Looking for experiences unique to Phoenix. ... but some place that's not so hip they won't turn away my white New Balances.
There's a new place called The Clever Koi that I rather like. It's also near SunUp Brewing Co, which is one of the better microbreweries around. I also like St. Francis. Now, this is all a bit away from the downtown area ... that's not honestly what I'd consider necessarily an awesome dining area. Uptown is much better. But if you want coffee and a good lunch, Jobot Coffee is excellent.
Oh, and Mother Bunch Brewing is looking good as a new dinner/drinking spot.
Mentioned in this answer: