Where to eat in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The most important things to me when traveling are: food, coffee, ice cream. I was pleasantly surprised with Downtown Phoenix’s hipster coffee houses, food hall with amazing vendors, ramen burgers, creative cocktails and on and on. Here they are…

WHERE TO EAT: 

Matt’s Big Breakfast, the most popular breakfast place in Phoenix.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

It was crowded but I got a seat right away at the counter.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Their bacon is the thing to get. But I really really liked the hashbrown.

Bitter & Twisted — a low-key cocktail bar/restaurant. Easily my favorite in Phoenix.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Their menu looks like a video game manual:

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You choose based on how strong and how eclectic you want your drinks.

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Strawberry “sundae”: zubrowka bison grass vodka with cream, strawberries, chocolate, vanilla and banana liqueurs — LOVED this!!!!!

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This is where you can find the Ramen Burger.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

It was a cool concept but the ramen part was too crispy for me. Great burger.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Typhoon chicken: fried chicken and 8 spice salt, bread crumbs, chilies, scallion, garlic and watermelon kimchi lettuce cups. Highly recommended.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Tiramisu — this was AMAZING (and alcoholic). I would’ve stayed for longer but I was drinking by myself and the place got really busy. Definitely highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Phoenix!!!!!

Desoto Central Market — I actually liked it so much, I came back the next day. It’s a food hall and beer garden and also art space.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The outdoor beer garden.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Plenty of space and seating.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Get oysters at Walrus & the Pearl!

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Get some baos at Adobo Dragon:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The Larder + the Delta:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The best thing there? FRIED CHICKEN SKIN PO BOY. It’s just the skin, no meat, but so crispy and tasty!!!

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Pig ear “cheetos”

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Cauliflower — this was my least favorite dish.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Tea & Toast — I got their black rose latte the first time and loved it! Then I got the “london fog”, which was earl grey with lavender, also really good.

The rest of the space:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

FOR COFFEE:

Jobot Coffee

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Great iced lattes and music. Now I’m obsessed with Odesza.

Be Coffee & Food & Stuff:

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

The layout allows for shared space with other art companies that want to use it as a venue at night.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Really loved their lattes.

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Toast with mascarpone and jam… so gooooood.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

I loved this space.

The Cafe at Phoenix Public Market serves Cartel coffee.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

FOR ICE CREAM:

Melt

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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They have flavors like Trix, banana pudding, lucky charms, etc. all served in a Chinese take-out container with a fortune cookie.

What to do in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Downtown Phoenix is all about art. I found soooo many wall murals on Roosevelt Row and amazing restaurants and cute gift shops (I’m obsessed with stationary and punny cards), all within walking distance.

ART MURALS:

Roosevelt Row Arts District (RoRo)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

“Wall of kindness”

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Remember the “wall of kindness”? There were more of them.

WHERE TO GET SOUVENIRS: 

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

My Airbnb was attached to a store that sold vintage clothing, jewelry, cards. Check it out if you’re in the area! It’s called GROWop.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Besides GROWop, MADE is also a cute little store for stationary, jewelry, trinkets.

FOR YOGA: 

Sutra Roosevelt

They have 2 locations (Midtown and Roosevelt). Yoga & barre classes! Loved the decor. Wish I could’ve gone back for more.

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Travelogue: Arizona: Camelback Mtn & Grand Canyon (April 2016)

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Solotrips are fun in that you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. Naptime anytime. The only downside is not having a consistent photographer to take pictures of you. I loveeeeeeed Arizona and will definitely have to go back. There’s so much to do and eat.

For this trip, I booked 2 Airbnbs. One was in Paradise Valley and the other in Downtown Phoenix (for the next post). I took an Uber from the airport (prices are really cheap there). There are specific pick-up areas called “prearranged vehicles” that are basically designated just for Ubers.

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Paradise Valley is a really nice neighborhood, and I chose it because I wanted to hike up Camelback Mountain as soon as I landed. My Airbnb place was right near the Echo Canyon trailhead.

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This is where I stayed for 2 nights!

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It was only 10AM and the parking lot was full already. Good thing I only had to walk from my Airbnb.

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It was 90 degrees and sunny. Bring lots of water!!! The Echo Canyon Trail is very steep with lots of scrambling. It was a lot of fun and I met people from all over the country along the way.

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There were stairs and then there were railings to hold onto…

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Some wildlife.

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This was not an easy hike, especially in 90 degree weather. But I loved it.

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At the summit, you can see the city of Phoenix.

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It took about an hour & a half to get up there (stopped to take pictures) and faster to go down. Be careful, as it can be very steep.

The next day, I took a Viator tour to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

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(The view from my Airbnb at sunrise)

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Walked through some residential areas to go to the meeting place. The tour guide/driver, Robert, picked me up right on time at 6:40AM. The company that Viator used was Detours of Arizona. I didn’t want to drive 3 hours to the Grand Canyon and only had a day to spare, so this was a great way of seeing it (next time, I’ll go back to hike & camp).

Sedona first.

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Robert gave us time to wander and showed us cool places to take photos. And then gift shops, of course.

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This was half of my gigantic sandwich that was included in lunch. So tasty.

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When in Arizona…

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Next, we drove to the Grand Canyon.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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We went along the South Rim and stopped at different spots to take pictures.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Definitely coming back to the Canyon. It sure is grand.

I loved living next to a mountain. On my last night, my Airbnb hosts gave me a homemade blueberry protein shake. They were both ultra-athletes and told me about the running routes nearby, so I took their advice the next morning.

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The neighborhood was really something. Although it was hot, it wasn’t humid. “Paradise Valley” was aptly named. I felt like I was in Hawaii again.

Downtown Phoenix coming up next! To be continued…