Best Indian Restaurant 2022 | The Dhaba | Food & Drink | Phoenix
Courtesy of Dhaba

The Dhaba is the Valley's go-to place for Indian cuisine, a Tempe mainstay where you can find a wide range of delicious, family-style dishes. The name comes from traditional, modest roadside cafes on the subcontinent. But The Dhaba elevates it to something memorable. Even the basics are stylish. There are seven varieties of basmati and biryani rice dishes. The nine kinds of naan bread are amazing, especially the Kashmiri version, which incorporates pistachios and cashews. The rest of the menu is extensive, with lots of different curry dishes, paneers, saags, and appetizers. Upshot: You can live a long time and not get through the full menu. There's something for everyone and every dish is delicious. If you have a sensitive palate, and smoke comes out of your ears at the mere thought of a chili pepper, The Dhaba will let you pick your spice levels on a scale of one to 10. It's the kind of place to break naan with good friends or to load up on takeout for special events and savor the leftovers for days.

Patricia Escarcega

In Arabic, haji baba refers to a person with an adventurous spirit, and we'd like to think that such individuals would eat at the popular Tempe joint. Haji-Baba is an unpretentious eatery with a walk-up counter for grabbing kabob pitas and hummus to go, and a dining room if you prefer that the delicious food come straight to your table. Chicken shawarma is sliced right off the spit and served alongside long-grain, fragrant basmati rice, and chicken, beef, and lamb kabobs are cooked over an open flame. Plus, you can fill up for not much money, since the menu is priced well and portions are generous. Grab some baklava at the end of the meal or take a stroll around the market for European chocolates and Middle Eastern goods for the pantry. Bonus points if you take home some French feta cheese for later.

Chris Malloy

It's impossible not to feel a festive vibe when you walk into Authentic EthioAfrican. Opened by husband and wife Anduale Hassan and Elsabet Tiruneh a decade ago on McDowell Road and 18th Street, fans have always come for the affordable Ethiopian food: slow-cooked doro wat, beef tips singing with spice, freshly fried sambusas stuffed with lentils, fragrant kitfo made with minced raw meat, and celebratory vegan platters circled with spicy stews. After a six-month renovation, the bigger, jazzier space is a draw, too. Filled with wood carvings and art work straight from Ethiopia, the space offers wood-lined walls and tables topped with colorful mesob baskets. They also offer an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and live music on holidays, plus have added a full bar and bar seating, so you can wash down massive rounds of injera with a draft beer or colorful cocktail.

Molly Smith

Chompie's may technically be a Jewish deli, but everyone with an appetite is welcome. The longtime local chain has been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for decades, and the traditional Jewish foods haven't changed. The matzah ball soup is still warm and satisfying, full of chunky carrots and pieces of chicken. The bagels still hit the spot in the morning, especially topped with a schmear of cream cheese and some lox. Chompie's is known for their mile-high sandwiches, piles of pastrami or roast beef so large we can barely grab them. The new location on Cactus Road is its most beautiful storefront yet, a huge dining room/market combination where anyone for an appreciation for good food can come and be fed.

Judy Nichols

This gluten-free eatery serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch from its location at 40th Street and Thomas Road in Arcadia. The biscuit and gravy, a fresh-baked garlic cheddar biscuit topped with sausage gravy and served with two eggs your way, is a great option for those who may not otherwise be able to eat the dish. Chicken and waffles come in several varieties, from classic to popcorn to hot chicken, and a churro and Belgian waffle are also on the menu. The baked goods at Jewel's are also delicious, whether you go for Fruity Pebble-topped doughnuts or a chocolate chip cookie. The cute cafe is a non-glutinous dream, with breakfast and lunch options for the entire family, including grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids. Cocktails are also on the menu, with margaritas, mimosas, and bloody marys.

Katie Johnson

Southern comfort food that's completely vegan? Yes, you heard that correctly. Green New American Vegetarian serves tasty fare — a classic burger, cheesesteak, and Buffalo wings — without using any meat. The menu is expansive and even meat-eaters won't argue about how the chili fries and burgers taste like the real deal. These "mock" meats are more than satisfying — herbivores and carnivores are both likely to revisit Green. Cap off your meal with the ice cream dessert called tSoynami, a mixture of unrefined sugar, coconut milk, and organic soy with flavors including peanut butter, mint, rocky road, and peach cobbler. It's a cliche, but at Green, you don't even miss the meat.

Nearly 200 vendors are part of this farmers' market, where they sell goodies including breads, honeys, meats, spices, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, salsa, pasta, and more. Besides the bountiful food and beverage options, you'll find a vast array of merchandise for times you need to buy a gift of splurge on a little self-care. Think pottery, aprons, cutting boards, totes, plants, and candles. The Saturday morning markets give you a chance to start your weekend with a little sunshine and fresh air, the bustle of community, and the good feelings that stem from supporting local farmers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Kids have a blast exploring the sights, including the pets that join their people in taking it all in. Once you've gotten all your fresh produce, you can look forward to making a meal that doesn't come in a wrapper or a Styrofoam box.

H Mart, the popular Asian grocery store with locations throughout the country from California to Illinois and New York, opened its first Arizona store in Mesa in 2020. The massive Korean grocery store offers produce, meat, fresh seafood, and lots of specialty Asian items such as Nongshim Shin Ramyun noodles, Huey Fong sambal oelek chili paste, and various flavors of the Pocky sweet coated biscuit sticks. H Mart also has a food hall with options from noodle dishes to bulgogi risotto, chicken wings, kimchi, and pork belly. There's also a Paris Baguette bakery inside the store, with a vast selection of treats like croissants, sticky milk buns, and chocolate cake topped with macarons.

When we travel, our favorite thing to do is eat. So we love Lee Lee's International Supermarket because pushing our cart up and down the aisles feels like taking a world culinary tour. Frozen lumpia from the Philippines. Eastern European meats. Indian spices. Countless types of noodles. We don't have enough room in our kitchen (or our stomach) for everything we want to try at Lee Lee, so we just keep going back for our favorite items and to try a few new things each time. We also like the little housewares area in the front of the store, where we can find cute bowls and cups to hold our global fare.

What looks like a simple convenience store from its location at Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road in north Phoenix is actually so much more. Summer Market stocks a plentiful supply of Middle Eastern goods, from garbanzo beans to fragrant spices such as Madras curry powder and fresh bread baked daily. And you won't have to break the bank at this local grocer, whether you're in search of cheese, yogurt, falafel mix, or a wide selection of bulk beans and seeds. So grab your favorite Middle Eastern friend (and their mother's stuffed grape leaf recipe) and head to Summer Market to stock up on the goods.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of