Tempe Tourism Blog

Apache Blvd. offers an authentic culinary adventure

Haji Baba
May 21, 2015

When I’m hungry for some fragrant, savory, spicy and delicious Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean and Asian food, I know where to go—Apache Boulevard in Tempe. I don’t have to venture very far to find mighty fine falafel, curry or couscous. Apache Boulevard is a veritable spice trail of flavorful food finds all clustered between Rural and Price Roads, close to Arizona State University (ASU).  All are family owned and have been in business for many years. The menus are authentic and loaded with dishes that are rich in both flavor and tradition. Have your hummus and hookah too at Café Istanbul & Market. It’s also one of just a few Middle Eastern restaurants that offer a lunch buffet, which is great if you want to sample several dishes at once. Buffet items vary so you never know what you’ll find. I like that element of surprise and am more likely to try something new. Hookah enthusiasts can partake outside on the patio. There’s also a well-stocked Middle Eastern hookah store adjoining the restaurant. 1310 E Apache Blvd. – 480-731-9499 Haji Baba is located across the street from Café Istanbul. Haji Baba is both a Middle Eastern restaurant and grocery store. It’s not about the décor, which is basic, but comfortable.  It is, however, all about the food which is always delicious. I’m sure everything on the menu is yummy, but I don’t deviate from the chicken shawarma or the gyro platters. The meats are so good. The hummus is unbelievably creamy […]

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Refreshing Tempe Summer Drinks

Bahama Bucks
May 19, 2015

Summertime, known as the time of year where seat belt burns can almost send you to the hospital, phones won’t function because they go into cool down mode and stepping out barefoot feels like doing a fire dance on a bed of hot charcoals. Those local to the Tempe area know how important it is to find ways to beat the heat during the summer, including finding the best summer drinks that take you out of the summer heat, and into a blissful retreat. Check out these Tempe locations for refreshing Tempe summer drinks. Rita’s Italian Ice Rita’s Italian Ice on 740 South Mill Avenue, located on Mill Ave. and Seventh St., is perfect for all ages. Choose between freshly made Italian Ice, custards, or one of their many mixed frozen drink concoctions. I personally enjoy the Blendini, which is a perfect blend of Italian Ice and creamy frozen custard, topped with your favorite toppings. 740 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 966-0787 Bahama Bucks Head on over to Bahama Buck’s where you can relax and connect with friends while you experience a little piece of paradise. Bahama Buck’s, located on the northeast corner of South Rural Rd. and Warner Rd., knows the exact science to creating irresistible frozen treats. From their “Sno” creations to their Island Smoothies, they have their flavors down pat. Try their Pina Colda Sno. It’s out of this world and makes you feel like you’re on an island vacation. 1006 E. Warner Rd., #101 Tempe, AZ  […]

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Tempe events: Celtic Woman at ASU Gammage

ASU Gammage
May 18, 2015

Tempe events include global music sensation, Celtic Woman in its 10th Anniversary World Tour at ASU Gammage on May 19 at 7 p.m. The performance will feature Irish standards, classical favorites and contemporary pop songs, with an unforgettable signature style. Celtic Woman is comprised of  four gifted Irish women – three vocalists and Celtic violinist- along with a full band, The Anotas Choir, bagpipers, Irish dancers with bewitching choreography all under the direction of Emmy®-nominated music producer David Downes. For more information and to purchase tickets to Celtic Woman, visit the ASU Gammage website. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 19: Celtic Woman 10th Anniversary World Tour, ASU Gammage May 19: Performance with a View: The Lake/Crissman Guitar Duo, Tempe Center for the Arts May 19: Twiztid; May 20: Ministry, Marquee Theater May 20:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 21–24: Shakespeare at the Garden: Spellbound, a Musical Fairytale, Desert Botanical Garden May 21-24: Christopher Titus, Tempe Improv May 22: Chapito Chavarria Orchestra, Tempe History Museum May 22: UNFOLD Presented by Annemarie Miskovic, ASU Art Museum May 22:  Finally Friday: Gary Marsh;  Friday Film Screenings: M*A*S*H, 1970, Tempe Center for the Arts May 22: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Gregory Freiler, Tempe Center for the Arts May 22: Music in the Garden: Jaleo, Desert Botanical Garden May 22: Timothy H; May 23: Hello Swindon, Tempe Marketplace District Stage […]

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Satisfy your sweet tooth in Downtown Tempe

Paletas Betty
May 12, 2015

I think it’s fair to say that most people enjoy having a snack every once in a while. I’ll admit, I love snacking, and am always looking for something to nosh on. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so more often than not; I’m heading straight for the cookies or candy rather than pretzels or potato chips. If you’re looking to get sweets in Downtown Tempe, here are a couple of places I recommend. Candy Addict If you love candy, Candy Addict is your paradise. They have over 1,500 varieties of candy including nostalgic brands. When you get there, take your time and walk around because there’s a lot to take in. The employees are always really friendly and are more than happy to help you out with any questions. Candy Addict is also the only Arizona retailer that sells Cocopotamus, which are fudge-filled truffles. 414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 – located on the east side of Mill Avenue, between Fourth St. and Fifth St. (480) 921-1155 Paletas Betty Paletas are fruit and cream pops that come in a wide variety of flavors and textures. They’re a traditional dessert from Mexico. Unlike something you buy at the store, their popsicles are made from scratch with fresh, natural ingredients. Only seasonal fruit is used and everything is prepared in house. It’s a great treat on a hot Arizona day. 425 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 – located on the northeast corner of Mill Ave. and Fifth St. (480) 779-8080 Slickables Ice Cream […]

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Tempe events: Songwriters’ Showcase XIII at TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
May 11, 2015

Tempe events include Songwriters’ Showcase XIII at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) on May 15. Kick off your weekend with this program featuring recording artist Jenny Jarnagin. She’s a singer/songwriter who  is known for her considerable piano skills and music that’s a combination of classical, jazz and pop. Her distinctive sound blends her small town roots with extensive classical training. She will be joined on stage by veteran musician and KJZZ Music Director and Host Blaise Lantana,Tim McDonald of the indie-rock, Phoenix-based band Broken Poets, and Eric Ramsey of blues/roots/Americana local band, Scatfish. Local music legend Walt Richardson will  host the evening which will be taped to broadcast on Eight, Arizona PBS and Tempe 11. Songwriters’ Showcase is a Tempe Center for the Arts program that joins selected performers from the region, the Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night series and In the Spotlight for a night of original music. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the TCA website or call 480-350-2822. Take an arts & culture break in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 11: Janis Heaphy Durham: The Hand on the Mirror; May 13: Comedian Brad Garrett: When the Balls Drop, Changing Hands Bookstore May 13:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 13: Lord Huron, Marquee Theater May 13: Art After Work: Starry Night a Gogh Gogh, Tempe Center for the Arts May 14: The History of War […]

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Family friendly restaurants in Tempe

Rainforest Cafe
May 7, 2015

There are so many delicious restaurants in Tempe. I never grow tired of the tasty options in our city. But which restaurants are the best to take my family? There are a few that are always a sure bet for good time, and a family-friendly atmosphere for the kiddos. Here my short list of family friendly restaurants in Tempe. If you know of any more, please add them to the list! 1. Ncounter: Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Ncounter has a yummy menu with lots of kid-friendly options. The relaxed atmosphere and “walk up and order” style is perfect for a family on the go. It’s waling distance from Tempe Town Lake, so it’s the perfect place to go before or after a visit to the lake. 310 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281 – Located on the corner of Third St. and Mill Ave. in Downtown Tempe (480) 968-9288 2. IKEA Tempe Bistro & Restaurant: A super casual environment, affordable prices and a “just for kids” dining area makes this a winner in my book. The kids corner area includes kid-sized dining tables and built-in toys to entertain your tot. After you finish your meal, walk it off while shopping! 2110 W Ikea Way, Tempe, AZ 85284 – Located off of I-10 and Warner Rd. (888) 888-4532 3. Rigatony’s Authentic Italian Restaurant: If your in the mood for a big Italian family dinner, look no further than Rigatony’s. My family has celebrated many birthdays and celebrations here, and every time we full […]

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Tempe events: See Spellbound at Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden
May 4, 2015

Here’s a suggestion for something to enjoy on a lovely May evening: see the Southwest Shakespeare Company’s premier of Spellbound at Desert Botanical Garden.  This musical fairy tale is the world premiere of an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and it’s loaded with drama and intrigue. There’s an evil stepmother and a father who is not much better, a wronged love, jealousy, revenge, magic potions, villains in disguise, a valiant heroine, all culminating in a live battle onstage and all set to music. You can see Spellbound in the Desert Botanical Garden Outdoor Event Plaza, Thursdays through Sundays, through May 24. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Southwest Shakespeare Company Box Office 480-435-6868. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 4: Adam Bray & Tricia Barr: Ultimate Star Wars, Changing Hands Bookstore May 5: Ballet Folklorico Alegria, Tempe Marketplace District Stage May 5: Cavalera Conspiracy, Marquee Theater May 6:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 7: Less than Jake & Reel Big Fish, Marquee Theater May 7- 9: Stray Cat Theatre Presents The Tomkat Project, Tempe Performing Arts Center May 7-10: Felipe Esparza, Tempe Improv May 7–10, 14–17, 21–24: Shakespeare at the Garden: Spellbound, a Musical Fairytale, Desert Botanical Garden May 8:  Finally Friday: Justin Olson; May 8: Class Clowns Comedy, Tempe Center for the Arts May 8: Houseblend, Tempe Center for […]

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Treat taco lovin’ taste buds to Taco Tuesday in Tempe

Taco Tuesday in Tempe
April 30, 2015

All you taco lovers (and who isn’t) will find your favorite savory filling tucked inside a tasty corn or flour tortilla in Tempe any day of the week. But, on Taco Tuesdays, you’ll find great deals that make them even more irresistible. Crispy or soft, basic or gourmet, you’ll find these tempting southwestern treats at great prices on any given Tuesday at these Tempe restaurants. Many also offer specials on margaritas or cervezas to accompany your favorite tacos. All have patios, so you can have your tacos and nice weather too, at least for a little while longer.   Blasted Barley Beer Company, 404 S. Mill Ave. Ste. 101, 480-967-5887 Tuesday is the only day of the week that Blasted Barley serves tacos. They’re big and delicious and worth waiting until Tuesday for. Choose from veggie, pork belly, grilled or fried fish, roasted green chili chicken and IPA chicken. Tacos are $3 and margs are $5. Devil’s Advocate, 955 E. University Dr., 480-921-2585 You’ll get your fill at these prices: $1 chicken, beef, and vegetarian tacos. $1.50 carnitas, $2 steak and $2.50 baja fish tacos. Domestic pints are $1 until 3 p.m.   Dos Gringos Patio Bar & Mexican Restaurant, 8000 S. Priest Rd., 480-753-4577 At Dos Gringos, Taco Tuesday is cause to celebrate with tacos and tequila specials all day. Tacos range from $1-$3. Tequila and all margaritas are $3. Plus Dos Gringos adds a little humor with Comedy Night every Tuesday featuring first timers and Improv veterans at 7:30 […]

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Big Surf Waterpark is big summer fun

Big Surf Waterpark
April 28, 2015

Summer is almost here and if you live in the greater Phoenix area, you know what that means: you’ll be spending many of your weekends at Big Surf Waterpark, which officially opens for the new summer season on Saturday, May 2. Find information about hours of operation and seasonal passes here. On Big Surf’s deal page, you can find more information about special offers such as half price admission for the first few three weekends in May (when you bring non perishable food for St. Mary’s Food Bank) and free admission for all moms on Mother’s Day. The great thing about Big Surf, other than it being a waterpark in the middle of the desert, is that they have something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or a daredevil. When it comes slides, there’s something there for you to enjoy. For those of you like me, who like a little adventure but are deathly afraid of those slides that drop straight down, you’ll love the Black Hole.  It’s a slide that’s completely enclosed so you can’t see what’s in front of you.  Every time you dip or turn, you’re caught off guard. For those who crave more of a thrill, the Hurricane Slides are an excellent choice. These are three body slides that are more of a straight drop. By far, the most popular attraction at Big Surf is the Waikiki Beach Wave Pool.  Did you know that it’s the third largest wave pool in North America?  It’s true. […]

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Tempe events: Stray Cat Theatre‘s The TomKat Project

TheTom Kat Project
April 27, 2015

Tempe events include Stray Cat Theatre’s presentation of The TomKat Project, a biting satire about the three-way marriage of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Scientology. Based on actual interviews and completely imagined scenes, seven actors portray 54 characters, including Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, Josh Hartnett, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Suri Cruise. We can always count on Stray Cat Theatre to bring us something that’s tinged with controversy, that goes beyond usual and mainstream. They’ve  done it again with this two act comedy by Brandon Ogborn that’s especially timely, coming to Tempe in the wake of the HBO aired the documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”  You can see The TomKat Project at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, located in Downtown Tempe, through  May 9. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.straycattheatre.com. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 27:  ASU Lyric Opera Theatre Musical Theatre Spring Showcase, ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre April 27: Matt & Kim, Marquee Theater April 27-28: [DE/AS]cending: An Evening of Theatrical Experiments, ASU Art Museum April 29: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night; Art After Work: Matisses’s The Goldfish, Tempe Center for the Arts April 29: ASU’s Rock Band Spring Class Concert, ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre April 29: ASU Creation Project: The Creation by Joseph Haydn, ASU […]

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