City: Phoenix, Arizona
Foodie: Matt Blake, Fanster.com
Venues: Chase Field & US Airways Center
Teams: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Rattlers (AFL), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) & Phoenix Roadrunners (ECHL)
Address: East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85001
Phoenix, Arizona - What used to be a lackluster downtown area for years, has officially made a comeback…And with the addition of the new Phoenix Light Rail system opening up in late December, it is only going to get better. In fact there are already blogs dedicated to food in downtown Phoenix. So while they focus on the all food downtown, I will focus on the best of the best around my two favorite places in town: Chase Field and the US Airways Center. Lets do this:
Named for none other than Dan Majerle, former Phoenix Sun, Marjerle's is a great place for anything from pre-game drinks, lunch during the week and…of course…watching your Phoenix Suns on the Road. My personal favorite: the Rojo Diablo. Yum Yum. And did I mention that they also have a location in Chandler?
Friday's Front Row
There is no other restaurant in town that beats out Friday's Front Row for stadium views. The reason being: it is located inside Chase Field. The best part about Friday's is that you can actually catch a Diamondbacks game from a table perched high above Left Field.
Friday's Front Row is most famous for Mark McGuire's bombshell batting practice homer that knocked out a light on "R" of the Friday's sign. And they left the sign un-repaired for the remainder of the season….Now was that '99 or '00?
Jackson's on Third
Well, the food ain't great here, but it's got the best value for the area and is located and hop and a skip from both Chase and US Air. The great part about Jackson's is that there is always plenty of room and an outdoor patio to boot. You can sure get lost, but you won't have to worry about missing the game.
If you feel the need to rock, you need to go to Alice Cooperstown. Named after Arizona resident and legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper. But really, this place is as much a ball park joint as any I've seen. Two items should say everything you need to know about Cooperstown: 'The Big O' Onion Rings & 'The Big Unit' Hot Dog.
Named for none other than….Amare Stoudemire. Want to know where all of the high-ups at the Phoenix Suns are eatin' their lunch? It's at Stoudemire's Downtown. They actually have things on the menu called: ENTRÉES. Plus on top of that they get the occasional celebrity appearance or three.
Among the most recent guests are NFL Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb, ESPN Columnist Rick Reilly, and restaurant namesake, part owner and Suns star Amare Stoudemire. They are just a few of the playoff celebrity sightings at Stoudemires.
Coach and Willie's
Nestled between the railroad and the best free parking spots near Chase Field and US Airways, is the always packed Coach and Willie's. The food is always solid and the service is fast. I love this place because it is always packed and lively. It is also located a pinch off the beaten path, so many people don't know about it. I've tried many times to meet up with people who can't even find it….Fun times at Coach and Willie's.
Want something gourmet and damn good? You need to head down to Pizzeria Bianco. This nationally acclaimed pizza is seriously THE BEST that you can get on the west coast. That is for sure. I have been to the place twice and it was packed both times. Lines start up outside the restaurant before it even opens. You have to time it right, but to get there before a game can be a great night out. Highly recommended!
Ah yes, we had to have some Mexican in here didn't we? And Matador is the place to go for some good authentic Mexican food. I recommend the enchiladas.
Tee Pee Tap Room
The Tee Pee Tap Room is located just south of Chase Field and has some more great authentic Mexican food near the stadiums. Can't say it was my cup of "Tee," but my friends sure love the place.
So that is downtown Phoenix ballpark/arena dining for you. There are many good options, from gourmet to cabaret. The bottom line is that you can't go wrong with a visit to downtown Phoenix. I didn't even get into ball park food, but that is pretty run of the mill. Enjoy and feel free to add your own favorites that I may have missed!