Phoenix Mexican eatery Chilte named a best new restaurant of 2023 by Bon Appetit | Phoenix New Times

Bon Appetit named Phoenix eatery one of the best new restaurants in America

Food magazine Bon Appetit's writers traveled the country in search of the best new restaurants. One Arizona spot made the cut.
Chilte, a restaurant that serves a rotating menu of "new school Mexican eats" made Bon Appetit's list of the best new restaurants in America.
Chilte, a restaurant that serves a rotating menu of "new school Mexican eats" made Bon Appetit's list of the best new restaurants in America. Allison Young

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The team at food magazine Bon Appetit traveled across America in search of the best new restaurants of 2023. After visiting eateries from Seatle to New Orleans, they settled on 24 spots that "represent the very best of dining."

As the only Arizona spot on the list, Phoenix restaurant Chilte made the cut.

Chilte opened inside the Egyptian Motor Hotel on Grand Avenue in February. Described on its website as "new school Mexican eats," the restaurant is the brainchild of chef Lawrence "L.T." Smith and Aseret Arroyo.

The concept has been around longer than a year, however. It started as a pop-up tent and later transformed into a popular food truck that served a rotating menu of dishes such as tacos, ramen noodles and Cubano sandwiches at breweries and festivals around the Valley.

click to enlarge
Chilte is located inside the Egyptian Motor Hotel, a trendy spot to stay on Grand Avenue.
Allison Young
At the food truck, the lines were always long and as demand continued to grow, Smith and Arroyo set out to open their own brick-and-mortar restaurant in collaboration with the Egyptian, an old hotel that was getting a major overhaul.

"The lively pastel interior at Chilte may match the renovation of its ’50s-era home, the Egyptian Motor Hotel, but the menu doesn’t offer the kind of reliably lovable (but sometimes a little boring) food typical of a hotel restaurant," Bon Appetit writer Serena Dai explained in the magazine's article.

The restaurant is open to the public but also serves hotel guests looking for room service or a pastry and a coffee in the morning. The menus rotate seasonally, but currently, customers visiting for dinner can expect dishes such as Yuca Frites with Buddha's hand aioli, Chilean prawns and chocolate aguachile titled Black Pink and birria tacos served on squid ink tortillas. These dishes are on the summer menu, which is coming to an end.

Fitting with the ever-changing menu, Bon Appetit's take ended with a solid recommendation:

"The menu’s brevity means you could—and should—bring a few friends and order every dish."


765 Grand Ave.
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