House of Tricks
Timur Guseynov

Forget the long-stemmed roses and strolling violinists, Robert and Robin Trick's cozy dining oasis in the heart of Tempe gets right to the point of romantic restaurants: great food, a cozy atmosphere, and no fluff. First, there's chef Kelly Fletcher's seasonally inspired menu, which mixes French and Southwest flavors into elegant plates of fresh salads, inventive appetizers, and grilled meats and fish. Then, there's the two historic bungalows, lush patio, and tree-covered bar. Throw in the candlelit tables and vintage stone fireplace, and it isn't hard to see why House of Tricks has put us in the mood for love for 25 years.

Like many New York steakhouses of yore, Ben & Jack's is a wood-paneled house of meat, with linen-topped tables, a glassed-in wine cellar, and leather padded chairs that can take on the likes of its one-pound hamburgers and a porterhouse (for two) weighing in at 44 ounces. From two alumni of venerated Manhattan steak joint Peter Luger's, the place is nothing short of spectacular — its excellent cuts of prime beef, dry-aged for the richest flavor possible; very good starters like Maryland crab cake; and boozy, old-school cocktails handled like works of art. And then there's that New York sirloin: thick, rich, and beefy, it makes for a magnificent memory.

Casa Reynoso
Natalie Miranda

Noisy, casual, inexpensive, basic. Those are typically not words we'd use to describe a fine-dining experience — unless the kids are along. Then you'll find us at Casa Reynoso, a family-run restaurant with roots in Globe and some of the best Mexican food in metro Phoenix. There's nothing fancy on the menu, but when your kid special-orders her tacos without tomatoes, demands that her tortilla be buttered, and asks for seconds on the refried beans, the staff will be more than happy to accommodate — after catching up with your whole family on how school and life is. Casa Reynoso is like eating at home, only better, because these people cook better than you do — and they clean up.

The Main Ingredient Ale House
Evie Carpenter

If dog is man's best friend, doesn't it only make sense that he should be his drinking buddy, too? Fortunately for Fido, the Main Ingredient Ale House & Cafe is as welcoming to canine companions as it is to the downtown diners who bring them. Located in the up-and-coming Coronado District, this cozy historic home turned restaurant boasts a generous front-house patio for you and your pup. Offering plenty of space between tables, some modest foliage, and a fire pit for the cooler seasons, leashed dogs can lie tableside or even engage in some light socializing with fellow four-legged customers, because unlike most restaurants, you won't feel like the only dog owner with attachment issues.

At this point, the Main Ingredient has become so accustomed to the canine company that rather than give your pet the stink eye, they'll bring the thirsty fella an à la carte bowl of water. Now that's hospitality your dog will sit for.

Chase Field

Call us purists, but we just can't sit through nine innings without sinking our teeth into a hot dog. Though these days, the trend in stadium eats has fans expecting fancy foods and plentiful options, there's something to be said for a foot-long hot dog and a cold (or at least a cool) beer. At Extreme Loaded Dogs in the upper levels of Chase Field, you can find the best of both the new and old-school worlds since this concession stand offers the basics, as well as a selection of dressed-up hot dogs with toppings the likes of which you've never even imagined before. Our favorite from the pack: the Tailgate on a Plate, a dog piled high with tailgate staples including barbecue beans, barbecue sauce, cheese, and potato salad. It sounds and, admittedly, looks like a mess, but every bite is like a little pre-game parking lot party in your mouth.

Noca
Evie Carpenter

The sad fact that more Valley restaurants close on Sunday than shut down during the summer is enough to make us want to harumpf into our sofas with Saturday night's leftovers. But thanks to Noca's Sunday Simple Supper, waking up to a Monday just got a whole lot happier. With a focus on comfort and a rotating menu each week, each $35 three-course meal includes dishes like luscious clam chowder, pork osso bucco, and cherry blueberry cobbler. For an extra-special day of rest, you'll want the fried chicken supper. Served up on the last Sunday of every month, it stars Noca's famously fantastic fried chicken made with a recipe Noca owner Eliot Wexler took a year to perfect.

Comfort food meets chef finesse meets affordable prices: Pig & Pickle is a kind of culinary power to the people.
Jackie Mercandetti
Comfort food meets chef finesse meets affordable prices: Pig & Pickle is a kind of culinary power to the people.

Gourmet comfort food dishes like heady wood-oven-roasted bone marrow, ham-tastic croque madame, and pork shoulder tostadas heaped with kimchi that can be had until 1 a.m. — and all for under a 10 bucks — are more than just late-night eats: They're a kind of culinary power to the people. Blame Keenan Bosworth and Joshua Riesner, the former chef duo at Atlas Bistro, for keeping you up past your bedtime. Here, at their easygoing Scottsdale restaurant, night owls can pair boozy old-school cocktails with meat-centric eats and rub shoulders with industry folk who've decided to do the same.

Philadelphia Sandwich Company

Wanna kill the buzz after a long night of overindulgence in Scottsdale? Forget about sucking down black coffee or any other hokum remedy. What your body needs to help detoxify itself from the staggering amount of Jäger bombs, AMFs, and other firewater that you've been inhaling is cysteine, and plenty of it. Stat. The amino acid, which aids the liver in nullifying alcohol-related intoxicants, is founded in abundance in chicken, steak, red peppers, and certain cheeses, and thus, the various hoagies and cheesesteaks being served around the clock at the Philadelphia Sandwich Company. Though it's not a complete curative, sucking down one of the 24-hour eatery's chicken- or beef-laden sammies loaded with extra Cheez Whiz and peppers is sure to get you back on the mend. Plus, it's open all night and there's a billiards table, electronic dartboards, and other games available for play while you wait for the taxi to show up or your head to clear, whichever comes first.

Yucca Tap Room
Lauren Cusimano

For years, this Tempe landmark has offered Valley music fans a place to stay up way too late, drink way too much PBR, and listen to music that's way too loud. Thankfully, on weekends, it's also a spot to crawl from the wreckage, slither into a booth, and order up good bad-for-you food of the waffle sort — like a cheese-stuffed poblano pepper served between two bacon waffles, waffles topped with S'mores fixin's, and even a waffle patty melt covered in caramelized onions and gooey American cheese. We're gripping our stiff Bloody Marys as tight as we can.

Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
Jacob Tyler Dunn

In 1964, Mrs. Elizabeth White turned her name, her down-home soul food, and her observance of the golden rule into not only one of Arizona's longest operating African American-owned businesses, but a legendary Valley restaurant as well. Fifty years later, the modest little building on Jefferson Street is still the best place in town for heaping platefuls of smothered pork chops, pond-raised catfish, and Mrs. White's one-of-a-kind Southern fried chicken. And for dessert? Peach cobbler (of course), which Mrs. White still prepares regularly — along with her pies — at her soul food restaurant so many have called home for nearly half a century.

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