Despite the obvious challenges (sadly noted in the closings section below), the Valley is not messing around when it comes to restaurant openings this fall.
We’re seeing second (and third, and beyond) locations of certain local restaurants, Arizona firsts, and plenty of other spots — some serving very good chicken — opening up around town. Below, read all about ’em.
2433 West Peoria Avenue, Building 17, #1300
Absolutely Delightful, our 2020 Best of Phoenix winner for best honey, opened its first brick-and-mortar location with a small retail section. So far, the local honey business, owned and operated by Eleanor Dziuk, has been selling honey via its website and at farmers’ markets. But now, you can pick up a jar of the desert wildflower honey near the old Metrocenter.
425 South Mill Avenue, #108, Tempe
Acai Waffle, found right on Mill Avenue in downtown Tempe, offers waffle-heavy desserts as well as smoothies and acai bowls. Vegan, gluten-free, and organic options are available.
Adalberto’s Mexican Food
3605 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
The 1994-founded, family-owned Adalberto’s Mexican Food has opened a second location, this one near Chandler Fashion Center. The 24-hours restaurant offers tacos, burritos, breakfast items, and a drive-thru window.
Belle’s Nashville Kitchen
7212 East Main Street, Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale has welcomed a roadhouse-style eatery and bar in the former Lulu Belle spot called Belle’s Nashville Kitchen. There’s (obviously) a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, as well as Honky Tonk Fries, salads, burgers, and pecan Goo Goo Cluster brownie bites.
Belly is now open.
4971 North Seventh Avenue
The first project from Instrumental Hospitality Group is Belly — a two-story Southeast Asian kitchen and cocktail bar. The anticipated eatery is now open for takeout only — noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Blanco Cocina + Cantina
123 East Washington Street
Block 23 in downtown Phoenix has recently welcomed the latest location of Blanco Cocina + Cantina. Fox Restaurant Concept and Mexican food restaurant is known for tacos, margaritas, and guacamole.
The Buzz Eatery & Treats
15215 North Kierland Boulevard, #190, Scottsdale
The Buzz Eatery & Treats is a quick-service eatery found at the Kierland Commons retail district in Scottsdale. Menu items include coffee, cocktails, frozen pops, and grand-and-go food items.
Cat’s Pajamas Bistro
10323 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
The former Razz’s Restaurant & Catering space at Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard is now Cat’s Pajamas Bistro. The new eatery offers sandwiches and burgers like the Rocky and Bullwinkle Burger, salads, soups, desserts, and a full bar.
Chin Up Donuts has gone brick-and-mortar.
Wildlings Photo Co.
Chin Up Donuts
7325 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, #103, Scottsdale
The female-owned Chin Up Donuts has opened its first physical location. The doughnut and coffee shop is located at The Promenade and offers signature doughnuts like Lavender Fields, Whoa Wasabi, and Whiskey Pigness.
1845 East Broadway Road, #121, Tempe
The intersection at McClintock Drive and Broadway Road is becoming quite the dining destination in Tempe. In addition to Old Town Taste and others, there is now Duplex — a Hong Kong-style café serving drinks like salty lemon tea and whole coconut shake. There are also quick snacks like a pork ball, egg puffs, and more.
GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina
920 East University Drive, Tempe
GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina has opened in Cornerstone Mall neighboring the Tempe Improv Comedy Club in a 4,650-square-foot space. The plant-based Mexican food restaurant offers dishes (inspired by Chef Rene Andrade of Ghost Ranch then prepared by Chef Clinton Lomayma) like Oaxacan Pizza, Pork Al Pastor Tacos, and Enchiladas De Calabacitas — all sans meat. There are also craft cocktails.
The Hudson Eatery & Bar
1601 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe
Housed in a 1965-built former real estate office, The Hudson Eatery & Bar has opened for patio dining and takeout in central Tempe. The neighborhood-style eatery offers wings, chicken sandwiches, dishes of yellow rice and protein, and a full bar.
325 West Elliot Road, #103, Tempe
The Mesa-based family-owned sandwich shop has opened a second location, this one in south Tempe in the former Jollof King spot. Knuckle Sandwiches include the Pastrami Rueben, Hot Stuff Chicke, and the Four-Layer Veggie.
Lure Fish House
8877 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Arizona got its first location of Lure Fish House, which is also the first one outside of California. Set at the Shops at Gainey Village, the upscale seafood restaurant offers starters like the Veracruz fish chowder, tequila lime shrimp pasta, Idaho trout, and specialties like the Cermaq Sustainable Salmon Bowl.
3373 East Queen Creek Road, Gilbert
A fourth location of Matty G’s has opened, this one in southeast Gilbert. The menu for this sports bar-style joint includes specialty burgers like the Field of Dreams, signature dogs like Da Beats, and wraps like the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Monroe’s Hot Chicken
430 NorthChalss Scottsdale Road, Tempe
In addition to its ground-floor spot in the Historic Luhrs Tower, Monroe’s has opened a second location in Tempe at The Watermark retail complex. Founded by Larry White, the man behind Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, the eatery is modeled after the Nashville-style hot chicken meals.
NoRa Asian Fresh
818 West Broadway Road, #108, Tempe
The former Lemongrass Thai Cuisine spot in central Tempe is now home to the second location of the Peoria-based NoRa Asian Fresh. The menu lists ramen, sushi, and Asian starters.
Get ready to build-your-own pasta.
2780 W Chandler Blvd Ste 6, Chandler
This fast-casual Italian eatery offers a build-your-own pasta concept — you choose the pasta, house-made sauce, protein, and toppings. Pasta78 also offers grab-and-go salads and desserts like cannoli and sfogliatella.
1065 North Dobson Road, Mesa
The Revelry is a food hall-style collection of vendors and entertainment options spanning a 64,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor space at Mesa Riverview. The food hall includes Crust Simply Italian, Calavera Tacos, Rev Brewing Co., and more.
Salt & Smoke Mesquite Seafood Grill
2475 West Queen Creek Road, #4 Chandler
The former Humble Pie spot at Dobson and Queen Creek roads is now Salt & Smoke Mesquite Seafood Grill. The new seafood restaurant is connected to its sister concept eatery, The Living Room, in southern Chandler and serves fish tacos, clam chowder, lobster potstickers, and more.
Upscale Italian, now via drive-thru.
7111 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale
The owner of Forno 301 has opened Slice Eat, a drive-thru concept serving upscale Italian fare. Menu items range from a single slice of wood-fired pizza to eggplant parmigiana to — look out, Dairy Queen — gelato.
1305 West Guadalupe Road, Suite E3, Mesa
Southwest Mesa is home to a new vegan doughnut and pastry shop. SoJo’s Donuts offers specialty doughnuts like the Coconu-tural Born Chocolate and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Blue-Berry, plus breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
5095 South Gilbert Road, Chandler
Someburros, the local family-owned chain of fast-casual Mexican food restaurants, has opened its 11th Valley location. The new spot is found in The Steelyard retail district in south Chandler.
901 North First Street
The reopening of The Churchill included a new kid, called Stoop Kid, in the former Commander Hamburger space. It’s a New York-style bagel and coffee shop operated by Phoenix restaurateur and barista Steven McMillen.
Five meads that just medaled at the Mazer Cup in Denver at Superstition Downtown.
1110 East Washington Street
Superstition Meadery is based in Prescott and a local craft favorite. Now, co-owners Jeff and Jen Herbert have debuted the Phoenix location in the restored Jim Ong’s Market building at 11th and Washington streets. Superstition Downtown is a large indoor-outdoor restaurant and, already, a mead destination.
884 West Warner Road, Suite B9
The Agritopia community in Gilbert has recently welcomed the second Arizona location (and the second Gilbert spot) of Twisted Sugar. The bakery offers specialty cookies, signature sodas concoctions, and various ice cream smoothies.
Two Hands Seoul Fresh Corn Dogs
1933 West Main Street, #6, Mesa
The first Arizona location of Two Hands Seoul Fresh Corn Dogs has opened next to H Mart in west Mesa. The menu lists something like extreme corn dogs, including the crispy rice dog, the Nashville-style spicy dog, and the sweet-and-savory injeolmi dog.
Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits
4921 East Ray Road, #103
The former Uncle Bears Brewery space in Ahwatukee is now Wicked Brews, Bites & Spirits. Those bites would be wings, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, as well as starts like pretzels bites, garlic chips, and poutine fries. The brews and spirits would be wine, specialty cocktails, and local drafts like Cider Corp Pineapple Camuleflage, Huss Cactus Valley, and Uncle Bears’ Mandarin Wheat.
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade
24775 North Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade has opened its fifth Valley location, this one at Lake Pleasant. The upscale lemonade stand also serves smoothies and food items like acai bowls, gourmet toasts, and flatbread sandwiches.
Sherpa Kitchen is gone for good.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Bicycle Nomad Café
The coffee and bike-themed café owned by Erick Cedeño has closed in downtown Phoenix. The Velo Bike Shop, the adjoining business, is relocating to Seventh Street in the Coronado District.
Game over for Bonus Round in central Phoenix: The geek hangout and arcade bar on Camelback Road has closed after four years of serving up nerd-themed cocktails, cosplay events, and arcade action.
The Valley’s first Nepalese restaurant opened and closed in 2020. Sherpa Kitchen, a Top 100 restaurant, closed thanks to COVID. Fans of Sherpa Kitchen most likely know the restaurant is a physical offspring of the popular dumpling food truck. It’s sticking around: The Everest Momo food truck will continue to make appearances at farmers’ markets and festivals (when those are back) throughout the Valley.
Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version. See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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