Food News

Spring Training: The 30 Best Places to Eat and Drink Near Cactus League Baseball Stadiums

The wings at Zipp's Sports Grill.
The wings at Zipp's Sports Grill. Jacob Tyler Dunn
From Salt River Fields in Scottsdale to Glendale's Camelback Ranch, the 10 ballparks that accommodate the Cactus League's 15 teams are scattered all over the Valley of the Sun.

As you might imagine, each neighborhood has something different to offer when it comes to food and drink, with some stadiums located within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and bars, and others offering much more limited options.

Whether you're looking for a walkable place to grab a beer or a local restaurant to enjoy a post-game meal, we've gathered the top places to eat and drink near each metro Phoenix spring training stadium. So, put down that hot dog and dig in. 

Salt River Fields

Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies
Salt River Fields is easily one of the best, most affordable Cactus League spring training stadiums, and with its relative proximity to downtown Scottsdale, there's really no shortage of options for eating and drinking before and after the game. However, if you're looking to stick really close to the park, try Butters Pancakes & Cafe for breakfast or lunch. This popular morning spot, less than 2 miles from the ballpark, serves some of the best breakfast in town including pancakes (duh), eggs, and fresh-squeezed orange juice that might just change your life.

In the same shopping complex, you'll also find Grassroots Kitchen, a casual New American restaurant that's a great spot for a burger, sandwich, salad, or beer. But if you're looking for a more sports-friendly vibe, head up the street to Zipps Sports Grill. This local chain of sports bars is known for its neighborhood feel and golden wings (they put a little honey in the hot sauce). The bar has televisions, shuffleboard, and Golden Tee, so you can get your game on before you head to the park. 

Butters Pancakes & Cafe
8300 North Hayden Road, Suite F104, Scottsdale

Grassroots Kitchen 
8120 North Hayden Road, Suite E100, Scottsdale 

Zipps Sports Grill
8380 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale

Sloan Park

Chicago Cubs
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Stick with a classic at Portillo's.
Lauren Saria
Take one look at Sloan Park and you'll know the stadium must belong to the Chicago Cubs. With its green awnings and structural beams, it's designed to look somewhat like Wrigley Field, so why not stick with the Windy City vibe and hit Chicago's own Portillo's before or after the game? The Tempe location of the fast-casual restaurant is only about 1.5 miles from the ballpark, and you'll find all the requisite Chi-town fare — specifically, hot dogs covered in vegetables and no ketchup, of course.

To try food from a little further afield, head to Mesa's designated Asian District, about the same distance directly south of the ballpark. Mekong Plaza is perfect for food to feed a crowd, with plenty of different, and delicious options, located inside the food court of this shopping plaza-turned-cultural epicenter. The handmade dumplings at Happy Baos are hard to beat.

For those looking to score lunch from a classic Tempe spot, head to Haji-Baba. This longstanding eatery was established in 1984 and has been churning out some of the Valley's best Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food ever since. Combination plates allow customers to try a little of everything, from the outstanding chicken shawarma to the rich and creamy hummus.

Bonus: Stop by the connected market to pick up some desserts and snacks for later. 

65 South McClintock Drive, Tempe

Happy Baos at Mekong Plaza
66 South Dobson Road, #112, Mesa

1513 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe

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The $16 Mac Daddy Cheeseburger at Carousel
Mike Madriaga

Camelback Ranch

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox
This West Valley stadium is one of the nicer ballparks in the Cactus League, but when it comes to dining options nearby, your choices will be somewhat limited — although getting increasingly better as more restaurants move into the neighborhood. Still, your safest bet will be to head to Westgate Entertainment District, a sprawling complex of restaurants, bars, and shops surrounding State Farm Stadium, where the Arizona Cardinals play. Here you'll have plenty of restaurant options, including Carousel Arcade Bar, a restaurant and arcade where you can keep the competitive spirit going. Test your own sports skills with Skee-Ball, air hockey, and Pop-A-Shot basketball. The giant Mac Daddy Cheeseburger topped with bacon and macaroni and cheese is perfect to refuel after building up an appetite.

If you can't shake the craving for a hot dog when you go to a baseball game, try a twist on the classic at MyungRang Hotdog. This counter-service restaurant serves Instagram-famous Korean-style corn dogs topped with drizzled cheese, sprinkled Hot Cheeto dust, and other toppings ranging from cubes of sweet potato to a striking black-colored squid ink batter. For those avoiding meat or looking for an extra-cheesy option, opt for the dipped and fried mozzarella dog instead.

If neither of those options seems to fit the bill, we suggest venturing a little farther from the ballpark to downtown Glendale — about nine miles away. If you do, hit La Piazza Al Forno, a family-owned restaurant that serves some of the best pizzas in the Valley. 

Carousel Arcade Bar
6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, Suite G111

MyungRang Hotdog
9140 West Glendale Avenue, #110, Glendale

La Piazza Al Forno
5803 West Glendale Avenue, Glendale

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A platter of meats and sides at Eric's Family BBQ.
Tirion Morris

Goodyear Ballpark

Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians
Goodyear Ballpark is located about 20 miles west of downtown Phoenix. So fueling up before you head out isn't a bad idea, but if you prefer to grab a bite and a beer close to the park, you do have a few good options. Local craft beer destination Saddle Mountain Brewing Co. made a name for itself with its multi-award-winning Taildragger Clan-Destine Scottish Export. The brew pairs perfectly with a well-executed menu of pub favorites including burgers, nachos, pretzels, and pizzas.

Another spot, located about eight miles away — but so worth the drive when you are already on the west side — is Eric's Family Barbecue. This checkered-tablecloth spot serves some of the best 'cue in the entire Valley and is a perfect casual staple to pair with a day at the ballpark. Pick between tender brisket, smokey pork ribs, or an unusual smoked turkey injected with sweet tea for a satisfying bite. The meats are available in sandwiches or on platters paired with baked macaroni and cheese, barbecue-scented beans, and outstanding elote.

For something a little closer, head to the original location of Raul & Theresa's, a classic West Valley joint located just the other side of Phoenix Goodyear Airport from the ballpark. This little adobe restaurant has been serving Mexican and American comfort food since 1968. Fill up before the game with Huevos Rancheros or a plate of pancakes, eggs, and bacon or stop by later on for burritos, fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas served individually or in combination plates. If your team did well that day, add a pitcher of margaritas for the table. 

Saddle Mountain Brewing Co.
15651 West Roosevelt Street, Goodyear

Eric's Family Barbecue
12345 West Indian School Road, Avondale

Raul & Theresa's
519 West Main Street, Avondale

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The artfully prepared chicken breast from Rag's.
Lauren Cusimano

Surprise Stadium

Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers 
With its location in the far northwest Valley, Surprise Stadium is a trek for visitors flying into Sky Harbor or staying in downtown Phoenix. On the upside, there are a few good spots to grab some grub once you make it out to that side of town. Rito's Mexican Food is a local cult favorite when it comes to Mexican food, specifically celebrated for its green chile burritos made with tender beef that's soaked in slow-burning green chile sauce. The restaurant is a no-frills sort of place, but this strip mall gem is great for a quick bite before the game. 

Boozehounds might want to belly up to the bar at Irish Wolfhound Pub, a favorite spot for beers and classic Irish pub fare including fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, and steak pie. For a tall order of chicken and waffles, head to Youngtown classic Rags Real Chicken & Waffles located roughly 6 miles from the stadium. The small restaurant serves excellent Alabama-style Southern classics including ribs, shrimp, and sweet tea. But as the name suggests, the specialty here is the crispy, golden fried chicken balancing atop fluffy waffles, the perfect start or end to a day at the ballpark. 

Rito's Mexican Food
15643 North Reems Road, Surprise

Irish Wolfhound Pub
16811 North Litchfield Road, Surprise

Rag’s Real Chicken & Waffles
12242 North 111th Avenue, Youngtown

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A platter of meat, of course with a beer, from Little Miss BBQ.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Tempe Diablo Stadium

Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels fans, you've got it good. At least, you do when it comes to your team's spring training stadium, which is the most centrally located of all the Cactus League ballparks. As such, you'll have plenty to choose from when it comes to pre-game beers and post-game eats, but a few of your best options close to the park include the following spots.

For lunch, you need to try Little Miss BBQ, the Valley's most famous Texas-style barbecue spot. It's only about 2.5 miles from the stadium, but to get your fix you'll need to plan on getting there close to opening or risk the restaurant selling out its near-perfect brisket before you arrive.

A similar distance away, you'll find Fate Brewing Co., a local destination for craft beer and good eats. This modern brewpub offers indoor and outdoor seating with a large patio featuring a turf carpet to keep the on-the-field vibes going. For a spicy kick, try the Hatch Chile Gatos, one of the Valley's most unusual ales, and pair it with a perfect plate of nachos, a burger, or pizza to share.

If you're headed back towards ASU's Tempe campus, make a stop for an unforgettable meal at Cafe Lalibela. Whether you are an Ethiopian-food fanatic or are completely new to the cuisine, the friendly staff at this longstanding cafe will make sure you pick the perfect plate. If you're going with a group, we highly recommend the sharing platters. A huge round of spongy, soft injera bread is spread over a large plate and decorated with dollops of rich stews, spice-infused lentils, and tender vegetables. Vegetarian options abound along with hearty meat dishes perfect to please a crowd of hungry fans.

Little Miss BBQ 
4301 East University Drive

Fate Brewing Co.
201 East Southern Avenue, #111 Tempe

Cafe Lalibela Ethiopian Cuisine
849 West University Drive, Tempe

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A selection of dishes from the food court at the Mercado De Los Cielos.
Tirion Morris

American Family Fields of Phoenix

Milwaukee Brewers
Built in 1998, and formerly known as Maryvale Baseball Park, the American Family Fields of Phoenix is one of the older stadiums in the Cactus League. When it comes to restaurants near the park, expect to find some casual joints serving outstanding Mexican food.

If you're in the mood for tacos, the stadium is sandwiched in between two locations of Ta Carbon, with each being roughly 2 miles away in opposite directions. This local mini-chain is known for its savory carne asada and plenty of salsas to customize your meal. Burritos, plates, and family-size platters are also available to satisfy any craving.

Popo's Fiesta del Sol also serves Mexican fare, but this sit-down spot — with its 99-cent margarita Tuesdays and All-You-Can-Eat Mondays — is probably a better fit if you're looking to drown your chips and salsa in cheap booze. Or cheese.

For those looking to taste the flavors of multiple different regions of Mexico all in one spot — and maybe buy some cowboy boots while you're at it — head to the Mercado de los Cielos. This unique shopping center is its own little mall within the larger Desert Sky Mall. Inside, a maze of stands selling everything from phone cases to sparkling quinceañera dresses is surrounded by a selection of restaurant counters. Order some tacos, maybe a chalice of shrimp cocktail, and some chocolate tres leches cake for dessert, all from different vendors in this colorful collective. 

Ta Carbon
2929 North 43rd Avenue
5834 West Camelback Road, Glendale

Popo's Fiesta del Sol
6542 West Indian School Road

Mercado de los Cielos
7611 West Thomas Road

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Get ready for punchy flavors at Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante.
Tirion Morris

Peoria Sports Complex 

Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres
Before or after a day cheering for Seattle or San Diego, hungry baseball fans have plenty of options to fill up close to the Peoria Sports Complex. Start the day off right at Matt's Big Breakfast, a well-loved local chain that started in the heart of Phoenix and has gradually expanded to bring giant breakfast plates to customers across the Valley. Gear up for the game with a Salami Scramble or Big Papa Burrito and you'll surely stay full past the final inning.

For some of the best pizza in the Valley, take a short 4-mile jaunt to Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante. This local spot brings a taste of Italy to the upper west side with satisfying slices of fluffy, flame-kissed crust topped with salty olives, gooey cheese, thin-sliced ham, and sweet and tangy sauce. While the basket of bread to start is good enough to warrant ruining your appetite, you'll want to stay hungry for these supreme pies.

If Mexican food is more your thing, head to Carolina's Mexican Food, a local restaurant known for its spicy machaca and fresh tortillas. Try either the green or red chile burros or the Oaxaca Special, which comes stuffed with chorizo, beans, potatoes, and cheese. 

Matt's Big Breakfast
7507 West Rose Garden Lane, Glendale 
623 259 9836

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante
19420 North 59th Avenue, Glendale

Carolina's Mexican Food 
9030 West Peoria, Peoria


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República Empanada's empanada boricua.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Hohokam Stadium

Oakland Athletics
The Hohokam Stadium makes a pretty cozy spot to catch a ballgame, and there's hardly a better place to eat or drink before the game than the family-owned and operated Republica Empanada in downtown Mesa. This Latin restaurant serves savory and sweet empanadas, as well as a pretty impressive selection of craft beers in a bright, friendly atmosphere.

It's just steps away from Main Street, one of the fastest growing restaurant districts in the Valley where local mini-chain Tacos Chiwas slings Chihuahua-style eats with tacos that will leave you coming back for more. For a seriously spicy option, try the rajas quesadilla, made with creamy cheese and strips of roasted poblano peppers. Cool off with a cold beer just across the street at 12 West Brewing, a large multi-level beer hall and patio serving up craft brews, cocktails, mead, and classic gastropub plates.

Republica Empanada
204 East First Avenue, Mesa

Tacos Chiwas
127 West Main Street, Mesa

12 West Brewing 
12 West Main Street, Mesa

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Disco today, gone tomorrow. Art installations change every four months at AZ/88.
Allison Young

Scottsdale Stadium

San Francisco Giants
If you read "spring training" and think "a good reason to day drink," then Scottsdale Stadium is definitely your scene. Found in Old Town Scottsdale, the Giants' spring training stadium is the best place to party while also watching a game.

You can't throw a rock without hitting a bar or restaurant in this part of town, but for party-loving Giants fans, the obvious choice is RnR, a fan-friendly bar and restaurant that serves everything from pulled pork-topped fries and tacos to kale salads and mac and cheese. Drink specials usually abound and if not, you can always count on the selection of flavored margaritas.

You'll find a slightly chiller vibe across the street at Brat Haus, a German-inspired beer garden and restaurant with 28 craft brews on tap and a menu that focuses on house-made sausages. For the best experience there, sit outside, play some giant Jenga, and order a bucket of the Belgian fries.

If you're looking for the perfect transition from afternoon to evening vibes in Old Town, make your way to AZ88, a bar and restaurant known for its filled-to-the-brim martinis in flavors from passion fruit to espresso. And while the focus is on the drinks, the food at this longtime Scottsdale haunt is both high quality and reasonably priced, a true win-win in these parts.

7210 East Second Street, Scottsdale

Brat Haus
3622 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

7353 East Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale
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