The Phoenix Arizona Dining Scene
Courtesy J&G Steakhouse
There’s no doubt Phoenix has a natural zest for life, and its residents have the hearty appetites to match. It stands to reason, then, that cities possessed of such excellent taste should have thriving restaurant scenes to handle those hungry for a meal that does more than nourish, it satisfies those special cravings.
From spunky upstart bistros to mom and pop eateries to classic haute cuisine dining, Phoenix is a virtual paradise waiting to be discovered. Arizona’s global cuisine allows diners to sip and sample the best of edible delights from around the world without ever leaving. Exotic fare and dishes from faraway Asia, the Pacific Rim, Europe, the Middle East are just a few of the choices on the menu. Those whose tastes run a little closer to home, will find plenty of places to choose from when searching for Sonoran, Mexican, barbecue or even home cooking like mama used to make.
Look around, and find every imaginable fare, and even a few never thought of before. Get out and see what the fuss is all about in Phoenix. Allow taste buds the opportunity to explore new culinary delights, and find new favorite dishes while savoring old favorites.
A&J6102 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-241-7519
Featuring the barbecue that keeps them coming back for more, A&J is a Chicago-style barbecue featuring ribs, chicken, ham, pork that more than satisfies. Order either a la carte or a complete meal, and either dine in the modest dining room, or take it to go.
Barrio Café2814 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ 85006 602-636-0240 www.barriocafe.com
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s take on exotic Mexican food has caught the attention of Phoenix diners at this cozy little eatery. This definitely is not your abuela’s home cooking: Esparza’s Mayan-inspired cuisine with influences from the Yucatan has created a menu worth investigating.
Benihana3025 W.Chandler Blvd.
Chandler, AZ 85226 480-812-4701 16403 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Where else does dinner come with a show? Masterful chefs prepare your dinner right at the table in this traditional Japanese-style hibachi steakhouse. Diners can choose from a variety of fresh sushi and other Japanese favorites, while the chef performs his culinary art in a way that has to be seen to be believed.
Carolina’s Mexican Food1202 E. Mohave Phoenix, AZ 85034 602-252-1503
A landmark in South Central Phoenix, Carolina’s excellent tortillas are worth the trip alone. The plain atmosphere in this place totally belies the fabulous foodie find that awaits inside, with delicious tamales, tacos and enchiladas. The salsa here is the real thing – made fresh daily, and residents here know to pick up a pound of chorizo to take home.
China Chili3501 North Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 602-266-4463
China Chili lives up to its name as it serves spicy Chinese that has won the hearts and the taste buds of Phoenix. While the spicy garlic eggplant is definitely a menu favorite, feel free to explore the rest of the menu featuring soups, meat and seafood dishes.
Cooperstown101 East Jackson St. Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-253-7337 www.alicecooperstown.com
Favorite son and famed rocker Alice Cooper has opened his restaurant in a renovated warehouse, featuring American cuisine, touting it as “the place where jocks and rock meets.” Come hungry when dining at Cooperstown – the fanciful atmosphere featuring rock and sports memorabilia belies the excellent variety of menu choices ranging from ribs, chicken and burgers to hot dogs, steak and Mom’s tuna casserole. Live music in this friendly, casual place is a huge draw, but it’s the comfort food served up here that keeps them coming back.
Cheesecake Factory2502 E. Camelback Rd # 114
Phoenix, AZ 85016
The Cheesecake Factory serves so much more than just its world-famous cheesecake desserts. Diners can choose from a wide and varied menu that includes pizza, pastas, fish and seafood, steaks and salads. The Cheesecake Factory also hosts a delicious Sunday Brunch until 2 p.m. that includes such breakfast delights as Belgian Waffles and a Smoked Salmon Platter.
Don & Charlie’s7501 E. Camelback Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480-990-0900
Beloved by many, Don & Charlie’s has been a fixture in Scottsdale since 1981. Walk into this manly man’s restaurant, complete with celebrity caricatures, sports memorabilia and order from their menu featuring Chicago-style ribs, chicken, chops and steaks.
Eddie V’s Edgewater Grill20715 N. Pima Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Bringing together an award-winning combination of the freshest seafood, prime steaks and live music, Eddie V’s is sure to please. Specializing in Gulf Coast Cuisine, Eddie V’s is famous for their oysters, gulf snapper, fresh tuna, and lobster. Enjoy live music while you dine.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar905 N. 54th Street Chandler, AZ 85226 480-940-1900 20753 N. Pima Road, Building R North Scottsdale, AZ 85255 480-538-8000 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85250 480-596-8265
Known for their cooked-to-perfection steaks, Fleming’s also offers a superb wine list, boasting more than 100 wines available by the glass, and another 100 available by the bottle. Wine lovers agree that an evening at Fleming’s leaves them feeling a little bit like kids in a candy store. The darkly elegant atmosphere makes Fleming’s the perfect place to linger over dessert and order an after-dinner cappuccino.
Fogo E Brasa4909 E. Chandler Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85028 480-783-6060 www.fogoebrasa.com
Quickly becoming a favorite Phoenix destination, Fogo E Brasa is an authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse that offers a pre-fixe menu. The menu includes an unlimited selection of more than 30 salads, vegetables and cheeses from around the world, several side dishes, as well as the main course: a wide selection of meat served tableside. In addition to exceptional food and service, the restaurant also serves its signature “Caipirinha,” a Brazilian cocktail made of sugarcane rum and lime.
Honey Bear’s5012 E. Van Buren St. Phoenix, AZ 85005 602-273-9148 7670 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85020 602-279-7911 7670 S. Priest Dr Tempe, AZ 85284 480-222-2782
For many in Phoenix, the words, “barbecue” and “Honey Bear’s” are synonymous. Specialties of the house include pork ribs, chicken, and hot-links with traditional tangy Tennessee-style barbecue sauce.
The Melting Pot8260 N. Hayden Rd # E103
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
As Cole Porter would say, “Do do that fondue that you do so well.” At The Melting Pot, fondue becomes a memorable, four-court dining experience where patrons can “Dip into something different.” Guests enjoy a choice of four different fondue cooking styles and a variety of unique entrees combined with special dipping sauces that they can cook at their own table. Upscale and intimate, The Melting Pot is the perfect location for that romantic date or even a corporate dinner party.
MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain2302 N. Seventh St. Phoenix, AZ 85006 602-262-5545
Go back in time with a visit to MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain, which has been serving up hamburgers, tuna sandwiches, homemade pie and cherry and vanilla cokes since 1928. The old-timey drugstore soda fountain and jukebox lend to the atmsosphere.
Old Heidelberg Bakery and Euro Market2210 E. Indian School Rd Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-224-9877
For more than 30 years, the Old Heidelberg Bakery has been a local favorite, and with its recent move to a location closer to downtown, it’s more popular than ever. Find out why Phoenix loves to shop at this traditional German bakery for favorite sweets such as strudels, Danishes and cookies, as well as its excellent selection of specialty artisan bread. As a bonus, pick up a German language magazine or newspaper in the Euro Market to read while you munch.
Phoenix City Grill5816 N. 16th St. Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-266-3001 www.phoenixcitygrille.com
Set in an adorable adobe building, the Phoenix City Grill offers up great American fare with a Southwestern flair. Try the little appetizers, such as the pork carnitas, or go straight for the enticing entrees, such as the cedar plank salmon or the home-style pot roast.
Pizzeria Bianco623 E. Adams St. Phoenix, AZ 85004 602-258-8300
A wood-burning oven is the not-so-secret secret to Pizzeria Bianco’s pizza. Chef Chris Bianco’s Neapolitan-style pizza has earned rave reviews, as has his menu featuring salads and sandwiches. Expect to find a crowd here at this popular spot located in a historic downtown building in Heritage Square next to the Arizona Science.
Roy’s7151 W. Ray Rd. Chandler, AZ 85226 480-705-7697 5350 E. Marriott Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85054 480-419-7697 7001 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480-905-1155
Brought to Arizona by Iron Chef Roy Yamaguchi, the founder of Roy’s restaurant chain, this large and yet somehow intimate restaurant serves Hawaiian fusion cuisine featuring a perfect mélange of European, Pacific Rim and Hawaiian influences. Savor the difference that fresh ingredients can make, when seasoned with the bolder flavors of the Asian Pacific Rim and served with the sauces and textures of European cooking. Chefs in Roy’s kitchen have received special tutelage from the master himself, ensuring that every bite will be absolutely delectable.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse905 N. 54th St
Chandler, AZ 85226
480-940-1900 20753 N. Pima Rd # R
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
480-538-8000 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250 480-596-8265
The emphasis is on style at this upscale 1940’s style steakhouse, known for their warm, relaxed atmosphere, superior food and excellent service. Sullivan’s is also the perfect place to take that VIP client, or host that next office party.
Vincent on Camelback3930 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-224-0225 www.vincentoncamelback.com
Chef Vincent Guerithault won the James Beard Foundatio’s “Best Chef Southwest” award and is perhaps the most well known and respected chef in Phoenix. He has now opened this small restaurant with an unpresumptuous exterior in east Phoenix. Step inside and find out what all the fuss is about, as typically Southwestern fare is prepared in classic French style. Try the duck tamales, or go for the wonderfully prepared lamb or wild boar. Don’t forget to order the Jack Daniels pecan pie for dessert.
Vincent’s Market Bistro3930 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018 602-224-3727
Sample the excellent country French cuisine in the intimate, casual elegance of Chef Vincent Guerithault’s bistro-style restaurant with its little flower garden. Located just behind its larger sister restaurant, Vincent on Camelback, seating is limited in this smaller establishment to only 10 tables, but consider ordering your gourmet meal to go if Vincent’s happen