A little bit Southwest, a little bit Southern, Historic Downtown Glendale’s casual American restaurant/bar, Cuff, mixes the best of both regions. The riblets, served with Cajun fries and a strawberry cucumber salad, is not too light but not too heavy. Save room for dessert, the pies and cakes come from the kitchen of Mama Toledo.
Get your bento fix and take your pick of meat (we recommend the chicken katsu) or fish. Each bento box order comes with miso soup, rice, wok'd veggies, and cucumber salad. Lunch specials run until 3pm daily.
The award-winning Gilbert restaurant Liberty Market might just be the best (and most creative) in the Arizona burger business. There’s always something new here, but menu staples like the all-things-spicy 6 Alarm burger is a winning pick. Ask your server what’s good and your taste buds will be blown away when the food hits the table.
The Neapolitan-style pizza joint is a Phoenix favorite. Why? It's mastered the art of pizza making, that’s why. Thin. Crisp. Delicious. All of the elements of a good pie are there. Did we mention they are wood fired?
If you’ve decided that today’s the day you’re going to finally start eating healthy (yeah, right, OK) put Pita Jungle on your list of guilt-free, but gratifying spots to eat. The Valley’s own vegetarian resto has tons of meat-free options and healthy burgers on the menu like the chipotle black bean burger and the grilled portobello mushroom burger with roasted red bell pepper and a mix of greens.
You need to add the word “platter” to your lunch vocabulary. Choose three meats from Bobby Q’s lineup of BBQ chicken, pork, sausage, brisket, pulled chicken, or St. Louis ribs. If you can’t stomach an entire plate, no platter, full of barbecue (plus a side and cornbread) go for the lunch combo -- we won’t judge you.
Turkey, avocado, roasted red peppers, grapes, cucumber, lettuce, and a drizzle of yogurt sauce is all wedged between two whole-wheat slices of bread to make ChopShop’s Moroccan turkey sandwich. There's even a gluten-free wrap option for the GF peeps.
Downtown Tempe (Mill Avenue)
We can’t help you from making bad decisions on Mill, but we can try to help you make a good one. When on Mill Ave order a sandwich named after the infamous Tempe street. Ncounter’s Mill Avenue Stack is piled high with thin-sliced sirloin, cheddar, red onion, and greens and lathered up with a blue cheese spread on grilled ciabatta.
You’ve never truly appreciated sprouts until you’ve eaten at Dilly’s. And don’t get us started on the bread. All of it is made in-house. Choose your bread and tell ‘em you want the Dilly Bird. Turkey, avocado, cream cheese, and sprouts make the classic Dilly’s sandwich an instant favorite. And yes, you will want to order the bread bowl. Trust us.
You don’t have to go to Hawaii to get island-inspired eats. Drenched in lime curry sauce and served on a layer of cabbage, rice, and black beans, Hula’s Mongolian beef bowl is big enough to feed a small army, or just you, because you’re really hungry.
One part healthy, one part pizza, Humble Pie’s lunch combo is offered from 11am to 3pm daily. Takeout orders are ready in about 20 minutes, but we recommend grabbing a seat on the patio, or at the bar where there’s AC.
Save the board and bottle for Monday and Tuesday night when you’re feeling happy hour. There’s more to the famous wine bar than bruschetta and cheese boards, like the Nine Iron panini. The Italian-style sandwich is stuffed with hickory-smoked bacon, grilled chicken, fresh mozz, beefsteak tomato, lettuce, and a bit of Dijonnaise.
Steak and salad DO make a good pairing. Especially when served with a creamy blue cheese dressing and bourbon cherries, and topped with crunchy sweet potato chips. The Gladly is a little pricey for casual eats but it makes a great spot for a business lunch.
Always seasonal, always fresh, and always local, many of the dishes on the Bink’s menu are made from ingredients that come from right here in Arizona. Ask your server about the pig sandwich of the week. You won’t be disappointed.
Ditch the T-Bell drive-thru and get some real tacos. Carnitas, veggie, braised beef, chicken tinga, fish, shrimp, pork, and more, you name it, Joyride’s got it.
At Civic Space Park, you know, that area of Downtown with the giant tornado-esque art installation, you’ll find the folks at Fair Trade Cafe slinging coffees, lattes, and teas in the morning. But there’s more to this cafe than coffee, like the stuffed croissant, filled with your choice of turkey and cheddar, ham and Swiss or, for something a little lighter, spinach and feta.
It’s basically bruschetta in sandwich form, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. The OMG (which is probably named after the reaction people have after eating such a thing) has fancy bacon... err, prosciutto, mascarpone, and the sweet addition of fig and honey.
Soulful? Soul food? So full? The plant-based menu at Mesa’s Cutting Board will leave your soul, and stomach, feeling full. Quinoa, curried lentils, toasted kale, and baked tamari sunflower seeds are just a few of the ingredients mixed into the healthy bowl.
Old Town Scottsdale
Add some Cubana flavor to your boring lunchtime sandwich and try out the nuevo pork Cuban at Old Town Scottsdale’s Herb Box. Caramelized plantain, pickled red onions, and jalapeños with manchego cheese give this Cuban classic a new twist.
You could be predictable and order tacos, or... you could stuff your face with a massive burrito. Live a little. Order the burrito.
Gadzooks' sole mission is to redefine the enchilada. And we’d say that it's doing a fine job. The Central Phoenix joint gives hungry customers all the power, by allowing them to put exactly what they want on their enchilada. It’s an eight-step process, (cheese, beans, salsas, etc... it’s like an assembly line of tastiness) but you’ll be through the line in no time.
Arguably the best Thai place in the Valley, South Phoenix’s Chanpen Thai is the spot for pad Thai If you’re not trying to burn your taste buds off, order a three. But hey, if you like the heat, go all in and try five. Beat the lunch rush; get your food to go.
Local (and natural) beef, roasted red peppers, grilled mushrooms, fontina, field greens, and farm-made pecan pesto come together to make what Agritopia’s Joe’s Farm Grill calls the fontina burger. Truthfully, this place had us at pecan pesto.
Flavors of Louisiana is as real as it gets. Seriously, you can get alligator on your po-boy. We haven’t tried it but we hear it tastes like chicken. Or, just order the crawfish. It’s a slightly adventurous, but more familiar (depending on who you ask) choice. Of course your sammie comes with a New Orleans-style side, red beans & rice, Cajun chips, or dirty rice.
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