Best Trendy Diner 2022 | Welcome Diner | Food & Drink | Phoenix
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Imagine that a classic diner met a hipster foodie and had a baby. That's Welcome Diner at Ninth and Pierce streets in the Garfield neighborhood. A pink and blue neon sign greets you on your way in, giving way to a disco ball above the host stand and blue booths with wooden tables in between them. (The patio is also nice when the weather isn't hot enough to cook an egg on the pavement.) Breakfast is served all day here, even on Fridays and Saturdays when the diner is open until midnight. Try various combinations of chicken and fresh biscuits, including the Koko with beefsteak tomatoes, arugula, and chipotle ranch. Sandwiches and burgers are also available; go for the peanut butter bacon burger if you're especially hungry. It's packed high with a Niman Ranch patty, cheddar cheese, garlic aioli, peanut butter, pickles, and applewood smoked bacon on a Noble Bread bun. Coffee is on the menu, but so are cocktails such as the Industry Sour with Frenet Branca, green chartreuse, and lime, and the Welcome Mule with vodka, lemon, and ginger beer.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

Calling a restaurant an "institution" is a bold statement. But there's really no other word for Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe, the downtown Phoenix eatery that's been serving incredible soul food since 1964. Generations of Phoenicians have dug into Elizabeth White's original recipes. The venerated fried chicken is perfectly seasoned and crispy, and the pork chops are tender and juicy. We could write odes to the ooey-gooey mac and cheese, and Mrs. White's is pretty much the only place where we order a glass of Kool-Aid to accompany our meal. We've lost count of how many times we've tucked into a meal in the bustling dining room, thanking our lucky stars that we've got restaurants like this in Phoenix. Actually, we've got one more word for Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe: treasure.

Sarah Whitmire

Some of the best food we've ever tasted came from the kitchen of a New Orleans restaurant. When we want that experience here in the desert, we head to Flavors of Louisiana, where the authentic Cajun food is served with a side of uncommonly friendly service. The catfish is the best we've had in Arizona, or you can sample more of what the eatery has to offer with the Cajun Trio, a huge meal of jambalaya, crawfish pie, and gumbo. Everything is so delicious at Flavors of Louisiana that we nearly always leave stuffed, which means that we take a piece of peach cobbler or some beignets to go. Later, when we've got room for dessert, they're a sweet reminder of our excellent meal.

Lauren Cusimano

Depending on when you enter Crown Public House, you may find yourself surrounded by a gregarious pack of Liverpool football fans. The bar is home to the official local supporters' group of Liverpool, which is how you know it's a legit British pub. You don't even need to show up with anyone — just sit down, order a pint of Guinness or perhaps one of the many local beers Crown offers, and you'll immediately start making friends. Chat with the regulars while enjoying some pub food; we like the poutine and the spicy bourbon barbecue wings. The convivial atmosphere keeps us coming back to Crown, and we're sure you'll find it just as welcoming as we do. Just don't wear blue on game day.

Lauren Cusimano

The luck of the Irish runs strong at the beloved Dubliner Irish Pub. The bar has been doling out good times since Seamus McCaffrey (yes, that Seamus McCaffrey) opened it in 1985, and the decor is green around every corner. The north Phoenix neighborhood hangout is allegedly the first bar in town to offer Guinness on tap — how's that for Irish pub street cred? Besides Guinness, The Dubliner has plenty of Irish brews and spirits on tap, as well as a full menu of Irish and American comfort food. We love the carb-heavy Dubliner Potato Bites, mashed potato balls stuffed with cheese and bacon and served with sour cream and jalapeños, and the popular fish and chips platter. Check the event calendar on the website for events like ladies' night on Wednesdays, all-you-can-eat fish on Fridays, and live music on weekends. The atmosphere is fun and friendly anytime you show up, but visit on St. Patrick's Day for a wild celebration.

Jennifer Goldberg

When you're craving a plate of schnitzel or bratwurst with a side of sauerkraut or spätzle, the obvious choice is Haus Murphy's. It's got an outstanding menu, homey German decor, and shots of German spirits that will have you wishing you'd donned your lederhosen for a spirited night of polka tunes. You can sit inside at long tables or head outside to enjoy the biergarten with its strings of lights and rows of hanging flags, but you don't have to get a big meal to experience a taste of Germany in Glendale. We love getting a giant pretzel with a 32-ounce beer, or skipping ahead to a dessert of apple strudel or Black Forest cake. And we feel great taking our vegetarian friends knowing they'll have options, as well. Naturally, it's our go-to destination for Oktoberfest, because we know the food, drink, and celebratory atmosphere will transport us not just to another country, but to a whole other world.

Jackie Mercandetti Photo

There aren't many restaurants that can say that they've been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and that their chef has been nominated for a James Beard Award. But you know who can? Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale. The cozy neighborhood joint just wants you to enjoy its delicious, authentic Italian food, whether it's by sitting in the red-ceilinged dining room, picking up takeout either at the counter inside or at the drive-thru window, or grabbing a refrigerated meal from the cold case. The rich, meaty fusilli with pork rib meat got a well-deserved spotlight on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and the Gnocchi alla Corsara, house-made potato gnocchi with pesto, cream, and tomato sauce, is another standout. You can also take meats, cheeses, desserts, and dry goods home to make your own Italian creations.

Lauren Cusimano

Assuming you don't live in or near Cave Creek, it may take you a while to get up to Le Sans Souci. But we promise the drive is worth it. Open since the '90s, Le Sans Souci (it means "without worry") serves authentic French fare during brunch, lunch, and dinner in its cozy, tiled dining room. We always want to start with the onion soup, preferably topped with melted cheese and a small piece of bread. The Crepes Delice, two crepes packed with mushrooms and crab in a bechamel sauce, is rich and filling, or if we're craving something more casual, the croque monsieur sandwich takes us back to afternoons in Paris cafes. And with a dessert menu that offers classic delights such as crème brûlée and cherries jubilee, we always leave Le Sans Souci full and satisfied.

First thing you should know about Ms. Martha's Caribbean Kitchen: Check the hours before you go. This hidden gem only stays open till 6 p.m. on several nights of the week, so if you're looking to enjoy some Caribbean food for dinner, you'll want to show up early to grab some takeout. Second thing you should know about Ms. Martha's: The food is outstanding. The brown stew chicken meal features fall-off-the-bone poultry made savory with a melange of herbs and spices, and the customer-favorite oxtails are impossibly rich and meaty. We like the entrees served with Ms. Martha's rice and beans, or possibly the fried plantains. And don't forget to start with one of the meat pies. There's so much to explore on the menu that repeat visits are a must.

Lauren Cusimano

The first indication that Pho Thanh is the place to be is the packed parking lot. Wedge your car in wherever you can, and head inside. Through the doors, you'll be welcomed by a bustling room filled with tables of families sharing plates, friends slurping noodles from rich broth, and servers packaging food to go. Start your meal with an order of banh hoi chao tom, or ground shrimp skewered with a stick of sugarcane, served as deconstructed spring rolls. Soak rice paper shells in water until pliable enough to wrap around the shrimp, fresh veggies, and aromatic mint leaves. The best way to tackle the rest of the menu is by sharing. Bring a group and dig in to the best Vietnamese food you'll find in Phoenix.

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