Phoenix is the heart of what we locals call the Valley of the Sun. More than 20 cities and towns comprise this bustling metro area and all have something unique to offer visitors. In previous posts, we’ve highlighted the can’t-miss things to do and places to eat in the greater Phoenix’s East Valley and West Valley.

This post: Things to do in downtown Phoenix. Downtown encompasses roughly 100 square blocks from Seventh Avenue in the west to Seventh Street in the east, and the train tracks south of Jackson Street in the south to McDowell Road in the north.

Things to do

Live music

If you’re in the mood for live music, head to Crescent Ballroom where local and well-known national acts take to the stage most every night of they year. Get there early and chow down on the fantastic Mexican food at Cocina 10.

Crescent’s new sister venue, Valley Bar, is located just a few blocks away. Catch live acts in their underground music hall, show off your skee-ball skills, and grab a bite from the Short Leash Kitchen (featuring an expanded menu from the delicious Short Leash Hot Dogs).
Crescent Ballroom: 308 N 2nd Ave., Phoenix 85003
602-716-222

Valley Bar: 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-368-3121

Crescent Ballroom
Crescent Ballroom features live music almost every night of the year.

 

Arizona Science Center

Ride a skycycle on a tight rope or take a trip to outer space in the IMAX planetarium at the Arizona Science Center. With more than 300 hands-on exhibits in seven themed galleries, there’s lots to see for both kids and adults alike.

600 E Washington St., Phoenix 85004
602-716-2000

Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center

 

CityScape Phoenix

In the heart of downtown, CityScape is a hub of shopping, dining, entertainment, events, and nightlife. Gypsy Bar, Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails, and Stand Up Live are just a few of the spots to explore.

1 E Washington St., Phoenix 85004

Copper Blues Rock Pub
CityScape Phoenix

 

Lustre Rooftop Bar at the Hotel Palomar Phoenix

Grab a spot at the chic rooftop bar or relax in a poolside lounge chair and take in the skyline views of downtown at Lustre. Soak up the sun or enjoy a warm night under the stars while enjoying craft cocktails and creative menu items.

2 E Jefferson St., Phoenix 85004
480-478-1765

LUSTRE Rooftop BarLUSTRE Rooftop Bar

 

Wednesday Wind Up

Skip the bagged lunch at your desk and join the community for sunshine, food trucks, games, music and more at this bi-weekly event at Civic Space Park.

424 N Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-262-7490

Wednesday Wind Up
Wednesday Wind Up (Credit: Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

 

Festivals and Events

Mark your calendar for events throughout the year such as ice skating at CityScape, McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Viva Phx music festival, and many more.

Viva PHX
Viva Phx Music Festival (Image credit: Shaunte Glover via ValleyHype.com)

 

Roosevelt Row

With an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutique shops, coffee houses, restaurants and more, this downtown neighborhood was recently named by USA Today as one of the country’s 10 Best City Art Districts . The neighborhood’s monthly First Fridays art walk brings the community together for a night of arts, music, food and more as more than 70 art galleries and spaces open their doors for free.

First FridaysFirst Fridays art walk on Roosevelt Row

 

Explore the street art scene

They can be found prominently on the sides of buildings, tucked away in alley, and just about anywhere else there’s a space to create art. Take a stroll through downtown, especially along Roosevelt Row, and see the creative, colorful work of local street artists. (Not sure where to start? Check out our video of downtown murals and their locations, saved from a Snapchat story.)

 

Shop local at the weekly farmers’ market

Locals pack the lot at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market each Saturday morning for the weekly open-air farmers’ markets. Dozens of local and regional vendors gather each week to offer their produce, honey, baked good and lots more.

721 N Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-625-6736

 

DeSoto Central Market

Located in the heart of the Roosevelt Row arts district, DeSoto serves as a gathering space for community events and houses a hall of boutique restaurants including seafood, Latin American-Asian fusion and a burger joint.

915 N. Central Ave, Phoenix 85004
602-680-7747

desoto central market
DeSoto Central Market

 

Orpheum Theatre

This beautifully restored 1929 venue is home to a variety of concerts and performances throughout the year. Even if you can’t make it to a show, you should take a free tour of the historic building, offered monthly and based on availability. Contact them for more info.

203 W. Adams St., Phoenix 85003
602-495-7139

 

Valley Youth Theatre

The young actors at the Valley Youth Theatre have some serious acting chops. The award-winning VYT, where Hollywood star Emma Stone got her start, hosts a number of memorable family-friendly productions throughout the year.

525 N. 1st St., Phoenix 85004
602-253-8188

 

Heard Museum

Located just a couple light rail stops from the heart of downtown is the acclaimed Heard Museum. In addition to its collection of American Indian art, the museum hosts a number of popular events throughout the year such as November’s ornament marketplace, February’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, March’s Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, and more.

2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-252-8840

Hoop Dancer
Hoop dancer at the Heard Museum

 

Herberger Theater Center and Phoenix Symphony Hall

From classic productions, to one-man/woman shows, to ballet, opera, seasonal favorites and more, these two spots will keep your cultural calendar filled. Take a quick midday culture break with the Herberger’s Lunch Time Theater.

Herberger Theater Center: 222 E Monroe St, Phoenix 85004
602-254-7399

Phoenix Symphony Hall: 75 N 2nd St, Phoenix 85004
602-262-6225

herberger-1140X500
Herberger Theater Center

 

Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum showcases both contemporary and classic art from a variety styles from around the world. The museum offers free admission each Wednesday night from 3-9.

1625 N Central Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-257-1222

Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum

 

Catch a game

Get your sports kicks year-round in downtown. Talking Stick Resort Arena is home to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, and the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers. Next door at Chase Field, MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks take the field all summer long.

Talking Stick Resort Arena: 201 E Jefferson St., Phoenix 85004
Chase Field: 401 E Jefferson St., Phoenix 85004

Chase Field
Chase Field

 

Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Kids can get hands-on at this fun and educational interactive museum that stimulates the senses. Climb high in their Schuff-Perini Climber, make your way through the noodle forest, pedal through the tricycle “car wash,” and more.

215 N. 7th St., Phoenix 85034
602-253-0501

 

FilmBar

This ain’t your typical movie theater. FilmBar is a 21-and-over only theater with more than 20 craft beers on tap and a dozen types of wine to sip while checking out an eclectic mix of new, classic, indie, and cult flicks. Can’t stick around for a movie? The bar is open for non filmgoers, too.

815 N. 2nd St., Phoenix 85004
602-595-9187

 

Heritage Square at Heritage and Science Park

Take a step back to Phoenix’s pioneer days at this late-1800s square. See what life was like at that time with a guided tour of The Rosson House Museum, a fully-restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house. While at Heritage Square, grab a meal at the famed Pizzeria Bianco or Nobuo at Teeter House, or enjoy a pint at the The Rose and Crown pub.

115 N. 6th St., Phoenix 85004

 

Heritage Square
The Rosson House Museum in Heritage Square

 

Where to Eat

Cibo, Pizzeria Bianco, Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana, and La Piazza PHX

This batch of pizzerias has made downtown Phoenix a must-visit pizza destination. James Beard award winner Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco has been named by numerous publications as the best pizza in America. La Piazza PHX and Pomo are the city’s only two spots to receive the stamp of approval from Vera Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza), an Italian trade association that authenticates and promotes the pizza standards of Naples. Cibo, housed in a charming 1913 bungalow, offers artisan pizzas and handmade pasta.

Cibo: 603 N 5th Ave., Phoenix 85003
602-441-2697

Pizzeria Bianco: 623 E Adams St., Phoenix 85004
602-258-8300

Pomo: 705 N 1st Ave., Phoenix 85004
602-795-2555

La Piazza PHX: 1 N 1st St., Phoenix 85004
602-795-7116

Pizzeria Bianco
Pizzeria Bianco

to receive the stamp of approval from Vera Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza), an Italian trade association that authenticates and promotes the pizza standards of Naples – See more at: http://www.thehotsheetblog.com/downtown-phoenix-pizzerias/#sthash.oFKsLYwi.dpuf

Matt’s Big Breakfast has received national attention for its simple yet delicious fare and is known for long waits due to the hordes of hungry morning people getting their Matt’s fix. – See more at: http://www.thehotsheetblog.com/downtown-restaurants-lunch/#sthash.PRaQQNqb.dpuf

Matt’s Big Breakfast has received national attention for its simple yet delicious fare and is known for long waits due to the hordes of hungry morning people getting their Matt’s fix. – See more at: http://www.thehotsheetblog.com/downtown-restaurants-lunch/#sthash.PRaQQNqb.dpuf

 

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

Stop into District for dinner, or grab a quick bite with their “Nothing Over $9 at Noon” lunch menu. The locally-sourced menu updates seasonally and they even use herbs from their own on-site garden.

320 N 3rd St., Phoenix 85004
602-817-5400

 

Compass Arizona Grill

Dine on delicious seasonal cuisine while taking in the panoramic views of greater Phoenix at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix’s revolving rooftop restaurant.

122 N 2nd St., Phoenix 85004
602-440-3166

Compass Arizona Grill
Compass Arizona Grill

 

The Arrogant Butcher

Rub elbows with the city’s movers and shakers at this bustling CityScape restaurant. Steaks, seafood and more are on the menu, but don’t leave without indulging in their house soft pretzels and provolone fondue.

2 E Jefferson St., Phoenix 85004
602-324-8502

 

Hanny’s

This is one of the best place’s to be if you’re up late in downtown. The kitchen cooks until 1 a.m. and the bar pours for another 30 minutes after that. Let the bartender mix you up one of their classic cocktails while dining on pizza, sandwiches and salads. Don’t leave without checking out their upstairs bathrooms and downstairs basement (we won’t ruin the surprises as to why).

40 N 1st St., Phoenix 85004
602-252-2285

 

Welcome Diner

Another late-night favorite is the cozy Welcome Diner, serving up delicious comfort food, such as biscuits and fried chicken, until 2 a.m. six nights a week (closed Mondays).

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix 85004
602-495-1111

welcome dinerWelcome Diner

 

Short Leash Hotdogs Sit…Stay

One of the most popular food trucks in the city has put down brick-and-mortar roots along Roosevelt Row. In addition to the fantastic wiener creations—such as the Bear with peanut butter, smoked gouda, bacon, BBQ sauce and cracker jacks—the sans-wheels location offers up breakfast items and an expanded menu of sides.

Sit…Stay: 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix 85004
480-620-8479

 

Matt’s Big Breakfast

They keep it simple at Matt’s. Fresh local ingredients. Deliciously addictive fare. Friendly service. It’s what keeps the locals coming back, even with waits regularly reaching more than an hour during peak times, and it’s why they were featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

825 N 1st St, Phoenix 85004
602-254-1074

Matt's Big Breakfast 600x400
Matt's Big Breakfast

 

The Breadfruit and Rum Bar

This award-winning spot uses only fresh, simple foods when creating their Jamaican cuisine creations. Love rum? They’ve got more than 100 rums of all different styles and distillation techniques.

108 E Pierce St., Phoenix 85004
602-267-1266

 

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

If you’re looking for something a little more than a whiskey and coke, head to this spot located in the historic Luhrs Building for a new taste from the bar’s massive book of cocktails. Whether it’s sweet, sour, simple, strong, or anything in between, their talented staff will find the perfect drink for you.

1 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix 85003
602-340-1924

Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour

 

Majerle’s Sports Grill and Alice Cooperstown

You’re sure to find these two spots teeming with sports fans before and after any big game in downtown. Whether you’re heading to a game, or just looking to watch on the big screens while enjoying some beer and grub, these spots have you covered. (Tip: If you’re not familiar, Majerle’s is owned by former Phoenix Suns legend Dan Majerle pronounced “Mar-lee.”)

Majerle’s: 24 N. 2nd St., Phoenix 85004
602-253-0118

Alice Cooperstown: 101 E. Jackson St., Phoenix 85004
602-253-7337

 

Phoenix Public Market Cafe

This casual community spot is a serves up fresh, local, seasonal cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their airy patio is a popular spot to dine and drink on a beautiful Phoenix day. Don’t pass on their deliciously tempting pastries.

14 E Pierce St., Phoenix 85004
602-253-2700

Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Phoenix Public Market Cafe

 

Angels Trumpet Ale House

Craft beer fans, this is your place. They’ve got 31 rotating taps that feature a variety of unique beers from around the globe, and a full food menu sporting classic pub food, great pizza, and some fun surprises (such as Tuesday’s gourmet “TV Dinners”).

810 N 2nd St., Phoenix 85004
602-252-2630

Angel's Trumpet Ale House
Angels Trumpet Ale House

Check out some of the above restaurants and more in our Restaurants for Lunch in Downtown Phoenix blog post.

Did we miss something? Share your favorite downtown activity or restaurant in the comments below!