sample, sip and shop for a variety of items that can be made into gift baskets for your nearest and dearest.
click to enlarge Queen Creek Olive Mill
Learn about olive oil and tour the estate for Queen Creek Olive Mill's Olivepalooza Harvest Festival.
Queen Creek Olive Mill

Olivepalooza Harvest Festival

Dec. 9 and 10
25062 S. Meridian Road, Queen Creek
Olivepalooza at Queen Creek Olive Mill returns to celebrate all things olive, particularly their oil. The free two-day festival will include olive oil 101 classes, tractor tours of the estate, olive crown making, live cooking demos, live music and a beer and wine garden. Learn more here.

Phx Art & Wine Fest

Dec. 9 and 10
1202 N. Third St.
The Phoenix Festival of the Arts is now Phx Art & Wine Fest, with an amped-up focus on Arizona wines and more food to sample. The event will continue to celebrate the Valley’s artists and culture with work from more than 50 artists on display. Tickets range from $20 to $35 and may be purchased through Eventbrite.

Willy Wonka-themed Dinner

Dec. 13
1100 N. Central Ave.
The FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel will present an enchanting five-course dining experience inspired by Roald Dahl’s beloved “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’’ The first course starts on a sweet note with a mini golden ticket Wonka bar. Next up, the “Bucket Family Dinner,” is a braised cabbage consomme with a garlic dumpling and burnt rosemary. The next course features an arugula salad with mozzarella, strawberries, prosciutto and a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. Taking a cue from the book and movie’s “Testing Room,” next taste a honey-cinnamon fizz shooter with “lickable wallpaper.” The entree is braised beef mole enchiladas with queso fresco, lime-cured red onion and cilantro. Dessert is naturally chocolatey, too – a flourless chocolate cake covered in a mirror glaze, topped with a praline hazelnut tuille with a milk chocolate hazelnut mousse and candied hazelnuts. Tickets are $69 and can be reserved on Eventbrite.
click to enlarge Phoestivus market downtown Phoenix
Phoestivus returns to downtown Phoenix this December, with an additional day to shop and sip.


Dec. 14 to 16
720 N. Fifth St.
The beloved and quirky holiday craft and farmers market Phoestivus, presented by Community Food Connections, is returning for its 14th year at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market. New this year, Phoestivus has expanded to three days of festivities and shopping, featuring more than 150 small businesses, music, live performances, delicious and diverse food and appearances by Phreddie the Yeti and Hipster Santa. Phoestivus has also added a new beverage zone serving local sips from Greenwood Brewery, O.H.S.O. Brewery + Distillery, Walter Station and more. As an added surprise, this year also brings the chance to uncover a secret speakeasy hidden within the event. The is event is free and open to all ages and pets.

Tamale-making class

Dec. 16
8608 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
Just in time for the holidays, Macayo’s Mexican Food will teach guests how to make red beef and green corn tamales at its Scottsdale location. Tickets are $50, including lunch and a Margarita de Macayo. You’ll also take home the tamales you make in class.

Wandering Tortoise Seventh Anniversary Celebration

Dec. 15 to 17
2417 E. Indian School Road
The Wandering Tortoise, the bottle shop and taproom, will mark its seventh birthday over three days this month. The bar will have 47 beers available including special collaborations. Food served during the weekend will include resident food stall Sink or Swim, Flagstaff pizzeria Pizzicletta and a whole pig roast with PHX Lechon Roasters.

Mezcal White Elephant

Dec. 17
829 N. First Ave.
BARCOA Agaveria is planning a mezcal-themed gift exchange this holiday season. White Elephant goers will receive a welcome cocktail with a number on the bottom – indicating your order in the swap. The gifts will be full-size bottles of small-batch, artisanal mezcals that retail between $85 and $130. During the exchange, guests will learn about each bottle that’s unwrapped – details about its maker, varietal and production details. Advance tickets are required and available on Eventbrite for $99. Food from Provecho will be available for purchase.

Project Christmas Toy Drive

Dec. 17
1325 Grand Ave., Suite 3
Mis Raices Cafe and influencer Bryan Soto, who goes by Señor Foodie, are hosting a toy drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the coffee shop. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy, and will receive 15% off at Mis Raices for each toy donated until Dec. 24. During the event, Bagelero will be selling homemade bagels and Vinyl Vago will be on hand to DJ.
click to enlarge
Get a free taco from Mesquite Fresh Street Mex when you bring a new, unwrapped toy to one of its nine Valley locations.
Mesquite Fresh Street Mex

Toys for Tacos

Through Dec. 18
Multiple locations
Mesquite Fresh Street Mex is again partnering with The Foster Alliance to share holiday cheer with Arizona foster children through its Toys for Tacos campaign. Customers who bring in a new, unwrapped toy to one of the Mexican restaurant’s nine Valley locations will receive a free taco. The alliance’s gift wish list includes items for children of all ages including art supplies, dolls, board games, Lego sets and books. Gifts can be dropped off through Dec. 18.
Chris French, left, who owns Far Away Wine and Provisions with Pat Jasmin, was recently hospitalized.
Tom Reardon

A Fundraiser for Chris French

Dec. 18
4700 N. 12th St., Suite 118
The hospitality community is hosting a fundraiser for Faraway Wine + Provisions co-owner Chris French, who has recently been hospitalized. The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hidden Track Bottle Shop & Wine Bar in uptown Phoenix and include food and wine. All proceeds from the event will go to French to help with his medical bills. Donations can also be made on GoFundMe.

Edible Evergreen: Charcuterie Christmas Tree Class

Dec. 20
6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., #109, Glendale
The Lola will host a hands-on workshop, where guests can learn how to build a savory charcuterie board Christmas tree. Instructors will share how to arrange and shape cured meats, artisanal cheeses and garnishes to resemble a festive Tannenbaum. The class is $50 and includes the items needed to make your tree and a glass of wine.
click to enlarge
The Canal Club serves Cuban-inspired food and cocktails.
The Canal Club

Cristalino Tequila Pairing Dinner

Dec. 20
4925 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The Canal Club, the Cuban-inspired restaurant inside The Scott Resort & Spa, will host a five-course meal paired with Cristalino tequila, which is aged and then filtered to remove the color that naturally occurs from its time inside a barrel. Learn about the history and crafting processes while you taste. Tickets for the dinner are $130 and may be purchased through Eventbrite.

Holiday Cocktail Class at Butler's Easy

Dec. 22
8375 N. Seventh St.
Join Butler's Easy mixologist Rosemary Gee for a holiday-themed cocktail-making class, just in time for a weekend of hosting and celebrations. Guests will try spirits and completed drinks to learn about building flavors into each sip. Attendees will also shake up their own concoctions. Tickets are $30 and may be reserved on Eventbrite.
click to enlarge
Get to know the different styles of Cabernet Sauvignon from the mountain areas of Napa Valley for Rift Wine + Tap's Wine 202 class.
Allison Trebacz

Wine 202: Napa Valley Mountain Wines

Dec. 22
431 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Rift Wine + Tap will guide guests through a class and tasting focused on different styles of Cabernet Sauvignon from the mountain American Viticultural Areas of the Napa Valley, specifically from Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain and Howell Mountain. The class is $40 and also includes a charcuterie board.

The Genuine Presents: A Dining Experience with Taittinger Champagne

Dec. 28
6015 N. 16th St.
Why wait until midnight on New Year’s Eve for Champagne? The Genuine has partnered with Taittinger Champagnes for an indulgent five-course pairing dinner crafted by chef Jeremy Pacheco. The first course is an oyster shooter with Champagne mignonette and caviar. The second dish is a cauliflower panna cotta with Dungeness crab and a citrus salad with a truffle vinaigrette. The third course is a butter-poached lobster roll with lemongrass and fennel. Next comes a veal Wellington with a foie gras duxelle, chanterelle mushrooms and puff pastry, served with potato puree and a blackberry demiglace. Finish the meal with a goat’s cheesecake with huckleberry compote, a honey graham crust and lavender-scented lemon curd. A $20 deposit is required to save your seat and goes toward the $225 cost per guest.
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