While the Westside may be a hub for big-name conglomerates and chain restaurants, there are a few native eateries that have made a name for themselves among the residents of suburban Phoenix. From foreign fare to hearty country cooking, we journeyed past Central - and far beyond - to gather a list of five Westside favorites.
Have your own favorite Westside haunt? Feel free to share in the comments.
1. A Touch of European Café: Authentic Polish fare is their specialty, but the appetizing plates don't just end with their deliciously plump pierogi or substantial platters of kielbasa. The cozy café in the heart of downtown Glendale serves an array of fresh signature soups and sandwiches every day, like tangy chicken salad on thick ciabatta and chilly buttermilk-and-beet soup.
2. Mike and Rhonda's The Place: a branch of Flagstaff's famous breakfast joint, The Place in Glendale keeps it down-home, serving the tastiest French toast and largest homemade biscuits in town. Their signature hash browns are always crispy and golden and the service is incredibly quick and attentive. Go early, because the lines can get long fast.
3. Next Coffee Company: What began as a place for college students to work, study and play has grown into Glendale's busiest coffeehouse. The vittles are budget-friendly, the space is huge and the WiFi is free. They support local artists of all kinds (on the walls and on the stage) and we were sold even before they started serving alcohol: patrons can now order locally-brewed beer or funky cocktails (around $6) any time of day.
4. Mike's Rigatoni Bistro in Peoria has been serving genuine Greek-Italian cuisine since the 90s, and their reputation for delectable Mediterranean meals has only expanded. The bistro has the relaxing atmosphere of a Roman café, but the staff is always ready for a good party: order one of their flaming Saganaki (battered Greek cheese) appetizers, toss back a few Peronis and shout OOopa!
5. Vogue Bistro in Surprise: This strikingly stylish restaurant near Marley Park serves a trendy but affordable menu of American-meets-French dishes like the Blue Jeans Burger and Parisian favorite Croque Monsieur. Their starters are meals of their own, too; order luscious Foie Gras or escargot baked in a puff pastry with garlic butter.