Most ASU students know Mill Avenue for its bars, but for underage or if you're just looking for a good place to eat, Mill is home to restaurants that have become classics in Tempe.
1. Cornish Pasty Co.
This place is so well hidden inside of Mill Avenue, lots of people will walk right past it. A "Pasty" is a British dish similar to a calzone made up of different fillings with a thick, crimped crust on the outside. My favorites are the Pesto Chicken Pasty and the Chicken Tikka Masala Pasty (both of which you could also get with Quorn Vegetarian Chicken instead). They do tend to sell out so keep an open mind to other options. For the 21-plus, check out their Irish Car Bombs that are only $5 each or their wide selection of Guinness on tap.
2. Shady Park Tempe
On the Northeast side of Mill and University, Shady Park isn't directly on the strip but it is worth mentioning. The bar turned restaurant turned concert venue is best known for its eclectic selection of ramen, sushi, and pizza. I recommend making your own bowl of ramen or ordering the house "Spicy Shoyu" bowl. On the weekends, Shady Park turns into the hot spot for House Electric Dance Music so check out who's playing and hang out here!
3. Fuzzy's Taco Shop
Fuzzy's is an order at the counter Mexican restaurant perfect for any time of day. It's Baja-style so don't expect carne asada street tacos, think crispy shell and shredded cheese. The beer-itas are the most exciting buy at this taco shop- on Tuesdays, you can get a frozen lime or flavored margarita in a huge glass with a Corona standing up inside of it for $8. For food, my friends and I like to split the nachos but pretty much anything tastes good at this restaurant, especially if you're not-so-sober.
4. Mr. Mesquite Taqueria
Open an hour after the bars close on the weekend and conveniently located right next to Low-Key Piano Bar and Rodeo Ranch, Mr. Mesquite offers a taco bar or Chipotle-style service. Tacos are less than $3 each so try both the carne asada and the chicken! Look out for coupons floating around Mill that are redeemable for free tacos too.
5. Caffe Boa
This is probably the nicest restaurant on Mill. Caffe Boa is organic, formal, Italian dining filled with beautiful art and a lovely bar. This is the type of place you would be ok with taking your parents or meeting an employer. For college students on a budget, go between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily for happy hour prices in the bar. I recommend the pasta dishes that are made daily at the restaurant like the Ravioli Zucca or the Toasted Gnocchi.