Central Phoenix, or CenPho, as the hipsters like to call it, is the nexus of the city's art and culture scene. This is the place to discover that great new restaurant, catch a play, or dance the night away at a downtown club.
Today, gentrification has gradually spread over parts of Central Phoenix. But it's fair to say that there are still plenty of up-and-coming neighborhoods in this diverse and fascinating part of the city.
See & Do
Even if you've visited before, the Phoenix Art Museum's vast holdings of European, Spanish Colonial, and Southwestern art makes this one of the city's top cultural attractions. Wander into the relatively new Modern Art wing to see how the Phoenix Art Museum is slowly becoming a venue for cutting edge contemporary art, too.
One of the great things about Phoenix is the thriving Mexican food scene. Every year promises the opening of another great restaurant taking a new angle on a classic cuisine. In central Phoenix, La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop is one of those creative restaurants breathing new life into the tired combo platter. The mesoamerican-inspired menu items are not only brimming with wholesome ingredients, they are also quite good too.
This mixed-use high development is a recent addition to the downtown scene, built over what used to be Patriot's Square Park. The development has added a good dose of night activity to downtown, with clubs like Stand Up Live and Copper Blues bringing live acts to downtown on a weekly basis.
The aptly-named Clarendon Hotel is located on Clarendon Street in central Phoenix. This oasis of hipsterdom has become a popular gathering spot, especially the serene rooftop bar, which offers great views of the downtown city skyline. Downstairs, just off the lobby, the Gallo Blanco Cafe dishes up some of the freshest Mexican fare this side of the border.
Every Saturday morning, an unassuming parking lot at 721 North Central Avenue is converted into a festive farmer's market. Although not huge by any standards, this is Phoenix's long-running open air market. Here you'll find fresh flowers, organic vegetables and fruits, jars of handcrafted honey, and other sweet treats.