Food Scene

We’re in this together, Tempe

We’re in this together, Tempe.  

These are very uncertain times for all us, including our hospitality community including those who work in hotels, restaurants, retail, tour companies and other related businesses.   

We want to do everything that we can to support our local businesses and provide COVID-19 updates for both locals and visitors. Please visit the City of Tempe website for frequently updated COVID-19 resources and information for locals and visitors. There is currently a mask ordinance in the City of Tempe and in Maricopa County. See below for more details.

May 8 update: retail stores, cosmetologists and barbers resumed appointment-based services. Also since early May, restaurants and coffee shops could open their dining rooms, with safety measures in place. Check with individual businesses for details about their hours of operations, whether advanced reservations are required and other details about their safety protocols.

November 2 update: bars that have converted to restaurant service, restaurants, gyms, theaters and water parks are allowed to serve their clients at a limit of 50% of their capacity. It is recommended that swimming pools at hotels and public facilities limit the congregation of 10 or more people in one area.  Permits and recommendations are now available for gatherings of 50 or more people. This may include sporting events, meetings and conferences. Events that are open to the general public with 50 or more people, whether on private or public property, are required to receive a permit from the City of Tempe. Hotels and private venues are able to host privately managed events on their property if they are following the Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations. There are also limits on public gatherings of more than 50 people, both indoors and outdoors, even if appropriate physical distancing is possible. The Arizona Department of Health Services also has issued recommendations for private events.

December 7 update: the City of Tempe re-closes gyms and fitness centers inside Kiwanis, North Tempe, Escalante and Westside community centers until further notice. This decision does not apply to privately-owned gyms, only to those operated by the city. Additionally, sports tournaments will be halted to help avoid large group gatherings.

For the latest news, information and resources on Tempe’s coronavirus response visit the City of Tempe website.

Updates on Tempe Reopening

Mask Guidelines in Tempe: The majority of businesses in Tempe are open, including shopping centers, retailers, restaurants, attractions and city facilities such as parks and sports fields. As an extra safety measure, The City of Tempe requires face coverings in public places. This applies at grocery and retail stores, restaurants and bars, public transit, hotels, indoor attractions and places where social distancing is not possible. If you have questions, check individual websites or social media channels or call before you visit.

The City of Tempe reopened some city facilities on Monday, June 15, including community centers and the Tempe Public Library. Call or visit the facility’s website prior to visiting to confirm hours.

Tempe parks: Most parks and park amenities are now open, including skate parks, tennis courts, pickleball courts, ramadas, dog parks, athletic fields and disc golf courses. Visit the City of Tempe parks website for more information.

Tempe restaurants: Restaurants have reopened their dining rooms with safety guidelines in place. Most restaurants are also still offering take-out and delivery if you prefer that option. Check with restaurants individually to learn about their new social distancing and cleaning protocols.

Tempe entertainment venues: Tempe recreation and entertainment venues can be open. Before you visit a local attraction or recreation site, check ahead of time to make sure that they are open again as many places have decided to welcome customers back at a later date.

Visit the Office of the Governor’s website for more information about what is currently happening in Arizona in relation to COVID-19.

Outdoor activities in Tempe to get outside safely

If you’re in Tempe and you’re looking for safe things to do that help you stay within the CDC guidelines, visit our blog about outdoor activities.  

Here are a few things that you can do to help the Tempe community

Support local restaurants:

Tempe restaurants can really use your support right now. Our blog lists places where you can order delivery or curbside pick-up from a local restaurant. We have also included which restaurants have opened their dining rooms in a limited capacity. Contact restaurants individually for specific information about their new protocols and safety measures for guests.

You can also purchase gift cards from many of these restaurants that can be used at a later date. Gift card can be purchased at individual establishments or directly from their websites.

Support local retailers and artists:

Many of Tempe’s local retail stores and distilleries are also working hard to serve customers in a new way right now. There are also many local artists, and artists who would have sold their wares at the spring Tempe Festival of the Arts, who could really use your support. Read our blog to learn how you can help local merchants and artists.

Additional COVID-19 Information and Resources: 

In compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to practice social distancing, the City of Tempe has cancelled all public special events through the end of May. You can view the most up to date City of Tempe COVID-19 news on their website. Also, review the City of Tempe’s list of frequently asked questions for both residents and business owners.

The city’s website also includes a list of cancelled events in Tempe which may continue to evolve, so please review the list frequently.  

The Tempe Tourism Office is currently updating our website to indicate the events that have been cancelled and the businesses with reduced hours or temporary closures. If you are planning to visit a Tempe business, please contact them ahead of time to confirm their hours of operation.  

Traveling to Tempe

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport:

Effective June 1, 2020 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will require all employees and members of the public entering public airport facilities, including the terminals, the Rental Car Center, the PHX Sky Train®, and Airport buses to wear a face covering. For more health information, visit their website.

For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Arizona Department of Health Services 

Arizona Office of Tourism 

U.S. Travel Association 

City of Tempe COVID-19 updates 

Maricopa County Public Health 

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Toni Smith
Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.


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