Among the many delights this sunny Southwestern city has to offer is a diverse array of cuisine. From the passion projects of award-winning chefs, which feature rotating menus based on seasonal ingredients, to restaurants in old ranch houses and comforting favorites, here are some of my favorite spots to eat and drink in the city after a long day in the sun.
Expect clear skies and warm weather—pack for the heat.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Roosevelt Row, the city's pedestrian-friendly arts district.
Your first day begins with an early rise and hike into the Arizona wilderness. Conquer the rocky terrain of Camelback Mountain with a guide and enjoy views of Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert. Hit the Henry restaurant afterwards for a hearty breakfast. Or, try your hand at French baking, learning how to make a baguette and butter, which ends with a bistro-style lunch.
At nightfall, take a trip to see the desert stars on an after-dark exploration of the constellations. Follow up with a nice dinner. I recommend Asian fusion spot Clever Koi.
Day two is for deepening your exploration of the city and surroundings. Brewery connoisseurs can take a custom Arizona beer tour. See new parts of Phoenix while sampling the best local craft options without worrying about driving.
If beer isn't your thing, explore the city on foot and discover the plethora of food options on offer. Walkable Roosevelt Row has plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafés. And there are plenty of food trucks dotted around the city. The Farm at South Mountain is a great place to enjoy fresh air and pick up organic produce.
On day three, explore nearby wine country with a private tour of the Sonoita-Elgin vineyards. Savor wine flights at each stop and appreciate the natural splendor of this area. If you'd prefer something more active, taking a self-guided kayak through Saguaro Lake gives you prime views of the water and wildlife.
Afterwards take a stroll around downtown Tempe on Mill Avenue to shop and pop into area cafés. Finish off with a walking food tour for a behind-the-scenes look at Phoenix's established and up-and-coming eateries.