9 Valley Chefs on What Phoenix Does Better Than Any Other City

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

From Chris Bianco's award-winning pizza to tacos on every corner, Phoenix has its food highlights. But is there anything that Phoenix does — when it comes to food — that's better than any other city?

Here's what Phoenix chefs say is the best thing about this city's food scene. 

What does Phoenix do food-wise better than any other city?

Garrison Whiting, executive chef of Counter Intuitive and sous chef of Cowboy Ciao

If you want a carne asada burrito and horchata at three in the morning, you better hope you’re in Phoenix. Mexican food, whether fast or slow, I think is the absolute best in Phoenix. Maybe even better than Mexico. Don’t tell them I said that.

Kelly Fletcher, Zen Culinary

Pizza. Pizza. I'm not lying, Pizza. We have Chris Bianco, who set the standard, and so everybody has to try to meet the standards of a [James] Beard-winning pizza maker. The pizza game in Arizona is beyond belief!!! This is something I don't think people understand.

Chris Lenza, executive chef of Café Allegro at the Musical Instrument Museum

Phoenix has an incredibly strong culture of support, whether it’s between chefs or even farmers and chefs. There are so many examples I could give here; it’s impossible to highlight just one. But an upcoming one is with the family farm On The Vine, who I’ve worked closely with for years. They told me they’ll soon be rehabilitating their greenhouse structure, so I offered to head out to Casa Grande to lend a hand. They are the only ones I know who grow cardoons, which are my personal favorite to cook with and nearly impossible to find. So it seems like the least I can do! 

Virginia Senior, chef of Urban Beans

We are defining the casual food scene, and we have a lot of entrepreneurial restaurant owners willing to try new things.

Jake Stucky, chef of Top Golf Gilbert 

I think Phoenix does a great job of taking the best of Southwestern and Latin influences, and applying them to classic dishes to make some really great fusion food. While Phoenix isn’t necessarily a foodie town, I think there are a ton of amazing chefs doing some really excellent food here. And we are slowly but surely putting ourselves on the map.

Kevin Binkley, chef of Cafe Bink's

Support steakhouses … can't believe how many are here. 

Cruz Robles, chef of Bevvy 

Mexican food, without a doubt. Growing up here, you’re exposed to so much good Mexican food, you almost take it for granted. It’s only when you leave and go to other states you realize how special the
Mexican food is in Arizona. 

Jacques Qualin, chef of J&G Steakhouse 

Food trucks. Maybe because like LA; we are such a car-based culture.

Jason Alford, chef of Roka Akor 

Phoenix challenges chefs. Most big culinary cities have been established, and it's easy to plug into. However, Phoenix is still building itself. A lot of talented chefs are being recognized as part of the groundwork.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.