Unveiling Our 100 Favorite Phoenix Restaurants of 2020

Debby Wolvos

The Valley is a rapidly growing melting pot on the brink of something big. We're beginning to see some recognition for the cultural revolution taking place here, and much of the credit for that goes to the Phoenix dining scene. Every day, it seems, we see fresh evidence of a new eatery or chef pushing forward the culinary reputation of this sprawling metropolis.

Need proof? See the 17 nominations our chefs and restaurants recently received from the James Beard Foundation.

Better yet, check out the list of our 100 favorite Phoenix restaurants of 2020, which we published online today and in this week's print issue.

This guide — much like our annual Best of Phoenix issue — is the result of many months of research and boots-on-the-ground eating. We break down the Valley's best restaurants by name and price, adding details and pro tips for what to expect and order when you hit these places up.

A few notes: While the Phoenix area is home to some excellent farmers’ markets and mobile eateries, we’ve listed mostly restaurants here (with the occasional food stand or beloved lobster truck thrown in). While assembling this list of 100 restaurants, some of our favorite places closed (RIP Cartwright’s) and some new standouts opened (howdy, Vecina). Ultimately, we had to make some heartbreaking choices. Many great Phoenix restaurants didn't make the cut this year.

What did make it? Fine dining on the Gila River Indian Community. Authentic beef shawarma plated at a gas station. Top-notch bao served out a punk venue's kitchen. World-famous pizza. And several restaurants that make innovative use of our state's ancient ingredients to create an unprecedented style of food that we've dubbed New Arizonan Cuisine.

We've had our say. Read on, discuss, and plan some excellent upcoming meals with our guide to 2020's best restaurants in metro Phoenix.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.

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