Phoenix has a lot of restaurants. In fact, thanks to the fact that you can cook an egg on the sidewalk half the year, Phoenix pretty much is a restaurant. But with so many eateries, it can be tough to know which ones are the best -- which is why we’ve put together this rundown of the Valley’s finest eateries, by type...
Best Italian: Crudo
While there’s no shortage of places to get your run-of-the-mill Italian food, Crudo is our top pick because its “modern Italian” is amazingly delicious. Think fresh mozzarella with bacon relish, brisket, or egg yolk raviolo -- paired with an exceptional wine, of course.
Best French: House of Tricks
If you ask most Valley dwellers what they think of when they hear “French food in Phoenix,” they’ll say House of Tricks -- a Downtown Tempe staple since the late 1980s. If you want the best French food in the state, this is the place to get it and fortunately you’ll get the cozy garden atmosphere to match.
Best Mexican: Barrio Cafe
Mexican food in Phoenix and Chef Silvana are practically synonymous -- her twist on authentic Mexican cuisine has made her well known throughout the country, and earned her multiple awards. Her original concept, Barrio Cafe, opened in 2002 and has earned acclaim ever since.
Best Thai: The Wild Thaiger
For fresh, mouthwatering Thai food and a great atmosphere look no further than The Wild Thaiger (plus the creativity points for the name are through the roof). You can also look forward to the largest selection of wines at any Thai restaurant in the Valley, and who isn’t interested in that?
Best Indian: The Dhaba
Authentic Indian food is hard to come by in the Phoenix metro area, so when you find it at a place like The Dhaba, take full advantage. We can’t pronounce half the entrees but even if you just order the first thing you can point out to your server, you’ll find yourself with an unforgettable, flavorful dish.
Best Chinese: Great Wall Cuisine
If you love long-standing family-owned businesses as much as we do, you’ll be in Chinese food heaven at Great Wall Cuisine, which has been serving up authentic cuisine for 23 years. This hidden gem leaves nothing to be desired, offering up fresh, high-quality food that will have you dreaming about your next visit the moment you leave.
Best Japanese: Nobuo at Teeter House
This place is no joke, it’s pulled in plenty of awards for its delicious Japanese food, thanks to James Beard Award-winning chef and Tokyo native, Nobuo Fukuda. The seasonal menu is inventive and unique, while still managing to be authentic.
Best American: Grassroots Kitchen and Tap
It can be hard to put your finger on exactly what “American food” is, but take a look at Grassroots Kitchen and Tap’s menu and you’ll definitely find it. The family-owned concept serves up the kind of Southern comfort food you already know and love -- but better.
Best Greek: Bellagio Pizzeria
Don’t let the “Pizzeria” part of the name throw you off -- this place may offer old Italian favorites (which is never a bad thing in our opinion) but it will definitely be your new go-to for Greek food. Get ready for all kinds of pitas, hummus galore, Mediterranean platters, and falafel.
Best Korean: OHYA Sushi, Korean Kitchen & Bar
For the best Korean food in town AND plenty of options, ranging from fresh, top-quality sushi favorites to Korean BBQ, head over to OHYA Sushi, Korean Kitchen & Bar, where it’s pretty much impossible to leave hungry. To make the experience even more authentic, be sure to sample the variety of Korean wines and sakes.
Best food truck: Luncha Libre
What you’re getting: Steak and bleu quesadilla
Food trucks are a big deal in Phoenix, and it’s pretty hard to go wrong, but there are still always a few that rise above the rest to deliver the kind of food you find yourself thinking about months later. Luncha Libre is one of those. The fusion of Mexican and Asian food is creative and like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. Don’t blame us when you find yourself following this truck around the Valley to get your fill of its magical fare.
Best steakhouse: Pink Pony
The newly remodeled and reopened Pink Pony is as modern as it is tasty -- we guarantee you’ll find yourself enjoying the atmosphere and interior almost as much as the food. Everything is made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients -- making it a completely new kind of steakhouse.
Best vegetarian: Green New American Vegetarian
While many Phoenix restaurants have come a long way in offering more vegetarian options, it’s still rare to find an entirely vegetarian, much less vegan restaurant. Green New American Vegetarian is it. There are plant-based “chicken” sandwiches and a BBQ “bacon burger” even meat eaters will love.
Best burger joint: Rehab Burger Therapy
When it comes to burgers, we’re big proponents of options, lots of options. At Rehab Burger Therapy there are nearly 20 different burgers to choose from, and there’s nothing typical about these burgers, which include a PBJ & bacon burger and a ghost burger. If those options aren’t enough for you, there’s always the B.Y.O.B -- or build-your-own-burger, which offers pretty much endless options.
Best diner: Welcome Diner
The Welcome Diner, housed in a 1940s diner originally built in Kansas, is about as classic as it gets. Since then, it’s been given a makeover, and a patio, but stays true to the diner feel we love. The menu is classic too, but features a Southern twist -- offering an entire section devoted to different varieties of biscuits.
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1. Crudo3603 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix
2. House of Tricks114 E 7th St, Tempe
3. Barrio Cafe2814 N 16th St, Phoenix
4. The Wild Thaiger2631 N Central Ave, Phoenix
5. The Dhaba1872 Apache Blvd, Tempe
6. Great Wall Cuisine3446 W Camelback Rd Suite 155, Phoenix
7. Nobuo at Teeter House622 E Adams St, Phoenix
8. Grassroots Kitchen & Tap2119 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix
9. Bellagio Pizzeria4545 E McKellips Rd #103, Mesa
10. OHYA Sushi Korean Kitchen & Bar4920 W Thunderbird Rd, Phoenix
11. Pink Pony3831 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale
12. Green New American Vegetarian2022 N 7th St, Phoenix
13. Rehab Burger Therapy7210 E. 2nd St, Scottsdale
14. Welcome Diner924 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix
There’s no doubt that Crudo, located off 36th St and Indian School Road, is a favorite in town for both food and cocktails. And when it’s time to brunch, Crudo is at the top of the list. Potato croquettes with poached eggs, brisket and beet hash, pork belly poutine, and sweet/savory brunch jars are all just a taste of what Chef Cullen Campbell’s menu has to offer.
A piece of France located in what is now practically the middle of the Arizona State University campus, House of Tricks has excellent food in a charming remodeled cottage. Just walking in feels like taking a vacation to Europe.
Barrio Café’s brand of Mexican food is the central-southern, give-your-mouth-a-red-chile-burn, hearty stuff that’s spiced up by local culinary legend Silvana Salcido Esparza with some French influences for good measure. Esparza’s chips and dip are too precious to merely dole out as a precursor to the meal; instead, diners enjoy crust French bread with an olive tapenade accompaniment. The menu features salads, tacos, tortas, enchiladas, pan-seared fish, and bone-in meats, and highlights include the acclaimed Cochinita Pibil, pork marinated in achiote and sour orange, wrapped in a banana leaf and slow roasted overnight, and topped with pickled red onion and Yucatan-style pico de gallo, and Filete Mignon de mi Tita, topped with a crab and queso de cabra mélange. You’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite dish, let alone finding a flaw in any of plates that grace your table. So don’t even bother; simply relish the spread in front of you.
Pronounced "Tiger," you know this creative Thai restaurant is going to be a good time. From classic curry and rice dishes to an extensive wine list, there are a ton of reasons to love this flavor destination.
An authentic Indian food oasis, this Phoenix stronghold tears down the "competition" with ease thanks to it's extensive list of ambitious, flavorful dishes.
If you're looking for a reason to visit a strip mall, this is it. Get your fill of dim sum and other Hong Kong style Chinese dishes with confidence in it's authenticity that only 23 years in business can guarantee.
Award winning chef, Nobuo Fukunda creates visually stunning and palatably adventurous modern Japanese cuisine. From delightfully fresh salads to buttery soft meats and of course, all the fresh fish you could dream of, Nobuo is worth visiting and revisiting for the full experience.
Good old fashioned American food with a Southern flair. People rave about the ribs and grits, but ultimately it's the kind of place where you order whatever your most "comfortable" comfort food is.
Yes, it's a pizzeria. Yes, it's a Greek restaurant. Yes, they have drinks. (Yes, including alcoholic ones.) Never fight with your friends about where to eat lunch again, this place is the easy choice.
Nothing hits the spot quite like some good KBBQ. Pair that with top notch sushi, sake, and beer — well, what more could you ask for?
This isn't your grandfather's steakhouse. With it's emphasis on high quality, local, organic ingredients, this establishment marries old world classics with nouveau foodie sensibilities and the result is relaxed and delicious.
Green New American Kitchen has taken on a noble experiment: to recreate traditional American bar fare with 100% vegan ingredients. "Buffalo wings" made with mock chicken are chewy, juicy, and spicy enough to trick you into thinking they're the real (boneless) thing, while garden burritos packed tight with veggies are heavier than their traditional carne asada counterparts. Plant-based burgers, po-boys, and cheesesteaks are not only satisfying, but creative reincarnations of their fat-and-cholesterol-ridden brethen.
If something just isn't right in you're life, you should try Rehab Burger Therapy. This Old Town Scottsdale resto knows the cure for what ails you is plenty of burgers in a fun beach environment. Get the PBJ & Bacon Burger -- which is exactly what it sounds like -- or go the non-burger route and choose from the extensive menu featuring everything from burgs to wings to pasta and sammies.
This old-school diner in Garfield is run out of a small vintage trailer, where it serves its loyal fans classic Southern comfort food, such as biscuits, burgers, poutine, and the favorite watermelon salad. We'd recommend going early for brunch and nabbing a seat inside the trailer, so you can watch the sizzling griddle cook eggs and toast biscuits while sipping on a mimosa or a bloody. If you're stopping by later in the day, the cocktails here are something every local should try at least once: go Welcome-style with the Kentucky Thoroughbred (made with Four Roses Bourbon and Welcome’s own house ginger beer), or the Paloma with tequila, hurricane juice, and grapefruit Jarritos. If you can't get a spot inside the tight trailer, post up at a picnic table outside.