5 Things Food and Drink Lovers Need in Metro Phoenix Right Now

Categories: Saria

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It's been a while since we've written a Phoenix wish list. In the past, we've focused on specific places -- like downtown Phoenix and Tempe's Mill Avenue -- but this time I'm tackling issues all over town.

Phoenix is a great city to live and eat in, but there are still plenty of things I wish we had to offer. Here are the top five.

See also: 10 National Food Trends for 2014 Translated for Arizona

Specialty Food Stores

There are tons of great locally made and grown products in Phoenix, everything from produce to meats, honey, and teas. But finding them all takes effort. You can go to farmers markets and places like Luci's Healthy Marketplace and La Grande Orange Grocery, but we deserve to have at least one great specialty food store and preferably one in every neighborhood. Wouldn't it be great to have a place to pick up everything you need for dinner -- fresh bread, gourmet cheese, and more -- in one stop? A wanna-be home cook can dream.

Good Sushi in Arcadia

I'm not saying I haven't been to sushi restaurants in downtown Phoenix and even Arcadia, but when I'm craving the good stuff, I either make the drive to Hana Japanese Eatery or up to one of the places in North Scottsdale. It's as if the East Camelback corridor -- and even Tempe, for that matter -- is a sushi black hole, where your only options are cheap, cream cheese-filled rolls or expensive ones loaded with fish then smothered in spicy sauces. We've got just about everything else in this neighborhood, it's time for some amaebi and toro nigiri.

More Mixology in Old Town Scottsdale

In other large metropolitan cities you can hit the downtown scene and hop from bar to bar sipping tip-notch cocktails like it ain't no thang. In Old Town Scottsdale, there are definitely places to get your mixology on -- like Second Story Liquor Bar and Citizen Public House -- but not nearly enough if we want the area to be more than just a place for tank-top-wearing douchebags and Red Bull vodka-drinking gals. After midnight, when many of the restaurants with good bars close, there's little to keep the cocktail crowd around, and that's just a shame.

Greek Restaurants, Anywhere

We've got at least three Greek food festivals that I can think of but when it comes to actual Greek restaurants, we're kind of lacking. Most of the really good Greek food I've had in Phoenix has been Mediterranean (as opposed to specifically Greek) restaurants. Let's get a Cafe Ga Hyang of Greek cuisine, Phoenix. I'd make the drive for some handmade dolmades with an extra-large serving of moussaka.

Parking. Everywhere.

You can call it "free" valet all you want, but I still have to tip, which may not be a problem for some of you, but as a person who rarely carries cash this poses a big problem. Not to mention the fact that half the time the valet just park the car five feet from the entrance leaving me wondering why we need them in the first place. Let's get some parking structures going on around town -- or even better, some real public transportation. But that's a whole different issue.

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32 comments
Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

Z's is great. Middle Eastern Cafe on 16th is awesome as well.

Diane Kowaleski
Diane Kowaleski

Speciality food stores for sure. Moving here from Michigan and the pickings here are few for a market this size.

Joanne Bolda Harp
Joanne Bolda Harp

A scene in downtown...there are barely any places on restaurant week worth trying.

Jeff Prior
Jeff Prior

Great teriyaki…like Seattle, Portland or SF.

Dave Saunders
Dave Saunders

Less of a "scene" and just good food at decent prices.

Ry Gavin
Ry Gavin

Mika's Greek in south Scottsdale's Papago Plaza is amazing

MichaelWeinand
MichaelWeinand

Athenian express is a good Greek restaurant. Also we already have too much parking. Our city should be encouraging public transportation. The valley is already one of the least sustainable cities in the nation. We artificially made where we live warmer by building too many roads and too many parking garages/lots. Lets focus more on expanding the light rail and creating new bicycle lanes.

Christine Nimitz
Christine Nimitz

You mean you don't like My Big Fat Americanized Greek Restaurant? Shocking!

Arielle Gomez
Arielle Gomez

George's Gyros in Tempe is the best gyros I've ever had!!

Kim Kenworthy
Kim Kenworthy

Al gyros' s on 59th ave and bell mom and pop place food is great

Jimmy Green
Jimmy Green

Wait. So there's no gyros in Phoenix?

Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

I am a food and drink luva and have never had any parking issues; except when some asshole who lives next to Federal Pizza said that he was going to call the cops, because I had parked next to his neighbors house.

Tom Adikes
Tom Adikes

How is 24-hour or at least late-night mass transit not on this list? Surely there's enough money being made off douche-dui's to get that going.

SteveDinPHX
SteveDinPHX

SNAP OUT OF IT! You can't have both "Parking. Everywhere" AND the great, cool infill development we're seeing. This city has been conditioned to expect it always, for everyone. That cannot be sustained. You buried what should be the lead… public transportation. "District parking" is another concept that deserves inclusion as we advance our redevelopment. We can't grow if we will only patronize businesses with parking within steps of the front door.

Lyndsay Williams
Lyndsay Williams

There is more parking per capita in Phoenix than in any other major metro. We do not need ANY more parking.

NoFestRequired
NoFestRequired

And yes, absolutely, parking is a very different issue and depends on so many things way past a desire to have valets.

NoFestRequired
NoFestRequired

AZ88 has been pouring quality drinks since, ummm, 1988? I understand what you're saying, but don't forget them, the new Pink Pony, Valley Ho ZuZu's if you don't mind a little walk.

Molly Fuzat
Molly Fuzat

Parking and sushi in Arcadia - #nailedit

Steve Dreiseszun
Steve Dreiseszun

SNAP OUT OF IT! You can't have both "Parking. Everywhere" AND the great, cool infill development we're seeing. This city has been conditioned to expect it always, for everyone. That cannot be sustained. You buried what should be the lead… public transportation. "District parking" is another concept that deserves inclusion as we advance our redevelopment. We can't grow if we will only patronize businesses with parking within steps of the front door.

Corey Rial
Corey Rial

The author wants parking garages. Gross

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