Sunday Funday in Scottsdale

By local contributor
Susan Lanier Graham

We all enjoy a Sunday Funday—a day to relax and spend time with family and friends. Here, locals love to spend a sunny Sunday chilling in North Scottsdale at Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons.

These two upscale, open-air shopping centers bookend the east and west sides of Scottsdale Road about two miles south of the Loop 101, which makes them easy to get to no matter where in the city you’re staying. You can explore any way you’d like, but today I’m starting my Sunday Funday in the morning at Kierland Commons.

Kierland Commons is a lively Main Street-style center that offers year-round entertainment, shopping and dining. I like to kickstart the day with breakfast at Corner Cafe, a quick grab-and-go or dine-in bistro. Here, you can pick up "Scottsdale's Best Coffee" for just $1.00 and an egg sandwich or chorizo and egg burrito to get you fueled up for the day ahead.

Sunday is the ideal time to stroll the shops along Kierland Commons’ Main Street. Browse luxury favorites like Michael Kors, Coach and Sundance, then make your way to Anticus (formerly Desert Mountain Fine Art) and check out the works of local and national artists. There’s even a Tesla store if you want to take one of the luxury electric vehicles out for a spin (tip: set up an appointment online ahead of time so you don’t have to wait).

If you’re in the mood for pampering, I suggest making an appointment in advance at Bluemercury for a facial. The estheticians there can help you pick out the best products to take home so you can keep your Scottsdale glow going long after you leave.

Shopping and pampering always makes me hungry, and luckily several of my favorite Scottsdale restaurants have locations at Kierland Commons. For lunch, check out The Mission, featuring Latin cuisine from Chef Matt Carter (whatever you do, don’t miss the tableside guacamole – it’s pure perfection!). If Northern Italian cuisine is more your style, head to Bar NoRTH where the patio is ideal for sunning and people watching while you dine. For a lighter bite, my personal favorite is wine and bruschetta — or the prosciutto, Brie and fig jam Panini — served on the patio at Postino WineCafé.

After lunch, use the pedestrian walk to cross over to Scottsdale Quarter. The Quad is the heart of the Scottsdale Quarter community, so be sure to swing by and see what’s happening. In summer, you’ll find kids playing on the splash pad while adults sip a cool beverage and listen to music. There’s entertainment year-round, ranging from live bands to wine tasting, so be sure to check here for the current schedule.

There’s plenty more shopping to be had at Scottsdale Quarter, including gems like Elan Style, West Elm and Kendra Scott, so browse on! And when you’re ready to sit for a spell, take in a matinee of the latest blockbuster at iPic Theater. You can even have a snack served right to your plush reclining seat while you watch the flick. Sliders and truffle fries, anyone?

After the movie, pop into Sorso Wine Room for a glass of wine and more people watching. You’ll feel right at home in this neighborhood-style hot spot. For a take-home treat, I recommend heading next door to Le Macaron where they whip up traditional French macarons—morsels of light, fluffy perfection that virtually sweep me away to Paris every time.

I don’t know about you, but by now I’m ready for dinner! You’ll have plenty of choices at the Quarter, but one of my favorites is SOL Cocina where I’ll opt for one of their signature margaritas and either the creamy goat cheese enchiladas or the Ensenada-style fish taco plate.

It wouldn’t be a fun day – Sunday or otherwise – without dessert, so I’m wrapping up my explorations at Creamistry, an eclectic blend of ice-cream parlor and chemistry lab. Pick out the type of base you want (options include cream, sorbet and coconut milk), add in your choices from more than 70 available flavors and toppings, then watch the “creamologists” use liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze everything into a delectable ice cream treat. It’s the perfect end to a sweet Sunday Funday!