Hi friends. Happy 2018! This year has been off to a pretty great start if you ask me. One of the things that has made it so great so far for me is the fact that I’ve been playing tourist in my own city a bit more. When you’ve lived somewhere your entire life, things can start to feel very mundane. Everything starts to look and feel the same and you start to get a little restless. That is, if you let it. When you play tourist in your own city, you’d be surprised at how many cool spots you might end up discovering. While exploring Phoenix, I’ve found some pretty awesome “hipster” spots. Now, hipster sounds so pretentious but let’s be honest, these spots make for some pretty great instagram pics. In fact, some of them have made them to my blog about the best Instagram spots in Phoenix (that you can find here). So I figured I’d share them with you guys. Whether you’re visiting or you’re an Arizona native like myself, I think you might learn something new.
If you follow me on social media or have checked out the blog, you probably know that I’m kind of a book snob. Growing up, reading was one of my favorite things to do. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s harder to find the time to sit down and enjoy a good book. However, I have made it a goal for myself in 2018 to read a new book every single week. And what’s a better place to find a good read than at a used bookstore. Now you’re probably thinking, “what’s so special about a used bookstore?” I’ll tell you. Bookmans started in Tucson, Arizona in 1976 and quickly became a gold mine for records, instruments, CDs, comic books, novels, jewelry, video games, and more. Honestly I could spend hours just browsing the shelves, finding my next book to read or an old school coffee table book. You don’t have to be a book nerd like me to appreciate Bookmans, that’s for sure.
Okay so if you’ve seen my Instagram or read my blog post about the best indoor plants, you might have put together the fact that in the last year or so I’ve become quite the plant lover. There’s just something about the way they tie a room together that can’t be beat. Hell, add a plant on a desk and bam, it’s a whole new space. But that’s besides the point. One of the first plant spaces that I found in Phoenix that makes for some serious vibes is the Bosque located on Roosevelt Row right in the heart of downtown. Here you will find a small room filled with life. I mean, just look at this place.
Run by Michael, the owner of the Bosque, the Pueblo is the newest addition to the plant community. When the Bosque became too small, The Pueblo was open just 10 blocks away. Here you will find tropical and desert native plants that will be the perfect addition to your space.To top it off, the greenhouse is killer.
When I think of “hipster” in Phoenix, my mind immediately goes to Roosevelt Row. In fact, as I mentioned right above this, the Bosque is located right on Roosevelt Row. Here you will find endless amounts of coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. The best part is the fact that there are always events going on. You’ll find festivals, flea markets, and my favorite: first Friday. From 6-11 every first Friday of the month, you will find the street lined with vendors and musicians and the streets littered with people. And the best part is that it’s free. How can you beat that?
Any Mad Men fans reading this? If not, stop what you’re doing and go watch it right this second. Okay maybe finish this blog first and then go watch it. If you are, this hotel is perfect for you. The minute you step through the door, you will be transported back to the 70’s. It’s the perfect combination of mid-century and contemporary. With it’s bright colors and retro furniture, you’re never going to want to leave. Whether you decide to stay at the hotel or just stop by to visit the bar or pool (one of my favorite things to do here in the summer), it’s definitely a spot worth checking out.
This place sound familiar? It should because I’ve mentioned it a couple of times. I first stayed at the Saguaro in Palm Springs and when I learned there was one in Scottsdale, I knew I had to go. Much like the Valley Ho, it’s extremely retro with it’s rainbow colors and neon decor. It’s also located right in the heart of Oldtown Scottsdale where you will find restaurants, bars, and rows on rows of shopping. If you’re looking to soak up some of the endless Arizona sun, it’s the perfect spot to lay out a towel, sip on a margarita, and take a dip in the pool. In fact, there’s a very good chance you’ll find me here all summer long.
Okay so I’ve lived in Arizona my entire life and had heard nothing but amazing things about Lux yet I had never been. That is until last week. I decided to stop by and see what the hype is all about. I have to admit, it’s one of the most unique coffee shops I have ever been to. With chairs, booths, and tables everywhere you look, there’s a lot of space which is surprising because it doesn’t look like much from the street. However, even with all the seating and space, this place always seems to be busy. And with good reason. You can get full blown meals (I’m talking a steak dinner), pastries, a cup of coffee, or a cocktail. They’ve got a little bit of everything and it’s the perfect spot to sit and get some work done. If it were closer to my house, I’d be here every single day working.
I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t love tacos and margs and Diego Pops knows how to do both very very well. It’s quickly become one of my favorite places for happy hour. $5 house margaritas and 1/2 off appetizers? Count me in. Their carne asada and chicken tacos are to die for. And to top it off, everything about the place is insta worthy. From the neon sign on the wall to the fun flooring, to the lit up patio. Everything about this atmosphere will keep you coming back.
So I gave you a cool Mexican spot so naturally I have to give you a good pizza spot. Not only is the pizza delicious but Hanny’s has one hell of a history. Built in 1947, Hanny’s was a 3 story department store and was one of the biggest department stores in Phoenix until it’s closure in 1986. It was then used as a training center for firefighters for awhile until 2008 when, after a 3 year renovation, it became the restaurant that it is today. The three stories are still open to the public. On the third floor you will find neon lit mirrors (which make for one hell of a photoshoot) and in the basement you will find the creepiest part of it all. Dolls in a cage. Not entirely sure why they’re there but it’s definitely an interesting sight to see after dinner…
When you first see Welcome, you might be a little confused. It’s a very small spot tucked away in a neighborhood in downtown Phoenix. But don’t let it’s appearance fool you. This small little spot is a 1940’s Valentine Diner that was built in Kansas. Originally located on Route 66 in Williams, AZ the diner was moved to Roosevelt Row in 1979 and became the well known spot it is today. Known for it’s southern meets American cuisine, their food has my mouth watering just thinking about it. My personal favorite happens to be the Little Birdy and the mac and cheese. For those out there who are vegetarian or vegan, the jackfruit fries are incredible. And that’s coming from someone who is very passionate about meat.
Wow. Another coffee shop. Who would’ve thought on a hipster list of places to go? And guess where it’s located? Roosevelt Row. In fact, maybe I should’ve just written this whole post about Roosevelt Row alone. But this is the perfect spot to stop by to get a vanilla latte and pastry, enjoy the weather on the outdoor patio, and get some work done. During the week, this place is a bit more lowkey than Lux which means there’s a very good chance you’ll be able snag a spot. However, it can be a bit crammed during the weekends so keep that in mind!
Now, I’ve been to my fair share of local concerts but Valley Bar might be one of my favorite venues that I’ve been to thus far. Now I’m apparently behind the times because this seems to be the spot to hang out but I’ve only been a couple of times and they were more recent. Whether a favorite local artist of yours is playing here or you just feel like celebrating the weekend, this is the perfect spot to grab a drink. If you go on the site, the first thing you’ll see is their happy hour (which includes very cheap food and drinks), their weekly specials (free games and trivia), and a calendar of events (lots of good music). There’s always something going on and you aren’t going to want to miss it.
Everyday I’m finding new spots to visit. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there ends up being a part 2.. and 3.. and 4 to this. Are there any spots that you know of that I need to check out? Also, if you like this, pin it to Pinterest so you don’t lose it. Until next time. XO