MacAlpine's Soda Fountain – Phoenix, Arizona - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

MacAlpine's Soda Fountain

Open since 1938, this diner has kept its fountain, malt machine, and all the gum that greasers left beneath its counter. 


There aren’t many shops as old as MacAlpine’s that still stand in the desert city of Phoenix, Arizona. The diner’s selection of classics includes malts, phosphates, egg creams, and more. With an array of syrups, diners can also choose from a menu of more than 99 soda flavors at the vintage soda fountain. Anything from pickle to bubblegum to red velvet is fair game.

The destination opened as Birch’s 7th Street Pharmacy in the late 1920s, changing hands from various owners until it landed on Fred MacAlpine in 1938. MacAlpine’s operated as a full-service pharmacy and soda fountain until 1991. While the drugs have been replaced by a food menu, the soda fountain, counter, and malt machine are original. The current owner even left a piece of history stuck beneath the counter: Bubblegum covers the underside, offering a sticky relic of the greasers and pink ladies who once shared malted milkshakes and egg creams at the same counter.

Today, waitresses offer meals to diners in wooden booths, guests select old tunes from a jukebox, and shoppers peruse vintage decor and a hodgepodge of antiques in the attached space next door. If it all sounds a bit overwhelming, just start tasting sodas with reckless abandon. You’ll be jitterbugging with the best of ’em in no time.

Know Before You Go

MacAlpine's is open for lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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