I have been going to the downtown Phoenix campus of ASU for almost two weeks, and I have run into a lot of questions about good places to eat and things to do downtown. So, I want to make a suggestion for food right now, and we’ll work on what to do in a minute.
The very best food downtown, in my humble opinion, is Fate Asian Cuisine at 5th Street and Roosevelt Road, just south of Modified Arts Venue and Gallery. Fate has fantastic appetizers, great entrees, and a magnificent wine and martini list. The restaurant is under construction because they are expanding, but you can get a table any night except First Friday with ease. I recommend “The Healthy Asian” as an entree, with tofu. I am not a vegetarian, but Johnny Chu, owner of Fate, makes killer tofu. Web site here.
Now, you can’t get a table there on First Friday because it’s busy. This leads into something you should do downtown. The downtown Phoenix First Friday Art Walk has been around for years. If you missed it up until now, it’s never too late to get in on the fun. I recommend starting out at 7th Street and Roosevelt, and walking West towards Central Avenue. When you pass Fate at 5th Street, stop in because even though you won’t get a table, you will see great art, DJ’s, and a wonderful outdoor bar where service is speedy and drinks are strong.
As you head down around 3rd Street you should see Carly’s Bistro. If there was ever a place that you had to grab a snack, this is it. The food is tasty and because it is not necessarily a sit-down affair, it will be easier to get food there than at Fate. Their site here.
All along the way there are great galleries like The Eye Lounge that are waiting to welcome you. Look for good deals at the street vendors booths too. I have paid almost nothing for great art there. Some of my favorite pieces come from starving artists setting up a table and selling their beautiful masterpieces for half what they would go for in a gallery.
You can also catch the shuttle from Roosevelt Row over to The Grand Avenue Galleries and see great places like The Paisley Violin. But no matter what, just make sure you get out on First Friday (tomorrow!) and check out all the great places to go, and pick up fliers for events coming up in the next month. This one night everything will be open, and you can case the downtown area and figure out what is where, and when you should go. It’s an easy way to get “in the loop” about downtown.