Best of Tempe 2013





310 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, 85281 (480) 968-9288

Daily 7 a.m.–3 p.m.

The breakfast and brunch specialists at Ncounter serve it well. Sautés, french toast and pancakes comprise a menu studded with exciting takes on breakfast classics, like a pear omelette adorned with havarti cheese.

BEST BUFFET Delhi Palace

933 E. University Dr. #103 Tempe, 85281 (480) 993-6955

M-F 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m, 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Sa-Su 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5 p.m.–10 p.m.

The buffet at Delhi Palace is heartily spiced and oft frequented by budget lunchers in the know. The $8.95 buffet offers seven different curries, great chai and several desserts. Delhi Palace is sure to delight the adventurous palate, eager for some spice on the tongue.


202 E. University Dr. Tempe AZ 85281 (480) 968-4712

M-Sa 10:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Su 10:30 a.m.– 8 p.m.

The ChuckBox throws coal in the face of your grandmother’s age-old assertion that you ought not eat anything bigger than your head. Known for wood-grilled burgers ranging in size from the modest “little big one” to the gargantuan half-pound “great big one,” the ChuckBox does simple burgers excellently.


225 W. University Dr. Tempe, 85281 (480) 225-3899

Daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

You don’t need thick-rimmed glasses or suspenders to stop by Cartel for coffee; although, you’ll see a lot of that there. Yet again, this favorite student hangout is voted best place to down your non-Starbucks drip before rushing off to classes. The intense flavors from a variety of freshly roasted coffee beans give each cappuccino and latte that necessary zip to get you motivated to write that paper that’s due in three hours. And after the deadline passes, enjoy the art and a chai tea latte.

POP Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez



7520 S. Rural Rd. Tempe, AZ 85283 (480) 247-8012

Crêpe Bar’s atmosphere and overall aura are what make it the ideal place to take a first date — especially if it is only for desert. With a maple butter crepe that is fully customizable with options for warm apple, banana brûlée or candied nuts, you won’t go wrong with this delicious delicacy, born of maple syrup and sugared batter. Not to mention, the portions are so large that you can easily share a single crepe with someone, yet still feel guiltless if you decide to eat one on your own.


1111 S. Rural Rd. Tempe, 85281 (480) 557-0101

Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

The authentic Thai cuisine is bound to give taste buds a wake up call. Whether you’re looking for spicy, sweet, sour or salty, there’s a dish here that has some combination of these flavors. You can never go wrong with Thai Basil’s tasty plate of pad thai — pan-fried rice noodles, bean sprouts, ground peanuts, spiciness and preferred meat.


414 Mill Avenue #119 Tempe, 85281 (480) 921-1155

M-W 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Th 11 a.m.–9 p.m. F-Sa 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Su 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

The wide range of sweetness is ever-so-tempting! Candy Addict, a family-friendly shop, transports memories from the past to present with over 1,500 flavors, from nostalgic and retro candies to gourmet chocolate sugariness. The Godfather, Blame Canada and Holy Cow are just a few names of their handmade chocolate truffles.

BEST HOT DOGS Ted’s Hot Dogs

1755 E. Broadway Rd. Tempe, 85282 (480) 968-6678

Su-Th 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. F-Sat. 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

The story of a Greek immigrant and his business venture in Western New York continues in Tempe with Ted’s. These made-to-order hot dogs are grilled over hardwood charcoal and can be topped with a range of condiments, including a family-recipe hot sauce. While the waiting line can stretch on and on, the simple diner ambiance and friendly service is worth the wait — especially for the best hot dog you’ll ever eat, hands down.

BEST MEXICAN FOOD America's Best Taco Shop

735 E. University Dr. Tempe, 85281 (480) 751-6290

M-Sa 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Su 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

With a smoky carne asada taco that will kick your tongue in the face, America’s Taco Shop is a force to be reckoned with. With its daily specials and $2 beers, why wouldn’t you come back?


Secret Garden, per our voters, provides the perfect spot for napping. Photo by Noemi Gonzalez Secret Garden, per our voters, provides the perfect spot for napping.
Photo by Noemi Gonzalez


Located in the West Hall quad

Providing a calming atmosphere, the Secret Garden is the place to be for a cool breeze nap. A student has a sense of comfort from the overcrowded sidewalk just outside the garden. Though pairs of people might duck in to picnic during lunchtime or read for their next class, the mood is quiet and relaxing. But make sure to set your alarm. You might get too comfortable in the grass and sunshine.

BEST BOOKSTORE Changing Hands Bookstore

6428 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe, 85283 (480) 730-0205

M-F 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sa 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Su 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

This bookstore sells used books as well as good quality or high-end leather items for gifts or souvenirs. Part of the profit the store makes goes to support local public radio stations KJZZ & KBAQ, local schools and another 200 local, national and international charities and service organizations. Feel good for what you buy! Changing Hands holds over 350 events in The Valley each year for people of all ages with book club meetings, book signings and literary festivals.


1801 S. Jentilly Lane, Suite B-8 Tempe, 85281 (480) 292-9715

Open daily

“Come as you are” to Yoga Nirvana, where they encourage happiness and health through yoga instruction that strives to help you reach for your goals. Both novice and advanced “yogis” find the nurturing environment and helpful attention from teachers to be conducive to their exercise. Classes range from energetic to peaceful and you can nurse those muscles with some massage therapy afterwards. Namaste.

BEST THEATER Gammage Auditorium

1200 S. Forest Ave. Tempe, 85281 (480) 965-3434

The Broadway experience makes its home at Gammage with landmark shows, including “West Side Story,” “War Horse” and “Beauty and the Beast.” While ticket prices can run high at times, the atmosphere that opens up with lights, props and music is worth the bill. The acoustics of the auditorium send both high and low notes swirling through the audience and chase away the trauma of any accidents you might have had while waiting in the bathroom line during intermission.

BEST COMIC BOOK SHOP Ash Avenue Comics & Books

806 S. Ash Ave. Tempe, 85281 (480) 858-9447

M-T 12 p.m.–7 p.m. W 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Th-Sa: 12 p.m.–8 p.m. Sun: 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Ash Avenue Comics doesn’t just carry your stereotypical supermen and women with capes flying as they travel faster than speeding bullets. With one of the largest selections of independent material, the shop offers visitors the chance to reconnect with their favorite heroes and discover new adventures to read. With an old-school, floor-to-ceiling organization and a passionate crew, Ash Avenue Comics welcomes everyone from the hardcore enthusiast to the browsing newbie.


400 E. Apache Blvd. Tempe, 85287 (located in the back of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex) (480) 965-8017

M, W, F 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tu, Th 12 p.m.– 4 p.m.

Bike Co-Op provides basic service and repair stock, along with safety and maintenance equipment. Shop owners are friendly and do not charge a repair fee when fixing up your bike. Also, the Bike Co-Op houses the USG Community Bikes program, which lets ASU students, faculty and staff check out one of 15 bicycles for up to 10 days — no charge!

BEST RUN Pat's Run

219 Packard Dr. Tempe, 85281 (480) 621 4074 4.2 mi. Walk/Run Start

In honor of a former Cardinals football player and military man, the Pat Tillman Foundation hosts the 9th Annual Pat’s Run. On Saturday, April 20, you can grab your running shorts and lace up your favorite pair of tennis shoes to join the masses in a run for military support. Join Sparky at Sun Devil Stadium for a day of sun and exercise, all to pay tribute to Tillman’s lasting legacy.


BEST LOCAL BAND   Ursus Colossus

When making music or performing onstage, the instrumental post-rock band Ursus Colossus is fueled by raw emotion and drive. People who have seen the band members play can attest to this. By writing songs without vocals, band members Roddy Nikpour (guitar), Thomas Bross (bass) and Austin Reeves (drums) find ways to create more personal music and make each show a different kind of journey. If you’re itching to hear a new sound, find the band sound on Facebook or Bandcamp.



Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.