A student’s guide to eating around Tempe

We’ve all been there, you want to go out to eat, but with so many choices, you don’t even know where to begin. Sometimes you just need someone to say, “Eat here. Do it.” So here they are, the next six places where you can eat a satisfactory meal for around $15.

Haji-Baba

1513 E. Apache Blvd. Tempe

If Middle-Eastern is what you crave, you would be hard-pressed to find a better venue in the Tempe area than this restaurant and market. It is perfect for a short lunch break, as it is conveniently located on the light rail route. This place is a favorite among Yelpers for its affordability and chicken shawarma.

 

 
Great Harvest Bread Company

1730 E. Warner Rd. Tempe

As you’ve probably figured out by now, the specialty here is baked goods, the selections of which vary depending on the day of the week. If you need something a little more substantial though, the menu offers classic soups and sandwiches, along with coffee and tea that make for a warm, relaxing meal. Basically, expect what you would find from a Paradise Bakery, but better.

The Chuckbox

202 E. University Dr. Tempe

A familiar sight to ASU students that walk to class from the light rail, this restaurant is a simple burger joint that looks like something out of “Deliverance.” Appropriately so, as the made-to-order food here is sure to have you squealing like a pig, whether seated inside or out on the patio. This place is great for people-watching in between classes, but it’s cash-only, so come prepared.

Ncounter

310 S. Mill Ave. Tempe

This new addition to the Tempe brunch scene, if that indeed exists, hits Mill Avenue with the drastic modernity that only relentless quadrangular design themes can create. When it comes to food, its menu includes early afternoon favorites like eggs benedict and mimosas, as well as some interesting reinterpretations of classics, like an omelet with pear in it. Also, it closes at exactly 3:05 p.m., so that’s a quirky thing.

Byblos

3332 S. Mill Ave. Tempe

This seemingly forgotten Mediterranean gem offers a truly special experience. It is usually almost totally empty, giving you a chance to immerse yourself in the best falafel and lamb in the new world. This place is a prime example of the adage that what makes a meal good is the quality of the ingredients. Every bite, down to the humble tomato garnish, transports you to an ancient land of myth and flavor. And your guide, a personable polyglot by the name of Mr. Mirza, will make sure that you enjoy it. If you can afford a few extra dollars, finish off the meal with a rich Turkish coffee and fragrant honey pudding sprinkled with pistachio crumbs.

Cornish Pasty Co

960 W. University Dr. #103 Tempe

You probably already know about this place, but if not, this is your chance to get in on the excitement. The pasties, as they are apparently called, are basically big meat pies that resemble over-sized empanadas, and they are delicious. The intimate vibe of this dark restaurant makes enjoying them an affair to remember.

In conclusion, eat here. Do it.

Reach the reporter at shmartin@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @shmartin09