If you’re looking for some great Southwestern food, then the best place is prooooobably the Southwest, and the best place in the Southwest, as we all know, is Phoenix. That particular blend of Mexican, Spanish, and Native American food is nothing to be underestimated, and these Valley restaurants get it just right...
The 9 Best Southwestern Restaurants in Phoenix
What you’re getting: Carne Adovada
Check out Richardson’s for a laid-back atmosphere, gorgeous patio, and one-of-a-kind Southwestern food inspired by traditional New Mexican cuisine. Best of all is that it’s not just open for lunch and dinner; you can have an on-point Southwestern brunch here as well until 4pm (which technically makes it "linner," but whatever).
What you’re getting: Yucatan Shrimp New School Tacos
Housed in a stunning 1940s church, Taco Guild has one of the most unique, yet alluring concepts in Arizona. The traditional architecture is combined with an upbeat atmosphere that takes your typical dining experience to the next level (some nights you’ll even see a live DJ). Don’t be fooled though, this isn't all for show -- the food is actually pretty incredible too and all prepared with local, organic ingredients.
What you’re getting: Oaxaca Black Mole Chicken Shark Taco
The name doesn't lie -- these are gourmet tacos, and La Santisma blends traditional, regional Mexican food with the family’s own special take on Southwestern cuisine. Prices are reasonable, and it even has its own salsa bar.
What you’re getting: Santa Fe Stuffed Chicken Breast
Canyon Café pretty much embodies the essence of what it means to be Southwest. The menu is influenced by Western United States, Mexican, Native American, and Spanish cuisine, all in perfect balance. The mix lends itself to a pretty lengthy, diverse, and delicious menu -- and make sure you don’t miss out on the tableside guac.
What you’re getting: Carne Asada
Sierra Bonita’s roots date all the way back to 1872, when Henry Hooker founded the Sierra Bonita Ranch in Southeastern Arizona. The menu blends its 1800s heritage with Spanish fare to create a solid Southwest selection (although its burger is pretty fantastic, too).
Old Town Scottsdale
What you’re getting: Sonoran Meatloaf
The award-winning Old Town Tortilla Factory might just have the best patio in Scottsdale; it's 1,400sqft, shaded by 100-year-old pecan trees, and has received many accolades for its ability to accommodate large groups and parties. And guess what? On that patio, they serve some of the best Southwestern eats in the Southwest.
Old Town Scottsdale
What you’re getting: Chopped Salad
Barrio Queen has it all -- uniquely Southwest, yet also authentically Mexican dishes, a slick atmosphere, and a ton of variety, especially if you’re looking for a great margarita. To top it off, this award-winning spot is also easy on the wallet, with a weekday happy hour, Margarita Mondays, and Taco Tuesdays.
What you’re getting: Relleno Dinner
This family-owned & operated spot started out in Tucson, and has since opened multiple locations around the state. Members of the family and one single helper at a time prepare all its authentic New Mexican food, and the staff pride themselves on their ability to produce fantastic dishes with no assembly line.
What you’re getting: Land of Enchantment
This local favorite is something of a diamond in the rough. While its exterior might suggest that it’s not exactly a mecca for Southwestern food, the food itself certainly does. They lay the spices on thick, and each dish packs a stunning punch of flavor. They even have jalapeño bacon!
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1. Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico6335 N 16th St, Phoenix
2. Taco Guild546 E. Osborn Rd, Phoenix
3. La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop5932 W Glendale Ave, Glendale
4. Canyon Café455 N 3rd St, Phoenix
5. Sierra Bonita Grill6933 N 7th St, Phoenix
6. Old Town Tortilla Factory6910 E Main St, Scottsdale
7. Barrio Queen7114 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale
8. Original Blue Adobe Grille144 N Country Club Dr, Mesa
Check out Richardson’s for a comfortable atmosphere, beautiful patio, and one-of-a-kind Southwestern food inspired by traditional New Mexican cuisine. Best of all is it’s not just open for lunch and dinner, you can have an incredible Southwestern brunch here as well.
If you’re looking for the finest tequila in a beautiful setting, look no further than Taco Guild. Quality is king here so you can be confident your drink, whether you opt for straight tequila or a margarita, is the best The Valley has to offer. And if you want to build a base before your booze, the fantastic Mexican eats here should do the trick.
La Santisma blends traditional Mexican food from around the country with the family’s own special take on Southwestern cuisine. They use local farm produce and tortillas imported from Mexico to achieve the most authentic, fresh flavor possible.
Canyon Café embodies the essence of what it means to be Southwestern. The menu is influenced by Western United States, Mexican, Native American, and Spanish cuisine. The mix lends itself to a pretty long and diverse menu that even the pickiest of eaters will be able to enjoy. Just make sure you don’t miss out on the tableside guacamole.
This Central Phoenix eatery has a menu that blends its 1800s heritage with Spanish fare to create a uniquely Southwest selection. For those not as keen on traditional Southwestern food, it also boasts “the best hamburger you can find West of the Mississippi.”
The award-winning Old Town Tortilla Factory might just have the best patio in Scottsdale. It’s 1400sqft, and shaded by 100-year-old pecan trees and has received many accolades for its ability to accommodate large groups and parties. Aside from its fantastic group dining experience, Old Town Tortilla Factory has a fantastic Southwestern menu that offers a Mexican twist.
Barrio Queen has it all –- uniquely Southwest, yet also authentically Mexican dishes, a hip atmosphere, and a lot of variety, especially if you’re looking for a great margarita. The award-winning restaurant also has some great deals, and you can look forward to a great weekday happy hour, Margarita Mondays, and Taco Tuesdays.
This local favorite is a diamond in the rough. While its exterior might not suggest it’s a mecca for Southwestern food, this is truly a case of when looks are deceiving. If you’re into spice, this is definitely the place for you. It even has jalapeño bacon!