Sure, there's still room for improvement, but downtown Phoenix's dining scene is slowly -- slowly -- coming into its own.
At the moment, the five best restaurants downtown feature noteworthy chefs (including two James Beard Award winners) expertly crafting dishes from around the world made with only the best ingredients. And although the food may be first-class, the casual urban settings make it easy to relax and enjoy the experience -- especially with a cocktail in hand.
Pay them a visit and see for yourself.
See also: - 5 Best Restaurants in Mesa Right Now - 5 Best Restaurants in Sunnyslope Right Now - 5 Best Restaurants in Tempe Right Now - 5 Best Restaurants in North Scottsdale Right Now - 5 Best Restaurants in South Phoenix Right Now
Located on the second floor of the Hotel Palomar at CityScape, this urban gathering place, like its contemporary American fare, blends sophistication and familiarity along with a solid selection of signature cocktails. Excellent dishes like Kentucky fried quail, Tuscan seafood "chowda," and wild mushroom flatbread come courtesy of chef Stephen Jones. Floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio make it easy to enjoy the city along with the food and drink.
Pomo's new downtown location is almost as perfect as its certified authentic Neapolitan pizza. It's stylish interior and Vespa-lined patio play home to outstanding pies with super-thin crusts like the Regina Margherita with its creamy bufala mozzarella and the Diavola laden with spicy Italian salame. And (bonus) Pomo's housemade limoncello pairs well with everything.
Dwayne Allen and chef Daniele Leoni's easygoing Jamaican restaurant is Caribbean cuisine at its most crave-worthy. Here, you'll find well-crafted plates of spicy rum-glazed prawns, fragrant coconut curried tofu, and jerk chicken fresh off the grill and alongside roasted farm vegetables. And with over 100 rum drinks at the adjacent Rum Bar, it pretty much goes without saying adult libations are in order.
James Beard Award winner Chris Bianco's Heritage Square eatery has pretty much secured its place in history as a pilgrimage-worthy destination for some of the best gourmet pizza in the country. The wood-fired crusts, made with organic flour, are chewy and blistered in all the right places and come with crave-worthy toppings like fresh mozzarella and homemade sausage. And thanks to its recently extended hours, scoring primo pies like the Wiseguy or Sonny Boy can happen sans a two-hour wait time.
James Beard Award winner Nobuo Fukuda offers the closest thing to a real izakaya (a casual Japanese eating and drinking establishment) this side of the Land of Rising Sun. Sourcing prime ingredients and combining them in simple yet inventive ways, his dishes are no less than exemplary works of culinary art. During the day, there may be offerings of warm duck salad or a luscious panko-fried soft shell club sandwich. And at night, there are spectacular small plates and a reservation-only omakase experience you'll probably talk about for weeks.
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