First Friday is a monthly event in Phoenix that occurs on the First Friday of every month. On this night, multiple shops, art galleries, and restaurants keep their doors open late for a night of fun, food, and art. First Friday has several locations such as the Phoenix Art Museum and Grand Avenue, but the flagship of First Friday fun is at Roosevelt Row, just a couple minutes from downtown.  

Whether you're a local hoping to get their feet wet with this exciting event or a visitor looking to have a great night out, First Friday is a wonderful way to support local businesses and witness all the exciting developments going on in Phoenix

The amount of new and interesting ideas being cultivated in Phoenix right now is truly an amazing thing, and as a former resident of Central Phoenix, I'm here to guide you through this vibrant event with the must-visit shops, restaurants, and venues in Roosevelt Row.  

Desoto Central Market

Hannah Bernier

Opened in an old auto store on the edge of the Roosevelt District, Desoto Marketplace is a great place to start off your First Friday. A collection of vendors make their home in the space, promising something exciting for everyone. As well as offering a wide range of food options on First Fridays, Desoto hosts local artists selling various products such as jewelry and household items. 

Hannah Bernier

Whether you're in the mood for burgers at DCM Burger Joint, Mexican-Asian fusion at Adobo Dragon, Oysters at Walrus & The Pearl, salads at Radish, or delicious and unique Southern food  at The Larder + The Delta (their fried cauliflower is pictured above), Desoto does not disappoint.

MADE Art Boutique

Hannah Bernier

MADE Art Boutique is a local shop that sells a collection of goods from artists all around Arizona. Their commitment to promoting local artists is at the core of their business, and reflects the values of the entire Roosevelt Row community. This cozy shop is packed with intricate Arizona-themed goods that will tempt both out-of-towners and locals alike to proudly display their Arizona spirit.

The Bosque

Hannah Bernier

A trendy plant shop just off the bustle of Roosevelt, The Bosque is the perfect place to duck out of the crowds and find a moment of peace. Filled with all manner of things green and growing, it will call out to anyone with a green thumb. Whether you're in the market for some hanging vines or just in for the experience, The Bosque promises to delight and inspire. 

be Coffee

Hannah Bernier

Located right next to The Bosque and a hip gallery called MonOrchid, be Coffee + Food + Stuff is an artsy café perfect for sitting on a nice plush couch and watching the crowds of First Friday pass by.

With tempting egg sandwiches and all manner of coffee goods, this is the place to go if you're a breakfast-for-dinner kind of person. After perusing the interesting exhibit featured at MonOrchid, be Coffee is the perfect place to sip an almond milk latte and embrace your inner hipster.

The Velo/Bicycle Nomad Café

Hannah Bernier

Although it's a bit off the beaten track of First Friday, this bike store/café duo is definitely worth the walk. Filled with gorgeous bikes and all manner of bright and shiny bike gear, The Velo is one of the hippest bike shops in Phoenix.

Alongside it, Bicycle Nomad Café offers coffee, beverages, and healthy snacks to make you feel like a superhuman. Whether you're a hardcore biker or someone just along for the ride, these shops are the perfect place to brush up on your bike lingo while drinking a nice cup of tea. 

Short Leash Dogs

Hannah Bernier

Known for their crazy combinations of hot dog toppings and often using naan instead of buns, Short Leash Dogs is the place to go if you've got a hankering for hot dogs. With a relaxed and dog-centric atmosphere, this is the place to go if you identify as a "naan believer."

Short Leash invites you to try unique dogs such as the Bear (peanut butter, smoked gouda, bacon, bbq sauce, and cracker jacks) or the Mac Daddy (a beef hot dog topped with house-made mac and cheese and vegetarian chili). Although they may seem a bit insane, I can assure you that Short Leash knows what they're doing when it comes to their dogs.

The Nash

Hannah Bernier

With its cozy atmosphere, friendly people, and some good old jazz music, The Nash is the perfect place to finish off a night at First Friday. Run by a non-profit organization called Jazz in AZ, their mission is to make jazz music and education accessible to everyone in the Phoenix community and beyond. 

Whether you pop in for a minute or spend some quality time there, this is a music venue worth exploring. The Nash is a community of people with a true passion for music, encouraging and appreciating a wide range of styles. The Nash is a perfect place for anyone who wants to learn more about the art of jazz to explore this American-made genre.

Hannah Bernier

So there you have it. All these wonderful places paint a vibrant picture that's Roosevelt Row, and embody the local movement taking place in the Phoenix community. Although there are many more amazing shops and events taking place in Phoenix, hopefully these few will give you a start on experiencing the many exciting things Phoenix has to offer.