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​​​Phoenix: Let's Eat Local - Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue & Melrose

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The heart of d​owntown Phoenix’s walkable arts districts, Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue, are home to art galleries, independent restaurants, bars, and shops set against the backdrop of high rises and colorful street art. The neighborhoods capture the creative energy and history of local artists, musicians, chefs, and entrepreneurs who catalyzed change and brought fresh, new perspectives to the area, inspiring new development and revitalization in the late 1980s and 90s. 

Artists began using abandoned buildings in the Roosevelt neighborhood as art studios, which inspired the first ever First Friday art walk in 1994 and led to additional investment and rejuvenation of the neighborhood—which served as the early beginnings of Roosevelt Row. The creative energy of the Roosevelt area, led by artists, ultimately activated a supportive ecosystem of restaurants and small businesses, bringing new life to an area that was once regarded as blighted.

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 Find Local Food in Downtown Phoenix

There are many opportunities to eat local and support local food businesses in South Phoenix. Use the interactive map below to find locally made goods and support South Phoenix’s thriving food community!

(If you’re a local food producer or artisan, farm, or restaurant in South Phoenix and would like to get listed, please complete the form here to get added to the directory.)


Want to become a Phoenix: Let's Eat Local certified restaurant? 

Please contact Kailey Mullis at kailey.mullis@phoenix.gov or 602-534-2488.


Affectionately coined “Phoenix’s weirdest street,” Grand Avenue has a culture all its own. As the lone diagonal intersector in a city anchored by an ordered grid system, Grand Avenue almost walks to the beat of its own drum. Grand Avenue is a haven for artists, with its quirky, industrial feel, and has served as a playground for muralists before public art was embraced as eagerly as it is today.

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​Thanks to these early trailblazers, Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue are now bustling with activities like the weekly Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, the monthly First Fridays Art Walk, and annual festivities such as Arizona Fall Fest, M3F Music Festival, Phoestivus, the Pie Social, and more. 


Many of Phoenix’s renowned culinary geniuses also got their start in the arts district—and have inspired the next generation of eclectic and burgeoning chefs to set up shop here. From plant-based cuisine to diverse spins on classic menus and gourmet eats that emphasize Arizona’s local food producers, this is the place to savor the unique taste that makes Phoenix a foodie destination.

​​Melrose District

melrose9.JPGJust up Seventh Avenue from Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue, between Indian School and Camelback Road, Phoenix’s Melrose District houses locally owned antique shops and boutiques that pay homage to the district’s midcentury architecture and is a welcoming destination for all. This neighborhood embodies the city's pride with a high concentration of LGBTQ+ bars and rainbow flags perched outside allied businesses. The district is shaping into the Valley’s next dining destination with an extensive array of food choices, including buzzy new restaurants, mom and pops, must-try lunch stops, and diners, bars, and cafes that have fed and nurtured Phoenicians for over 35 years. 

​​Supporting a Resilient Local ​​Foo​d System

​​cropped city of phoenix bird.pngThe City of Phoenix’s Resilient Food Systems Initiative offers a variety of programs and resources to help develop a stronger, connected local food system with more accessible and sustainable food options for Phoenix residents. Some of these programs include:

  • Providing pathways to build sustainable business models: The Sustainable Cooperative Food Business Training program, which focuses on developing cooperative food business skills and provides participants with training on all business areas needed to implement a business plan. 
  • Training the next generation of growers: The Phoenix Urban Agriculture Fellowship program provides hands-on experience and training for those interested in growing within the City of Phoenix. A local host farm trains participating fellows on various growing methods and exposes them to all relevant aspects of the farm. 
  • Encouraging residents to adopt sustainable practices in everyday life: The Food Waste and Composting Education Project will be a free, one-year program that provides food waste and composting education, training, and access to a compost service for up to 500 residents living in food insecure areas. 
  • ​Empowering residents to grow their own food: The Backyard Garden Program offers funding for up to 178 residents located in food-insecure neighborhoods to create backyard gardens and community gardens using aquaponics, raised beds, and other water-conservation growing methods.​