There’s a funny story behind the name of this South Phoenix neighborhood, bordered by South Mountain Park, the I-10 and the Gila River Indian Community. One of its first homes was built in 1921 for Dr. William Ames, who called it “Casa de Sueños,” or “House of Dreams.” In 1935, Helen Brinton, a wealthy woman from Illinois, bought it and attempted to translate its name to the Crow language. Her translation was “Ahwatukee,” though there is no such word in Crow. The name nonetheless stuck – to the whole neighborhood.
Text by Campbell Linaman
3 Places To Eat
A Origami Ramen Bar
Yusuke Kuroda, a chef from Osaka, Japan, opened Origami Ramen Bar in the summer of 2020. Kuroda received his culinary training in Japan, and later came to the United States, working in different parts of the country before opening his own place in Ahwatukee. The menu features ramen with house-made broths, hand rolls and rice bowls. Matcha, black sesame and sweet potato cakes provide sweet endings.
4810 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix
B Pomegranate Café
Healthy, organic food, sustainability and a lively atmosphere come together at Pomegranate Café, a colorful restaurant on Chandler Boulevard. It offers vegetarian and vegan dishes, from biscuits and gravy to salads to veggie burgers, and supports other local businesses by using Arizona food sources. There are also vegan, house-made baked goods and a market with sustainable goods including home décor, beauty products and kitchenware.
4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix
C Taco Culture Taco Shop
Taco Culture Taco Shop has a simple menu of traditional Mexican food, specializing in, you guessed it, tacos. The small shop has no fancy décor or outrageous advertising – the food speaks for itself. The menu includes more than five types of tacos, including rolled crispy tacos and vegan versions, in addition to burritos, nachos and gringas, aka quesadillas stuffed with your choice of meat.
3233 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix
3 Things To Do
D South Mountain
South Mountain is the beautiful northern border to Ahwatukee, and hiking it is a must. Trekking conditions are great during the days of the winter months when it is often sunny, yet the Arizona heat is not in play. There are multiple trails, so be sure to choose one best fitting your time limitations and ability, and enjoy this picturesque mountain and its amazing views of the city.
E Urban Air Adventure Park
There is seemingly no end to activities at Urban Air Adventure Park, making it a great option for families. Trampolines, dodgeball, a ropes course, climbing walls and an obstacle course dubbed the Warrior Course are just some of the fun offerings at the park.
4816 E. Ray Rd., Phoenix
Sometimes, and especially on a getaway, we all need to indulge and take time to rest and reset. Fuchsia is a locally owned day spa that provides pampering at lower prices than resort spas. It offers a variety of services including facials, massages, manicures and infrared saunas, and also sells skincare and beauty products.
4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix
Horse Sculpture at Gila River Wild Horse Pass Resort
In the lobby of the resort stands David A. Montour’s impressive metal, ironwood and cactus-rib wood sculpture of a horse on its hind legs. Snap a new profile pic with its equine majesty.
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa
This resort was designed with the native Pima and Maricopa cultures in mind, and aspects of them can be seen throughout its décor, restaurants and spa. Aji Spa and Kai restaurant have earned Forbes Five-Star ratings. Golfing, horseback riding and kayaking are just a few of the many activities available at Wild Horse Pass.
5594 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix