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. Matt's Big Breakfast

    $ | Downtown Phoenix | American

    Fresh, filling, and simply fantastic, the food at this itty-bitty, retro cool diner is a great way to start any day, especially when you have...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Horny Toad Restaurant

    $$$ | American

    Cave Creek's oldest restaurant is a rustic spot for barbecued pork ribs and steak, but the real star is the fried chicken. The quirky menu features...Read More

  • 9. Los Dos Molinos

    $$ | South Phoenix | Mexican

    This fun restaurant is a must-do dining experience if you want true New Mexican–style food. New Mexico chiles form the backbone and fiery breath...Read More

  • 10. Malee's Thai Bistro

    $$ | Old Town | Thai

    This cozy but fashionable eatery in the heart of Scottsdale's Main Street Arts District serves sophisticated, Thai-inspired fare. Try the crispy...Read More

  • 11. Pizzeria Bianco

    $$ | Downtown Phoenix | Pizza

    Brooklyn native Chris Bianco became famous for his pizza made with passion in this small establishment on Heritage Square. His wood-fired thin...Read More

  • 12. The Arrogant Butcher

    $$$ | Downtown Phoenix | Modern American

    The attention-grabbing name is intentional, as is the in-your-face decor and cuisine of this Downtown Phoenix not-quite-bar, not-quite-restaurant...Read More

  • 13. Delux

    $$ | Camelback Corridor | American

    Everything exudes "cool" in this hipster burger joint. Delux serves delicious salads, sushi, and burgers made with all-natural Harris Ranch...Read More

  • 14. Don & Charlie's

    $$$$ | Old Town | Steakhouse

    Attention, sports fans: This hangout is a favorite with major-leaguers in town for spring training, college football Bowl games, or the Super...Read More

  • 15. Havana Café

    $$$ | North Scottsdale | Cuban

    Tapas are marvelous at this cozy Cuban-style cantina. While sampling authentic Cuban creations like shrimp pancakes, ham and chicken croquettes...Read More

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