Best Downtown Alternative
Campbell Avenue between Grant and Prince Roads
STAFF PICK: While downtown again struggles to rebound (and we sincerely hope that it will), there are areas of town that function like downtown ought to: lively neighborhoods with a mix of good restaurants, locally owned businesses, national chains and services all within walking distance of each other. Our favorite: the stretch of Campbell Avenue between Grant and Prince roads. You've got fantastic used bookstores, an art-house cinema that's even showing midnight movies on weekends, comfy coffeehouses, cleaners, auto shops and plenty of specialty stores, including the wonderful Plaza Liquors. On the restaurant front, you'll find upscale joints like Pastiche, lowbrow fare like Lucky Wishbone, and a melting pot of Thai, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Turkish delights. We just hope the city never finds the money to bulldoze the east side of Campbell and ruin one of the few healthy, sustainable strips in town.