10 Freebies and Other Restaurant Deals in Metro Phoenix
In an effort to live with more thrift and grace (and because we're cheap), we bring you 10 of our favorite free food finds. Get in the spirit: Swing by the massive cookbook section at the Burton Barr Library on your way home or swipe some citrus from your neighbor's yard (with permission, of course) and you'll really feel like you've hit the big time. Either way, we love feeling treated.
Jennifer Woods This is the entire kids' menu at St. Francis -- choose any of these for free.
Here are our 10 favorite free restaurant perks around the Valley:
Jennifer Woods The patio at Cocina 10 the restaurant at Crescent Ballroom. Eat lunch and get free show tickets.
Free Show Ticket with Lunch on Thursdays: Cocina 10 at Crescent Ballroom
If you're a music person, direct your Thursday lunch meet up to downtown Phoenix on Second Avenue just north of Van Buren at Cocina 10, the restaurant at Crescent Ballroom. When you eat lunch there on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you will get a free show ticket, while supplies last. They tell us that the deal is posted either Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings (sometime before lunch) on the Crescent Ballroom Facebook page.
Here's what we saw posted on January 8 on its Facebook page: "*WOODEN INDIAN * WHISPERLIGHTS * PICKWICK * SUNDRESSED * YOUNG DUBLINERS * SARA ROBINSON AND THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL * MARIA TAYLOR. Eat lunch, get a FREE ticket to a show!!! (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., dine-in only, 1 ticket per lunch, while supplies last)."
Going by this lineup, you'll score tickets ranging in prices from $5 to $20. And lunch won't set you back much, the menu currently features most items between $5 and $10.
Jennifer Woods This is a stack of the snickerdoodles they always have available, but definitely keep a look out for the chocolate volcano cookies.
Free Full-Size Cookie with Meal: Chino Bandido Takee-Outee
Don't worry about bringing your own red pen or having to learn about the short code customers use for ordering at Chino. They try to make things comfortable and judgment-free (they don't even have mirrors in the women's bathroom). First-timers are hand-held through the process with patience and offered several free samples from Mexican/Asian mash-up menu. Even though you probably could fill up on the samples alone, you'll want to order something and you get one of their free full-size cookies. The cookies are posted on the menu board for 70 cents each, but they're given to you for free with your order. That a pretty nice surprise. The sweet and chewy snickerdoodles are always available, and the second choice varies from week to week. What we've seen rotate through the lineup are the chocolate crackle "volcano" cookies heavily rolled in powdered sugar or the more crispy chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.
Jennifer Woods The tacos come with a side of lime, roasted jalapeño, roasted onion, and salsa.
Buck and a Quarter Tacos: Tacos Atoyac
Street tacos at Tacos Atoyac are a buck and a quarter -- that's it. Everything here is made in-house and has a helluva lot of fans around town, and as you might already know, Tacos Atoyac won the best taco category for Best of Phoenix 2013. Sure, it's the smaller tortillas, but it's a double layer soft shell and you can order as many or as few of them as you like until you're had enough. The tacos are filled with carne asada, al pastor, lengua, chorizo, tripa, or cabeza and are topped with chopped fresh onion and cilantro. The rolled beef or chicken tacos are also set at the same $1.25 price.
Jennifer Woods The Vig Rig picks you up from home and brings you back here -- and then home again at no cost. Though, tipping is welcome.
Free Shuttle Service From and to Your Home: The Vig Arcadia and The Vig Uptown
The Vig takes having fun seriously and we're thankful. If you live within the surrounding neighborhoods of The Vig Uptown or The Vig Arcadia, the Vig Rig (a 12-passenger van) will pick you up and take you home for free on the weekends so that you may celebrate safely.
The current Vig Rig schedule is as follows: For Uptown, it's Friday and Saturday nights only from about 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. to close. For the Arcadia location, it's that same Friday and Saturday schedule as Uptown's, but the Vig Rig also is available on Sundays from about 2 to 10 p.m. when the weather is nice. They tell us that the summer hours will vary with the weather.
To take advantage of this free swanky service, call Mike at 602-328-6334 for The Vig Rig Uptown and Greg at 602-722-5976 for the Vig Rig Arcadia. The drivers do work for tips, so consider spreading some extra weekend happiness with them.
Jennifer Woods Tired of trying to figure out how to entertain you kids when you're out? Have them raid the toy bin at St. Francis.
Kids 10 and Under Always Eat Free: St. Francis
You might have seen one of the "kids eat free" deals around town -- perhaps at one of the pancake chains -- but if you want your kids to eat free and eat well, take them to St. Francis where the pizza and burgers are made completely in-house -- no dinosaur-shaped nuggets here. Kids 10 and under have a choice of seasonal vegetables with a buttermilk dip, big burger and fries, cheese pizza and salad or chicken with vegetables and potatoes. Tip: The same folks behind St. Francis also own the Phoenix Public Market Café. There, they keep the kids' meals on the inexpensive side ($3) but also give back to the community with each kids' meal purchase. Two meals are donated to the St. Mary's Food Bank backpack program, which distributes backpacks of food on Fridays to hungry kids to eat over the weekend.