Food & Drink

The 12 Essential Phoenix restaurants

Published On 10/20/2014 Published On 10/20/2014
Beckett's Table
Beckett’s Table
Beckett’s Table
Alesha Busard
Pig & Pickle
Short Leash Hot Dogs
Southern Rail
Fox Restaurant Concepts
Caffe Boa
Citizen Public House
Quiessence at The Farm
Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
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1. Beckett's Table 3717 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

There is an indescribable warmth the moment you walk through the door of this Arcadia resto, and you just know that every detail has been carefully considered, from the contemporary decor to the continually evolving American menu.

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2. The Stand 3538 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

This Arcadia joint has a pretty limited menu, but once you've tried its burgers, tacos, fries, and corn, A) you've tried basically everything, and B) you won't need any other options to be satisfied.

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3. Pig & Pickle 2922 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

There is a certain chill atmosphere that wouldn’t normally lead you to imagine such a culinary masterpiece of a menu at this Scottsdale resto. Pig & Pickle is a place where you can order the little neck clams with a side of the daily featured tots and not look like a complete weirdo. It’s also worth mentioning that it's open until 2am every single day.

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4. Postino 3939 E Campbell Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Bright, industrial-chic wine bar Postino in Arcadia is beloved for its magical combination of scrumptious bruschetta and exceptional wine. The masterminds at Upward Projects have wooed Phoenix with a handful of staples (Joyride, Federal Pizza, Churn), but if we're being honest, Postino is our favorite -- not just for the wine cafe’s hip, laid-back feel, but also for its excellent service, solid lineup of primarily European and Californian wines, and its dozen (!) varieties of bruschetta (the burrata/bacon/arugula/tomato option is always a smart decision).

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5. Short Leash Hot Dogs 110 E Roosevelt, Phoenix, AZ 85004

After building an incredible follow with their food truck, Short Leash opened this brick-and-mortar spot, which puts a wide variety of spins on the traditional dog, like one slow-cooked in Kilt Lifter beer, and smothered with sauerkraut, onions, bacon, Swiss cheese, and deli mustard on a house-made pretzel roll.

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6. Southern Rail 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

You cannot possibly leave this Uptown spot unsatisfied. Its brunch menu puts most others to shame, and in addition to fantastic lunch and dinner options with American Southern flavors, you can pop into the Changing Hands bookstore connected by no less than a completely stocked bar!

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7. The Yard 5632 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Imagine a grown-up frat party with really good food, un-sloppy drinking games, and craft beers from kegs poured into a real glass, not a Solo cup. At The Yard, you are able to experience all the silly fun of a game of bags (corn hole) and ping pong, while stepping up your main college dish with its Shrimp & Pork Belly Ramen.

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8. Caffe Boa 398 S Mill Ave, #110, Tempe, AZ 85281

The menu at Boa changes daily depending simply on the ingredients available in the kitchen, and the chefs at this Tempe Italian spot know how to play their cards by serving as many locally grown or raised ingredients, beers, and wines as humanly possible.

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9. Citizen Public House 7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Citizen Public House is exactly as the name suggests -- a wide open, dark-wooded, democratic space for craft beers, house cocktails, and, of course, socializing. Full of expansive tables with plenty of seating for large groups, the place truly feels something like a traditional public house. The bar, topped with stainless steel, serves a full list of drinks prepared by the resident mixologists (several of which are set on fire), in addition to exhaustive wine and beer lists. And while the beverages alone are reason enough to stop by, the public house has a full menu of modern American fare as well -- everything from bacon brittle and pub pork cheeks to filet mignon asada tacos.

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10. Quiessence at The Farm 6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042

This South Mountain resto is a no-kids-allowed, super-romantic date spot that can put a car payment-size dent in your bank account, but it is absolutely worth every bit of it. Expect your server to know every obscure ingredient on the planet and have the ability to explain a plate or beverage so well that you simply have to have it or you’ll die.

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11. Defalco’s Italian Eatery 2334 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

This Scottsdale establishment wears many hats, serving as a deli, boutique Italian grocery store, and dine-in or take-out Italian restaurant, and it does them all well. Stop in for lunch and enjoy a calzone bigger than the size of your dog, or sample anything from its expansive menu.