The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

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February 1, 2024

The metro Phoenix restaurant scene is absolutely bursting with flavor. Every corner of this desert town is filled with outstanding chefs serving something great to eat.

Drive around and you’ll find mom-and-pop shops sharing recipes from home in tiny strip mall joints. Have a favorite Phoenix restaurant? Well, that chef may have something new in the works. Local restaurateurs have been expanding their offerings and bringing concepts to new neighborhoods around the Valley. For out-of-town visitors, Arizona’s finest resorts continue to welcome tourists and introduce them to Valley dining with high-quality options.

Some classic eateries have been churning out exceptional food for decades, and remain at the top of their game. Other new spots have hit the ground running and are quickly making their mark. So whether you’re in town for a long weekend, or you’ve spent your whole life exploring all the Valley has to offer, there’s an exciting eatery just around the corner ready and willing to take your order.

To help narrow down your options, the small but mighty Phoenix New Times food team set out once again, traveling from Peoria to east Mesa, to conduct some terrifically tasty research and seek out the very best the metro Phoenix food scene has to offer. Here, we present our findings. Welcome to the 2024 list of the Top 100 Restaurants in Phoenix.

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

SugarJam The Southern Kitchen

SugarJam The Southern Kitchen
Tirion Boan
If this were a list of the best brunch spots in the Valley, SugarJam A Southern Kitchen would be at the very top. On weekends, this place is a party complete with brunch cocktails and a DJ. But our favorite time to enjoy chef Dana Dumas’ exceptional cooking is during the week. The cafe is a little quieter, and there’s a shorter wait for a table, but the brunch experience is no less delicious. One outstanding dish is the SugarJam French toast. Sure, many brunch spots serve this classic, but none do it like this. Dumas soaks thick slices of challah bread in Grand Marnier, which when cooked, creates a crisp shell almost like a creme brulee. Top the bread with vanilla butter and drizzle on warm rum pecan maple syrup for a decadent bite. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Don’t worry. There are plenty of savory options that will satisfy. Pick from catfish and grits, buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, or applewood smoked pulled pork hash. Make sure to grab a homemade pie on the way out to save for later. ($$)
15111 N. Hayden Rd., #170, Scottsdale, 85260

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Que Chevere

Que Chevere
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
After four years behind the stove of the Venezuelan food truck Que Chevere, Orvid Cutler and Maria Fernanda expanded to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Mesa (a Main Street that has become something of a dining destination). The food is classically Venezuelan, with arepas leading the way. The thick griddled corn flatbreads come as sides with plate-style dishes of shredded beef, rice and beans. Loaded with fillings such as shredded chicken and black beans, they come as main dishes. Plenty of sleeper hits fill out the menu. These include the Patacon, a sandwich "bunned" on fried plantains, and the Cachapa, a corn pancake packing hauntingly nuanced sweetness. A bar mixes tropical drinks. The kitchen rolls out hot, stretchy tequenos, Venezuelan cheese sticks, every morning. Curbside pickup is available. Call for takeout orders. And yes, there is still a Que Chevere at various outdoor events. ($$)
142 W. Main St., Mesa, 85201

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hola Cabrito

Hola Cabrito
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Goopy quesabirria may rule TikTok and Instagram, but if you follow the true fans in South Phoenix, they’ll lead you to Hola Cabrito. Since 2011, Maria Lopez has been slinging the birria de chivo she learned from her mother in León, Guanajuato. Rather than the drip and the ooze, this classic style of birria is all about the goat. Seasoned and slow-roasted in banana leaves, the succulent adobo-spiked meat boasts a rich flavor and gentle gaminess that plays beautifully across multiple formats. You can get it swimming in crystal-clear consommé, ready to be perked up with crisp vegetables and herbs and a splash of smoky salsa. You can load the meat onto thick fresh-pressed tortillas to make some mean tacos. But our favorite order is the birria tatemada — scattered and pressed on the griddle along with a bit of fat ladled off the top of the consommé, lending a robust, sizzling crisp to the tender goat meat. ($)
4835 S. 16th St., Phoenix, 85040

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Tacos Chiwas

Tacos Chiwas
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
What started out as a small, counter-serve restaurant offering a tight menu of Chihuahua-style street food has expanded to three locations across the Valley, including a new larger location for the original Phoenix eatery. But even with all those changes, the excellent quality of the food has stayed consistent. Husband-and-wife team Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are behind the local chain, which remains one of the best spots in Phoenix to enjoy an afternoon taco — barbacoa, pastor and lengua are our picks. Burned out on tacos? Go with the deshebrada roja gordita or asada burrito. For a spicy kick, try the rajas quesadilla, which always leaves us wanting a tall glass of horchata and another bite. Patio seating and curbside pickup are available. ($)
1028 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 85014

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Kai

Kai
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Those wishing to experience the finest of what the Sonoran Desert has to offer — the native saguaro fruit wolfberries, the tepary beans and wild sumac — would be wise to throw down for an upscale evening at Kai Restaurant. For roughly two decades, Kai has taken the best of what the Gila River Community can grow and forage (the tribe owns the restaurant, which is on its grounds) and put those quintessential Sonoran ingredients through global, fine-dining filters. Dishes have included cactus key lime pie, buffalo steak with saguaro syrup, posole with Ramona Farms corn, wolfberry vinegar, chiltepin froth, and a circus of beautiful desert ingredients carried to new places. In 2022, Chef Drew Anderson took over from former head chef Ryan Swanson to lead Kai's efforts. Kai remains as intimate a place-rooted experience as you'll find in metro Phoenix, and even after all these years, is a thoughtful and thrilling place to eat. ($$$$)
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 85226

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hai Noon

Hai Noon
Sara Crocker
James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda has made a triumphant return with Hai Noon. He left downtown Phoenix for Scottsdale and opened his latest restaurant inside the renovated hotel Sonder The Mariposa. The dining room and bar have a vintage charm with horseshoe-shaped booths, warm woods, exposed stone and macrame-wrapped lights. The taut but shareable menu leans into seafood, such as the tuna, seared and served with a punchy beetroot puree and pinot noir reduction, or the sea bream, which is cured, letting its brine and sweetness shine through. The land-based dishes are just as bright. The coconut curry lamb chops are bold and tender. The mushrooms, done in parchment with sake, soy, garlic butter and trottole pasta, are packed with umami. The cocktails likewise wow. The Honey Dew Me Rumchata, a rum-based drink, is playful and packed with melon flavor thanks to honeydew syrup and frozen melon balls. ($$$)
7017 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, 85257

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Caffe Boa

Caffe Boa
Lauren Saria
For first dates and graduation dinners, Tempe’s Caffe Boa is a staple. This long-standing Mill Avenue restaurant is the perfect contrast to the bustling bars and clubs just steps away. Both an Italian restaurant and wine bar, it is open for brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner. Make sure to try the outstanding pastas, such as a block of lasagna resting in a pool of cream-tinted bolognese or the Ravioli Zucca, filled with butternut squash and topped with toasted hazelnuts and sage swimming in a garlic butter sauce. Complete your meal with a creative cocktail, pour of wine or a flight of Rakija, a double-distilled fruit brandy popular in Serbia and throughout the Balkans, for something a little different. ($$)
398 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 85281

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

The Stockyards Steakhouse

The Stockyards Steakhouse
Jacob Tyler Dunn
When you're carrying a heavy title like "Arizona's Original Steakhouse" on your hip, you better be ready to fire it off. And that's exactly what's done daily at The Stockyards Restaurant and 1889 Saloon. Cattle baron Edward A. Tovrea established a packing house west of 48th Street and Van Buren in 1919, long before The Stockyards Restaurant officially opened in 1947. Now, the classic restaurant has a reputation for serving Western-inspired cuisine — primarily corn-fed aged steaks and prime rib — but today's menu hasn't diverted all that much from the original. Other specialties include Paloma Ranch calf fries, American bison meatloaf, the Arizona cut rib-eye steak and some beloved baking soda biscuits. And who could resist a whiskey in the 1889 Saloon, designed back in the day by Mrs. Cattle Baron herself, Helen Tovrea? Sit yourself down and have a seat, partner. ($$$)
5009 E. Washington St., #115, Phoenix, 85034

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Da Vang

Da Vang
Jacob Tyler Dunn
The moment you're seated and handed the cracked-laminated menu at Da Vang, relief follows. Good, aromatic, hearty Vietnamese food is on the way. Most dishes are under $15 and usually require a to-go container or an afternoon nap — or better yet, an order of café sua nong (hot coffee with sweetened condensed milk). The pho choices are versatile, about a dozen varieties in all, but the pho tai nam may be your best bet. If you really want to go nuts, the com tam dac biet is — get ready — broken steamed rice with barbecue pork, shrimp, a fried shrimp cake, a barbecue pork meatball, a crab-egg cake, shredded pork, and a fried egg. Da Vang, in its multi-roomed strip-mall setting south of Christown Spectrum shopping center, also offers banh mi (sandwiches), lau (hot pot), and bun (vermicelli) in a beyond-comfortable setting. Delivery is available through DoorDash. ($)
4538 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 85015

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Los Reyes De La Torta

Los Reyes De La Torta
Tirion Boan
This thriving enterprise produces those giant Mexican sammies known as tortas. These are the Godzillas of the sandwich world and could easily kick any ciabatta's butt and then go on to feed a family of six. The Torta del Rey is like a Mexican Dagwood, with fried beef, ham, egg, chorizo, avocado and about a half-dozen more items, grilled and stacked high in a soft Mexican bread known as a telera. Los Reyes de la Torta also boasts a juice bar with all types of fresh-squeezed aguas frescas — lime, pineapple, mango and so on. Or you can have six or more juices together in a colossal drink called a bomba, or add to the decadence level with a fruit and condensed milk creation called an agua cremosa. All of the fruit drinks come topped with little paper umbrellas, rounding out this colorful experience. ($)
9230 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 85020

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Lom Wong

Lom Wong
Allison Young
Regional Thai restaurant Lom Wong, set in a black bungalow at Second and Portland streets in downtown Phoenix, packs a piquant punch. Owners Yotaka and Alex Martin have firsthand experience with the robust flavors. Yotaka grew up in San Maket, Chiang Rai, a village in northern Thailand. She spent her childhood cooking traditional dishes alongside her mother and grandmother. Alex met Yotaka in Thailand, and the two began traveling the country together, returning to northern Thailand to dice shallots and stir-fry crab with Yotaka’s family whenever they had the chance. The menu at Lom Wong, which features dishes such as charcoal-grilled Thai sausage and eggplant in hand-pounded curry paste, is meant to be shared. Boozy cocktails complement the food well. Thunder’s Piña Colada includes fresh coconut cream and fish sauce, while the Bo Sang is crafted with vodka, lychee and rose water. ($$$)
218 E. Portland St., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Caldwell County BBQ

Caldwell County BBQ
Tirion Boan
Located in Gilbert, just to the northeast of Mesa Gateway Airport, Caldwell County BBQ offers some of the best barbecue in the Valley. Look for a red weathervane declaring “BBQ,” and you’ll be in for a treat. Park out back, and you’ll walk past giant smokers puffing out mouthwatering aromas as you make your way inside. There, you’ll find a cozy modern-yet-country-style space with wooden picnic tables and tin trays. Slide up to the counter and ask what’s available, as popular items sell out quick. Mesquite-smoked prime brisket, complete with a large-grain peppercorn crust, is a must as is the juicy turkey breast marinated in apple juice and butter. Meats are served by the pound; in sandwiches such as the monster El General Patton that includes brisket, pulled pork, and sausage all on one roll; and on sampler platters that allow customers to try a little of everything. ($$)
18324 E Nunneley Rd., Gilbert, 85296

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

El Rinconcito del D.F.

El Rinconcito del D.F.
Sara Crocker
There are endless taco options in Phoenix. El Rinconcito del D.F. is one of our favorite spots to visit, thanks to tender carne asada and al pastor and incendiary red and green salsas. But, El Rinconcito is more than a taqueria. It serves a wide-ranging menu throughout the day that includes burritos, tortas and huaraches. These oblong masa-built boats are a must to try, piled high with the topping of your choice and garnished with queso fresco, onion and cilantro. Full disclosure: From the outside, the building’s not a looker, but the hospitality and food inside are inviting, warm and comforting. ($)
8901 N. 12th St., Phoenix, 85020-3070

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Worth Takeaway

Worth Takeaway
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Mesa has quietly become one of the hottest new dining destinations in the Valley, and that has a fair amount to do with Worth Takeaway, a craft sandwich and coffee shop located inside a sleek-but-tight 15-seat dining room. Worth was pretty much an instant hit when it opened in 2016, so much so that in 2019, it expanded next door, adding another 15 seats. The crispy chicken sandwich is big here — a heavy hand-held bun of battered chicken strips dripping with a Sriracha honey spread and mayonnaise, topped with pickles and bibb lettuce, and finished with bread from Noble Bakery. We like the roast beef sandwich, too, and a few other items. But we'll let you find your own usual at Worth Takeaway. ($$)
218 W. Main St., Mesa, 85201

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant & Bar

El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant & Bar
Tirion Boan
On the hunt for top-tier Peruvian food? Head to either location of El Chullo. The original is located in the Coronado district, where the family-owned restaurant has been a go-to spot for arroz con mariscos since opening in 2014. A new location, just a few miles away on Seventh Avenue, opened in the summer of 2023. Menu items include a crispy chicharron de calamar, lomo saltado, ceviche mixto, and the arroz chaufa — a Peruvian-meets-Chinese fusion-style dish of fried rice. Another highly recommended dish, actually an appetizer, is the anticuchos — 10 hot, dense, chewy cutlets of marinated grilled beef heart kebabs. Eating beef heart is making use of an organ that would otherwise be discarded, so you can feel fulfillment in your psyche as well as your stomach. (The menu also offers vegetarian dishes like arroz chaufa veggie and veggie saltado.) The bar program includes cocktails like the Pisco Soour and Maracuya Sour, or imported Peruvian beers like Cerveza Cusqueña and Cerveza Cristal, all of which taste better in El Chullo's cozy, colorful dining rooms. ($$)
2605 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 85006

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Cocina Chiwas

Cocina Chiwas
Dominic Armato
Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are behind some of the Valley’s most beloved and buzzy restaurants, starting with the Tacos Chiwas taquerias and as co-owners of Bacanora, Espiritu and the recently opened Santo. With Cocina Chiwas, the couple has carved out something that reflects where they are in their lives and as chefs, taking diners on a culinary journey from their Chihuahuan roots to a seat at their family table. You can smell the mesquite and pecan wood that fuels the grill and oven in the open kitchen, which chars meats, the Anaheim pepper that’s stuffed with queso menonita for the chile relleno and crisp open-faced quesadillas. The space inside is comfortable and chic. The desserts are stunners. Try the sweet corn panna cotta — creamy, beautifully set and full of rich, sweet flavor from the corn that plays well against seasonal fruit. ($$$)
2001 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, 85281

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

The Farish House

The Farish House
Lauren Cusimano
Opened in spring 2019 on the offshores of Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix, The Farish House is a self-proclaimed neighborhood bistro, ideal for a date night or a quiet family dinner. Seated inside this 1899 brick home, you often feel as though you're dining behind the velvet ropes of a historic museum. Farish is operated by Lori Hassler, the former chef and owner of Radda Caffe-Bar in Scottsdale. The signature craft cocktails (we like the Farish Cup and the Cuba Libre) each have their own story explained on the menu. Recommended dishes include the Farish House Brussels with chopped chestnuts and Le Mac — perhaps the finest bowl of gourmet mac and cheese in town. If the burrata cheese ball is on special, order it. Farish House has a large patio and inside seating. ($$$)
816 N. Third St., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Kabob Grill N' Go

Kabob Grill N' Go
Kabob Grill N Go
If you’ve never been to Kabob Grill N’ Go and don’t know what to order, don’t worry, you’re in good hands. Because chances are that co-owner Hasmik Chilingaryan will be at the front counter to greet you with a warm smile. She’ll assure you that everything is made fresh in-house and that her husband, Tony, the recipe master, is a culinary perfectionist. It’s not hard to believe given the meaty marinated skewers on display in the case just waiting their turn to be roasted over live coals. You may even get a glimpse of the grill as Tony enters the restaurant from the kitchen in a haze of mesquite smoke. Regulars will also happily chime in with passionate assurances to promise that this is the best chicken, like, ever. The combos, which are big enough to easily feed two, come with more than a pound of meat, basmati rice, Shirazi salad, grilled veggies and choice of dip. The restaurant also offers wraps, but the combos are the way to go. And next time, you’ll be the one telling the new guy that this is the best beef, like, ever. ($$)
3050 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana
Pomo
Lively and fun, Pomo Pizzeria is the type of place that quickly becomes the go-to place for friends to gather on a Friday night or co-workers to bond after work. Since 2009, the pizza here has reflected the baking style of Northern Italy, where the crust is less dough and more crunch. Cooked in a pecan and oak wood-burning oven, the pizza has a rustic, smoky quality. There are at least 18 flavor choices, including everything from a simple Margherita pie to the Quattro Stagioni — a combination of sausage, cremini mushrooms, salame parma, Gaeta olives and Parmesan cheese. There is little room for error with the ingredients since the crust is thin and the toppings are fresh. But Pomo doesn’t just make pizza. The appetizer menu includes potato croquettes and eggplant parmigiana. Salads can accompany appetizers or pies. And for dessert, enjoy a delicate panna cotta or a cannoli trio for the perfect end to your Italian meal. ($$)
8977 N. Scottsdale Road, #504, Scottsdale, 85253

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hana Japanese Eatery

Hana Japanese Eatery
Jacob Tyler Dunn
This busy, family-owned operation north of Seventh and Missouri avenues is overseen by co-owners Lynn Becker and chef Lori Hashimoto, a true treasure of the Phoenix chef scene. The place is known for well-crafted sushi and sashimi — yellowtail, tuna, salmon, crab, albacore, and whitefish. We like the squid maruyaki, scallop edamame kasane age, Hana tempura and various bento box lunch options. Hana does not accept reservations, so diners may have a bit of a wait at peak times. Hana Japanese Eatery was formerly, and famously, BYOB. But the menu has expanded to include a selection of Japanese craft beers, sake, whiskey, cocktails, and wine. ($$)
5524 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 85013

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Feringhee

Feringhee
Jill McNamara
One cliche that proves true time and time again is that some of the best dining experiences are in nondescript shopping centers. At Feringhee, which translates to “foreigner,” chefs Sujan Sarkar and Karan Mittal aim to push boundaries with Indian cuisine. Start your flavor-packed experience with a cocktail such as the Cutting Chai made with masala chai-infused vodka or a Ghee Old Fashioned. Then get a sampler starter to share of multiple chutneys or different pani puri. The menu is further spit into small and large plates and we recommend ordering family style to get a taste of it all. The Kashmiri Lamb Chops are a stunner and don't miss the Black Dairy Dal. Many of the items on the menu are vegetarian and/or gluten free, so there's something for everyone. Finish your journey with sweet Galab Jamun Cheesecake with apricot murabba. ($$$)
3491 W. Frye Rd., Chandler, 85226

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Persepshen

Persepshen
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
After building a following at the Uptown Farmers Market, Jason and Katherine Dwight, a married chef-butcher and baker, opened a restaurant in late 2019 that is intimately driven by local farms and ranches. Reclaimed wood slabs gleam in the Central Avenue restaurant. Fitting the rustic dining room, much of the small plates and a few of the larger ones emerge from a wood-burning oven. Everything is scratch-made, right down to bitters, tortillas and ketchup. Jason butchers whole steers and makes his own charcuterie. Katherine makes magic from flour, water and heat, including a really nice gingerbread. The food is New American, with lots of touches from afar: China, India, France, Mexico, and so on. Reservations are encouraged. Customers may also call ahead with catering orders. ($$$)
4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85012

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Fame Caffe

Fame Caffe
Jackie Mercandetti
When an eatery feels more like a well-loved home than a restaurant, there's a good chance some excellent food is about to land on your table. At Fàme Caffe, that table is wooden, adorned with fresh rosemary, and topped with a small bottle of house-made hot sauce. Glance around, and you'll see basketed fruits, liquor bottles on full display, soft bistro lights, chalkboard menus and a community table that functions as a centerpiece to the dining space. No, this New American breakfast-and-lunch spot is not named after that David Bowie song. The name means "hunger" in Italian. We recommend the Croque Madame, the hearty breakfast wrap and the Frenchie Toast. Fàme's walk-up window has turned takeout brunch into a thing. Get ready to line up on busy weekend mornings, but the wait is so worth it. ($$)
4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85012

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Eric's Family Barbecue

Eric's Family Barbecue
Chris Malloy
Hungry for 'cue in the West Valley? The meats smoked in salvaged propane tanks behind Eric's are the best you'll find. The chefs at this joint smoke the old-fashioned way, meaning without the assistance of gas, a labor-intensive method that raises the ceiling for how good marquee cuts, like brisket, can be. In this spacious, cafeteria-style dining room and out on the home-style patio, that brisket adorns just about every platter. Slices come thick, broad folds pungent with the deep smoke of mesquite. They almost dissolve on your tongue. This is one of the best briskets and some of the most impressive barbecue in the Valley. At Eric's, smoked turkey (one true test of a pitmaster's skill) is subtly flavored and tender as can be, thanks in part to an infusion of sweet tea. Aggressively dry-rubbed ribs tingle with pleasantly warm spicing. Pulled pork is a more-standard-but-still-admirable version, everything you'd want in a shredded pile. Low-key sides and desserts, like banana pudding and cheese-dusted elote, call to mind the backyard barbecue fiestas from which this West Valley gem was born. ($$)
12345 W. Indian School Rd., Avondale, 85392

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Andreoli Italian Grocer

Andreoli Italian Grocer
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
At his shop-meets-restaurant in north Scottsdale, Giovanni Scorzo has assembled a wide-ranging selection of Italian food, including groceries, pastries and sweets, and sit-down-style dishes. Though not cheap, Italian flours, olive oils, canned vegetables and other larder gems beckon from their shelves as you wait in line. Under the glass case up front, you'll find sweets like chocolate-shaped tools, cannoli, and more regional Italian favorites like sfogliatelle and torrone, both strong versions and about as good as you can eat in metro Phoenix. Most people come to Andreoli, though, to eat on-site. The dining room that spills away from the ordering counter is casual but retains a formality (and an element of timelessness) you'd experience at meals in Scorzo's native country. Though he hails from Calabria, Scorzo's cooking often reaches from far southern Italy into the north: Orecchiette with broccoli, Branzino Alle Erbe Fini and Pizza San Francesco di Paola. Salads, sandwiches and a fleet of pastas anchor a menu that prizes tradition. A white board revealing rotating specials tends to delve deep into the annals of Italian gastronomy. As with any Italian restaurant that looks back in time, the kitchen is at its best with regional specialties and plates closest to the earth or sea, like the simple grilled squid with parsley and lemon. ($$)
8880 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, 85258

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Dick's Hideaway

Dick's Hideaway
Patricia Escarcega
The family of New Mexico-leaning eateries and watering holes along 16th Street is a treasured standby of the Phoenix dining scene. But within the Richardson's Restaurants family — which also includes Richardson's itself and The Rokerij — the inconspicuous Dick's Hideaway is a cut above. It's the type of place where you'll need divine intervention to find seats for a party of five or above on a Friday night, but the crowd is due to the excellent menu and bar program. Dinner options include the Taos Tenderloin, the New Mexican Surf & Turf and a green chile burger, while the bar cranks out pristine bloody marys and margaritas, and wine options known citywide. But the best thing about Dick's Hideaway is its size — it is small. (Seated at the bar, you can almost feel the heat from the nearby open-flame grill.) And keep your maps app fired up till you know you're in the right place; there is no sign. ($$$)
6008 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Lon's at the Hermosa

Lon's at the Hermosa
Jackie Mercandetti
There aren’t many white-tablecloth Southwestern restaurants quite like Lon’s, a Paradise Valley haven that delivers the total package: ruddy mountain views, a stellar bar, a broad patio sweeping out from a small brown inn accented with turquoise and, most of all, thoughtful food with deep roots in the Valley and its greater region. The kitchen offers standard and prix fixe menus that go deeply seasonal and lean creative. These bring crudo lifted by pickled plums, pork belly twanging with cider gastrique, stuffed pasta made from local flour. However, weekend brunch might be the best meal at Lon’s, especially when the weather hits right. Highlights include huevos rancheros, customizable margaritas and a monkey bread so yeasty and loaded with dense cream, caramel and chocolate that you might not need to order anything else. What truly sets Lon’s apart is that the space has a kind of timeless mystique and magic. It is the kind of place, even, that has open secrets: 1. Come the heat of summer you can eat down in a cool hidden room that is actually a wine cellar. 2. Pulling a stool and posting up at Lon’s Last Drop is a move that can could easily melt away the hours and make your day and/or night, thanks in no small part to the cocktails and tajin popcorn. ($$$)
5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, 85253

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Seydi’s Pupuseria & Grill

Seydi’s Pupuseria & Grill
Chris Malloy
Fast-casual north Valley eatery Seydi's Pupuseria & Grill has Phoenix hooked on El Salvador's most famous dish: the pupusa. This mother-and-son-operated pupuseria is run by Usulutan, El Salvador-born Seydi Flores and her son Jose Flores. At the straightforward ordering counter, you can choose from 12 pupusas — some with shrimp, with green peppers, with jalapeños, beans, melted mozzarella — all tucked inside soft, grill-kissed, handmade enclosed sandwich the size of a compact disc. We recommend the pupusa heavy with loroco — an edible flower common in El Salvador and Central America, sourced from a Spanish market in Los Angeles. Before you envision a weed, we're here to tell you it's more like artichoke, which vibes well with the cheese, jalapeño and corn dough. Other menu items are already favorites at Seydi's, such as the fried yucca, banana-leaf tamales and coconut water. ($)
2625 E. Greenway Parkway, #107, Phoenix, 85032

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Mariscos Playa Hermosa

Mariscos Playa Hermosa
Lauren Cusimano
The second-best part of Mariscos Playa Hermosa is the dining room and patio. The Sinaloan-style Mexican seafood restaurant was established in March 2002 by Jose and Maria Maldonado, both originally from the small colonial town of Guanajuato, Mexico. The scenery of their hometown shows in this beautiful, loudly decorated eatery. Chairs are bright pink and blue, with technicolored sky and landscapes painted across the walls and chair backs; nearly every color in the rainbow is represented in the decor here. The food stands on its own, though. The multipage menu lists pescado, aperitivos Mexicanos and especialidades — everything from a grilled shrimp Michelada to a seafood tower and all kinds of aguachiles. They also have fun at MPH. Pair your meal with a Serrano margarita or a round of Modelo Especial. MPH has a colorful patio for those who feel like soaking in the sunshine and pretending they are at the playa. ($$)
1605 E. Garfield St., Phoenix, 85006

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hodori

Hodori
Dominic Armato
Korean food in Phoenix has gone on a helluva run over the past decade. We’ve watched a smattering of barbecue and soondubu joints explode into a variety of culinary subgenres. But through it all (plus a change of ownership), jack-of-all-trades Hodori continues to stand tall as the grand dame of our Korean restaurant scene. It’s a casual, independent joint with brusque service, zero frills and straight-up good food for all. Want something sizzly crisp? Fried mandu or a sour, blistered kimchi jun will hit the spot. Seeking a comforting soup? Go with a clean, silky ox knee soup or any of Hodori’s excellent soondubu variants. Something noodly? Slippery jap chae or cold, spicy bibim guksu. Feeling fishy? Spicy seared squid or delicious braised black cod. And if you’re feeding an army? Go with bosam, a titanic helping of pork belly wrapped in fresh cabbage, or a massive cauldron of budae jungol — “army stew” — loaded with just about everything, including ramen noodles and spam. ($$)
1116 S. Dobson Rd., Mesa, 85202

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Old Town Taste

Old Town Taste
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
We've described Old Town Taste as a strip mall Chinese restaurant — easily spotted by the bright-red neon sign when cruising through Tempe — with a Sichuan bent. Inside the mural-walled dining room with turquoise booths, menus promise some exciting dishes, including the braised eggplant, Ma Po tofu and Szechuan-style blood curd. One of our favorite plates is the Chongqing-style platter. This house special is offered as chicken or fish, and both options are phenomenal thanks to the piping hot meat coated in thin, crunchy batter. The dish is further weighed down with string beans and chile. Anything Chongqing-style here will leave you satisfied for some time. ($$)
1845 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe, 85282

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Tratto

Tratto
Jacob Tyler Dunn
The best Italian restaurant in metro Phoenix is Chris Bianco's high-end but rustic trattoria, Tratto. Here, the Bianco team has crafted stunning pastas in shapes such as spaghetti alla chitara and tagliatelle using precise, intelligent local flours suited to the specific noodles at hand. At Tratto, the kitchen can rock out a classic pomodoro or cacio e pepe, sure, but arguably the more bracing, place-rooted gems are those that more completely embrace what Arizona can provide. Favorites from the rotating menu include the lamb ragu, the al limone (using local lemons) and the pastas entwined with the day's local bounty. Pasta, too, is just one element of Tratto. There are thoughtful starters, such as a chickpea fritter or some of the most unsung crudos in town. The drink program is unique and animated by similar ideas as Bianco's food, leading to a beautiful ride not unlike ripping down an Italian coastal highway. We're talking house-made liqueurs from apex local fruit and some of the most esoteric, incandescent amari Italy has to offer. Talk to your barman, and he will go as deep as you deem necessary. At Tratto, follow the menu's lead, which is directed by Bianco and the seasons, and you'll be in for a treat. This is a great spot for any kind of dinner and a great place to share soulful food with people you love. Everything is done with the highest intention, right down to the olive oil and bread, which is so good you could eat it until totally stuffed and go home happy. ($$$)
1505 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, 85006

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Mimi Forno Italiano

Mimi Forno Italiano
Tirion Boan
If you live in Laveen, you’ve probably heard of the outstanding neighborhood spot Mimi Forno Italiano. If you live elsewhere in metro Phoenix, this eatery is so worth the trip to the southwest Valley. The small restaurant often is bustling with couples on dates, friends catching up over pizza or locals stopping by for a quick snack at the bar. We recommend sampling multiple sections of the menu. Start with an order of Arancini, or fried risotto balls that are crispy and golden on the outside and creamy and rich inside. These baseball-sized treats are studded with mozzarella cubes and meat and served with a side of spicy tomato sauce. Next, dig into the pizza selection that includes both red and white options. The Contadina is an excellent vegetarian pie topped with artichokes, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms, or satisfy the meat lovers in your group with the Polpetta, topped with sliced homemade meatballs, ham and sausage. ($$)
3624 W. Baseline Rd., #174, Laveen Village, 85339

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Fat Ox

Fat Ox
Tirion Boan
Chances are you will have to make reservations to get a spot at Fat Ox. This fine dining experience is curated with special attention to the drinks, appetizers, and of course, entrees. The cocktail menu recently got an overhaul and now includes creations such as the Spice Queen made with whisky, chicory, black cardamom, turmeric and vanilla and the Green Gold which blends tequila with pistachio, cucumber and chimichurri. Both are a great way to complement the house bread that is served with a light ricotta spread. The steamed mussels and veal meatballs make charming appetizers. When it comes to entrees, the Rosso Creste di Gallo is a stunning plate of pasta made with red wine, dadelion greens, duck sausage, mushrooms and huckleberries. Go all out with the 25-layer lasagna or splurge on a steak. We're confident whatever you try will certainly leave you wanting to taste every item on the menu. Chef Matt Carter pays attention even the tiniest detail, and it shows. ($$$)
6316 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 85253

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Tia Carmen

Tia Carmen
Tia Carmen
The ambiance of Tia Carmen is intentional in its efforts to honor the Southwest region and Mexico. As you walk through the large wooden doors, you’re greeted by a down-to-earth vibe and quiet elegance. Chef Angelo Sosa wanted to re-create a reminder of his experience with his Aunt Carmen when he first learned food was his love language. The menu is not only a homage to his roots and to indigenous people but also a festival of culinary delights. Highlights include ember-roasted purple yam, chicken guisado, Baja striped bass, yucca brulee and native grain fried rice. Ingredients are sourced locally, reflecting Sosa’s desire to support the community. The entrees are complemented by craft cocktails, including the gin-based Hibiscus Desert Balloon, a yuzu and bergamot Paloma and Mi Tia, a tropical drink that honors Sosa’s family. ($$$)
5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix, 85054

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Fabio on Fire

Fabio on Fire
Dominic Armato
Too often, West Valley residents have to be satisfied with second and third locations of restaurants from other parts of the Valley that they first read about years ago. But Fabio on Fire, born and raised in Peoria, is a rare exception to the rule that can go toe-to-toe with anything on the other side of town. Hailing from Domodossola, near Italy’s border with Switzerland, Fabio Ceschetti comes from a line of Italian bakers, and his pizza sports the kind of developed flavor, blistered char and resilient chew that you only get from pizzaioli who are focused on the bread. But Fabio on Fire is as much a neighborhood trattoria as it is a pizzeria. Simple antipasti shine, particularly Ceschetti’s silky, fragrant house-made porchetta. His gnocchi are delicate and light and oft paired with rich, cheese-heavy sauces. And his fresh paste ripiene — such as veal-stuffed tortellaci in bright tomato sauce — or lasagne layered with besciamella and a thick, rich ragu are every bit as excellent as his pizzas. ($$)
8275 W. Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria, 85382

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Cibo Pizzeria

Cibo Pizzeria
Jacob Tyler Dunn
For a desert town, Phoenix has a surprisingly large number of Italian restaurants. Cibo Pizzeria (it's pronounced CHEE-boh) is one of the best. The downtown restaurant serves fare like signature wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, salads, saltimbocca bread, and fresh limoncello made from a family recipe by Chef Guido Saccone. But aside from the house-made pasta, killer burrata, and wine list, Cibo also boasts some next-level atmosphere. The lush garden patio is one of the finest in Phoenix — between the lights and the gentle chatter, it literally twinkles — and the 1913 bungalow, with its exposed brick, creaky hardwood floors, and soft glow from the windows, doesn't hurt the vibe, either. Reservations highly recommended. Would-be weekend walk-ins take note: It's usually all booked up. ($$$)
603 N. Fifth Ave., Phoenix, 85003

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Great Wall Cuisine

Great Wall Cuisine
Great Wall
Chinese food in the West Valley peaks with Great Wall Cuisine, a spacious dim sum hall where small tins of food trundle around on carts and every meal feels like an event. In the classic dim sum tradition, the food is Cantonese. Diners point to carts for Cantonese staples like barbequed duck with crisp, lacquered skin and tender flesh, or tangles of chewy lo mein with translucent fried onion and cabbage. Or dumplings. Or fried wontons. Midday on weekends, likeminded hungry people clog the entrance, waiting for their numbers to be called so they can be seated. Service is a joyous cacophony, a controlled chaos of eager diners pointing at abalone shells and fried oysters and melon-stuffed biscuits, of tong-bearing servers trying to find real estate on crowded, dimly lit tables. Dim sum in the Valley doesn’t get better. ($)
3446 W. Camelback Rd. #155, Phoenix, 85017

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Sushi Nakano

Sushi Nakano
Dominic Armato
This is what every neighborhood sushi restaurant should be, but precious few are. Leo Nakano was long a familiar face at Scottsdale’s Hiro Sushi, where he learned the craft from his father. But in 2018, the younger Nakano set out on his own, opening this tiny, unassuming joint in an Ahwatukee strip mall that slings some of the finest Edo-style sushi in town at a price point that’s an absolute steal for the quality. For a modest price bump over the mediocre Phoenix standard, Nakano offers a compact list of sashimi that’s meticulously sourced and cut, and nigiri that sagely highlights the quality of the rice, rather than treating it as a dull vehicle for the fish. Those who prefer American-style sushi will appreciate Nakano's maki. But better yet, if you’re seeking something creative, catch him on a quiet night and ask for some of his signature nigiri, such as salmon with a thin sliver of pickled kombu or kuro-dai briefly cold-smoked before serving. ($$)
4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 85044

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Sottise

Sottise
Tirion Boan
The quaint white bungalow features hanging string lights and a large porch. If not for the diners noshing on seafood towers and escargot, one could easily mistake it for a family home. But this French eatery serves specialties decidedly more sophisticated than what mom used to make, including a buttery, glossy gray Kaluga caviar that will set you back a cool $150 for 30 grams. Baked brie with Calvados brandy-infused honey and hazelnut vinaigrette, and pesto pasta with crushed pistachios and torn basil, are less of a splurge but equally delicious. Enjoy the French fare as you dine at marble tables. The bistro’s rustic interior showcases exposed brick, washed wood floors and green plants that climb the walls. And the vino here is just as good as the fromage. Sottise is the sister to Melrose District’s Progress restaurant and wine shop and boasts plenty of wine from around the world, ranging from a citrusy sparkling rosé to an organic gamay with notes of raspberry and plum. ($$$)
1025 N. Second St., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Geordie's at Wrigley Mansion

Geordie's at Wrigley Mansion
Wrigley Mansion
Many of the Valley's finest restaurants are hidden among the suites of strip malls or inside concentrated dining hubs. Not Geordie's. Guests dine at one of Phoenix's most stunning and historic sites: Wrigley Mansion, the 1932-built home of the gum tycoon William Wrigley Jr. At Geordie's the extensive wine list offers more than 12,000 bottles. Also on the grounds are separate restaurant Christopher's, five private dining rooms, a cocktail lounge and the exquisite Jamie's Wine Bar. But the best feature of Geordie's is the view. Wrigley Mansion sits atop a 100-foot hill, offering guests unmatched looks at midtown, downtown, Camelback Mountain, and Piestewa Peak. As you look around, also make sure to take a look over the menu filled with delights such as the Spanish octopus, Meyer lemon ricotta gnudi, and signature cuts of steak, duck and venison. Add one of the three caviar services to really elevate your hilltop experience. ($$$$)
2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Chula Seafood

Chula Seafood
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Established in San Diego in 2009, this family-owned operation started selling never-frozen fish by the pound six years later in south Scottsdale (a second location opened in Uptown Plaza in 2019, then a third in north Scottsdale in 2022). Sustainability is a big thing at Chula. The owners have a 68-foot Hoquiam harpoon fishing boat (aptly named Chula) on which they travel the Pacific waters seeking deep-sea buoy swordfish and other California coast species. But the flavors are why you come to Chula Seafood: the poke bowls, the confit tuna sandwich and the lobster roll. Or the grilled oysters, the Mexican wild shrimp, the Thai peanut noodle bowl — we could go on. But trust us, pop in to any of the three locations and you won't be disappointed. ($$)
8015 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, 85257

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hush Public House

Hush Public House
Jackie Mercandetti
When it opened in 2019, Hush quickly became one of the most exciting places to eat in metro Phoenix. It is the product of many melding influences. Like owner and chef Dom Ruggiero's signature oxtail-centric riff on a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, molten with cheese and showered with soulful giardiniera, all the elements here come together harmoniously. Then there's the room itself: intimate, filled with cordial chatter and nostalgic rock, cooking sounds and smells washing out from a wide-open kitchen. It all primes you for Ruggiero's food. The chef, who has opened other concepts in the Valley including fine-dining Fire at Will and Hush's neighbor Bar Cena, cooks New American food with finesse, character and soul. There are the crab-perfumed hush puppies to start, plus a cauliflower steak with coconut curry that will haunt your daydreams and a chicken liver mousse with seeming miles of depth. The menu changes a lot, sure, but what doesn't change is the kitchen's stunning facility with vegetables, fish and meat. With experience as a butcher, Ruggiero can nail a flatiron steak. Being a barbecue guy, he can smoke mean beef ribs. But being a Renaissance man in the kitchen, he can plate glorious swordfish steaks or ceviche, plus simple plant-driven dishes like hard-cheese-showered snap peas that honor their name. Reservations are recommended and can be made via Tock. Call ahead for larger parties and takeout orders. ($$$)
14202 N. Scottsdale Road, #167, Scottsdale, 85254

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Bacanora

Bacanora
Jackie Mercandetti
One man. One grill. One of our most fun places to eat, period. Bacanora has fast become one of Phoenix’s signature Mexican restaurants thanks to the skills of Rene Andrade who has cooked in well-regarded fine dining restaurants throughout the Valley. Bacanora is his sizzling, mesquite-touched, chiltepin-dusted return to the food of his home region: Sonora, Mexico. On any given night (or Sunday brunch morning), the menu offers just a handful of items, many rotating. One night there might be grilled octopus. Another, a version of the shrimp aguachiles Andrade sold in his youth. Beef is a Bacanora cornerstone, whether brick-thick steaks crusted on the grill or shards of carne asada — among the best in our carne-asada-crazed town. Masterfully, seemingly effortlessly, Andrade adds the touches of an accomplished chef with diverse experience to Sonoran food, slightly elevating dishes yet somehow keeping them as humble as those of trucks and family-run taquerias. His radish-and-cucumber salad is clean and light, lifted by olive oil and queso fresco. His beans are plump, stewy, and make you marvel at how much flavor beans can contain. His caramelo is phenomenal. Built on a crisp, fragrant flour tortilla, slicked with melted cheese, heaped with shreds of wildly rich grilled beef, it’s the kind of plate that might haunt your hungry daydreams forever. ($$)
1301 Grand Ave., #1, Phoenix, 85007

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Call Her Martina

Call Her Martina
Tirion Boan
From the outside, Call Her Martina looks like any other business in the fancy Scottsdale Waterfront strip mall. But inside, customers embark on an experience. Take a seat at a table in the modern black-and-white-themed dining room, snag a space at the bar, or hang out with friends at a large group high-top underneath glowing neon signs. Start with a couple of cocktails. The well-balanced creations are as beautiful as they are delicious, with garnishes of real flower petals and charred cinnamon sticks. Then dig into the meal. The stand-out guac comes complete with bright bursts of pomegranate seeds, cold creamy avocado, and the kicker — warm, salty, über-satisfying cubes of steak. Entrees range from extravagant charred octopus to simple quesabirria tacos, but make sure to leave room for dessert. The flan, topped with shards of caramel and fresh mint leaves, is both classic and fresh — and an exceptional end to a meal at this swanky Scottsdale spot. ($$$)
7135 E. Camelback Rd, #165, Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Sizzle Korean BBQ

Sizzle Korean BBQ
Tirion Boan
You may be familiar with Korean barbecue, but it’s key to note that things are done a little differently at Sizzle. Yes, you can order assortments of raw meats, and yes, there is a little grill at the center of each table. But here, the servers do the cooking. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show as the servers expertly move around the space, simultaneously taking orders and bringing drinks while keeping an eye on which meats need to be flipped, doused in sauce or served. It is possible to order individual meats, but the best value — and the most fun option — is to order one of the sampler platters. Choose either pork or beef, and prepare for a meaty meal filled with different cuts and flavors. Each dish comes with banchan, or small veggie side dishes, along with salad and steamed egg. Pair it all with a fresh fruit-filled soju cocktail or imported Korean beer for a celebratory evening. ($$$)
3720 N. Scottsdale Rd. #200, Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

CC's on Central

CC's on Central
Dominic Armato
Don’t spend too much time trying to categorize CC’s on Central. Whether you call it Southern, Creole or soul food (or, more accurately, all three) matters a whole lot less than the fact that it tastes really, really good. Mother and son Sharon and Devan Cunningham have roots in Louisiana and Mississippi, and it shows in dishes such as the gloriously light and bright shrimp étouffée, informed by tradition but not beholden to it. The duo's beef debris — stewed until tender and rich with just a touch of sourness — is outstanding when ladled over smooth, creamy grits. Excellent renditions of breakfast basics share menu space with wild concoctions such as Hong Kong-style praline French toast spiced with cardamom and fennel. You can get some knockout fried catfish on Fridays, Devan’s bizarre and wildly delicious wings on Wednesdays and Sharon’s soul food on the first Sunday of the month, not to mention whatever they feel like featuring on any given day. But whatever you get, it’s guaranteed to be good. ($$)
2800 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Thaily’s

Thaily’s
Chris Malloy
It might be the size of a walk-in closet, but the unusual mix of Cambodian and Arabic cuisine at Thaily’s punches far above its square footage. Run since 2021 by wife and husband Thai and Lee Kambar (Thai-Lee’s … get it?), Thaily’s two signature cuisines tend to cross-pollinate less than they cohabitate, with Thai’s Cambodian fare comprising the lion’s share of the menu. Puffy fresh pita stuffed with lemongrass beef skewers makes for a fine sandwich, but digging into a dish such as salaw machu — a sour, fragrant Cambodian soup loaded with eggplant — is a wide-eyed moment for any food lover. Curried chicken, whether in the form of blistered, charred thighs or a rich coconut stew, is always an excellent choice. Salads, meaty and otherwise, are beautifully balanced and blistering hot. And the prahok ktiss — a funky Cambodian ground pork dip flavored with kroeung, makrut lime and fermented fish — is an absolute must, studded with diminutive pea-sized eggplant and served with a platter of fresh crudités for dipping and munching. ($$)
444 E. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 85225

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Shaanxi Garden Chinese Restaurant

Shaanxi Garden Chinese Restaurant
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Fair warning: The lamb noodles at Shaanxi Garden may haunt your dreams. The tender cubes of rich meat are doused in a pungent chile oil and served alongside green veggies and thick noodles. Like really thick. Slurp up the signature inch-wide ribbons as you make plans to come back for more. This little strip mall spot in Mesa is a gem. On Friday and Saturday evenings, a Guzheng or Chinese harp player performs. But every day is perfect for sliding into a booth, ordering some dumplings to start and digging into the cuisine of Shaanxi, a province in northwest China. ($$)
67 N. Dobson Road, #109, Mesa, 85201

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant

Shimogamo Japanese Restaurant
Tirion Boan
Chandler’s hottest sushi restaurant offers a whole spread of sashimi, nigiri and maki, including sometimes hard-to-find options such as escolar, sweet shrimp and sea urchin. Crazy, modern rolls aren't really the name of the game here, though you can get delicious and sometimes unexpected sushi rolls, such as the Zen Roll made with spicy yellowtail, shishito peppers and yamagobo or pickled burdock root and topped with albacore tuna and spicy soy. Some tempura dishes are available here, and there's a selection of noodles and hot dishes from the kitchen, but the focus is fresh-from-the-ocean, neatly spiced and marinated raw delicacies served right from the sushi counter. ($$$)
2051 W. Warner Rd., Chandler, 85224

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Tumi 2.0

Tumi 2.0
Dominic Armato
Oscar Graham has opened (and closed) more Peruvian restaurants in Phoenix than anyone else. But while he tends to pack up and move around town every few years, his menu remains a glowing introduction to one of the world’s most varied and vibrant natural fusion cuisines. Tumi 2.0 — Graham’s swan song, he says — brings him back to where it all began, to the space in Mesa that once housed Contigo Peru. There are Japanese-influenced ceviches, such as his signature “Orgia de Mariscos,” a school of raw fish swimming in citrus and pisco. Chaufa — Chinese-Peruvian influences — show up in dishes such as the stir-fried batons of steak in lomo saltado, or mounds of fried rice. Italian pokes its nose into tallarines verdes, dressed with pesto and nuts, or aji de gallina, a rich Peruvian chicken stew made with nuts, yellow chiles and Parmesan cheese. And few can spit-roast a chicken like Peru does. Graham’s is succulent and deftly seasoned, served with fried yuca and house hot sauces. ($$$)
1245 W. Guadalupe Rd., Mesa, 85202

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Happy Baos

Happy Baos
Happy Baos
Restaurants come and go from the food court inside Mekong Plaza in Mesa. But Happy Baos, a little eatery with its own space just off the main dining area, is a mainstay. This spot, as the name suggests, specializes in bao and dumplings. We’re partial to the satisfyingly chewy handmade dumplings, and you can try them all with the 20-piece dumpling combo that features five of each of the different fillings. This spot also offers plump steamed buns and soup-filled xiao long bao. Outside of the steamed and fried parcels, don’t miss the Dan Dan Noodles topped with crunchy peanuts or the fresh and savory cucumber salad. ($$)
66 S. Dobson Rd., #112, Mesa, 85202

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Carolina's Mexican Food

Carolina's Mexican Food
Sarah Whitmire
This south Phoenix staple is a true come-as-you-are restaurant. It is almost shockingly bare-bones. There's no decor on the paint-chipped walls, no music. The stark white building's entrance leads straight to the ordering counter just above a scuffed wall. But those shoe-marked baseboards speak to the many overeager diners running up to place their order. That's because the food here — catalogued on the wall above the register — is exceptional. It's nothing a Mexican food fan hasn't seen before — burros, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas — but all those specimens are basically perfect. Need proof? The parking lot is usually full, and the booths of the cafeteria-style dining area are almost always occupied. More proof? Order the red chile burro, the super-soft beef wrapped with precision in a handmade flour tortilla. Get a tamale, even if it isn't Christmas. Go for the machaca enchilada. Arrive on Saturday for the menudo. And order a bag of tortilla chips just to try the famous, bright-red hot sauce. Carolina's has been around since 1968, when it was opened by Carolina Valenzuela, and it has held on at this location since 1986. There are several Carolina's locations around the Valley, but the Mohave Street spot will always be a Phoenix favorite. ($)
1202 E. Mohave St., Phoenix, 85034

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Alzohour Restaurant

Alzohour Restaurant
Dominic Armato
Alzohour remains, to the best of our knowledge, the Valley’s only Moroccan restaurant, so we can consider ourselves fortunate that it’s as vibrant and delicious as it is. Zhor Saad has run the restaurant portion of her dining/market/clothing boutique almost single-handedly since 2008, scurrying between the front and back of house as she transitions in a flash between gracious host and talented line cook. Bring a little patience and a titanic appetite, because when the food finally hits the table, it’s a sensory feast. Popular Arabic starters such as orange-scented hummus and baba ghanouj pave the way for steaming tagines loaded with saffron-heavy lamb or fresh fish braised in tomatoes and olives. Mounds of delicate couscous topped with tender meats and vegetables are always a fine choice. But Saad’s bastilla — a savory-sweet phyllo pie filled with chicken and ground nuts topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon — is a unique Moroccan showstopper that is not to be missed. ($$)
7814 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, 85051

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Matt's Big Breakfast

Matt's Big Breakfast
Matt's Big Breakfast
Never again will we see the days of the old Matt's Big Breakfast, with the wraparound line of hungry breakfasters at the original 800-square-foot red brick building at First and McKinley streets. The breakfast was simply too good, and the deserved accolades sent Matt's to a bigger location a block north, then on to additional Valley locations. But the menu has stayed true. The beloved Chop & Chick is waiting here for you, as are the scratch-made waffles topped with real butter, the cheese omelet, the salami scramble and bottomless coffee from the Roastery of Cave Creek. And lunch-minded diners need not despair: The Big Butter Burger and tossed Cobb salad are superb options for the breakfast-averse. MBB seats guests on a first-come, first-served basis. ($$)
825 N. First St., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Dim Sum Cafe

Dim Sum Cafe
Patricia Escarcega
All-day dim sum options are still few and far between around metro Phoenix, which is why Dim Sum Cafe is such a treat. This friendly strip-mall restaurant offers top-notch dim sum specialties like shumai pork dumplings, steamed barbecue pork buns, hand-rolled scallion pancakes, braised chicken feet, and juicy, made-to-order xiao long bao, or Shanghainese soup dumplings. If you want to augment your meal with something more than dim sum dishes, the restaurant also offers a wide-ranging menu of traditional Chinese dishes, with an emphasis on Shanghainese and Sichuan specialties. From the non-dim sum side of the menu, don't miss the terrific stir-fried pork intestines. ($)
2711 S. Alma School Road, #2, Mesa, 85210

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Binkley's Restaurant

Binkley's Restaurant
Debby Wolvos
If you'd like to put on a helmet and launch yourself to the outer possibilities of eating in Phoenix, book a reservation at Binkley's. Entering Binkley's is like entering Rivendell. Your meal unfolds over roughly three hours in a house on Osborn Road, the 12-plus courses and river of beer, wine and sake steadily flowing into the night, mimicking the rhythm of a dinner party. From the first bite, all your personal troubles (and those of the wider world) begin to feel remote. Everything stills, and you're in the gentle palm of a master: Kevin Binkley, who's handily one of the very best chefs in Phoenix. The playfulness, technique, seasonality, ingenuity, and ultimately the flavor of his food says this loudly and clearly to all those who take a seat on the patio, nibbling oysters with peanut spaetzle and ham buttercream. After the first few courses, diners move to the house's pub room for riffs on bar food. Tunes flow. Drinks bubble, fizz, and wine pairs harmonically with the food. Next, the meal moves into the dining room for a long, rich, mesmerizing finish. At that point, if you want, you can wander into the kitchen and watch Kevin Binkley cook and create, a maestro of meals that feel as brilliant and considered as a sculpture or painting. Reservations are required and can be made via the Binkley's website. ($$$$)
2320 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

City of Spice

City of Spice
Dominic Armato
After being disappointed by the Indian restaurants in town, the owners of City of Spice decided that instead of complaining, they’d open their own spot. Co-owner Azher Uddin and his wife, Bhoomi, both have hospitality in their blood, with their families in India running restaurants and catering businesses. At City of Spice, Uddin and his brother and business partner, Syed, want to provide a taste of home and are eager to share the cuisine with those who may be unfamiliar with it. This starts with explanatory slides rotating on the TV screens overhead that give details about specific dishes. The Uddins' dedication likewise comes through in their friendly guidance while you order — and in every bite. There are shatteringly crisp dosa and rich, comforting malai kofta — fried balls of potato and paneer in curry — as well as familiar dishes, such as biryani and kebabs, all expertly executed and bursting with flavor. But take a look at the slides or ask the staff, and taste something you may not have tried before. ($$)
2945 E. Bell Rd., Phoenix, 85032

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Pizzeria Bianco

Pizzeria Bianco
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Somehow, Phoenix is a pizza town, known far and wide for its innovative pies. Actually, we know how, and why: It's because of Chris Bianco, the passionate Bronx-born proprietor of his eponymous pizzeria. Bianco's pizzas date back to 1988, but since 1996 he's been in his Heritage Square location, serving Neapolitan-style pies to ever-longer lines and inspiring a whole generation of young American pizzaioli. Bianco won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003 — the first pizzaiolo to ever earn the accolade. Over time, Bianco has extended his empire to include multiple locations of Pizzeria Bianco, as well as other spots like Tratto, Bar Bianco, Pane Bianco and a dizzying list of collaborations and projects that culminated in his second James Beard Award — for Outstanding Restaurateur — in 2022. Nowadays, you don't have to travel far to find delicious wood-fired pizza in the Valley. But if you'd prefer to go to the source, Bianco's margherita pie — tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil — at his 42-seat brick restaurant remains as vital as ever. That wood-burning oven is still very much lit. ($$$)
623 E. Adams St., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Little Miss BBQ

Little Miss BBQ
Jackie Mercandetti
Little Miss BBQ is a popular barbecue restaurant — a very popular barbecue restaurant. It is the kind of joint where, while waiting in line, a piece of tape may get slapped over an item on the large displayed menu, exacerbating your order anxiety. But that's all part of the experience. If you're not on your feet, standing with strangers waiting patiently to order, your nose filled with the fumes of grilling meat, your stomach sucking up against your spine — well, you're not doing it right. Little Miss BBQ was started by a competitive barbecue team inspired by the barbecue joints of the Texas Hill Country. Sides range from the expected to the inventive — anything from creamy mac and cheese and coleslaw to jalapeño cheddar grits and a cold roasted vegetable salad — but the meat is straightforward and top-tier. When you finally get to the counter, you speak first with your meat man, ordering your chopped brisket or pulled pork or turkey breast or the like-butter beef short ribs (only on Fridays and Saturdays). Then it's on to sides and add-ons, such as slices of white bread. Spot the blue-and-yellow midcentury modern sign of the original restaurant off University Drive, and you know you'll soon be in barbecue heaven. ($$)
4301 E. University Dr., Phoenix, 85034

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Las 15 Salsas Restaurant Oaxaqueno

Las 15 Salsas Restaurant Oaxaqueno
Jackie Mercandetti
Las 15 Salsas is a Sunnyslope gem serving exceptional Oaxacan food and delicious cocktails. Its colorful patio, complete with twinkling string lights, only adds to the appeal. Start your meal with an order of memelas, or thin corn patties topped with cheese, or a Tamal Oaxaqueño with black mole and chicken folded in a banana leaf. The moles, as the name suggests, are not to be missed, and they come in black, green, yellow, red and Estofado, or stewed, styles. The drink menu includes many cocktails made with rare agave spirits, along with aguas frescas and hot drinks, including sweet and earthy Cafe de Olla.
722 W. Hatcher Rd., Phoenix, 85021

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Tacos Veganos

Tacos Veganos
Dominic Armato
If you typically avoid meat and other animal products, and you’ve lived in the Valley for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of Tacos Veganos. This spot often is recommended as a must-try for vegetarian and vegan diners. But carnivores won’t miss anything either. This Arcadia-area restaurant serves flavor-packed tacos, burritos and combo plates that are every bit as delicious as their meat-filled inspirations. Try the jackfruit quesabirria tacos topped with plant-based mozzarella for a veggie twist on a classically rich and greasy dish. This option has all of the flavor without any of the heartburn. We’re also fans of the hearty Arizona Burrito, which comes stuffed with rice, beans, “meat” of choice and french fries. Make sure to wash it all down with an agua fresca, or share a bucket of Modelos. ($$)
3301 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 85018

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Emilio's Tacos & Hotdogs

Emilio's Tacos & Hotdogs
Tirion Boan
A sunny yellow-and-hot pink exterior, a flashing neon open sign and glowing window frames, and bright Loteria-inspired artwork hint at the explosion of flavors on deck at Emilio’s Tacos & Hotdogs on 19th Avenue. Customers on the go can pick up their order at the drive-thru, but we recommend grabbing a table either inside or on the small patio to soak in the full experience. The Sonoran Hot Dog is the best we’ve found in Phoenix and comes with all the requisite ingredients, including beans, tomatoes, and mayo piled high on top of a bacon-wrapped hot dog. The tacos are great, the carne asada fries are a must and the thick bright pink strawberry horchata is an unusual treat that straddles the line between drink and dessert. ($)
13803 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 85023

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Citizen Public House

Citizen Public House
Tirion Boan
Don't let the name and the address fool you. Citizen Public House, founded by former Cowboy Ciao culinary master chef Bernie Kantak, may sound pretentious, but its stylish yet relaxed atmosphere and offerings of classic American fare with a delicious kick are nothing short of modest classiness. From picture-perfect scallops and standout starters like the luscious crispy sesame pork belly to the Original Chopped Salad (so popular it has its own Facebook page) and dreamy desserts, at Citizen Public House, deliciousness is in every detail. Whether it's an evening out, a pairing dinner, happy hour fun, or late-night noshing — all with the added enjoyment of a team that's as comfortable to be around as your dining companions — Citizen Public House deserves to be in heavy rotation on your restaurant playlist, particularly if you find yourself in Scottsdale. ($$$)
7111 E. 5th Ave. Ste. E., Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Buck & Rider

Buck & Rider
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Buck & Rider has opened multiple locations in recent years, but we’re partial to the Camelback Road classic. Make a reservation for a booth in the comfortable yet elevated dining room, or grab a seat at the bar for happy hour. Whatever you decide to order, the name of the game at this seafood spot is fresh. Whether it's Maryland crab or Alaskan oysters, everything is flown in daily from sustainably minded producers. Start your meal with a spicy tuna or crunchy shrimp sushi roll or some savory smoked trout dip before digging into your entree. Opt for the Shrimp Scampi Risotto topped with enormous shrimp from the Sea of Cortez, or pair a steak with your choice of seafood for a customized surf and turf. Make sure to check out the well-executed cocktail list, as well, at this swanky locale. ($$$)
4225 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 85018

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Origami Ramen Bar

Origami Ramen Bar
Origami Ramen Bar
In Ahwatukee, an Osaka native and alum of both Tsuji Culinary Institute and the inventive Japanese microchain restaurant Nobu has turned to noodles, rice bowls, curries, milk tea and a few other staples. One is Takoyaki, brown-fried orbs rich and soft and cored with bits of chopped octopus — just like chef Yusuke Kuroda’s mom made while he was growing up in Japan. Kuroda simmers a mean ramen, classic in style, and much better than what's found in your average joint. His paitan is creamy and satisfying. His rich miso unites a blend of miso pastes from Hokkaido and can hang with just about any other miso ramen in the Valley. ($$)
4810 E. Ray Road, Suite A1, Phoenix, 85044

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Francine

Francine
David Blakeman
Patrons are immediately immersed in European elegance when they walk into Francine. The exposed ceilings and bar take center stage, leaving room for seating that feels intimate and offers plenty of people-watching. The restaurant itself is a menagerie of bustling voices in an open kitchen, servers in formal attire, and a dose of patrons in sequins and sparkling dresses. It isn’t just about the atmosphere, though. The French cuisine is bold and sexy. Details are important to owner and chef Laurent Halasz, whose mother’s recipes lay the foundation for the French menu that offers glimmers of the Mediterranean. All dishes are presented like colorful paint palettes with herbs and edible flowers — entrees focus on including veggies, homemade pasta and rich sauces minus the butter. For starters, the beef carpaccio and the grilled octopus are fan favorites. Other standouts include the Chilean Seabass and the bone marrow bucatini. At Francine, expect both a visual and culinary experience. ($$$)
4710 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Pho Thanh Restaurant

Pho Thanh Restaurant
Lauren Cusimano
Pho Thanh Restaurant started off as a one-room show. (True heads still brag about slurping pho and chowing banh mi in those modest early days of the place; bigger props if you dined at Pho Bang.) Then it became two rooms. Then three. At some point, a connecting boba spot materialized. In a way, the growth of this Vietnamese restaurant near Christown Spectrum mall is consistent with the beautifully chaotic ethos of the place: There's no drink program and barely any parking, you squeeze into a seat where you can find one, and service is … let's just say no one is going to ask how the first few bites taste. Still, the food, staff and prices at Pho Thanh have remained mostly consistent over the years, earning this spot a loyal customer base of lunchtime diners and pho fanatics. The laminated multipage menu lists more than 160 items, the most popular being pho tai. After about 50 visits, though, you may feel ready to try other dishes. In that case, we recommend the bun bo xao and the bo xao xa ot, or lemongrass beef. ($)
1702 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 85015

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Cornish Pasty Co.

Cornish Pasty Co.
Mike Madriaga
This chain of English-focused, somewhat-metal-themed restaurants is either referred to as Cornish or Pasty, depending on which circles you travel in, but never entirely Cornish Pasty Co. (We're in the Cornish camp.) Around since 2005, Cornish has been known for its ... pasties — savory ingredients entombed in a flaky, baked shell with a crimped edging. Popular pasties include lamb and mint, pesto chicken, the Pilgrim, and the Cubano. Pro tip: Select a pasty, but have a backup, too. Some are so popular the kitchen runs out. Vegan and vegetarian options are available, as well as an entire B-side of the menu offering fresh salads, tandoori wings, house-made bread and butter, oven chips, Scotch eggs, and English desserts. Equal to Cornish's impressive menu is the vibe‚ especially at the original Tempe location. Always expect alternative music, a lively patio, and a short wait at the bar. Cornish Pasty Co. has multiple locations around the Valley and statewide. ($$)
960 W. University Dr., #103, Tempe, 85281

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Beckett's Table

Beckett's Table
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
This Arcadia eatery has been open for over a decade, a feat accomplished thanks to the efforts of double husband-and-wife team owners — sommeliers Katie and Scott Stephens and Justin and Michelle Beckett. There's something about Beckett's Table that raises the profile of the dining scene along Indian School Road in this specific part of Phoenix. Maybe it's the actual community table, which can't be missed upon entering the restaurant. The multi-seat high-top is best enjoyed during social hour, when a number of Beckett's signature dishes are on special — like the deviled egg of the day. Many menu items demonstrate the fact that Justin Beckett has been in the kitchen since he was 9 or 10. Favorites include the signature fork-tender short ribs and the city-famous fig and pecan pie. ($$$)
3717 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 85018

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Noble Eatery

Noble Eatery
Lauren Saria
We previously have made the argument that Phoenix is a bread town. A major player in our carb-heavy scene is Noble Bread. The bread can be found at Valley farmers' markets. But there's also an entire restaurant serving sandwiches of the same high standards. Noble Eatery, a wood-fired deli and bakery, serves midday meals on weekdays in the Biltmore area, and Noble Bread is available at the eatery daily — or at least until they sell out. The menu at Noble includes seasonal salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Our go-to lunch order is the tuna sandwich, made with a unique tuna salad packed with potatoes and beans and doused in a Cabernet vinegar and olive oil blend. ($)
4525 N. 24th St., Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Myke's Pizza

Myke's Pizza
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
Starting in 2016, some of the best pizza in the Valley could be found two nights a week in downtown Mesa at a sidewalk pop-up run by a guy named Myke Olsen. These days, some of the best pizza in the Valley can be found inside Cider Corps, where Olsen moved his operation in 2019. He now has a wood-fired oven that chars and churns out exceptional Neapolitan pizzas. He's open for business Tuesday through Saturday nights, and for six hours on Sunday. We like the arugula pizza, potato and bacon pizza, the tomato pie and especially the salami (that comes with some heaven-help-us spicy honey). Turns out, ciders pair nicely with pizza. Who knew? ($$)
31 S. Robson, #103, Mesa, 85210

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

ShinBay

ShinBay
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
ShinBay — the third incarnation of the omakase-style sushi place, now set in Old Town Scottsdale — has topped our lists of best restaurants since it opened in 2019, including being named Best Sushi in our 2021 Best of Phoenix list. And there's good reason why. Executive chef Shinji Kurita has made his home here, slicing and calculating near the 13-seat L-shaped bar. ShinBay hosts two seatings a night (at 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m.) at $250 a ride. Kurita's omakase creations include Japanese eggplant with miso and bonito shavings, slices of halibut cured with kombu, and chopped Hokkaido scallops with yuzu-miso, as well as sashimi and nigiri. The drink menu offers everything from a high-end sake bottle for $2,700 to rare (but less expensive) Japanese beers. It ain't cheap, and diners are asked to allow approximately two hours for the dining experience. But the experience is well worth it. Reservations remain required and can be made via OpenTable. ($$$$)
3720 N. Scottsdale Road, #201, Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Barrio Cafe

Barrio Cafe
Allison Young
Knockoffs and ripoffs are an unavoidable hazard of the restaurant industry, but if there's a silver lining to this phenomenon, it's that all the impostors only make it easier to spot a true original. Barrio Café — established in 2002 by Wendy Gruber and Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza and located along the Calle 16 restaurant and bar row cutting through central Phoenix — is an unmistakable O.G. gem. The bright decor and local artwork provide a delightful atmosphere, but the food is what seals the deal. Menu standouts include cochinita pibil, chiles en nogada, churro rellenos, and the well-known chef's tableside guacamole — famously bejeweled with pomegranate seeds. The food menu also offers numerous vegan and vegetarian dishes. Diners will also find Mexican beers, Micheladas and too many amazing margaritas to list here. Barrio Café has never taken reservations. The dining room is open and takeout is always available. ($$$)
2814 N. 16th St. #1205, Phoenix, 85006

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Vecina

Vecina
Jackie Mercandetti Photo
This fiercely original restaurant, which opened its heavy front door in Arcadia in 2019, is a gem from start to finish. A one-of-a-kind menu is driven by vegetables, rooted in Latin America and laced with countless dimensions of chile heat. It also drills down to molecular details like few other places in Arizona. For instance, elote, simple street corn, contains some 40 ingredients. Other dishes include unlikely elements, such as a beautifully pepper-centric habanero salsa that gains its creamy X-factor from butter. When you enter the minimal restaurant with a bar in the middle, you don't expect such a nuanced approach. What you sense when you enter is smoke — grill smoke that perfumes the restaurant from the rig in the kitchen, where mesquite burns and plays a role in almost every dish on the menu. Most of those dishes are small: potatoes with jalapeño crema, Peruvian-style hiramasa ceviche with an unspeakably lush coconut-based sauce, cauliflower crushed by 900-degree heat, a pepper-kissed romaine salad with Mexican Sriracha. Large-format plates go big. They've included a blackened pork chop with dazzling escabeche and, yes, carne asada rib-eye with thick ribbons of mesquite-perfumed fat. The beer list has rare finds, and a five-page wine list has options for every diner and every dish. ($$)
3433 N. 56th St., Phoenix, 85018

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Testal Mexican Kitchen

Testal Mexican Kitchen
Tirion Boan
Grand Avenue has gotten a lot of press for Mexican food lately, thanks to Sonoran sweetheart Bacanora. But just up the street sits Testal. This small counter-service spot offers intense flavors and soul-satisfying dishes from Chihuahua — as well as some of the most unusual burritos in town. The first thing to know is that you’ll probably want to order two for lunch. These burritos are quite small and come open on both ends, like overstuffed rolled tacos. But the beauty of their size is that you can try a variety of the exceptional fillings on any given visit. The bright red, rich birria is a must; and the spicy, cheesy rajas are some of the best in Phoenix. Thin slices of roasted poblano peppers add a slight crunch to the silky sour cream-based sauce and fluffy flour tortilla. This spot also serves bowls, tacos and breakfast. But the burritos are essential to the Testal experience. ($)
1325 Grand Ave. #1, Phoenix, 85007

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Source

Source
Dominic Armato
Claudio Urciuoli’s ethos is simple: “I don’t believe in expensive food,” he told our dining critic. As the name of the Epicenter at Agritopia restaurant implies, Urciuoli and business partner Akshat Sethi are focused on sourcing the very best ingredients while still offering a reasonably priced evening out. The kitchen lets the ingredients shine and makes plates that are stunningly simple and satisfying — grilled dates paired with parmesan and house-made bread; a chopped salad; pizzas with great chew and toppings such pistachio pesto that can be rich and comforting. Source is worthy of a casual weeknight dinner or a date night — and, with a well-edited selection of bottles, pantry items and fresh bakes, you can take a bit of Source home with you, too. ($$)
3150 E. Ray Rd., #104, Gilbert, 85296

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Earth Plant Based Cuisine

Earth Plant Based Cuisine
Bahar Anooshahr
Mexican food is often heavy on the opposite of vegan food: lots of meat, lots of cheese. Earth Plant Based Cuisine on Grand Avenue has a different vision, though. This small, family-owned business packs big flavor into its menu, along with a desire to show customers what going green and being vegan is all about. The tables and ceilings are made from wood pallets, the countertops and prep tables from repurposed materials. The friendly staff is eager to guide you, but in our experience, you can't go wrong with the street-style corn, the carnitas made with seasoned mushrooms, or the Baja burrito with beer-battered "shrimp." Save room for a milkshake made with soy-based ice cream and almond milk. ($$)
1325 Grand Ave. #7, Phoenix, 85007

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Virtu Honest Craft

Virtu Honest Craft
Debby Wolvos
Gio Osso's Italian food isn't afraid to reach beyond the boot, or even beyond the Mediterranean. His frequently changing menu has offered rib-eye with chimichurri and smoked swordfish belly with chorizo. But the bulk of the plates at this white-tablecloth restaurant on the edge of downtown Scottsdale are anchored in far southern Italy, though filtered through the New Jersey native's learned, slightly playful culinary mind. There are handmade pastas and hand-shaped gnocchi. There are ingredients such as Italian green barba di frate, tender and wild under crisp-skinned branzino. There are flights of obscure, ferocious amari. There are Calabrian chiles, blood-red egg yolks given by chickens fed red peppers, and bowls of pork ragu utterly astounding and wholly comforting in their long-stewed, homey depths. Virtu is a place for patrons who prefer more formal dining, who think they've eaten all the Italian food there is, or who simply want a reliably damn good meal. It is also an underrated destination for drinks. A deep wine list has some nice regional Italian finds by the glass. The bar manages to make even a vodka cocktail — the Ice Queen — interesting, thanks to strawberry-white-balsamic shrub, Champagne foam and black pepper. You can fly high with tartare and steak. Or you can plunge into the sea with lemon-tahini scallops or a blackened octopus that has become one of the town's classics. Best of all, you can noodle with great pasta. ($$$)
3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

FnB Restaurant

FnB Restaurant
Debby Wolvos
We probably don't need to tell you about FnB, the Scottsdale kitchen helmed by culinary sage Charleen Badman. You probably already know she scours local markets for common and arcane ingredients from our state's popular and marginal family farms, about how she plates food braiding gastronomic threads from the Sonoran Desert to South America to the Levant. You might not need us to tell you how into vegetables she is, or how she still cooks in her restaurant kitchen just about every night, years after starting in Old Town. And probably, you don't need us to vouch for FnB, because the James Beard Foundation did just that in 2019. Maybe, too, you don't even need us to tell you about FnB's drink program. Co-owner and beverage guru Pavle Milic curates one of the more interesting wine lists in town. Filled entirely with Arizona options, the list provides a crash course in the wondrous vintages of fermented grape juice our state is making. Maybe, too, you don't need us to tell you that the tucked-away FnB bar might be the restaurant's best spot to drink and eat. Maybe you know about FnB's quirks and lore, its layers of greatness. But we're excited to tell you anyway. ($$$)
7125 E. Fifth Ave., Suite 31, Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Cala Scottsdale

Cala Scottsdale
Allison Young
This signature restaurant nestled in the Hilton’s Senna House in Old Town is helmed by celebrity chef and Sanctuary alum Beau MacMillan. While he willingly handed over executive chef duties to Peter McQuaid, who followed him from Sanctuary, MacMillan’s stamp is all over the Mediterranean-inspired menu that flaunts farm-fresh cuisine with coastal panache. Start with a showstopping Flaming Saganaki or singular giant meatball before diving into fresh pastas or pizza. The Wagyu Bolognese is hearty and elegant; it can be made vegan with red lentils as the base, if you wish. And the za'atar roasted patty pan squash with cracked hazelnut dukkah is a side that amplifies any dish. The patio is packed on the weekends, but the bar at the center of the restaurant offers a great spot for people watching away from the crowd. ($$$)
7501 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, 85251

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Fry Bread House

Fry Bread House
Lauren Cusimano
The Melrose District, especially the Melrose Curve along Seventh Avenue in central Phoenix, is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city, chockablock with mural-covered coffee shops and colorful new bars. The family-run Fry Bread House is a longtime Melrose staple that far predates the more recent arrivals in the neighborhood. It opened in 1992 and has been serving traditional Tohono O'odham food here ever since. The James Beard Foundation-recognized eatery offers a variety of regional menu items like tacos, burros, stews, and tostadas. We recommend the signature, namesake pillowy fry bread — often stuffed with ground beef, beans, and cheese, or topped with sweet chocolate. ($)
4545 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 85013

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Glai Baan

Glai Baan
Jacob Tyler Dunn
This central Phoenix restaurant — the name translates to "far from home" — specializes in Thai street food and regional northeastern Thailand cooking. Chef and co-owner Pornsupak "Cat" Bunnag has roots in Bangkok and the Isan region of Thailand. That heritage is reflected in Glai Baan's tight menu of small plates, noodles and street food favorites. We recommend the kao soi, a northern Thai-style chicken curry dish, kanom jeeb (steamed pork dumplings), and Silom Road Moo ping pork skewers. And you can't tell anyone you dined at Glai Baan without trying the larb moo salad or the son-in-law eggs — a Thai street food delicacy. Pro tip: Parking is tough along this stretch of Osborn Road, so it may be wise to Lyft. Bonus: That'll allow you to try another one of Glai Baan's impressive cocktails. Reservations are strongly recommended for parties of two or more. Patio seating is available. ($$$)
2333 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, 85016

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Otro Cafe

Otro Cafe
Jacob Tyler Dunn
Otro Cafe, an early staple of Seventh Street's restaurant row in uptown Phoenix, serves New American dishes with heavy Mexican accents. The all-day spot is owned and operated by treasured local chef and all-around nice guy Doug Robson, also of Gallo Blanco in the Garfield District. The place has plenty going for it — a formidable daily brunch menu, salads you're actually excited to order, solid margs and a dog-friendly patio. For brunch, do not miss the Cajeta Flapjacks, topped with salty caramel and candied peanuts, and for dinner, it's all about the pork belly tacos. This taco (or tiny lettuce wrap, thank you) is a small brick of ultra-soft pork belly paired with cilantro and onions (though feel free to soak these suckers with the signature squeeze-bottle salsas available to diners). We recommend ordering three at a time. They're tasty enough to turn casual patrons into permanent regulars — us included. ($$$)
6035 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 85014

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Authentic EthioAfrican

Authentic EthioAfrican
Chris Malloy
During the pandemic, most restaurants switched from full service to takeout. At Authentic EthioAfrican on McDowell Road, the team did just the opposite. During the downtime, the restaurant transformed from a takeout-only spot into a sit-down destination complete with wooden furniture and decor brought directly from Ethiopia, a new cocktail list and a traditional coffee service. Individual meals are offered, but we recommend bringing some friends as sharing is the way to go. Combinations are served with an array of colorful dollops on a massive round plate and include meat and vegetarian options with tangy, rich stews. Try the spicy chicken doro wot, aromatic collard green gomen, or garlic-laden lentil meser wot. A salty and creamy homemade cheese adds a cool bite to the hot entrees, and everything is served with fluffy, slightly sour, bubbly injera, a flatbread that is at the center of Ethiopian cuisine. ($$)
1740 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, 85006

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Chilte

Chilte
Allison Young
Chilte is coming off a breakout year after transitioning from a food truck to opening in the revamped Egyptian Motor Hotel on Grand Avenue in 2023. The modern Mexican restaurant helmed by couple Lawrence Smith and Aseret Arroyo caught the attention of local foodies for its birria, which is stuffed into hand-pressed squid ink tortillas or a Benny Blanco flour tortilla and served alongside a savory miso consommé, as well as its mole de la casa and quesadilla with grasshoppers. Chilte also has generated lots of buzz outside of the Valley, with accolades from Esquire and Bon Appetit magazines. Contrary to the restaurant’s mantra of “Me vale madre,” the care and attention the team brings to their food is evident. Chilte’s menu changes seasonally, and the owners often host collaboration events with other chefs, making it worth a visit, and a revisit, regularly. ($$$)
765 Grand Ave., Phoenix, 85007

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

The Dhaba

The Dhaba
The Dhaba
This cozy, contemporary Indian restaurant, specializing in cuisine of the Punjab region of Northern India, is named after India's roadside pit stops, where truck drivers go for a cheap, filling meal. And true to its namesake, The Dhaba is an affordable place to relax and indulge in awesome homemade breads, tandoori meats, deep-fried treats and street snacks called chaat. The menu here is long, but there's a trick to trying it all. Order one of the three Thali options, which include hot masala chai, freshly baked naan and a house dessert. Pick between varieties of veggie curries or meat options to round out this complete meal. ($$)
1872 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, 85281

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Cafe Lalibela

Cafe Lalibela
Jacob Tyler Dunn
No one lives in Tempe for long without hearing, "You've got to try Cafe Lalibela." The husband-and-wife-run Ethiopian restaurant has occupied a strip mall suite for decades. Serving some of the best African food in all of metropolitan Phoenix, the eatery specializes in vegetarian dishes (though several meat items are on the menu) and is known for teaching many an Arizona State University student about the importance of injera and wat. Injera, or a flat sourdough bread made with teff, is served with most orders. And wait till you try this wat. The Ethiopian stew comes spicy or not, meatless or not, but we recommend the key sega wat (spicy beef stew). Do not fear, possibly unadventurous eaters: The menu comes with a glossary. The cozy, carpeted dining room welcomes customers, and Cafe Lalibela also offers curbside pickup. ($$)
849 W. University Dr., Tempe, 85281

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Pa'La

Pa'La
Dominic Armato
Pa'La has undergone an evolution, with a new team taking over the kitchen. Thankfully, the commitment to quality food remains. At the small bungalow on 24th Street, chef and owner Claudio Urciuoli served delicious bites on paper plates for five years. His casual cafe was a destination for a chill lunch on the shade-dappled patio. But now, chef Jason Alford has taken over and brought in chef Nick Bennett to lead the kitchen. The plates are now ceramic, the cutlery is metal and the vibe is elevated. Pa'La is more of a date night destination now, where customers can splurge on a special occasion. There are still bites of tapas on the menu, so diners can start with almonds or olives before they dive in deeper. Next, try the small plates which lean vegetarian and plenty of fresh seafood. If you're in the mood to go all out, order a whole roasted fish or a pork ribeye for the table. ($$$)
2107 N. 24th St., Phoenix, 85008

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Presidio Cocina Mexicana

Presidio Cocina Mexicana
Patricia Escarcega
Presidio Cocina Mexicana is an unsung hero of the Mexican food scene in Phoenix. Sure, people know about it and go for brunch on the weekends. But this place deserves to be celebrated. Tucked into a corner storefront in a strip mall off Thomas Road, this small eatery serves Michoacán-style family recipes. Pull up a seat at the bar or grab a table along the back wall of this long, narrow space and settle in for an outstanding meal. The Chile Relleno is a favorite that packs a spicy punch. The fried poblano pepper is filled with queso fresco, topped with ranchera salsa and served over rice and beans. Specials rotate, and if the mole is available, it’s a must-order dish. A pool of rich, dark mole negro blankets tender chicken in this deeply satisfying meal. ($$)
519 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, 85013

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Alebrijes Cafe & Grill

Alebrijes Cafe & Grill
Tirion Boan
Plan ahead, and leave plenty of time for your meal at Alebrijes. This Litchfield Park restaurant is popular and often requires a wait. But the food is oh so worth it. The kitchen focuses on Oaxacan-style Mexican food, with many of the dishes smothered in sweet, rich black mole or the slightly spicy red version. Stop by for brunch and order the chilaquiles and a coffee-infused cocktail. Or, stay a little later and enjoy a hearty burrito drenched in mole and paired with a fresh fruit-filled margarita. Make sure to check out the specials boards posted in multiple locations around the colorful dining room, which sometimes features spicy and satisfying bowls of pozole or sweet creations such as concha French toast. ($$)
4900 N. Litchfield Rd., Building B, Litchfield Park, 85340

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Rough Rider

Rough Rider
Kyla Hein
Tucked into the basement of the Ten-0-One Building, this downtown Phoenix speakeasy lives up to its classification. Those in the know head to the elevators and take the middle one down to the basement. When the doors open, you swear something magical is about to happen in Rough Rider’s dark and brooding space where the 19th and 21st centuries unite. The moody bar is a nod to a bygone era with wood furnishings and high ceilings. Cozy nooks throughout the expansive space provide intimacy for couples or small groups wishing for a bit of privacy while sipping on thoughtful Victorian era-inspired libations with quippy names such as Happy Birthday Mr. President and Garden of Edith. The food menu packs equal punch with a raw bar and entrees including chicory-rubbed duck and a bone-in pork chop marinated in black garlic. A fried cauliflower sharable gets a fish and chips treatment as the crunchy cruciferous vegetable is served with malt vinegar aioli and pickled onions. ($$$)
1001 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 85004

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Hapa Food Co.

Hapa Food Co.
Dominic Armato
Considering the plate lunch’s popularity, you’d think the local Hawaiian scene wouldn’t be so overrun with chains. Standout independents in Phoenix are few, and Hapa Food Co. is a tremendous recent addition. Wildly popular, the menu at Hapa is short, and the lines are long. Load up your plate with popular favorites such as sweet, smoky kalbi that’s heavy with char, pitch-perfect ahi poke seasoned just right or fried chunks of chicken smothered in a sweet, garlicky sauce that’s the best kind of over-the-top. Stalking Hapa’s Instagram page for daily specials is a pro move. And be sure to save space for dessert. Plump malasadas, fried to order, are stuffed with thick vanilla custard or a sultry purple ube cream, and occasional specials such as long johns or coconut snow puffies make Hapa Food Company one of Phoenix’s standout purveyors of fried dough. ($$)
5235 E. Southern Ave., Mesa, 85206

The Top 100 Phoenix Restaurants of 2024

Haji Baba Middle Eastern Food

Haji Baba Middle Eastern Food
Patricia Escarcega
A no-frills Middle Eastern grocer and counter-service joint, Haji-Baba serves well all who enter: students from nearby Arizona State, lunching business-casual types, families, couples and in-from-out-of-towners. For cheap and delicious eats in metro Phoenix, this place is hard to beat. The lamb tongue sandwich is one of the true wonders of Tempe eating; other standouts include the pita-wrapped chicken shawarma, baba ganoush, rice, hummus, and the Arizona pecan baklava. We're also big fans of the intoxicating aromas that have lived inside Haji-Baba for the past several decades. If we could bottle the scent of this place, we would. Seating is available inside this market-meets-restaurant as well as takeout. ($)
1513 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, 85281

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Progress

Progress
Lauren Cusimano
Dining at this compact eatery occupying the easternmost suite of the historic Wagon Wheel building in the Melrose District feels like a visit to Biosphere II: Loads of plants and greenery mingle with natural wood and light, creating an earthy experience unlike any other in the Valley. In June 2022, the restaurant merged with its next door neighbor, The Montecito Wine Shop, to become one concept: Progress Restaurant and Wine. The constantly changing, seasonally driven, five-course tasting menu is still available, but since the restaurant reopened, options are now served individually. So if you just feel like swinging by, grabbing a bottle of wine from next door and enjoying it over a plate of steak tartare, that's perfectly fine. ($$$)
702 W. Montecito Ave., Phoenix, 85013

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All Pierogi Kitchen

All Pierogi Kitchen
Dominic Armato
All Pierogi Kitchen was always good, but this is a place that gets better and better with each passing year. Though officially a Ukrainian restaurant, All Pierogi Kitchen is a charming family joint that acts more like a repository of pan-Eastern European comfort food, less concerned with precise borders than with capturing the meat-and-potatoes essence of the region. The namesake pierogi shine, thick and buttery, stuffed with myriad fillings, and they sing when paired with sausage griddled to a fresh, juicy snap. Meaty mains such as a hefty beef goulash or the beef plov plied atop cumin-scented rice are enough to fill your belly for days. The chicken Kiev, predictably, is a revelation, rich and buttery and loaded with dill, and the pork schnitzel puts our local German restaurants to shame. And if that wasn’t enough, the attached market offers a panoply of frozen pierogi and plenty of chilled soups to go. ($$)
1245 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, 85202

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Valentine

Valentine
Natasha Yee
Its Arizona-centric food and drink creations have brought this cozy and sophisticated Melrose District hot spot recognition from Esquire magazine and The New York Times, the latter of which was enamored with Valentine’s soft pretzel crafted from white Sonoran wheat and served with butter blended with Arizona-grown guinea hen fat and a hunk of local honeycomb. At this restaurant, the spotlight shines on ingredients sourced from the Southwest. Dishes include the lauded elote pasta with Hassayampa asiago cheese. For brunch, try the steak & eggs, made with Rovey Farms grass-fed beef and Two Wash Ranch eggs. At the adjacent speakeasy Bar 1912, sip on cocktails that pay homage to the 48th state. Bone marrow and mesquite smoke distinguish the Cattle drink, while the Cotton boasts pistachio extract, pistachio oil, pistachio milk and pistachio “cotton candy.” House-made pine liqueur crafted from foraged Arizona pine cones and tips is the base for the Forest. Save room for bar snack, including nuts, foie gras-stuffed olives and quail ramen eggs pickled with tamari, mirin, piloncillo and sherry vinegar. ($$)
4130 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 85013