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Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

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Naples, Maine
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Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

Several of us from Maine are going to a conference in Phoenix. We're staying at the Residence Inn near the airport. We would greatly appreciate it if someone could recommend a great Mexican Resaurant in that area? We're not renting a car so it would need to be close to the Residence. (801 North 44th Street, Phoenix.) Thanks for the help!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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1. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

There isn't one. Mostly just hotel food in that area. However, you can all take the light rail and get a tour of the downtown area before it heads north to Central Ave and Indian School Rd where you can eat at Woody's Macayo, an institution for more than 60 years. A very colorful place and the food is always solid. Should only take about 15 minutes to get there by rail.

Chandler, Arizona
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2. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

I've never been to it, but this restaurant (Los Jarritos) came up when I searched Google maps in the area (and it gets good reviews):

https:/…

Along with Macayo's downtown, as mentioned, the Depot Cantina in Tempe is another great choice. Same restaurant, but the location is near ASU. It could get busy, depending on time of day/day of week. Take the light rail east to Mill Ave. Then backtrack, and the tracks will practically take you to their door.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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3. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

Sometimes a google search isn't the best source of information. We don't know what time of the day or night you plan to eat but the walk down to the light rail will be a straight route along well lit 44th St. It will be shorter and as mentioned you can take the light rail to very safe places to eat. The walk along Van Buren past 46th St. will be along commercial parks on both sides which will be dark at night. You will have to cross two feeder roads to the 143 and then walk under the over pass. This will put you east of it which can be a sketchy neighborhood. In addition you will get to see some of the city and mountains on the rail which you won't be able to see from your hotel as it is right next to the 202 freeway.

Edited: 10:29 am, October 12, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

Macayo's is a good choice. There's also Barrio Cafe at 16th St and Thomas. The chef/owner Silvana Salcido Esparza serves excellent, authentic Mexican food. Everything on the menu is delicious; we especially love the tableside prepared guacamole as an appetizer. Barrio Cafe is about 5 miles from your hotel, so you'd have to get a cab, but it would be worth it, especially if there are several of you splitting the cost.

http://barriocafe.com/more.html

Discount Cab is 602-200-2000 or http://discountcab.com/

Speaking of which, if you plan to do any sightseeing at all, you might consider renting a car for at least a day. Metro Phoenix is very spread out, and our public transportation system is rather poor, and cab fares can add up quickly. The light rail is good if you're planning to go to downtown Phoenix or Tempe, but it won't get you up to Scottsdale or other outlying areas.

Have a great trip!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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5. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

If you do rent a car (don't know how many in your group or time of day or night) your options open up immensely. I will bump up a thread for you that contains at least 17 recommendations, all good, from many long time respected local posters It mistakenly refers to "Mex-Tex" which doesn't exist.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

Please come back if you have any question about any of these place. There will be at least one local who will be able to tell you how to get there, and describe everything from the chips and salsa to the flan.

In addition, depending on your time you will be able to see some of the amazing things to see and do here. Check up to on top for the "Things to Do" list.

Edited: 4:24 pm, October 12, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

I guess the answer depends upon what you are looking for. The typical gringo Mexican that is typified by Macayo. Macayo topped the New Times Weekly list of "worst Mexican restaurants" last year, suggesting that it represented "everything evil about bland, artery-busting Meximerican food in the Valley". If you are looking for something not fancy but more authentic, I would suggest Pepe's Taco Villa at 2108 W Camelback Rd. It is about 3 blocks from the 19th Ave/Camelback light rail stop. It isn't in the greatest neighborhood but in a group there shouldn't be any problems. For fancier fare the above-mentioned Barrio Cafe is a winner, and the Gallo Blanco Cafe at the Clarendon Hotel (401 W Clarendon Ave,) gets very good reviews.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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8. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

While I could recommend the incendiary Hatch chilies from Arriba at 18thSt and Camelback Rd. I think Macayo with its balanced, middle of the road food, helpful friendly service and brilliant atmosphere would probably be better suited to the tastes of those from Maine. Probably being inexperience with the real Southwestern versions, I doubt they would be happy with a meal that will make their make-up drip off their faces.

PS: Rat, haven't several people said Pepe's is closed?

Edited: 4:58 pm, October 12, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

I agree with Rat, Gallo Blanco Cafe is another good choice! I always forget about Gallo; I'm not often in that particular area. They were packed the last time we were there.

There's also Fuego Cityscape, which is in downtown Phoenix near Washington and 1st Street, and is easily accessible using the light rail. They have excellent tacos! The green chili cornbread is delicious, too.

fuegobistro.com/fuegocityscape/menu.html

Now I'm gonna have to go eat Mexican for dinner, all this talk is making me hungry! ;)

Naples, Maine
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10. Re: Need Restaurant Suggestions for Phoenix Airport area

Thanks for all your replies! There's about 4 of us and we don't have a car. We'll definately look into the rail because we actually have 7 hrs to kill between when the conference ends and when our flight leaves.

Thanks again for all the info!

From everyone actually !!!! These posts have been awesome!