The Suns are knee-deep in the NBA Finals and whether you’re heading downtown for a watch party or are lucky enough to have tickets to the make-or-break Game 6, it’s a great chance to check out one of the seven new bars and restaurants that opened in downtown Phoenix over the past year.
They’re all a short walk or drive from the recently renamed Footprint Center, formerly the Phoenix Suns Arena, formerly Talking Stick Resort Arena.
You’ll feel like a baller at many of these high-profile spots, from a food truck park located on the grounds of a historic home to a sports bar that serves gold-dusted chicken wings. You can even raise a spiked cobbler to Teddy Roosevelt, which seems like it might make for a randomly perfect end to a high-energy basketball game. Here we go.
The second location of this popular tapas restaurant features a full-service experience in a minimalist industrial setting, with wood-fired pizzas and a commitment to locally sourced seafood. The menu, which changes daily, is a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine, with dishes like seared Pacific albacore tuna seasoned with togarashi pepper blend and paired with eggplant peperonata.
Details: 132 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-368-3052, palakitchen.com.
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Il Bosco Pizza
Located in a gray and white bungalow just off Roosevelt Row, this second location of a popular Scottsdale restaurant serves more than 20 types of pizza, including the Biaggia with fig jam, prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and goat cheese. It also has a small cocktail menu with Italian spritzes and Negronis.
Details: 918 N. Fifth St., Phoenix. 602-612-2470, ilboscopizza.com.
This outdoor food truck park is located on the grounds of the 1920 Sarah H. Pemberton House, and features a bohemian landscape of plants that make it feel like a labyrinth. Notable food and drink options include the tropical cocktail bar Baby Boy, taco truck Baja Fish Tacos and More, and the popular pasta truck Saint Pasta.
Details: 1121 N. Second St., Phoenix. pembertonphx.com.
Character and Alias
This innovative restaurant by renowned Scottsdale chef Peter Kasperski features a molecular mixology bar in the back called Alias, helmed by former Binkley’s bartender Richie Moe. The chef described the restaurant as “a modern interpretation of an American dinner house,” with dishes like Chilean sea bass with maitake mushrooms and celeriac whip.
Details: 218 E. Portland St., Phoenix. 602-675-4069. characterphx.com.
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With locations in Nashville and New York City, this lavish new spot is a gourmet take on the American sports bar, with plenty of TV’s to watch a game. It’s located in the old Hard Rock Cafe space just across the street from the Phoenix Suns Arena. Menu items include the 24-karat gold chicken wings and mac ‘n’ cheese fries.
Details: 3 S. Second St., #117, Phoenix. 602-296-7976, theainsworthphx.com.
The Teddy Roosevelt-inspired basement bar has a vintage look complete with a decorative wood facade and Edison light bulbs. It’s brought to you by Pigtails Restaurant Concepts, which also runs The Whining Pig and the bar chain Pigtails. The bar menu explores classic 1800s libations with a section of tea punches and cobbler cocktails made with jams.
Details: 1001 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. instagram.com/roughrideraz.
From the owners of Cobra Arcade Bar, this anime-themed club next door hosts rotating DJs and Japanese-themed shots like the Gudetama, with Rumchata Limon, citrus vodka and melon liqueur. If you’re hungry, the bar serves several different flavors of cup of noodles for $4 apiece.
Details: 801 N. Second St., Phoenix. cobraarcadebar.com/high-score-menu.
Reach reporter Andi Berlin at a[email protected] or 602-444-8533. Follow her on Facebook @andiberlin, Instagram @andiberlin or Twitter @andiberlin.