Top Food and Drink Spots in Phoenix, Arizona

If you’re in Phoenix, Arizona, and you want to know where to eat, ask a local Arizonian. We asked our guest blogger, actor John Way, to write about the top food and drink places in Phoenix, Arizona.

Paradise Valley Juice Works

Any review of my favorite places needs to start at the beginning.  My favorite hangout during high school and the place I still sneak in for an awesome smoothie when in town.  Run by a great family; it’s just a fun place to hang out with friends and get a snack. I have pretty much tried every smoothie on the menu.  They use real fruit and make a mean tuna sandwich.  Consuming some sugar here got me through many a rehearsal!

Palette at Phoenix Art Museum

I have been going to the Phoenix Art Museum since I was a kid; it was a place our family would frequently visit, and I have continued to be inspired by their art and film. It is a great space.  Since I seem to always work up an appetite, I love their in-house restaurant, Palette. My recommendation is to try any of the salads.  And if you can snag an outside seat in the sculpture garden, go for it!


Love this place. One of my favorite high school hangouts and I never miss it on my trips back home.  When we were filming in Phoenix, I made many a stop here.  If you are going for a pizza this is a great place to get one with healthy ingredients and a salad. I love the meaty pizzas, but their salads are awesome. They even make Kale taste good. I still find a chance to eat here regularly and have also done takeout during the pandemic.

Paz Catina

This is a favorite, especially to hang out during First Fridays in downtown Phoenix. It is an artsy spot that has a great vibe and awesome carnitas. And it is right on Roosevelt Row, the epicenter of First Fridays.  But my favorites are the street tacos…and the beans are excellent as well.  Good to hang out with a group when you are in a creative mode.

Sugar Bowl

OK, anyone who says they don’t slip into the Sugar Bowl occasionally is lying.  While I visited regularly in my younger years, I still address my sugar cravings with a trip to this classic Scottsdale hangout.  Not the place for the health-conscious, but if you are going to splurge, go with the best.

The Original Gyros Express

This was the place to visit to solve an appetite issue on a budget. Again, run by one of my favorite families; I’m always welcomed by a familiar face. I still order the Gyros Salad as a staple, but often add in some moussaka to make a meal. It is a small place and gives off a great family vibe.


About John and Sweet Sunshine

John Way is a classically trained actor and has won several national awards for his work in Shakespeare productions. He now finds himself playing a variety of film roles from country singer (Sweet Sunshine) to cowboy (The Boardinghouse Reach, due out in 2021), and has guest-starred in the Amazon Prime series The Romanoffs. John is also slated to start filming the Amazon Original movie Master soon.

Sweet Sunshine‘s successful run at the theaters was cut short by COVID-19 but has been doing extremely well on streaming platforms.  It can be rented on both Amazon Prime and TUBI tv. It has won several film festival awards for its music, and John has also received an award for Best Actor.

John was born in London and raised in Tokyo and is now based in New York. He spent his high school years in Phoenix, the place he considers to be his American home. He still makes many trips back to see family and hit up his favorite restaurants and nightspots.

John is a National YoungArts award winner, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon. He is also certified by the Royal Academy of Dance and has singing awards from Classical Singer magazine competitions.

When he’s not treading the boards, John likes to spend his free time training in the ring. He’s a fan of Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and Mixed Martial-Arts (MMA). He never met a critter he didn’t love and has written a series of children’s adventure stories based on a universe run by dogs.

He can be followed on Instagram @johngriffithway.