Food Scene

Celebrate the season with Tempe’s holiday treats and drinks

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way,
Oh, what fun it is to check-out Tempe’s holiday treats today! Yay!

Now that we’re in full holiday swing, we encourage you to check out our list of holiday items at Tempe’s bars, bakeries and restaurants. All around town, you’ll find eggnog (in ice cream or yogurt or a traditional cocktail), craft beers with a special holiday flair, tamales by the dozen, lots of sweet treats and special party trays to feed your small socially distanced gatherings this month.

Cool Treats

Aloha Yogurt
219 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 289-5238
This local yogurt shop has added a couple of holiday flavors to the mix this season: Eggnog and Peppermint Bark. And, if you’d like to kick it up a notch, you can also try their Peppermint Bark Milkshake, or a super delicious hot chocolate made with Ghirardelli chocolate and homemade candy cane syrup. You can order online for curbside pickup, or order from their takeaway window and enjoy your froyo on their patio.

Bahama Buck’s
1006 E. Warner Rd., Ste. 101, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-9482
It obviously doesn’t snow in Tempe, but we are lucky to have our own form of snow right here – Bahama’s Bucks shave ice in holiday flavors. These super cute Instagrammable flavors include Santa, Christmas Tree and Candy Cane.

credit @bahamabucks_tempewarner

Mango Rabbit
1250 E. Apache Blvd., Ste. 112, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 912-6283
This super cute shop really knows how to make the most of sweet cold treats. This month, they are featuring their BTS Peppermint Chocolate Shake and a Strawberry Rose Milk Tea. Check out their Instagram to see how they would be a perfect holiday-themed dessert. They also have a limited supply of BTS macarons each day so go early if you want one. Recently added to their holiday sweets are chocolate chai bombs! See their Instagram for what might be the stocking stuffer of the year. They can be ordered online starting Friday, Dec. 12.

Sweet Republic
410 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 292-8557
In the desert, we don’t have snow for the holidays but what we do have is even better. Temperatures that are warm enough to enjoy ice cream. Tempe’s newest ice cream spot, Sweet Republic, has seasonal flavors that are the perfect match for the holidays. Thing eggnog, gingerbread, peppermint, apple pie, pumpkin spice and sweet potato marshmallow ice cream.

Tamales

Barrio Queen
31 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 912-4052
Just in time for the holidays, Barrio Queen, a popular local Mexican restaurant, just announced their new Barrio Queen Tamales. The tamale options include Green Chile Pork, Red Chile Chicken, and Vegetarian, served with either Green Tomatillo Sauce or Red Enchilada Sauce. Tamales are a Southwestern holiday tradition, but I didn’t know that their origins can be traced back to as early at 7000 V.C. in pre-Columbian history, when Aztec women were taken along in battle as cooks for the army. At Barrio Queen, the tamales are available by the ½ dozen ($17) or full dozen ($30), cooked or frozen, and 24-hour advance notice is required for all orders. Orders can be placed in-store or through Barrio Queen’s online order form.

credit: @barrioqueen

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, #567 Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 838- 9610
1706 E. Warner Rd Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 838-1005
Fill out the online form on Garcia’s website to order green corn or beef tamales. One dozen is $24.99 and two dozen is $49.98. You’ll be contacted by the manager at your chosen location to confirm your order and your pickup date and time. You can also add chips and salsa, beans or rice to complete your meal.

Rosita’s Fine Mexican Food
960 W. University Dr., Tempe, Arizona 85281 | (480) 966-0852
Call Rosita’s in Tempe to order a half dozen ($16) or dozen ($28) tamales. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance. They have red beef and green corn.

Holiday Libations

Arizona Distilling Co.
601 W. University Dr., Tempe AZ 85281 | (602) 391-3889
The team behind Arizona Distilling Co. has been producing spirits since 2013 and now boasts an award-winning portfolio that includes gin, vodka and Copper City Bourbon, Arizona’s first legally made whiskey since the prohibition. This season try their infamous holiday Egg Nog, which is made with Allspice, Cinnamon, nutmeg, Copper City bourbon and J. Cotton brandy, powdered sugar, heavy cream, milk and eggs. This concoction is just what you need to get you through the rest of 2020!

credit @azdistilling 

Adventurous Stills
2125 E. 5th St. Unit 102, Tempe, AZ 85281
In case you haven’t heard, Adventurous Stills is offering a 375 ml 4-packs for $89.99 for the month of December ($10 off)! Any whiskey lover would be thrilled to see this under the tree. Even if it’s for yourself this is a great way to try our core lineup of spirits. Drop by and grab some!

Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown
108 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 612-7887

Head over to Alter Ego at Canopy by Tempe Downtown for one or two delicious holiday cocktails!

Featured holiday cocktails:

  • Kissing Santa: Thai Chili Infused Vodka, Cranberry Juice and Simple Syrup, garnished with sugar rim and Thai chili pepper
  • S’mores please: CaraMelow Salted Caramel Whiskey, double chocolate liquor, sweet cream
  • Hurry Down the Chimney: Deep Eddy Lime Vodka, Sparkling Wine and garnished with honey pearls rim and rosemary spring

While you are there, take a selfie with Santa and enter their photo contest for a chance to win a Canopy bike! Simply snap a photo with their life-size cardboard Santa and post to your Instagram feed or story and tag @CanopyTempe.

credit Shelby Moore

Fate Brewing
201 E. Southern Ave., Ste. 111, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 590-2395
Fate Brewing is celebrating the holidays with Holly Haze IPA. It’s brewed with real maple syrup and lots of Citra, CTZ and Centennial hops so you’ll taste notes of pine and mulled citrus. Holly Haze is available on tap and for growler refills at the Tempe location. Four pack cans are available at the Scottsdale locations for $18.

photo credit/permission @fatebrewingaz

Four Peaks Brewing Company
1340 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 303-9967

Our friends at Four Peaks Brewing Company have a few beer-themed holiday items to help make 2020 just a tad bit better. Kuhl Beans Vanilla Coffee Porter is Four Peaks’ winter seasonal and available on draft at the 8th Street location and in bottles in most grocery stores and bottle shops now.

As a bonus, they are also offering Kühl Beans Cheesecakes. A full pint of Kühl Beans Vanilla Coffee Porter goes into each cheesecake adding a rich, latte-like flavor. Pre-order yours on their website (you can even add some Kulh Beans beer to go with it) from now through December 20. Pickup will take place at Four Peaks on 8th Street from December 22-24. Please note, they will close at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve.

In addition, get ready to get excited for this: Four Peaks has a brand-new bottled Christmas-themed ale. It’s called Cousin Eddie’s Holiday Ale (yes, based off “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”). It is a Belgian brown ale with dates, orange peel, and nutmeg. Sounds like it would be best served in a glass reindeer mug.

GuacStar 
920 E. University Dr. #204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 219-9272 
GuacStar, Tempe’s newest plant-based eatery, is putting a fun, tequila-inspired twist on holiday cocktails. The Horchata Eggnog features Corazon Anejo tequila and Tuaca brandy with a 48-hour steeped horchata made with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, vanilla extract, maple syrup and flora cream. The Sparkling Apple Cider is made with house infused apple Arette tequila, apple cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and is topped with sparkling white wine. 

Huss Brewing
1520 W. Mineral Rd., Ste. 102, Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 264-7611
The team at Huss Brewing celebrate the holidays with their beloved Rice Pudding Porter. This one has all of the flavors that you’d expect in a holiday special beer: vanilla beans, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, paired with chocolate, fruit and coffee for a smooth finish.

There’s nothing more Christmas than our Peppermint Patty Christmas Ale from our annual Christmas small-batch releases! This peppermint infused black lager is brewed with roasted malts and has a slight hint of chocolate. One sip and it’ll be one of your holiday favorites! ⠀

You can enjoy these holiday brews, all of their other craft beers, at their Tempe taproom. You can also pick-up beers to go or have them delivered to your door. See the Huss Brewing website for more details.

Pedal Haus Brewery 
730 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281(480) 314-2337  
Pedal Haus Brewery is making beer more festive this holiday season with its limited batch of peppermint porter. The holiday beer is a smooth porter made with real mint and chocolate giving it subtle hints of peppermint and toasted chocolate notes. 

U.S. Egg
131 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ, 85283 | (480) 831-0070
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a mimosa trio from U.S. Egg! The Christmas Mimosa Flight features the Apple Cinnamon mimosa with apple juice, champagne and cinnamon garnish, the Peppermint Can-mosa with cranberry juice, champagne and mini candy cane garnish as well as the Peppermint Bark Champagne featuring a chocolate syrup and crushed peppermint rim. All three of the seasonal libations will be offered at $12.95.

Sweet Treats

24 Carrots
1701 E. Guadalupe Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 753-4411
This holiday, treat yourself to mouthwatering treats that are just plain good and even better for you. Now, who can say that during the holidays? 24 Carrots, a delicious vegetarian café, sure can! Check out their Gluten Free Peppermint Ho Hos, Gluten Free Chai Carrot Cake Loaf, Gluten Free Salted Caramel Gingersnap Cookie Sandwich, Gluten- Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Cupcake, Mango Coconut Cupcake, and more!

Fancy Pies
9218 S. Terry Ln., Tempe, Arizona 85284 | (602) 601-2675
Are you sure you want s’more holiday treat suggestions? Well then, hold on to your belt, that I’m sure is getting tighter… Fancy Pies has just launched their special holiday flavor, Nutella S’mores Pie!  Enjoy this decadent pie that has a Graham cracker crust, one chocolate/Nutella layer, one vanilla/marshmallow layer, Nutella swirl, and toasted marshmallows on top. Talk about a treat!

Great Harvest Bread Co.
730 E. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 777-1141
The baking experts at Great Harvest in Tempe are preparing lots of specialty treats this month. Check out their December menu, where you’ll find the days of the week when you can purchase items like Peppermint Double Chocolate Scones and Candy Cane Crunch Cookies. They’ll also have a selection of sweet bread loafs every day including Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, Eggnog and Mexican Chocolate (our personal favorite). Call for the daily selections.

Wildflower Bread Company
6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 838-9773
Countdown to Christmas with Wildflower’s Coffee Cake! Surprise your friends and family with this sweet and delicious treat. Also, check out their bakery case for additional treats and eats like cupcakes, cookies, muffins and other pastries. They also sell breads, rolls and bagels.

Holiday Breakfast Items

Daily Jam
310 S. Mill Ave., Ste. A101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-9288
Daily Jam’s famous Red Velvet Waffles look festive this time of year, but now’s your chance to really step it up a notch and celebrate the holidays with their delicious Gingerbread Waffles. They have all of the spices that you know and love, topped with icing and candy cane sprinkles. Decadent? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

Morning Squeeze
690 S. Mill Ave. Ste. 110, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 264-4688
Get ready for cuteness overload at Morning Squeeze! All month long, Morning Squeeze will be serving up two slices of their OG French toast, stuffed with a raspberry rosemary cream cheese and topped with peppermint candies, whipped cream, a cherry AND a homemade gingerbread man for $13.

credit @morningsqueeze 

Holiday Meals To Go

Chompie’s
1160 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 557-0700
While big holiday get-togethers might be a little different this year, Chompie’s is taking the stress out of cooking any size feast with its Traditional Holiday To-Go meal packages and a la carte items available for take-out and curbside pickup. All of Chompie’s Traditional Holiday Meal To-Go menu items are cooked fresh-from-scratch on the day of scheduled pick-up using time-honored family recipes.

Complete your meal with one of Chompie’s freshly baked holiday pies. Choose from Classic Apple, Pumpkin, Pecan, Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, and Coconut Cream Pie or, take home their holiday specialty, Pumpkin Crème Brulee.

Culinary Dropout
149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 240-1601
Feed your small gathering with an Antipasti Party Board from Culinary Dropout. Visit their website to order a selection of meats, cheese and snacks that will feed 6-10 people. Orders are required 24 hours in advance and the cost is $45. Other family to-go meals are also available on their website.

GuacStar
920 E. University Dr. #204, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 219-9272
GuacStar is making the holidays healthier this year with plant-based party packs the whole family will love, available tomorrow through the end of the year every day but Christmas Day. Mexican food enthusiasts can choose between two options that feed up to four people: Enchiladas de Calabacitas ($50) with choice of three sides (elote, achiote rice, cauliflower al pastor and/or chips and red salsa); or Tacos Dorados ($50) with choice of three sides (elote, achiote rice, cauliflower al pastor and/or chips and red salsa). Guests can also add the grande chips and dip for $19 featuring two large bags of tortilla chips, queso, red salsa, salsa crua and white bean puree. These meal options can also be upgraded with a dessert for $10 Options include either the pot de crème with abuelita chocolate, coconut espuma, seasonal fruit, chipotle candied pecans or the tres leches cake with vanilla cake, mint, seasonal fruit and horchata cream.

House of Tricks
114 E. 7th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-1114
To make your holiday festivities easy, House of Tricks just launched three new delicious holiday appetizer platters: Gourmet Cheese Platter, Charcuterie Platter and Smoked Salmon Platter. The party platters come in two sizes. Small will feed 6-8 people for $49 and a large will feed 8-15 people for $95. Order in advance online (at least 48 hours) and schedule your pick-up.

Morning Squeeze
690 S. Mill Ave. Ste. 110, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 264-4688
While you’re making your list and checking it twice, don’t forget to order your Christmas morning meal kit from Morning Squeeze! Each kit comes with 2 quiches (one veggie, one meat), breakfast potatoes, French toast casserole and fruit for $120. Place your order by December 22 for pickup on December 24.

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant at Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 350-9160
In our office, a team member or two will order takeout from their favorite Asian restaurant in Tempe and there’s definitely no shortage. From soup dumplings to ramen bowls to sushi, something about internationally inspired foods speaks to us on Christmas Day. Kabuki will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day if you prefer to dine in their beautiful restaurant. You can also bring Kabuki home! Our friends at Kabuki Restaurant are offering Holidays Platters to enjoy at home. I wouldn’t mind being in my pajamas eating my food.

  • Family Platter includes Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Teriyaki, BBQ Beef Ribs, Mixed Tempura, Gyoza Dumplings and California Roll for $28
  • Happy Platter includes Albacore Crunch Roll, Sunkissed Roll, Eel& Avocado Roll, Rainbow Roll, California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll for $60
  • Tempura Lover Platter includes Vegas Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll and Vegetable Tempura Roll for $32

Did we convince you yet?

Tracy Dempsey Originals
1325 W University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (602) 376-9021
Order a savory or sweet “Party in Place Platter” from Tracy Dempsey Originals for 2-4 people. The savory option includes charcuterie, homemade pate de campagne, cheeses, veggies, dips, crackers, bread, pickles, mustard, dried fruit and nuts for $65. The sweet platter is an assortment of truffles, cookies, tartlets, cake bites, homemade candies and bars for $45. So fancy! You can also pre-order holiday desserts and ala carte items. Order Christmas Eve platters until 12/21 and New Years Eve platters until 12/26. Visit Tracy’s Holiday Offerings webpage for more info.

Holiday Events and Classes

Drink Me! Tea Room
1730 E. Warner Rd., Ste. 5, Tempe, AZ 85284 | (602) 206-5469
From December 9-January 3, enjoy a special Christmas Tea at this charming South Tempe tearoom. Menu details are coming soon, but you can expect classic holiday flavors that are all plant based and gluten free. Check their website and social media for updates. Reservations are required 48 hours in advance.

Holiday Drinks

Press Coffee
601 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., #103, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 794-1107
1221 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 566-5380
Enjoy Festivus with the rest of us! Press Coffee presents a Festivus blend to remind us sometimes a simple cup of coffee can enrich the day. Delivering notes of dark chocolate, mixed berries, and hazelnut, our holiday blend is a favorite. Available for order online or at any Tempe PRESS locations today!

Snakes & Lattes
20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 361-6644
Enjoy holiday drinks with the whole family at Snakes & Lattes Tempe. With kid friendly drinks such as root beer floats, Nutella hot chocolate and Shirley Temples, there is something that each member of your family can enjoy this holiday season! But, the best part is that you can combine your festive drink with your pick of hundreds of board games for all ages. Admission for children under the age of 12 is just $3!

Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.