Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Restaurants

Just as the Valley of the Sun has attracted visitors from around the world, it has also been attracting a record number of worldly residents. Fortunately for everyone, many of those people are skilled chefs and/or restaurateurs who have opted to share their gifts with the public.

Phoenix and its surroundings have metamorphosed into a melting pot for every type of cuisine imaginable: northern to Tuscan Italian; mom-and-pop to Mexico City Mexican; low-key Cuban to high-end French- and Greek-inspired Southwestern; Japanese- to Spanish-style tapas; and kosher to American classics with subtle ethnic twists.

Eateries like La Grande Orange grocery are revolutionizing Phoenix's "fast-food" concept with gourmet takeout. Four-star cuisine, some concocted by celebrity chefs, also awaits all over the Valley, from Kai in Chandler to Scottsdale's Bourbon Steak, along with Binkley's and Cafe Blink in nearby Carefree. Dotted with massive strip malls, Phoenix’s outskirts are becoming a haven of corporate eateries, but don't worry, there's plenty of divine, independent dining for all tastes and all trends in between.

Many of the best restaurants in the Valley are in resorts, camouflaged behind courtyard walls, or tucked away in shopping malls. Newer, upscale eateries are clustered along the Camelback Corridor—a veritable restaurant row, running west to east from Phoenix to Scottsdale—and in Scottsdale itself. Great Mexican food can be found throughout the Valley, but the most authentic spots are in North Central and South Phoenix.

Restaurants change hours, locations, chefs, prices, and menus frequently, so it's best to call ahead to confirm. Show up without a reservation during tourist season (October through mid-May), and you may have to head for a fast-food drive-through window to avoid a two-hour wait for a table.

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  • 1. Barrio Café

    $$ | North Central Phoenix | Mexican

    Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has taken Mexican cuisine to a new level, routinely winning accolades for modern specialties such as cochinita...Read More

  • 2. Binkley's Restaurant

    $$$$ | Modern American

    This upscale restaurant is a diamond in the Valley's last bit of rough. In a town of cowboy bars and gut bombs, chef Kevin Binkley puts together...Read More

  • 3. Bourbon Steak

    $$$$ | North Scottsdale | Steakhouse

    This upscale steak restaurant run by top-rated chef Michael Mina lives up to the royal reputation of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Its severe...Read More

  • 4. Chelsea's Kitchen

    $$$ | Camelback Corridor | American

    With its hip, Pacific Northwest–chic interior and a patio that feels more like a secret garden, Chelsea's Kitchen can easily make you forget...Read More

  • 5. Durant's

    $$$$ | North Central Phoenix | Steakhouse

    Durant's has endured in the same location since 1950 with the same menu and waiters who've been on staff for decades, making it one of Phoenix...Read More

  • 6. House of Tricks

    $$$ | Contemporary

    There's nothing up the sleeves of Robert and Robin Trick, who work magic on their ever-changing eclectic menu. One of the Valley's most unusual...Read More

  • 7. J&G Steakhouse

    $$$$ | Camelback Corridor | Steakhouse

    This is more than a steak house; it's an experience. The menu changes seasonally, but if you're lucky enough to be here when the sweet-corn...Read More

  • 8. Kai

    $$$$ | American

    One of the finest restaurants in all of the Valley, the prestigious Kai ("seed" in the Pima language) uses indigenous ingredients from local...Read More

  • 9. La Grande Orange

    $$ | Camelback Corridor | American

    This San Francisco–inspired grocery and eatery sells artisanal nosh and novelty items, along with a formidable selection of wines. Valley residents...Read More

  • 10. Nobuo at Teeter House

    $$ | Downtown Phoenix | Japanese

    The creations chef Nobuo Fukuda arranges on your plate might look too beautiful to eat, but it’s okay—feel free to devour them. These Japanese...Read More

  • 11. Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico

    $$$$ | North Central Phoenix | American

    Richardson's lures back locals with heat-filled dishes that test the limits of your palate—but not in a threatening way. This is fine New Mexican...Read More

  • 12. Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor

    $ | Old Town | Diner

    This iconic Scottsdale destination transports you back in time to a 1950s malt shop, complete with great burgers and lots of yummy ice-cream...Read More

  • 13. T. Cook's at the Royal Palms

    $$$$ | Camelback Corridor | Mediterranean

    One of the finest restaurants in the Valley, T. Cook's exudes romance, from the floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic views of Camelback Mountain...Read More

  • 14. Anita's Cocina

    $$ | Mexican

    A favorite for locals or those just passing through, Anita's Cocina serves reliable Mexican fare including fresh tamales for lunch or dinner...Read More

  • 15. Beckett's Table

    $$$ | Camelback Corridor | Modern American

    With a menu full of comfort food far better than any Mom could make, Beckett's Table combines elegance with tradition. The menu changes frequently...Read More

  • 16. Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

    $$$ | Downtown Phoenix | Modern American

    Located inside the Hotel Palomar Phoenix, this restaurant is a great place for cocktails or appetizers before a show and, if you have the time...Read More

  • 17. Carolina's Mexican Food

    $ | North Central Phoenix | Mexican

    This small, nondescript restaurant in North Phoenix makes the most delicious, thin-as-air flour tortillas imaginable. In-the-know locals have...Read More

  • 18. Cave Creek Smokehouse

    $$ | American

    Some might remember this location as the Satisfied Frog, and while it keeps changing its name, locals still come here for beer, nachos, barbecue...Read More

  • 19. Chalo's

    $ | Mexican

    A Globe mainstay, Chalo's offers just what you'd expect from a small-town Mexican restaurant: old-school dishes and very few frills. Fortunately...Read More

  • 20. Christo's Ristorante

    $$$ | North Central Phoenix | Italian

    Don't judge this book by its cover: cozy and unassuming in a Phoenix strip mall, Christo's keeps its tables filled with loyal customers who...Read More

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