Arizona is a pretty relaxed place. Still, when you feel hungry after a workout, dog walk or hike, it's easy to dread having to stop at home just to make yourself look "presentable." Here are our suggestions for places to dine where a sweaty back, gym shoes and maybe even a canine friend are welcomed. Bonus: Most are located close to hiking trails.
Check out our list and don't sweat it.
32 Shea - This small café is housed in an outpost in a parking lot at 32nd Street and Shea, but don't let that fool you. Just over a year old, 32 Shea offers early morning and late night hours (some nights until 11 p.m.). It's also dog friendly -- so dog friendly in fact, the menu offers recommendations on successful dining with your pooch. The selection is perfect for early morning hikers or for a glass of wine after a yoga class: smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, salads, small plates and a nice selection of beer, wine and cocktails along with a nightly chef-prepared entrée in addition to varied other offerings. If you're in a hurry, can call ahead or use the super cool drive-thru. The patio is almost larger than the indoor space and the misters are heavenly. 32 Shea serves breakfast until noon and lunch until 4 p.m., in case that hike at nearby North Mountain or Piestewa Peak goes a little longer than planned.
Mark's Café - Known for its extensive offering of eggs Benedict, this Tempe spot for breakfast and lunch is perfect as it is near Kiwanis Park and just a short drive east from South Mountain. In addition, local running groups seem to enjoy this location and if they're eating it, it must be good.
Pita Jungle - Any of the local Pita Jungle locations offer healthy food options but if you work out downtown and need a casual spot, the Roosevelt Street Pita Jungle is for you. It offers both indoor and outdoor dining and plenty of parking! Best of all the hippie-chic staff probably won't object if you smell a bit post workout. With its close proximity to hip downtown gyms and apartments, it's a great choice for meeting up with friends after work or a workout. Hot Bagels & Deli - The Glendale location of this restaurant is located north of the Thunderbird Conservation area. This authentic bagel-centric restaurant offers colossal bagel options, sandwiches, fresh-ground coffee and some dog-friendly patio seating.
La Grande Orange - Of course, no list like this would be complete without "LGO," the place to be seen if you're working out, about to workout, done working out ... or if you just want to dress like you work out. Typically packed with moms in Lululemon after morning aerobics, svelte and sexy hikers coming from Camelback, road bikers, runners and such can fill up on LGO's new fresh juice offering "7th Heaven," tofu chorizo burrito and other fresh brunch items.
Scramble - Just a stone's throw from the North Mountain preserve area, this light and fun breakfast joint is perfect for a work-week breakfast. They have many vegan options as well as menu demotions for "travels well" so you can hit the road with your burrito or "brizza," their signature breakfast pizzas.
Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House - Don't go to this Town & Country spot for the breakfast -- there really isn't one to speak of and depending on the day of the week they may not open until 11 a.m. Instead, head there post indoor workout at L.A. Fitness or after a Camelback Mountain hike for a nutritious lunch. Maybe you can even get some grocery shopping done at the nearby Trader Joe's.
Cave Creek Coffee Company - Everyone in the Valley should give Black Mountain a climb, if only for the great excuse to hit up Cave Creek Coffee Company (C4) and Wine Bar. This eclectic club makes anyone feel at home and it's a far cry from the typical polish of North Scottsdale. With beans roasted daily, a dog-friendly porch and simple but delicious breakfast and lunch offerings, C4 will keep you coming back for more. If visiting in the summer, we recommend checking the website or calling for hours.
My Wine Cellar - Located in Ahwatukee, the folks at My Wine Cellar like many things...wine, happy hour, live music, great appetizers and running. Yes, running. In addition to a four week "Wine 101" class, a book club and a wine club, MWC is also "home" to many local running groups! Their website has some outdated information from last year, but running and wine seems to be a winning combination. (Best practiced in the evening, during happy hour.)
Joe's Real BBQ - Heading back toward Phoenix after hiking in the Superstitions? Joe's Real BBQ is perfect local, fresh and casual dining for both kids and adults. Dogs are welcomed as well, as long as they are on a leash and sit with you on the outdoor patio. Joe's delivers a filling barbeque experience that is also nap inducing. Go ahead and go home to nap. You've earned it!
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.