Best Food Court 2023 | Mekong Plaza | Food & Drink | Phoenix

Mekong Plaza in Mesa contains a group of Asian-inspired and -owned businesses and restaurants. Some of the restaurants are tucked in the spacious food court. Binh Duong Quan and Hu Gourmet sell Vietnamese cuisine, including Vietnamese chicken salad, a host of rice and glass noodle soups, and crispy deep-fried rolls or fresh rice paper rolls to snack on. Heng's Kitchen has Chinese snacks and dishes, including a smorgasbord of dim sum dumplings and other finger foods, traditional rice dishes and noodle bowls. Wholly Grill has a Filipino vibe with grilled barbecue sticks over rice, lumpia and an array of authentic cuisine made to order. Asian-inspired gift stores and specialty shops surround the food court to entertain you after a hearty, conveniently fast and affordable bite.

If you're an aspiring or seasoned chef, Lee Lee's is the place to explore. Embark on a delicious journey worldwide through the different aisles filled with items from every corner of the globe. If you're looking for authentic curry ingredients for your Thai- or Indian-inspired meal, the chain supermarket covers you with veggies, meats and spices. Are you looking to fry lumpia from the Philippines? You can buy them frozen in various brands or make them from scratch with thin lumpia wrapper packets, ground pork, cabbage and carrots; more than a few sweet chili dipping sauces are also offered here. Though much of the real estate is occupied by Asian food items, Lee Lee's is still the place to find things like Eastern European meats and dairy products, French potato chips and even regional American foods. Lastly, the supermarkets, with over 200,000 square feet spread within its three stores in Chandler, Peoria and Tucson, sell housewares to cook and present the global delicacies you are about to serve.

Evie Carpenter

Family-owned Princess Pita Mediterranean Restaurant and Market knows what it knows, which is falafel, kababs and various sundries from the Middle East, Greece, India and Persia. The aisles won't necessarily overwhelm, and you'll have plenty of time to look at each item and study the ingredients. The market also has cheeses, olives, spices, dates and grape leaves, as well as a full line of halal meats including lamb, goat, beef and chicken. Before or after you take a look at all the grocery items you want to buy to make a meal at home, you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, which dishes up beef shawarma, chicken and beef kabobs, koftas, hummus, rice and salad. The bakery counter also has baklava to try on-site or as a take-home dessert.

Walking into Romanelli's Italian Deli is like gliding into an olfactory orgy. As soon as the smells of freshly baked bread, zesty spices, piquant peppers, tangy cheeses and cured meats hit your nostrils, your mouth starts watering, and your eyes start wandering. Where to start? At the deli counter for a George's Special sandwich, overflowing with ham, capicola, salami, mortadella, pepperoni and provolone? Or hit the grocery aisles in search of the perfect pasta or extra-virgin olive oil? The family-owned and -operated Romanelli's has been the site of such dilemmas for almost 50 years. Wherever your senses take you at Romanelli's, you'll be glad you went there.

This mini supermarket in a West Valley strip mall is an oasis for anyone looking for a taste of the old country — or countries, to be exact. No other place in the Valley carries such a stunning supply of canned, jarred and boxed delicacies from Poland and Eastern Europe to help with homesickness or to re-create familiar flavors from family dinners back in the Midwest. Whether you crave imported pickles, beets, sauerkraut, chocolate or beer, you'll find a mind-boggling variety here. The deli counter at the back also deserves a stop for its superior hams, sausages and cheeses, and if you want to speak Polish, you'll feel right at home — all staffers are fluent. Next to the deli are steam tables proudly boasting an array of ready-to-eat foods, including insanely affordable homemade Polish favorites like pierogies, golabki (stuffed cabbages), pork cutlets and creamy cucumber salad. And yes, they make paczki — those irresistible jelly doughnuts so popular around Fat Tuesday — all year long on Saturdays only, but they sell out fast, so get your dupa there early.

The wide selection of everyday and unusual cuts of quality meats, many of which are locally raised, is remarkable at this small but mighty family-owned shop. Though the owners, Tim and Beth Wilson, no longer supply the pork because their slaughterhouse couldn't keep up with the demand, they source it from a family-owned farm in Iowa where it's raised and processed humanely. The ribs, roasts, ham, gourmet sausages and more are so superior that the shop supplies top restaurants including Tratto, Valentine and the Phoenix location of Belly. And it created a special footlong all-beef dog for this year's Super Bowl Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. The Wilsons also have an on-site smokehouse and carry grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild game (call ahead for the selection) and specialty items such as beef tallow, organs, wagyu beef and homemade dog treats. Though the prices are astonishingly fair, they also sell in bulk for deeper discounts and offer quarter, half and whole cows cut to your specifications by their expert butchers, who can do custom cuts on smaller orders as well.

Nelson's Meat + Fish just gets better and better over time. Chris Nelson will sell you a slab of salmon, sure, but where else in town are you going to find razor clams, fresh sardines, footlong tiger prawns and live Nantucket Bay scallops in the shell? Nelson's Instagram account routinely heralds fresh shipments of highly prized specialties, and the shelves are stocked with plenty of sauces, supplements and tinned fish to boot. Meanwhile, the meat locker is no slouch, filled with steaks and chops from local producers plus premium sausages and charcuterie from across the country. And though it isn't a formal dining establishment, the menu boasts the city's best lobster roll, a sparkling chilled seafood tower, outstanding creative crudo specials and more, all plated for you to walk over to the taproom next door.

Stoop Kid

Stoop Kid blew up for a hot minute when it entered the scene back in 2020, as much for its bagels as for its burgers. But while a tsunami of smashburger pop-ups rose and receded, Stoop Kid kept doing its thing over at The Churchill, slinging a couple of basic burgers along with the occasional special. Now that the dust has settled, circling back to Stoop Kid has been a pleasure. The thing about those "basic burgers" is that they're done awfully well. Flavorful brisket patties are seared to a startling crisp, layered and tucked into a pillowy brioche bun that's substantial without being too bready. A slab of quality cheese, deeply caramelized onions, some thick pickle chips and a swipe of bright house sauce are a tried-and-true formula, but here they're a sterling take on the total package, juicy and dripping and messy in all the best ways. Bonus: The house-made potato chips kick ass.

Noble Eatery

There's no shortage of excellent places to find bread baked fresh locally. Noble has been at it for over a decade, and while you can sample their breads at farmers markets and restaurants around the Valley, Noble Eatery showcases how that bread serves as an excellent foundation for a sandwich. The wood-fired deli and bakery is only open for lunch on weekdays, but you'll understand the midday rush once you sink your teeth into a soft pide (a Turkish bread) stuffed with tuna, beans, potatoes and farro and punched up with a Cabernet vinegar. The menu of sandwiches is small but hits all the right notes, ranging from turkey to an Italian, with breads that can withstand whatever is piled atop them. Be sure not to miss the rotating chef's specials, which have included Cubanos, meatball subs and roast beef.

We often think of the humble hot dog as a utilitarian food, only to be considered when faced with one at a sporting event or Fourth of July barbecue. But that's not the case at Der Wurst inside uptown Phoenix's Linger Longer Lounge. There, hot dogs are the star of the menu. They start with goods from local purveyor Schreiner's Fine Sausages, and from there, the sky's the limit. Favorites include the Blow-Me, topped with tomatoes, pickles, onions, sport peppers, mustard and celery salt; and the Dirty Sanchez, a gut-busting choice topped with spicy beef chorizo, melted cheddar cheese and jalapenos. (Did we mention that many of the menu items have NSFW names?) If you've happened to bring a vegetarian or hot-dog hater on your wiener quest, they've got options, too: The schnitzel chicken fingers are a popular choice and the Strap-On is a chipotle vegetarian sausage dog that comes with tomatoes, avocado mayo and cotija cheese.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of