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Places to Play Hooky

November 13, 2009 by Jill Spear

To me, sitting outside on a balmy fall day feels like playing hooky. And what could feel better than that? To help you create your own ditch day, here are five downtown spots that offer outdoor seating:

1. The Rose and Crown Pub

My favorite thing about this British pub is the old-fashioned porch. Comfy sofas and chairs are scattered across the porch and lawn so you can bask in the sunlight or chat by moonlight. The Rose and Crown has terrific fish and chips, Guinness on tap and The Clash on their playlist. On weekends, it’s a big draw.

2. Seamus McCaffrey’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

First Britain, now Ireland. I can’t blame them for escaping to sunny Phoenix. Speaking of which, this friendly little pub has plenty of outdoor seating where you can dine or sample any of 10 draught beers or their enormous selection of Irish whiskies.

ArizonaCenter3. Anyplace at the Arizona Center

When fall hits, they amp up the ambience here. I had dinner recently on the patio at Sam’s Café, and the trees were dotted with tiny blue lights that added to the charm. If you just want to hang out, there are benches in the gardens, one of the most artfully landscaped spots in all of downtown.

4. Fair Trade Cafe

I love this charming little spot. The outside patio is usually filled with locals, who play cards, use the free wi-fi and leaf through the used paperback books, which are only $2 apiece (though you’re welcome to sit and read while you sip their coffee). It’s located in Civic Space Park at Central and Van Buren.

5. Steve’s Greenhouse Grill

This casual eatery offers patio seating and most of the usual suspects: steak, Caesar salad, chicken, hot wings. And then, just as you’re lulled into complacency, you see it: The Ostrich Burger. Ostrich? Really? I couldn’t go there, but maybe you’ll work up the courage. Steve’s is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast.


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