Food Scene

New places to dine, drink and dance in Tempe

Check out Tempe’s recently opened dining concepts and find out what’s coming soon.

Tempe is bursting with eclectic places to dine, sip and be entertained. From weekend brunches and vibey breweries to sky-high rooftops and late-night dance floors. The best part is that just when you think you’ve tried them all, a roster of new concepts springs 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 our best new restaurants, bars and venues to add to your must-experience list the next time you’re in Tempe.

Chic Chef 77 Bistro & Wine Bar

Location: 1221 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 564-1098

Renowned throughout the Valley for her olive oils, vinegars, spices and celebrity clients, chef Nik Fields has moved to Tempe to open Arizona’s first Black-owned wine bar. Open since February, Chic Chef 77 Bistro & Wine Bar offers a 200-bottle list, a dinner menu that rotates monthly based on the creations by select chefs, charcuterie boards, private wine tastings, live music, poetry, pop-up events and all the flavor we’ve come to know and love from this Chic Chef. Check out our TikTok for more.

Cocina Chiwas

Location: 2001 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 916-3690

From the family that created such concepts as Bacanora, Espiritu and Tacos Chiwas throughout the Valley, comes an upscale and authentic Mexican dining experience in Tempe. Husband-and-wife co-owners, Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, are delivering world-class Chihuahuan cuisine from their new location at Culdesac — Tempe’s new car-free community. Lucky for you, there are parking options. But be sure to make a reservation, because this culinary duo has quite a following of enthusiastic foodies.

In 2019, Holguin was named a semifinalist in the James Beard Awards’ Best Chef – Southwest category. In 2021, their Phoenix concept, Bacanora, was named one of the 40 best new restaurants in America by “Esquire” magazine. And in February 2022, the James Beard Foundation recognized the restaurant as a semifinalist for best new restaurant in the country. Needless to say, we’re thrilled they’ve set up shop in Tempe. Check out our TikTok for more.

Goldwater Crossings Taproom

Location: 9895 S. Priest Drive, Suite 102, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 300-6892

If you’ve ever has the pleasure of sipping on an unforgettable pint of Hop Chowda hazy, New England-style IPA, then you’re likely familiar with the buzz Goldwater Brewing Co. creates everywhere it goes. Owned and operated by the McClelland family — that’s over 30 years of brewing history, knowledge, passion and skill right there — Goldwater Brewing Co. has tap rooms in Old Town, Scottsdale, East Mesa, and, since May 2023, South Tempe has joined the line up. Cheers to welcoming the McClelland family to our city!

Hundred Mile Brewing Co.

Location: 690 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 256-1623

Opened since December 2022, Hundred Mile Brewing Co. is a 10,000-square-foot (10-barrel) brewhouse, restaurant and craft-beer-and-cocktail bar. For owner, Sue Rigler, establishing this bright and modern space to share her passion for brewing on the same footprint she frequented during her days as a Sun Devil studying microbiology was a full-circle moment — and we’ll cheers to that! The brewery menu shines all on its own, with elevated pub fare, including a wide variety of small plates as well as burgers, salads and such entrees as coffee-rubbed short ribs. Hundred Mile brews include Coyote West Coast IPA, Pinetop Pils, Desert Neon Hazy IPA, Crowd Surfer Mexican Lager (with lime and salt) and The Natural Blonde Ale. P.S. The large patio is bike and dog friendly. Check out our TikTok for more.

Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing Bar & Grill

Location: 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 2105, Tempe, AZ 85288 | (480) 773-6551

The newest addition to The District at Tempe Marketplace is Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing Bar & Grill. Sure, you’ve slung an axe or two in the past, but it’s time to elevate your entire experience — just like this brand did with its new digs. For starters, the vibe is plush and the fresh renovations are inviting and cozy throughout this 13,000-square-foot space. There are 13 targets for axe throwing and over two dozen screens for catching a game or a fight from every corner of the indoor/outdoor space, including the giant bar. As for the menu, all you need to know is that celebrity chef and culinary director Matt Hearn is at the helm. While he’s best known for his appearances on Hell’s Kitchen and MTV’s “Snack-Off,” we don’t expect it will take long before he’s living up to his promise of challenging the food scene here in Arizona

Matsuri Izakaya on Mill

Location: 699 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

Open since 2022, Matsuri Izakaya on Mill has recently gone “viral” across social media and is subsequently gaining a great deal of much-deserved attention. As part of the Jin Hospitality Group — which also brought Nanaya Japanese Kitchen and Motomoto to Phoenix — this concept is one-part Japanese street food restaurant and one-part tapas bar.

Izakaya means stay-drink-place, and this spot is true to its name as you’ll find it buzzing seven days a week … at least until they run out of food. No joke, it’s happened. Choose from ramen, udon, katsu, sushi, the super trendy sweet fruit sandos and more.

“This is the best bowl of ramen I’ve had in Arizona. And, having been to Japan, this is the closest thing that I’ve found to authentic ramen,” according to TikToker @jonwong. The decor, which is reminiscent of alleyways and signage that’s typical of Japan, adds an exclamation point to the authenticity that awaits you here. Check out our TikTok for more.

Omni Tempe Hotel at ASU

Location: 7 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281

This much-anticipated addition to Downtown Tempe’s skyline officially opened its doors in April — and brought four new dining (and drinking) concepts with it.

  • Library Rules: More than a coffee shop — although the coffee and pastries are a perfect complement to any Tempe morning — this gathering spot is open all day. And the menu transitions to light bites and a wide variety of libations in the evening.

  • Neighborhood Services: This industrial, yet approachable, all-day dining venue offers both indoor and outdoor seating for savoring its menu — by renowned chef Nick Badovinus — of rotating favorites, craft cocktails and more.

  • Lucero Rooftop Lounge & Terrace: Welcome to Tempe’s newest rooftop bar and restaurant. Designed for the adventurous and bold, and emulating the starry night sky, this upscale concept features a tapas-style menu with small sharable plates as well as signature dishes — including crispy branzino, Moroccan lamb empanada, chilled lobster — and enviable craft cocktails by executive chef Chris Castro. Check out the sunset from Lucero in out TikTok.

  • Salt + Gila Pool Deck Restaurant: Located on the third floor, this buzzy pool deck bar and restaurant is ideal for sunshine sipping as well as cozy, fireside evenings. Choose from salads, sharables and cocktails that all revolve around the seasonal inspiration of tea for the summer months.

Pronto by Serrano’s

Location: 6440 S. Rural Road, Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 345-0044

Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant originally opened in Tempe in 1985, but the Serrano family’s legacy throughout the Valley of the Sun dates back more than 100 years. Of course, the key to longevity is evolution. And Tempe is the newest recipient of the Serrano family’s exploration of just that. Enter Pronto by Serrano’s. Located in the same space that housed Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant for over 30 years, this fresh, new concept offers all the flavors this family is famous for — but in a modern, fast-casual concept. Here you’ll find the legendary machaca, shredded chicken, asada steak and tomatillo pork available in build-your-own, customizable offerings, including burritos, tacos, nachos, salads and bowls. Ask about the seasonal offerings — upon Pronto’s July grand opening, these included quesabirria tacos, birria ramen, spicy fish tacos, a breakfast burrito, stacked enchiladas and chicken tortilla soup. Pro tip: Don’t skip on dessert. Felicidades, Pronto!

Voodoo Doughnut

Location: 1324 S. Rural Road, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 602-641-6669

Open since Sept. 7, 2023, Tempe’s new VooDoo Doughnuts marks the first Arizona location for this famed purveyor of sweets treats. Originating in Portland, VooDoo Doughnut is widely known for their unique and delicious take on traditional doughnuts, bars and twists that include decadent flavor combos, filling and decoration themes for every occasion under the sun. Die-hard fans can expect to find branded merch in the Arizona State University colorway, as well as the signature pink. This shop is open from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m.; mobile orders and curbside pickup are also available.

Coming Soon:

White Castle – Tempe

Location: 8755 S. Jewel St., Tempe, AZ 85284

After debuting its largest restaurant in the world in Scottsdale back in 2019, White Castle is heading to Tempe! Cravers, as the chain’s die-hard fans are widely known, won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy the iconic sliders this burger operation in celebrated for inventing. The south Tempe location is expected to open in 2023.

Novus Innovation Corridor

University Drive and Rural Road

In April 2023, Fox Restaurant Concepts announced two new restaurants coming to Tempe. However, patience is key, as both standalone Fox Restaurant Concepts are expected to open in the second half of 2024. So, stay tuned!

  • Blanco Taco Cocina + Cantina: A bright space that’s as fresh as its famous twist on Mexican culinary classics. Best paired with signature margaritas, sangria or beer.
  • North Italia: Scratch-made Italian favorites, including pizza, pasta, and sandwiches, as well as craft cocktails and fine wine (and brunch!).
  • Flower Child: Nourishing, made-from-scratch goodness — and vibes — that celebrates all dining preferences … vegetarian, vegan, meat and gluten-free to keto and pale.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill: The largest sushi group running a sustainably sourced seafood program in partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch also offers one of the broadest menus of vegan sushi in the country.

Eureka!: This scratch kitchen, serving gourmet burgers, great food and creative drinks, including local craft beers, small-batch whiskeys and craft cocktails, will be home to a patio water feature, indoor-outdoor bar, live music stage and more.

Over Easy: Known for energized takes on classic breakfast and brunch staples with a focus on creating sharable moments.

The Alley: This tea purveyor will make its Arizona debut with signature milk teas and fruit-infused drinks served in an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Nautical Bowls: Offering delicious and nutritious acai and superfood bowls which are gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, soy-free, contain zero refined sugars, and are made with organic, all-natural ingredients.

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