My friend Chris emailed me today asking if I’d recommend some fun local spots for dinner. I realized it would make a great post. Just getting out of the house for a date when you have kids is a challenge. Eating out on a budget and trying to find a new local restaurant to try is an accomplishment!
Not only does shopping locally yield delicious food and a unique sense of community, it can improve your local economy. According to Local First http://www.localfirst.com/why_local_first/, when we spend $100 locally, $68 stay in the state vs. $43 spent at big box or chain restaurants. We can make a huge improvement in our local economy by just spending our dollars here.
Of course, you don’t have to spend $100 to enjoy the benefits of eating local. Rob and I recently challenged ourselves to spend under $20 on a date – eating local food. And we did it! I promise to post how we did it soon.
We tend to gravitate toward the same spots in Central Phoenix, not only because they are local and we like the food but because after a while, we’ve discovered we feel a sense of community seeing the same people there. Phoenix is a pretty small town once you start eaten local.
Here are some great local spots you might consider if you’re looking for something to do tonight on your date.
Postino’s Wine Cafe – the Central location. On the West side of central just north of Camelback, it’s hip without being stuck up. Food is simple but flavorful and fresh. You’ll find bruschetta and wine, paninis and salads. Delicious beers on tap and of course, a full selection of wine. (see the name!) If you get dessert, try the salted caramel sunday. Oh.my.gosh.
Windsor – American-style food with a much fresher flavor. Owned by the same people who own Postinos. Great energy (fun!) and same great beer pitcher prices though usually different selections. One of my favorite meals is the grain salad with roasted beets. Also, the pulled pork sandwich. YUM! Here’s my Windsor review.
For dessert after Windsor – try Churn, the homemade Ice Cream spot right next door. They serve flavors like coconut lime, fresh blackberry and of course, the normal vanilla-chocolate etc. SO good. They also offer sundaes and ice cream sandwiches.
St. Francis is great for a little ‘fancier’ (and only slightly more expensive) dining experience. I reviewed them for breakfast one time but their dinners are fab too. I just always forget to take pics before digging into the food. Their food is also locally sourced, fairly healthy and delicious. Yummy drinks too.
Here’s the brunch review. Their architecture is cool too – try to get seated upstairs above the bar for a great view.
If you want to stop for coffee after dinner – try Lux just down the street. They’re south of Camelback on the west side of Central across from Central High. Delicious coffee – and the shop is always hoppin’ without feeling too busy. They serve food too and it’s delicious but the ambience is not as “restaurant-y” as the other spots.
I love all these local spots because not only do they tend to be delicious and locally sourced foods but made from scratch kind of places too.
Don’t take my word for it. Venture out and try something new!
Remember if you’re eating in Central Phoenix, you’ll be parking valet. It’s worth the extra few bucks not to have your car towed because you parked in the wrong spot. Trust me on this.
And have a great night out! It’s getting cooolllllll!!
What are you favorite local spots in Phoenix?