October was popping off with more than Halloween parties and impromptu costume stores. It also welcomed dozens of new restaurants to the entire Valley — everything from gelato and Greek yogurt shops to upscale cocktail bars, Chicago-style chicken shops, and vegetarian restaurants. Oh yeah, and Arizona’s first White Castle also opened.
Read on for the complete rundown.
Board & Brew1015 South Rural Road, #105, Tempe
The former Even Stevens spot is now Board & Brew — a San Diego-based sandwich chain known for that orangey dipping sauce. Guests can pair their hot or cold sandwich selections with one of 12 beers on tap.
Café de Bangkok1111 North Gilbert Road, #101, Gilbert
Set in the former Thai Mint Café spot, Café de Bangkok offers a modern interpretation on classic Thai dishes. Probably the most intriguing thing on the menu is the special Thai street noodle bowls, including the bamee kiew moodang.
Century Grand3626 East Indian School Road
Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality recently opened Century Grand — an art deco-inspired concept aiming to immerse guests in the experience of sipping modern cocktails in an early 20th-century train station. Century Grand offers an extensive whiskey list, an array of interesting wines, and, of course, meticulously fashioned cocktails. Chef Sacha Levine, formerly named Best of Phoenix's vegetable wizard, has prepared a menu of mostly sharable items, harking back to comfort dishes made in humble American homes of the 1920s and '30s.
Chompie’s Takeout100 East Jefferson Street
Chompie’s Takeout is now open at Fry’s Downtown, and offers grab-and-go items, as well as breakfast options, sandwiches, sliders, and hot items like the Reuben sandwiches and the Chomp-a-dilla. Chompie’s Takeout is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the beautiful new Fry’s.
Clay Dawgs546 North Gilbert Road, Gilbert
The people behind Waldo’s BBQ and Caldwell County BBQ have now opened Clay Dawgs — a mesquite-fired hot dog restaurant near downtown Gilbert. So far, the Mac ’n’ Cheese Dawg is looking pretty good.
Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers8624 E. Shea Boulevard Scottsdale
The growing local sports bar chain Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers has opened its 11th Valley location — this time at Pima Crossing. It’s also the fourth location in Scottsdale, and the largest CB&C to date with more than 400 seats and 60 flat screens.
Commander Hamburger901 North First Street
The Churchill gained a new tenant in October: Commander Hamburger. This a patty-slinging, chicken-frying, elevated fast food counter is overseen by Bernie Kantak, known for his role as executive chef at The Gladly and Citizen Public House, Commander has a tight menu lasered in on simple American classics: A burger, a chicken sandwich, soft serve, fries, tater tots, and the locally famous chopped salad.
Culture Clash1661 South Val Vista Drive, #102, Gilbert
This family-owned shop offers 16 flavors of handcrafted Greek yogurt with fruits and toppings, as well as Cartel Coffee. Culture Clash is located at Val Vista Drive and Ray Road in Gilbert.
Flint by Baltaire2425 East Camelback Road
Flint by Baltaire opened at the Esplanade at 24th Street and Camelback Road — the plaza across the street from Biltmore Fashion Park. As the name implies, the same team behind Baltaire in Los Angeles oversees the new eatery with a menu listing mostly wood-fired seasonal cuisine and drinks. Flint serves lunch and dinner.
From the Roots Up1130 West Grove Avenue, #111, Mesa
Soul food meets vegetarian options at From the Roots Up in west Mesa. Think pulled barbecue jackfruit, deep-fried chipotle cauliflower, boba tea, and more. Plus, there’s usually live music and always local art.
Giving Tree Café2024 North Seventh Street
Set on Seventh Street in the Coronado District, Giving Tree Café offers organic, gluten-free, vegetarian food. Think lentil pancakes, avocado sandwiches, and veggies bowls. The large, airy restaurant also has a large, shady patio.
Harold’s Chicken Shack1635 East Baseline Road, #105
Chicago-style fried chicken is picking up in Phoenix, this time in the form of Harold’s Chicken Shack. The 1950-established Chicago chain offers wing dinners, chicken buckets, tenders, livers, and gizzards — plus sides like fries, bread, and cole slaw.
Heaven on a Spoon Italian Gelato1950 East University Drive, #102, Mesa
From the family behind Lombardo’s comes Heaven on a Spoon at Gilbert Road and University Drive in Mesa. The family-owned gelato shop has everything from fresh-made mango gelato to dairy and sugar-free options.
Kaleidoscope Juice8977 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
A fifth location of Kaleidoscope has recently opened, providing juice, smoothies, and protein cookies to The Shops in Gainey Village. The 1,000-square-foot space has a countertop fresh-press juice machine, and a 100 percent organic menu. The shop is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen4912 East Shea Boulevard
Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen — Little Cay meaning little island — offers a diverse menu of Caribbean, Central American, and South American fare. That diverse menu lists an original Cuban sandwich, a Jamaican jerk chicken entree, and a boricua salad — slow-roasted pulled pork with pink beans and yellow rice.
Mama Thai Kitchen4995 South Alma School Road, #1, Chandler
The former Silk Thai spot at Alma School and Chandler Heights roads is now Mama Thai Kitchen. The lengthy menu lists stir-fried entrees, salads, curry, noodles, and a whole page of specials.
Master Taco1537 West Broadway Road, #105, Tempe
The fast-casual Mexican restaurant originated in Surprise in 2018. Now Master Taco has opened a second location in Tempe west of Priest Drive and Broadway Road.
Meat the Ball16211 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A5, Scottsdale
Pomo Restaurant Group’s own restauranteur Stefano Fabbri has opened another location of Meat the Ball, this time in the Scottsdale Promenade. This meatball-focused, Italian restaurant also offers vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options.
Ojos Locos Sports Cantina1656 South Alma School Road, Mesa
Step right aside, Bikini Beans. Ojos Locos Sports Cantina opened an Arizona location at Alma School Road off Route 60. Think appetizers, happy-hour specials, Mexican dishes, and tiny tank top in southwest Mesa.
Original ChopShop8738 South Emerald Drive, Tempe
The Original ChopShop has opened a second Tempe location, also offering protein bowls, beloved chopped salads, sandwiches, juice, protein shakes, acai bowls, and more.
Sauce Pizza & Wine705 South Myrtle Avenue, #101
The fast-casual pizza, salad, and wine joint has opened its first Tempe location, and you know it’s near Arizona State University. Sauce offers quick-service lunch and dinner options, including signature pizzas like the chicken pesto, panini like the meatballs and mozzarella, and the pizza cookies.
Sharetea21001 North Tatum Boulevard
Desert Ridge Marketplace has welcomed a new tenant, Sharetea — a Taiwan-based boba tea concept packed with options.
Sizzle Mongolian Grill1050 West Chandler Boulevard, #3, Chandler
The northwest corner of Alma School Road and Chandler Boulevard is the new home of Sizzle Mongolian Grill, a build-your-own-bowl eatery and fast-casual concept. Your ingredients are then cooked on the spot in a stir-fry wok.
So Far, So Good901 North First Street
The cocktail bar in back of The Churchill, the 14,000-square-foot food court in downtown Phoenix, has closed. However, the Pobrecito space has been relaunched as So Far, So Good — another cocktail bar overseen by Pobrecito's general manager, Sam Olguin.
Sunbar24 West Fifth Street, Tempe
The mostly patio Sunbar in downtown Tempe’ nightlife district. The Mill Avenue-adjacent spot has 45 draft brews on tap (plus cans and bottles) and an organic kitchen with healthy-leaning options — including items for vegans and vegetarians.
Taco Culture3233 East Chandler Boulevard, Suite 6-A
The former Francisco’s Mexican Food spot is now Taco Culture, offering tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and more. The Mexican fast food joint opened at 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard in the Ahwatukee area.
Tacos N More Mexican Grill 31085 West Queen Creek Road, #6, Chandler
The local Tex-Mex eatery has opened its third location, this time at Alma School and Queen Creek roads in Chandler. The family-owned Tacos N More is known for its salsa bar and of course, its tacos.
Thai Chili 2 Go2010 East Elliot Road, #104, Tempe
The fast-casual Thai Chili 2 Go announced yet another location, this time in Tempe. Patrons may expect the same dishes like dumplings, Thai hot and sour soup, and drunken noodles that they offer at the other eight Valley locations.
The Drowning Taco264 East Broadway Road, Mesa
Once found under a tricolored canopy in a Mesa parking, a family-owned truck specializing in drowned tacos has opened a physical location. We recommend going straight for owner Alma Kerby's signature dish, “taquitos ahogada,” when visiting The Drowning Taco.
The Nook – A Daytime Eatery3321 East Queen Creek Road, #101, Gilbert
Formerly The Egg & I, The Nook is a new breakfast and lunch joint in the same spot, overseen by the same people. The menu has everything from avo toast and a breakfast burrito to the Hiker’s Benedict and chicken spinach salad.
The Screamery140 North Arizona Avenue, #106, Chandler
Downtown Chandler has recently welcomed The Screamery at Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard. It’s the second Valley location for the Tucson-based company and is known as Arizona’s first ice cream pasteurizer.
The Theodore110 East Roosevelt Street
An anticipated downtown beer shop, The Theodore was recently brought to Roosevelt Row by the same people behind The Sleepy Whale in Chandler (including Justin Evans of The Wandering Tortoise). The beer and wine bar is also a bottle shop, and offers mead, cider, and coffee to boot. The best seats in the house may be outside, though, on the tight sidewalk patio beneath the cartoonishly good mural of the bar's namesake, Teddy Roosevelt.
Toca Madera4736 North Goldwater Boulevard, Scottsdale
Scottsdale Fashion Square welcomed Toca Madera — the first location of the fine-dining, organic Mexican concept. It’s also the type of place that has a mixology program. The 8,000-square-foot restaurant was installed by the same people who opened Tocaya Organica nearby in the food court.
White Castle9310 East Via de Ventura, Scottsdale
Arizona’s first White Castle opened to great hoopla last month, adjacent to Scottsdale in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Talking Stick Entertainment District. The 1921-established, 24-hour slider joint is known for tiny hamburgers, tiny cheeseburgers, and big lines.
The San Diego-based Donut Bar, the gourmet doughnuts shop meets drinking spot, closed its lone Arizona location in Scottsdale.
La Casa de Juana
The Mesa location of La Casa de Juana has closed. The original Tempe space, however, remains open as the sole location.
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
The California-based Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has closed its location on Gilbert Road off Loop 202. However, its other five locations in the east Valley remain in operation.
The Mill Avenue location of NYPD Pizza has closed after more than five years of operation in downtown Tempe.
The Italian restaurant located at the southwest corner of Mill Avenue and Alameda Drive in Tempe is now closed. Quartiere, Italian for “district” or “neighborhood,” served traditional Italian food, and was overseen by Erick and Rochelle Geryol. The eatery was part of the restaurant family behind Boulders on Broadway, Boulders on Southern, and Spokes on Southern — which all remain open.
Root and Soul
The Root and Soul, a 2018-established north Scottsdale restaurant that specialized in “gourmet” soul food, has closed. The soul food eatery at Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and 100th Street was operated by Christian Buze — whose grandmother is Elizabeth White, founder of the iconic Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe in downtown Phoenix.
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The national breakfast diner Village Inn closed two of its Mesa locations — one at Stapley Drive and Baseline Road and the other at Power Road and Main Street.
Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.