10 Great Restaurants to Grab a Bite Near Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Photo courtesy of Stockyards Restaurant
By Patricia Escarcega, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson Local Expert

Phoenix Municipal Stadium is perfectly situated at the crossroads of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, which means you won't have to travel far to find a great meal.

Our top honor goes to Gertrude's, which is located just north of the stadium at the Desert Botanical Garden. The lovely setting - the outdoor patio overlooks the main garden courtyard - is complemented by a winning menu of modern American entrees, carefully constructed using vegetables and herbs grown on-site in the kitchen garden. If you can, reserve a table for the Sunday Brunch, which is one of the best in town.

If you don't have time for a leisurely meal, stop by Sami's Gyros, a casual eatery dishing out tasty Mediterranean staples like falafels and gyros. It's also a great spot to find Chicago dogs.

Sports fanatics will want to head just west of the stadium to grab a booth or bar stool at Draw 10 Bar & Grill, a lively, longtime sports bar and restaurant where you'll find juicy specialty burgers, sandwiches, and house favorites like the green chile mac 'n cheese.

For something a little more urbane, head south to neighboring Tempe, where wood-fired pizzas and fine wine are served at the sophisticated La Bocca Urban Pizzeria and Wine.

10. Indian Delhi Palace
Photo courtesy of Indian Delhi Palace

Since 1989, the Indian Delhi Palace has been preparing and serving fresh, authentic Indian food in Phoenix. This is one of the city's original Indian food restaurants, and still remains one of the most popular with hungry diners craving curries and naan. The lunch buffet remains one of the most busy hours at the Palace, with good reason: a heart selection of curries, grilled meats and veggie saags will leave you stuffed. If you're stopping in for dinner, the chef's specialties are always a good bet. Try the tasty goat masala, tender goat pieces in a creamy and spicy gravy. Vegetarians will probably love the vegetable korma, a mix of vegetables cooked in a creamy, delicately spiced Indian-style gravy.

9. Little Miss BBQ
Photo courtesy of Little Miss BBQ

Little Miss BBQ isn't located in one of Phoenix's trendy dining districts – the barbecue destination is located on an industrial stretch of University Drive on the Phoenix-Tempe border. But just because it's not in a trendy dining corridor doesn't mean that it's not a tru hidden gem. Plenty of people have discovered the pleasures of Little Miss BBQ, particularly the pleasures of the excellent, Central Texas-style barbecue, which is cooked using Arizona oak and pecan wood. Don't miss the beef brisket, although the ribs, turkey, pulled pork and sausage are all pretty great, too. Whatever you do, though, come prepared to stand in line. It's all part of the experience of eating at Little Miss BBQ.

8. Sami's Gyros
Photo courtesy of Sami's Gyros

This small, unassuming eatery serves up big flavors. The menu at Sami's Gyros is full of Mediterranean and Chicago classics, including many options with the healthy eater in mind. Lunch and dinner favorites include the Mediterranean Chicken sandwich, a tender, marinated chicken breast made with lettuce, tomato, and a hearty drizzling of tzatziki sauce on pita bread. All sauces are made fresh in-house. Midwestern visitors will also love the menu of Chicago favorites, including the Chicago Combo, which includes an Italian sausage and Italian beef served on a french roll, topped with grilled onions and peppers. Dine in and carry-out are available.

7. Defalco's Italian Grocery

DeFalco's Italian Deli and Grocery is an award-winning, traditional, and family-owned Italian grocery and delicatessen. This small but always-busy store and restaurant has been repeatedly named one of the best lunch spots in town by several local publications. The smell of simmering tomato sauce and garlic from the kitchen offers the perfect mouth-watering setting for enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner. Cheesesteak aficionados take note: DeFalco's serves up one of the Valley's most irresistible cheesesteak sandwiches, featuring thin-sliced rib-eye topped with melted cheese and served on a fresh Italian roll. Mushrooms, onions, and fried peppers can be added upon request.

6. La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine
Photo courtesy of La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine is located in the heart of downtown Tempe, a short stroll away from the metro light rail station. The Mediterranean-inspired menu specializes in creative hand-tossed pizzas, specialty salads, bruschetta planks, house-made sangrias, hand-crafted cocktails and, of course, an impressive wine list. What helps this chic bistro stand out is its emphasis on local ingredients and made to order freshness. Perfect for a business lunch, date night, or late night dining, La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine offers indoor dining as well as an attractive outdoor patio for al fresco dining. Large parties are welcome.

5. Cafe Lalibela

Cafe Lalibela is an award-winning Tempe Ethiopian restaurant. Casual yet elegant, the cafe elevates the standard lunch and dinner meal into an exotic culinary experience. The menu features a large selection of authentic Ethiopian cuisine with many vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections. You'll find excellent takes on staples like injera and wat. Injerah (pronounced in-jeer-ah), is a spongy, crepe-like bread with a flavor profile akin to sourdough bread. Another Ethiopian staple is wate, a sauce made from meat, vegetables or a combination of both. Meals are eaten by tearing a piece of injera and scooping up the wat. Communal in nature, most meals are served on a large platter, with several types of wat placed on top of a large piece of injera.

4. House of Tricks
Photo courtesy of House of Tricks

Two fireplaces, antique furnishings, and tables positioned to offer the utmost privacy adorn various rooms at House of Tricks, evoking an inviting, home-like ambiance. Dining on the terrace is a delightful experience, thanks to tables set under a trellised garden, just a few steps from a bar built around two trees. The menu capitalizes on Asian, French, and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients, combining them in dishes like peach butter-stuffed chicken, grilled Scottish salmon with couscous salad, tamarind-glazed seared duck breast, and seared ahi with baby bok choy. Perfect for a special evening with friends, special occasions, and of course, date night.

3. Cornish Pasty Co
Photo courtesy of Cornish Pasty Co.

Savor the joys of an authentic Cornish pasty (pronounced pass-tee) without even having to jet off across the pond. The Cornish pasty is a traditional English comfort food featuring a variety of meats, veggies and cheeses, all stuffed into a pastry pocket. The pasty gets a twist at the Cornish Pasty Company, where diners can choose from an extensive menu of signature, premium, and vegetarian pasties. Try the Oggie, the traditional Cornish pasty made with steak, potatoes, onion, rutabaga, and served with a side of red wine gravy or ketchup. Pasty lovers will enjoy exploring the diverse menu, which also features Mexican, Italian, Greek, and Indian variations on this English classic. The large veggie pasty menu has made this a favorite stopping point for vegetarian foodies.

2. Stockyards Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Stockyards Restaurant

This traditional American steakhouse has been grilling some of the best steaks in Phoenix since 1947. In 2004, a dedicated team of workers lovingly restored and revitalized the restaurant, which was recently included in the City of Phoenix Historical Register. How's that for history? Try the "Best of the West" prime rib, or just about anything on the Stockyards Steaks menu. Today, the Stockyards menu also features the highest quality corn-fed, aged steaks and prime rib. The menu has embraced a "New West Cuisine" that incorporates indigenous Southwestern ingredients in uniquely delicious ways. To date, The Stockyards remains a part of local history and a favorite gathering place for Arizonans.

1. Gertrude's
Photo courtesy of Gertrude's

Located inside the Desert Botanical Garden, this stylish restaurant delivers farm-to-table cuisine in an enviably beautiful setting. The menu of 'Modern American Cuisine' entrees is - not surprisingly - seasonal and garden-fresh. With high quality ingredients (many herbs and vegetables are grown in the garden) and an experienced kitchen staff at the helm, it's hard to pick wrong no matter what time of year you visit. Gertrude's is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Along with great food, guests also enjoy a highly rated menu of beer, wine, and spirits. The restaurant also hosts a popular brunch on Sundays.