Fair enough, I tied the two statements together. I’m not sure if you are just looking for neighborhoods in PHX or restaurants too. I have a bunch of restaurants I can PM for your next visit. But I’ll stick to neighborhoods here.
Calle 16 in downtown PHX:
This is 16th Street north of Washington Street. This is a Mexican American area that has great Mexican restaurants and art murals. Barrio Cafe is the most acclaimed restaurant here.
Drive north on Central Ave from Downtown to Bethany Home Rd. You’ll drive past Historic neighborhoods on both sides of central (Take a detour through the neighborhoods behind the museums). These nighborhoods have mature tree lined streets. There are plenty of restaurants along Central. If you like streakhouses, Durant’s is a classic that opened in the 50s.
This is a popular neighborhood between the Bitlmore area and Scottsdale. It has good restaurants and a good vibe. It’s an older citrus grove neighborhood that has gone through a gentrification. Check out Wren Hous Brewery.
A scenic and affluent neighborhood close to Camelback mountain. Many athletes and celebrities have houses here.
as an extra: if you are in North Phoenix and want a quality bar, check out Magnum’s located at Union Hills and 7th St.
For the Southwest character you’ll want to head up to Cave Creek (just north of Phoenix). There you can drink a beer and have some BBQ while watching live bull riding behind a bar.
Downtown Gilbert is another option for a town with Southwest character. It’s an agricultural town that has grown. It has solid restaurants downtown. Also AZ Wilderness is a great brewery located in Gilbert (not downtown).