9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City

Is Chris Bianco's pie really the best thing food-wise about Phoenix? Chefs tell us what they think.
Is Chris Bianco's pie really the best thing food-wise about Phoenix? Chefs tell us what they think.
Lauren Saria

From Chris Bianco's award-winning pizza to tacos on every corner, Phoenix has its food highlights. But is there anything that Phoenix does — when it comes to food — that's better than any other city?

Here's what Phoenix chefs say is the best thing about this city's food scene. 

What does Phoenix do food-wise better than any other city?

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
Cowboy Ciao and Counter Intuitive


Garrison Whiting, executive chef of Counter Intuitive and sous chef of Cowboy Ciao

If you want a carne asada burrito and horchata at three in the morning, you better hope you’re in Phoenix. Mexican food, whether fast or slow, I think is the absolute best in Phoenix. Maybe even better than Mexico. Don’t tell them I said that.

Chef Kelly Fletcher
Chef Kelly Fletcher
Lauren Saria

Kelly Fletcher, Zen Culinary

Pizza. Pizza. I'm not lying, Pizza. We have Chris Bianco, who set the standard, and so everybody has to try to meet the standards of a [James] Beard-winning pizza maker. The pizza game in Arizona is beyond belief!!! This is something I don't think people understand.

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
Courtesy of the MIM Center

Chris Lenza, executive chef of Café Allegro at the Musical Instrument Museum

Phoenix has an incredibly strong culture of support, whether it’s between chefs or even farmers and chefs. There are so many examples I could give here; it’s impossible to highlight just one. But an upcoming one is with the family farm On The Vine, who I’ve worked closely with for years. They told me they’ll soon be rehabilitating their greenhouse structure, so I offered to head out to Casa Grande to lend a hand. They are the only ones I know who grow cardoons, which are my personal favorite to cook with and nearly impossible to find. So it seems like the least I can do! 

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
Urban Beans


Virginia Senior, chef of Urban Beans

We are defining the casual food scene, and we have a lot of entrepreneurial restaurant owners willing to try new things.

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other CityEXPAND
Top Golf

Jake Stucky, chef of Top Golf Gilbert 

I think Phoenix does a great job of taking the best of Southwestern and Latin influences, and applying them to classic dishes to make some really great fusion food. While Phoenix isn’t necessarily a foodie town, I think there are a ton of amazing chefs doing some really excellent food here. And we are slowly but surely putting ourselves on the map.

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
David Zickl Photography


Kevin Binkley, chef of Cafe Bink's

Support steakhouses … can't believe how many are here. 

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
Bevvy


Cruz Robles, chef of Bevvy 

Mexican food, without a doubt. Growing up here, you’re exposed to so much good Mexican food, you almost take it for granted. It’s only when you leave and go to other states you realize how special the
Mexican food is in Arizona. 

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
J&G Steakhouse

Jacques Qualin, chef of J&G Steakhouse 

Food trucks. Maybe because like LA; we are such a car-based culture.

9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City
Roka Akor

Jason Alford, chef of Roka Akor 

Phoenix challenges chefs. Most big culinary cities have been established, and it's easy to plug into. However, Phoenix is still building itself. A lot of talented chefs are being recognized as part of the groundwork.


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