Best Pasta 2022 | Guido's Chicago Meats & Deli | Food & Drink | Phoenix
Molly Smith

If you'd like to make an authentic Italian meal at home for your friends and family, Guido's Chicago Meats & Deli will fulfill all of your pasta needs. Gnocchi, linguine, and tagliatelle are available to take home, as are lasagna noodles. Once you're home, it only takes a few minutes to boil pasta so good you'll swear you're eating in a small restaurant in Florence. Open since 1983, Guido's also welcomes guests in the restaurant, which seats up to 50. Checkered red tablecloths and an unassuming vibe makes the establishment a neighborhood favorite. Diners can choose from an extensive menu including calzones, hot and cold subs, bread, and pizza. Dessert is also a must at Guido's — the tiramisu and Italian wedding cookies are guaranteed hits.

The perfect sushi rolls do exist, and their home is at Harumi Sushi & Sake in downtown Phoenix. Harumi is known for its purple rice, which is Forbidden black rice that turns purple after being cooked. This rice was historically reserved for aristocracy, so go ahead and treat yourself like royalty because it's served as an everyday staple in Harumi's kitchen. The "purple" rice may very well be Harumi's secret to success, and rolled up with fish flown in from abroad, serves to create harmonious sushi rolls in elegant balance. The Oh My God roll is set on fire in front of your eyes, and simply melts in your mouth for yes, an "oh my God" pleasurable reaction. The H3 roll includes spicy tuna and Scottish salmon, flown fresh from Scotland, and the mini roll combo allows you to choose up to three different types of rolls for only $20.

To begin at Sushi Tokoro, take a seat at a booth or settle in at the bar. Then, start grabbing. As you sit, dishes will rotate around the room on a conveyor belt, small plates like Las Vegas rolls, gyoza, Japanese sodas, or tuna sashimi. We love the Grand Canyon Roll, which tops spicy tuna, cream cheese, and jalapeño with spicy crab mix, tuna, and spicy mayo. Sip on some iced or hot green tea, depending on the time of year, and ask for a menu to order items that aren't on the belt like miso soup, shrimp tempura, and orange chicken. Every plate that comes from the belt is priced a certain way, depending on the color, so refer to a little diagram on the bar to see what everything costs and chow down accordingly.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Recently, we were trying to explain poke to someone unfamiliar with the concept: "It's like deconstructed sushi — kind of. You get to pick your base and your fish and your toppings, and it's really filling and really good." What we lack in powers of description we make up for in appreciation for poke and the people who make it, especially local chain Pokitrition. Sustainable fish such as both marinated and plain ahi tuna, salmon, and shrimp, is flown in daily from Hawaii. In addition to their customizable poke bowls, the four Pokitrition locations also make sushi burritos, hefty cylinders of fresh fish wrapped in rice and seaweed. You can even get your sushi burrito coated with Hot Cheetos dust, if that kind of heat appeals to you.

Origami Ramen Bar

From humble digs in the middle of a strip mall, Origami Ramen Bar serves, hands down, the best ramen in the Valley. Owner and Chef Yusuke Kuroda grew up in Osaka, Japan, and learned to cook with his grandmother. After moving to the U.S. and working on the East Coast, he later headed west to cook at Nobu in Beverly Hills. Lucky for us, he moved to Phoenix and opened Origami in 2020. The menu includes Japanese curry plates and rice bowls, but don't miss the ramen. Rich shoyu broth lets the ingredients sing, miso broth is creamy but not salty, and the black soy ramen blends chicken and pork broth with curly noodles and black garlic oil for an immensely savory bite.

Great Wall

Shrimp dumplings, baked coconut buns, crispy roast duck, and fried taro turnovers come to your table via carts and you select the small plates you wish to devour. This isn't heaven — it's dim sum, a Cantonese tradition with many options and flavors to choose from. Great Wall offers dim sum on weekdays and weekends, though the latter tend to be busy, especially around noon. Grab a group and arrive by at least 11 a.m. to snag a good table; otherwise, the wait may range from 20 to 40 minutes. Steamed barbecue pork buns, which also come baked, are a must, both savory and sweet with tender dough that pulls apart easily. Ask for a menu to order larger items to share, including Hong Kong-style noodles, crispy and salty topped with your choice of meat, but go with the Chinese broccoli and beef for a sure winner.

Located inside the Mekong Plaza shopping center, Happy Baos offers dine-in service and takeout in a small, bright restaurant between the food court and the supermarket. Large posters line the walls with explanations of some of the dishes and dumplings found on the menu. The restaurant serves recipes from Northern China and specializes in handmade bao and dumplings. Lamb and squash steamed dumplings have a chewy shell and fragrant filling, xiao long bao provide the essential mouthful of steaming hot soup, and fluffy steamed custard bao carry the theme through to dessert. Sampler plates help first-time customers find their favorites, but nothing is a miss on this menu.

Kabob Grill N Go

When arriving at Kabob Grill N' Go, a tiny takeout joint next to a Middle Eastern market and a pawn shop, a thick cloud of smoke lets you know you're in the right place. Inside, a deli counter displays medieval-looking skewers of marinated chicken, spiced beef, and plump tomatoes awaiting their fate. The skewers are grilled to order and served over aromatic rice in portions large enough for multiple days of leftovers. Our favorite is the koobideh plate, the long cylinders of spiced meat accompanied by pleasantly charred tomatoes and peppers. The flavors get in your head. This little kabob shop is obsession-worthy.

Buck & Rider has fresh seafood flown in daily from around the world, with oysters from both the East and West coasts. Pull up to the seafood counter in Arcadia (and soon, north Scottsdale and Gilbert's Agritopia) to watch skilled hands work. Shucked oysters large and small are served with fixings including the standard cocktail sauce and horseradish, plus Thai dipping sauce, mustard, and a refreshing mignonette made with minced shallots in vinegar. The selection changes daily, but sweet and mild Kusshis from British Columbia are on it from time to time. Deep-cupped Blish Point oysters from Massachusetts also come and go, with their creamy consistency and briny flavor. Grab a dozen or splurge on a seafood platter with other goodies like king crab and tuna tartare. Happy hour offers a discount on oysters: weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from open to 7 p.m. in select parts of the restaurant.

Bahar Anooshahr

At both locations of the celebrated JL Patisserie, the options are overwhelming in the best way. A small pastry case displays delicate desserts, macarons, eclairs, and cake slices. Next, a large counter is covered with breads and pastries, mostly everything made with flaky, crunchy, butter-filled croissant dough. The pain au raisin is a favorite, a big swirl of flaky dough, crunchy on the outside and soft within, brightened with bursts of flavor from juicy raisins. The ham and cheese croissants blur the line between breakfast and lunch, and the cream-stuffed cruffins make a decadent dessert. We like to keep up with what the bakery is doing on their TikTok account, which is full of light-hearted videos that never fail to make us hungry.

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