Best Late-Night Nosh 2012 | FnB | Food & Drink | Phoenix
Debby Wolvos

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 and 10 p.m. every Sunday, Badman cooks up a different dish each week using premium seasonal ingredients and a passion for locally focused fare. In the past, she's prepared her amazing fried chicken, lamb chorizo chilaquiles, and hell, even a stellar shrimp and pork fried rice based on a Facebook debate. Now that sounds like some late-night love that won't leave us with any regrets.

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 of newly hatched chicks. The little chicks sit happily in the back of the immaculately clean family-owned and -operated feed and tack, just waiting for you to drop by and fall in love with one or four of them. The store also carries ducks, peafowl, and the occasional pot-bellied pigs, just in case your new feathered babies need a couple of extra friends.

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 pretty wooden crate, and the Chow Share folks will fill it each week with seven to 10 different veggies picked fresh from local farms. Once the crate is filled, it's dropped off at the location of your choice and waits for you to pick it up and take it home. The weekly subscription price of just $22 is a steal for a bounty of local fruits and veggies.

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 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Take a stroll in the desert oasis before you fill your basket with freshly picked squash, seasonal summer corn, and even a couple loaves of bread baked by local favorite MJ. If you have your own garden, skip the store-bought compost — the stuff that Singh Farm churns out is the best $12 you can spend on your garden.

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 produce at local farmers markets, through its very own CSA, and you can just pop into its centrally located farm, order what's in season, and someone will go out and pick it for you. You can't get much fresher than that! The crops are always changing, so be sure to check the farm's website before you go.

Editor's note: This Best of has been edited from the original version.

"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 are happy to let you pet them — for a small fee. (Hey, a goat has to make a living, too!) The farm is all about involving the community and providing a place for people to learn and enjoy the farm. hosting a number of events throughout the year, including the popular Dinner on a Farm event. Hayrides, an indoor farmers market, its very own food truck, and handmade ice cream can all be found right here. Tell Farmer Casey we said hi and make sure you try one of Udder Delight's sweet treats!

Editor's note: This Best of has been edited from its original version.

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 from anywhere in the East Valley. Stop by the farm Thursday through Sunday, grab a basket, and head out to the fields to pick your own carrots, peaches, apples, lettuce, cauliflower, and more. Your haul will cost you just $1.50 per pound, which is cheaper than most grocery stores. What's available changes with the seasons, so it's best to call ahead to see what they've got. Although we highly doubt you'll be disappointed if you just show up unannounced.

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 of top-of-the-line vendors showcasing their exotic fruits, colorful veggies, decadent sweets, and classy crafts to the picky Scottsdale crowd. Look for favorites like Essence Bakery's flaky croissants, locally made goat milk cheese from Crow's Dairy, and even fresh seafood from Alaskan Pride. And don't forget your pooch! Fido is welcome at this dog-friendly market, and he'll probably score a treat or two from the market's puppy-lovin' vendors.

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 variety of local growers. Don't bother stopping for breakfast before you go — with more than 10 food vendors on any given Sunday, there's something for everyone and you're not going to want to miss out on the offerings.

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 goods from 4 to 6 p.m. And don't worry about dinner — food trucks like Hey Joe! and Torched Goodness park their mobile kitchens at the market for your dinnertime enjoyment.

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