Downtown Tempe is a hub of creative, unique and scrumptious food. During these rough times, it's important to enjoy the small pleasures in life and we can't think of a better way to indulge than to help out local businesses and order some signature dishes!
Check out this list of some of Downtown Tempe's most popular restaurants and dishes (in no particular order).
1. 6th Street Special @ Slices on Mill
Slices on Mill is a Downtown Tempe staple. Currently, they are running some awesome specials that can feed your whole family (or maybe a small army too). With the 6th Street Special, you can get TWO 20” pizzas, an order of yummy garlic butter breadsticks and a liter of soda. Judy Krause, the owner of Slices on Mill, recommends the mouthwatering Chicken/Ranch and Pepperoni/Sausage pizzas and although she loves all her menu items, those flavorful breadsticks are her absolute favorite thing.
2. Jumbo Wings @ The Lodge
Although every dish is made with love and intense preparation, The Lodge’s #1 dish has to be their wings! Just to be clear: These are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill wings. The Lodge spends extra to get jumbo chicken wings and make all their sauces from scratch, unlike their franchised competitors. They make each order fresh and you can choose from three sauces: Gold, Maroon, or Buffalo. But for those who want their mouth to buzz, sing and water profusely, there is a special, daily made Ghost Pepper sauce, available by request. Anyone else craving these wings yet?
3. Make Your Own Poke Bowl @ Poke 2 U
Who doesn’t love the ability to customize their food? At Poke 2 U in Downtown Tempe, there are a TON of combinations to make the perfect Poke Bowl made specifically for YOU! It’s simple; just order the Regular Poke Bowl and get started! Poke 2 U offers fluffy sushi rice as the base and it’s up to you to select from their fresh produce, high-quality fish, house-made sauces, and a variety of toppings for everyone. The photo above showcases their Spicy Tuna Bowl! Yum yum!
4. The Sun Devil @ Ike’s Love & Sandwiches
Sometimes you just need a quick sandwich to-go. There is no better place than Ike’s Love & Sandwiches in Downtown Tempe. They have countless sandwich options ranging from the Tony Stark (tuna & jack cheese) to the Jessica Rabbit (vegan breaded chicken, wing sauce, ranch, jalapeno poppers to the Panda, Panda, Panda (fried chicken, orange glaze, pepper jack). But our absolute favorite (and Tempe’s best seller) is The Sun Devil It’s comprised of fried chicken, a special Sun Devil sauce, and American cheese, nestled in fresh baked bread. What’s not to love?
5. Ice Cream Sandwich @ Slickables
If you have a sweet tooth, or just a random craving, you can satisfy it at Slickables Ice Cream Sandwiches in Downtown Tempe. Their signature item is a Custom Ice Cream Sandwich. You can choose any ice cream flavor you want and they will place it between two freshly baked cookies. When you bite down, you get a satisfying bite of a soft, chewy cookies and some nice, cold ice cream – all without that “squish” you get from the store bought ones.
6. Arepa @ Cafetal Coffee
We all need coffee to get through the day but remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you get your coffee from Cafetal Coffee in Downtown Tempe remember to also check out their food menu! One of their signature dishes is their “Arepa Traditional.” It’s a plate of scrambled eggs topped with pico de gallo and a dash of queso fresco, on top of a warm tortilla. Furthermore, their “Arroz con Leche” latte is a perfect pairing to this dish. It comes with a double espresso shot, milk and house-made arroz con leche syrup. If you’re looking for a culinary escape to Columbia, this is your place!
7. Pork Volcano Shank @ House of Tricks
House of Tricks is a historical landmark and a Downtown Tempe anchor. Their food is mouthwatering and unique. It's also probably the most perfect date night spot in our vibrant downtown. On your next visit, you should try their long-running signature dish – the Pork Volcano Shank. This intriguing cut of meat from the inventive butchers at Beeler's in Iowa boasts explosive flavor and fall-off-the-fork tenderness with every bite. Their chefs lovingly prepare the shank with a whole-grain mustard cider braise, and accentuate it with fried cheddar, celery root purée and a knock-your-socks-off, sweet & spicy jalapeno-apple jam. It tastes even better than it looks (which is saying a lot)!
8. Luca’s Meatballs @ Caffe Boa
The best pasta, is fresh pasta. Caffe Boa makes all their pasta and sauces from scratch and you can definitely tell the difference. One of the best dishes on the menu are Luca’s Meatballs. They are make “old skool” and sit atop a mound of fresh spaghetti and lathered in their homemade marinara sauce with a garnish of mushrooms. We don’t know about you, but we are ready to order some of that goodness to-go!
To order these delicious dishes for take out, dine in, or delivery, check out our Open Status Guide. You can also explore the dozens of other restaurants in Downtown Tempe to help satisfy your cravings.
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