First, I just want to remind you that calories don't count at IRE or any conference.
Second, a bit about my qualifications for writing this: I grew up about five miles from where the conference is taking place. The list of reasons I am not qualified is much longer: I haven't lived in Phoenix for seven years, so I really don't know what's new. I generally like large quantities of food, and don't care how good it tastes. I often like restaurant food at the same time others don't like the same restaurant food. And I am generally horrible at writing food reviews. All this said, I know how important food is to my fellow journalists, so I offer you here my unqualified opinion of the best food options in North Phoenix during the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference, 2017 #IRE17.
What this list includes:
Restaurants not at the hotel but within a few miles.
Generally more "local" places (although I realize some are chains).
Please do not try to walk to these places in 115 degrees, you will die. But also good luck calling an Uber in North Phoenix.
List not meant to be comprehensive (see qualifications above).
Coffee! (where the locals go)
Drive-thru: Dutch Bros, 20795 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 OR 6235 E Bell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
This is literally the most Phoenix place you can go. You must get a flavored iced tea at least one time or you did not fully have the Phoenix experience.
Sit-down: Coffee Bean Tea & Leaf, 20235 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024
Good but far: Cartel, 7124 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Good bagels: Einstein Bros, 21001 N Tatum Blvd #80, Phoenix, AZ 85050
For hipsters: Tryst Cafe, 21050 N Tatum Blvd #108, Phoenix, AZ 85050
A hardy meal: Egg N' Joe (caveat: haven't tried it, but heard it's good) 23271 N Scottsdale Rd a101, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
A bit farther but good: Snooze, 15054 N Scottsdale Rd 110 D18, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 OR Eggstacy, 6990 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, OR Breakfast Kitchen Bar and Perk (featured on diners drives ins and dives), 15147 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 U.S. Egg, 402 E Greenway Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85022
Lunch when you have the whole break
Local tradition: Islands, 21001 N. Tatum Boulevard #36, Phoenix, AZ 85050
Pizza: Mellow Mushroom, 5350 E High St #115, Phoenix, AZ 85054 OR Humble Pie, 21050 N Tatum Blvd #110, Phoenix, AZ 85050
Pita Jungle, 20910 N Tatum Blvd #140, Phoenix, AZ 85050
Lunch when you're in a rush
Burgers (IMHO better than Shake Shack or Five Guys): In-N-Out 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050 (Note: Lines can be LONG!)
Subs: Firehouse subs, 5450 E High St, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Fast-food tacos (don't blame me if something goes wrong): Del Taco, 16649 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 OR Los Betos, 3217 E Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Mexican: Carlos O'Briens: 7000 E Mayo Blvd #21, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Mexican (but you go for the fun bar): Sandbar, 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050
Best bar: Yard House, 21001 N Tatum Blvd #48, Phoenix, AZ 85050 OR Four Peaks: 15745 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Asian: Kona Grill, 5310 E High St #101, Phoenix, AZ 85054
$$$: Benihana, 16403 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 OR White Chocolate Grill,7000 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85054
A little farther, but worth it: Oregano's (Pizza) 4602 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 OR Postino (wine!), 7030 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 OR Brio (Italian), 15301 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 OR The Mission, 7122 E Greenway Pkwy, Ste 140, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
If you have another restaurant to list, or if I'm really wrong about something, just leave a note in the comments!