We *heart* Downtown Phoenix. Yep, we are embracing the cliche. And what better way to expound on the object of our affection, then to share the voices of DPJ. Read on for a few of our favorite things.

Note: Email us at info@downtownphoenixjournal.com and we will send you the list of destinations mentioned here in one handy guide.

Si Robins, DPJ Managing Editor
1. Grilled vegetable sandwiches at the Urban Grocery & Wine Bar
2. Urban kickball at Conspire
3. Free nights at the Phoenix Art Museum
4. Urban infill at Plus Minus Studio
5. Retro duds at R&R Surplus
6. Virtually any cocktail at SideBar
7. The sheer potential of a space like Fractal
8. Environmental friendliness at Civic Space Park
9. Live music at the Lost Leaf
10. Tammie Coe cookies
11. Cornhole at Local Breeze
12. Biking in Encanto
13. The buzz at Suns playoff games
14. The relaxed vibe of Third Fridays

Yuri Artibise, Staff Writer
1. Business meetings at Lola Downtown
2. Chatting up tourists on the Metro Light Rail
3. Co-working at Lux Coffeebar
4. Buying unique housewarming gifts at Frances
5. Lusting after jewelry by Heidi Abrahamson
6. Discussing ‘infill development’ at After Hours Gallery
7. Having breakfast for lunch at Matt’s Big Breakfast
8. Stretching out on the grass at Roosevelt Park (3rd Ave, south of Roosevelt)
9. Searching for ghosts at the Hotel San Carlos
10. Winding down with a cookie and coffee at Royal at the Market
11. Getting disoriented in James Turrell’s light sculpture “Mohl ip” at the Phoenix Art Museum
12. Participating in the Critical Mass bike ride
13. Noshing on chilquiles verdes at Gallo Blanco
14. Sampling the rotating tap at Roosevelt Tavern

Kenny Bump, “Sips & Grub” Blogger
1. First meal at Gallo Blanco in the Clarendon Hotel
2. Watching The Swell Season in the Orpheum Theatre
3. Roosevelt Tavern
4. Tuck Shop
5. Jimmy Eat World’s Secret show at Modified Arts
6. The PHX Brew Party hosted by communitas
7. The view of Downtown from the top of After Hours Creative
8. Phoenix Design Fair in the Anchor Building
9. Dear and the Headlights during Star Swim on top of the Wyndham
10. Playing my first gig at the musical opening of fractal
11. St. Francis
12. Lux Coffee
13. Stinkweeds
14. The first First Friday I attended and knew that I didn’t want to leave

Janessa Hilliard, DPJ Staff Writer
1. Paddle boating in Encanto Park
2. Tea at the Japanese Friendship Garden
3. The view from the top of South Mountain
4. A picnic in Civic Space Park
5. Spending a day lounging by the rooftop pool at Hotel San Carlos
6. Biking around Downtown
7. Taking a tour of the State Capitol. Can you name the five c’s of Arizona?
8. Matt’s Big Breakfast – Why cook breakfast the morning after when you can just go out for it? Almost always worth the wait.
9. Cibo — It’s like your neighborhood diner, except with an outside patio that’s oh-so-romantic.
10. Paisley Town — If you want a variety of shopping & great food at one adorable, cohesive location.
11. Sweets & Beats on Grand Avenue — If your sweet tooth needs satisfying while adding to your record collection.
12. Lost Leaf — If you love a low-key atmosphere where the conversation is stimulating and the music isn’t overpowering.
13. Tammie Coe Cakes — There is nothing more beautiful — or delicious! — than these amazing creations.
14. The Compass Room at the Hyatt — The rotating dining room view is totally worth it, if you’re willing to shell out a pretty penny.

Deona Smith, DPJ Staff Writer
1. Local Breeze – My place away from home where everybody knows my name! This is hands down the best patio to chill out at in Downtown Phoenix.
2. Civic Space Park — Whenever I need to get away, I walk to this park and enjoy the grass and view of the city.
3. The Willo District — Whenever you want to take a Sunday drive and check out some historical homes, this is my favorite place to do it.
4. Central Ave. — You might be thinking just Central Ave.? Yes, just Central Ave., I love driving down it to get home, the view of the city just over the bridge warms my heart.
5. Carly’s — Anytime I am craving smoked mozzarella I go to Carly’s for my favorite sandwich in town…The Europa. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
6. The Roosevelt Tavern — Warm, cozy and friendly… The Roosevelt is my favorite place for happy hour and the coldest beer on tap in the city.
7. Roosevelt Row — I live in the neighborhood, I can’t help but love it!
8. Bikini Lounge – Who doesn’t enjoy a great dive bar? Bikini is the place to be especially on a First Friday.
9. US Airways Center — Let’s face it, I am a Suns fan and love going to the games!
10. The Sheraton Hotel — Just this location in general is my favorite part of Downtown. I love the feel of “Downtown” and this makes me feel like I am in the heart of it.
11. The many locally owned coffee shops in Phoenix — From Fair Trade to Lux, each place offers a unique atmosphere plus great coffee and teas to be had!
12. Two Hippies — Beach House, Magic Mushroom Burgers, Pita House and Breakfast Joint, oh my! Great atmosphere at each location and awesome eats!
13. Heritage Square — It hosts the Matsuri Festival, one of my favorite yearly events. Not to mention, Rose and Crown and Pizzeria Bianco!
14. Burton Barr Central Library — The best library in Arizona. The architecture, the smell of a library, several quiet places to read and the helpful staff — the Phoenix library is simply awesome.


  • Jason Ayers

    Epic. List.

    Now comes the obligatory “you left out this” responses, but I first wanted to say you all did a phenomenal job. Here’s some of the love I have for Phoenix in addition to what you listed:

    Barrio Cafe – The de facto place to take out of towners for a memorable meal and break their fears of neighborhoods that aren’t gentrified.

    602esdays – The longest running DJ dance party and freak-fest at the Bikini Lounge. Tuesdays are the new hump day.

    Ritos – What the hell do they put in their beans and green chile to make them so unbelievably good? This is my comfort food.

    The Anarchist Library – More friendly and constructive than it sounds. Been around since the early 90’s.

    The Scottsdale – 420 E. Roosevelt is where the hipourgeoisie and coolminati mingle every Friday night.

    The Idiotarod – Could you imagine this urban, drunken shopping cart race taking place anywhere else in the valley?

    Moira Sushi, Breadfruit, PastaBar & Turf – New food and drink options all in the same block.

    The Mystery & History – Do you know where the underground bowling alley is? Ever brought quarters to Hibert’s Arcade? Carly’s is at the old Paisley, the new Paisley is at the old Trunk Space, Sweets & Beats is at the old 3 Car Pileup. We miss The Monkey Show micro cinema and the original Black & Tan speakeasy.

    • I’m embarrassed to say it, but I’ve still never been to Barrio Cafe. That must change!

    • Janessa Hilliard

      Great additions! And you’re so right about the history – it’s amazing to think about how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same all these years.

  • …Valentines Day? I believe its spelt “Arizona Statehood Day.”