City Cheat Sheet: Downtown + Uptown Phoenix
The epicenter of Phoenix’s culture, history, creativity, and innovation, Downtown Phoenix boasts a vibrant landscape for drinking, dining, and doing. And whether you’ve come for business, pleasure, or a bit of both, the concrete jungle of the desert oasis that is Phoenix delights.
To help outline your itinerary, we’ve highlighted local favorites for lodging, eating, drinking, shopping, and doing. We’ve also sprinkled in insider info to make you feel at home amongst the Phoenicians, whether you’re at a Suns game or shopping at The Fred.
WHERE TO STAY // Read our complete Lodging Guide…
Rise Uptown Hotel (@riseuptownhotel | 400 West Camelback Road) is a locally-owned boutique hotel with Mid-Century Modern Style in the hip, centrally-located Uptown neighborhood of Phoenix. Enjoy poolside cocktails at Lyle, colorful popsicles at Pop Stand, and exquisite highballs at Don Woods’ Say When rooftop lounge, then venture out to experience the best of Phoenix during your stay.
Found:Re Phoenix (@foundrephoenix| 1100 North Central Avenue) is an art-inspired boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Guests will enjoy both original works by local artists and stunning city views from floor-to-ceiling windows. While FOUND:RE boasts urban industrial design, the interiors are well complemented with human touches, like delightful mattresses, high thread count sheets, and lush towels.
WHERE TO SHOP // Read the complete Shopping Guide…
Batea Boutique (@bateaboutique | 1215 E Missouri Ave) Located at The Fred, the recently relocated Batea offers a curated collection of home goods, gifts, and vintage. Filled with curios, it’s a delightful place to discover — or new to you — favorites.
Bentley Gallery (V3 MEMBER | Art Gallery | @bentleygallery | 250 E McKinley St) has brought some of the finest Contemporary artists to downtown Phoenix for over 35 years. Immerse yourself in museum-quality exhibits in a gorgeous building for the ultimate inspiration.
Cave & Post Trading Co. (V3 MEMBER | Men’s Fashion | @caveandpost | (509 W McDowell Rd., Suite 102 Phoenix, AZ 85003) is a gentleman’s mercantile and general store for stocking up on timeless thermal crewnecks, vintage leather belts, khakis, fragrances, and more.
Framed Ewe Optical (V2 MEMBER | Eyewear | @framedewe | 5538 North 7th Street | Scouted Features) Framed Ewe is an independently owned, destination eyewear boutique with exceptional expertise and fashion-forward offerings. The globe-trotting owner and eyewear expert, Christy Kimball, sources rare, limited-run, handcrafted eyewear from around the world for discerning customers. Book an appointment for the most personalized service to find the eyewear – and lenses – right for your life and style. Read the Member Spotlight…
The Frederick (1215 E Missouri Ave | @thefredphx) or The Fred, as locals call it, was originally built in 1963. The mid-century building has since been fabulously modernized to house to local-favorite shops and restaurants, including Metalmark, Batea, and Vida Moulin.
Manor (@manorphx | 100 East Camelback Road) Manor is a Phoenix-based retailer focused on specialty footwear and premium goods. As a cross-generational brick & mortar (with an online presence), Manor links youth and classic culture to offer an eclectic, fashion-forward selection for the whole family.
Metalmark Fine Jewelry (V2 & V3 MEMBER | @metalmarkfinejewelry | 1215 East Missouri Ave | Scouted Features) Metalmark is a fine jewelry boutique specializing in emerging and established designers from around the world. From custom engagement rings to daily-wear diamonds, entry-level everyday fine jewelry to re-imagined heirloom jewelry, Metalmark curates memorable experiences and unparalleled designs for every style and price point. Meet the Member…
Lisa Sette Gallery (@lisasettegallery | 210 East Catalina Drive) is a Phoenix institution, boasting 37 years of discovering and exhibiting original, intriguing forms of expression. It’s a vital art space with a unique aesthetic vision.
Local Nomad (@localnomadshop | 100 E Camelback Rd) is a gift and clothing boutique focused on handcrated goods from global, independent makers, artists, and designers. Expect a wide array of clothing, accessories, home decor, and apothecary goods.
Phoenix General (@phxgeneral | 5538 N 7th & 214 E Roosevelt Street) is “the new general store” featuring a handpicked selection of high-quality, ethical, and sustainable clothing and gifts from local and international designers and artists. Influenced by the modern, desert city of Phoenix (hence the name), it’s an inspired place to shop.
DRINK & DINE
COFFEE & TEA //
The Dinersaur (@the.dinersaur | 1339 W Thomas Road) Started in 2016 as an online-only bakery, Dinersaur has amassed quite the following over the past few years. Since going brick-and-mortar in 2021, they’ve secured their spot as a breakfast and lunch staple for locals who love stopping in for a cozy cup of coffee or tea, sandwiches, and freshly baked dinosaur-centric sweets such brontosaurus banana bread.
Berdena’s at The Fred (@berdenas | 1215 E Missouri Ave) For the perfect start to your mornings or a delicious afternoon pick-me-up, head to Berdena’s at The Fred for elevated coffee shop fare served up in a modern, cheerful setting. Featuring a variety of expertly crafted specialty coffee drinks and a wide selection of teas, their menu also boasts breakfast food favorites like avocado toast and breakfast sandwiches piled high on buttery brioche buns for those looking for a delicious way to satisfy their hunger cravings.
First Place Coffee (@firstplacecoffee | Parked Location Changes Daily) Housed in a red and black former ice cream truck named Matilda, First Place Coffee has a loyal following of customers who seek them out wherever they are parked that day to satisfy their caffeine fix. Order a menu staple like the honeycomb latte made with local honey or try a new specialty coffee or tea creation from their seasonal menu such as the sage salted caramel or brown butter rosemary latte. Find out where First Place Coffee will be…
Welcome Diner (@welcomediner | 929 E Pierce Street) Genuine Southern Hospitality Meets Farm-To-Table Fare At Welcome Diner. Serving Breakfast All-Day And Open Until Midnight On Weekends, Welcome Diner Makes For The Perfect Week-Day Brunch Or Late Night Bite. From Chicken And Biscuits Made Four Ways And Gourmet Grilled Cheese, To Piled-High Chili Cheese Fries And Sweet Slices Of Pie, Welcome Diner Has Just The Dish To Satisfy Your Craving Any Time Of The Day.
Fàme Caffe (@famecaffe | 4700 N Central Ave) Inside this warm and welcoming Phoenix eatery, breakfast is served all day along with savory sandwiches and fresh salads, making Fàme Caffe the perfect stop for a scrumptious morning or afternoon meal. Be sure to pair your meal with a luscious latte or craft cocktail from their extensive beverage selection for an over-the-top tasty dining experience.
Valentine (@valentine_phx | 4130 N 7th Avenue) Housed inside a Melrose District former laundromat, Valentine’s menu is “Love Letter to Arizona” combining Chef Donald Hawks Korean roots with Southwest cuisine. Order items such as the elote pasta with hassayampa asiago and crispy corn, or the ribeye with green chili pork tepary beans, flour tortillas and huitlacoche butter, and wash it down with a drink from their beverage selection such as the Cotton Cocktail.
Sottise (@sottisephx | 1025 N 2nd Street) is a modern French bistro inhabiting the historic Knipe House in downtown Phoenix. From the same owners of Melrose district favorite Restaurant progress, Sottise’s menu is an homage to the French classics but with a contemporary flair. Pair that with an inventive cocktail and wine program, plus the French-farmhouse interior, this is the perfect eatery for absorbing the atmosphere of downtown while partaking in an outstanding culinary experience.
Restaurant Progress (@restaurantprogress | 702 W Montecito Avenue) offers New American small plates and late-night cocktails in stylish digs. Their menu focuses on whole ingredients sourced locally and according to the season. They’ve cultivated an environment that feels casual and unpretentious but with food that you would expect from an upscale establishment where each dish as delicious as the last such as current offerings including hiramasa crudo, beef tartare, garam masala fried chicken, and tamari-marinated ribeyes.
Pizza Bianco (@biancophx | 623 E Adams Street) This concept from 2022 James Beard finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur, Chef Chris Bianco is a must-visit when dining downtown. Snack on a few small plates of salads to start followed by piping hot pizza full of artisanal flavor. Round out your meal with a glass of wine that perfectly pairs each bite. Just know that they do not take reservations so prepare to wait for a table.
Tratto (@biancophx | 1505 E Van Buren Street) From the same team as Pizza Bianco, Tratto’s menu is a reflection of the farmers, millers, and ranchers they work with that rotates weekly depending on their offerings. With a focus on antipasti, hand-made pastas, big plates packed with flavor, and a drink program that is just as inventive and thoughtful as the food, everything at Tratto is executed with the highest intention, right on down to the olive oil and bread.
Persepshen (@persepshen | 4700 N Central Ave) Boasting a weekly rotating menu where each dish is made from scratch with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, Persepshen is known for highlighting the very best that the great state of Arizona has to offer. From elevated comfort food favorites like beef bolognese to inspired plates including Duck a l’orange and roasted sunchokes, each visit to Persepshen is sure to bring something delicious to the table.
WHERE TO DRINK //
Across The Pond (@across.the.pond | 236 N Central Ave) of Born & Raised Hospitality, is housed inside the old Central Wine space where they serve an ever-changing menu of eight different cocktails, plus an innovative menu of fresh, hand-rolled sushi. They have craft beer and wine, and are particularly known for their extensive selection of Japanese whisky served in the traditional Japanese highball style, with the soda water artfully poured down a spoon. We recommend the omakase (chef’s choice) or the omakase with cocktail pairings for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Bar 1912 (@1912_phx | 4130 N 7th Ave) From the hospitality team that introduced Valentine comes Bar 1912. Much like its culinary counterpart, it’s a minimalist hideout serving up tunes and cocktails, made with locally-sourced ingredients, of course. To find it, head to the back of Valentine and look for the illuminated “cocktails” sign.
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour (@bitterandtwisted_az | 1 W Jefferson St) is an award-winning cocktail bar housed inside the beautiful, historic 1920s-era Luhrs City Center, which once housed Arizona’s Prohibition Department. Ironic! You’ll find their inventive cocktail menu and sumptuous interiors equally inspiring.
Don Woods’ Say When (@saywhenphx | 400 W Camelback Rd) is a 70s-inspired rooftop bar, lounge, and addition to Rise Uptown Hotel’s food and beverage offerings. Enjoy retro-modern cocktails and small bites with stunning views of Camelback Mountain.
First & Last (@firstandlastphx | 1001 N 3rd Ave) is a neighborhood restaurant and bar: pop in for happy hour at the bar, dress up for date night, or catch up with old friends over a long dinner. A Roosevelt Row staple, First & Last delights with interesting wines, playful cocktails, and a well-curated tap list.
Highball Cocktail Bar (@highballphx | 1514 N 7th Ave) is a cozy, yet elevated neighborhood cocktail bar and lounge, featuring a rousing collection of spirits and invigorating cocktails. The space features a beautiful copper bar, deep leather couches, exposed historic brick with touches of velvet and vintage wrought iron. And the cocktail program? Well that features unifying avant-garde, playful ingredients, and memory-jogging flavors.
Khla (@khlaphx | 218 E Portland Street), which means tiger in Khmer, is the latest project from the team behind Baby Boy and Lom Wong. It’s a celebration of Southeast Asian flavors — from matcha to galangal-infused honey — broken into three categories: Refreshing, Highballs and Spirit Forward.
Little Rituals (@little_rituals_bar | 132 S Central Ave, 4th Floor) From Ross Simon (yes, that Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour and Lylo) and former Casino del Sol mixologist, Aaron Defeo, comes a cocktail lounge that celebrates the little rituals essential to creating craft cocktails. The menu boasts handmade infusions, tinctures, house aperitifs, and liqueurs, making it a must for the discerning imbiber.
Lylo Swim Club (@lylophx | 400 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix ) is a sleek poolside bar and restaurant at the Rise Uptown Hotel. Lylo, an English slang word for “pool float,” offers a playful all-day menu of Japanese/Hawaiian bites paired with inventive cocktails designed by acclaimed cocktail guru, Ross Simon.
Rough Rider (@roughrideraz | 1001 N Central Ave) is hidden in the basement of the Ten-O-One building, accessible by an elevator. It’s a simple, yet sophisticated space informed by an Old World love for the finer things in live and inspired by the fashion, fare, and libations of the late 19th century.
The Garden Bar (@gardenbarphoenix | 822 N 6th Ave) is a warm and welcoming neighborhood “garden to glass” cocktail bar located in an adapted 1914 California bungalow in the Roosevelt South neighborhood in downtown Phoenix. Offerings include a curated collection of seasonal cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic options, as well as grazing boards.
WHAT TO DO //
Heard Museum (@heardmuseum | 2301 N Central Ave) is one of the world’s preeminent museums for the presentation, interpretation, and advancement of American Indian art. The museum includes 12 exhibition galleries, free guided tours, outdoor sculpture gardens, a renowned café, a contemporary art gallery, and trading-post style shopping, and much more.
Heritage Square (@heritagesquarephx | 113 N Sixth St) is a striking reminder of Phoenix’s vibrant Victorian past and merits a walk about. Located on Block 14 of the original townsite of Phoenix, Rosson House Museum is the crown jewel of the square. Peruse the museum or wander about for a flash back to Phoenix life in the 1800s.
Japanese Friendship Garden (@jfgphx | 1125 N. 3rd Avenue), also known as RoHoEn, is a joint project of the City of Phoenix and Sister City Himeji, Japan. Featuring a stroll garden tea garden, tea house, stone garden, and courtyard garden, it’s a beautiful, serene spot in the heart of Downtown.
Orpheum Theater (@orpheumphx | 203 W Adams St) was originally used for vaudeville acts as part of the nationwide Orpheum Circuit. Today, its Spanish Baroque style makes a gorgeous setting for the Phoenix Opera, concerts, musicals, Ballet Arizona, and special events.
Phoenix Art Museum (@phxart | 1625 North Central Ave) features an expansive collection of acclaimed art spanning from the Renaissance to the present. Enjoy art, dining, shopping, and an art-research library.
Phoenix Symphony (@phoenixsymphony | 75 N 2nd St) is Arizona’s only full-time, professional symphony orchestra and the state’s largest performing arts group. Concerts are held at Orpheum Theater which, in combination with the sensational talent, make for a lovely evening.
Roosevelt Row (@rooseveltrowdc) is downtown Phoenix’s walkable arts district, home to art galleries, restaurants, bars and boutique shops in a landscape dotted by colorful street art. Popular events in the neighborhood include the monthly First Fridays Art Walk and other annual festivities.
WITH THE KIDS //
We hope our Scouted tips encourage you to discover some of Phoenix’s finest and helps you enjoy your time here in the Valley. If you do visit any of our favorites, be sure to tell them Scout sent you!