Tacos and sandwiches: 32 restaurants and bars that opened in December 2019 in metro Phoenix – The Arizona Republic

Many restaurants throughout metro Phoenix arrived just in time to close out 2019.
Desert Ridge Marketplace had two new openings: a gastropub and a comic book-themed restaurant. In Mekong Plaza in Mesa, a Korean barbecue restaurant made its debut.
Some familiar Arizona businesses expanded with new locations, including a Tempe-based coffee chain and a Tucson pop-up vendor that opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Whether you’re looking for a new place to get a hot sandwich or family-friendly place for breakfast, here are some of the restaurants and bars that opened December in metro Phoenix.
Located just outside Sun City, Adam’s Cafe serves hearty breakfast fare, pies and cakes. For Friday fish fry, the restaurant stays open for dinner.
Details: 11127 W. Arizona Avenue, Youngtown. 602-488-3267.
Located in south Phoenix, Agape specializes in Ethiopian food and also serves coffee, smoothies and sandwiches. The cafe also hosts a coffee ceremony on the weekends.
Details: South Mountain Plaza, 19 W. Baseline Road, Phoenix.
This casual Mexican restaurant in west Phoenix serves tacos, gorditas, quesadillas and burritos. Other snacks include tosti locos, raspados, paletas, carne asada fries and chilindrinas — a flour crackling topped with pork rinds, avocado, shredded cabbage and tomatoes.
Details: 7435 W. Lower Buckeye Road, Phoenix. 602-284-1441, facebook.com/pg/Ay-Wey-Antojitos-102037321139585.
Bamboo Sushi is known for its focus on sustainability, offering a menu of sushi rolls, nigiri, and Japanese-inspired plates. The restaurant’s website lists where it sources its fish, as well as a calculation for its carbon footprint.
Details: Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Road, #119. bamboosushi.com.
The Tempe-based coffee shop expands with a new location near Paradise Valley. Cartel Coffee Lab, which began as a mobile cart 12 years ago, is known for its Chemex brews and roasting its own beans.
Details: 10625 N. Tatum Boulevard, #104, Phoenix. 480-621-6381, cartelcoffeelab.com.
It’s hard to imagine Charlie’s Phoenix, the gay bar and nightclub in Melrose District, without a taco truck. This summer the bar parted ways with Taqueria Los Yaquis after 14 years, but the new Charlie’s Tacos made its debut this month — serving a similar menu, including $1 tacos.
Details: 727 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-265-0224, charliestacotruck.com.
This restaurant and nightclub in north Scottsdale offers cocktails, a DJ or live music, and late-night dining. Guests can dine or dance as LED spotlights swirl through the room, where framed photographs of Vogue Magazine covers, supermodels and old Hollywood stars decorate the walls.
Details: 17767 N. Scottsdale Road, #100, Scottsdale. 480-565-6488, chaunceysocial.com.
The cannabis-themed sandwich shop expanded with a new location in Chandler. Cheba Hut is known for its extensive menu of toasted subs that come in three sizes, as well as garlic cheese bread, Doritos nachos and brownies.
Details: 11 W. Boston St., Chandler. 480-687-8990, chebahut.com.
The casual dining chain brings its hearty, homestyle meals to Goodyear, including blackened salmon and shrimp, baby back ribs and chicken pot pie.
Details: 15030 W. McDowell Road, Goodyear. 623-535-3827, cheddars.com.
At the restaurant, bar and store ComicX, guests can grab a drink at the bar or dine on classic American grub while surrounded by life-size figures of comic book heroes and villains. Afterward, diners can shop for memorabilia and collectibles.
Details: Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard in Phoenix. 480-306-6780, comicx.us.
With a new location in Scottsdale, Detroit Coney Grill serves hand-cut fries, burgers with patties made from scratch, pitas and of course, coney dogs. The Detroit coney comes with a hot dog smothered in chili, topped with diced white onions and mustard.
Details: 6953 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. detroitconeygrill.com.
In Litchfield Park, Freddy’s serves cooked-to-order burgers, churned frozen custard and French fries with special “fry sauce.” Other menu items include Philly cheesesteaks, patty melts and hot dogs.
Details: 5125 N. Dysart Road, Litchfield Park. 623-248-7510, freddysusa.com.
The Asian fusion restaurant serves a mix of pho, bbq cold noodles, popcorn chicken and wings, cold fruit teas and boba. Located near the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Fresh Alley also offers delivery via DoorDash.
Details: 1000 E. Apache Boulevard, #103, Tempe. 480-247-9000, freshalleyaz.com.
One of the most recognizable ice cream companies in the country opened five new shops in metro Phoenix. All locations will carry the full Häagen-Dazs menu, including its variety of sorbets, sundaes and seasonal flavors.
Details: Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale and various locations in the East Valley. haagendazs.us.
This homey restaurant serves breakfast favorites and comfort food at its third and newest location. Plates include a pulled pork skillet, meatloaf and mac n’ cheese burger. Haymaker also serves $2.50 domestic pints during happy hour every day.
Details: 8706 W. Thunderbird Road, Peoria. 623-440-9100, haymakeraz.com.
The festival food vendor from Tucson gets the brick-and-mortar treatment in Chandler. Hot Bamboo serves its signature steamed buns shaped like cute characters, dumplings and rice bowls.
Details: 980 E. Pecos Road, #4, Chandler. 520-878-8368, facebook.com/HotBambooAZ.
The Mexican restaurant in the Grand Avenue Arts District closed temporarily so it could relocate to a bigger space a block away. Popular menu items include the huevos rancheros and burritos, while new additions include boozy beverages and, in the future, ceviche.
Details: 1614 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. 602-252-2620, Facebook page.
The latest Korean barbecue joint has arrived in Mesa’s Asian restaurant corridor. Advertising its vibe as retro ’90s Seoul, diners can expect their brisket, pork jowl and bulgogi to be grilled right on the table. Sides include a kimchi pancake and Korean-style steamed eggs.
Details: 111 S. Dobson Road, #104, Mesa. Facebook page.
The fast-food chain from the Philippines opened its first Arizona location in Chandler. The restaurant has a cult following and is known for its versions of popular Filipino dishes Jolly Spaghetti and Fiesta Palabok. 
Details: 2800 E. Germann Road, Chandler. jollibeeusa.com.
ON THE MENU:  Arizona’s first Jollibee is now open in Chandler
D.L. Marble, the frontman of an Americana and country band, told The Arizona Republic he wanted to dedicate a bar to yacht rock, a soft-rock genre that took off in the 1970s and ’80s. Presenting: Marauders, a pirate-themed bar and restaurant in south Tempe.
Details: 6430 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe. 480-590-0529, facebook.com/SmuggersAZ.
One of Phoenix’s oldest ice cream parlors has reopened in a new home, not far from the Heard Museum. Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream has served housemade ice cream since 1951.
Details: 2302 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. marycoyle.net.
This Mexican restaurant in Glendale serves taco plates, flautas, tostadas and burritos with various meat, seafood and a vegetarian option. The wall decor resemble lucha libre masks, to match the restaurant’s name.
Details: 7910 N. 59th Ave., Glendale. 623-440-2469.
The Seattle-based pizza chain opened a new location in Laveen Village. The restaurant serves standard pizzeria fare: classic pizzas and a create-your-own option, salads and sides.
Details: 7620 S. 59th Ave., #100, Laveen Village. 602-609-5503, modpizza.com.
This new Japanese restaurant in Buckeye offers a variety of nigiri, sushi rolls and deep-fried rolls. As the name suggests, the restaurant also serves customizable poke bowls.
Details: 940 S. Watson Road, #103, Buckeye. 623-248-7516, Facebook page.
The Mexican restaurant that began in Peoria opened its second location in uptown Phoenix. The menu, inspired by the street food on Avenida Revolución in Tijuana, features shrimp tacos, a lobster burrito, carne asada tater tots and a churro sundae.
Details: 5538 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. ​602-675-1182, revolutaqueria.com.
This Mexican restaurant in Glendale serves mini chimichangas, taquitos, tacos and burritos, as well as “family pack” and “party pack” options for groups. The restaurant also delivers via Postmates.
Details: 4362 W. Olive Ave., Glendale. 623-937-0958.
The Maggiore Group expands with a new location at Chandler Viridian. Visitors can expect made-from-scratch pasta and charcuterie boards, as well as a create-your-own cannoli bar and Sicilian-style pastries.
Details: 3151 W. Frye Road, Chandler. 480-573-8550, thesicilianbutcher.com.
This popular Denver-based breakfast chain moved into the old Circles Records building in downtown Phoenix. Popular plates include the chile verde benedict, buttermilk pineapple upside-down pancakes and avocado toast with red onion honey jam.
Details: 800 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. snoozeeatery.com.
Surrounded by trendy downtown restaurants, this no-frills taqueria on Roosevelt Row serves a familiar selection of carne asada, pollo, tripa, cabeza, pastor and barbacoa, offered as tacos, vampiros, burros or quesadillas. Diners can choose between corn and flour tortillas and dress their tacos at the salsa bar.
Details: 620 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. 602-675-3962, aztacoboys.com.
The Taiwanese hot pot chain takes over the former location of Xi’an Fusing Cafe in Mekong Plaza. Tasty Pot, a family-style dining restaurant, serves boiling soups with Asian vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs and noodles.
Details: Mekong Plaza, 66 S. Dobson Road, Mesa. tastypotusa.com.
Shoppers at Desert Ridge Marketplace now can stop in for a beer or bite to eat at the newest location of Thirsty Lion Gastropub. The restaurant and bar is located on the southwest side of The District.
Details: Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard in Phoenix. 480-419-5070, thirstyliongastropub.com.
The Los Angeles-based chain features a health-conscious menu with plenty of salads, tacos, bowls and burritos to accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. The restaurant also says all its protein choices are free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics.
Details: 2525 E. Camelback Road, #115, Phoenix. 480-378-3910, tocayaorganica.com.
Got a tip about food and dining in metro Phoenix? Reach the reporter at Priscilla.Totiya@azcentral.com or 602-444-8092. Follow her on Twitter: @PriscillaTotiya.
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