October brought a bounty of new restaurants to metro Phoenix including across the West and East valleys. While the Phoenix area did see at least 13 restaurants and bars close, this latest slew of openings more than makes up for the losses.
Roosevelt Row near downtown Phoenix saw a handful of new additions, including a comic-themed hamburger joint at The Churchill, a Hawaiian dessert shop and a craft beer bar.
Whether you want more $1 taco options on the west side or Caribbean food on the east side of town, there are plenty of new places to try. Here are 41 restaurants, bars and cafes that opened in metro Phoenix in October and late September.
La Abuelita Mexican Food
Located just south of downtown Phoenix, this Mexican restaurant makes its tortillas by hand in the kitchen. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the restaurant offers $1 tacos. Keep an eye on its website for specials.
Details: 701 E. Mohave St., Phoenix. 602-423-2295, laabuelitamexicanfoodphx.com.
The family-owned pizza chain expands with a new location off 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. The Barro family moved to Arizona and opened the state’s first location in Mesa in 1980, according to the company’s website.
Details: 6135 N. 35th Ave., #101, Phoenix. 602-296-7400, barrospizza.com.
Phoenix chef Bernie Kantak, the culinary mind behind Citizen Public House and The Gladly, joins The Churchill lineup in downtown Phoenix with his first foray into casual dining. Commander Hamburger, a comic-themed food counter, will serve burgers, sandwiches and his famous Original Chopped Salad.
Details: The Churchill, 901 N. 1st Street, Phoenix. 602-675-2202, commander-hamburger.com.
It’s all aboard the latest concept from Jason Asher and Rich Furnari, the partners who run UnderTow, an award-winning underground tiki bar. Century Grand is a lavish three-in-one space and features an Art Deco restaurant, a bar inside a train car and a whiskey shop.
Details: Century Grand, 3626 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. centurygrandphx.com.
The Fresh Shave
This shave ice shop expands from Kauai, Hawaii with its first location in Arizona. Located on Roosevelt Row, the shop aims to offer a “healthier alternative to Hawaii’s most famous treat” by using organic ingredients, homemade syrups and no artificial coloring.
Details: 333 E. Roosevelt St., #114., Phoenix. 602-501-5859, thefreshshave.com.
It’s been described as “a game changer.” At long last, downtown Phoenix has a modern grocery store. The arrival of Fry’s came with much fanfare for downtown residents and workers. In addition to produce, Fry’s offers food counters as well as an in-house bar.
Details: 125 E. Washington St.. Phoenix. 480-569-6805, frysfood.com
FLINT by Baltaire
Located in The Esplanade on Camelback, this upscale restaurant from California serves wood-fired cooking and contemporary dishes inspired by the Mediterranean. Chris Mayo, known for his work at Osio Culinary Group and Fox Restaurant Concepts, will helm the kitchen at FLINT by Baltaire.
Details: 2425 E. Camelback Road, #109, Phoenix. 602-812-4818, flintbybaltaire.com.
Giving Tree Cafe
From lentil pancakes to rice bowls, this new vegetarian restaurant just north of downtown Phoenix offers an elegant space for gluten-free, plant-based dishes in the $13-and-under range. David Warr, former executive chef of Sedona’s ChocolaTree, said all the food components and sauces are made in-house at Giving Tree Cafe.
Details: 2024 N. 7th St., #11, Phoenix. 480-630-0200, givingtreecafe.com.
Harold’s Chicken Shack
The iconic Chicago eatery opened its first Arizona location with a small storefront in south Phoenix. Rodney White EL, owner of Harold’s Chicken Shack, said his fried chicken is “dropped fresh,” or fried to order.
Details: 1635 E. Baseline Road, #105. 602-675-1082. facebook.com/Harolds-Chicken-AZ.
A butcher and baker teamed up for Persepshen, an uptown Phoenix restaurant that began growing its loyal following about two years ago when it first debuted in a trailer at Uptown Farmers Market. Diners can expect a menu that changes with the seasons.
Details: 4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-935-2932, instagram.com/persephshen.
Boba tea continues its rapid expansion in Phoenix with two new Sharetea locations. The Taiwan-based cafe offers a variety of hot and cold drinks that come with pudding, boba, jellies and ice cream.
Details: Desert Ridge Marketplace in The District, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard in Phoenix. Second location: 113 E. Southern Ave, Tempe. 1992sharetea.com.
Theodore, a new craft beer bar from the owners of the Wandering Tortoise and the Sleepy Whale, opened on Roosevelt Row, offering 25 options on tap, a wide selection of beer to take home as well as a dog-friendly patio.
Details: 110 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix. facebook.com/TheodoreBeerBar.
Yutaka Japanese Restaurant
This new Japanese eatery in north Phoenix offers sushi rolls, teriyaki dishes and ramen as well as a few fun creations like the Jalapeño Bomb: deep fried jalapeño stuffed with spicy tuna, crab and cream cheese.
Details: 751 E. Bell Rd., #9, Phoenix. 602-843-8882, yutakajapanese.business.site.
This family-owned Mexican chain expanded with a new location in the Westgate Entertainment District. The restaurant offers a variety of combination meals with enchiladas, chimichangas, taquitos, tamales and more.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue in Glendale. 623-979-4444, carambamex.com.
The Chicken Ranch
Don’t let the name fool you. This new restaurant in Surprise offers more than just chicken and egg dishes. Along with an expansive menu of breakfast items, an employee said popular menu items include the brisket, prime rib and all-you-can-eat fish fry on Friday.
Details: 14051 W. Grand Ave, Surprise. 623-248-6628. www.facebook.com/The-Chicken-Ranch-Surprise-AZ.
Colados Coffee and Crepes
The family-owned coffee house and creperie first opened in Avondale before expanding to its second location in Goodyear, with a third location planned for Phoenix in 2020. Inspired by a family trip to Paris, the Reina family offers a selection of savory and sweet crepes.
Details: 15479 W. McDowell Rd., #109, Goodyear. 623-248-6187, colados.com.
FOR SUBSCRIBERS: These 13 restaurants closed in October around metro Phoenix
The Ohio-based pizza chain opened another Valley location, this time in Avondale. The restaurant is known for cripsy pizzas and oven-baked subs.
Details: 10240 W. McDowell Rd., Avondale. 623-907-3460, donatos.com.
Paloma Mexican Street Food
This family-owned shop offers Mexican street fare, including elote, chamoyadas and raspados. For Taco Tuesday, the restaurant offers $1 tacos, including veggie tacos and $1 agua frescas.
Details: 965 E. Van Buren St., #121, Avondale. 602-237-6611, facebook.com/palomatacosaz.
After Nuestros Famous Pizza and Wings closed, the restaurant recently reopened as Pizzeria Divine. From Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the restaurant offers all-you-can-eat slices for $3.99.
Details: 8525 Grand Ave., #17, Peoria. 623-979-9233, facebook.com/pizzeriadivineAZ.
This restaurant serves Tijuana-style tacos and street fare, including vampiros, mulitas and consome to dip your food in. This local chain expanded with a third location in Tolleson.
Details: 9897 W. McDowell Rd., #755, Tolleson. tacos-calafia.business.site.
Ugly Tuna Sushi
Surprise just got a slick new sushi joint. Along with sushi rolls, the restaurant offers sashimi and poke bowls.
Details: 15459 W. Bell Rd., #113, Surprise. facebook.com/uglytunasushi.
Board and Brew
This surfer- and skateboarder-themed California chain brings sandwiches and craft beer to Tempe. You can expect 12 brews on tap, the majority local to Arizona, and a variety of sammies, which diners can dress up with a sweet and sour “secret sauce.”
Details: 1015 S. Rural Road, Tempe. boardandbrew.com.
Cafe de Bangkok
Cafe de Bangkok replaces Thai Mint Cafe in Gilbert. The Thai restaurant offers lunch specials at $7.95 on weekdays, plus combos with a soup, appetizer and drink for $12.95.
Details: 1111 N. Gilbert Rd., #101, Gilbert. 480-497-5366, cafedebangkokaz.com.
Founded in Scottsdale, ChopShop expands with its second Tempe location. The menu includes protein bowls, salads, sandwiches, fresh juice, protein shakes, acai bowls and breakfast items.
Details: 8738 S. Emerald Dr., Tempe. originalchopshop.com.
This affordable eatery offers beef hot dogs or Polish sausages for $4, as well as specialty hot dogs for $5. Specialty hot dogs include the Brisket Dawg and the Mac n’ Cheese Dawg.
Details: 546 N. Gilbert Rd, Gilbert. 480-813-3727, claydawgs.com.
This family-run Greek yogurt and coffee shop offers handcrafted Greek yogurt in a variety of flavors including tiramisu, banana bread crumble and lemon curd, plus seasonal flavors.
Details: 1661 S. Val Vista Dr. #102. Gilbert. 480-686-9011, cultureclashyogurt.com.
The Drowning Taco
This Mexican street food truck parked in Mesa serves a variety of Sonoran hot dogs, burritos and its namesake, “drowned tacos” or falutas ahogadas. Similar to El Paso’s Chicos Tacos, the crunchy rolled ground beef tacos are drenched in a spicy tomato broth topped with cheddar cheese.
Details: 264 E. Broadway Road, Mesa. 480-687-8447, thedrowningtaco.com.
From the Roots Up
This BYOB vegetarian restaurant in Mesa offers a small, but growing menu of plant-based items, including veggie “ceviche,” pulled jackfruit BBQ and burrito box. From the Roots Up also hosts open mic nights every other Thursday.
Details: 1130 W. Grove Ave, Mesa. 480-597-5157, from-the-roots-up-catering.business.site.
Heaven on a Spoon
Gerard Lombardo was known as ‘Gelato Man’ for years at Valley schools where he served the homemade Italian specialty. Now, he’s got a shop in Mesa with dairy-free and sugar-free options available too.
Details: 1950 E. University Drive, Mesa. 480-274-1018, facebook.com/Heaven-on-a-Spoon-Italian-Gelato-248344856005/
Kaleidescope Juice expanded with its newest location in Gainey Village, Scottsdale. Visitors can expect a fresh press juice machine and health-conscious menu of salads, bowls and sandwiches.
Details: 8977 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-597-3355, kaleidoscope.love.
Little Cay, a new restaurant on the east side has a beach vibe and offers a mix of Caribbean and Central and South American cuisine. The menu includes empanadas, calamari, cubanos and Jamaican jerk chicken.
Details: 4912 E. Shea Blvd. Suite 108, Scottsdale. 480-534-4110, LittleCayAZ.com.
Mama Thai Kitchen
Chandler lost Silk Thai in August, but a new Thai restaurant is coming to its spot. Mama Thai Kitchen offers more than 70 dishes, including lunch specials.
Details: 4995 S. Alma School Rd., #1, Chandler. 480-895-1499, mamathaikitchenaz.com.
Surprise’s fast-casual Mexican restaurant expands to the east side with a new Tempe location. The menu includes breakfast burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tostadas, huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.
Details: 1537 W. Broadway Rd., #105, Tempe. 480-597-4700, mastertacotempe.com.
It’s like Hooters, except meant to “cater to Latinos,” according the company’s website. The Dallas-based sports bar offers tacos, wings and cervezas, all served by women wearing low-cut tops.
Details: 1656 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa. 480-770-3921, ojoslocos.com.
Sauce Pizza and Wine
This local pizza chain is known for its gas-fired pizza and opened its first Tempe location, not far from ASU campus.
Details: 705 S. Myrtle Ave., #101, Tempe. saucepizzaandwine.com.
The Tucson-based ice cream chain first expanded to the Valley with a location in Paradise Valley and recently opened its second Valley location in downtown Chandler. The shop is known for making ice cream from scratch and using hormone and antibiotic free milk from grass-fed cows
Details: 140 N. Arizona Ave., #106, Chandler. 480-597-3322, thescreamery.com.
Sizzle Mongolian Grill
In the same vein as other fast-casual stir-fry joints, diners can choose the ingredients, pick their sauce and then watch someone cook it all in a wok on the spot.
Details: 1050 W. Chandler Blvd., #3, Chandler. 480-590-2755, sizzlemongolian.com.
Surprise’s boba store opened a second location in Chandler. The cafe offers a variety of loaded shaved ice, milk tea, slushies, smoothies, as well as ice cream lodged in a bubble waffle.
Details: 5055 W. Ray Rd., #7, Chandler. 480-590-6624, sumosnow.com.
Thai Chili 2 Go
This local chain of fast-casual Thai food, Thai Chili 2 Go, offers order-at-the-counter service and a to-go option. Popular dishes include pad thai, drunken noodles, fried rice and curries.
Details: 2010 E. Elliot Rd., #104 on the Discovery Business Campus, Tempe. tc2go.com.
Toca Madera is a swanky new restaurant in Scottsdale Fashion Square that offers a raw bar and Mexican food presented in an upscale way. Diners can find Oaxaca-style empanadas, mole de olla, scallops in pipian verde and vegan guacamole.
Details: 4763 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale. 480-478-0157, tocamadera.com.
Arizonans finally have the chance to ‘storm the castle’ on home turf. Known for its signature sliders, the world’s largest White Castle and Arizona’s first made a splashy opening with wait times clocking over two hours and people who camped out days in advance.
Details: 9310 E. Via de Ventura, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. 614-228-5781, whitecastle.com.
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