Food & Drink

  • BEST CASINO BUFFET

    Verde River Buffet at Fort McDowell Casino

    When the phrase "casino buffet" passes through your cranium, your gray matter is instantly populated with scores of classy folk chain-smoking Parliament Lights 100s and hoping for a big win at bingo. But Fort McDowell Casino, operated by the Yavapai Nation, actually makes an effort to do things a little differently from other gambling spots, and this extends to its… More >>
  • BEST CASINO DINING, NON-BUFFET

    Wind Dance Restaurant

    So you just won a small bundle on the Addams Family slot machine, parlayed that into a larger bundle on an Austin Powers slots, moved your way up to the dollar machines, and finally hit it big playing blackjack in Wild Horse's Vegas-style gaming emporium. That's when a pair of high-class call girls escort you to the limo waiting outside… More >>
  • BEST NEW RESTAURANT

    Sierra Bonita Grill

    We're suckers for excellent Southwestern fare, especially when served in a classic Southwestern ambiance. So it may be no great surprise that our pick for the best new restaurant of the year is the Sierra Bonita Grill, formerly a bar known as the Copper Queen. After much work by Sheldon Knapp, the SB's owner and also the owner of… More >>
  • BEST AUTHENTIC ARIZONA RESTAURANT

    El Chorro Lodge

    El Chorro Lodge is cool. Barry Goldwater cool. ¿Comprendes? We'd call it old-school, if it wasn't still cool, an adobe grande dame that can seat 165, with copper lamps on the tables, a copper-topped bar in the lounge, juniper-burning fireplaces, and that hint of Sonoran Desert decadence that still has the power to seduce. The menu is a class act,… More >>
  • BEST USE OF A JUMBO-SIZE EATING UTENSIL

    Vu

    It's probably a given that wunderkind chef William Bradley at the Vu restaurant in Scottsdale's Hyatt Regency is a genius of gastronomy. After all, isn't it a foodie rule of thumb that the bigger the culinary brain, the smaller the portions? Why, we can even foresee the day when highfalutin hash-slingers of the future, empowered by genetically engorged cerebellums, will… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL EATERY WE WISH WERE A CHAIN

    Chino Bandido Takee-Outee

    Everyone loves pandas. And a panda dressed up like Pancho Villa -- with a big mustache, a sombrero, a pistol on his hip, and a bullet belt strung across his chest? Now that's a winner, and one that can turn Panda Express' wimpy, two-tone bear into beef with broccoli any day of the week. "Pancho Panda" is the mascot for… More >>
  • BEST GOURMET PIZZA

    Cibo

    Tired of waiting for two hours for a frou-frou pie? Then head over to Cibo (pronounced "chee-bo") for pizza that's better than that other guy's, and in even classier environs, a restored 1913 bungalow with hardwood floors, stained-glass windows, a wood-burning pizza oven, and a wine bar. It's the work of proprietors Karen and Tony Martingilio, who've brought in Italian… More >>
  • BEST PERSONAL PIZZA

    Pie Zanos Kitchen

    In the past, the term "personal pizza" meant a late-night delivery from Pizza Hut. Welcome to Pie Zanos -- they don't deliver, but who cares, when you can order up a small pie, made with a two-tiered pizza toaster that could fit in the trunk of your Toyota! Yes, the pizza paisanos at Pie Zanos take out the competition with… More >>
  • BEST SLICE OF PIZZA

    Slices

    You were at Barcelona earlier, but the scandalous Scottsdale ho you were with started making out with this gross bald dude after you left her for five secs to go hit the head. Well, eff that beeahtch! And to think you wore your new Sean John for the outing, too. So you hop in the whip, and decide to call… More >>
  • BEST CORNER ITALIAN RESTAURANT

    Redendo's Pizzeria and Pasta

    You'd think spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and all that classic Eye-tie stuff that's as common in Brooklyn as drive-through liquor stores are here would be a no-brainer. Apparently not in the PHX, where there are too many crappy Italian joints to count, with pasta like rubber and marinara fresh from the can. Chef Anthony Redendo puts them all to shame… More >>
  • BEST UPSCALE ITALIAN RESTAURANT

    Marcellino Ristorante

    You will not nosh better pasta in town than at Marcellino Ristorante. Period. End of story. Yes, there are plenty of other high-class Italian joints in the Valley; maybe too many, if you catch our drift. And, yes, you can get your fill of semolina sticks elsewhere and feel satisfied with yourself for not spending too many ducats, but if… More >>
  • BEST UPSCALE STEAK HOUSE

    Donovan's Steak & Chop House

    Donovan's dark, mahogany-lined, Remington-appointed interior, its free valet, its flawless three-person service, and its high-end chops are not there for the hoi polloi to appreciate. Better be a high roller or a retiree with stock dividends up the wazoo if you want to enjoy a pocketbook-painless evening at this steak house. Still, if you've got it, there are worse ways… More >>
  • BEST DINER

    Fast Eddie's Diner

    Someone cue Meat Loaf wailing, "Whatever happened to Saturday night? When you dressed up sharp and you felt all right?" That's what we hear, along with the rumble of Meat Loaf's motorcycle from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, whenever we stop by Fast Eddie's Diner for a Cosmic Burger with crinkly fries and a cherry phosphate. The booths are gold-flecked,… More >>
  • BEST DELI

    Katz Delicatessen & Restaurant

    They say you can tell a good Chinese restaurant by how many Chinese people are dining there, and we feel the same way about a good deli, if you know what we mean, which is why we were so happy to see a nice Jewish guy like David Leibowitz on a recent trip to Katz Deli. Leibowitz works up the… More >>
  • BEST BARBECUE RESTAURANT

    Big City BBQ

    With "cattle" being one of the Zona's four C's, along with copper, cotton and citrus, and considering the fact that the PHX once was home to one of the largest feedlots in the nation, you'd think that there'd be killer barbecue on every corner of this burg. But for whatever reason, great barbecue is harder to find than a fur-wearin'… More >>
  • BEST SOUL FOOD RESTAURANT

    Stacy's

    We don't know what we'd do without Stacy Phipps, proprietor of Stacy's, Phoenix's finest soul food restaurant. Phipps consistently prepares the best fish, fried chicken, greens, rice with gravy, and black-eyed peas that we've had outside of Dixie. Moreover, he includes items on his menu sure to warm the heart of any erstwhile son of the South, like fried chicken… More >>
  • BEST OLD-SCHOOL CHINESE RESTAURANT

    Autumn Court Chinese Restaurant

    From Central Avenue, Autumn Court looks like some funky gingerbread house, but stepping inside is like walking into the fog-draped Chinatown of San Francisco in the 1940s. The main dining area is designed like a faux autumn arbor, with a tree's amber-tinged limbs overhead and a waterfall that gurgles over fake masonry. Dining areas are walled in by dark, wooden… More >>
  • BEST DIM SUM

    Golden Buddha at the Chinese Cultural Center - CLOSED

    Why is the Buddha's belly so fat and his smile so wide? Too many Twinkies and six-packs of Old Milwaukee? Wrong again, pork bun breath! Actually, the "golden Buddha" statue in the lobby of the Chinese Cultural Center's Golden Buddha restaurant is Bu-Dai (Hotei in Japanese), the corpulent, smiling mendicant revered for his good humor and generosity. Chances are the… More >>
  • BEST SUSHI

    Stingray Sushi - CLOSED

    The first time we visited Stingray Sushi, not long after it opened, we were more impressed by the eatery's decor than its maki or nigiri. Brought to us by the same team that gave us the hip Scottsdale tiki bar known as Drift, Stingray was an instant hit with the Gen Y party set, with its orange walls, zebrawood tables,… More >>
  • BEST JAPANESE FUSION

    Sea Saw

    Sea Saw is the province of Chef Nobuo Fukuda, renowned for his "tapanese" cuisine, a marriage of the Spanish concept of little noshes called tapas with high-end Japanese eats. It's all about the rare combinations of delicate flavors Fukuda brings to the table: kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) purée topped with a bit of curry and a little pile of caviar; chilled,… More >>
  • BEST SEAFOOD

    Eddie V's Edgewater Grille

    There's something about living in the desert that makes you crave seafood as if you were a pregnant walrus. And if we were a hungry, knocked-up walrus in the desert, we'd want a condo nearby Eddie V's Edgewater Grille. It's way up in Scottsdale's DC Ranch, but it's worth the drive, because Eddie V's leaves the competition in the proverbial… More >>
  • BEST GREEK RESTAURANT

    Greektown Restaurant

    "Hey, can I buy you a shot of ouzo?" If you don't hear that and "Opa!" about a half-dozen times during the evening, then you're probably not at Greektown, where chef-owner George Vassiliou will do everything to make your stay a joyous one short of feeding you moussaka by hand. Come to think of it, he'd probably do that, too,… More >>
  • BEST CAJUN/CREOLE RESTAURANT

    Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen - CLOSED

    It must be the lack of zydeco music that keeps the Cajuns and Creoles from starting restaurants in the PHX. Maybe they're afraid they'll spontaneously combust in the dry heat. Or could it be the fact that the alligator isn't our state bird, like it is in Louisiana? Whatever the cause for their P-town phobia, there's a distinct lack of… More >>
  • BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT

    Mes Amis Bistro and Bar

    What makes a great French meal? Start off with coquilles St. Jacques as an appetizer, along with escargots in a puff pastry à la Normande. Follow with onion soup. A main course of calves' liver with potatoes, coq au vin, or a plate of fat frogs' legs smothered in a garlic butter-Pernod sauce. Wash it back with a bottle of… More >>
  • BEST GERMAN RESTAURANT

    Haus Murphy's

    Ja, dummkopf, we know there are other German joints in the Valley. After all, German fare isn't quite as popular in the metro area as, say, Mexican or Chinese -- or even Thai or Korean, for that matter. So, yes, we've tried the handful of places out there, and perennial winner Haus Murphy's still takes the brass ring. Haus Murphy's… More >>
  • BEST MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

    Fattoush Mediterranean Restaurant

    We admit it -- our ass is the size of a baby sea lion, and chances are it's here to stay, because we're not gonna be taking any Pilates or spinning classes any time soon -- or, to be honest, ever. Diets? Strictly for suckas and simpletons. That B.S. might be okay for some airhead like Lindsay Lohan, but we've… More >>
  • BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

    Indian Delhi Palace Cuisine of India

    When we're desperate to get our tikka on, and want a sure-fire Indian fix, not some fly-by-night curry joint that may or may not cure what ails us, we head over to Indian Delhi Palace's complex on East McDowell, next to Jugheads. Not only does this venerable establishment have a huge L-shaped main dining area, with crafts and images from… More >>
  • BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT

    Restaurant Takamatsu

    Takamatsu means "tall pines" in Japanese, which may be the reason this west-side eatery boasts a façade of blond plank wood. The use of Japanese for its moniker is a hint that the place has a killer sushi bar, and that'd be reason enough to dine there. But Takamatsu also offers the most reliable Korean barbecue in the Valley, with… More >>
  • BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

    Restaurant Cyclo

    Vietnamese cuisine in the Valley is nowhere more accessible and toothsome than at Justina Duong's stylish Vietnamese cafe Cyclo. Duong's eatery is no dive, but instead a modern, artsy chow palace with her own spray-painted murals of the home country as well as handmade tin models of the bicycle cabs for which the establishment is named. The food is fresh… More >>
  • BEST THAI RESTAURANT

    Siamese Kitchen

    Before we lay some knowledge on you regarding the best Thai food to be had in the Valley, be advised: If we hear about you traipsing out to the funky little restaurant we've chosen, where the owner is the chef and they have only one server, and demanding to be waited on hand and foot like you're at Mary Elaine's… More >>
  • BEST ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT

    Tina's Ethiopian Cafe

    Visiting Tina Tamrat Hildebrand's cozy Chandler eatery is so intimate an experience that it may seem you're in someone's home, being served by a friend who happens to be Ethiopian. Hildebrand herself is often doing double duty as server and cook, and in the back is an area with couch and coffee table that looks just like a living room.… More >>
  • BEST TEA

    Restaurant Samarkand

    Who'da thunk it? The best tea in the Valley is not in some hoity-toity, pinkie-in-the-air tea room, but at an Uzbek restaurant in the Avenues called Samarkand, where Iron Mike Tyson has reportedly stopped by for the grub. Otherwise known for killer kebabs, fat, stick-to-your-ribs dumplings called manti, and hearty salads of carrot and mushroom, Samarkand also serves tea that… More >>
  • BEST WINGS

    Half Moon Sports Grill

    Try as we might, we've yet to consume better wings in town than we have at Half Moon Sports Grill. These are not traditional Buffalo wings like the kind you'll get at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, the spot where the snack was invented back in 1964 by proprietress Teressa Bellissimo. Still, they're pretty dang scarfalicious, fat and… More >>
  • BEST SALADS

    Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe

    This Japanese-style, central Phoenix nosh shop is better known for its various forms of Far Eastern starch, hence the "Noodle" in the name. But the reality is that nearly everything Cherryblossom serves up is super, including its salads, like the Hot Thai Beef Salad, with a sautéed mix of beef and veggies over leaves of fresh romaine. Or there's the… More >>
  • BEST CAESAR SALAD

    Durant's

    In the good old days, waiters at Durant's prepared our fave Caesar salad tableside, rather than delivering it done from the kitchen as they do today. But no matter where they mix it up, this is still the hands-down tastiest, most authentic Caesar we've ever eaten -- and believe us, Caesar salads are practically a staple in our diet. Which… More >>
  • BEST NIÇOISE

    Carly's Bistro

    One of the best salads ever created is the niçoise, made after the manner of cuisine from the French city of Nice, and containing such ingredients as tomatoes, black olives, garlic, tuna and anchovies. More often than not these days, you'll find this classic cold mixture as the innards of a niçoise sammy, but you can still find places that… More >>
  • BEST VEGGIES

    Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar

    It's strange. When we were kids, our moms practically had to cake sugar onto vegetables to get us to eat them. But as our palates have progressed, there's nothing we like more than well-prepared veggies of all kinds. Hence our fondness for James Porter's Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar, which sits in the same cul-de-sac as Sushi on Shea and… More >>
  • BEST SIDES

    Bandera

    Bandera is perhaps best known as a chicken and rib joint, but the thing that keeps us coming back to this chain-that-doesn't-act-like-a-chain restaurant is the side dishes. We dream about the peanut coleslaw, the jalapeño corn bread, the garlic mashed potatoes. We know a woman who, for years, tried to replicate the house salad dressing -- to no avail. Now… More >>
  • BEST CHEESE

    Cheuvront Wine & Cheese Café - CLOSED

    You don't have to be a gourmand to appreciate State Senator Ken Cheuvront's spiffy downtown wine bar. Sure, it's got enough panache to satisfy the snootiest connoisseur -- a long wine list and one of those ever-changing, overlong cheese selections that manages to include two dozen options without a single supermarket Brie. But the thing that endears us to the… More >>
  • BEST FONDUE

    Shabu Fondue

    "Hey, you've got your meat in my Emmenthaler!" "Yes, but you've got your chocolate on my beef!" Okay, so that's how we imagine it going down at the stylish new Chandler eatery Shabu Fondue, which offers diners a chance to sample both Swiss fondue and Japanese shabu-shabu in one night. Of course, you may be singing "The Sukiyaki Song" in… More >>
  • BEST CHILI

    Susan's Diner

    The Food Channel has really effed up America's eating habits. Now everyone and his brother wants to make hot dogs with goat cheese, pizza with portabella mushrooms, and hamburgers with sun-dried tomatoes. What the hell is wrong with this country? There's no reason to go and mess up perfectly fine, Americana-type food with unnecessary culinary experimentation. That's why it's so… More >>
  • BEST PASTY

    The Cornish Pasty Co.

    Once upon a time, Cornwall, England, was best known for its tin mines. Thousands of them. Indeed, the patron saint of Cornwall, St. Piran, was beloved by the common folk for teaching them how to smelt the tin ore contained in local rocks, thus giving the region an industry. St. Piran's good works may be the stuff of legend, but… More >>
  • BEST HOT DOG

    Ted's Hot Dogs

    Ted's Hot Dogs started as a hot dog cart run by a Greek immigrant named Theodore "Ted" Spiro Liaros in western New York. Today, there are nine Ted's hot dog shops -- eight in western New York and one in Tempe, run by the current president of Ted's, Spiro Liaros, Theodore's son. Lucky us. Ted's is a diner without… More >>
  • BEST BURGER AND FRIES

    Delux

    The thing that makes a city a city is late-night life. Being able to hit the town in the evening, and not having to fret about snaggin' a meal after normal din-din hours. We ain't talkin' about the drive-through window at Jack in the Crack, bro. Restaurateur Lenny Rosenberg is doin' his part. Rosenberg had the first 5 & Diner… More >>
  • BEST SANDWICHES, OLD-SCHOOL

    Prickly Pair Deli and Winery

    Seems like every other new restaurant in Phoenix is offering grilled Italian panini these days, which is lovely, but may we remind you that the Earl of Sandwich was a subject of the English crown, not some cat from Milan. So recognize a fad when you see one, and head on over to Prickly Pair, where the sammies are more… More >>
  • BEST FISH AND CHIPS

    The Codfather

    Finally, someone who knows and loves our beloved Gadus morhua better than we do! That's cod, dude, the tasty bottom feeder of the deep blue sea, and we enjoy its flaky-white flesh better than that of haddock, salmon or even halibut. And the guy we trust to fry us up a proper mess of fish and chips, just like you'll… More >>
  • BEST BBQ RIBS

    Joe's Real BBQ

    Just in case you forgot, spareribs are not supposed to be health food. And no, that white stuff on 'em that tastes so good is not granola. That's pork fat. Each hunk you suck off that rib bone is equal to a pack of unfiltered Camels and is sure to slice 365 days off your life span. Okay, we're exaggerating,… More >>
  • BEST CURRY

    Spicy Lamb Curry at Lotus Asian Cafe and Grill

    Lotus Asian Cafe and Grill is small in space, but colossal when it comes to taste. Chef Abraham Indradjaja does Chandler proud by offering the best curry in the PHX with his gulai kambing. Gulai kambing is a hot, rich brown curry served in a bowl, almost as a soup, with small bits of lamb ribs and meat and a… More >>
  • BEST ESCARGOTS

    Caffe Boa

    In the States, eating escargots usually means chewy, tasteless gastropods so overwhelmed by garlic and butter that you might as well be gnawing on someone's shoelace. Why are these terrestrial mollusks so gross here and so exquisite overseas? Well, for one reason, the snails you get in Europe tend to be fresher, and we suspect that some of the black,… More >>
  • BEST TONGUE

    Mirage Grill and Bar

    Bulgarians give the best tongue. That is, if we're to judge by the tongue action at the Bulgarian-European Mirage Grill and Bar. Mirage is a beautiful watering hole/eatery on the west side, known for preparing a number of exotic Eastern European treats, such as poached eggs over yogurt, sautéed tripe, and Balkan sausages. But the beef tongue is our fave.… More >>
  • BEST WAY TO BURN YOUR TONGUE

    Clear Noodle Salad at Sala Thai Restaurant

    Some of the best things in life hurt, at least a little. Like getting slapped on your fanny by that obscure object of your desire. Or eating the Thai chile-flaked clear noodle salad at the newly opened Sala Thai Restaurant. This innocent-looking pile of glass noodles, ground pork and shrimp is guaranteed to set your eyes to watering unless your… More >>
  • BEST BALLS

    Calf Fries at Stockyards Restaurant

    Come on down to the sign of E.A. Tovrea's "circle-walking-L" brand, and enter an era where the men were men, the women wore dresses, and the calves were scared. And no, they weren't afraid of any, er, animal husbandry. Rather, it was all those cowpokes walking around with buckets filled with the gonads of their brethren. See, "calf fries" are… More >>
  • BEST CANTONESE-STYLE DUCK

    Super Dragon Restaurant

    Super Dragon is probably the most consistent neighborhood Chinese eatery in the Valley, serving up mainly Cantonese-style fare in a clean, pleasant environment with superior service. Standards such as cashew chicken and walnut prawns never disappoint, but our faves on Super Dragon's menu are the Cantonese roasted duck, and the braised duck with mixed veggies. In both cases, the duck… More >>
  • BEST BIRD

    The Squab at Zinc Bistro

    There's something about squab that sounds so PBS. A dish some pudgy, truculent barrister should be supping on with a glass of sherry at hand. And when you get right down to it, squab, or domesticated pigeon, is about the last thing you'll see on menus these days, even at better restaurants in town. Too bad, because the flesh of… More >>
  • BEST FLAN

    Asi Es La Vida

    The folks at Asi Es La Vida offer up a twist on this Mexican custard that's currently our fave: its flan Napolitano, which, no, is not named after Governor Janet. Of course, we asked the folks over at Asi Es La Vida why it was called Napolitano, and they didn't know either! But they were able to tell us that… More >>
  • BEST TIRAMISU

    Radda Café-Bar

    Maybe it's because tiramisu tastes so sinful that stories linger about this Tuscan trifle being so popular with Italian whores, who used it as their "pick me up" (the English translation of tiramisu) between clients. Or maybe it's because Eye-ties tend to be rather sensual. After all, are there any Fellini films that do not feature prostitutes? Heck, we know… More >>
  • BEST TENNESSEE TIRAMISU

    Calico Cow Central

    The trailer park treat that's sweet to eat, and easy on your gum and cheek. Also known as Tennessee tiramisu or Carolina crème brûlée. Every Southerner worth his mud flaps knows what we're talking about. Banana pudding. Trifle of the Gods. The stuff Southern Culture on the Skids sings about on their classic CD Plastic Seat Sweat, wherein co-vocalists Mary… More >>
  • BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE

    Zoës Kitchen

    In our house, grandma is GaGa, and she's best known for her brisket. We're not sure who YaYa is, the name behind Zoës' delicious chocolate cake, but that's enough for us. There's nothing fancy about YaYa's Homemade Chocolate Sheet Cake, and that's the way we like it. This chocolate cake with chocolate icing tastes like you baked it yourself with… More >>
  • BEST CUPPA HOT CHOCOLATE

    Cowboy Ciao

    The folks at Cowboy Ciao are good cooks and good writers. Their menu is a work of art, with funny quotes from customers ("Sprinkle my ashes over Cowboy Ciao"), thorough descriptions (the Buffalo Carpaccio is rubbed with espresso and cumin) and creative names (an octopus/spinach mix is called the Big Biceps Salad). But no name, no description, can do justice… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO GO OUT IN YOUR JAMMIES

    Cereality

    Thanks to local entrepreneur David Roth and his pal Rick Bacher, your inner child need never go hungry again. The duo last year launched Cereality, a Tempe-based cereal bar that allows the fourth grader in you to mix Sugar Smacks with Fruity Pebbles and call it dinner; to feast (in public!) on Frankenberry sopped with chocolate milk. Cereality turned a… More >>
  • BEST DOWNTOWN BREAKFAST

    Matt's Big Breakfast

    Matt's Big Breakfast serves a big-tasting breakfast in a sweet, sunny little diner, and if you don't time it right, you'll have to wait for a table. But it's worth it for the thick (yet still crispy) bacon alone; you might also want to sample the fresh orange juice, omelets and whole-wheat toast while you're there. The coffee's strong, and… More >>
  • BEST DOWNTOWN LUNCH

    il Palazzetto

    We know, we know -- we're supposed to boycott chain restaurants. But when we're looking for lunch downtown, pardon us if we cheat a little, and head straight to il Palazzetto at the America West Arena. To all the members of Arizona's Chain Reaction: Save the hot air for your next balloon ride. See, this bright, elegant Italian grill, with… More >>
  • BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

    Lon's at the Hermosa Inn

    For us, the best Sunday brunch is enjoyed at the table, with the food coming to us. Buffets are so much work. We'd rather relax in a beautiful setting with strong coffee and fresh juice. That's why our favorite place to brunch is Lon's, where we feel like we've been invited to dine with good friends -- who happen to… More >>
  • BEST PATIO DINING

    House of Tricks

    A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou patio, House of Tricks. That's all we ask. Well, you might want to throw in a field green salad with beets and a Dijon sherry vinaigrette alongside the basket of bread and bottle of wine (from a fine selection). And the coriander-crusted rack of lamb with serrano-mint syrup and pear… More >>
  • BEST VIEW

    Different Pointe of View

    It goes without saying that the view, like real estate, depends upon location, location, location. It also goes without saying that most businesses that invest in the view don't have enough money left to invest in the food. Such is not the case with Different Pointe of View, located on top of an 1,800-foot mountain just north of Thunderbird Road.… More >>
  • BEST HIGH TEA

    The Ritz-Carlton

    We are certain we detect just the hint of an English accent when we speak to Jeffrey Hattrick, the Tea Maître d' (yes, there is such a thing) at the Ritz. But Hattrick cheerfully admits that he hails from Portland, Oregon. No matter, we'd let him read our leaves any day -- he clearly knows his way around the tea… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS

    C-Fu Gourmet

    Under the best possible circumstances, dining out with kids is enough to send you to bed for the night with a very, very bad headache. We have developed a close, personal relationship with Easy Mac, Kraft's foolproof (as long as you nuke the noodles, not the cheese powder -- true story) mac 'n' cheese. But mom and dad cannot live… More >>
  • BEST FAST FOOD FOR KIDS

    Taco Del Mar

    One of our toddler's first words was "Mugget" -- short, of course, for Chicken McNugget. Who knows what's in those things (well, thanks to a certain book and a movie, now we know and want to forget), but let's face it: There comes a time when even the most health-conscious parent needs to feed the kid, and fast. We recommend… More >>
  • BEST HOSPITAL CAFETERIA

    Phoenix Children's Hospital

    From a culinary perspective, the only thing worse than "cafeteria" is "hospital cafeteria." Which is why we were so surprised when we visited the cafeteria at Phoenix Children's Hospital in central Phoenix. At first, we thought we were just sleep-deprived and distracted, and that maybe that salad wasn't so fresh, those veggies weren't so tasty, that pizza wasn't so good… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO GO TO THE 'SLOPE

    Corbins Bar and Grill - CLOSED

    It was only a matter of time before the North Central vibe crept into Sunnyslope. Drive along the bridle path on Central Avenue, over a slight hill, and there's Sunnyslope -- you can't miss it, it's marked with a huge "S" on a low mountain, right there. Before you hit the mountain, veer east into Corbins parking lot -- you… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE A NEW YORKER

    Patsy Grimaldi's Pizzeria

    We must confess to a certain trepidation whenever our sophisticated Manhattanite friends come for a visit. To hear them tell it, everything in the Big Apple is so fabulous, it's hard to presume that anything here can possibly measure up to their standards. So that's why their reaction to dining at Patsy Grimaldi's charmingly traditional pizzeria is so gratifying. Apparently,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE A NEW YORKER FOR DESSERT

    Cold Stone Creamery

    Even the proudest Phoenician can't help but be a bit deflated walking the Arizona State University campus with a New York visitor and hearing, "Gee, where are all the people?" That's why we were so delighted to hear a squeal when we passed Cold Stone Creamery. We like Cold Stone's ice cream, sure, but for us, it's no big deal… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE A TUCSONAN

    Pita Jungle

    We love Tucson, but we've gotta tell you, sometimes people from Tucson can wear a little thin on the nerves. We're getting sick of hearing how much better the Old Pueblo is than our metropolis, sick of complaints about how much water we waste irrigating our bright green lawns, how no restaurant up here compares to the restaurants down there.… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DISCOVER IOWA IN MESA

    The Iowa Cafe and Gifts

    Are you in the mood for some "hog-slopping, field-plowing, hair-on-chest food" just like they done eat in the Hawkeye State? Well, git on down to the Iowa Cafe in Mesa and grub on some good ol' down-home cookin'. The bustling true-blue Iowa-gal-owned restaurant has been serving up diner-style breakfast, supper and dinner all day, every day, to hungry customers since… More >>
  • BEST MEAL IN THE BACK OF A BREWERY

    Four Peaks Brewing Company

    When a friend invited us to join him for dinner at Four Peaks, we went willingly. We've eaten the burgers at Four Peaks before; the prospect of another was a happy one. We didn't wind up with a hamburger, but we were still thrilled. Who would have thought that there, in the back of Four Peaks, with a Suns game… More >>
  • BEST MEAL COOKED IN YOUR OWN HOME

    Johnny Chu

    We have a dream: Our favorite local chef rings the doorbell, enters our humble home with coolers full of fresh food, and proceeds to cook a five-course meal in our kitchen as we look on, sipping wine, then sit down to dinner in our own dining room. (With more wine, of course.) The chef's kind assistant serves us dish after… More >>
  • BEST EXPERIENCE

    Chris Bianco and Susan Pool

    From the caramels at Pane Bianco to the paintings in the restroom at Pizzeria Bianco, the attention to detail at the Bianco establishments -- run by Chris Bianco with help from his partner Susan Pool -- is exquisite. Bianco and Pool are the most gracious of hosts; diners will happily wait hours for a table at the pizzeria, or roast… More >>
  • BEST MEAL ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN

    The Rock Springs Cafe and General Store

    With the spectacular backdrop of the Bradshaw Mountains looming above, the Rock Springs Cafe and General Store offers travelers a perfect respite from the road. Located about 45 miles north of downtown Phoenix, the cafe serves up tasty and hearty meals. If a cool cocktail is what you're after, check out the adjoining saloon that features off-the-track horse race betting.… More >>
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