WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Located in Heritage Square, Pizzeria Bianco is one of the most well known pizzerias in the U.S. Started by Chris Bianco, a renowned chef whose name you may recognize from appearances on The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, and more, the delicious brick oven pizzas are matched with a great ambiance. Held in a beautiful brick building, the only downside to this is its size. Make a reservation or get there early!
Even better: If you're looking for appetizers and a drink, Bar Bianco is the perfect spot. Located in a house next door to Pizzeria Bianco in Heritage Square, it's the kind of unmatched atmosphere visitors of Phoenix always remember. You can also put your name in at Pizzeria Bianco and wait here.
If you like pubs, billiards and you've never had a pasty (pronounced pass-tee), a visit to Cornish Pasty Co is a must. Pasties trace well back to the 1200's, originating in Cornwall, England, but Phoenix got its first taste of pasties in 2005. Since then, Cornish Pasty Co has expanded to many locations, with the Downtown Phoenix location opening in 2017. Located across the street from Nook Kitchen Downtown, you'll feel like you're in an old English pub. Pro tip: head upstairs for the best street side view!
Nook Kitchen Downtown
You'll come for the food and stay for the atmosphere and cocktails! You can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but our team's favorites are the short rib, salmon and pizza. For those with a sweet tooth, the ooey gooey butter cake is a MUST! Make sure you visit the downtown location on Monroe Street - it's nearest to Downtown Phoenix.
Bitter & Twisted
Housed inside the former Arizona Prohibition Headquarters at the historic Luhrs Building in downtown Phoenix, Bitter & Twisted has a speakeasy style and serves up innovative bar bites and unparalleled cocktails that are 100% photo worthy.
New in Phoenix, this spot is creating a lot of buzz! Home to ten different local businesses with a huge courtyard at the center where you can dine, drink and socialize. It's a casual, industrial-style, laid back environment (think open seating, picnic tables, and lounge chairs) and the weather will be PERFECT this time of year! Our personal faves? The Brill Line for local brews. The Pobrecito Cocktails for tropical vibes, spirits, and frozen drinks. And for food: Provecho, a true Central Mexican food experience. Simply order at each counter and have a seat in the courtyard.
Most known for its cocktails and trendy atmosphere, Hanny's is a staple in Downtown Phoenix. Don't let its modern look fool you, it's one of our older landmarks in Phoenix, with a history dating back to 1947, and has some surprises to offer. Hint: head down the stairs for an unexpected sight and check out the elevator.
Great food, trendy cocktails, and live music - what could be better? Everything on the menu is solid, but we love the soft pretzels & cheese dip. There are a few Culinary Dropout locations in the valley, so choose the one closest to you!
Olive & Ivy (Old Town Scottsdale)
Looking for a great spot on the Scottsdale Waterfront? We thought so. Order a seasonal chef's board and enjoy the view.
Geisha-a-Go-Go (Old Town Scottsdale)
Need Sushi? Geisha A Go Go is the complete entertainment dining experience. Geisha brings Japanese pop culture to Old Town Scottsdale combining sushi, rock n roll, and private karaoke rooms all rolled into one awesome place!
WHAT TO DO
Walkable from Phoenix Convention Center, CityScape is an area that has a lot to offer: restaurants, bars, stand up comedy, some shopping and a CVS. For a quick bite to eat, this has Grabbagreen, Chipotle, Jimmy John's or Five Guys. If you're looking for a nice meal, we recommend Arrogant Butcher, Blue Hound or Squid Ink.
Spring Training is one of the biggest sources of tourism for Arizona in March. The 2019 Cactus League schedule has yet to be released, but with 15 Major League Baseball teams and 10 stadiums around the valley, there is ample opportunity to take in the sunshine and good weather while watching a game.
Old Town Scottsdale
It's a 30-minute Uber ride from downtown Phoenix, but if you're extending your stay in Phoenix, it's a must visit. Home to:
- Scottsdale Fashion Square (Arizona's largest mall and home to many upscale brands)
- A lively nightlife scene
- Walkable streets with art galleries and unique boutiques filled with traditional Southwestern and Native American culture
- Sprinkles Cupcake ATM: Yes, you read that right: a cupcake ATM. You're welcome.
Get on the Links!
Besides Spring Training, Phoenix is also well known for its golf courses! Near the Convention Center, we recommend:
- Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, tucked among the Phoenix mountain preserve, the Biltmore is an upscale area with visitors from U.S. Presidents to celebrities and millions of others in between. Needless to say, it won't disappoint!
- For a more affordable option - or to get in a quick 9 holes - Encanto 18 Golf Course is an easy Uber ride away from the Convention Center.
Perhaps most well known is TPC Scottsdale: home of the PGA Tour Waste Management Open. Boasting panoramic views and dubbed one of the "Top 10 Public Golf Courses in Arizona" by Golf Digest, this is your chance to play like the pros! Note: from downtown Phoenix, this is likely a 30-minute drive or so.
Arts & Culture
Most of the Phoenix-metro museums, art & culture are a quick walk or light rail stop away! We recommend:
- Arizona Science Center
- Phoenix Art Museum
- Roosevelt Row
- Heard Museum
- Ballet Arizona
- Arizona Opera
- The Phoenix Symphony
- ASU Gammage
- Desert Botanical Garden (this one would require an Uber)
Live Music + Comedy
Downtown Phoenix is home to many great live music venues/bars. We recommend:
- The Van Buren
- Crescent Ballroom
- Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen (in CityScape)
- Valley Bar
BONUS: Catch a comedy show at Stand Up Livein CityScape!