From a vibrant arts and culture scene to a plethora of outdoor activities that everyone can enjoy, and a foodie scene that’s out of this world, Tempe has a lot going for it. Whether you’re visiting to explore the nearby Grand Canyon or to stroll the Pueblo Grande Museum, one of the highlights of your trip will undoubtedly be the food.
Complete with a wide array of local, regional bites to diverse, worldly fares, there’s a lot to be explored in the way of eats and drinks. After all, Tempe’s funky gastro-scene is a large part of what’s landed this cozy Phoenix metro hub on the map in recent years.
Start Your Day Right With Breakfast in Tempe at Crepe Bar
Another brunch spot in Tempe is Crêpe Bar, which arguably has the best crepes this side of the Atlantic. Known for their playful take on the breakfast classic, this restaurant sources high quality ingredients and whips up the most inventive crepes around. We’re talkin’ goodies like a coffee flavored crepe topped with crispy pork belly and a lacy, sunny-side up fried egg that’ll change life as you know it.
Looking for something more savory? Try Crêpe Bar’s spin on chilaquiles, AKA crepe chips topped with chorizo, black beans, cotija, cilantro and avocado. Or as we call it, Mexican madness.
Enjoy the Atmosphere at Pedal Haus Brewery
Brew-heads need look no further than Pedal Haus Brewery when in Tempe. This bumping local gastro-pub is the place to be for all things craft beer, fun atmosphere and pub grub. While their priority is handcrafted European-style beers, their sprawling patio and drool-worthy menu makes Pedal Haus Brewery irresistible for any type of patron.
Be sure to check out their Bourbon Barrel Aged Quadrupel and the Pedal Haus Pilsner. Not a beer fan? Their Sourgarten Raspberry is the fruity brew you never knew you needed. Don’t skimp on the Haus smoked chicken wings either.
Alter Ego Offers Comfort Food With a Twist
Alter Ego is the premier spot in Tempe for innovative, modern-American cuisine “where every day is about celebrating life and living in the moment.” Whether you’re on the hunt for a swanky date-night spot with crafty bites or are just looking to indulge in some of Tempe’s most inventive breakfast, lunch and dinner, Alter Ego’s the place to be.
Treat yourself to a brunch of their famous katsu chicken and waffles made with a big hunk of katsu chicken thigh smothered in a honey-sriracha glaze and ginger maple syrup (it’s true!) on a fluffy bed of panda waffle.
Ghost Ranch: The Place for Mexican Food in Tempe
You can’t go to Tempe, or anywhere in the region for that matter, and not indulge in southwest food. And with a hefty mixup of classic and modern and a slogan that claims to “bring the untamed flavors of the Southwest to South Tempe,” Ghost Ranch is the answer to your insatiable southwest craving.
Start off with their southwest-inspired shrimp cocktail made with wild Mexican shrimp, zesty tomato broth, pico and fresh avo, then tuck into a taco platter (to share, of course!), before moving on to their house specialty—Aztec Cake.
Looking for an afternoon feast? Check out their brunch menu where you’ll find delights like the red adobo breakfast burrito, eggs benedict Ghost Ranch style and, stay with us, tres leches French toast.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Slickables
Here’s the thing: Tempe is an eclectic and interesting place. There’s loads to see and do and hidden gems to explore—but you know what it also is? Warm and sunny, not cold and snowy. And what better remedy for a balmy day of adventuring than an ice cold, perfectly soft ice cream sandwich?
For the most delicious and creative cold treats, Slickables has you covered. And don’t worry, they offer much more than the classic chocolate wafer/vanilla ice cream combo. Choose your ‘bread’ from a wide variety of housemade cookies like chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, snickerdoodle and many more.
Then load your sammie up with your choice of ice cream including classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, or more modern takes like salted caramel, cookie dough, and even a rocky road chocolate malted crunch.
This is definitely the best sandwich in Tempe that we could find, but Slickables’ home-style milkshakes also deserve a special mention.
Visit Desert Roots for the Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food in Tempe
For plant-based cuisine that’s full of good stuff, Desert Roots in downtown Tempe is the place to be. Sourcing as many of their ingredients from local suppliers as possible, this vegan eatery’s menu changes daily depending on what’s available at the market—and what the chef feels like making.
All of the food is prepared home style, so the dishes are a feast for the eyes as well as your taste buds. Regulars on the menu include salads, soups, bean dishes, wraps, smoothies, and a variety of sweet treats. If the weather’s fine, eating on the patio in the shade of the trees is a top option.
Try Ethiopian Injera at Cafe Lalibela
This cozy, easygoing plaza spot is the place to get your Ethiopian food fix. Locally owned and operated by the Abayneh family since 1996, Cafe Lalibela was Arizona’s first Ethiopian restaurant and has been bringing the unique, aromatic flavors of ‘The Land of 13 Months of Sunshine’ to Tempe for more than 20 years.
Load up on a fiery bowl of asa wat, a spicy fish stew made with tilapia stewed in spicy berbere. Or how about a hearty, classic fasolia? Whatever you do, don’t let the incredible food menu distract you from the equally delicious Ethiopian coffee and teas such as the tossign chai straight from the highlands of Ethiopia.
Find Something For Everyone When Grabbing Food at Tempe Marketplace
If you’re traveling solo or chasing sunrises and sunsets across Arizona with your favorite person, settling on a spot to eat is easy. When there are three, four, or more of you? Not so much.
Offering a huge variety of food—and activities—Tempe Marketplace is a great choice for anyone who wants to treat their taste buds like royalty. Fare from the King’s Fish House will satiate your hankering for seafood, while gyros from It’s All Greek to Me are sure to “satisfy your Herculean hunger” and Barrio Queen’s family recipes will have you saying “Olé!”.
Plan The Perfect Foodie Trip to Tempe
Tempe boasts more than 300 days of sunshine with average temperature at 80°F year-round, making it a great destination for a weekend break focused on food, or a longer stay in the Grand Canyon State.
To beat the heat, visit Tempe late October through the end of April when temperatures are a little lower than usual. Although booking a trip during the hotter months (May to September) can see you getting great deals on hotel bookings. Whenever you choose to go, we predict plenty of pool time, early sunrise hikes and late dinners as you enjoy the best of Tempe.