Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: Ukulele phenom Jake Shimabukuro

Tempe Improv
July 6, 2015

Tempe events include Ukulele phenom Jake Shimabukuro at the Marquee Theatre on July 10. Believe me, in the hands of this nimble fingered virtuoso and composer, the ukulele is pretty much unrecognizable as the humble instrument normally associated with mellow Hawaiian music. It’s definitely not Don Ho. Jake Shimabukuro was born in Hawaii and began playing the ukulele at age four. He was well-known in Japan and Hawaii during the early 2000s. Then in 2006, a video of him playing a virtuosic rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became one of the first viral videos on YouTube and catapulted him to international fame. He has been compared to Jimmy Hendrix and Miles Davis, declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone and won praise from Eddie Vedder, Perez Hilton and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He’s performed on the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Last Call With Carson Daly “and  “The Today Show.” You can see Jake Shimabukuro at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on July 10 at 8 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.luckymanonline.com. Find cool comfort at these great arts and culture events in Tempe. View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. July 10: Monique Marvez, Tempe Improv July 10: Jake Shimabukuro, Marquee Theatre July 10: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Belkind, Robles and Floyd, Tempe Center for the Arts July 10:  Finally Friday:  Cottonwood Stone, Tempe Center for the Arts July 10-11: Chris Franjola, Tempe Improv July […]

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Add spice to your life at Tempe’s Thai restaurants

Tasty Thai
July 2, 2015

When my tummy tells me it’s time for Thai, I don’t have to go far to find my favorite authentic Thai dishes.  Tempe has so many great family-owned and operated restaurants that making a choice is the main challenge. You can be sure that the food is authentic, fresh and prepared from favorite family recipes. The menus offer a variety of dishes with and without meat.  This means that vegetarians can enjoy a great meal with their meat lovin’ friends and/or family members, and vice versa. You can also find plenty of gluten-free options. There may be similarities among these restaurants, but each one has its own unique take on Thai. They all deliver a rich blend of hot, sour, sweet, salty and smidge of bitter. Here are a few of my favorites, but this by no means is a complete list. If you have a favorite Thai place, please let us know so we can experience it too. Thai Basil ASU 111 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, Arizona 85281 (480) 557-0101 One of my favorite Thai Basil dishes is the tom-kah, or coconut soup.  This heavenly concoction is made with coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, roasted chili and mushrooms. As with most Thai dishes you have a choice of meat. The tom-kai is addicting.  I could make a meal out of it alone. However, I also love Thai Basil’s red curry and always order it as well.  Besides, ordering both insures that I’ll have leftovers to take […]

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Tempe events: July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival

July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival
June 29, 2015

Tempe events include the big July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival this Saturday. Anyone who has lived here for a while knows that Tempe puts on a show-stopping fireworks spectacular that is one of the biggest in the state. The Kiwanis Club of Tempe has been putting on this pyrotechnic spectacular for more than 60 years. Gates open at 5 p.m. for all the fun pre-fireworks activities that include lots of local bands, the Geico Family Fun Fest, food court with all kinds of yummy 4th of July fare and the refreshing Splash Playground. All of this activity sets the mood for the final event. The rousing, awe-inspiring fireworks extravaganza set to patriotic and classical music that explodes over Tempe Town Lake from 9:15 to 10 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $5.00 through July 3 at City of Tempe outlets and  for $6 at Fry’s stores throughout the Valley . Tickets will be available at the gate for $8 (or 2 tickets for $15) starting at 5 p.m. on July 4th (until park reaches capacity). Children 12 and under are free. Entry is free for anyone showing an active military ID. For event details, ticket prices and ticket outlets, visit www.tempe4th.com. See the lineup below for more suggestions for cool entertainment this week or view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. July 1: Doug Loves Movies Live Podcast, Tempe Improv July 1: John Butler Trio, Marquee Theatre July 2-5: April Macie, Tempe Improv July […]

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Try these new Tempe Marketplace restaurants

Noodles and Company at Tempe Marketplace
June 26, 2015

With all the changes happening lately in Tempe, it can be hard to keep up with all the news. We’ve seen a lot of restaurants that have opened recently, including Postino Annex, Snooze and Culinary Dropout at The Yard Tempe. Tempe Marketplace has also added new restaurants to their mix. In addition to favorites such as Dave & Buster’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill and Bar Louie, newcomers Mad Greens and Noodles & Company are the newest Tempe Marketplace restaurants. Later this year, they’ll also be opening Nekter Juice Bar. MAD Greens 2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1215 Tempe, AZ 85281 602-283-3901 MAD Greens at Tempe Marketplace is one of this Colorado restaurant chain’s first Arizona locations. Founded in 2004, the folks at MAD Greens believe that “eating better can be a tasty, crazy fun, crazy interesting and crazy personal experience.” They works with farms to make sure all the produce used to make their salads is as fresh as possible. But they’re not just about salads. You can also find wraps, paninis, soups and fresh juice. We love the Siam I Am, a protein power salad that’s made with quinoa, chicken, kale, green onions, spinach and a ginger dressing. We also recommend getting the Bright Buzz, a delicious juice made with apple, banana, bee pollen, carrot, pineapple and lime. Ordering online is a convenient option for those pressed for time. Nekter Juice Bar Opening Soon! Coming soon to Tempe Marketplace, Nekter Juice Bar is planning to open […]

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Get Veggie Happy at these Tempe Vegetarian Restaurants

Pita Jungle
June 23, 2015

I have been on a dairy-free diet for almost a year now, and it can sometimes be difficult to dine out. I typically have the best luck at vegetarian and vegan restaurants, or restaurants with vegan options, and lucky for me, Tempe has a great selection! Not only do these Tempe restaurants feature vegetarian and vegan dishes, but several offer organic and locally sourced ingredients as well. My tummy is full and happy at these Tempe vegetarian restaurants: Green New American Vegetarian – 2240 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 941-9003 Green is a 100% vegan restaurant serving delicious comfort foods with an international twist. This walk-up and order restaurant has a casual, trendy vibe with affordable prices. Po-boys, crisp salads and noodle bowls are made with fresh, vegan ingredients, including 100% vegan cheeses and mock meats. My favorites include the balsamic picnic salad and the coconut curry bowl…yum. There are also several sweet treats to choose from (bonus!). 24 Carrots – 1701 E. Guadalupe Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 (480) 753-4411 24 Carrots features a delicious vegetarian menu using as many organic and locally sourced ingredients as possible. The menu includes a selection of salads, soups, bowls and sandwiches as well as a coffee bar and fresh smoothies and juices. The vegan hot chocolate is the best I’ve ever tried, and it perfectly satisfied my sweet tooth. All of the sandwiches are tasty, my favorite being the bountiful burger basket, a weekly special burger made from seasonal, fresh vegetarian ingredients. Desert […]

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Tempe events: Super Summer at Tempe History Museum

Tempe History Museum
June 22, 2015

Tempe events include Super Summer Adventures at The Tempe History Museum. The whole family can escape the heat and make their own kind of music on Wild Wednesdays and Super Saturdays through July 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids will not only beat the heat, they will beat the drums and other musical instruments while enjoying  special hands-on activities, crafts, games  and performances by local musicians that follow the musical themes of the day. Participants experience a variety of musical themes, including bluegrass, mariachi, rock, classical strings, jazz, multicultural drums and modern classical woodwinds. These free Super Summer Adventures are part of the Tempe History Museum’s year of music featuring The Tempe Sound exhibition.  Groups of more than 10 people need to make a reservation in advance. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information, visit the Tempe History Museum website, or call (480) 350-5100. Keep your cool at these great arts and culture events taking place in Tempe this week. View a complete listing of Tempe events or call 480-894-8158 June 23: Megan Kimble: Unprocessed: My city- Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food, Changing Hands Bookstore June 25: Peppermint James; June 26: Donnie Sands; Narcoleptic Spiders, Tempe Marketplace District Stage June 25: Uno-Dos; June 26: Hawkeye, Acoustic Duo; Tempe Marketplace Barnes & Noble Fountain June 25-27: Erik Griffin with Mo Mandel, Tempe Improv June 26: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Ernie Green and Funny Friends, Tempe Center for the Arts June 26:  Finally Friday: Jenny Jarnagin, Tempe Center for the Arts June 26: […]

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Tempe nightlife is full of music and laughs

Marquee Theatre
June 18, 2015

A typical Saturday night consists of me in my PJ’s, cuddled up on the couch, and binge watching my newest Netflix obsession; however, when I do choose to take a night out on the town, I typically don’t go straight to the bars. I want a bit of entertainment as well. So, I have come up with a few Tempe nightlife options that will make your next night on the town a lot more fun! Marquee Theatre Marquee Theatre is one of Tempe’s top performing entertainment venues. With over 150 performances a year, Marquee Theatre brings in some of the biggest names in the music industry today. With shows like Flogging Molly, Motion City Soundtrack, Sam Smith, and Bastille, Marquee Theatre is the place to catch all your favorite bands when they come into town. Tickets are available in person, online, or by phone. 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 480-829-0607 Tempe Improv If you feel like tickling your funny bone, head over to the legendary Tempe Improv. Tempe Improv brings some of the hottest talents from around the country and puts them center stage right here in Tempe. A two-drink minimum is required for all ticket holders. 930 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 480-921-9877 Tempe Marketplace There is nothing that I love more than being outdoors and enjoying live music. Tempe Marketplace shares local talents every Friday and Saturday at their District Stage and the Barnes and Noble Fountain.  Sit back and experience local musicians (and sometimes national […]

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4th of July Fun in Tempe

July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival
June 16, 2015

The summer is well under way here in Tempe, and that means it’s time to start making plans for the July 4th, 2015! Always one of my favorite holidays, this year is sure to be another fun year with lots of places to choose from to watch the sky sparkle with fireworks of every color. Here is a list of my favorite spots for 4th of July Fun in Tempe: FOX 10 July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival produced by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe Head to Tempe Beach Park for this spectacular annual event! The gates open at 5 p.m. and the fun and entertainment are packed into the evening through 11 p.m. The Kiwanis Club of Tempe always presents one of the the best fireworks show in the Phoenix Metro area, and this year will be no different! Everyone will get a good view since the fireworks are shot from the Mill Avenue bridge. The spectacular fireworks show, scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m., will be choreographed to patriotic and classical music. Get there early to enjoy the Family Fun Fest including an inflatable village for all ages with a variety of rides and rock climbing walls. There will be live local music, rock climbing walls, kid’s activities, games, a food court and of course, lots of time to cool off at the Tempe Beach Splash Playground. General admission advance tickets are $5, or $8 at the gate. Or purchase tickets for $6 for adults at all Fry’s stores, and children 12 and under […]

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Tempe events: Gallery at TCA opens Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
June 15, 2015

Tempe events include the opening of the Gallery at TCA’ summer exhibition, Birds of a Feather. The exhibition celebrates  birds that make Arizona home or a migration stop  while en route to some exotic location. Featured artists come from Arizona and the United States and work with a variety of media ranging from nature photography to abstract sculpture. Artists include: Jake Early, Vern E. Fetz, Edward Kennefick, Phil Lichtenhan, Farraday Newsome, Anne Peyton, Barbara Rudolph, Beth Shook, Nathaniel Smalley, Walter E. Bohl, Talmond Brown, Jack DeLap, Kojo Griffin, Ikki Matsumoto, Paul Pletka and Wanxin Zhang. Families can keep cool and participate in a series of free weekly Arts and Sciencees Family Workshops held in conjunction with the exhibition on Saturdays, noon to 2 p.m. from June 20 through August 1. Advanced birders and those new to birding will enjoy the free Lifelong Learning series featuring informal discussions about Arizona birds given by local experts. The series programs take place at 5 p.m. on select Fridays in June, July and August. For more information on the Birds of a Feather exhibition and events, visit the Gallery at TCA website or call 480-350-2822. It’s hot out there, but you’ll stay cool at these entertaining indoor arts/culture events in Tempe this week. View a complete listing of Tempe events or call 480-894-8158 June 17: Stephanie Kegan: Golden State, Changing Hands Bookstore June 17: E-40, Marquee Theatre June 17-July 25: Super Summer Adventures at Tempe History Museum, Tempe History Museum June 18: Jonathan Psenka: Psenka’s Allergy Solutio, Changing […]

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Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Tempe

Los Reyes de la Torta
June 11, 2015

BBQ and Kansas City, Jambalaya and New Orleans, Coffee and Seattle, Mexican food and Tempe. Some things just go together. Tempe, Arizona has a wealth of Mexican food eateries, from quick-service options like America’s Taco Shop, to trendy, nightlife hotspots El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria and Loco Patron, to mainstays like Rosita’s and Restaurant Mexico that have been in Tempe for decades. It’s hard to choose a favorite. So, I’ve decided to focus on the best family-owned Mexican restaurants in Tempe. Here’s the scoop about the dishes that the Tempe Tourism Office team order again and again. If we don’t mention your favorite dish or your favorite Tempe Mexican restaurant, please tell us what we’re missing. We’d love to know about it. Casa Reynoso One of the most crave-worthy Mexican restaurants in Tempe is Casa Reynoso. This family owned business is an extension of family’s first venture into the restaurant business in Globe, Arizona. Now solely located in metro Phoenix, the Reynoso family continues to do what they do best – share their family recipes with all of us. You’ll have trouble deciding between their carne asada dishes, chimichangas, tacos and burros. But, one way to sample of their best menu options is combination #8: an enchilada, burro and chile relleno. Que bueno! 3138 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ, 85282 (480) 966-0776 La Fonda Mexican Restaurant & Cantina La Fonda has been in Tempe since 1967, although they moved to their new location on Baseline just east of McClintock a few years ago. Their […]

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