Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona

This wasn’t a road trip. Occasionally, I get on a plane, and when I do, I usually write about it. 

My college years are a time I remember fondly. Partly, because I was really, quite good at college, all of it, from the academics to the parties. As we walked around Arizona State University in Tempe last week, I realized I’d need a Stanley Cup, huge headphones, and probably a skateboard to fit in. I don’t have any of those things, so, my college years are probably over, but it was fun to take part in the buzz for a while.  

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (2)
On campus at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Once a year, we fly to Arizona to meet with the team from Alexander Sinclair Design Showrooms in Scottsdale. Ryan’s been showing his furniture there for nearly seven years. For some reason, we’ve been going in February during the one week it rains in Arizona, so we might need to change up the month of visitation. 

This year, we were doubling up as Ryan was interested in the US Racquetball Tournament happening at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe. We booked at one of the official tournament hotels. Scottsdale and Tempe are next door, and the showroom is only a 15-minute drive away.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (3)
At the ASU Fitness Center.

I am a big fan of college towns. I’d like to say it’s the ambiance of learning that permeates the air, but it’s mostly the cheap beer, and in Tempe, it’s an abundance of great tacos. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (5)
Moxy by Marriott, Tempe, Arizona

We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon and checked into Moxy, which is well-located for checking out ASU. Having stayed at the one in Denver, we knew we’d like the property. The check-in desk is a bar, and the lobby featured a pool table, pinball machines and arcade games, a huge television, and a workspace, which I used. The pool area is terrific, but it was too cold out to utlize during our trip. The high was 55 degrees.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (1)
Pool area at Moxy in Tempe, Arizona.
Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (6)
Moxy lobby area.

This Moxy would make a good location for a girls’ getaway; pool, bar, tacos across the street, down the street, and around the corner. By the way, it’s also dog-friendly, so if I ever drive to Arizona again with Fritzi, I have a place to stay. 

Epic Christmas Road Trip: Takin’ it Easy from Colorado to Arizona

We grabbed a quick lunch at Someburros, which is across the street from Moxy. Ryan gave his $10 enchilada plate rave reviews (he seldom raves about food). My taco was excellent. I wish we had this small, Arizona chain restaurant in Colorado (across from my house). 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (4)
Sorry for the weird husband shot. He was hungry!

On our first evening, we went to a Sources in Design party at Alexander Sinclair. Some beautiful and creative things are happening in the world of Arizona design. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (8)
This piece is part of our Argyle Collection.
Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (7)
This cabinet is part of our Thirty Three Collection.

After, we went to Casey Moore’s Oyster House for a late dinner. This place was highly recommended to us by the gal working the front desk at Moxy. An Irish pub with a huge patio, and an even bigger reputation having been here since 1986, it was a hit with us. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (9)
Corner seat at Casey Moore’s Oyster House in Tempe, Arizona.

We bypassed the busy, rather smoky patio and patio bar, and headed inside. It’s got an Irish pub meets college bar atmosphere. A mix of all ages come here to enjoy pints and drams in the tiny, fireplace-filled space.

Scoring a corner table in the wee dining room, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Mine was a heaping plate of mussels for just $15. I’d go back in a heartbeat although I’d probably skip St. Patrick’s Day. The waitress tells us it’s standing room only and a lot of beer gets spilled on the floor (and that’s clear proof that I am not a college kid any more).

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (10)
Ryan thinks all hotels should have pinball machines and arcade games. Moxy, Tempe, AZ
Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (16)
Nice bed, good pillows. Moxy, Tempe, AZ

Moxy’s beds are comfy and so are the hotel’s pillows, which is a big plus. When you travel as much as we do, these two things are high on the good trip meter. In the morning, Ryan had a 10:30 a.m. meeting at Alexander Sinclair so we decided to dine at Moxy. Breakfast was a little bland, but their coffee was good. By the way, dinner here gets fine reviews online, although we didn’t sample it. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (12)
Getting some HeidiTown Consulting done at Moxy.

We both spent the morning work, Ryan at his meeting, and me on a Zoom conference in Moxy’s work area. If you need to do remote work, this is a good hotel. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (20)
Ryan was delivering this box of Thirty Three Collection samples to Alexander Sinclair.
Thirty Three Collection color samples.

We had the afternoon to burn, so of course, we walked down the street (about two blocks) to Taco Boys.  If you’d like to do a taco trip, Arizona is the place to come. There are a lot of taco shops here and I’ve never had a bad one. Tacos Boys is no exception. Ryan loved the al pastor and I loved the salsa bar. Yes, they have a salsa bar which always gets a place extra points with me.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (13)
Tacos make me happy. Salsa bars make me happy.
Tacos in Rainy Arizona (from

After tacos, we went next door for $4 craft beers at Board & Brew. When was the last time you had a $4 beer? I bet you were 1) in a college town or 2) in college. 

We sat at the front bar and watched the rain fall. It had started while we were at Taco Boys and was now coming down in torrents. This was ark-building rain! The kind that only falls in the desert. 

We’d planned for a lot of walking but thwarted by the rain, we took an Uber to Four Peak Brewing. On last year’s trip, I had a big plate of delicious mussels here. Tacos and seafood are my go-to’s in Arizona apparently! 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (14)
Four Peaks Brewery

Ryan likes their wide selection of beer, and we spent most of the time talking about the WM Phoenix Open, which was on television and happening live. If I ever go to a golf tournament, which is highly unlikely, it would be this one. It’s a party on a golf course. 

The rain had stopped when we left Four Peaks, so we walked back to Moxy, avoiding the ginormous puddles along the way.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (15)

In the late afternoon and into the evening, we did racquetball stuff, which took us to the fitness facility at ASU. Many students whizzed by on skateboards. I had no idea skateboards were such a big deal right now. There are even skateboard locking stations like we had bike locking stations in college.

We then attended an Industry Party for racquetball at The Graduate. Moxy and The Graduate were official tournament hotels. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (17)
We saw several Waymo self-driving cars in Tempe. It’s a bit creepy because two were actually driving with no one in the car.

We ended up at Pedal Haus Brewery for dinner around 9 p.m. There were bars everywhere inside and outside, I think maybe three, and multiple music stages. A little confused, we sat at one of the bars and ordered some food. 

My chicken tenders came out super crunchy in part because the delicious crunchy part was burned. Ryan’s burger was adequate. A slightly disappointing experience, but we made the most of it. Pedal Haus was rated Brewery of the Year 2023 at the Arizona Craft Beer Awards, so I think if I came back in the daylight my experience would be better. 

The next day, we packed up, said goodbye to Moxy, and set out for breakfast. Overall, I’d stay at this property again, albeit when I can use the swimming pool. Plus, we’d get one of the rooms with a patio facing the pool.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (18)
The patio at Alo Cafe is quintessential Arizona.

For breakfast, we ended up at Alo Cafe in Scottsdale, the same spot as last year’s Arizona trip. The cozy factor is off-the-charts, the service is excellent and the menu is spectacular. Granted, you will pay for all of this. A lot. Our coffee was $5.20 each, which I think is a record for regular old restaurant coffee, but this is a sumptuous breakfast experience, complete with flowering trees, and worth the splurge. 

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (19)
It was almost warm enough to sit inside, but we eventually moved to a table inside the tiny restaurant.

We had an hour or so before we needed to head to the airport, so we spent it walking at Tempe Beach Park, a delightful spot. Who knew there were big bodies of water in Arizona? The walk took us by the Tempe Centre for the Arts which is a visually stunning building.

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (130)

Two Nights & More Tacos in Tempe, Arizona. HeidiTown (22)
Tempe Center for the Arts

Close to the rental car center at the airport, Tempe is nicely located for an Arizona getaway. I was impressed and would go back to this university town. There are more taco places I need to try, plus, cheap beer. 

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has the coolest train to get to the car rental center. For us, landing on a Wednesday, it was a simple, no line process.

By the way, I want to add that this was my first time to visit Arizona without going to my favorite spot in the state and that’s the Desert Botanical Gardens. If you haven’t been, I urge you, it’s worth a flight (especially if you didn’t grow up with any cactus around).

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