Best Peaches 2023 | Amadio Ranch | Food & Drink | Phoenix

The Valley is no slouch when it comes to fresh produce, as anyone who's ever shopped at a farmers market can attest to. However, only a few purveyors provide decent peaches, and Amadio Ranch has the sweetest, juiciest fruits in town. These are the kind of peaches that drip down your chin when you bite into them and taste like candy. They seriously make you second-guess what you thought peaches tasted like before this. The donut peaches alone are life-changing, but Amadio also offers yellow, white, semi-cling and cling-free. Once you try them, you'll dream about these precious little bundles — which are usually sold in May and June — all year. Thankfully, they can be ordered in advance to pick up at the ranch or at local farmers markets (or in the case of Ahwatukee, at Amadio's own weekly farm stand). And if you want a reminder of the ambrosia they provide when they're not in season, Amadio Ranch owners Eric and Christina Amadio also run a cafe on-site at the farm called Peach Pit Bistro where you can get peach smoothies, shakes and pie, including peach pie in a jar.

We've loved Cutino Sauce Co. since it debuted as Homeboy's Hot Sauce in 2015, and we're not alone. From celebrity chefs like J. Kenji Lopez-Alt to late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, the fans of Jacob Cutino's hot sauces are found across the country. And the line of Cutino sauces has grown to include habanero sauces infused with strawberries and blueberries or earthy miso. Each tiny bottle packs a punch of spice that offers a satisfying burn but isn't tipping so far on the Scoville scale that it's scorching. For any avid cook or eater, these sauces make the perfect gift, available individually or in customizable four- or six-bottle sampler packs.

The lovely, quirky, laid-back Trans Am Cafe, tucked in the intersection of Roosevelt Street, 15th Avenue and Grand Avenue, has everything you could want in a coffeehouse. Big windows. Mismatched vintage tables of various sizes. Art covering the walls from floor to ceiling. A chess set. Kind staff. Soft-spoken patrons lounging and doodling in sketchbooks. Craft beer at night. And of course, good, strong coffee. That part is key. Not only does Trans Am Cafe provide Phoenix artists a gallery space and support other local creative endeavors, it also provides us the ideal space in which to drink a nice espresso, have a bagel sandwich and stare wistfully out a big window. What more can we ask for from a coffeehouse?

It's often second nature in Phoenix to order iced coffee. But when visiting Peixoto, you need to order a hot drink. Something about the hot offerings at this East Valley coffee shop instantly brings a wash of calm over you as you take a sip and inspires you to close your eyes and smile. This is the kind of place to spend a slow weekend morning enjoying every flavor and nuance of the coffee grown on the Peixoto family's Brazilian farm rather than grabbing a quick caffeine fix. With two East Valley locations, it's a destination worth driving for. For those who can't make the trip to Chandler or Gilbert as often as you'd like, bring the rich flavor of Peixoto coffee home with a bag of beans roasted in-house.

Dark floral wallpaper, drawings of skulls and a mobile made of disco balls set the tone at this vegan coffeehouse. And while the disco balls shine, the real gems are inside the pastry case. Gorgeous cakes, colorful macarons and precise tarts are as delicious as they are a feast for the eyes. Out of context, no one would ever guess they were skillfully made without any butter, milk or eggs. Pair a treat with a perfectly poured espresso and pick your choice of dairy-free milks. If your breakfast coffee session blends into lunch, The Coronado is conveniently located right next door with a full vegan menu.

Lauren Cusimano

Wren House Brewing Co. continues to stay atop of a growing field of quality local craft brewers because it keeps upping the ante. It has plenty of acolytes for its outstanding IPAs, anchored by its award-winning hazy Spellbinder. Understanding the ever-changing preferences of its drinkers, the brewery now makes a nonalcoholic version of Spellbinder, too. Wren House has expanded its lagering program, adding excellent sessionable options like its Italian pilsner Upstream and its award-winning Festbier. Wren House's bungalow on 24th Street — with beloved resident Gravy, its brewery cat — is warm and inviting. But the space is also cozy, and Wren House is growing. The brewers have already expanded to Prescott, they just opened Wren Südhalle, a European-inspired beer hall in Ahwatukee, and a taproom is planned in the redevelopment of the Paradise Valley Mall in 2024.

Sara Crocker

In a growing craft beer scene, Kitsune Brewing Co. has found ways to stand out from the crowd, from its comfortable, communal space in North Phoenix to its playful, ever-rotating sour series that packs familiar, fruit-forward flavors into every sip. Most recently those have included a sour that integrates the vanilla and pineapple of a Dole Whip, or Bantha Milk, a blue raspberry smoothie sour that was inspired by the yak-like creatures from "Star Wars." To say that owner Tyler Smith and his team are having fun with what they're doing is an understatement, and they're bringing that levity to your glass. But, if you're more into straightforward styles, they've got you covered there, too, with the malty Fox Diver Brown or the juicy, citrusy Forager Hazy IPA.

Although it's technically a neighborhood park and not just a beer garden, The Park at O.H.S.O. Brewery is still the ideal place to drink beer al fresco thanks to its size, amenities, events and vibe, which is dog- and kid-friendly. Even if the beers and food weren't top-notch, which they are, this place would be a hit because it offers a range of things to do. The immense area includes a grass lawn, live music on weekends, a 9-by-15-foot movie screen, arcade games and lawn games like cornhole, with competitions at 6 p.m. Mondays and a purse for the winning team. After opening in downtown Gilbert in August 2022, The Park became a central community hub and hangout for everyone from sports fans to families with kids and dog owners, who love the brewery's house-made dog biscuits, off-leash area and "Puppies and Pints" nights from 7-10 p.m. Thursdays.

Chris Malloy

Goldwater Brewing Co.'s Desert Rose Cactus Kölsch predates the brewery. It comes from the days when a dad spent time brewing experimental batches of beer in their garage. Years later, his sons got involved, and the beer has become a staple of the expanding brewing company. Desert Rose is made with locally grown prickly pear fruits, which give the Kölsch-style ale a deep pink hue. It's floral rather than sweet, has a hint of tartness from the fruit and is rounded out with a smooth finish. It's available on tap in the brewery's locations in Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe, as well as in cans. Look for the cool can artwork depicting a colorful prickly pear cactus.

Lauren Cusimano

Locally made artwork, an always funky playlist and the glow of neon lights contribute to the casual, comfortable and welcoming atmosphere at The Wayward Taphouse. Owned by former Wren House Brewing Co. bartenders Hilda Cardenas and Tyler Goolie, the taphouse has an enviable beer list. Order a pint of an unusual brew from around the world, grab a skillfully poured Guinness or pick a colorful can of cider or wine from the fridge. Then, decide whether your night calls for a seat at the bar, a table outside on the large patio or a game of Scrabble on a coffee table at the sofas up front. The bar often hosts food pop-ups and food trucks, and customers are also welcome to order a slice from SnapBack Pizzeria right across the street.

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