Best Place to Eat at the Bar 2016 | Hana Japanese Eatery | Food & Drink | Phoenix
Jacob Tyler Dunn

There's no bad seat in the house at Hana Japanese Eatery, but if you want to go big, then make sure to grab a seat at the restaurant's sushi bar. From there, you'll have a front row view of the action behind the counter — where brother-and-sister team Rick and Lori Hashimoto, along with their stepfather, Kazuto Kishino, can often be seen turning whole fish into pristine pieces of sushi. It's a real show, watching the chefs slice through rosy-pink fatty tuna belly like a stick of butter and draping bright, orange slices of sake over a perfectly shaped ball of rice.

Patricia Escarcega

There's a good reason why Different Pointe of View has been the site of many memorable marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies: The views from the restaurant's patio lounge, especially at sunset, are absolutely stunning. This fine-dining restaurant, situated atop a scenic outlook on North Mountain at the Pointe Tapatio Cliff Hilton Resort, isn't simply a scenic lookout point, though. This is also a destination for anyone looking for a memorable meal. The menu features updated Continental classics and Mediterranean-inspired dishes like filet mignon served with white bean truffle, butter-poached lobster, and seared duck breast served with jalapeño-bacon griddle cakes. The wine and cocktail menu is also top-notch, and service is uniformly good — your server will probably offer to take you and your date's photograph against the scenic city backdrop. You can try to resist the stirrings of romance, but there's really no use.

Evie Carpenter

Listen up, parents. St. Francis doesn't just have one kids' menu. No, Aaron Chamberlin's hip central Phoenix eatery has two: lunch and dinner and brunch. The offerings are smart — healthy (simple fruit salad) and a little naughty (iron skillet chocolate-chip pancake). Chicken breast, cheese pizza, a "big" hamburger with fries — it's hard to imagine that junior won't be pleased. And, get this: Kids 12 and under eat for free. So order an extra Dark and Stormy cocktail, because gray skies are gonna clear up around the dinner table. And if not, ask to be seated upstairs, where it's a little noisier than the rest of the restaurant. (You're welcome.)

You're at Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks are possibly winning, and now, you'd like to take part in some of the deep-fried, cheesy, salted, lovely food items available from the many food and drink vendors throughout the ballpark. The only problem you really have is, just what do you choose — nachos, popcorn, pretzel? The answer is the Cheeseburger Dog, presented by Levy Restaurants at the start of the 2016 baseball season. This American fare mashup consists of ground chargrilled hamburger patties mixed with dill pickles, green onion, chopped smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese, then shaped into a hot dog, breaded, and deep fried. The result is dressed with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, and more chopped smoked bacon, with a drizzling of secret sauce. This brainchild will run you $10, and can be found at Big Dawgs on the main concourse, and Extreme Loaded Dogs on the Diamond Level.

Bacus Bros. Hot Dogs has become something of a late-night destination for irresistibly good hot dogs. But, thankfully, these dogs taste just as good in the clear light of day. The specialty dogs on the menu here may have silly names, but the kitchen doesn't mess around when it comes to pulling together tasty and surprising flavor combos that really work. After a night of drinking, the Hair of the Polish Dog is as comforting as anything you might find in a diner: a robust, extra-juicy Polish sausage layered with grilled onions and peppers, lavished with shredded cheese, and topped with scrambled eggs and bacon. It's a delight. The Foghorn Leghorn, featuring a plump chicken sausage topped with coleslaw, tomatoes, and horseradish mustard, is like a Southern picnic in a bun, and it's hard not to love the Ich Liebe Dich brat, a classic grilled brat paired with sauerkraut, grilled onions, and peppers. Plus, this fast-casual restaurant also happens to be a fine destination for craft and import beer.

Angels Trumpet Ale House

Angels Trumpet Ale House may be better known as a hip downtown beer garden, but the kitchen is no slouch when it comes to making a killer grilled cheese sandwich. The barbecue brisket grilled cheese is layered with root-beer-braised brisket, pickled onions, and thinly sliced tomato, then capped off with smoked mozzarella and fontina. The thick-cut sourdough is nicely griddled on the flattop and served with an equally delicious heap of golden-brown fries. And if you're more of a grilled cheese purist, the kitchen also whips up a tasty grilled cheese with mozzarella and fontina, tomatoes, and a drizzle of honey. It's delightful. Either way, your grilled cheese goals will be more than realized.

Evie Carpenter

Sometimes simpler is better, and if you're looking for proof, look no further than The Standard at The Stand Burger & Tacos in central Phoenix. This small restaurant keeps things about as simple as they can be with patties made from beef that's ground in-house, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and Stand sauce. Sure, you could add cheese, but why complicate something that's already perfect?

Heather Hoch

Fans of Asian food have likely heard of sheng jian bao, the oversized Shanghainese dumplings that come stuffed with seasoned pork and wrapped in a thick, doughy casing. These hard-to-find treats have been on trend with Asian food aficionados for at least the last year, so chef Bob Tam, known for serving fun contemporary takes on Asian classics, has merged the dumpling with a good, old-fashioned cheeseburger. To make the dish, he blends ground pork and beef with spices before wrapping the patty in American cheese, sauteed red onions, and scallions. To imitate the dumpling wrapper, Tam uses an English muffin, and the result is a burger that's one part Asian delicacy and 100 percent all-American.

Patricia Escarcega

These days, there are sub shops that specialize in just about everything. One for toasted subs, one for subs with hand-carved meats, and another that brags about its fresh baked bread — even one that's inspired by cannabis.

Well, that's all fine, but if you ask us, none can beat Cheese 'n Stuff, where for more than 60 years metro Phoenix diners have been able to find top-quality sandwiches made with the best ingredients. Our go-to order is the Doughboy, a straightforward combo of turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, and avocado. Served on mayo-slathered pieces of sourdough bread, this toasted sandwich is the kind of meal that's good for any and all occasions. Like the deli itself, which opened its doors in 1949, not a day goes by that we're not grateful it exists.

Lauren Saria

Don't get us wrong; we love a good pile of saucy, hot buffalo wings. But sometimes when we crave wings, we crave something a little bit different, and for that, we head to New Hong Kong Restaurant in central Phoenix. Beyond its worn vintage exterior, this Chinese restaurant offers some of the Valley's best Cantonese food, specifically dishes of the deep-fried variety. The restaurant's salt-and-pepper chicken wings are particularly memorable. Each wing features moist chicken meat encased in a shell of crispy golden batter, which alone would be delicious, but with the addition of diced garlic, onions, and Thai chili peppers become wings worthy of great praise.

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