Food & Drink

  • Best New Restaurant

    Citizen Public House

    Don't let the name and the address fool you. Citizen Public House, from former Cowboy Ciao culinary master chef Bernie Kantak, may sound pretentious, but its stylish yet relaxed atmosphere and offerings of classic American fare with a delicious kick in the ass are nothing short of modest classiness. From picture-perfect scallops and standout starters like the luscious pork belly… More >>
  • Best New Dining Trend

    Late-Night Eats

    There's a trend that we're crazy about. All the cool kids are doing it, and it's where you can catch the best eats — and the hottest gossip about the food world, which lately has us wishing we'd produced a reality show called The Real Chefs of Scottsdale. Late-night menus are being offered at a handful of local restaurants, and at… More >>
  • Best Pop-Up Restaurant

    Payton Curry at The Welcome Diner

    Payton Curry called his pop-up restaurant at The Welcome Diner a therapy project. His therapy became culinary-inspired healing for the 2,800-plus diners who showed up between April 1 and a cosmic final cleanup on July 5 — fittingly, the day of the now-famous haboob. Curry created his daily menu based on what was fresh and available each morning from local… More >>
  • Best Revolving Door

    Cycle, at Lexington Hotel - CLOSED

    Some of the best chefs in town popped up this summer in downtown Phoenix — thanks to Cycle. With the worn-out Lexington Hotel in flux (not quite ready for renovations, but also not ready to shut its doors entirely), a nothing-fancy old bar and restaurant was sitting empty. 'Til Cycle. Every weekend (and sometimes during the week, at its peak),… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    Short Leash Hot Dogs

    Phoenix went food-truck-crazy in 2011, with no fewer than half a dozen of them tooling around town at any given moment. The granddaddy of them all is still Short Leash, the "mobile hot dog" eatery that appears at such disparate locations/events as the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, Stinkweeds, First Fridays, and various gallery openings and private functions. In other words,… More >>
  • Best Green Thumbs

    Roosevelt Growhouse

    Growing produce in Phoenix has become a hot topic of late — this summer, Twitter was, well, atwitter with local farmers and foodies battling over the relative merits of trying to grow anything here in the dog days. Meanwhile, the Valley of the Sun is lapping up the idea of eating local, and every week, it seems, a new farmers… More >>
  • Best Underground Supper Club

    Woody's Underground

    Have you been to a secret supper club? And we don't mean one of those quasi-secret-but-everyone-on-Twitter-knows-about-it events that keep popping up like, well, pop-ups. We mean really secret. Like, don't-tell-the-health-department secret. If not, you might want to try to hook up with Chef Woody (a.k.a. Forrest Rosh), who's been throwing dinner parties in his mother's North Phoenix backyard since last… More >>
  • Best Underground Food Tradition

    A Mormon pantry

    Ask a Mormon family to see their pantry and you might get a tour of the kitchen, but ask to see their "year's supply" and given the house's floor plan, you'll probably end up in the basement. A year's supply is an LDS tradition, heavily encouraged by church leaders, in which individuals and families carefully plan, can, jar, and store basic… More >>
  • Best Tunnel in a Tourist Trap

    Rustler's Rooste

    Perched atop a mountain ridge hundreds of feet above the Valley, Rustler's Rooste is hardly underground. But follow the winding road up to this cowboy-themed chophouse, wave at "Horny" the live bull standing in his outdoor pen, and ease open the massive wooden door. Suddenly, you'll find yourself inside a cramped, rock-lined mineshaft literally hacked into the side of South… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Donovan's Steak & Chop House

    Choosing among the many, many world-class steak houses in the Valley is a darn-near impossible task (yeah, we know — cue the pity party). So this year, we're giving the Best Of to the one upscale steak joint that made us feel we were actually somebody — and this in a roomful of real somebodies. In other words, a trip… More >>
  • Best Old School Steak House

    Durant's

    Enough with the Mad Men stuff, already. When it comes to real retro style dining — big booths, red velvet wallpaper, and lavish décor — Arizonans in the know go to Durant's (through the back door, thank you). Servin' up slabs of perfectly prepared New York strip steaks and a hell of a good martini or two, this Phoenix landmark… More >>
  • Best Old Arizona Charm

    Frank & Albert's

    When you think of old Arizona charm, the first thing that comes to mind is likely the Wild West and the kitschy cowboy aesthetic. Fair enough. But in its ninth decade of existence, the Biltmore resort — and its Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture — is inextricably linked to old Phoenix, too. It truly is a jewel in this desert city,… More >>
  • Best Organ in a Basement

    Organ Stop Pizza's Wurlitzer

    If you like your pizza served with heaping piles of cheese, then you'll love this iconic concert hall/dinner theater. A Mesa tradition since 1975, the star attraction at this 600-seat supper club is a historic Wurlitzer pipe organ that rises dramatically out of the basement — organist and all — to kick off each show. Originally built in the 1920s… More >>
  • Best Place to Hang with Bottom Dwellers

    Capitol Café

    Located in the creaky old basement of the Arizona State Capitol's Executive Tower, the Capitol Café serves up surprisingly good (and crazy-affordable) grub, as well as all the latest political gossip. Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch, everyone from office drones to the big-time politicians we all love to hate can be spotted bellying up to the salad bar or… More >>
  • Best Underground Restaurant

    The Salt Cellar

    With little more than a door and a few blue awnings visible, this long-running restaurant looks less like the upscale seafood joint it claims to be and more like the kind of fast-food joint where disinterested, college-aged servers wearing eye patches would dish up greasy fish and chips. That's because most of The Salt Cellar is hidden underground in a… More >>
  • Best Contemporary American Restaurant

    Café Monarch

    Café Monarch is untraditional in terms of restaurants, in that it's a one-man show that's as much an experience as it is a fine-dining restaurant. That one man is Chef Christopher Van Arsdale, and his mission is to create fresh and innovative American cuisine that caters to the needs of each guest. He's your chef, your waiter, and your busboy… More >>
  • Best Hidden Restaurant

    Tuck Shop

    We're still surprised whenever we hear someone say they've never heard of Tuck Shop, one of the best casual-dining spots in town. Opened about three years ago, Tuck Shop (named after snack stands popular in the UK, where one "tucks in" for a quick bite) offers tapas-style dining with a delicious menu designed by restaurant consultant Mitch Hoverman. We love… More >>
  • Best Dining Off the Beaten Path

    The House at Secret Garden - CLOSED

    We're not sure why more people don't know that there's a new-ish restaurant at the Secret Garden, but this is a secret we think should get out. This casual eatery, located in the shadow of South Mountain and housed in a restored 1929 Spanish-style mansion, is a real treasure. A New American menu featuring mostly locally grown foods, posted in… More >>
  • Best Latin American Restaurant

    Mi Comida Restaurante Latino

    Technically, Mi Comida is an Ecuadorean restaurant, but you also can find dishes from Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru at this homey little storefront. More familiar dishes such as tamales, empanadas, and ceviche share the menu with lesser-known entrées, like lomo fino saltado (filet mignon sauté), sango de camarones (delicious shrimp stew), and sudado de pesado (banana leaf-wrapped fish). We recommend… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Fresh Mint

    Looking for a tasty Vietnamese spin on your next meatless meal? Get to Fresh Mint, the easy-going vegetarian, vegan, and certified kosher eatery in Scottsdale, where owner and executive chef Mai Ly, with a dream to "create beautiful, good, healthy food for people," works her magic to create fresh, made-to-order dishes packed with flavor. Summer rolls, spicy lemongrass noodle soup,… More >>
  • Best Vegan Restaurant

    Green

    We love meat. A lot. Meat on the bone. Beef ribs dripping with fat, Southern-fried chicken with the skin on, lamb chops, pork chops — you get the idea. But we'd give it all up — and toss milk and eggs in there, too — if you could promise us that every meal we'd eat would be as good as… More >>
  • Best Vegan Restaurant Inspired by a New Age Guru

    Loving Hut

    Supreme Master Ching Hai is a wacky gal. She believes there were once four planets called Venus, that crop circles are road signs for UFOs, and that the world's coming to an end unless you go vegan.The New Age guru may at least have the vegan thing pegged. That is, if you believe climatologists who argue that factory farming of… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Wahsun

    It ain't much to look at and the hours are sketchy, but Wahsun is a secret worth discovering for those in search of platefuls of authentic Chinese fare at crazy-low prices. In a sparsely decorated room filled with Chinese regulars from the neighborhood, Wahsun's steaming dishes arrive as if they'd been cooked in a bustling home kitchen, packed with fresh… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Nobuo at Teeter House

    James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda proves that delicious Japanese cuisine is eagerly awaiting your hungry mouths right here in the Valley. Teahouse by day and self-described funky izakaya (drinking place) by night, Nobuo at Teeter House transports you to the Land of the Rising Sun with elevated versions of Japanese snack foods such as pork belly buns and panko-fried… More >>
  • Best Ramen Restaurant

    Republic Ramen & Noodles

    You know the dried ramen that comes with flavor pouches? Toss that garbage in the trash. Real ramen requires a broth injected with meaty flavors and spices over hours. The noodles form a base on top of which succulent toppings like fatty pork, hard-boiled eggs, naruto fish paste, and bean sprouts are added. Republic Ramen in Tempe is the real… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Sa Bai Modern Thai

    Swing a dead cat in some parts of this town, and you'll hit a Thai restaurant or three. Or nine. There's no shortage of tom yum in these parts, and damned if we can figure out why — but we'll take it. If you want a really special Thai experience, though, head to a part of town where the pickings… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Pho Thanh

    As delicious as it is inexpensive, Pho Thanh has become our go-to spot for a quick and easy bite of Vietnamese food. It's pretty obvious that we're not alone, either, because this summer, Pho Thanh doubled in size — taking over the adjacent storefront on the Viet-centric northwest corner of 17th Avenue and Camelback Road. And every time we're in… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Takamatsu of Chandler - CLOSED

    Your quest for kimchee stops here. Tucked away in a Chandler strip mall, Takamatsu has been serving authentic Korean eats for more than a decade. Watch sweet marinated strips of bulgogi (barbecued beef), pork belly, or tongue cook right at your table or try something a little more challenging, like black goat soup or kimchee bokeum (highly recommended). No worries… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Curry Corner

    About 10 months ago, the restaurant formerly known as Copper Kettle resurfaced along the light-rail tracks, in the form of Curry Corner. Situated a couple of blocks west of the station at Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard, Curry Corner has become one of our favorite new eateries. This mom 'n' pop joint serves bursting-with-flavor Indian-Pakistani food. We love to grab… More >>
  • Best Mediterranean Restaurant

    Cafe Istanbul and Market

    Oh, how we love Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food. The flavors, the colors, the freshness — the varieties of spelling! We like to make Mideast staples such as hummus and tabbouleh at home, but they never taste quite as good as they do when made by the pros at the Valley's several fine Middle Eastern joints. And that goes double for the… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Greekfest

    Our romance with Greekfest began with a craving for rack of lamb, and it got messy — in a good way — when we also fell in love with this wonderful Greek restaurant's mousaka. And its pastitsio. And its youvetsi! But back to that lamb: You can have it in any number of Greek configurations — exohiko, arni psito, or… More >>
  • Best Ethiopian Food

    Blue Nile Café - CLOSED

    Flavorful, filling, and amazingly affordable cuisine makes for a winning combination at Blue Nile Café. Vegans and carnivores can happily coexist while using moist, tangy injera (a spongy flatbread) in lieu of utensils to scoop up the menu's delectable offerings. We recommend taking in the experience while dining around the colorful woven basket tables called mesobs. There's a multitude of… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Petite Maison

    The decadence of French food is unrivaled, but at Petite Maison, they take that real-butter, full-fat approach to gourmet dining. The garden bistro atmosphere is perfect for a romantic night out, and the menu also is dressed to impress. Classic escargot and foie gras share menu space with delicate salads, velvety soups, and rich custards. If it's your first time,… More >>
  • Best German Restaurant

    Haus Murphy

    Spaetzle and schnitzel and sauerbraten! When we're craving sauerkraut and sausages galore, we head to Haus Murphy to satisfy our craving for German food. We recommend the Jager Schnitzel, a tender breaded pork loin that is pan-fried to a golden brown and topped with a luscious brown gravy packed with mushrooms. (The gravy is equally good on the spaetzle.) And… More >>
  • Best Soul Food Restaurant

    Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles - CLOSED

    Granted, this isn't exactly front-page news, but the word is out: Lo-Lo's is one of the must-try restaurants in Phoenix. Neighborhood peeps, tourists, fans of the novel, hangover-nursing hipsters, and, really, just about anybody who understands this concept: fried chicken + waffles = Heaven on Earth. We'll be the first to admit that, years ago, when we first heard of… More >>
  • Best Barbecue Restaurant

    Texas BBQ House

    If you're looking for Texas barbecue — and nothin' but Texas barbecue — in Phoenix, then Texas BBQ House in South Phoenix is your new favorite 'cue. Armed with family rub recipes, owner (and Texan) Mike Pitt is all about the meat — brisket, barbecued chicken, pork ribs, pork loin, chopped beef, sausage, and turkey — cooked low and slow,… More >>
  • Best Corner Italian Restaurant

    DeFalco's Italian Eatery

    When you walk into DeFalco's, you see it and you smell it. We're talking about the love that goes into the homemade hot and cold sandwiches, pasta, and pizza at this mom-and-pop Italian grocery-slash-deli-slash-restaurant. The DeFalcos immigrated to North America from Abruzzi, Italy, in 1903 and passed down generations of recipes for their awesome meatballs and tangy tomato sauce. There's… More >>
  • Best Italian Deli

    Romanelli's

    We might have trouble finding a good Jewish deli in these parts (hence the absence of the category in this year's Best of Phoenix) but we have no trouble choosing our favorite Italian deli — Romanelli's, the family-owned Italian deli, grocery, and novelty purveyor that's been on Phoenix's northwest side for more than 25 years. Tearing your eyes away from… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Tomaso's

    This longtime fixture on the Camelback Corridor does just about everything right: top-notch service by a seasoned waitstaff, great wine, comfortable atmosphere that's classy but not over-the-top decadent, and, most important, primo Italian food. Start with a beautifully displayed antipasto or the wonderful Caprese appetizer before moving on to one of Tomaso's house-made pasta dishes or finely prepared meat and… More >>
  • Best Secret Recipes

    Il Posto

    Grandma used to say, "Don't talk with your mouth full." When we're at Il Posto, we're constantly shoving food into our pie holes, because, well, everything they serve there tastes so great. And so, with our faces full of pizza and pasta, we've never gotten around to asking for the ingredients in these and other amazing Italian delicacies served at… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Pizza

    The Parlor

    Somewhere along the way, Phoenix became known as a great pizza town (specifically if you're talking about the gourmet stuff), so it's no easy task to pinpoint the best. This year, though, we have to acknowledge what's become one of our faves, The Parlor. The former beauty salon is simply one of the most comfortable and cool places to eat… More >>
  • Best Slice of Pizza

    Mamma Mia

    When you're a pizzeria that can win the hearts of native New Yorkers, you know that you're serving the perfect slice of Sicily. And Mamma Mia has definitely won its share of Big Apple acolytes. The crust is thin and crispy but still flavorful, and it has the perfect amount of floppiness so it can be folded in half and… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, Central Phoenix

    Pino's Pizza Al Centro

    Lucky for us, Pino Martnino, owner and prince of pies at Pino's Pizza Al Centro, left his home in Basilicata, Italy, and came to the Valley to find (and marry) his true love, Lucia. If it weren't for her, we'd be missing out on this friendly neighborhood pizza joint (which the two of them own and run) and on Pino's… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, Downtown Phoenix

    Cibo Urban Wine Cafe & Pizzeria

    For so long, people have loved to loathe downtown Phoenix. Working downtown is bad enough, they scoff, but actually living in the center of the city? Perish the thought! Why, there's no decent grocery store, nowhere to park, you have to step around crackheads to get into Circle K to pay for gas. (Gee, sounds like a real city to… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, South Phoenix

    Amano Pizza Bistro

    The best Italian food is made with love, something the owners of Amano's know all about. In their 30-year love affair with South Mountain, Eric and Kathy Bower have watched agriculture-heavy Baseline go the way of tract housing, but they embraced the blossoming neighborhood by opening Amano in 2004. This South Phoenix neighborhood haunt offers fresh Italian fare in a… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, North Phoenix

    Santisi Brothers

    When you step into Santisi Brothers, you are greeted not by a hostess, but by the electric glow of hundreds of televisions. Don't let the electric wonderland deter you. Delicious pizza awaits those who enter. Thin and floppy NY-style pies are hand-tossed and then topped with cheese and are sauced perfectly. The crust is crisp and slightly buttery, and you… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, West Valley

    La Piazza al Forno

    At La Piazza al Forno, pizza means two things — Neapolitan and wood-fired. Thanks to homemade mozzarella and dough, San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy, and recipes from the old country, chef Justin Piazza and his family have been servin' up a tight selection of phenomenal Neapolitans courtesy of a wood-fueled brick oven since they opened their neighborhood eatery in… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, Southeast Valley

    Floridino's

    With so many pizzerias in the Valley, it takes a certain something special to set your pies apart from the crowd. Floridino's does this in two ways: bargain-basement lunch deals and a little something they like to call pizza muffins. The pizza muffins are a crowd favorite, even if they are a bit more like pizza rolls. Wheels of pizza-dough… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, Tempe

    Venezia's

    Venezia's has been around since only the mid-'90s, but this is a college town where restaurant turnover is so high that it's hard to stay on the map through the semester, let alone for well over a decade. Is it Venezia's party pizza, a 24-inch behemoth of a pie? The hot wings, which live up to their name because they're… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizzeria, Scottsdale

    Grimaldi's

    Most pizzerias claim their secret to the perfect pie lies in the wood-fired oven, but not at Grimaldi's, where they prefer hotter, cleaner-burning coal. Heck, they even claim to tweak the chemistry of the water used to make the flavor more like that found in old NYC. Whatever the secret is, it makes all the difference in creating a mighty… More >>
  • Best Sign of Urban Renewal

    Vitamin T - CLOSED

    Local celebrity chef Aaron May thinks there's a lot to like about downtown Phoenix, and he's putting his money where his boca is by placing his latest restaurant concept, Vitamin T, smack dab in the middle of it. Located in the new CityScape complex along with neighbors Stand Up Live and Oakville Grocery Co., Vitamin T (T is for tacos,… More >>
  • Best Romantic Dinner

    House of Tricks

    News flash: Most restaurants in the Valley are trapped in aesthetically challenged strip malls. Many of these restaurants are very, very good. Still, they are in strip malls, which, by definition, are soul-sucking paeans to crass consumerism and ugly land development. Not House of Tricks, an excellent bistro in the heart of Tempe. Situated in two vintage bungalows just blocks… More >>
  • Best Elevated Dining

    Cave & Ives Portico Grill - CLOSED

    It's not until you're sitting on the cozy balcony of Cave & Ives Portico Grill watching the cars whiz by on Indian School Road that you realize how few second-story eateries there are in the Valley. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But a meal at the new restaurant from the owners of Sacks the Art of Sandwicherie reminds… More >>
  • Best Patio Dining

    Chelsea's Kitchen

    Not many restaurants boast a patio as inviting as the interior, but Chelsea's Kitchen, the Central Phoenix eatery of comfort foods and the occasional creative dish, manages to do so. On the bank of a canal, the cozy, foliage-heavy outdoor scene makes you forget that busy Camelback Road is just a block away. Spacious yet intimate, the patio — nearly… More >>
  • Best View

    A Different Pointe of View

    The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs is perched on high, looking down on Phoenix below, and A Different Pointe of View lets you soak up the desert vibes in a fine-dining atmosphere. Although we recommend sunset for some of the most stunning vistas, there isn't a bad seat in the house any time of day. The outside patio also is a… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    T. Cook's at The Royal Palms Resort

    Brunch, that magical pairing of breakfast and lunch, is an underrated meal often flippantly associated with the word "buffet." Eye-rollers may want to direct their attention to the Mediterranean Market Buffet at T. Cook's, the cozy restaurant located inside the Royal Palms Resort and Spa. Every Sunday, in an elegant room done up in colonial Spanish architecture — with palm… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, Central Phoenix

    Over Easy

    Late last year, Aaron May's happenin' breakfast place moved out of its old digs in a refurbed Taco Bell on 40th Street to a considerably bigger spot in a Safeway-anchored strip mall about a mile east on Indian School Road. Even with a bigger space, there still are lines out the door on the weekends. No wonder. Over Easy is… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, Downtown Phoenix

    Province

    If coffee's not enough to wake you up in the morning, try a pop of color — in the form of the hot-pink furniture and shocking green wall of moss at Province, the restaurant in the brand-new Downtown Westin. When the Sheraton opened down the block a couple of years ago, there was a lot of hoopla, but no one… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, South Phoenix

    Morning Glory Cafe

    Tucked at the back of The Farm at South Mountain, Morning Glory is our favorite way to start the day when we're in this part of town. You can go with the light fruit and granola or pig out on anything from a down-home "cowboy" breakfast of chili and eggs (with griddled bread!) or white truffle scrambled eggs with fresh… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, North Phoenix

    Tryst Café

    Sweet potato tots for breakfast? We must be at Tryst Café. We love this place. Everything is reasonably priced, there are plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, and they offer organic mimosas and bloodies. We like the buttermilk flapjacks and Belgian waffles, and if it's a decadent kind of day, Tryst lets you smother them in bananas foster, strawberry cheesecake,… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, West Valley

    Kiss the Cook Restaurant

    Glendalians have it good. It's not easy to find a consistently excellent breakfast joint in the West Valley, but these folks have one right in their backyard. Kiss the Cook is a down-home nod to the prototypical old-fashioned country kitchen: hardwood floors, knickknacks, wicker baskets everywhere you look, retro prices, and a bright, airy atmosphere (thanks to the huge windows… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, Southeast Valley

    Liberty Market

    Those living near downtown Gilbert are lucky to have Liberty Market, one of the best breakfast spots in the Valley. Come to think of it, even residents outside Gilbert should make the trek for this caliber of good eats. They've got pancakes, scrambles, and all-American B-fasts aplenty, in addition to a fully stocked coffee bar. We recommend the grilled bread… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, Tempe

    Essence Bakery and Café

    True story: A friend was in town from back east, staying at a Tempe hotel. Went to the front desk, asked for advice about where to grab breakfast. The clerk recommended a place we won't name here, but if you've lived in Tempe for more than five minutes, you are familiar with it — it's been around forever, a little… More >>
  • Best Breakfast, Scottsdale

    Orange Table

    Hidden between SMoCA and a parking garage, the hungry breakfast masses find their way to this cheerful eatery for Orange Table's out-of-this world breakfast and killer sandwiches. Now under new ownership and new management, the service is finally just as good as the food! Known for outstanding green flannel hash, insanely good jalapeño pecan pancakes, and fancy breakfast cocktails that… More >>
  • Best Downtown Lunch

    Food Truck Fridays @ Downtown Phoenix Market

    Workday lunches can be a hassle. You've got a gaggle of colleagues all hot and bothered and hungry, with different food tastes and a unified desire to keep costs down. Where to go? If you're lucky enough to have made it to the end of the week, it's a no-brainer: Head to the Downtown Phoenix Market for Food Truck Friday.… More >>
  • Best Afternoon Tea

    The Ritz-Carlton

    The Ritz-Carlton often requests the pleasure of our company at its afternoon tea, served in the Lobby Lounge from noon 'til 3 Wednesday through Saturday. And we're eager to oblige! For a meager $36 per person, a full-on, super-elegant English tea hosted by Tea Maitre d' Jeffrey Hattrick is ours. Three courses are served — finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and… More >>
  • Beaver Choice

    Best Place to Take a Foodie

    Beaver Choice

    Beaver Choice. The name may elicit a few giggles, but this fairly new funky Scandinavian eatery is a serious culinary adventure, with hearty ethnic dishes that, chances are, you've never heard of, let alone tasted. Owner and chef Hanna Gabrielsson, who came to the Valley by way of Ontario, by way of Sweden, by way of Poland, uses no more… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Scenester

    Jobot Coffee Shop

    John Sagasta gave new meaning to the term "kick it up a notch" when he ditched Conspire (the anarchist, vegan doughnut-shilling commune) down the street to open his own joint, Jobot. Jobot's nothing fancy, just a narrow coffee bar with a shaded, misted patio. But with peeling paint, concert fliers, a chalkboard menu, and the best crêpes and coffee in… More >>
  • Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner

    Carefree Station - CLOSED

    The next time you just feel the need to get out of the Valley, consider trekking up Scottsdale Road into the tiny burg of Carefree, a genteel, upscale outpost where, as they say, "cowboy meets caviar." This comfortable restaurant is all about Southwestern look and feel, with a spacious tree-lined patio as well as a covered porch with a fireplace… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Someone from Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh Willy's - CLOSED

    Smell something delicious amid the Beanie Babies and back issues of Time magazine?Chances are you've stumbled onto Pittsburgh Willy's, hidden home of gourmet hot dogs and Pittsburgh favorites, courtesy of Randy (a.k.a. "Willy") Walters. Located inside the Merchant Square Antique Mall in Chandler, Willy's occupies a small nook and sports an ordering counter, a few tables, and Steelers memorabilia covering… More >>
  • Best Way to Tip

    Kitchen 56

    A few bucks flipped on the table? Adding a percentage to the sales receipt? Borrr-ing. When it comes to creativity in the gratuity department, Kitchen 56, the new Arcadia restaurant serving up everyday American comfort food and a few Italian favorites, asks that tips come in the form of beers and a bell. Whether it's delicious pan borracho (drunk bread),… More >>
  • Best Eye Candy

    Captain Bills Subs

    Part pop culture museum, part photo scrapbook, and all in good fun, Captain Bills Subs has been entertaining the eyes of neighborhood locals hungry for a sub and a smile for 30 years — most even grew up with the old-school grinder joint. From Ronald McDonald hanging from a noose to oversize household items on the walls to hundreds of… More >>
  • Best Fancy Frybread

    Kai

    Frybread is a staple of Native American cuisine, so it makes sense that even Kai, a Native American fusion restaurant that's one of the Valley's top upscale eateries, would make a version. Kai's up-market take on the humble dessert doesn't disappoint. Chef Michael O'Dowd's "Traditional Frybread from the Teachings of the Elders" (long, flowery names are part of the Kai… More >>
  • Best Bread

    MJ Breads

    When it comes to bread, master baker Michael John sure knows what he's doing. Sharing space with his gifted wife, Tammie Coe, MJ cranks out beautiful loaves of sourdough, rye, and wheat. As a testament to his quality, you can find his bread at Phoenix favorites such as the Breadfruit, Postino, and Bertha's Café, to name a few. Or just… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Back East Bagels

    There's nothing fancy about Back East Bagels — and that's what we love. Just bagels in wire baskets and kind folks to serve them. Yes, you can get espresso drinks and pastries, but this is the only place in town we've found that knows how to make a bagel just right. The secret's out, because we've found ourselves more than… More >>
  • Best Gyro

    George's Famous Gyros

    Got a hankerin' for some gyro euphoria? George Salvaridis of George's Famous Gyros understands. A first-generation Greek growing up in Chicago, Salvaridis pimped pitas in his father's eateries from the age of 8, then moved to Greece for a spell before landing his own gyro eatery in Scottsdale. Made with choice ingredients (including a 20-year-old tzatziki recipe) and soft, puffy… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge

    James Beard Award-winning chef Christopher Gross, of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge in Central Phoenix, may be best known for his command of French cuisine, but what most folks may not know is that he makes a damn fine hamburger, too. Sit at a table or belly up to the kitchen bar and start with the eight-ounce patty of perfectly… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Maui Dog - CLOSED

    The hot dog is a wonder of utilitarian food work. Its simplicity is one of the reasons it has endured for years. But sometimes you get a wild urge, and dousing bun and meat tube with ketchup and mustard just won't cut it. That's when you go to Maui Dog, where culinary daredevil John Stamatakis pays tribute to the island… More >>
  • Best Sausage

    Stanley's Home Made & Sausage Company - CLOSED

    In a tiny storefront on McDowell Road, they're making a whole bunch of sausage — and, boy, is it good. In fact, they've been making sausage at Stanley's for damn-near 50 years, and it was the first Polish deli in Phoenix. Today, Polish is just one ethnicity represented. Also hanging behind the two middle-aged Polish women running the joint are… More >>
  • Best Charcuterie

    Mbar

    Restaurants often give a nod to charcuterie with a single entry; Mbar's tapas menu is a standout with its range of choice bits. First, we'll explain the tapas. Three categories of small plates are listed on the tapas menu at Mbar: pinchos (snacks), tapas de pescado (seafood), and caza menor, which means "small hunt." The dishes listed here include a… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    Iruna - CLOSED

    Aaron May's now-defunct Sol y Sombra barely registers as a blip on our nostalgia radar anymore, in large part to the fact that his equally ambitious Iruña has dandily filled the tapas gap in this town. Iruña offers the same stellar cornerstone tapas that put May on the map, including patatas bravas, tortilla española, and pollo colonial. Iruña has also… More >>
  • Best Fish 'n' Chips

    Taylor's Chowder House

    In 1985, Dave Taylor of Taylor's Chowder House started dipping Alaskan coldwater cod in his signature batter of tempura and "regular" batter (a concoction he got from a friend in Utah) for his fish and chips, a menu item that quickly became a best seller. Dave's no longer a part of the west-side seafood staple he established, but his Alaskan… More >>
  • Best Seafood

    Noca

    The name Ingrid Bengis may not ring a bell for some, but for many of the nation's top restaurants — like The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Le Bernardin in New York — her company, Ingrid Bengis Seafood, sets the standard for the highest quality in fishy fare. Lucky for us, Noca, a modern American cuisine establishment in Central… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant

    Usually, we stay fairly close to home when we're heading out for sushi. That is, until we tried Shimogamo. Now, we have no problem driving out to the southwest corner of the Asian-centric intersection of Warner and Ray in Chandler. This tiny storefront, connected to C-Fu Gourmet, won us over immediately — from the talkative and friendly sushi chef and… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    Phoenix Palace

    Bring a group of friends to Phoenix Palace to experience the ultimate in Chinese brunches — dim sum. Har gow, shu mai, char siu bao, dan tat. To the uninitiated, this list may just look like a jumble of syllables. To those who enjoy good dim sum, that list is anything but unintelligible. Delicate har gow rice-wrapped shrimp balls, steamed… More >>
  • Best Hot Pot

    Tien Wong Hot Pot - CLOSED

    What the heck is a hot pot? Remember that little craze in the '70s called fondue? Well it's back, only this time with an Asian twist. Chef Johnny Chu (formerly of Lucky Dragon and Fate, currently of Sens) brought this L.A. trend to Chandler last year. Like most ethnic joints in this town, Tien Wong resides in an easily overlooked… More >>
  • Best Noodles

    Noodles Ranch

    What Noodles Ranch lacks in the rustic, no-frills, cheap-as-dirt charm you'll find at some of the Valley's pho joints, it makes up for in bold flavors and a classy but casual setting befitting its South Scottsdale address. We crave the fragrant bowls of pho (we're partial to the pho ga va rau xanh, containing high-quality chicken chunks, broccoli, and baby… More >>
  • Best Wings

    La Grande Orange Grocery

    There is just one restaurant's phone number stored in our smartphone, and it is that of Arcadia institution La Grande Orange. And there is just one reason that number is on speed-dial: LGO's chicken wings. Yeah, we really do love these things that much. If it's Sunday night, there's a good chance we're ordering two dozen wings (hey, they're awesome… More >>
  • Best Chicken Fingers

    Rock-N-Roll Fingers - CLOSED

    At Rock-N-Roll Fingers, there's only one thing you need to ask yourself: "Do I want the big box of chicken fingers or the small box of chicken fingers?" Because at Rock-N-Roll Fingers, they raise the kids' menu classic to new heights of deliciousness. The all-white chicken fingers are fresh, never frozen, breaded by hand and golden-fried to order. A big… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

    If ever there was a time for comfort food, this is the year, and when it comes to the simple satisfaction of consuming a hot plate of delicious Southern-fried chicken, Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, the soul food eatery in downtown Phoenix, is the place to do it. Name your preference for dark or white meat, then wait for your… More >>
  • Best Pork Ribs

    Big Earl's BBQ - CLOSED

    Debate about Big Earl's all you want — but pork ribs are one thing this Scottsdale-ified faux smokehouse does right. Tender with a pleasant gnawability and great flavor, these racks of pretty pink pork are the first thing chef and owner James Porter should haul to safety if the joint ever catches fire. We recommend you order a rack to… More >>
  • Best BBQ Sauce

    Stacy's Smokehouse

    Stacy Phipps, owner and chef of Stacy's Smokehouse, makes some crowd-pleasing 'cue — no wonder he recently opened a second location in Scottsdale. What makes it so drool-worthy? In part, the signature sauce. Rich and sugary sweet, we like it slathered on ribs, beef brisket, and rib tips, the tender smoked meat flavor coming courtesy of almond and hickory woods.… More >>
  • Best Cobb Salad

    Matt's Big Breakfast

    Okay, you're right: Guy Fieri did not go to Matt's Big Breakfast for a salad. But, hey, we know way more about this town than that bleached-blond douchebag, and we're here to tell you that the thing to get at Matt's (particularly if you're not a fan of breakfast-for-lunch or your doctor's cut you off from burgers cooked in butter)… More >>
  • Best Canned Tomatoes

    Bianco DiNapoli, Pane Bianco

    Chris Bianco, owner of Pizzeria Bianco and Pane Bianco, has spent years putting good food on the table. Now, he's putting it in cans — big, honkin' yellow cans. The James Beard Award-winning chef has teamed up with California cannery expert Rob DiNapoli to create Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes. Organically grown, harvested, and hand-selected on a family farm in Yolo, California,… More >>
  • Best Way to Eat Your Veggies

    FnB

    Chef Charleen Badman is such a good girl when it comes to making us want to eat our vegetables. Last year, her leeks put Scottsdale on the culinary map — and in the pages of Bon Appetit magazine. She has a way with spinach and, this spring, got an entire school to eat cauliflower. Over the past year, we’ve gobbled… More >>
  • Best Use of Green Beans

    Tryst Café

    "You'd better eat your vegetables." How many times have you heard that in your life? Yeah, too many to count. We happen to love the green stuff, but we sure do know plenty of folks who aren't crazy about veggies. Of course, most of those people might change their minds after trying Tryst Cafe's beer-battered green beans. Even after a… More >>
  • Best Use of a Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Porter, Four Peaks Brewing Company

    We can't think of another beer more anticipated then Four Peaks' seasonal Pumpkin Porter. In fact, we know people who actually plan their Arizona vacations around its release. Every year, we count down the days 'til the outstanding blend of sweet pumpkins, roasted malt, and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg shows up on the towering blackboard of beers at… More >>
  • Best Use of Prickly Pear Fruit

    Flancer's Café

    Instead of chancing an errant thorn in the thumb, let Flancer's Café in Gilbert take the ouch out of harvesting and preparing prickly pear fruit. The sweet, red fruit has a flavor almost like kiwi-strawberry and goes great with chicken. Try Flancer's crispy sweet-and-spicy chicken wings doused in sticky prickly pear sauce. Or snag a Caesar salad with a twist:… More >>
  • Best Use of Pork

    Pork Chile Verde, Casa Reynoso

    It's a staple of dining in the Valley, and when it's done well, it makes you thrilled to be a resident of the Southwest. At Casa Reynoso, the pork chile verde is done just right, whether it's in a burrito, on a plate of cheese enchiladas, in a chimichanga, or simply served in a steaming bowl with a side of… More >>
  • Best Use of a Peanut

    Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Churn

    We've tried several of the ice cream flavors at this sweet new little shop adjacent to hip gastropub Windsor, but the peanut butter ice cream is truly a transcendent experience. We don't know what they put in this ice cream — and don't tell us, or we'd be making it at home and consuming it by the gallon. Better it… More >>
  • Best Use of Bacon

    I Heart Bacon, Sweet Republic

    Like it or not (and we like it), the bacon trend isn't going away anytime soon. Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp, owners of Sweet Republic, one of the best ice cream shops in the Valley and, according to Bon Appetit magazine, the entire U.S. of A., have a fondness for the meat candy as well. Made in small batches and… More >>
  • Best Use of Salted Caramel

    Bite Me Brownie's Salted Caramel

    602-688-2483 We're salted caramel fanatics. There's something magical about how a pinch of sea salt adds new dimensions to our sweet and tacky caramel favorites. Bite Me Brownie realizes the harmony of this pairing and offers up one of the best choco-caramel nibbles we've had in ages. Crispy, crunchy chocolate brownie batter is topped with a luscious caramel spread and a… More >>
  • Best Flan

    El Coquito - CLOSED

    Like many of our favorite finds in the Valley, El Coquito is located in a nondescript strip mall, which masks the soulful Puerto Rican food within. Indulge all you want, but make sure to leave room for a bit of something sweet to end it right. At El Coquito, the vanilla flan is that perfect end, a light and eggy… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    LaMar's Donuts and Coffee

    Dunkin and the Kreme are well and good, but when we're looking for more than just a fried lump of dough, we look to LaMar's. At LaMar's, they have perfected doughnut artistry with gigantic 'nuts that are bready, soft, and doughy, with a slight crisp and a liberal coating of glaze. Apple fritters, chocolate iced crullers, raspberry-filled Bismarcks, glazed cake… More >>
  • Best Pie

    Fig and Pecan, Beckett's Table

    We like them fruit-filled; we like them filled with nuts or cream. We just like pie. Chow Bella, New Times' food blog, likes pie so much we sponsored a Pie Social last November on Roosevelt Row. A last-minute entry in the social's celebrity chef contest was Chef Justin Beckett's fig and pecan pie. His combination of fruit and nut filling… More >>
  • Best Cookies

    Bertha's Cafe

    Forget about their awesome sandwiches — we'll make a special trip to Bertha's just for the homemade cookies. Beth Goldwater and her team are busy baking up rich chocolate chip, peanut butter, and — our personal favorite — the Sinfully Good cookies. The mix of oatmeal, chocolate, and other deliciousness will make you crave them just as much as we… More >>
  • Best Cupcakes

    Mind Over Batter

    Smartly located next to Michael Pollack's discount movie theater at Elliot and McClintock, this little bakery is churning out some of the most beautiful cupcakes we have ever seen — and they taste as good as they look. It's run by a husband-and-wife team as sweet as their treats, and the pretty-in-pink décor can be overwhelming, but we will happily… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Honey Moon Sweets

    Honey Moon Sweets makes custom pies, cakes, and pastries for any occasion. They also have their fingers on the pulse of our sugar-laced arteries, from the cupcake fad to pies galore. Even the latest trend, cake pops, have their tasty place at the dessert table. There's no need to place a special order, either. (Unless you want something along the… More >>
  • Best Dessert

    Cowboy Ciao

    We've been known to sup at one end of town, hop in the jalopy, and cruise over to the other end of town just to finish off the night with one or two of Cowboy Ciao's deservedly famous meal-enders. And thanks to pastry chef and dessert diva Country Velador, there isn't a clunker on the menu. The Bread Pudding Overboard… More >>
  • Best Pizza for Dessert

    The Original Pizza Cookie at Oregano's

    If you don't like cookie dough, you can move along. Go on to the next Best of Phoenix entry. Otherwise, come sit next to us. Check it out: a skillet brimming with sizzling hot, half-baked chocolate chip cookie dough, smothered in vanilla ice cream. On second thought, what are you doing sitting so close? Go get your own pizza cookie.… More >>
  • Best Shaved-Ice Cart

    Double D Lite

    Shaved-ice treats on a mobile cart — how very Phoenix. The gals of Double D Lite quit their day jobs in the corporate grind to spend more time outside in their cute traveling cart, serving up flavored shaved ice. They also take it up a notch and pour cream on the ice to make it a rich treat that will… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Crave Artisan Ice Cream

    480-295-0182 There's ice cream and then there's Crave ice cream. With an artist's flair for flavors and a purist's position on using only natural and fresh ingredients, Crave owner and founder Shannon Dufresne, who worked under celebrated local sweet-treat queen Tracy Dempsey is all about homemade, stone-cold goodness from start to finish. Starting with a homemade base (something most ice cream… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream Sandwich

    Cookiez on Mill - CLOSED

    This quaint little indie ice cream shop has weathered the corporate abandonment of Mill Ave and has even stayed afloat with a Cold Stone (now Sparky's) Creamery right next door. One bite of the perfectly baked, thin-yet-chewy cookies (made from scratch from the owner's family recipes and baked on-site), and you'll understand how this little shop comes out on top.… More >>
  • Best Beer for an Ice Cream Float

    Sonoran Brewing Company

    You're an adult. You drive your own car, you pay for your own place, you go out to bars — but you still use root beer in your floats? Shameful. Grow up and splosh your ice cream in a mug of Inebriator, a thick, rich, chewy stout from Sonoran Brewing Company. With mighty flavors of peanut, molasses, milk chocolate, and… More >>
  • Best Spiked Ice Cream

    Lee's Cream Liqueur - CLOSED

    If there are two things on Earth that should elope and never look back, it's ice cream and booze. A true match made in Heaven. Lee's Cream Liqueur has brought Heaven to Earth (Old Town Scottsdale, to be exact) with its boozy concoctions of ice cream and your favorite hard liquors. All your favorites from your, um, drinking days are… More >>
  • Best Place to Eat at the Bar

    Dick's Hideaway

    When Richardson's, one of our favorite Valley restaurants, went up in flames a couple of summers ago, we were heartbroken — not only because we loved Richardson Browne's spicy New Mexican food so much, but because we figured his tiny sister restaurant, Dick's Hideaway, was destroyed, too, as they share the same strip mall on the northwest corner of 16th… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    JT's Bar & Grill

    Grub and suds and a bit of bullshit best describe JT's Bar & Grill, the neighborhood Arcadia hideaway of owner John Taylor. The tiny, dimly lit room filled with tributes to the owner's three loves — sports, Marilyn Monroe, and the Rolling Stones — boasts a solid selection of standard bar fare that doesn't disappoint. The tongue-in-cheek menu features south-of-the-(Canadian)-border… More >>
  • Best Gastropub

    Windsor

    We'll be honest: The whole "gastropub" thing has kinda fizzled with us as a trend. Give us a food truck or a pop-up any day. Maybe that's because, until recently, there hasn't been a good gastropub in town. Welcome, Windsor. Named for its 'hood, Windsor Square, this hip, charming spot is just what the real estate doctor ordered (remember what… More >>
  • Best English Pub

    Rose and Crown

    Rose and Crown offers all the ambiance of an English pub without shelling out for a ticket to fly over the pond. The historic former house adds instant atmosphere for your evening out on the town, be it a drink before dining at Pizzeria Bianco, a bite after visiting the Arizona Science Center, or just because it's Wednesday. There's also… More >>
  • Best Irish Pub

    Rosie McCaffrey's

    Rosie McCaffrey's comes about as close to knocking back a pint in true Irish style as can be had in the middle of the desert. Dark and glossy aged wood, exposed cobblestones, and Irish bric-a-brac characterize the pub's homey, cave-like interior. Rosie's offers just about every major UK draft our little sandrat hearts could desire, with a draft Guinness so… More >>
  • Best BYOB

    Atlas

    The food served at Atlas is amazing, thanks to Chef Carlos Manriquez and his decade of culinary experience. But what makes this place so special is that it's attached to Arizona Wine Company, the best wine store in the Valley, where one can browse for wonderful vino while waiting for a table in the cozy, adjacent dining room. And thanks… More >>
  • Best Place to Hang with the (Food Network) Stars

    "Lunch & Learn"

    Yeah, yeah, you'll pick up all kinds of helpful kitchen tips at Sanctuary's "Lunch & Learn" series — which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year — but the truth is, if you're going to shell out $125 for a cooking lesson, it'd better be from the likes of Robert Irvine. And it just might be. Each summer, Sanctuary executive chef… More >>
  • Best Place to Play with Your Food

    Fondue from Le Chalet

    We are of the firm opinion that you're never too old to play with your food, and the kind folks at Le Chalet are in complete agreement. Le Chalet is known for its rich French menu, with drool-worthy crêpes and ooey, gooey fondue. It's more fun than a run-of-the-mill dinner date and a bit quainter than that other fondue chain.… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    Rita's Kitchen

    Back in the day — read: pre-kids — we came to the Camelback Inn for long, luxurious visits to the hotel spa. We love that spa. Hot rock massages, thick white robes, and a crystal-blue pool with the prettiest view of Camelback Mountain. We sat outside and ate the hotel's signature yellow gazpacho. And we were happy. Then we had… More >>
  • Best Kids-Eat-Free Deal

    St. Francis

    We don't know about you, but we could happily end our days on this planet without another trip to IHOP. Or Red Robin. Or any of the other places people with kids are expected to eat. Frankly, we'd rather stay home and cry in our Top Ramen. But now we don't have to, thanks to the kind folks at St.… More >>
  • Best Free Carbs

    Vincent Market Bistro

    We always arrive at Vincent Market Bistro with the best of intentions. The Organic Vegetable Medley salad is a wonderful, seasonal mix of super-fresh veggies, tossed in a light vinaigrette — so tasty we forget we're eating so light. And if it were only that salad that passed our lips, we'd look like Heidi Klum. Alas, that evil Vincent Guerithault… More >>
  • Best Way to Be Gluten-Free

    Rikki Cupcake

    Order these cupcakes for your next gathering and your guests will think you are a big fat liar. As the deliciousness goes down, they will never believe these gems are totally vegan and, if you ask, gluten-free. You'll hear "How?" over and over. Rikki Hale of Rikki Cupcakes serves up other gluten-free treats as well, and welcomes the challenge of… More >>
  • Best Airport Food

    Hangar Cafe

    Want an unusual venue to go along with your tasty breakfast? Pop this address in your iPhone's map app and venture out to Chandler Municipal Airport for a down-home breakfast at the bustling Hangar Cafe. Sit at the counter and you'll likely find yourself scarfing down steak 'n' eggs next to sky jockeys fortifying themselves before they take their Cessnas… More >>
  • Best Ballpark Food

    ReyGloria's Tamales

    Section 137-138 Chase Field Time was, hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, and a cold beer would about do it at a ballgame. But that was then, and this is now. We are always on the prowl for different fare, even at the yard. We are very fond of Chase Field. No, it's not Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, and it doesn't look… More >>
  • Best Food Challenge

    Maui Dog Big Kahuna Challenge - CLOSED

    Maui Dog's food challenge is unique, featuring two "shaggy"-style Kahuna Lava Dogs (half-pound beef dogs bathed in chili, Maui cole slaw, and Monterey jack cheese), two more dogs of your choice, two double-beef sliders, and one small basket each of French fries and tater tots. It's also a good deal — finish in 30 minutes and the $35 meal is… More >>
  • Best Food Challenge You'll Never Want to Do Again

    Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contest, The Arizona Taco Festival (October 15)

    480-446-0579 Normally, finishing a few chili peppers would be no problem, but the eating challenge at this annual festival of tacos and tequila consists of seven rounds of increasingly hot peppers — the last of which is the dreaded ghost chili, a pepper so hot that the Indian military recently approved its use in hand grenades. If mind-numbing oral pain and… More >>
  • Best Culinary Event Redux

    Arizona Spring Restaurant Week

    Four years ago, Phoenix's dining scene joined the ranks of those in San Francisco, Manhattan, and Chicago with an annual week of three-course dining specials at participating upscale eateries around the Valley. It was so popular that, this year, a new spring version popped up, giving us a double dose of meal deals at favorite Valley hotspots including Beckett's Table,… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Nosh

    Taco Migo - CLOSED

    Just opened in July, Taco Migo is more than just another taquería in the Valley. So, what sets it apart, you ask? Its hours of operation — as in, it's always operating. Yes, this place is open 24-7, meaning you can set down a base before going out for a night of drinking or settle in for a much-needed burrito,… More >>

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