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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Pepe's Taco Villa

    $ | North Central Phoenix | Mexican

    The neighborhood's not fancy, and neither is this restaurant, but in a town with a lot of gringo-ized south-of-the-border fare, this is the...Read More

  • 7. Via Delosantos

    $$ | North Central Phoenix | Mexican

    The family-owned restaurant looks a little rough around the edges outside, but it's what's inside that counts—an accommodating staff, an enormous...Read More

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