11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix

The perfect going away gift, don't you think? Along with a meal at one of our faves.
The perfect going away gift, don't you think? Along with a meal at one of our faves.

Skipping town? You're not alone. Arizona State University's graduation takes place this week -- and once summer hits in earnest, it won't just be the mortar-boarded crowd escaping this Easy Bake. Here's Chow Bella's Bucket List for food and drink in the Valley. Have a favorite we've missed? (Because we could have gone on and on.) Leave it in the comments.

Hidden delights at Rito's.
Hidden delights at Rito's.
Laura Hahnefeld

Green Chili Burro at Rito's

Hidden (seriously, there isn't even a sign) near 12th Street and Roosevelt in the ramshackle Garfield Historic neighborhood sits Phoenix's go-to spot for fresh tortillas filled with spicy green chili with melt-in-your-mouth tender pork and creamy beans. Rito's is only open for lunch and chances are there will be a line of folks dressed in business attire out the door and around the building but trust us, it's one hundred percent worth the wait -- even in triple digit weather.

Falafel goes Swedish at Beaver Choice.
Falafel goes Swedish at Beaver Choice.
Hannah E. Williams

A Swedish feast at Beaver Choice

Beaver what now? Suffice it to say, there's little chance you'll find a restaurant with the same name outside of Arizona, but that's not the main reason to pop into to this quirky and affordable little eatery in Tempe. The food -- a little Polish, a little Canadian, and a whole lot Swedish -- gets seriously delicious in a hurry. And when chef Hanna Gabrielsson or one of her family serves up portion-heavy plates of buttery haddock fillets, golden schnitzels, and chunky Swedish meatballs, try to muster up the good sense to ask for a Beaver Ball before you roll yourself out of the restaurant - and Arizona.

The Sonoran Dog from Nogales Hot Dog.
The Sonoran Dog from Nogales Hot Dog.
Erica O'Neil

Sonoran-style Dog at Nogales Hot Dog

Sure, you've eaten hot dogs for most of your natural life, but there's something about crushing two or three of them, Sonoran-style, at one in the morning and in the parking lot home of the Nogales Hot Dogs stand in CenPho, that makes the experience oh-so Arizona special. Mesquite-smoked and bacon-wrapped, tucked into a fresh bun, and smothered in beans, mayonnaise, and chopped tomatoes, load 'em up with additional toppings like guacamole, salsa, and cheese. Between bites, chat it up with owner Pablo Perez, who's been in the Sonoran dog game for over ten years, or take a few last, longful looks at the star-speckled Arizona sky.

Leeks at FnB

We have yet to have a bad dish from this Scottsdale culinary wonderland but Chef Charleen Badman's twist on the onion-esque leek is by far our favorite. (And Bon Apetit's, too.) Brasied and then topped with hand-pulled mozzarella, tangy mustard breadcrumbs and a perfectly fried egg, this is a food experience you must try -- even if you don't call yourself a foodie.

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