Downtown Phoenix is the vibrant heart of the Valley of the Sun. Whether you're an Arizona native or relocating for work or school, our neighborhood guide will help you explore the best that Roosevelt Row has to offer.
Downtown Phoenix is where the past and present converge, with a mix of historic charm and modern development. It remains a vital part of Phoenix's identity and a testament to the city's growth and transformation over the years.
Today, Downtown Phoenix continues to evolve as a dynamic urban center. The creation of the Phoenix Convention Center and Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, contributed to downtown's resurgence. In addition, the development of the Roosevelt Row and the expansion of Arizona State University's downtown campus have made Downtown Phoenix a cultural and artistic hub.
The neighborhood of Roosevelt Row is the heart of the city's creative scene. Known as the capital’s Arts District, it’s filled with colorful murals, galleries, boutiques, and street art. From its diverse dining scene to its artistic flair, the neighborhood has something for everyone. Whether you're a foodie, an art lover, or a sports fanatic, this neighborhood guide will help you navigate the best spots for you to explore.
Roosevelt Row is well-connected by Valley Metro Light Rail, making it easy to explore Downtown Phoenix without a car. Since its opening in 2008, it has helped connect downtown to surrounding neighborhoods and contributed to increased accessibility for residents and tourists alike. The fare is only $2 per ride, or $4 per day. Phoenix has also made significant strides in becoming a bike-friendly city. In addition to easily renting bikes with the Grid Bike Share Program, the city’s wide-width sidewalks and flat terrain makes it extremely pedestrian-friendly.
Roosevelt Row is home to quite a few popular events for the Downtown Phoenix community, attracting Arizona residents from every city to join the fanfare.
First Friday Art Walk
On the first Friday of every month, Roosevelt Row hosts the First Friday Art Walk. Originally founded by a nonprofit organization in the mid-90s, the neighborhood showcases local art, live music, and food trucks. While the art walk started out with just a handful of participants, today it’s a free, all-ages event that draws thousands of attendees. It’s spread out across dozens of city blocks and over 100 businesses participate. It is a true celebration of the neighborhood’s vitality and diversity of the city’s urban arts community.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
The Japanese Friendship Garden is a tranquil and beautiful setting that will transport you into authentic Japanese culture. The 3.5 acre park features more than 1,500 tons of hand-picked rock, stone footbridges, a 14-foot waterfall, and more than 300 koi. The Moon Viewing festival is their most popular event, garnering hundreds of visitors to celebrate the harvest moon. It also hosts weekly Japanese tea ceremonies, Aikido martial arts classes, and traditional Japanese gardening seminars. Tickets are only $10 in advance, making it an affordable, peaceful, and educational way to spend an afternoon.
Phoenix Fan Fusion
A large-scale pop-culture convention that encourages you to, “find your inner geek,” is hosted annually at the Phoenix Convention Center just a few blocks away from Roosevelt Row. Phoenix Fan Fusion is a must for pop culture enthusiasts, featuring comics, cosplay, and celebrity guests. Held yearly at the end of May, it is a must-see for fun and entertainment.
Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market
Although Phoenix is home to many farmer’s markets, the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market is in the heart of Roosevelt Row. Every Saturday year round, you can stroll up and down the block to purchase fresh produce and local goods. The market also proudly hosts a yearly winter festival called Phoestivus: a two-night event filled with twinkle lights, hot cocoa, and live music. In addition to photo-ops with Santa and the Yeti from Monsters Inc, Phoestivus also has peculiar traditions to take part in, such as the ‘airing of grievances’ – your opportunity to literally stand on a soapbox and complain about your woes.
Just blocks away from the Roosevelt Row Arts District is Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s the epicenter of the downtown Phoenix sports scene. The neighborhood is close enough for a 20-30 minute walk, but far enough to avoid game day crowds. The impressive ballpark also hosts various events throughout the year, such as world tours for famous artists including P!nk, Guns N’ Roses, and Stevie Nicks.
Bunky Boutique is a locally owned boutique offering a curated selection of clothing, accessories, and gifts. If you want to get a chic souvenir, this is the place to get it. Frances is another charming store known for its unique selection of gifts, stationary, and home decor items. If you like to support local artisans, they have a lovely selection of novelty items.
If you want a place to lounge and enjoy a nice cup of coffee, we recommend visiting La Gattara, a cat café filled with furry friends to play with. If you’re allergic to cats, Songbird Coffee & Tea House is another great option. Located in an historic house built in 1904, the spot for locals is nicknamed, “The extension of your living room.” Lastly, if you want to live on Roosevelt Row and have a coffee bar at your front door, check out Fleet Coffee in Moontower PHX.
Roosevelt Row is home to an array of unique nightlife. Cobra Arcade Bar is a hip bar where you can enjoy vintage video games and pinball while you sip on cocktails & craft beer. Despite its name, at 810 Billiards and Bowling, you can even have a quiet game of chess or a competitive game of ping pong. It’s the perfect place to show your competitive edge while eating some great gastro-pub food.
Downtown Phoenix's music venues and theaters provide diverse entertainment options, whether you're into classical music, jazz, indie rock, or other performing arts. The Orpheum Theatre is a historic venue originally built in 1929. It hosts concerts, Broadway shows, and other live performances. Located inside the Phoenix Convention Center is the Phoenix Symphony Hall, a huge venue home to the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. Here you can also enjoy world-class performances by Arizona Opera & Ballet Arizona. Be sure to check their schedules to catch some excellent live performances while exploring the city.
Roosevelt Row is home to amazing eateries just blocks away from each other. Pizzeria Bianco is a local favorite. It’s renowned for its wood-fired pizzas and has even won a James Beard Award. If you’d like a lively place for dinner, The Churchill is a unique dining experience. This local spot has multiple food vendors and bars surrounding an open-air courtyard. And of course, if you want to indulge in fine dining, we recommend The Arrogant Butcher. This upscale, industrial-chic restaurant is known for its exceptional steaks and craft cocktails.
Downtown Phoenix is a dynamic and evolving urban center with something for everyone. Whether you're interested in art and culture, great food and drinks, or simply exploring the city's vibrant atmosphere, Roosevelt Row has it all.
Looking to move to Phoenix and want the fun of Downtown Phoenix at your fingertips? Check out Ori Expandable Apartments at Moontower PHX. You can call Roosevelt Row home with an apartment that has double the space as a normal studio.
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