What a month (and year) for the Phoenixland restaurant scene. We saw additional locations of local favorites (Over Easy, etc.), swanky-cool spots like the new Ofrenda, and our first Cold Beers & Pizza — as well as takeout and delivery-only concepts. Of course, more restaurants have left the Valley food world. Let’s get into the details.
Angry Crab Shack6360 South 35th Avenue
The Arizona seafood eatery Angry Crab Shack has opened its 12th location, this one in Laveen.
AZ Pho & Grill885 North 54th Street, #5, Chandler
The Vietnamese restaurant AZ Pho & Grill has opened its third location, this time in west Chandler. Menu items include pho and noodles, banh mi, and stir-fried specials.
California Fish Grill1855 South Stapley Drive, #101, Mesa
The first Arizona location of California Fish Grill, a fast-casual seafood restaurant out of Los Angeles, has opened in Mesa.
Cold Beers & Pizza4222 North Scottsdale Road, #102, Scottsdale
Neighboring the original location of Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers in Old Town Scottsdale, Cold Beers & Pizza serves thin-crust and Neapolitan-style pizza as well as Italian sandwiches and pasta dishes. The Square One Concepts restaurant will also offer more than 50 beers (draft, cans, and bottles), wine, and cocktails.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant7361 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale
The upscale-yet-casual restaurant chain Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants has opened its first western United States location in Scottsdale. The menu offers upscale American-fusion fare in the form of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and seafood-heavy entrees. There’s also a Napa-style tasting room with more than 60 wines to sample.
Fly Bye5632 North Seventh Street
Fox Restaurant Concepts' latest thing is called Fly Bye — a to-go-only stop-in over at The Yard. The quick-service spot keeps it simple, offering Detroit-style square pan pizza and crispy chicken. That’s it. Fly Bye is open in the former Little Cleo’s from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria To-Go7127 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has opened its first ghost kitchen, called Grimaldi’s Pizzeria To-Go, at the self-serve food hall Kitchen United MIX. The satellite kitchen offers pizzas, calzones, salads, cheesecakes, and more from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Luckys Indoor Outdoor817 North Second Street
A recent concept from Fork & Dagger Hospitality and Julian Wright, Luckys Indoor Outdoor is a roomy bar (like, 6,400 square feet) with beer and cocktails just off Roosevelt Row. Guests can pair signature cocktails like the Irish Bird with dishes from onsite food trucks like Salsa Bites, Cousins Maine Lobster, Eurhaus, From The Wildfire, and Estero Beach Tacos.
Moonbowls1900 East Fifth Street, Tempe
A delivery and pickup-only concept, Moonbowls has opened its first Arizona location at the Tempe Food Court ghost kitchen. The menu of Korean fare offers bowls like Korean Hot Chicken, starters like sweet potato potstickers, and house-made chia pudding.
A delivery-only restaurant, MrBeast Burger (launched by popular YouTube personality Jimmy Donaldson) is now delivering smashed burgers, grilled cheese or chicken tender sandwiches, seasoned crinkle fries, and chocolate chip cookies to folks in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Scottsdale.
Ofrenda7100 East Cave Creek Road, #151, Cave Creek
Cave Creek has a new Latin-influenced restaurant called Ofrenda (or “offering”) opened by the same team behind Taco Guild in central Phoenix. The eatery offers an extensive wine, tequila, and cocktail list, as well as pork empanadas, lobster tacos, and Tomahawk steak.
Over Easy1941 West Guadalupe Road, #105, Mesa
The local breakfast restaurant Over Easy has opened its eighth location, this one in southwest Mesa.
Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen313 North Gilbert Road, #301, Gilbert
Sotol Modern Cocktail Kitchen in the Heritage District is the first rooftop restaurant and bar in the city of Gilbert. The kitchen offers nopales fritas, Apache Soup, and Arizona Stew while the cocktails include the Passion of the Elote and Sotol So Good.
Tacos Tijuana4909 East Chandler Boulevard
The local taco eatery (and former food truck operation) Tacos Tijuana has opened its seventh Valley location, this time in Ahwatukee.
Thai Chili 2 Go1495 North Higley Road, Gilbert
The local quick-service Thai restaurant Thai Chili 2 Go has opened its 11th Valley location, this one found at Gilbert City Gate.
The Stone1870 West Main Street, Mesa
The area surrounding H Mart in west Mesa is filling fast with some great new (and many established) Asian restaurants. Another recent one includes The Stone, a Korean tofu eatery offering bulgogi, soups, hot pots, and more.
Tru Tacos PHX4041 East Thomas Road, #101
Tru Tacos PHX is a pop-up street taco stand set on the patio at Jewel’s Bakery & Café. Options include al pastor on house-made corn tortillas, carne asada on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos corn tortillas, and nopal on house-made prickly pear tortillas. There's also beer, agua fresca, and salsa. The stand is open from 6 p.m. till sold out on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday (temporarily closed till January 7).
Top Cup7115 South Val Vista Drive, Gilbert
South Gilbert has recently welcomed Top Cup, a coffee shop and quick breakfast and lunch spot. Menu items include turkey frittatas, sweet potato and cream cheese toast, goat cheese salads, and Caprese panini. There are also signature coffees like Macanilla, and classic orders like a nitro house cold brew.
(For a running list of restaurant closures since March 2020, go here.)
The family-owned, old-school Lebanese eatery Byblos Restaurant on lower Mill Avenue has closed. Byblos had been in business for more than 30 years, serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare. COVID was not cited as the main culprit; rather, it was the death of co-owner Samir Mirza in August.
Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria
The Gilbert pizza spot Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria has closed. However, the owning Scarnato family is said to be opening a new franchise concept called Vero Chicago Pizza in early 2021.
The G.O.A.T. Sports Grill
Despite opening this June, The G.O.A.T. Sports Grill has closed in northeast Mesa.
The Hub Grill and Bar
The Sossaman location of The Hub Grill and Bar closed on New Year’s Eve due to a kitchen fire. The bar and restaurant is closed indefinitely.
The Gilbert-based JC’s Steakhouse, which opened in December 2014, is closed as of December 31. “We have tried our best to stay afloat, but with the COVID restrictions and people not going out as much right now, we have been drowning and there is no lifeguard on duty,” reads an announcement on social media.
Kavala Restaurant & Café
Serving Greek-meets-Italian comfort food, Kavala Restaurant & Café has closed in Gilbert despite its Pastichio Bechamel dish.
See what Valley restaurants are offering takeout, delivery, and dine-in services with our Phoenix Restaurant Directory.
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