Empanadas from Sydney’s at Tempe Marketplace

sydneys-tempe-logoVoted best empanada’s in Phoenix in a readers choice poll for 2015, the Sydney’s Cafe located at Tempe Marketplace is a one-of-a-kind restaurant!

The speciality is the empanadas. I tried a bunch of them! They’re all very delicious!


The Gaucho Beef has beef, cumin, paprika, beef, potatoes, green olives, and hard boiled eggs.


Then there’s the California, a mushroom, fontina, goat cheese empanada that was my personal favorite. It’s like eating mushroom soup! Delicious!


The vegetarian options are plentiful. I tried the Samosa empanada, which has curry, potato, kale, peas, ginger, cilantro, garlic, and more… Really good flavor!

The chicken empanada has smoked chorizo, smoked cheese, bell pepper, red pepper, and more. Also delicious!


Sydney’s is way more than empanadas. They also serve a variety of custom made sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts.

They also make smoothies, coffee and chai drinks, cocktails, and pastries! It’s like a coffee shop with awesome food.


Let’s start with the empanada’s, since those are the real treat. They make all of their different empanada’s fresh daily, and have more than a dozen varieties. Everything from chicken, beef, turkey, vegetarian, and spinach. And, they taste amazing! Each one costs $3.99 and you can bundle them with a meal for a value basket.


Dine in, or take-out. They also do catering. On the day I visited, they were wrapping up 800 empanada’s for delivery to a local tech company’s weekly luncheon.


Back to the food: the empanada’s are served with chips, coleslaw, or potato salad. They make all of these items fresh, including the potato chips. I love it when a restaurant makes their own chips, instead of just serving bagged chips.

They also have a variety of desserts. I tried the fig empanada which was marvelous. Hot out of the oven, and covered in a raspberry sauce. Lovely flavors you won’t find anywhere else. I also tried the pineapple cake which was lovely. It had a cream cheese based whip. One of my favorites!


The interior of Sydney’s is designed and accented with an airplane theme. There’s a tail wing from an airplane on the ceiling, and the trash cans are repurposed airline beverage carts (great idea!).

trash can made out of a airplane beverage cart

They have lots of comfortable seating, with booth and table seating along the western wall.


Most of the menu items are named after airports or airplanes in some way. For example, there’s the O’Hare Roast Beef Sandwich, and the Sky Harbor Chef.

The owners know a thing or two about the airline industry, and it shows in the design of their restaurant.


So, next time you’re in Tempe, stop in at Sydney’s and try one of the empanada’s!

Getting there

They are located inside Tempe Marketplace, across from Barnes and Noble and the splash pad.

Sydney’s Cafe
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (480) 967-1171

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Still the very best burger in Scottsdale, and possibly all of Phoenix! Hopdoddy Burger Bar is a superb place to go for tasty burgers, delicious milk shakes, and drinks!


On a recent visit, we tried the Poblano Burger and the Shroom Burger, along with french fries, a margarita, and a Hefeweizen beer. We topped all of that with one of their custom chocolate milkshakes. Delicious!

Hopdoddy’s interior has comfortable booth seating as well as tables and bar seating. The bar is on the other side of the restaurant, so when you’re having a burger with you family, it doesn’t seem like you’re sitting in a bar.

The burgers at Hopdoddy are the best, and let me tell you why: They’ll cook them to order, and the default is pink in the middle. They’re always just right!


Once you bite into the juicy, medium-rare burger patty you’ll realize why it’s so good. They are moist, and juicy. The buns they makke are also a big factor in why I like Hopdoddy. They’re fresh, and they are never dry. If you’ve had a burger with a dry bun, you’ll know it isn’t the same experience.

The variety of toppings, cheeses, and sauces is stunning! No matter what you want on your burger, they have it! I saw they even have a vegetarian option now (if you’re into that kind of thing).


Let’s talk about the drinks! The beers are $6 draft, and come in a humungous mug! Loved my Hefeweizen beer, and it had a tiny bit of slushy ice and was super-cold. The margarita was also delicious! I can tell you with certainty that they don’t skimp on the tequila! The ice is blended to a snow consistency, and was perfect.

The french fries are always delicious. Maybe not as good as some others I’ve had, but they’re thin and crisply.

poblano burger

Lastly, the milkshakes are awesome! I’m not sure what they put in them, but you must try them! They’re awesome!

So, get out there and go try the hamburgers at Hopdoddy in Scottsdale! It is located just north of Shea Blvd. on Scottsdale Rd.