Alhambra – Life in the Most Culturally Diverse Neighborhood of Phoenix

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Located just north of downtown Phoenix, the diverse neighborhood of Alhambra is known for its southwestern and Hispanic culture. The neighborhood is home to the highest population of Mexican and Native American Phoenicians of any area in Arizona.


Situated between North Mountain Village to the north, Encanto Village to the south, Phoenix Mountain Preserves to the east, and the city of Glendale to the west Alhambra is considered a central neighborhood of the Valley. It is less than 25 minutes or less from virtually everything in Phoenix.

History of Alhambra

Alhambra was initially created to serve the housing needs of Phoenix’s rapidly growing population post World War II. At Alhambra’s infancy, it was one of four Valley communities making up North Phoenix. Since that time, the city has grown with so much urgency it is now considered a central or south-central neighborhood. Older, post-war homes make up the majority of housing in this eccentric urban village. However, in recent years many new build apartment communities have been built in this area. Homes in Alhambra represent a wide range of periods and architectural styles.

Lifestyle of Alhambra

Alhambra is home to an exhilarating nightlife that runs along the 7th Street Golden Mile Corridor, attracting many young professionals to this neighborhood. This historic community has long been a generational neighborhood, with generation after generation continuing to live here, often in the same home they grew up in. Alhambra is the most mixed population of all the urban villages of the Valley.

What to do in Alhambra

Alhambra is full of exciting things to do inside and outside. Along with a rich nightlife, this neighborhood also includes several family-friendly events.

Christown Spectrum
The oldest mall in Phoenix, Christown Spectrum, formally Chris-Town Mall is home to a Super Target, Walmart Supercenter, PetSmart, Ross Dress For Less, Bath & Body Works, and Walgreens, along with many other stores. A host of restaurants like Charley’s Philly Cheese Steaks and Olive Garden are a great place to take a load off after a long day of shopping. After shopping and eating, grab a movie at Harkins Theater, conveniently located at Christown Spectrum.

Bowlero Christown
Bowlero Christown is the epitome of fun! When the sweltering Phoenix heat is just too much to bear, the air-conditioned super bowling alley is an epic oasis of entertainment. In addition to bowling, Bowlero has a state-of-the-art arcade, shuffleboard, pool, and a sports bar where you can catch the game and munch on the 6-pound behemoth burger (or maybe share it with a couple of friends).

Uptown Farmers Market
Every Wednesday and Saturday mornings Uptown Farmers Market, located at the Bethany Bible Church, offers over 100 regional vendors selling everything from natural soap to prickly pear jam. In addition to the artisan and produce vendors, the market features favorite Valley restaurants and food carts.

Where to Eat & Drink in Alhambra

Alhambra has many authentic Mexican restaurants. However, there are also incredible sushi and soul food eateries sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. In fact, Alhambra is best known for its entertainment district, rich culture, and amazing food.

Hana Japanese Eatery
Hana Japanese Eatery is a Valley favorite. Patrons travel from all corners of Phoenix to savor their classic Japanese dishes and deep-fried rolls. Hidden on the north side of Camelback Road and 7th Street, the family-owned restaurant offers a true taste of Japan.

Papa Joe’s Fish-N-Que
Papa Joe has been a legend of the Valley for decades. Specializing in slow-cooked meats, collard greens, and cornbread, Papa Joe serves up the best comfort food in all of Phoenix. Papa Joe brought his tasty dishes all the way from Texas and has never looked back. Phoenicians can’t get enough of his brisket, hot links, and hushpuppies. Papa Joe and delicious food go hand in hand.

La Piñata
“Home of the Chimichanga,” La Piñata was the very first restaurant to ever top the tasty deep-fried burrito with sour cream and guacamole. Serving up some of the best authentic Sonoran-style Mexican dishes, La Piñata has served as a Phoenix staple for over 50 years.

Bonus Round
Bonus Round is the ultimate happy hour experience. Situated between State Route 51 and I-17, on the corner of Central and Camelback, Bonus Round offers patrons arcade games, board games, food, and drinks. With yummy food, drinks, and free “bonus” games, this bar is unlike any other in the Valley.

Real Estate Snapshot

Alhambra is one of the least expensive Phoenix neighborhoods. However, there are much more expensive residential areas closer to the 7th Street Corridor. The neighborhood is scattered with lower-rent and relatively high rent. Across the board, however, Alhambra comes in as one of the more economic areas of the Valley to call home.


Alhambra has numerous Valley Metro bus stops and various light rail stations. Commonly used stations are at 7th Avenue and Indian School and 7th Avenue and Camelback. Depending on where you live and work, it is feasible to live in Alhambra without a car.

Schools & Employment

Alhambra Elementary School District presides over the entire Alhambra neighborhood. Secondary students in this south-central neighborhood attend Alhambra High School. The largest Christian University in the world, Grand Canyon University (GCU) is located in the heart of Alhambra. With 90,000 students online and on-campus, GCU also serves as one of the largest employers in the neighborhood.

With easy access to virtually every part of the Valley, a fantastic entertainment district, first-rate public transportation, a variety of architectural structures, and a rich Native American and Mexican culture Alhambra is an exciting part of the Phoenix metro area. So, for those looking to move to the area, make sure to check out apartments for rent in Alhambra.

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Sanziana Bona is a content marketing writer for Yardi Corom, a cloud-based software solution designed for commercial tenants and corporate occupiers and Yardi Kube, an all-in-one coworking management platform. She covers many commercial real estate related topics including FASB/IFRS compliance, lease accounting, coworking and flexile spaces, and more. You can connect with Sanziana via email.

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