Phoenix Weekend Trip for Hipsters List on USA Today Will Lead You Astray

Categories: Wake Up Call

CleverKoiCocktailsHoch1.JPG
Heather Hoch
Hipster mixology is a good place to start on a hipster trip.
With all the Layover-esque planning guides for trips to Phoenix coming out, it seems our metropolitan region is finally getting some national love. The most recent list comes from USA Today and supposedly guides you on a hipster's trip around the city. Unfortunately, in our humble opinion, someone was trying to be too clever when they wrote it and picked some really odd and random dining spots, rather than going with what's best in town. Fortunately, we've put together a list of our recommendations to offer some better hipster alternatives if you're weekend tripping in Phoenix.

See Also: The Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe Name Gio Osso's Virtu Among The Valley's Must-Try Restaurants

What USA Today Picked: Jobot

What Chow Bella Picks: While we love Jobot, grunge and all, the hipsters go to Lux Central. Everyone knows that.

What USA Today Picked: The Lost Leaf

What Chow Bella Picks: Again, Lost Leaf is a great spot for beer, but if we're trying to be cool with our beer, we'd probably go get a cheap pitcher at Windsor during happy hour.

What USA Today Picked: Songbird Coffee & Tea House

What Chow Bella Picks: More coffee? Really? Okay. Go to Cartel. We totally heard that like Joseph Gordon Levitt bought coffee there when he was in town.

What USA Today Picked: Old Town Sarajevo

What Chow Bella Picks: Do they mean Caffe Sarajevo? While picking Bosnian cuisine in Phoenix seems super underground, just go somewhere like Clever Koi or Gallo Blanco for a real hipster experience.

What USA Today Picked: Khyber Halal

What Chow Bella Picks: The food is pretty good, but this is hardly a memorable experience for a traveler, let alone a hip one. if you're looking for Middle Eastern, go to Baiz Market because it has, like, way more vegetarian options and you can buy super-arbitrary souvenirs in the market. If you're looking for top-notch Indian, go to Curry Corner.

What USA Today Picked: Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

ChickenandWafflesLoLos.jpg
Heather Hoch
For soul food, we always go LoLo's.
What Chow Bella Picks: LoLo's Chicken and Waffles or Welcome Diner. Mrs. White's is stellar, but her grandson LoLo's spin -- complete with waffles alongside the chicken, Kool-Aid in jars and red velvet cake -- takes the hipster quotient up a notch. And Welcome Diner's modern take on the trend, along with picnic tables and bubble lights outside a '50s-era Valentine diner is enough to make the hippest among you swoon.

What USA Today Picked: Two Hippies Beach House

What Chow Bella Picks: Wait, what? Really? Okay, no. Hippies and hipsters are pretty much opposites on the DGAF meter. If you want to be hip with a burrito, Crescent Ballroom's lounge is the place to be. There's a cocktail named the Honey Badger there and bands like St. Vincent, The Growlers, Phantogram, and Beach House (the kind hipsters actually like) have all played there. What more do you need?

What USA Today Picked: Oaxacainside

What Chow Bella Picks: Tacos Atoyac serves Oaxacan food done right and it's shack-like atmosphere will make you feel like you're somewhere nobody else knows about yet.

What USA Today Picked: Bikini Lounge

What Chow Bella Picks: Bikini's a great dive, but it seems to have lost some hipster cred recently, judging by the clientele nowadays. Royale Lounge is way more under the radar.

What USA Today Picked: Shady's

What Chow Bella Picks: We actually agree with this one with points for hipster jukebox and basic mixology at dive bar prices, giving USA Today's list an overwhelmingly failing 10 percent grade in hipness and Phoenix know-how.

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Location Info

Gallo Blanco Cafe

401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Lux Coffeebar

4402 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Windsor

5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Cartel Coffee Lab

225 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Clever Koi

4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Baiz Market

523 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Shady's

2701 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Curry Corner

1212 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles

1220 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Royale Lounge

2310 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Welcome Diner

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Tacos Atoyac - CLOSED

1830 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
26 comments
Emily Spetrino-Murtagh
Emily Spetrino-Murtagh

It's cool to support cooler local businesses than just the other cool local businesses.

Simon Bogli
Simon Bogli

isn't the hipsters list supposed to lead one astray so that the places that hipsters are really fond of are hidden from the "mainstream" punters who will destroy the joint's street cred?

Don Collins
Don Collins

I wouldn't go by what NewTimes says either, talk too a Cab Driver he'll get you where you want to go !!!!

David Howard
David Howard

Brandon Doyle - ahahaha hahaha hilarious!!!!!!! Lmao

David Howard
David Howard

If they are true Hipsters, they are already "In The Know"......hehehe

Cisco R Ocks
Cisco R Ocks

ha!! nigga ass fish wraps fighting for hipster cred is funny!! Where can one get one's dicked sucked on for the price of two pbr's is what I want to know!! #AZDoesIt

Jill Louise Christiansen
Jill Louise Christiansen

You guys are so wrong with the Jobot and Lost Leaf re-recommendations. Like, embarrassingly wrong.

Anthony Geshus
Anthony Geshus

Do hipsters listen to articles? I believe they do their own thing, until it becomes cool.

Tara Logsdon
Tara Logsdon

do hipsters read usa today? (or the new times?)

Rodney Alling
Rodney Alling

I think you are half right and half baked with your selections over theirs. Talk about expending negative energy in the wrong place. Yikes

Janelle Novotny
Janelle Novotny

Love Taco Atoyac and Crescent. Kudos, first readable post in a while, PNT.

Andrea Ramos
Andrea Ramos

Chris Villanueva here's a savvy new list lol you hipster you

Marilee Cornelius
Marilee Cornelius

How about I just go wherever I wanna go and that's that? We have so many great places to eat, drink and be merry in Phoenix!

Sean Sherman
Sean Sherman

They need to go to Sidebar in PHX on 7th Ave & McDowell and rave on about how great and divey it is and how it would be "hella awesome" if someone imagined and managed to get bands to play there. And how it's pretty cool that it's connected to a pei wei and starbunx.

Cee80
Cee80

I think the major takeaway from the USA Today article should be that Phoenix is getting some notable and positive press in a national outlet. I know I'm tired of explaining to outsiders that we have some great stuff locally, so instead of nit-picking what are actually some fairly decent selections, we should all just be glad there's finally some press about Phoenix that doesn't refer to us as bigots. 

SkilletDoux
SkilletDoux

Yost may have stumbled backwards into a couple of good picks (somebody should tell her that Oaxaca Restaurant hasn't been inside the bowling alley for months), but I'm really surprised to see you cut down what are -- even if inadvertently -- a couple of fabulous picks, Heather.

Re: Old Town Sarajevo (according to owner was Caffe Sarajevo, now Old Town Sarajevo, BTW -- and the NT review wrote it up as Old Town Sarajevo), I can't believe you're trying to steer people away from one of the best genuine, delicious ethnic restaurants in town in favor of two massively hyped, trendy joints.  I totally dig Robson's food, and I haven't had enough from Clever Koi to speak fairly about it yet, but in both cases, places like those are a dime a dozen in other cities -- particularly Clever Koi.  It's *wonderful* to see a national publication pushing a gem like OTS.  Rather than taking the easy route and pressing the same buttons everybody does, going to the same heavily covered mainstream places, they're instead sending people to a fabulous, completely authentic spot that's off the beaten path and doesn't get enough love even from its own city... what's more hipster than that?  

Re: Khyber Halal, since when did Afghani, Pakistani, and Indian become "Middle Eastern"?  Apples and oranges.  (And "Middle Eastern," when it comes to food, is a phrase that really needs to die anyway.) Baiz is a gem, too, and I agree, I'd probably send visitors to Baiz first (or the Roosevelt Ranch Market, or Mekong if we're going the food/market route, depending on where those visitors are coming from) but again, this is a delightfully surprising pick from a national publication.  Why punish them for picking the "incorrect" under the radar joint?  I say good for them for mentioning a place like Khyber rather than the dozens of scenes that usually get recognized.  It's hard to get *local* press to acknowledge places like Khyber Halal (present company excepted), much less roundups at the national level.


I don't disagree that a some of this piece is tone deaf (not to mention obviously culled from other online sources), but I think you're overreaching with the criticism here.  A national publication mentioning places like Old Town Sarajevo and Khyber Halal is something to be *celebrated*, not criticized. 

jliven23
jliven23

Best cliff to jump off of: Any.

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