Editor's note: This story was originally published on September 14, 2016. It was updated on April 27, 2019.
There are so many ways to eat meat in Phoenix. It’s hard to know where to start, considering the menu options at local steakhouses, barbecue joints, and breakfast spots. Whether you're a protein patriot or an occasional carnivore, you're in luck. We’ve done the heavy chewing for you. Here’s a field guide to eating meat in metro Phoenix.
Appetizers and Charcuterie
It’s almost weird to warm up with meat before a meal, but appetizers like wings and meat and cheese boards should not go unnoticed.
Plenty of Valley restaurants also have meat-centric appetizers, including the charcuterie options at Hush Public House, Pomo Pizzeria, Tuck Shop, North Italia, and that five-footer at The Sicilian Butcher. And, yes, we also have an entire list dedicated to meat and cheese boards across Phoenix.
Poultry is everywhere, and often fine, but we're here to tell you what's good — starting with wings.
There are places dedicated to wings (ATL Wings, Long Wong's, etc.), but you’ll find some great starter wings at Boulders on Broadway, Cornish Pasty, and as many, many will suggest, JT's Bar & Grill. In fact, we have a whole list dedicated to the best wings in town.
There's also the famous mesquite-grilled chicken at Ocotillo, and now, a slew of places dedicated to Nashville-style hot chicken. including Monroe's Hot Chicken and Mrs. Chicken. We also have a roundup for you of the best fried chicken restaurants across the Valley.
We all say we’re over the bacon craze, but truthfully, you probably aren’t going to turn down a cured strip of porcine goodness when it’s placed in front of you.
Rekindle your love for bacon with the Pig Dip sandwich at St. Francis, the Hog and Chick (do choose the bacon option) at Matt's Big Breakfast, or by adding a thick-cut bacon piece to your burger at The Stand. These options are, of course, in addition to the usual breakfast spots like First Watch, U.S. Egg, and Ranch House Grille.
Bacon also comes in other forms during breakfast. Try the Maple Bacon Donut at Oink Café, the bacon-topped doughnut (when available) at Welcome Chicken + Donuts, and the Maple Bar with Bacon at Rainbow Donuts. For fans of the Bloody Mary, try the Bacon Bloody Mary at RnR, the Bacon Bloody at Zinburger, and the Oink Bacon Bloody Mary back at Oink Café.
You don’t want to know how the sausage is made, but you do want to know how it tastes. Find a whole section of the menu dedicated to German sausages at Haus Murphy’s in Historic Downtown Glendale. Choose from the Big Smokey Beef Brat and the Kilometer, or try the Nürnberger Bratwürstchen, Guinness Beer Brats, or simply the Original German Sausage made with Thüringer pork sausage. And if you need more German restaurant suggestions, here you go.
There’s also a Sausage Plates section of the menu at Brat Haus in Old Town Scottsdale, including the Umami, Chili Brat, and Das Brat. They even have bratwurst options at Short Leash Hot Dogs, including the Bratwurtst Stuffed Pretzel, in which meat has been slow-cooked in Four Peaks Kilt Lifter with sauerkraut onion. In Tempe, Pedal Haus Brewery's grilled bratwurst bites are also a must.
To bring it to the Southwest, Dick’s Hideaway offers New Mexico sausages — four grilled Schreiner's Fine Sausage jalapeño cilantro pork sausages — on their lunch and dinner menu in uptown Phoenix. There's also just Schreiner's, and a number of other meat shops across town with sausage at the ready.
It’s about time we got to steaks, those savory slabs of meat you’re allowed to knife up and fork down in polite society. Metro Phoenix is home to a couple of well-established steakhouses, plus a few steak-heavy entrees worth noting.
Durant’s is perhaps the most famous steakhouse in Phoenix, allowing patrons to enter through the back door before entering the plush, sparsely lit dining room. The restaurant's broiled steaks and chops include the 20-ounce Durant’s Delmonico and the 16-ounce Humble T-Bone Steak.
Now get ready — here are some other classic steakhouses in the Valley: Dominick's Steakhouse, Steak 44, The Stockyards Steakhouse, J&G Steakhouse, and Keeler's Neighborhood Steakhouse. If you’re visiting Arizona and haven’t a taste of Old West flair, try The Steakhouse over at Rawhide Western Town, or the supper menu at Texaz Grill (we suggest the smoked prime rib — one of the essential dishes in Phoenix eating).
For a hint of the Eastern world in your steak, try the cuts at Roka Akor or Ah-So Sushi & Steak, which is one of those dinner-and-a-show hibachi spots. And for some Brazilian flair, think Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse and Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse.
We can tell you everything you need to know about barbecue in the Valley.
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Over in Gilbert’s Heritage Square, Joe's Real BBQ is a popular spot where you’ll find pecan-smoked meats and probably a long line. We recommend the BBQ Sampler Plate, the Meat Plate, and the Jumbo Sandwich.
For some central Texas–style barbecue platters, try Little Miss BBQ, easy to spot by the retro diner sign near Sky Harbor Airport or in Sunnyslope. The restaurant's award-winning Arizona oak- and pecan-smoked barbecue includes brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, and on the weekends, pastrami and beef short ribs – most of which you’ll receive on some butcher paper with a pickle. We once compared waiting in line for barbecue here to a religious experience.
You’ve probably seen a couple of Phoenix’s barbecue joints on TV, and for a memorable smokehouse experience, check out Bobby Q — that roadhouse-looking place visible from I-17 between Glendale Avenue and Bethany Home Road exits by strings of lights and smokestacks (there are other locations, but this one is the coolest). Wood-fired barbecue platters include St. Louis-style ribs, jumbo Texas beef ribs, smoked sliced beef brisket, and smoked pulled pork – plus the massive Whole Hog Heaven platter.