An Urban Affair – Explore Downtown

If you aren’t living in the heart of the city you might be wondering why other people choose to. Ten years ago the idea that young professionals, artists, and dare I say it – even hipsters – would be living in Central Phoenix was laughable at best. In retrospect it would now be considered prophetic. As more and more people move downtown and more businesses open to cater to them it’s becoming clear – Phoenix is on its way to becoming a great city to live in.

Still skeptical? You may want to check out Urban Affair this weekend. It opens Friday, Sept 26th, at the Phoenix Art Museum. It goes from 6 – 10 p.m. and features performances by Arizona Opera, Scorpius Dance Theatre, and other local musicians. There will be a progressive tasting menu highlighting local restaurants like Cibo, The Art of Soup, Breadfruit, and Urban Cookies. Tickets start at $30. If you want to feel like a rock star you can spring for a VIP ticket for $75 which includes a host bar.

If you’re like me and feel that $30 is a little pricey don’t dismay – here are my low or no cost suggestions for checking out the city this weekend:

1. Breakfast and the Downtown Phoenix Public Market

Need to do a little grocery shopping? Considering hitting up the farmer’s market and then grabbing breakfast at a local eatery. The market is open from 8 to noon on Saturday and features local produce and other great food items as well as artist’s booths and cooking demonstrations. Get there early to avoid the heat and have your pick of the fresh fruits and vegetables. After you’ve perused all that the market has to offer check out one of these restaurants for a great breakfast:

  • Palatte – My favorite menu item is the lemon brioche french toast and a side of grass fed beef sausage. Their egg dishes are also yummy! The outdoor seating is lovely and there’s usually live music.
  • Maizie’s – The newest restaurant on my list, this place has become so popular so fast. Why? The food is great and the service is perfection. If you like a little booze with brunch Maizie’s is your place – the bartender makes a mean mimosa.
  • Drip Coffee Lounge – Their menu is limited but what they do, they do well. I’m a fan of their real eggs and ham.
  • Matt’s Big Breakfast – A downtown institution, this eatery is known for its delicious bacon…and its long line. My suggestion – get there early.

2. “First Ever” Explore SoDo Tour

Not an early riser? Prefer to wake up around noon? Consider a tour of south downtown phoenix on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Historic warehouses, urban lofts, coffee shops and restaurants will open their doors until 5 p.m. From what I can tell the tour is self guided with lots of great stops along the way.

Personally I would love to take this tour but unfortunately I have to work. So someone else needs to take it and tell me how it was. Also I find the SoDo name kind of silly – Cenpho was hard enough to get used to. I could totally blog about how lame I think SoDo is…but I won’t.

Whatever you do have a great weekend….man, I wish it was here already!!!

1 Comment so far

  1. elmocho on September 24th, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    Well, I’m up in North Phoenix, so what am I? A Norpho Mofo?

    Thanks for the downtown information.

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