2016 has been an eventful year, to say the least, so you might not have noticed all the excellent new restaurants that opened around town. Our diverse array of food options has grown even more -- from a brunch spot that features a weekend morning DJ and Bloody Mary bar, to a pizza place coming in straight from Chicago to satisfy all your deep-dish cravings. This year might have been full of some strange and unexpected news, but at least our stomachs were full of great new dishes.

MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails

MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails

Downtown Phoenix

Housed inside chic, new FOUND:RE Phoenix boutique hotel, MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails offers an eclectic, globally inspired menu and is centered around a wood-fired oven. The diverse menu, features several different kinds of pizzas, salads, salmon, and a lobster bisque. MATCH also has an extensive and unique cocktail menu, along with local beers and wines. Try the Purple Rain, which is made with local beet, black balsam, black currant, sparkling wine, and lemon.

Sara Abbott

Buck & Rider

Central Phoenix

You might have given up on finding top quality seafood in Phoenix, but Buck & Rider will be your saving grace. Seafood is flown in each day to create dishes such as the Thai Style King Crab Salad, made with avocado, mango, peanuts, and cilantro, and the Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna Burger with avocado. The upscale, beach house-inspired restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Stop by for happy hour Monday through Saturday from 11 am- 7 pm, for deals on drinks and items from the oyster bar.

Courtesy of Knight Agency

BLK Live

North Scottsdale

With a name inspired by the highest quality beef in the United States, it only makes sense that BLK Live has some of the best burgers in Scottsdale. The BBQ Stuffed Burger is slathered with Sailor Jerry’s BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and fried onions, while the BLK Classic ups the ante on a burger with quality toppings. In addition to its delicious menu of classic comfort foods, BLK Live has a concert hall and a poolside lounge that host live music Wednesdays through Sundays.

Karlie Colleen

CRUjiente Tacos


CRUjiente Tacos opened in November and is reimagining Mexican classic street tacos in a modern Latin dining experience. Menu items include bold and flavorful seasonal soups, guacamole, and tacos. Don’t miss out on the the pork belly taco, which is topped with kimchee, cilantro, and Sriracha aioli. A signature cocktail menu is heavily focused on mescal, tequila, and bourbon. Guests can also purchase high-end spirits and keep the bottles in one of the restaurant’s 14 lockers for future visits.

Debby Wolvos

Hash Kitchen

North Scottsdale

Scottsdale’s beloved Hash Kitchen has opened a new location farther north. This creative brunch spot serves up whimsical menu items, including Oreo Cookie Pancakes and the Nutella and Banana French Toast. There’s even a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar to boot. The fun, hip dĂ©cor and DJ sets will surely elevate your weekend brunch from a dining experience to a party.  

Crab & Mermaid

Crab & Mermaid

Old Town Scottsdale

This spring, Crab & Mermaid opened its doors and changed the seafood landscape in Old Town Scottsdale forever. The causal, beach-themed spot offers an assortment of appetizers, like the New England Clam Chowda’ and the Buffalo Jumbo Shrimp, as well as tacos, bowls and a variety of entrees such as the Alaskan King Crab Plate and the Fish N’ Chips. Stop by on Tuesdays for all day happy hour featuring $2 oysters, $4 draft beers and $5 craft cocktails.

Fat Ox

Fat Ox

North Scottsdale

Phoenix native and renowned chef Matt Carter  -- the mastermind behind The Mission, Zinc Bistro, and The House Brasserie -- has opened Fat Ox in November. The upscale Italian restaurant focuses on serving simple, yet filling dishes like the Dry Aged Prime Porterhouse, Hokkaido Scallops, and Scottish Salmon. The food is complimented by an extensive wine menu and classic Italian sweets like cannoli, tiramisu, and olive oil cake.

Courtesy of Stock & Stable

Stock & Stable

Central Phoenix

Housed in an ornately renovated 1950s building, Stock & Stable is a modern American gastropub offering brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as an impressive happy hour. For dinner, guests can look forward to a selection of appetizers, pastas, salads, sandwiches and classic entrees like blackened salmon and braised short rib. The salami board is another menu staple, featuring jalapeño salami, soppressata, noble bread and sour cherry spread. Pair your meal with a cocktail or two, or opt for an entire pitcher of tequila, grapefruit and violet liquors.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Lou Malnatis

Central Phoenix

Chicago’s best has landed in Phoenix. The family-owned pizza chain opened back in the 1940s and has become well known for its now iconic deep dish pizza. Each pie is handmade from scratch and the pizzas are praised for their high quality ingredients which include vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. If you’re not up for the Chicago classic, you can always opt for gluten free or thin crust.

Peter Speyer

Farm & Craft


Farm & Craft offers a new approach to healthy eating with a seasonal menu that aims to encourage an anti-inflammatory diet, increase probiotic levels, maintain high levels of antioxidants, and reduce stress with sustainable, gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients. The menu includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as fresh pressed juices, kombucha, organic sodas, and even healthy cocktails. Make your body and your mind happy with a Happy Apple Bourbon, made with Four Roses bourbon, local honey, apple and ginger juice.

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Jamie Killin is a Phoenix writer and food enthusiast who’s always looking for the best new spots.

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1. MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails 1100 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ (Downtown Phoenix)

Housed inside boutique hotel FOUND:RE, industrial-chic MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails serves up an eclectic menu centered around a wood-fired oven, featuring everything from several varieties of pizzas (the Grateful Shroom with wood oven-roasted mushroom and toasted garlic is an earthy hit) to substantial entrees like salmon with tabbouleh and baked gnocchi & meatballs. It's an ideal spot to come with a group of friends, too, as there are "social plates" for sharing, such as Indian butter chicken samosas and Korean BBQ ribs, plus an inventive cocktail menu. You'll want to try the Purple Rain, a mix of local beet, black balsam, black currant, sparkling wine, and lemon.

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2. Buck & Rider 4225 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

From the folks behind La Grande Orange Pizzeria and Chelsea's Kitchen, Buck & Rider is a handsome, beach house-inspired seafood restaurant that flies in fresh catches daily to create a menu that focuses on both standards like freshwater blue prawns, oysters, and Prince Edward Island mussels, plus creative dishes like a Thai-style king crab salad and an ahi tuna burger with avocado. Guests can quench their thirst with a wide selection of hand-crafted cocktails, too, such as the rum-infused High and Mighty with Jamaican bitters and traditional Swedish liqueur.

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3. BLK Live 7301 E Butherus Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (Old Town Scottsdale)

With an extensive menu of comfort food, multiple bars, a poolside lounge, and a concert hall, Scottsdale's stylish BLK Live is designed to kick your night up a notch. The food lineup features a diverse range of American staples with a twist, including decadent burgers like the BBQ Stuffed Burger smothered with Sailor Jerry BBQ sauce, tune poke, crispy pork belly with smoked peaches, and meatloaf with a brown-sugar glaze. The impressive list of international wines, domestic beers, and craft cocktails is sure to please any palate as well. Portraits of music legends like Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie will get you pumped for BLK's live shows from Wednesday through Sunday, which spotlight acts that span hip-hop to country to classic rock.

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4. CRUjiente Tacos 3961 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 (Arcadia)

CRUjiente reimagines Mexican street tacos with a menu that juxtaposes traditional varieties such as beef and green chili with inventive, Asian-influenced takes, including the fan-favorite Korean fried chicken, tempura avocado, and crispy crab. Another must-try is the pork belly taco, which comes topped with kimchee, cilantro, and Sriracha aioli. The stylish restaurant's signature cocktail menu is, of course, heavily focused on mescal, tequila, and bourbon, and you can even purchase high-end spirits and keep the bottles in one of 14 lockers for future visits.

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5. Hash Kitchen 14838 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (North Scottsdale)

This chic mecca for all things brunch is the brainchild of Valley culinary trailblazer Joey Maggiore. Hash Kitchen gives expected brunch staples a new lease on life, decking its French toast out in coconut & almond, dipping it in vanilla cream, and giving it a caramelized banana and hot maple reduction for good measure, and disguising its pancakes as s’mores, dotting them with chocolate chips and smothering them with toasted marshmallow fluff and graham cracker dust. The menu generally leans savory, though, with endless Benedict, scramble, and frittata options, which not-so-coincidentally pair excellently with Hash Kitchen’s customizable Bloody Marys. At the Bloody bar, choose from 40 craft toppings (including the likes of pickled carrots, pepper jerky, bacon, eggs, and celery), ostensibly adding a second meal to your already-enormous brunch.

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6. Crab & Mermaid Fish Shop 4218 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The Crab & Mermaid Fish Shop is a casual, kitschy seafood shack committed to serving its guests the freshest fish and shellfish on a menu of “Starters,” “Raw Bar,” “Sandwiches,” “Tacos, Bowls & Rolls,” and “Entrees.” Our favorite menu option is undoubtedly “Off the Dock,” which allows you to design your own seafood dish. Options include cod, albacore, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and others, which you can douse or rub with House Blend Spice, C&M Buffalo Sauce, Garlic Butter, or Teriyaki Sauce. Direct how your briny delicacy will be plated; whether you opt for it to be served atop a Caesar or House Salad, or, better yet, blanketed in a toasted artisan roll with remoulade and pickled onion, your own signature dish will delight you.

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7. Fat Ox 6316 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Scottsdale’s Fat Ox is, quite aptly, named for the long-standing cattle showcase and food festival in Piedmont, Italy. The Italian restaurant’s menu highlights homemade pastas (try the exquisitely prepared casoncelli served with butternut squash, sage, amaretti, Parmesan, and pomegranate), roasted seafood and chicken, and slow-roasted steak. The 40oz porterhouse might just be large enough to fill the bellies of all 350 people who can be seated in the cavernous dining room, their satiated faces lit by crystal chandeliers reminiscent of elegant disco balls.

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8. Stock & Stable 5538 N 7th St Suite #130, Phoenix, AZ 85014 (North Phoenix)

Though North Central Phoenix’s Stock and Staple aims to celebrate American simplicity and tradition (after all, it’s named for the nearby Murphy Bridle Path, where locals have been horseback riding since 1941), it’s at the culinary cutting edge, interweaving Italian influences in its American gastropub menu and even embracing technology at the dinner table, with USB ports and electrical sockets in its bar. On the fresh, seasonal menu are shared plates like the Jalapeno Popper, combining Anaheim chili with guanciale, mascarpone, and Cheddar, shared pastas like Sweet Potato Manti with feta, brown butter, sage, and pecan crumble, and selections of salads, sandwiches, meaty mains, and veggie sides. Ingredients are sourced from local businesses and distributors whenever possible, so indulge sans guilt at Stock and Staple.

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9. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria 100 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012

The first location outside of the Chicago area, the Phoenix outpost of Lou Malnati's is bringing its famous deep-dish pies -- complete with a buttery crust and mozzarella that's been sourced from the same Wisconsin farm for more than 40 years -- to the Southwest. If you had any doubts about the Arizona pizza tasting different from the Illinois original, don't. The team uses a reverse osmosis system to make sure the water tastes like it's from the Midwest, so the dough comes out just as it should.

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10. Farm & Craft 4302 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (Old Town Scottsdale)

Do your body and mind a favor and eat at Scottsdale's Farm & Craft, a rustic-chic restaurant offering a menu that changes with the seasons, encourages an anti-inflammatory diet, increases probiotic levels, maintains high levels of antioxidants, and reduces stress with sustainable, gluten-free, organic, and hormone-free ingredients. Among an abundance of flowers, greenery, and wooden decor, you can dig into protein-heavy salads, sandwiches, and bowls alongside glasses of fresh-pressed juices, organic sodas, and even healthy cocktails. Go for the Happy Apple Bourbon, made with Four Roses bourbon, local honey, apple, and ginger juice.


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