Get Back to Lunch in Downtown Phoenix

Local restaurateurs are a force for a reimagined dining scene

by Devney Preuss

There’s no disputing that 2020 has pushed us to rethink the way we live, work and play. It has also left us with an insatiable appetite for the things we relish. High up on that list is taking in a leisurely midday break with colleagues and friends to catch up over a delicious alfresco lunch on an airy patio.

Much like its namesake, which is known for rebirth and reinvigoration, Phoenix’s downtown core is resurging — especially on the dining scene!

For the past several months, restaurateurs across the four corners of Downtown Phoenix, many of whom live mere steps away from their establishments, have been busy reimagining and reengineering how to satiate our appetites for the things we miss most — good food, great drinks and the unique vibe only Downtown Phoenix can bring.

Delivering upon a vibrant and healthy downtown that creates enriching and engaging experiences, Phoenix’s city center is full of life and provides a safety-conscious escape from the confines of what have become monotonous, daily routines.

From a quick dash for a delicious pizza, to a relaxed break in the fresh air and sunshine far away from Zoom meetings, to a much-needed catch-up meal with a colleague not seen in months, to a family lunch after a visit to one of our many cultural venues, Downtown Phoenix offers up dynamic and delicious midday meal options in the city.

The Churchill, located on the northeast corner of N. First and E. Garfield streets, has become a must-visit dining and retail destination. With a hip food court vibe, it’s home to Freak Brothers Pizza and Provecho, two of the most fun and high-energy restaurants in the city — perfect for a midday pick-me-up. 

Freak Brothers is known for creating edible art on blank canvases of handmade organic dough covered with simple, fresh ingredients and baked in a locally built wood-fired oven. The must-try pie? The Garden Pesto Pizza, which is a farm-fresh, vibrant combo that starts with a pesto base and is topped with tangy banana peppers, spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and mozzarella. The oil in the pesto gives the crust an extra flaky, delicious texture and each bite is so full even carnivores will forget there’s no meat on it. 

While at The Churchill, patrons should also check out Provecho to indulge in true Central Mexican flavors and styles, which are made with locally sourced, high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Among the most craveable creations is the ceviche with fresh shrimp, fish, cucumber and serrano peppers served with tostadas and saltines.

The Larry, a unique restaurant and catering concept in the Warehouse District, is a gateway to healthy, comfortable and eclectic cravings from sit-down meals to grab-and-go options. One of the finest culinary delights is the Chicken Katsu Torta, which is a traditional Mexican dish with a Japanese twist. Created by Chef Gustavo of Kaizen, the sushi concept takes over The Larry’s kitchen in the evenings. Featuring chicken katsu, traditional torta veggies and tonkatsu sauce, served along with house-made togarashi potato chips and escabeche, this sandwich is the perfect example of The Larry’s menu: familiar, but never boring! The Chicken Katsu Torta will leave diners longing for their next visit.   

The Churchill
901 N. First St., Phoenix

Freak Brothers
at The Churchill

at The Churchill
(602) 466-2279

The Larry
515 E. Grant St., Phoenix
(602) 432-0752

Garden Pesto Pizza [Freak Brothers]

A pesto base topped with tangy banana peppers, spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and mozzarella

Ceviche [Provecho]

Fresh shrimp, fish, cucumber and serrano peppers, served with tostadas and saltines

Chicken Katsu Torta [The Larry]

Chicken katsu, traditional torta veggies and tonkatsu sauce, served with house-made togarashi potato chips and escabeche

Did You Know: There are more than 200 restaurants within the 1.7-square-mile Downtown Phoenix Redevelopment Area.

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