September 24, 2021

suspensionespresso

Cooking is a hobby

Best Restaurants & Bars Near Phoenix Suns Arena: Where to Eat & Drink

The Phoenix Suns haven’t been in the NBA Finals in nearly 30 years—so it’s time to celebrate. Whether you’re a local lucky enough to be headed downtown to catch a game or a Phoenix newbie flying in to experience the finals, you’re going to want to enjoy your evening with a great meal, so we’ve rounded up our top picks for the best restaurants near Talking Stick Resort Arena to keep you fed before or after the game. From nationally recognized pizza to local beer hotspots, we have you covered. 

The Arrogant Butcher has been a downtown dining mainstay for a decade thanks to its close proximity to Talking Stick Resort arena and Chase Field. If stadium hot dogs and pretzels aren’t your thing, you’ll love the variety provided by the eatery’s menu which truly offers something for everyone—from oysters to cheeseburgers to filet mignon. Just don’t forget to pair whatever you choose with a craft cocktail—we like the After School Special with raspberry tea-infused Jose Cuervo, ginger agave, and lime, finished with a Modelo Especial. 

Hanny’s is a department store-turned trendy restaurant and bar best known for its collection of creepy basement dolls. Yes, really. Must-see playthings aside, Hanny’s is a great all-around eatery with an even better craft cocktail program. Pair a Hot Honey Pepperoni pizza with a traditional-style Maker’s Manhattan for an unforgettable pre-game meal.

Hotel restaurants can be hit or miss—but this one is an undeniable hit. The straightforward menu is elevated yet approachable with dishes like the short rib, grilled chicken club, and lobster macaroni and cheese. Plus, a visit to Blue Hound means you can skip the overpriced stadium beers and opt for a seasonal cocktail. Our current favorite is The Campfire, a summer-appropriate libation made with Four Roses bourbon, herbal smoke, and becherovka served neat. 

The newest Blanco Tacos + Tequila restaurant is our favorite yet with its trendsetting, vibrant decor and convenient downtown Phoenix location. It’s hard to go wrong with Mexican food in Phoenix, but Blanco is a true Arizona staple developed by famed restaurateur Sam Fox. We recommend the award-winning slow cooked barbecue pork tacos or the short rib machaca burrito paired with an order of warm queso and an ice-cold margarita.

You can’t talk pizza in Arizona—or maybe even restaurants—without mentioning the legendary Pizzeria Bianco developed by James Beard award-winning chef Chris Bianco. Fortunately for visitors and residents alike, the original location is just half a mile away from Talking Stick Resort Arena. Everything on the menu is unforgettable—just do us a favor and skip the salads and sandwiches for any of the six crispy, thin crust pizza pies. 

This Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives-featured restaurant is a retro haven that has enough activity going on to keep you occupied—big game or not. And while the atmosphere is a major draw, the food and drinks are fantastic too. In fact, the mac and cheese muffins alone are worth stopping in for. Plus, there’s gluten-free and vegan options to keep everyone in your party happy and fed. The cocktails are just as fun as the food—with options like the Hillbilly Tea made with Jack Daniels Honey, homemade lemonade, and a splash of iced tea. 

Nashville-style hot chicken has been sweeping the nation and one of Phoenix’s best spots for the spicy delicacy is Monroe’s. The simple menu offers the perfect pre-beer meal—think chicken tenders or a fried chicken sandwich paired with Southern slaw or cornbread mac and cheese. Not a fan of spice? The restaurant offers Southern style with no heat—then ramps up the heat with five spicy options ranging from mild to ‘What Da Cluck!’ 

This Phoenix newcomer is worth the hype with a lineup of luxurious yet game-appropriate dishes like the 24 karat gold-covered chicken wings coming in at $60 for 10 wings. More approachable dining options include the specialty macaroni and cheese burger, variety of flatbreads, and nachos. Even if you’re not headed to the game, The Ainsworth has been hosting can’t-miss watch parties for home games complete with a DJ and drumline. 

Few things pair as perfectly with pre-game jitters as an ice-cold local brew. In fact, the brewery even released a new Phoenix Suns inspired IPA—the ‘Suds In Four’ Cold IPA. Or, calm your nerves with one of State 45 Brewery’s more than a dozen other beers. When it comes to food, you can’t go wrong with the hearty Meatloaf Melt or State 48 Burger made with Cheddar cheese, pickles, IPA-Sriracha glazed bacon, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a brioche bun. 

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Jamie Killin is a Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate who specializes in lifestyle and features writing. You can usually find her at the spin studio, a concert, or trying new restaurants across the Valley. Follow her at @jamiefayekillin.