Best Birthday Restaurants in Phoenix

10 Of The Best Restaurants In The Phoenix Area That Are Perfect For Celebrating Birthdays

Skip the basic chain restaurants and indulge in a birthday dinner you deserve.

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One thing that happens every year, that we can't avoid, is birthdays. While sometimes we throw lavish parties or take special trips, a low-key birthday dinner is always a memorable experience.

Luckily, Phoenix is jam-packed with cute restaurants that will fit your birthday desires. Whether you're ready to splurge or have some wine with your friends, these restaurants are ready to celebrate another year of you being you.

1. For an Instagrammable meal: The Henry

The Henry is a local Phoenix favorite. Their super cute restaurant is filled with yummy dishes, kind service and a great atmosphere for those birthday pictures. Take a picture in front of their signature arrow with your birthday gang and treat yourself to one of their desserts (they're worth it).

2. For the best drinks: Hulas Modern Tiki

Hula's Modern Tiki is almost a best-kept secret. It's like taking a vacation for a couple of hours. Their menu has a huge variety from tacos to steak sandwiches. Plus, their drinks are delicious and festive.

3. For a good time on a budget: Joyride Taco House

You don't have to drop $25 per person for a good time. JoyRide's taco Tuesday menu has $2 tacos and $5 margaritas. Try the crispy fish, it's the best.

4. For the wine lovers: Postino Wine Cafe

If you're not in the mood for a big dinner, Postino is the place for you. Their bruschetta is perfect for sharing or for indulging in yourself.

5. For the ones who believe brunch is a religion: Hash Kitchen

I mean, the picture speaks a 1000 words. Hash Kitchen takes their brunch seriously, just like you do.

6. For the healthy foodie: True Food Kitchen

True Food is healthy dishes that are far from boring. Their menu changes seasonally so there is always something new to try.

7. For the feel-good food feels: Culinary Dropout

With multiple locations, Culinary Dropout is a birthday classic. Their home made feeling food is amazing but the atmosphere will guarantee a good time.

8. For an interactive experience: The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is a fun, interactive food experience. Typically, it's a three-course experience and its fun for everyone to enjoy.

9. For the person who'd rather not leave the house: IPic

IPic theaters the way to say, let's go to dinner and celebrate but I also don't want to really have a conversation. Pick your favorite movie in theaters and sit back, relax.

10. For the pancake lover: Snooze AM Eatery

Snooze also has multiple locations, so it's bringing the breakfast good times to you. Try their grapefruit mimosas. You won't regret it!

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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ANMLY Cafe Is Bellingham, WA's New Starbucks But Better

Looking for a sustainable cafe for your next brunch? Check out ANMLY Cafe in downtown Bellingham!

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Bellingham, WA is the place to go for window shopping and waterfront views. The downtown area is not lacking in cute shops and local businesses, but one of its latest additions is my favorite by far!

It's called ANMLY Cafe — a play on the word anomaly, or "something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected." The name is fitting, as I've never seen a cafe quite like it! The founders have made strides towards being a zero-waste business. They've ditched single-use items, selling to-go drinks in reusable glass jars, take-out orders in reusable boxes, and even offering real pieces of straw for straws! The cafe is also part of a food recovery program, which reduces food waste and distributes food to people in need.

And now for the reviews! The storefront is well decorated and totally photo-worthy, so it's the perfect place to capture that #foodselfie for your Instagram story. (Just don't forget to tag @anmlycafe!) The space is small, but you can't deny that it's a homey, inviting space for brunch. The menu isn't extensive, but it's totally unique and chock-full of delicious, global foods and beverages.

The food comes out quickly, looking just like a dish at a five-star restaurant. And it tastes amazing! There are plenty of options for bowls and burritos, and lots of add-ons to make the experience a personal one. Plus, the menu changes and evolves frequently, so there's a solid excuse for a weekly visit! ANMLY has great coffee, cold drinks, teas, and smoothies to grab and go, and the best part is that they're served in adorable reusable jars.

"I think that our approach to business and our approach to food and our approach to sustainability are different from what other people are doing," says the owner, Emile Diffley, in the ANMLY Vimeo. And it's true! The genuine concern for environmental practices and the modern, welcoming atmosphere places this cafe above the rest. You can't find a healthy meal in a sustainable cafe just anywhere, but Bellingham is lucky to have its own! Visit ANMLY or seek out businesses practicing sustainability in your area. Chances are they'll become your new favorite spots!

ANMLY is open Tuesday through Friday from 8-3 and Saturday from 9-2. For more information, check out the website.

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