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 ribs.
Mr. Mesquite Taqueria – 505 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
Street tacos just make the world a better place and Mr. Mesquite is doing its share toward that end. Mr. Mesquite Taqueria turns out mouthwatering street tacos, burritos, quesadillas and bowls made from fresh and tasty grilled carne asada and chicken, red and green salsa, pickled onions, fresh Pico de Gallo, cabbage and limes. And they’re open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m., so you can satisfy your craving for street tacos for breakfast and right into the wee hours of the morning.
Rodeo Ranch – 501 S. Mill Ave., Suite 101, Tempe, AZ 85281
There is a mechanical bull and dance floor, but, to be clear, Rodeo Ranch is a far cry from the circa 1980s Gilly’s. Described as a modern playground for adults 21 and older, Rodeo Ranch is a city slicker’s dream come true with a live DJ, dancing, a lightshow, bottle service and of course, a mechanical bull to test your urban cowboy bull riding skills.
Snakes & Lattes – 20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Whether its revisiting childhood memories, being introduced to board games for the first time, or digging into a deep hobby title, Snakes & Lattes is the perfect way to enjoy board games with friends and family. Enjoy a library of 1000+ games available to guests for a per person fee. Snakes & Lattes works with local craft breweries and coffee roasters, and houses an amazing kitchen to satisfy any palate.
Illegal Pete’s – 525 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281
There ought to be a law against food this good. At Illegal Pete’s, located in Downtown Tempe, you can totally customize your meal, street taco tyle, as a burrito, or in a bowl, salad style. Any way you like it, it’s delish. Choose grilled steak or chicken, shredded beef, pork carnitas, beer-battered fish or vegetarian/vegan. Then customize with a white or wheat tortilla (or none) and a bunch of other fresh fixings.