Now that the heat has arrived, light bites and drinks that cool and refresh are more my pace.

The street tacos ($6–$7.50) and generous portions of house-made guacamole ($6) fit the bill at Canteen Modern Tequila Bar. I prefer to pair my meal with a Paloma ($6.50) made with 100 percent blue agave blanco, organic grapefruit soda, fresh lime and grapefruit zest.

Nights get busy with the bling crowd at Canteen, however, for me it is a go-to local spot for a summer lunch, happy hour or quick bite before a show at ASU Gammage. Fairly fast service, a simple well-priced menu and cool modern vibe has gotten Canteen voted one of the “Top 25 Best New Restaurants in Phoenix” and “Best Happy Hour” by Phoenix Magazine. It also earned a Best of East Valley award for Best Margarita from the East Valley Tribune.

Located at 640 S. Mill Ave. in Tempe, Canteen is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily with happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (480) 773-7135.

• Follow Lily at, a blog published by Beth Hickey and Brandi Walsh about places to eat, shop and experience Arizona.

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