My mom and I went to the Tempe Festival of the Arts in March of 2023 and I completely forgot to post my trip report covering vegan food and art in Tempe. The art fest was great with many artists we had never seen before. I love that about the art festivals out west: they are all pretty fantastic, with various types of modern, traditional, and native art. After traveling for nearly 2 decades to art festivals, I have to say, if you’re going to fly out to one, pick one of the bigger shows out west. You will not be disappointed.

As far as the rest of the area goes, we enjoyed our time in Arizona, although it was nothing too wow-ing to be honest – nothing like visiting Tucson, Flagstaff, or even Sedona… although Sedona is soooo dang crowded these days, so it’s kinda a toss-up IMO. Flagstaff will forever be on my favorite-city list, so if you’re trying to pick a place to tie in with visiting the Grand Canyon, absolutely book Flagstaff. You’ll love it. However, this post is focused on Tempe, Phoenix, and Scottsdale.

If you have a few days to kill and love vegan food and art in Tempe, below are some of the best of shops, restaurants, museums, and things to do that we found, that you can add to your trip list, if you so desire. We spent 4 days in the area, and ended up driving around a lot – so plan well or use their plethora of self-driving cars (so creepy) as you’ll be in the car a lot.

The Mission – this was hands-down our favorite restaurant we ate at. It’s a gorgeous Latin restaurant with 2 stories, has incredible tacos, table-side guacamole, and a killer bar. I would go here again in a heartbeat! Do not miss this place, in Scottsdale, if you’re close by.

Caffe Boa – I say The Mission was our favorite, and then remembered Caffe Boa in Tempe, and now the best-of winner is completely a toss-up. Caffe Boa was more intimate, and Italian, and a lovely restaurant with incredible food. So I have to highly recommend it, too! Andddd if you love shoes as much as my mom and I do, this cute restaurant is right around the corner from the Shoe Mill. Definitely stop by!

The Daily Jam – we went to the one in Tempe although they have a Scottsdale location, too. This is a delicious place to start your day and our favorite breakfast spot that we found while visiting Tempe!

Med Fresh Grill – a small, mom-and-top type restaurant in Tempe with delicious hummus and falafel wraps! It’s small and you’ll wait in line but it goes quickly and it’s definitely worth the wait.

Tocaya – this is a west coast chain, but it’s good enough to include, and has a lot of vegan options in taco and bowl form to choose from. We went to the Scottsdale location which is located at their mall, a good way to spend the evening shopping and dining!

As far as things to do, our favorite aside from the art fest was the Heard Museum. It’s an awesome museum and a lovely gift shop that you can’t not buy from! We also very much enjoyed the Japanese Friendship Garden and on a previous trip my husband and I visited the incredible Taliesin West. If you admire Frank Lloyd Wright, this work of architecture/art is a must-see.

If you’re into vegan food and art in Tempe, I hope you enjoyed this short trip report. Go in the winter, get some delicious tacos, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy your long weekend!