Food & Drink

  • Best New Restaurant


    Sure, chef Shinji Kurita's exquisite Japanese restaurant may have opened last June, but its discreet location, low-profile stance, and a nod as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in the 2012 James Beard Awards makes it seem as recent as ever. Kurita's omakase, or chef's choice dinners, are nothing short of spectacular, elegant works of art, meticulously prepared, and made… More >>
  • Best James Beard-Sanctioned Lunch

    The Fry Bread House

    Fry bread and finally. For those in the know about this tiny, bustling spot nearly tucked away on North Seventh Avenue near Indian School Road, this year's James Beard Foundation award was a long time coming. As one of five winners of its 2012 America's Classics award, which honors legendary family-owned restaurants across the country, the restaurant, which got its… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Foodie


    At the recently rehabbed Saguaro Hotel, celebrity chef Jose Garces, a former Iron Chef America contestant and James Beard Award winner, has created a vibrant, colorful, and tasty paean to Mexico City street food that has caught not only the attention of local diners but the national media, including Food + Wine magazine. Despite a few misses, the "modern Mexican"… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Scenester

    Lux Central

    This coffeehouse/bar long has been popular with the see-and-be-seen crowd, and why not? The place is consistently hoppin' with MacBook-wielding, dressed-to-impress, urbane 20-somethings. Whether you're there for a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a craft cocktail, a bite from the ever-changing menu (we love the mac 'n' cheese), or just to chat with friends, you'll be rubbing shoulders… More >>
  • Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner


    Lots of restaurants boast star and diamond ratings, but only one in Arizona has five of each. This fact, in addition to its unique Native American cuisine, makes this one-of-a-kind restaurant located in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, the perfect go-to when you've got out-of-town guests in tow. From… More >>
  • Best Food Truck

    Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food Truck

    As the food-truck scene in the Valley evolves at a rapid pace, this mobile eatery continues to be one of the best. Joe Webb, a Scottsdale Culinary Institute graduate, and his wife, Margita, a native of the Philippines, cook up Filipino street food on a near-daily basis at various locations around the Valley, including Food Truck Fridays at the Phoenix… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    J&G Steakhouse

    Steak dinner and a sunset? Yes, please. Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's stylish steakhouse at The Phoenician resort serves up spectacular views of the Valley as well as a selection of premium meats. In an atmosphere more pleasant than posh, diners can enjoy a range of exceptional grilled beefy fare from juicy 18-ounce rib eyes to perfectly prepared 10-ounce, peppercorn-crusted New… More >>
  • Best Old-School Steak House

    Pink Pony

    "Above all, you have to honor the Pony," says Tim Smith, owner of the landmark restaurant in Scottsdale. How so? By keeping what's had folks coming to the baseball-themed-meets-renovated-cosmopolitan restaurant for more than 60 years: slabs of juicy steaks. There's the popular Pink Pony special — a top sirloin with a choice of soup or salad — but the traditional… More >>
  • Best Authentic Arizona Restaurant

    House at Secret Garden - CLOSED

    Don't blame us if this historical, Spanish-style South Mountain mansion built in 1929 is one you never want to leave. Outside, the tucked-away gem surrounded by stately trees and lush vegetation boasts a barn turned wine bar, perfect for al fresco dining by a roaring fireplace under a star-studded sky. Inside, the cozy, wood-floored dining area, with a stately wooden… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Arizona Restaurant

    Citizen Public House

    From former Cowboy Ciao chef Bernie Kantak, this stylish yet relaxed Scottsdale establishment serving classic American fare — with a twist of the unexpected — is pure culinary bliss. From standout starters like the luscious pork belly pastrami and the Original Chopped Salad (so popular it has its own Facebook page) to perfectly plated entrees like pan-seared scallops and coffee-rubbed… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant

    Woodlands Vegetarian South Indian Kitchen

    If you'd rather bite into a hunk of raw meat than pick away at another dish of tofu pudding, perhaps it's time to beat the vegetarian blues with a spicy little trip to this quick-serve and crazy-cheap vegetarian South Indian eatery in Chandler. If the fact that the clientele is mostly Indian doesn't sell you on the place, the dishes… More >>
  • Best Vegan Restaurant

    Pomegranate Cafe

    The best thing about this cute little eatery in Ahwatukee, owned and operated by mother-daughter team Marlene and Cassie Tolman, is the emphasis on tasty, healthy food. The fact that everything is vegan just happens to be a bonus for those who eat that way. Sure, the Tolmans source locally from surrounding farms and Valley businesses, ensure their fruits and… More >>
  • Best Latin American Restaurant

    Villa Peru

    Whether it was by slim chance or sheer accident that chef Walter Salazar came to Tempe from Tucson last year to take over ownership of Villa Peru just as the world's obsession with Peruvian cuisine was peaking, the Valley's lucky to have him. Along with members of his family, all originally from Lima, Salazar serves up a menu based on… More >>
  • Best Soul Food Restaurant

    Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

    For more than 40 years, this unassuming stand-alone spot a few blocks east of Chase Field has remained one of downtown Phoenix's best restaurants for comfort food. And in recent years, it's caught the attention of various TV food shows, giving the humble little eatery some much-deserved props. You'd be hard-pressed to find better fried chicken — golden and crispy… More >>
  • Best Hawaiian Restaurant

    Aloha Kitchen

    Unlike the One Percenters, the majority of us can't jet-set off to Hawaii for a swanky luau when we're having a case of the Mondays. For our money, and there's not a lot of it, we get our tropical taste on at this little gem in Mesa that's been serving up fast-casual Hawaiian eats for over 25 years. We love… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Chou's Kitchen

    When it comes to Dongbei cai, the food of northeastern China, this humble eatery in Chandler may be the only one of its kind in the Valley. Originally from the province of Liaoning, owners Tong Rizzo and Ping Chou serve a menu of unique and comforting dishes from a selection-packed, near-descriptionless menu. Given the language barrier here, the menu may… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Cafe Ga Hyang

    It's late and you're hungry. Do you really want another gut bomb like pizza and burgers at 11 p.m.? No, you want something a tad more healthful, like, say the Korean food at this late-night gem in the West Vally. By day, the restaurant is a quiet nook — complete with three enclosed privacy-friendly booths — serving fresh, delicious, and… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Yupha's Thai Kitchen

    What's better than dinner and a movie? Thai food at Yupha's and a cheap flick at Pollack Tempe Cinemas. Thanks to owner and Bangkok native Yupha Dequenne, we can score tasty Thai dishes pre- or post-show time at her easygoing restaurant right next door to the cinema. We're partial to the kanom jeeb (potstickers), drunken noodles served up Thai hot,… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Hue Gourmet

    Like its moniker, this little gem of unique Vietnamese fare hidden in the food court of Mesa's Mekong Plaza focuses on the distinctive cuisine of Hue, the capital city of Thua Thien, in the Hue province of Vietnam. Translation: This humble food court stall is serving up dishes that even the most pho-faithful in the Valley most likely haven't seen… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Nobuo at Teeter House

    The accolades heaped upon chef-owner Nobuo Fukuda — a James Beard Award and "Best New Chef" from Food + Wine — really are all you need to know about the man running this transformed turn-of-the-century bungalow in downtown Phoenix's Heritage Square. He truly is one of the best things going in the Valley's culinary scene. Fukuda's ever-evolving menu of seasonally… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Curry Corner

    Situated a couple of blocks west of the fire station at Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard in Tempe, this family-owned eatery recently expanded and serves up bursting-with-flavor Indian and Pakistani food courtesy of chef and matriarch Farah Khalid. Her homespun recipes (many vegetarian) are across-the-board dynamite, including chapli kebab (spicy ground-beef patty), goat karahi (garlicky and tender goat served on… More >>
  • Best Ethiopian Restaurant

    Ethiopian Famous Restaurant & Coffee

    Phoenix's only Ethiopian restaurant was a speakeasy of sorts, located behind a curtain in the back of a strip-mall convenience store. But now it's got its own digs, and the food still is just as flavorful, thanks to Abebech Ejersa, an Ethiopian immigrant who arrived in the Valley a few years ago. Traditional wat platters are the go-to dish, but… More >>
  • Best Mediterranean Restaurant

    Eden's Grill

    This friendly, family-owned strip-mall eatery near Paradise Valley just may have some of the best baba ganoush in the Valley — hellooo, grilled eggplant — and that includes the stuff our Syrian uncle used to make for us whenever we'd visit him. Made from family recipes, the flavorful Middle Eastern fare is served in portions aplenty and includes several vegetarian… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant


    In business for more than four decades, this longtime favorite of the Phoenix dining scene knows a thing or two about boldly flavored Greek cuisine. Thanks to its affable owner George Vassilou, the fine-tuned menu, along with a host of daily specials, is based on recipes from his grandmother, who originally ran the restaurant, and they stand up to this… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Christopher's and Crush Lounge

    Valley tastemaker, James Beard Award winner, and foie gras fanatic chef Christopher Gross continues to bring top-notch French fare to his comfortable yet chic bistro inside Biltmore Fashion Park. From stellar staples like wild mushroom soup with foie gras, hanger steak with sautéed shallots, or the decadent Chocolate Tower, featured in Julia Child's cookbook, to new dishes like sea bass… More >>
  • Best Scandinavian Restaurant

    Beaver Choice

    This quirky little eatery in Tempe — a little Polish, a little Canadian, and a whole lot Swedish — may have a funny name, but the food is seriously delicious. Featuring hearty dishes that, chances are, you've never heard of, let alone tasted, owner and chef Hanna Gabrielsson uses no more than five fresh ingredients and around three pounds of… More >>
  • Best German Restaurant

    Zur Kate

    For a restaurant that's been around since 1983, this cozy little spot of authentic German cuisine must have something up its schnitzel. Re-creating the gasthaus (small inn) atmosphere of the country, German-born Horst Schlembach and wife Elena serve up all manner of sausages, schnitzels, signature items, and daily and weekend specials alongside a solid selection of German beer, wine, and… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Italian Restaurant

    Legendary pizza master Chris Bianco opened this tiny neighborhood trattoria serving approachable yet stellar Italian fare in Central Phoenix in the same shopping center that, in 1994, served as the original home of his award-winning Pizzeria Bianco. Featuring a small and daily-changing menu of traditional Italian favorites, as well as Italian-American creations, the knockout flavors come courtesy of seasonal and… More >>
  • Best Corner Italian Restaurant

    Andreoli Italian Grocer

    Sure, there's a counter and the walls are lined with shelves sporting imported Italian specialties, but this cozy and casual Italian eatery in Scottsdale, from chef-owner Giovanni Scorzo, serves a show-stopping selection of Old World eats comparable (if not better than) many fine-dining Italian establishments in the Valley. An impressive selection of breads, cheeses, salami, sausage — even desserts, including… More >>
  • Best Gourmet Pizza

    Pizzeria Bianco

    This year, celebrated pie master Chris Bianco's award-winning Heritage Square eatery continued to secure its place in history as a pilgrimage-worthy destination with a nod from Food + Wine magazine as one of its 25 best pizza spots in the United States. No surprise there. The lovely, wood-fired crusts, made with organic flour, are chewy and blistered in all the… More >>
  • Best Slice of Pizza

    Pino's Pizza Al Centro

    It's lunchtime, you're in CenPho, and you need a slice. Stat. There is no shortage of choices, but if you ask us, there really is only one choice: this bustling little bistro at First Ave and Thomas, brought to you by one Pino Martnino, an Italian émigré who came to the Valley several years ago. Martnino features a nice array… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, Central Phoenix

    The Parlor Pizzeria

    Hard to believe this stylish joint has been around for four years already. In a town with so much good pizza, that's a testament to the quality of Dan and Aric Mei's food. And it's still one of the coolest places in this area of the Valley in which to hang out. The former mid-century beauty parlor features a wide-open… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, Downtown Phoenix

    Cibo Urban Wine Cafe & Pizzeria

    Pronounced CHEE-bo ("food" in Italian), this cozy eatery in a restored 1913 bungalow in the Roosevelt Historic District stars Tuscan pizzaiolo Guido Saccone working pizza magic at the wood-burning oven. The 12-inch pies are works of art, with a hand-tossed thin crust that's equal amounts of crunchy and chewy and topped with an extra drizzle of virgin olive oil before… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, North Phoenix

    Isa's Pizza

    Joe and Myrah Aiello opened their counter-service pizza joint next to their Italian deli in April, and the cheery little spot landed on the go-to list of North Phoenix residents in a hurry. Serving up New York-style (thin with a crispy crust) or Sicilian-style (thick with a bread-y crust) creations for eat-in or to-go and using top-notch ingredients like tangy,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, South Phoenix

    Amano Pizza Bistro

    In an area of Phoenix not necessarily known for handcrafted Italian food, this charming little neighborhood spot fits the very definition of a diamond in the rough. Since 2004, Eric and Kathy Bower have turned their little corner of the South Mountain area into a true go-to for residents of the area seeking top-notch pizzas. These hand-tossed pies cover the… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, West Valley

    La Piazza al Forno

    In downtown Glendale sits one of the Valley's best pizza joints, where Justin Piazza and crew use a wood-fueled brick oven and top-notch ingredients (including San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy) to whip up thin, crispy Neapolitan-style pies as specified by Italian trade organization Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana. Start with the classic, the Regina Margherita, with its bubbly crust, wonderful… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, Southeast Valley

    Nello's Pizza & Italian Restaurant

    In the Valley for more than 25 years, this neighborhood favorite is not only owned and operated by one of the original founders of the Nello's brand (with four locations in the Valley), its pizza dough is still made by the folks from the original joint. The motto "In crust we trust" makes sense with selections like the original pan-style… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, Tempe

    Classic Italian Pizza

    As one of the only signs of life in a near-barren Tempe strip mall, this gourmet pizza go-to is like an oasis in the desert. From chef and proprietor Azhar Began, a short but solid assortment of top-notch wood-fired pizzas, crispy and delicately chewy and with lightly charred crusts, awaits your selection. Check out favorites like the Italian Sausage, with… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Pizza, Scottsdale

    Pomo Pizzeria

    Of course, most decent restaurants attempt to meet a standard by which they prepare and serve food. And at this stylish establishment, that's a model by which it can truly be called Neapolitan-style pizza. See, the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana is an Italian trade group that makes the rules for authentic pie, and Pomo follows them to a T: imported… More >>
  • Best Italian Deli

    Niccoli's Italian Grocery

    Headed up by Joe and Peppy Niccoli since 1970 (the deli's been in the family since the 1950s), this small but stellar neighborhood delicatessen in Phoenix offers homemade pizzas, sausages (the Niccolis make about 25 pounds a day), breads, and sweet treats like cannoli, sfogiatelle, and pizelles daily to generations of customers looking to get their Italian on, old-school style.… More >>
  • Best Jewish Deli

    Goldman's Deli

    The true delicatessen is an endangered species. We're talking about the old-school deli, where bagel-making is a science, smoked meat is an art, and there's not a whiff of "chain mentality" on the menu or in the establishment. Phoenix is lucky to have a couple of places where you still can get a decent pastrami on rye, but if you… More >>
  • Best English Pub

    The Rose & Crown Pub

    God save the queen — and God save our livers after a night of tying one on English-style at this downtown Phoenix hangout. The historic house turned English pub serves up a nice selection of draft brews including Strongbow Cider, Fullers London Pride, and Boddingtons with generous portions of traditional fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie. Grab… More >>
  • Best Irish Pub

    Rosie McCaffrey's

    A wall of whiskey, Harp-soaked wings, beer-battered fish, a river of Guinness, and Irish music spilling out of the speakers — yep, you're at Rosie's. Since the day owner Seamus opened this fine establishment on Camelback Road more than decade ago, Phoenix folks have been packing the dark booths and well-worn bar to get their fill of properly poured Guinness,… More >>
  • Best Fish and Chips

    Tom's Tavern & 1929 Grill

    What's the connection between Tom's fish and chips and eating them in the building that was originally the city morgue? We're not entirely sure (sleeping with the fishes?), but this 80-plus-year-old downtown landmark popular with business types and government movers and shakers (purchased in early 2011 by the Bidwill family, owners of the Arizona Cardinals) serves up a seriously good… More >>
  • Best Seafood

    Ocean Trail at Talking Stick Resort

    We wouldn't have thought the path to great seafood was lined with slot machines, but this 19-seat seafood bar serving New Orleans-style cuisine inside Talking Stick, the resort and casino in Scottsdale, has us feeling lucky. Kicking up the seafood scene with offerings such as seafood Creole, Louisiana gumbo, and Cajun-style boils, this sleek ocean oasis offers an as-you-like-it spiciness… More >>
  • Best Bring Your Own Seafood

    Asian Cafe Express

    Plenty of Valley restaurants are BYOB, but we can't think of too many that are BYOS (bring your own seafood). That's right. At this Mesa eatery, you can bring in your own seafood, and the restaurant does all the heavy lifting for you. There seemingly is no limit to what can be done with your very own catch of the… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Hiro Sushi

    No flash and trendiness-free, this cozy, easy-to-love mom-and-pop restaurant in North Scottsdale with a loyal following of regulars specializes in sushi. Order up top-notch selections like mild striped bass, aji nigiri (Spanish mackerel) drizzled with ponzu, uni (sea urchin), or specialty rolls such as the Negi Toro made with fatty tuna and scallions. Better yet, try anything on the get-it-while-you-can… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Sushi

    Gyuniku Tempura Roll at Hana Japanese Eatery

    At some sushi restaurants, you wouldn't dare utter the words "I don't eat fish." But at Lori Hashimoto's Hana, you can feel free to let your non-fish flag fly — you'll even be rewarded. On a recent trip, we happily sampled Hana's veggie rolls while our dining companion scarfed down everything from halibut to octopus, munched on a salad called… More >>
  • Best French Toast

    Caramelized Banana & Pecan Brioche French Toast at Over Easy

    Chef Aaron May is known around town for over-the-top dishes, like the fried quail and PB&J Foie Gras at his new restaurant Praying Monk, but our very favorite May creation is still the Bananas Foster French Toast served at Over Easy. As seen on the Food Network, this decadent French toast takes soft MJ brioche, bathes it in eggs, cream,… More >>
  • Best Sandwich

    Pane Bianco

    Phoenix is full of great places to grab a sandwich, but there is only one Pane Bianco. This CenPho sandwich shop has a minimal menu of just three mainstay sandwiches, three salads, and a rotating market sandwich. We've tried them all and never left disappointed. What sets these sandwiches apart from the competition is Bianco's famous bread, made with flour… More >>
  • Best Grilled Cheese

    O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery

    Arcadia's number-one neighborhood spot for craft beer drinking also serves up a damn good grilled cheese. No, there aren't massive amounts of exotic cheeses or 10 slices of artisan bread imported from France, and it doesn't have any sort of specialty mustard from a cave in Germany — but it does have two perfectly grilled slices of fresh Italian bread,… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles

    The secret to amazing fried chicken is big, juicy, meaty chicken pieces, a coating that fries up nice and crispy, a secret recipe from your grandmother who's been making awesome fried chicken for more than half a century, and a whole lot of soul. It doesn't hurt to pair your chicken with a couple crazy-good waffles either. Larry "Lo-Lo" White… More >>
  • Best Hamburger

    New York Flavor

    How does one pick the best hamburger? With so many good ones in the Valley, it's like choosing a favorite child. But once in a while, a dark horse enters the race and pleasantly jolts you as you consider the possibilities of the Scottsdale/Central Phoenix/Tempe axis. This year, the honor takes us alllll the way up to Surprise (yes, Surprise),… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Pittsburgh Willy's - CLOSED

    For a taste of Pittsburgh by way of the Merchant Square Antique Mall in Chandler, we present the Wild Willy, a glorious gut-buster of a dog courtesy of ex-Pittsburgher Randy Walters. Starting with a quarter-pound, all-beef dog from Nathan's tucked into a sesame bun, chipped ham (a Steel City staple) sautéed in butter is piled on next, with mounds of… More >>
  • Best BBQ

    Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

    Smoked over pecan wood, Chef Bryan Dooley's first-rate barbecue definitely is worth the drive from just about any locale in the Valley. You can't go wrong with any of the meats on the menu, which doesn't waste time on burgers and other non-essentials — it's all about the 'cue at this small and friendly, counter-service eatery dressed up like an… More >>
  • Best Jerk

    The Jerk Hut

    Owned by three natives of Jamaica, this tiny but tasty Caribbean eatery knows its jerk. With perfectly prepared and tender chicken, there's a kick from the Scotch bonnet pepper element to be sure, but this jerk's true genius is in its notes of thyme, cinnamon, cloves, and several other flavorful ingredients. The restaurant's tiny menu is all good eatin', but… More >>
  • Best Ribs

    Texas BBQ House

    They say there isn't a Texan in the barbecue business who's gotten pork ribs right — not so at this South Phoenix hole-in-the-wall. Here, Texas expats Mike Pitt and Doug Dieckmann have brought some of their home state's flair for barbecue to everyone from casual diners to 'cue connoisseurs to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Smoked over oak with family-recipe dry rub,… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Teakwoods Chandler

    Longtime Phoenicians know that the very best place for wings back in the day was Long Wong's on Mill — but Long Wong's has been a parking lot for more than seven years, so it's time to get over it and move on. Ever since our favorite spot was turned into a giant waste of space, we've been seeking wing… More >>
  • Best Fried Food

    Zaidi's Grill - CLOSED

    Name a Phoenician's favorite snack, and a fritter found across South Asia probably doesn't make the list. That is, until you've had the pakora from this family-owned Indo-Pak restaurant in Scottsdale. Worthy of a menu spot at any sports bar, this creation features spinach and jalapeños dipped in batter and deep-fried until they're ready to be served up as a… More >>
  • Best Mac 'n' Cheese

    Bacon & Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese at Cheuvront - CLOSED

    Cheuvront may be known for its impressive wine selection and epic cheese boards, but back in the kitchen, executive chef Ryan Rivera and team are whipping up savory bowls of al dente noodles coated in tangy cheese sauce. The dish comes in five flavors — traditional, blue cheese, pesto and spinach, chorizo and peppers, and our very favorite, bacon and… More >>
  • Best Crepes

    The Crepe Bar

    Tempe diners (and the rest of us) should thank their lucky stars that Jeff Kraus, the man behind ++Experience++ and the currently defunct Truckin' Good Food truck is putting his innovative spin on French cuisine in the form of crepes — those luscious thin pancakes with various toppings or fillings — at this strip-mall eatery on the northwest corner of… More >>
  • Best Use of PB&J

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Foie Gras at The Praying Monk - CLOSED

    We're not going to get into an ethics debate about foie gras, but we will say that we're happy that it's not banned in the Valley of the Sun. If the French duck liver treat couldn't make its way into our cactus-studded desert, then we wouldn't have culinary gems like the one found at Aaron May's newest Old Town Scottsdale… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    New York Bagels 'N Bialys

    Many a doubting East Coast transplant has been dragged to this cheery little Scottsdale eatery only to become a believer in its real-deal New York bagels. Since 1987 and with roots in its original locations in Chicago (Touhy Ave.) and New York (Jerome Ave.), the restaurant's family recipes have been the foundation to making bagels the old-fashioned way: boiling the… More >>
  • Best Bread


    Baked fresh every morning in a wood-fired oven (the only means of cooking that this wine bar and restaurant of Italian-inspired fare in Sunnyslope employs), Timo's bread is golden and crusty and full of flavor. And it can be had in slices; torn from an evenly round and brown loaf and slathered with pesto or sweet apple butter; heartily crunched… More >>
  • Best Bread Pudding

    Southern Bread Pudding with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce at Tarbell's

    Bread pudding has become a dessert staple on many of the menus around town — most likely because restaurants have a lot of leftover bread. Even with all the fancy-pants versions laced with marshmallow, bacon, and candied unicorn horns, we're still smitten with Tarbell's traditional take on the classic dessert. Tarbell's takes its house-baked bread and bakes it with a… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Fu-Fu Cuisine

    Ever had a Nigerian doughnut? Neither had we until we popped into this comfortable west-side restaurant of African eats headed up by Nigerian-born chef Esther Mbaikambey. Called pof-pofs, these fun-to-say fried treats are the size of baseballs with a lightly sweet taste like a dense doughnut hole. Made to order and using simple ingredients — flour, sugar, butter, and nutmeg… More >>
  • Best Cookie

    Salted Chocolate Chip at La Grande Orange

    What's better than a giant chocolate chip cookie with a slightly under-cooked center and tons of big chocolate chips? That same cookie with salt crystals the size of small diamonds sprinkled on top. LGO's massive half-pound cookies are baked in-house using only the best ingredients. The fat cookies are best eaten with a friend or three or in small bites… More >>
  • Best Cupcake

    Blue Moon Cupcake from Kreative Kupcakes

    What separates a good cupcake from a great cupcake? It's the actual cake. Anybody can make a good frosting, but it takes real skill to make a flavorful cake. Our taste buds have fallen head over heels in love with Kreative Kupcakes' tangy Blue Moon cupcakes. And, yes, that's Blue Moon, as in the beer. The perfectly moist cake practically… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    New York West Pastry & Bake Shop

    It doesn't get more old school in Arizona than Sun City. Maybe that's why Hugh and Pat McGurgan, who owned a bakery in Chester, New York, for over 10 years, opened their shop on the border of Glendale and Sun City in 2000. Since then, folks from all over the state have made the journey to this family-owned tradition for… More >>
  • Best Gelato

    Cool Gelato Italiano

    We'll admit we didn't think much about the difference between ice cream and its Italian cousin, gelato. That is, until we tasted the gelato made by Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia. Trained abroad by Italy's champion gelato artisan, the husband and wife pair creates 20 flavors of gelato made fresh daily that perfectly exhibit gelato's intense flavor profile.… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream


    Ice cream makes everything better and a trip to Churn makes the indulgence even sweeter. Inside, the shop oozes charm that will have your nose pressed up against the glass like a 5-year-old. Classic flavors like peanut butter and butter pecan deliver with decadent and creamy flavor, but it's Churn's unique, seasonal offerings that make us worry about our waistline.… More >>
  • Best Dessert

    Francesca Bianco

    It's almost a shame that people tend to get so stuffed on the crusty, homemade bread and handmade pastas at Italian Restaurant that they can't spare a bite or two for dessert. Because if they did, they might get to taste the work of Francesca Bianco, mother of pizza maven Chris and his baker brother Marco. Each week on Thursday,… More >>
  • Best Vegan Coffee and Dessert Shop


    Soy? What soy? Nami owner Damon Brasch opened this cool little vegan ice cream, coffee, and pastry shop in a renovated house in downtown Phoenix right next door to the second location of his vegan bistro, Green. With a solid offering of caffeine and sugar treats, vegans and meat-eaters alike can enjoy a decadent affogato (a scoop of organic, soy-based… More >>
  • Best Place to Be Gluten-Free

    Gluten Free Creations

    Being gluten-free is no fun. You can't eat the birthday cake at your friend's party; you have to pass on big plates of tasty pancakes; even a soft brioche hamburger bun is your enemy — which is why Gluten Free Creations is a gluten-phobe's version of heaven. This bakery is strictly 100 percent gluten-free and makes cakes, cookies, bagels, burger… More >>
  • Best Juice Bar

    24 Carrots

    Adding fresh vegetable and fruit juice to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health (next to quitting smoking, putting down the whiskey bottle, and jumping on a treadmill). Make the choice to add a little bit of healthy into your life with a trip to this juice-bar-raw-food café, smoothie-makin', vegan-cupcake-bakin' eatery in Chandler.… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    Old Town Whiskey - CLOSED

    A whiskey drink and some stellar bar bites? Where do we sign up? Celebrity chef Jose Garces' upscale saloon inside The Saguaro hotel in Old Town Scottsdale is a perfect pairing of hard pours and satisfying tavern fare. Diners can lounge cozy-like in a dim, wood-covered interior on caramel-colored leather couches and under glass jar lights while perusing a small… More >>
  • Best Airport Food

    Zulu Caffe

    As pleasant a surprise as any new restaurant in the Valley this year, this casual bistro situated in the quiet Scottsdale Airport hits all the right notes: affordability, comfortable atmosphere, friendly, low-key service, and, most important, really good grub. Chef Brian Ford, who worked for years at South Phoenix's fine-dining establishment Quiessence before running his own place, the ill-fated Madelyn's… More >>
  • Best Case for a Limited Menu


    One snack, salad, pâté, veggie, sandwich, and dessert are all you'll find on the daily-changing menu at this small contemporary restaurant in Scottsdale. But before you freeze up with a case of restricted-offering-itis, know that these eats come from noteworthy Valley chef Charleen Badman, who co-owns the place (and FnB) with Pavle Milic. Part of a three-concept endeavor under one… More >>
  • Best Move


    From making its home on the patio and in-house café at a hair salon in Scottsdale to opening up in a remodeled space this April in Central Phoenix, chef Cullen Campbell's restaurant has stepped it up proper in the real estate department. Now, Campbell's menu of inventive raw seafood dishes, handmade pasta dishes, signature mozzarellas, and wood-grilled items can be… More >>
  • Best Rise from the Ashes

    Ranch House Grille

    After a fire closed down this popular, small-town-feel chow house in East Phoenix in 2010, we had to wait nearly a year and a half before the rebuilt restaurant opened its doors again in April. Thankfully, our favorite all-day breakfast grub is just as tasty as ever. Like heapin' helpin's of Southwestern country fried steak smothered in a dreamy spicy… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Kids

    China Magic Noodle House

    If you're looking for dinner and a show — both fit for the tiniest king — look no further than China Magic Noodle House. From the name (magic!) to the menu (a pile of plain noodles for Junior, something hot and spicy for you) to the price (very affordable) to the ambiance (not much — it's noisy and the furnishings… More >>
  • Best Romantic Dinner

    Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar

    Sure, it was named one of's Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States this year, and in 2011, it got a nod for the same thing by Travel + Leisure magazine, but that recent scuttle isn't news to us — for years, we've known this farmhouse turned eatery, nestled in the historic Farm at South Mountain, is a love… More >>
  • Best View

    Different Pointe of View

    Drive up the winding road to the top of Tapatio Cliffs Resort and prepare to be wowed by the 180-degree views from the window-wrapped restaurant and expansive Cliffside patio. Cruise up just before dusk to catch an amazing sunset view or go for a nightcap and get lost staring at the city lights below. The food and service are top-notch… More >>
  • Best Patio Dining

    Lon's at the Hermosa

    One eyeful of the surroundings of this fine-dining establishment at The Hermosa Inn, the luxury boutique hotel in Paradise Valley known for its rich history and 1930s-era architecture, and it's a no-brainer as to what may once have inspired the restaurant's namesake, legendary artist Lon Megargee. Lon's enchanting, lushly planted patio sits under blue skies by day and flickers with… More >>
  • Best Patio Dining in the Summer


    Not news: Al fresco dining in the Valley October through May is sublime; al fresco dining in the Valley June through September is hell. Until now, thanks to this Camelback Corridor restaurant (formerly Houston's in the Esplanade complex until it moved down the street and changed its name in 2011). Grab a cushy seat on the spacious patio (no misters,… More >>
  • Best Summer Dish

    The Caribbean Salad at Pita Jungle

    When it's 116 degrees out, we barely can muster up the strength to eat, let alone find the courage to venture out of our air-conditioned homes to find food. But one mention of Pita Jungle's Caribbean Salad and we're out the door in a heartbeat. This super-chill salad is made of big chunks of pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, bananas, grapes, and… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    House of Tricks

    Bob and Robin Trick opened their charming restaurant in 1987. The restored 1920s cottage that houses about a dozen tables is adorable, but the real draw to this Tempe oasis is the brick patio shaded by a thick canopy of mature trees and dotted with pots of overflowing ferns and flowers. If the outdoor dining area doesn't win your heart,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant with a Drive-Thru

    D'Lish Drive-Thru Tempe

    Normally, when we think "drive-thru," we're not thinking healthy, but D'Lish has fixed this by serving healthy sandwiches, salads, wraps, and soups out of their convenient drive-up window. Swing by and grab a speedy breakfast sandwich, one of their insanely popular morning buzz smoothies with peanut butter, chocolate and espresso, the sought-after turkey club with fresh avocado, or a tasty… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Downtown Phoenix

    Astor House

    We love the Coronado District's Tuck Shop. And now, when it comes to tasty a.m. eats, we love its new sister restaurant and next-door neighbor, Astor House, just as much. The little counter-service eatery in a renovated home is just as laid-back and approachably cool as the Tuck, making it perfect for enjoying a tidy selection of sweet and savory… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Central Phoenix

    Dick's Hideaway

    Lucky for us, the fire that took down the original location of Richardson's in 2009 spared the kitchen, meaning its secluded spillover lounge, Dick's Hideaway, could keep on serving up its crazy-good New Mexican fare for breakfast. Breakfast is served every day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and diners can grab one of the few available seats (and get… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, North Phoenix

    Perk Eatery

    To Michigan transplant Pauline Martinez and husband Carmen, owners and chefs of Perk, the cheerful little eatery in a strip mall off Greenway Parkway, breakfast is serious business. Serving up a satisfying and stick-to-your ribs selection of hearty American breakfast favorites with a twist, the couple also offers daily specials that are just as tempting. Crowd favorites include homemade corned… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, South Phoenix

    Morning Glory Cafe

    It's a glorious morning every morning when your farm-fresh breakfast comes from Maya's Farm — which should be easy given that the farm sits right next to this pretty al fresco patio in the back of The Farm at South Mountain. It's not out of the way at all (just a few minutes from downtown Phoenix), and a.m. eaters can… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, West Valley

    Amuse Bouche

    It's Sunday. Wake up, gas up the jalopy, fire up the ol' GPS, and get yourself to this strip-mall, French-inspired bistro in Surprise for the one day of the week it serves breakfast. One of the best in the Valley (and not just the West Valley), there's nothing too fancy here, but everything is prepared perfectly. Eggs Benedict ($12) is… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Southeast Valley

    Liberty Market

    Sure, restaurateur Joe Johnston's friendly and always-bustling counter-service restaurant in downtown Gilbert serves up exceptional platefuls of a.m. eats, like a three-egg Sicilian scramble with oven-roasted tomatoes and Italian sausage, decadent slices of griddled bread pudding with espresso syrup, and a unique bacon substitute of grilled, flattened meatballs. But it's his top-notch biscuits and gravy that we can't get enough… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Tempe

    Essence Bakery Cafe

    In a downtown jam-packed with beer, frozen yogurt, T-shirt shops, and places to get your nails done for $10, it's a relief to know a civilized breakfast awaits. Best known for her amazing French macaróns (and quickly gaining notoriety for her croissants) chef/owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos presides over a fabulous morning menu in a lovely, low-key setting. On a nice day,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Breakfast, Scottsdale

    Orange Table - CLOSED

    Chef Elizabeth Meinz dishes up hearty, top-notch morning fare at this cheerful neighborhood spot practically hidden away in the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza. Popular breakfast items include bananas Foster French toast and red flannel hash with corned beef, roasted beets, and potatoes, but flapjack fans should make sure to order up Meinz's killer jalapeño and pecan pancakes. And if it's… More >>
  • Best Place for a Hangover Breakfast


    Every Saturday and Sunday, this little diner (we admit that it looks more like a mobile home than an awesome breakfast eatery) serves up giant plates of homemade biscuits and gravy, huge stacks of pancakes, and massive plates of eggs and ham to the weary, partied-out souls of Tempe. Hide your head in one of their comfy booths or nurse… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    Wrigley Mansion

    Paola Embry, co-owner of Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge in Central Phoenix and the CEO of Wrigley Mansion, the Valley landmark just a few blocks away, has rejuvenated this onetime chafing dish cornucopia into a stylish and colorful selection of exquisite eats. Flush with fine cheeses, fresh fruits and produce, jumbo shrimp and crab legs, and house specialties like baby… More >>
  • Best Downtown Lunch

    Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

    Thanks to this "contemporary gastro-lounge" headed up by 32-year-old chef Stephen Jones, downtown denizens not only have a stylish spot for lunch, they also (gasp!) have a reason to visit CityScape. Located on the second floor inside the new Hotel Palomar, the city lunch-going set can enjoy familiar and flavorful favorites from a selection of salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. (Hint:… More >>
  • Best Multi-Task Lunch

    Campfire Grill, inside Tom's Thumb Fresh Market

    Like the lovechild spawned from an errand-running orgy, this friendly, counter-service eatery inside Tom's Thumb Fresh Market in North Scottsdale puts the mmm in multi-tasking. Surrounded by a high-end car wash, gas station, coffee shop, farmers market, and wine shop, Campfire serves up satisfying, Southern-style barbecue along with other Mexican and American favorites to its time-crunched customers doing their shopping… More >>
  • Best Sack Lunch

    Noca's Nocawich

    Sorry, Mom; even though we love your PB and J, every once in a while we get a hankerin' for a sack-lunch with a gourmet edge. In this case one from Noca, the stylish restaurant in Central Phoenix. Every Tuesday through Saturday afternoon, the restaurant turns into the fast-casual Nocawich, serving up a menu of six stellar sandwiches (plus a… More >>
  • Best Lunch Between Phoenix and Tempe

    The Stockyards

    There are plenty of places to eat in downtown Tempe and an ever-increasing number in Phoenix. But the stretch between the two cities remains a bit of a no-man's-land. That's why we're glad to have The Stockyards. There's not an ounce of hipness in this old-school steak house, and that's just fine, because we're here to eat. The service is… More >>
  • Best Place for a Twilight Drink

    Jade Bar at The Sanctuary Resort & Spa

    If you're looking to impress a certain someone with exquisite city views from the north side of Camelback Mountain, cocktails, and a little bit of people watching, the sleek Jade bar is the place to be. We like to hit this swanky bar right before a big haboob so we can watch the action safely from the floor-to-ceiling windows; better… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date


    Sure, dragging your date down into the basement of a restaurant may not sound like a good idea on paper (at least not to her), but trust us on this one — it's going to be awesome. And if she doesn't appreciate the fact that you took her to one of the best restaurants in town, then she obviously is… More >>
  • Best Industry Night

    Roka Akor

    Plenty of restaurants and bars offer special deals for people in "the biz," but Roka Akor easily takes the cake. Provide proof of employment in the hotel, bar, restaurant or tourism industry, and you'll receive a bona fide Roka Akor Industry Card. Present that little black ticket to deliciousness on Sunday night, and you'll get 41 percent off your entire… More >>
  • Best Restaurant with an Invisible Dance Floor

    SoChu House

    You can always count on Johnny Chu to bring a party to the dinner table. With a long list (Lucky Dragon, Fate, Sens) of successful Asian fusion restaurants, we have come to expect this skinny, spiky-haired chef to bring some of the best sauces in town, too. His latest spot does not disappoint in either regard. The House Dynamite is… More >>
  • Best Playlist


    When you dedicate an entire wall of your restaurant to your old cassette tape collection, you better make damn sure your restaurant has an outstanding playlist. Thankfully, the folks behind the music at uptown's Windsor have impeccable musical taste. The fun and upbeat restaurant cranks out alternative and indie tunes from the '80s and '90s with a few modern-day tracks… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Nosh


    Up until a few years ago, getting late-night eats in the Valley meant hitting up a 24-hour chain restaurant (oh, boy, another Belgian Waffle Slam) or picking through the contents of our refrigerators. Thankfully, this popular Scottsdale hangout from front-of-the-house pro Pavle Milic and chef Charleen Badman showed us night owls some love — specifically, some late-night love. Between 9… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Live Chicken

    The Stock Shop

    The backyard chicken trend still is in full swing, and thanks to Glendale's Stock Shop, you'll never have a problem finding the perfect little feathered friends to fill the super-cute coop you've slaved over. The Stock Shop has been catering to the needs of chickens and their owners for more than 30 years and almost always has a large selection… More >>
  • Best CSA

    Chow Locally/Chow Share

    Getting your local veggie fix is easier than ever these days, but having your veggies handpicked and ready for pickup can come with a hefty price tag. Though most CSAs want you to pay a couple hundred dollars up front for a six-week "subscription," newcomer Chow Locally lets you pay each week. Just shell out the $20 deposit for your… More >>
  • Best Boutique Farm

    Singh Farms

    Nestled under canopies of mature mesquite trees, the soft ground at Singh Farms produces some of the most beautiful herbs and exotic plants, which we could only dream of growing in our own backyards. Owners Lee and Ken Singh have created a sustainability masterpiece that opens to the public every Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from… More >>
  • Best Organic Farm

    Crooked Sky Farms

    Farmer Frank and crew have a pretty smooth operation running on their South Phoenix farm. Their veggies are raised without the use of pesticides, and you won't find a single genetically modified seed on-site. The farm grows everything from watermelons to corn to exotic heirloom tomatoes and even has a pick-your-own artichoke harvest in late spring. Crooked Sky sells its… More >>
  • Best Dairy Farm

    Superstition Farm

    "That baby cow is so ugly," said absolutely no one, ever. And baby cows are just the start of why we love this amazing Mesa dairy farm. Owned and operated by brother and sister team Casey and Allison Stechnij, the full-fledged dairy farm is home to a couple hundred cows and a handful of goats, horses, chickens, and donkeys that… More >>
  • Best U-Pick Farm

    Schnepf Farms

    In a state that constantly is tearing down its history and pushing its agriculture culture further and further away, it's nice to know that the 71-year-old family-owned Schnepf Farms isn't going anywhere. Designated an "Arizona treasure" by former Governor Janet Napolitano, the Queen Creek farm is a mecca for fresh organic fruits and veggies, and it's just a short drive… More >>
  • Best Saturday Farmers Market

    Old Town Scottsdale's Saturday Market

    No Saturday is complete without a trip to this upscale market for a little breakfast and a whole lot of shopping. Only the best of the farmers market circuit (and a few that sell at this market exclusively) come out to sell their goods every Saturday in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Here you can find an extensive roster… More >>
  • Best Sunday Farmers Market

    Ahwatukee Sunday Market

    Start off your lazy Sunday with a trip to Ahwatukee's favorite market. For more than seven years, farmers, chefs, bakers, artists, and crafters have been bringing their goods to the parking lot of Ahwatukee's community center. Here you can find everything from locally grown flowers, soft-baked breads, fresh seafood, grass-fed beef, and a whole bunch of pretty produce from a… More >>
  • Best Twilight Farmers Market

    Open Air Market, Downtown Phoenix on Wednesday Nights

    Venture outside while the sun is still out during our summer months? Oh, hell, no. Thankfully, one of Phoenix's biggest and best year-round farmers markets takes place every Wednesday during the slightly cooler and shadier evening hours. Every week for the past seven years, produce vendors, bakers, cupcake makers, jam peddlers, jewelry creators, and more come out to sell their… More >>
  • Best Farmers Market in a Park

    Roadrunner Park Farmers Market

    In our sea of concrete, parking garages, and strip malls, it's nice to know that once a week, we can escape to a park to enjoy the sunshine and pick up our weekly ration of locally grown produce and handcrafted goods. For more than 22 years, this North Phoenix market has been attracting folks looking to purchase everything from plants… More >>
  • Best Health Food Store

    Sprouts Farmers Market

    Sprouts Farmers Market is celebrating its 10th year, and there's good reason why this Arizona-based grocery chain has lasted a whole decade and successfully expanded into California, Colorado, and Texas. Sprouts combines the benefits of a small, charming health food boutique with the variety and convenience of a large grocery store, making it possible to do the whole week's shopping… More >>
  • Best Spice Shop

    Penzey's Spices

    Big-box grocery stores devote about three feet of shelf space to spices, crammed with name-brand jars full of bland powders that may not be so fresh. To get specially sourced, carefully curated spices, there's always the Internet. But if you want to skip the shipping fee and, more importantly, inhale the aroma of your prized picks before you commit to… More >>
  • Best Mediterranean Market

    Baiz Market

    Baiz Market isn't just the best Mediterranean market in Phoenix — it's one of the most unique markets in the entire Phoenix area, and it's especially appealing to those with a taste for imported and ethnic foods. The store specializes in Middle Eastern as well as Mediterranean foods and caters to immigrants from countless countries. One side of a long… More >>
  • Best Asian Market

    Mekong Market

    Colorful parrot fish? Check. Purple yams? Check. Asian stink fruit? Check. Whatever you're looking for in the way of exotic Asian goods, Mekong's got it. The Vietnamese market has one of the most beautiful displays of fish in the Valley, plus loads of exotic produce, and the shelves are stocked high with various fish oils, spices, dried snacks, and canned… More >>
  • Best Meat Market

    The Meat Shop

    If you're looking for all-natural hormone-free meat, then look no further than this old-fashioned butcher shop. The Meat Shop brings in fresh pork from its farm in Palo Verde and sources its fresh chickens from Ridgeview Farms in Paulden. The shop's grass-fed beef is brought in from Colorado's Black Mountain Cattle Co. and aged 14 days before it's handed over… More >>
  • Best Baking Supplies

    ABC Cake Decorating Supplies

    There's making a cake (grab a box of store mix and a tub of frosting) and then there's making a cake. If you've ever wanted to try your hand at making one of those as-seen-on-TV fabulous cakes, ABC Baking should be your very first stop. Offering everything from decorating classes to get you started on your masterpiece to the perfect-size… More >>
  • Best Kitchen Supplies for an Artist

    Practical Art

    From nationwide retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond to restaurant suppliers like Standard Restaurant Supply, there's no shortage of places in the Valley to stock your kitchen cabinets and drawers with pots, pans, and utensils. But when you need locally handcrafted glasses, knives, and cookware, there's only one place to go: Practical Art. There you can find steak and chefs'… More >>
  • Best Vintage Kitchenware

    Kitchen Switchin' - CLOSED

    Excitement over housewares is the surest sign of adulthood-inspired domesticity. Though some fear this development will result in terminal boring-ness, others who embrace the way of the KitchenAid will find kindred cooking spirits at Kitchen Switchin', a consignment boutique full of gently used bakeware, appliances, cookbooks, and almost anything else your inner chef might need. Kitschy pieces in vintage color… More >>
  • Best Knife Shop

    Phoenix Knife House

    Some people can make do with any old kitchen knife. For others, seeking out a perfectly honed blade with the ultimate weight, tang, grip, and balance is a lifelong quest. Those in the latter category ought to be regulars at the Phoenix Knife House, a culinary store that specializes in Japanese and custom-made professional-quality cutlery and also provides sharpening and… More >>
  • Best Science Experiment on an Ice Cream Cone

    Sub Zero Ice Cream

    Forget those slow-churned, soft-serve, frozen confections of the past. If you're in the mood for dessert and a show, get your ice cream flash-frozen at Sub Zero Ice Cream in Gilbert. The folks at this national chain claim their ice cream is the creamiest around because it's made without ice — just liquid nitrogen, which freezes your ice cream in… More >>
  • Best Molecular Gastronomist

    Kevin Binkley at Binkley's Restaurant

    Despite what we may have learned in human anatomy, we consider the stomach and heart to be directly connected, which would explain why we're so enamored with Kevin Binkley. Executive chef and owner of the award-winning Binkley's Restaurant and Café Bink in Cave Creek, Kevin Binkley delivers food at its finest — and its most creative.Admittedly always playing with his… More >>
  • Best Science-Themed Wine Dinner for a Cause

    Beckett's Table "Feed Your Dreams" Gala

    Suspended horseradish with local hydroponic micro-shoots, dehydrated Pacific Ocean water, nonenzymatic caramelized fork-tender short ribs with red-injected veal reduction, viscous coconut milk emulsion.Doesn't sound like your typical wine dinner, does it? Well, all those things and more were served by chef Justin Beckett and crew at the first-ever Feed Your Dreams Dinner and Awards ceremony, presented by The Up Agency… More >>
  • Best Backyard Farm

    The McClungs' Garden Pool

    Dennis and Danielle McClung purchased their first home in the 'burbs of Mesa in 2009, hoping to transform their sparse backyard while teaching themselves how to grow/raise their own food. By mid-2010, they'd turned their backyard garden pool into a completely self-sufficient mini-farm that provides almost 100 percent of their family's food, 365 days a year. The solar-powered, aquaponic greenhouse… More >>
  • Best Brain Food

    Servery at Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University

    College campuses tend to be a wasteland of fast food and sub-par dining options, but Arizona State understands that to keep its brightest brains burning, the usual stuff just isn't enough. That's the only reasonable explanation for the dining hall at Barrett, the Honors College on the Tempe campus where students can fuel their noggins with steak, sushi, gelato, and… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn the Science of Canning

    Denise Is Cooking

    So you've learned how to make jam and salsa and you've even come up with your own recipe for barbecue sauce that you think is pretty awesome. Now what? How exactly are you going to store your culinary masterpieces? That's where Denise Clayton comes in. She'll teach you the basics of canning your own food in the comfort of her… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn About the Science of Composting

    Valley Permaculture Alliance

    When plant debris and vegetable table scraps are put into a pile and left to marinate with the heat and moisture of their own decomposition, the result is gardening black gold. The dark, earthy substance is the key to growing bigger, brighter tomatoes, healthier-looking flowers, and sweeter-tasting corn. Learn all about the science behind the art of composting during one… More >>
  • Best Scientific-ish Reason to Eat Chocolate

    Wei of Chocolate

    Organic, vegan, fair-trade dark chocolate is old news by now. But infused with vibrational floral essences and customized to our moods? Keep talking. The six varieties of bite-size bliss are plain (Wei Pure for joy, strength, and inspiration; Wei Relaxed to encourage restful sleep) or flavored with tea, spices, citrus, herbs, cayenne, or espresso. They're available at several local farmers… More >>
  • Best Place to Stock Up for the End of the World as We Know It

    Honeyville Farms

    If the end came tomorrow, chances are the only people who'd last through the day after would fall into two groups: preppers and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fortunately, the keys to post-apocalyptic survival can, for the most part, be found in one convenient location. The Honeyville Farms retail store in Chandler offers all you'd… More >>