My List of Top 10 Phoenix Area Restaurants

Here is where you find my list of top 10 Phoenix area restaurants as of TODAY. NOTE – this is a moving target 🙂

March / April 2022 may have your family travelling (finally!) to warmer climes for Spring Break – perhaps even headed to my new hometown of Phoenix, AZ where the sun shines – well – almost always!! Phoenix – a hotbed for travelers from all over, searching for virtually guaranteed sunshine, is not only known for its amazing resorts (find our post here:Checking out the new Phoenician Resort with our teens) but also its abundant culinary scene.

Now that I can officially call myself a “local,” and my favorite thing to do in the world is drink wine and eat good food, why not check out my list of top 10 Phoenix area restaurants for the next time you visit…

my list of top 10 Phoenix area restaurants  Le Grande Orange

I am going to make a small note here that I am going to be focusing on Scottsdale and the central Phoenix / downtown area for my list. While I am positive there are some incredible restaurants in the surrounding areas (Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Glendale, to name a few) I just can’t give you my honest opinion as I am not a familiar with these locations. SO – if you are planning a vacay to those areas, I expect a full report back on the great places YOU found, so we can update / add to our list 🙂

While making this list, I made a point of NOT picking the “ol faithful” choices. The places we all know. It goes without saying, that if you have travelled to Phoenix, you have been to at least ONE of the Fox Restaurant Group restaurants and loved it. And if you were celebrating, or felt like a special night out, you most likely have visited one of the amazing steak / seafood places ran by Maestro’s Restaurants.

The places I’ve chosen for my top 10 list of Phoenix area restaurants are (hopefully!) unique to you, and a mixture of different prices ranges and styles.

North Scottsdale

Top 10 list of Phoenix area restaurants  Spiga Cucina Italiana
Spiga Cucina Italiana – 7500 E Pinnacle Peak Road – N. Scottsdale

While I wouldn’t call this “fine Italian,” in the sense that you are in for a gourmet Italian experience. I would say this is a perfect place to check out if you are travelling with family for Spring Break, that has decent food for your dollar. Quite North in Scottsdale, Spiga is an elevated neighborhood restaurant with great food, a fun lively atmosphere and a beautiful patio. It is quite large, and can get a little noisy – but that doesn’t bother me – we love a spot with a little action and some fun people watching.

This is a great, reasonable spot for an extended family meal – lots of choice on the menu and many families. It is also a larger place, so finding a table might be a little easier here.

If you are staying in the North Scottsdale area (Greyhawk, Pinnacle, Troon etc) this is a great place to check out.

Find more info HERE

Local Bistro – 20581 N Hayden Road – N. Scottsdale

We found Local Bistro in 2009 when we had a vacation home in DC Ranch. At that time (remember the economy at that time?) restaurants were coming and going faster than you could imagine. We were so excited when a fun place with great wine and a super menu opened about 10 minutes from us. But at the same time we were SO NERVOUS every time we returned to our place – hopeful that it would still be open!

Well – I am happy to report that Local Bistro is STILL open and still features some great wines (at really good prices) and a super menu. It is cool and casual, very popular for happy hour, and just another local gem we have fallen in love with.

Again, this spot is in North Scottsdale – in the Greyhawk area, but is super accessible if you are staying in the Kierland area and are tired of the resort style restaurants offered in the Commons and the Quarter.

Find more info HERE

Central Scottsdale

my top 10 Phoenix area restaurants - Toca Madera
Salt Cellar Restaurant – 550 N Hayden Road – Scottsdale

If you are craving seafood – this is the place.

The best way to explain this place is a New England style, seafood house. It is underground – so very cool. And, it is pretty old school – an institution in the Phoenix area since 1971…

This place is a lobster lover’s paradise – make your reservations well in advance. If you are staying in the central Scottsdale area, this is convenient for you.

Find out more HERE

Andreoli Italian Grocer – 8880 E Via Linda – Scottsdale

So this is what I fondly refer to as a TWOFER – restaurant and authentic Italian grocery store in one. This is a perfect place to come for lunch – either to pick up sandwiches to head to Spring Training, or a great place to pick up some yummy ingredients to take back to your rental.

Authentic in every way – you CANNOT order more than one loaf of bread and FYI it’s not ready until noon, so don’t even bother trying to sneak in there early. Highly recommend this place if you are looking for real Italian and a fun casual atmosphere.

Find out more HERE

Toca Madera – 4736 N. Goldwater – Scottsdale

So – a few things here. If you are planning to hit this place this Spring, you might already be out of luck – unless you are prepared to go on a Monday at 4pm or 11:30 pm! Make your reservations EARLY.

Ok – so now that you know – Toca Madera is probably the hottest “upscale Mexican” place in the Valley. It is LOUD. It is EXPENSIVE. It is extremely BUSY (as previously noted.) But – I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed every minute of each time I have been there.

If you are going out with Grandma and Grandpa – this is NOT the place. I really wouldn’t bring younger kids here either. Get a sitter, or take your teens / young adults and get ready to have some fun!

Amazing, amazing margaritas of all shapes and sizes, great food (I personally love chicken tinga tacos) and – wait for it…

FIRE DANCERS for your viewing pleasure!!

This is a super fun place – with locations in West Hollywood and soon to come in Vegas – and if those locations don’t give away the style of this place… 🙂

I promise, you will love it. Dress to impress.

Find out more HERE

CENTRAL PHOENIX

ok – so NOW you are in my neck of the woods. And while I have only lived in this area officially for about 4 months, I have done some serious dining and created lists of places I still need to “hit!”

We live in what many refer to as the “Camelback Corridor” – so to my friends somewhat familiar with the Phoenix area, I fondly say we are between Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Biltmore Fashion Park. I mean, if you know me – I reference everything with how close it is to “the Mall!” 🙂

We have so many restaurants within a 10 minute drive from our house, I literally can’t keep up. So like I prefaced before, I will say again – these are my favs right NOW. Who knows how many I will add to the list once we’ve lived here just a little longer!!

Tarbells – 3213 E Camelback Road – Phoenix

Restaurant – check

Wine Tavern – check

Wine Store – check

Need I say more? Tarbells is an amazing, lively spot on the corner of Camelback and 32nd. We can walk to it from our house (just another GREAT feature of this place!)

The food is great (a little bit of everything), they have AMAZING wine by the glass – which is tough to come by, and a great vibe. Take a stroll by the wine store on Fridays around Happy Hour and the place is humming.

Find out more HERE

my top 10 Phoenix area restaurants - Kaizen Phoenix
KAIZEN PHOENIX – 515 E Grant Street – Phoenix (downtown)

SUSHI ANYONE? If you have plans to head downtown to a basketball or baseball game, why not stop in to Kaizen for a little sushi happy hour?

Many tourists shy away from downtown Phoenix unless they are going for something specific but wow – I have to say, I have been more and more impressed with downtown Phoenix these days. Lots of culinary offerings to be had, and with the Science centre, the Phoenix Kids museum, and of course, sporting events – there are many reasons to head downtown.

KAIZEN is my choice for the freshest, sushi I’ve yet to find in the Valley – and just a short drive from the Biltmore area. Great for families or for a date night – anything goes here.

Hit up happy hour to make your dollar go farther and your tummy super full 🙂

Find out more HERE

The Gladly – 2201 E Camelback Road – Phoenix

I love a place that isn’t too fancy, creates fun easily accessible dishes and has a vibe.

This place has all three and it is a go-to in our house.

The Gladly is also a great place for lunch, or happy hour AND if anyone loves whiskey… well, they’ve got you covered.

If you go – check out the Poke Bowl or the Chopped salad. Two BIG TIME favs in our family.

Unless you go for lunch, you will need to make a reservation at least a week in advance if you want a weekend time. From my observations, this appears to be the case from about February to probably the end of April.

Find out more HERE

Le Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria and Ingo’s Tasty Food – 4410 N 40th St. – Phoenix

These are not the same place, but they are kitty- corner from each other (did you know that I am finding in the US they say katty corner?) and they are both amazing.

So when we moved to our home, EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE said to us – “omg, you can walk to Le Grande Orange!” Well, yes we can and we do, and wow, is this place busy, and the place to be. Not really a grocery in the traditional sense, you can buy a few groceries here, but more things like pre-done cool salads, some great wine, some fun knick knacks and of course, they have food for ordering.

Coffee and treats here are popular, as is gelato, the homemade pizza and a ton of fun sandwiches. They have a full service bar, and a great vibe. The place takes up an entire corner and is pretty much an institution.

To fully explain Le Grande Orange, I’m stealing from their website the perfect description:

LA GRANDE ORANGE GROCERY & PIZZERIA IS A CURATED GENERAL STORE, WINE SHOP, PIZZERIA, AND BREAKFAST COMMUNITY SPOT. ITS BIG CITY BOHEMIAN VIBE IS PERFECT FOR YOUR GRAB-AND-GO BREAKFAST, COFFEE, LUNCH AND DINNER WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

So there you have it.

Find out more HERE

AND – my daughter would not allow me to put this blog out without including INGO’s Tasty Food. Yummy burgers, such delish salads, a casual vibe – you order at a window and they bring it out to you. This is a fav. for the younger crowd – a not too expensive lunch place with great food. They have a location downtown as well – if you are looking for a nice spot for lunch during the day and you find yourself downtown!

my list of top 10 phoenix area restaurants - Ingos Tasty Food

Find out more HERE

BRUNCH

Yes – I am well aware that BRUNCH is not a restaurant. But wow – has brunch become a THING. I’m not sure if this is a global trend, a millennial trend, or what, but WOW – the people here take their brunch seriously… which is why I am just providing you with a list to choose from.

Any of these places will satisfy…

The Montauk – complete with a DJ and night club vibe – Sunday morning is an EVENT here. I was far to old to enjoy this – but I did anyways 🙂 Drinks for the table served out of a giant clamshell…

The Vig – live music with your eggs – I haven’t been, but I hear it is a MUST GO

Hash Kitchen – A Bloody Mary bar that is set up like the old salad bar of the 80’s – need I say more? Several locations throughout the Valley.

Snooze – An A.M. Eatery – super busy ALL the time, this place ONLY does breakfast. They also do not take reservations, so plan accordingly!

The Henry – I know I said I wouldn’t include a Fox restaurant, but – well – here it is. I have truly only been for dinner, but keep hearing how good the brunch is…

So there you have it… my fav’s “for now!”

If I can offer any advice, plan ahead and make reservations if you plan on eating out particularly during the busy season. Even Monday nights are chock full during March and April. I have started making my reservations weeks in advance just so we get a chance at some of the cool places our new “home” has to offer.

Keep me posted on any places you try – or additions you love. We love to hear your comments!

Happy Eating my peeps!

xx

C

Leave a Reply