It's about the time of year for Phoenix to get an infusion of youth: the start of school and the re-awakening of the downtown campus. And despite what those poor students probably have been made to believe by their Tempe counterparts, downtown has plenty to offer the young, lively, and mostly broke college student. In fact, downtown students should count their lucky stars they don't have to eat Chick-fil-a and Taco Bell at the Memorial Union.
Here are seven dining options in downtown Phoenix that won't make you break the bank -- or a sweat getting to them.
Matt's Big Breakfast -- Located just steps behind the downtown Phoenix campus dormitory and within view of the main campus buildings, there's no complaining about proximity here. What might cause a speed bump will be wait times. In case you don't know, this place is a downtown Phoenix establishment with national acclaim to boot (thank you, Guy Fieri).
Tammie Coe Cakes/MJ Bread -- Located near Roosevelt and Seventh streets, this spot may work best as a pit stop for commuter students rather than a walking destination. This bakery opens early at 6:30 a.m. and offers a selection of espresso drinks and breakfast sandwiches served on freshly baked MJ Bread. At under $6 a pop and made with local ingredients, we really can't ask for more. Lunch
Focaccia Fiorentina -- If you don't mind lunching with a bunch of suits, you'll find classic Italian cuisine just three and a half blocks south of campus on Central Avenue. Focaccia Fiorentina offers pastas, sandwiches, salads and pizza for under $10 and if you sit on the patio during the lunch hour, you'll see downtown at its most "downtown-y," when office workers emerge in droves.
Fuego CityScape -- We used to drive up to the Biltmore to get our Fuego fix, but with the new location at CityScape, we can now indulge any day. Yes, you could go to Chipotle (also located in CityScape), but with Fuego offering a special patio menu available all day, everyday full of $6 options from chicken street tacos to BBQ pork quesadillasv . . . just don't. Plus, they've got house-made sangria, a mojito of the day and their namesake Fuego Margarita. Don't worry, Mom, we'll wait 'til after class.
Fair Trade Café -- With two locations, the closer of which being located in Civic Space Park, Fair Trade meets all the basic needs of a college student (caffeine, food, free Wi-Fi, caffeine...did we say caffeine?) Late Night
Carly's Bistro -- Just a short walk from campus on Roosevelt and Second streets, Carly's stays open 'til midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on the weekends. The menu focuses on the extensive sandwich list but with everything from gyros to turkey and goat cheese. It's the kind of place that's bound to please even the pickiest eaters. Most items will run you less than $10 bucks a pop, which means less of a chance of having to bum cash from mom and pops.
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Food Truck Fridays and Wednesday night farmer's market -- Head to the former Downtown Phoenix Public Market on Wednesday nights and Friday at lunch for a taste of the Phoenix food truck scene. We particularly love Short Leash Hot Dogs and for desert, crème brulee from Torched Goodness. It almost makes having night/Friday classes worth it. Almost.
And check out our other lists: 7 Spots to Eat and Drink Around ASU Tempe 10 Favorite Cookie Shops 10 Favorite Vietnamese Restaurants 10 Favorite Restaurant Playlists 10 Favorite Places for Romance on a Budget 10 Favorite Places to Buy Craft Beer 7 Favorite British Restaurants 10 Favorite Bloody Marys 10 Favorite Meat Shops 11 Favorite Summer Cocktails from Metro Phoenix Restaurants 10 Favorite Drive-Thrus 10 Favorite Spots for Guacamole 10 Favorite Theme Restaurants 15 Favorite Late Night Eats 10 Favorite Summer Foods 7 Favorite Soul Food Places 10 Favorite Sangrias 7 Favorite Paleteria 10 Favorite Breakfast Places 10 Favorite International Markets 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix