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Tempe Tourism Blog

My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Turning 21

Varsity Tavern and Low Key Piano Bar
November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood This summer, I celebrated my 21st birthday. I had a relaxing time at Flanny’s Bar and Grill playing trivia with all of my closest friends, and trying out my brand new 21-year-old ID.  However, in the weeks leading up to my birthday, I heard a never-ending barrage of the typical ideas: “You should totally go to Mill!” or “Let’s go to Old Town!”  While heading to Mill Ave on your birthday is always a fun idea, there are numerous other ways for you to celebrate your big milestone in Tempe. Whether you’re looking to dance all night or have a more laid-back evening, here are some ideas for your 21st birthday celebration in Tempe. Have Dinner and Try a New Restaurant Don’t want to party on Mill Ave for your birthday? Try out some of the many delicious restaurants we have here in Tempe: Ghost Ranch | 1006 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar | 699 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 House of Tricks | 114 E. 7th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 Postino Wine Cafe | 615 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 Pier 54 | 5394 S. Lakeshore Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 Top of the Rock Restaurant| 2000 W. Westcourt Way, Tempe, AZ 85282 Play Games at the Arcade Main Event | 8545 S. Emerald Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284 If you’re looking to release your inner child for your birthday, head to Main Event and enjoy all of the activities it has to […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Restaurants

Delicious Factory
November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood Having been born and raised in Tempe, I’ve had the unique opportunity to test out numerous restaurants, attractions and events that we have here in town.  Here in Tempe, we have a good mix of mom-and-pop establishments, as well as larger businesses and chain establishments. However, there are a select handful of places that I find myself returning to time and again.   Here are my recommendations for Tempe restaurants to try within the city I call home. Someburros 101 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 I’m putting Someburros at the top of my list because this is absolutely the restaurant I visit most often.  When I don’t feel like cooking dinner, or if I’m in need of some delicious Mexican food to help me through midterm season, I will most likely come here.  The location on Mill and Baseline is near and dear to my heart, and fun fact- it was the first Someburros location ever! Also, check out their new Tempe location near the ASU Tempe Campus: 1314 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281. Delicious Factory 414 S. Mill Ave., Ste. 101, Tempe, AZ 85281 The Delicious Factory is a relatively new discovery for me, but has quickly become my go-to place for smoothies.  My favorite is the “Tropical Dream” smoothie, which instantly brings back memories of enjoying mountains of Dole Whip soft serve during trips to Disneyland. They’re also known for delicious sandwiches and salads.  Pho Dalat 7707 S. Kyrene Rd. #106, Tempe, AZ […]

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My Tempe- Notes From a Native; Introduction

November 1, 2018

By Delaney Wood The Tempe Tourism Office has a new intern! It’s me- Delaney Wood. Throughout my time here, I created a blog series about life in Tempe, my experiences as a student at Arizona State University, and advice about fun things to do. I’ve lived in Tempe my entire life, so my hope is to provide an insider’s perspective on all of the best places to visit within the city. Or, at least, my favorite places to visit. I’ve spent this past summer working full-time as a Personalization Marketing Intern at Insight Enterprises, and now I’m excited to be interning at the Tempe Tourism Office. I am currently a senior at Arizona State University, studying Business, Hospitality and Tourism and Spanish. I’m also involved in the Hispanic Business Students Association, Women’s Business Leaders Association, the ASU Philharmonia Orchestra, and am the president of the Arizona State University chapter of Collegiate DECA. In the midst of my crazy schedule, I love to relax by exploring new places. In my opinion, the best days are those I spend hanging out in Tempe, discovering new shops and restaurants, or just taking a relaxing hike somewhere new. My absolute favorite thing about living in Tempe is our relatively close proximity to just about everything in Maricopa County and that, somehow, we still manage to maintain a small-town atmosphere within our community. I hope this blog series introduces you to at least a few new activities to try within the city.  I’m excited to […]

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Pumpkin Spice Love Found in Tempe

Great Harvest Bread Company - Tempe, AZ
October 30, 2018

Most of us bemoan the fact that Starbuck’s doesn’t offer the much-craved pumpkin spice latte (PSL) year-round. We’re downright resentful that we must wait until fall to satisfy our yearning for this coffee drink that has obtained almost mystical status. When Starbuck’s announces that its PSL is back on the menu, the nation rejoices. And, we know that soon other purveyors of good food and beverages follow by adding pumpkin spice specialties to their menus. Here in the Tempe, we know that even with daytime temps still in the warm range, the return of Starbuck’s PSL signals that fall has officially arrived. We celebrate by slipping into our favorite boots and renewing our obsession with PSL and all things pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Yes, in Tempe, we do love our pumpkin spice and we’re happy to count the ways. Here’s our hot list of favorites. Enjoy! Chompie’s 1160 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 557-0700 Pumpkin Cranberry Pancakes & Waffles Pumpkin Loafs Pumpkin Bagels Pumpkin Crunch Bagels Pumpkin Crème Brule Crackers & Co. Café 1285 W. Elliot Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 705-7900 Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding Pumpkin Cheese Cake Pancakes Four Peaks Brewing Company 1340 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 303-9967 Pumpkin Porter, a pumpkin ale Double Pumpkin Porter, an imperial pumpkin ale Great Harvest Bread Co. 1730 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-1141 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies Spiced Pumpkin Latte The […]

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Ghost Ranch: Modern Southwestern Cuisine

Ghost Ranch in Tempe Arizona
October 30, 2018

By Sally J. Clasen Photos by Mark Lipczynski   Born and raised in Arizona, chef-restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin longed for the Southwestern food of his youth. So he decided to revive the cuisine—albeit with a twist—in his latest restaurant concept Ghost Ranch, located in south Tempe at Rural and Warner roads next to Tempe Public Market Café, which Chamberlin also owns. “When I was a young chef in the early ’90s, Southwestern food was all the rage. It was notable for its big plates of heavy rice, beans and cheese—a glob of food,” he says. “It’s mind-boggling to me that it’s a dying art. My goal was to make a menu influenced somewhat by the traditional Southwest region and Mexico, but lighten it up a bit.” Ghost Ranch reinvents the idea with a cleaner, brighter and seasonal menu that features some familiar items like cowboy steak, green chile burgers, tacos and chile Colorado braised-pork enchiladas with Chimayo chile, but with measured attention to portion and use of ingredients and sauces. The lineup includes shrimp ceviche, trout, vegetarian options and salads that spotlight fresh produce and hints of citrus, rather than a mound of tortilla chips and shredded cheese. “I wanted to open a Southwestern-inspired place where people could come on a regular basis and have a bowl of black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream or a salad if they wanted to,” Chamberlin says. A tribute to author Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in New Mexico, Ghost Ranch is […]

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Ghost Ranch in Tempe: A local’s review

October 26, 2018

By Delaney Wood Ghost Ranch is one of Tempe’s newest restaurants, offering an assortment of modern southwestern cuisine.  I visited on a busy Wednesday evening, in the midst of the after-work rush, and was greeted with fast service, friendly employees and delicious food. Upon arriving at Ghost Ranch, my friends and I were seated immediately, and the waiter did something that I appreciate from all good restaurants- she brought glasses of water to the table before we even had to ask for them. A little bit of background about me- I grew up in a Hispanic household. My entire childhood was filled with homemade Mexican food made for me by my mother and grandmother- some of the best cooks in the world, in my opinion. Needless to say, I am very particular when it comes to trying new Mexican or Hispanic foods. While at Ghost Ranch, I ordered the grilled chicken enchiladas, along with a side of rice and beans and a house margarita. Everything was delicious, and each dish featured its own unique twist on a traditional food, without losing the classic taste of Hispanic home cooking. The margarita was strong, and I’m not complaining! In order to get a better idea of how people were liking the new restaurant, I wandered around to talk to a few of the other diners. All were extremely friendly and open to chatting about the food, the ambiance, and how they were enjoying the new restaurant. I noticed guests talking to one […]

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TRI Tempe, Arizona

October 2, 2018

It’s no secret that athletes love competing in Tempe, especially triathlon athletes. Tempe is becoming the top destination for hosting high caliber triathlons in the country. For the athletes, Tempe offers the ideal tri setting. With miles of spectator-friendly running/biking paths, the accessibility of Tempe Town Lake and of course the most impeccable weather to compete in year-around, what’s not to like? Already this year, Tempe has hosted Life Time Tri and the very first Major League Triathlon event in Arizona. Major League Triathlon (MLT) is the first pro triathlon league in the United States. Tempe’s very own MLT team, Arizona King Snakes, played host to the third stop of this leagues’ 2018 nationwide tour at Tempe Beach Park on September 22, 2018. This international event highlighted seven teams, consisting of four members each, (two pro men and two pro women) competing in a Mixed Team Relay. Each athlete swam three hundred meters, biked four miles and ran one mile before tagging the next team mate all without ever leaving Tempe Beach Park. Members of the local community, as well as friends and family of the competitors from across the United States, were present to watch this short and fast-paced course. In the end, the Arizona King Snakes took home the gold while the San Diego Stingrays took home silver and the Gold Coast Tritons followed up with the bronze. Mixed Team Relay will make its Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 games. In the coming months, Tempe has seven […]

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New places to dine, drink and dance in Tempe

Ghost Ranch
September 25, 2018

Tempe is bursting with new places to dine and be entertained. Just when you think you’ve tried them all, a bunch of new venues spring up. Whether you’re in the mood for a great meal, a new cocktail designed by a creative mixologist, or an evening of DJs and dancing, here are some fun and exciting new restaurants in Tempe, Arizona to try. Cotton and Copper – 1006 E. Warner Rd. #113, Tempe, AZ 85284 Cotton and Copper is all about Arizona. The 50-seat restaurant’s name gives a nod to two of Arizona’s 5 Cs, the other three being citrus, cattle and climate. The seasonal menu created by chef Tamara Stanger features many locally produced ingredients and have names that reflect their Sonoran roots. The warm Pima wheat rolls with smoked honey butter, O’odham tepary bean spread and corn dumplings are a tasty start, or just fine on their own as a light meal. There’s also a nice selection of local beers as well as cocktails created with spirits from Arizona distilleries. Ghost Ranch – 1006 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 This latest concept from restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin and his team offers hearty, but healthful, modern Southwest fare for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. And there’s a full menu of beer, wine and cocktails inspired by the multicultural history of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico. The decor could also be described as modern Southwest, with touches of copper, turquois and a herring bone-patterned ceiling that resembles cactus […]

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Tempe events: Black Theatre Troupe presents The Wiz at TCA

September 25, 2018

Tempe events include the opening of Black Theatre Troupe’s production of The Wiz at Tempe Center for the Arts this weekend. The Wiz infuses L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a dazzling mix of rock, gospel and soul music. Dorothy’s adventure through the Land of Oz is given new life and marked with Black Theatre Troupe’s indelible musical stamp. The Black Theatre Troupe was founded in 1970 as a vehicle for providing a creative environment in which restless, talented young “rappers” could realize their creative potential as writers, dancers, artists and actors while promoting cultural understanding throughout the community. Through its productions, the Black Theatre Troup has become an important cultural bridge between races and ethnicities. It began as a grassroots organization and has evolved into a highly respected company that has promoted excellence in the performing arts with an emphasis on people of color. As the only professional African-American theatre company within the four-corner states, the Black Theatre Troupe conducts educational workshops and produces quality plays that reflect the African-American experience and help to illuminate the culture to the Phoenix metropolitan area and throughout Arizona. The Wiz will be on stage at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Friday through Sunday from September 28-October 14, 2018. To purchase tickets to The Wiz, call 480-350-2822, or visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting happening through the weekend.  See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) […]

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Tempe events: Annie Moses Band at TCA

Annie Moses Band
September 18, 2018

Tempe events include the Annie Moses Band at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) on September 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The Annie Moses Band has been entertaining audiences for over a decade, bringing their distinctive style of music across the nation and around the world. This talented ensemble of songwriters, singers and musicians performs a captivating blend of folk and classical music and combines technical skill with exhilarating showmanship. The members of the band are also family. Their eclectic sound reflects their family’s unique blend of roots music and classical polish. The band has recorded more than a dozen albums, produced Telly-nominated PBS specials, traveled to Europe and Asia, and performed on stages as diverse as Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry. The Annie Moses Band combines the best of beloved genres in a style that unifies audiences, young and old, classical connoisseurs and roots enthusiasts, jazz aficionados and bluegrass buffs. Plan on arriving early to enjoy appetizers and music performed by Rae Lydia at EDGE Happy Hour in the TCA Lobby. To purchase tickets to the Annie Moses Band performance, call (480) 350-2822, or visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. September 19-22: Stray Cat Theatre presents: THE ANTIPODES Tempe Center for the Arts September 20: Tizzy T The Marquee September 20-23: Josh Blue Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre September 21: ASU […]

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