Lists

11 Great Hotel Restaurants Across Metro Phoenix

An assortment of Lylo's Asian-inspired bites.
An assortment of Lylo's Asian-inspired bites. Kristin Teig
All hail the hotel restaurant. What used to be reserved for guests who didn’t want to climb too far out of bed has evolved to include waitlist-only brunch stops, happy hour hot spots, and ritzy dining rooms with views that entice travelers and discerning locals alike. Here are 11 hotel restaurants totally worth checking out — even without checking in.

Lylo Swim Club

Arrive Phoenix
400 West Camelback Road

It’s easy to see why the cocktails at Lylo might steal the show. Designed by Ross Simon, mixology maestro and proprietor of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour and Little Rituals, the drinks menu is as playful as the poolside setting. Sips include a swirly rum-spiked play on Dole Whip and a bright and bubbly spagliato with strawberry-infused Campari, sweet vermouth, and prosecco. But the Asian-inspired bites deserve equal billing, especially the Spam musubi, shrimp tempura, and karaage-style fried chicken by the bucket.

click to enlarge The elevated views at Elements. - ELEMENTS AT SANCTUARY CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN
The elevated views at Elements.
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

Elements

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley

Elements at Sanctuary is no secret. Executive chef Beau MacMillan, who’s thrown down with Bobby Flay and cooked for Jay Z and Beyonce, helped put Scottsdale on the food map with his seasonal menu focusing on local ingredients infused with Asian flavors. (Chef de cuisine Samantha Sanz is no slouch, either.) Not only will you have an unforgettable meal — think braised volcano lamb shank with smoked eggplant, or black truffle lobster risotto with chanterelle mushrooms — but the mountain views are also so swoon-worthy that you’ll at least feel like you’re on vacation.

click to enlarge An out-of-sight dish from Virtu Honest Craft. - DEBBY WOLVOS
An out-of-sight dish from Virtu Honest Craft.
Debby Wolvos

Virtù Honest Craft

Bespoke Inn
3701 North Marshall Way, Scottsdale

It’s best to whole-heartedly hand yourself over to chef Gio Osso when dining at Virtù Honest Craft. The James Beard Award nominee’s frequently changing, three-course Mediterranean-meets-Arizona tasting menu takes your taste buds on a sensory odyssey. Journey through potato pillows of gnocchi with house-made sausage and chanterelles followed by crisp-skinned branzino studded with golden raisin gremolata and capped off with a salted butterscotch budino flecked with hazelnut praline. The romantic, old-world setting of the aptly named Bespoke Inn, an eight-room charmer in Old Town, only adds to the trip.


click to enlarge The Frenchy at Breakfast Bitch is all that. - ALLISON YOUNG
The Frenchy at Breakfast Bitch is all that.
Allison Young

Breakfast Bitch

Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix
222 East Portland Street

How's this sound for brunch: Mimosas — make it a flight — with a lobster benedict (the Boujee Bitch), French toast-style croissants topped with fresh strawberries and cream cheese drizzle (the Frenchy), and chicken on a biscuit (Bitchin Chicken), all served well past noon on a packed patio blasting hip hop. Lovely? Then Breakfast Bitch is your place. Warning: The wait can be hours, but the people-watching never gets old. Plus, on weekends, you can wait things out around the corner at the boozy food-truck patio.

click to enlarge The elegant dining room at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. - BLUE HOUND KITCHEN & COCKTAILS
The elegant dining room at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix
2 East Jefferson Street

At Blue Hound, start with the blistered shishito peppers, a flash-fried frenzy of heat and acid paired with citrus aioli. Follow that with bone-in short rib, a slow-cooked seductress bathed in red wine with citrus gremolata. But don’t call it a day until you’ve sipped one of its signature cocktails. May we suggest Blue Hound’s Old Fashioned, a hearty whisky sip with hints of mesquite, caramel, and anise?

click to enlarge Toro’s Surf & Turf Roll is a spicy crab, shrimp tempura, NY steak work of art. - TORO LATIN RESTAURANT & RUM BAR
Toro’s Surf & Turf Roll is a spicy crab, shrimp tempura, NY steak work of art.
Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar

Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale

Deciding what to order at Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar can be tricky. Ask the staff their favorite dish and you’ll get a variety of answers, everything from “You will not have better sushi” to the adobo rib-eye steak, the Chifa-style fried rice, or the surf-and-turf roll. On the drinks side, Toro has a damn fine selection of rum that’s 150 varietals strong and bartenders slinging next-level cocktails with Tom Cruise-like panache. Choosing where to sit is easy: Overlooking the 18th hole of TPC Scottsdale, where there’s not a bad seat in the house.

click to enlarge Fuego's horchata bread pudding is mammoth deliciousness. - ALLISON YOUNG
Fuego's horchata bread pudding is mammoth deliciousness.
Allison Young

Fuego

The Clarendon
401 West Clarendon Avenue

You don’t come to Fuego for dessert. You come for its signature beef and potato stuffed empanadas, slow-cooked pernil adobo, short rib enchiladas, and, of course, the flowing mojitos, margaritas, and mai tais. But then you order the bread pudding, because why not, and out comes a hunk of bolero bread soaked in horchata and cinnamon, heaped with chocolate malted crunch ice cream and doused in hot fudge and dulce de leche rum sauce. It's a monstrous dichotomy of hot and cold, creamy and crunchy. Before you even finish, you’re already planning to come back for the ancho chocolate chili torte.

click to enlarge The patio at Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn has views for days — and nights. - LON’S AT THE HERMOSA INN
The patio at Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn has views for days — and nights.
Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn

Lon’s Restaurant

The Hermosa Inn
5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley

The biggest perk of dining at Lon’s is the patio. A dreamy escape within a dreamy escape, the sprawling courtyard is surrounded by flowers, fountains, and fireplaces with frameable mountain views in the distance (and at night, the twinkle lights make it all dance to life). The ambiance has you at hello, but it’s the food that keeps you coming back. Highlights include the pan-seared Chilean sea bass, the wood-fired filet mignon, and the Tristan de Cunha Lobster Tails.

click to enlarge Hearth '61 at Mountain Shadows composes some really good-looking food. - CHRIS MALLOY
Hearth '61 at Mountain Shadows composes some really good-looking food.
Chris Malloy

Hearth ‘61

Mountain Shadows
5445 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale

There’s a lot to love about Hearth ‘61 at Mountain Shadows. The pedigree of the chefs — a culinary trio that includes luminaries Charles Wiley and Alfred Muro — is part of it. Then there's the kitchen’s centerpiece, an impressive, wood stone hearth oven that imparts a rustic charm and nuanced smoky flavor to signature dishes like tender short ribs with crispy Brussels sprouts and pork chops with tempura sweet potatoes. Finally, the ambiance: midcentury-modern decor and floor-to-ceiling windows offering scenic views of Camelback Mountain. Hard to go wrong here.

click to enlarge Litchfield's patio is an extra perk. - THE WIGWAM
Litchfield's patio is an extra perk.
The Wigwam

Litchfield’s

The Wigwam Arizona
300 East Wigwam Boulevard, Litchfield Park

Litchfield’s, nestled inside the historic Wigwam resort, is full of surprises. At first glance, it's simply a steakhouse with a cowboy-sized “cowboy rib-eye” as the show-stopper. But peruse the menu closer and it’s singing with nuanced creations, like perfectly tender Kurobuta pork cheeks, Mexican grouper spiked with chile oil, and homemade pappardelle with king trumpet mushrooms. The biggest surprise, though, is the wine list — a robust revelry through France, Italy, and California that traverses from whites to old world wines, with servers schooled in the subtleties. No wonder it was awarded the 2020 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

click to enlarge Just pray the goat cheese gelato is in season. - CANOPY BY HILTON TEMPE DOWNTOWN
Just pray the goat cheese gelato is in season.
Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown

Alter Ego

108 East University Drive, Tempe

Alter Ego, located on the ground floor of Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown, impresses. Veteran Valley chef Ken Arneson oversees the kitchen here, ensuring guests are treated to well-executed specialties like the skirt steak chimichurri, the katsu chicken sandwich, and sweet Thai shishito peppers. Don't even get us started on the goat cheese gelato, mixed with fresh berries and served with the In "The Pot" Cobbler. Part of Alter Ego's menu is seasonal, so you may not get to try everything mentioned above. But some of Alter Ego's food also can be ordered up to the hotel's rooftop bar counterpart, meaning you can enjoy dishes like the Filipino-style empanadas while sipping the joint's signature cocktails.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.
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Allison Young has written about food, nutrition, and travel for Sunset, Women’s Health, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Mindbodygreen, and Prevention. Her local jam is food writing, where she happily eats her way across the Valley to discover the best hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, pizza joints, and the latest Phoenix food trends. She also loves to pick Valley chef’s brains for their favorite food finds. On her website, TheGlitterList.com, she posts one thing she’s looking forward to each day, from food to books and podcasts.
Contact: Allison Young