Sunny weather and a surplus of stadiums make Phoenix the perfect place for MLB spring training. After the game, score big with discount drinks and notable noshes at these three ballpark-adjacent eateries.
9940 W. Happy Valley Rd., Ste. 1060,
Peoria, 623-561-0023, sushidoraku.biz
Win or lose, a post-game meal at Sushi Doraku (loosely translated as “the way to happiness”) is bound to lift your spirits. From nature-themed décor to complimentary dessert featuring an orange peel bear, dining here is a zen experience. Happy “Doraku Time” is equally blissful, with sake specials from $2.50-$4.50, $2 house salads and $2.50 domestic beers. Get your fill of $4.50 rolls including shrimp tempura, spicy crab or classic California, paired with $4.50 plum wine. Japanese brews like Sapporo and Kirin ($4.50 each) complement sturdier offerings of chicken yakisoba ($8) and gyoza ($5), while edamame or cucumber salad ($3 each) combine with $4.50 house white or red wine for a refreshing afternoon snack that’s far lighter than the ballpark fare dished up to San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners fans at nearby Peoria Sports Complex. 2-5 p.m. daily.
Ajo Al’s Mexican Café
9393 N. 90th St., Scottsdale
The locally owned, family-run Ajo Al’s chain has been a Valley staple since 1986, making it an ideal home base for Diamondbacks fans taking in a game at Salt River Fields. Salsa-colored walls are decked with funky Mexican folk art, creating a warm, vibrant feel that encourages long stays. Good things come in threes here: beer, house wine and select appetizers are just $3 each during happy hour. Pop a squat in the cantina for $3 house margaritas and Mexican brews including Pacifico pilsner and Modelo. Sample a pizza-size cheese crisp with house wine, or set your mouth ablaze with spicy jalapeño bean dip and chili con queso. With gratis chips and salsa plus specials under a five-spot, it’s easy to walk out of Ajo Al’s with a full belly and a fat wallet. 4-6 p.m. M-F.
715 S.McClintockDr., Tempe 480-747-3851
Housed in a bright red barn that was originally designed to be a church, Minder Binder’s Bar & Grill was a Tempe institution – and an eyesore – until the Bell family purchased the defunct restaurant and transformed it into a stucco-covered community gathering place in 2014. Look for $1 off all drinks from the original rectangular bar, including a steakhouse margarita with Cuervo tequila and the classic Dark and Stormy with Kraken dark rum ($6 each). Pair deviled eggs ($3.95 for 3) with San Tan Devil’s Ale ($4). Just a stone’s throw from the 202, The Mission is the ideal drink destination after a visit to the shiny new Chicago Cubs spring training facility on Rio Salado Parkway. 2-6 p.m. daily.
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