A little rundown of places we enjoyed.
Cartel – coffee roaster in downtown Phoenix. Multiple pour over options to choose from, all with a smooth finish.
Press – local roaster right on Central Ave. They have a handful of pour over options from single-origin growers to fit any flavor profile preferences, and you can choose your brew method (Chemex, Kalita, etc.).
Giant Coffee – dog friendly coffee bar in a large, open space. They roast their own beans and do a pretty solid cup of joe.
Matt’s Big Breakfast – good breakfast spot downtown. Ample portion sizes and fresh-made food. They make their bread and jam in-house and have fresh-ground coffee brewed locally just for them. Go hungry and early because it can get busy for the brunch crowd.
Rainbow Donuts – we only tried one donut shop, but we didn’t need to try any more! Rainbow has a seemingly endless menu, and they do them all extremely well. We went with our classic order: jelly filled, custard filled, glazed, and apple fritter and they were all perfect.
Kaleidoscope – located downtown next to Cartel, this place is serving up fresh and healthy options. Choose from smoothies, juices, protein bowls, and sandwiches. They don’t skimp on the veggies and protein in the bowls and it’s always nice to have a healthy option when you’re out and about.
Poke Catcher – fast lunch spot in Central Phoenix. Fresh poke and all the toppings make for a quick and healthy lunch option.
Carolina’s – don’t be deterred by the location, Carolina’s is serving up authentic Mexican on the cheap! They make the tortillas in house and the food is a slam-dunk. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and the burros and chimis hit the spot. Don’t forget to get a bag of chips!
St. Francis – a great happy hour option located in Central Phoenix. $5 drink specials and sharable small plates.
Little Cleo’s – located at The Yard, a veritable outdoor adult playground with multiple restaurants and games (cornhole, shuffleboard, etc.). We went for the happy hour special of $1 oysters on the half shell and $2 champagne.
O.H.S.O. Brewing – dog friendly brewery serving up plenty of house-brewed beers. Snickers gives the spent-grain treats four enthusiastic paws up, and we thoroughly enjoyed the brewer’s cheese and charcuterie board with an added smoked sausage made next door. They’ve also got a great happy hour special on beer – $7 for a pitcher (normally $6 for a pint).
Taco Guild – tacos in an old Methodist church. They’ve maintained a lot of the original pieces – including a number of stained glass windows – which makes for a great juxtaposition of old and new. You can’t go wrong with the unique taco offerings on the menu, but be sure to check out the daily taco (it was fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a green chili gravy when we went) and don’t forget to get a margarita to wash it down.
Presidio Cocina – upscale Latin food with good happy hour specials. Food is very fresh and flavorful and you can’t beat a $5 real margarita!
Forno 301 – Italian and pizza. They make the pasta in-house, and serve up wood-fired pizzas. We tried the caprese salad, which included half a plate of prosciutto along with the mozzarella and tomato, arugula salad, and the Forno 301 pizza. Everything was fresh and delicious and paired well with the Italian Moretti beer.
Creamistry – very cool concept! The ice cream is made to order using liquid nitrogen to freeze the milk. Incredibly creamy with lots of unique flavor options and mix-ins.
Nami – vegan soft serve with plenty of fun mix-in options.