Sugar Factory is now open in Glendale. We took the sweet and colorful menu for a spin | Phoenix New Times

First Taste

Feel like a kid again at Sugar Factory in Glendale

Sugar Factory immerses customers in a world of whimsy. But do the colorful creations taste as good as they look?
Sugar Factory in Glendale is a fun spot for a celebratory meal. The Rainbow Sliders even come with a gift as diners can keep the duck as a souvenir.
Sugar Factory in Glendale is a fun spot for a celebratory meal. The Rainbow Sliders even come with a gift as diners can keep the duck as a souvenir. Cassie Brucci
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When a new spot opens in town, we're eager to check it out, let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead, a peek inside restaurants that have just opened — an occasion to sample a few items and satisfy curiosities (both yours and ours).

Pop culture-obsessed teens of the mid-aughts may remember when the original Las Vegas Sugar Factory opened in 2009. If for no other reason than to show them off, you couldn't help but want to try the colorful, eye-catching desserts and drinks made in collaboration with celebrities. In a time before social media was as omnipresent as it is today, Sugar Factory essentially made “Instagrammable” a word before the platform existed.

As adults, we’ve grown to understand that just because something looks good doesn’t mean it necessarily is. But when we caught wind of the company opening its first metro Phoenix location at Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District, our childlike curiosities got the best of us.

Upon arrival, customers are immediately immersed in Sugar Factory’s world of whimsy.

The expansive dining area is ripe with photo opportunities, ranging from a flower wall with neon signage to a bar modeled after a carousel ride. Party-friendly hits from the 2000s and 2010s boom from the speakers. Servers periodically appear to perform choreographed dances.

Founder Charissa Davidovici wanted to create an environment where adults could bring out their inner child, and her vision is precisely on display in Glendale.

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The People’s Watermelon Cadillac Margarita is incredibly sweet, but impressive nonetheless.
Cassie Brucci

What's on the menu?

Once seated, we looked over the expansive menu. The vast selection can be intimidating, but friendly servers are happy to help.

The People’s Watermelon Cadillac Margarita, a drink made in partnership with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, features a base mix of tequila, Grand Marnier and Triple Sec. But it was hard to detect any alcohol. The watermelon flavor was faint and the drink tasted overwhelmingly of sugar. After a few sips, we poured in a whole cup of water to help dilute the sweetness. Although, eating the gummy candies atop the drink was fun.

Feeling a sufficient sugar buzz, it was time for some food. We landed on the Sugar Factory Rainbow Sliders: five beef burgers on rainbow-dyed buns served with American cheese, crispy onions, pickles and a Sugar Factory-branded duck.

The burgers were juicy and the onion rings and pickles added a crunchy contrast to the tender patties. The Sugar Factory sauce gave the sliders a nice, tangy finish. The buns were a little dry, but overall, they were a tasty and entertaining start to the meal.

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The Sugar Factory Club Sandwich is a solid option for a light main course.
Cassie Brucci
Next up was The Sugar Factory Club sandwich, which came with a side of seasoned fries. The bread was toasted to a nice golden brown and piled with plenty of turkey and bacon. The avocado was perfectly ripe and the lettuce was fresh and crisp. The fries, however, could have used a couple more minutes in the fryer. It was a solid sandwich, but nothing that can't be found at a standard diner or American restaurant.
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Sugar Factory is known for its over-the-top milkshakes, but the Strawberry Cheesecake option was a letdown.
Cassie Brucci

A trip to Sugar Factory wouldn't be complete without trying one of the "Insane Milkshakes." We settled on the Strawberry Cheesecake, a strawberry-based milkshake topped with a whole piece of cheesecake and a red velvet cupcake.

Our high hopes were let down by the consistency. A good milkshake should be thick and creamy and, ideally, require the assistance of a spoon. But this milkshake was thin and watery — it tasted more like strawberry-flavored milk.

The cheesecake that topped the shake was surprisingly good: rich and satisfying without being cloyingly sweet. However, the red velvet cupcake turned out to be a stale vanilla muffin topped with some whipped cream and a few strawberries. Overall, it was a letdown.

Sugar Factory is a destination spot for birthday parties and celebrations, and it's a fun place to commemorate a milestone, especially for the under-18 crowd. But overall, are the food and drinks exceptional? Well, no. But they certainly do photograph well.

Sugar Factory

9375 W. Coyotes Blvd., Glendale
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