Uptown Phoenix's newest restaurant row has popped up on a short stretch along North Seventh Street.
A few short years ago, north Seventh Street was an unremarkable artery through an older Phoenix residential neighborhood. Strip malls, small shops, automotive repair spots and nondescript office buildings catered to the needs of the locals — nothing that screamed "must-see destination."
Recently, though, savvy developers and restaurateurs have converted many of the street's mid-century buildings into gleaming cocktail bastions of the culinary and cocktail arts. Explore a half-mile stretch of Seventh Street roughly between Missouri Avenue and Rose Lane to find everything from freshly made pastas and grits flecked with fennel and mushrooms to Sinatra-era adult beverages and craft beers.
From south to north, here are just a few of our favorite spots.
Restaurants and Bars on Seventh StreetBack to Top of List
In 2009, Hula's opened in its former digs on Central Avenue as part of the City of Phoenix’s adaptive reuse program. But in 2018, this modern homage to the Americana tiki bars and restaurants of the ‘50s and ‘60s relocated to a newly reimagined midcentury modern space along north Seventh Street. Here, the breezy indoor-outdoor vibe, palm tree-topped Tiki Room, signature tropical drinks and menu of fusion excellence draws hipsters, oldsters and youngsters alike.
Must-try cocktail: Dr. Funk, featuring coconut rum, vodka, crème de banana, pineapple and orange juices.
Named after a popular street in Tijuana, Mexico — Avenida Revolución — this concept is a modern interpretation of the street food and drinks that were a part of owner Jeremiah Gracia's upbringing. Home to 13 different taco varieties, this is definitely the place to be on Tuesdays (when seven different varieties of tacos are only $3 or $3.50 each). Of course, the apps and entrees are equally captivating.
Must-try cocktail: The Margarita Teaze, a tasting trio of mango, sandia and the Revolu-rita.
Christopher Collins, the chef-owner of Greater Phoenix-based Common Ground Culinary, has delivered the most-recent additions to this growing scene. His two new concepts – Neighborly Public House and St. Urban — inhabit The Colony's two-story building in the 1950s-era mixed-use development (next to Revolu). Neighborly Public House offers polished American cuisine for dinner only, so expect a curated variety of seafood, meat cuts, and vegetable dishes to pair with craft cocktails, beer, wine and liquors to wind down the evening.
Coming soon: Perched directly atop Neighborly Public House is St. Urban, a modern French brasserie will offer small bites, shareable plates and hand-crafted cocktails. Opening spring 2022.
Must-try cocktail: The badass mule — a Ketel One cocktail fusing black pepper ginger syrup, club soda, a lime squeeze and angostura bitters — is one of the chef’s top recommendations.
If ever you were looking for a spot that celebrates plants and music, you have now found it. No, seriously. OG vegans can surely recall the era where the only "flavor" plant-based eateries delivered was in the dishes. Not the case at Verdura. This bright and airy joint is decked out in musician art, including a wall of vinyl, which pairs perfectly with such menu items as "I'm Just A Po'Boy," "The Salad Formerly Known As Taco" and the "Hotel Cauli-fornia" wrap. And the fun continues on the drink menus.
Must-try dish: No one will judge your music taste if you order the Goth Waffle: a Japanese-style bubble waffle with activated charcoal, topped with rasssssspberry sorbet. (You just sang those words, didn't you?)
Culinary Dropout's Seventh Street home is The Yard, a series of brick buildings and a vast metal canopy that started out in the 1950s as a Triumph car showroom and, later, a motorcycle dealership before morphing this restaurant compound. The eatery's a big, casual, indoor-outdoor space invites you to play ping-pong or cornhole in between beers or sit down to enjoy 36-hour pork ribs, fried chicken drizzled with honey or the smoked salmon served with toasted ciabatta and a poached egg.
Must-try dish: Soft pretzel bites with provolone fondue.
The restaurant is helmed by celebrity chef Scott Conant ("Top Chef," "Chopped"), who brings an updated osteria style to the menu. The setting is a gleaming white building that includes a shady patio and an interior marked by lipstick-red seating, intricate tile work and rustic wood accents. Don't miss the signature appetizer — hearty breads served with several spreads, then continue the gluten fest with such pastas as strozzapreti laced with duck ragu and truffles. Pizzas and entrees that include roasted halibut round out the offerings.
Must-try dish: Pasta al pomodoro, a classic.
In 1963, Maureen and Andy Womack, opened up Chez Nous in Phoenix — a swanky, French-influenced cocktail lounge that was a beloved water hole for decades before it was razed for redevelopment. The late couple went on to build two more lounges, one of which still stands on Seventh Street. It's been renamed in an homage to the original owners, and the renovation reflects their sexy '60s aesthetic, complete with low lighting, mirrored ceilings, retro booths, flocked wallpaper and expanded patio. There's live music, too — danceable R&B, funk and soul. Read more about The Womack here.
Must-try cocktail: Amaretto sour, a definite throwback.
A collaboration between owner Danny Quinn and Chef Danny Garcia, Pubblico is where classic old school Italian meets contemporary casual. Here, they've traded out the carpet and doilies for craft cocktails and cool light fixtures, but that’s about it. So, expect caprese salad, calamari, shrimp scampi, meatballs and all the homemade pasta your heart desires (*chef's kiss*). You'll also find a robust wine list, wood-fired pizzas, exquisite entrees and a selections of melt-in-your-mouth desserts.
Must-try dish: House-made spaghetti tossed with beef and pork meatballs, tomato sauce and fresh basil, a classic perfected.
Mexico City native Doug Robson originally made a name for himself in Phoenix with his other restaurant, Gallo Blanco, but Otro Cafe has come to receive just as many accolades. The hip, intimate spot has an array of beautifully cooked Mexican dishes for lunch and dinner that are as colorful as the atmosphere of the space. But breakfast is what most seek out here. Served well into the afternoon every day, you can choose from tamales, chilaquiles, frittatas and just a good old-fashioned pancake. No matter what you choose, you can't go wrong.
Must-try dish: The Mexican breakfast, with two eggs, chorizo, tortillas, chorizo, and beans.
This local chain has spent more than 25 years as Greater Phoenix's go-to for eaters of all kinds. Though the Mediterranean-focused eatery has expanded to more than 20 locations, each spot is unique to its surroundings. The Uptown Phoenix location is the largest yet at 5,000 square feet, ornate with Art Deco designs, including a large copper, silver and gold tree in the main dining room made by local artist Eric “Q” Quezada.
Must-try dish: Red Quinoa with Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus, a mix of Mediterranean and Sonoran
Sweet Treats on Seventh StreetBack to Top of List
If you're willing to drive a bit farther north and south, you'll find plenty of spots on Seventh Street that cater to your sweet tooth. Here are a few worth putting on your sugar radar.
A small vegan bakery/coffeehouse where you can score chai fritters and peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. The real star of the show, however, is the infamous organic ice cream treat: the tSoynami, homemade soy tSoft tServe with such goodies as cakes, cookies, chocolate, peanut butter, fruit and just about anything else you can think of mixed in.
Get pineapple-coconut cookies, orange blossom cupcakes, ginger-sesame baked doughnuts, coffee and more at this modern, seasonally driven gourmet bakery owned by Brady and Shaun Breese, a husband-and-wife-team native to Phoenix. (Gluten-free and vegan offerings available).
Sure, there are savory pot pies, but pie snobs come for the chocolate coconut cream, orange meringue, key lime or brown sugar peach varieties—among many others.