Restaurants in Arizona
No doubt, restaurants in Arizona offer plenty of good places to eat quality Southwestern and Mexican-influenced cuisine—whether that means cowboy-friendly steaks or grilled cactus that fills tacos, top salads, or is eaten as an appetizer. One not-so-gourmet—but beloved—Arizona restaurant staple is the Sonoran hot dog, where the frank is wrapped in bacon then topped with beans, onions, salsa, and peppers. But especially in the cities such as Sedona, Scottsdale and Tucson, you’ll also find a pretty international selection, and some of the best restaurants in Arizona. The Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon’s frontier-inspired design and weathered-wood exterior brings the Old West to life in this Tucson restaurant. Great mesquite-grilled steaks, ribs, chicken, and fish, washed down with margaritas to the twang of country music.
Not many people come to the desert for great pizza, but Pizzeria Blanco’s brick oven in Phoenix regularly makes the lists of the best gourmet pizza in the U.S. Be prepared to wait in line. Helmed by French-trained chef Vincent Guerithault, Vincent on Camelback is a longtime favorite in the Phoenix area is an excellent choice for classically informed Mexican fare, such as the rich, spicy duck tamales with Anaheim chile and raisins, or grilled wild boar loin in a habanero sauce. René at Tlaquepaque has French-meets-cowboy-cuisine in Sedona’s toney shopping plaza and is known for its rack of lamb, escargot and antelope carpaccio.
At this popular Mexican eatery, an expansive banquet hall adjoins an equally cavernous dining room. Vibrantly colored sails hang high above to absorb some of the mariachi music reverberating off the tiled floor—creating a festive and raucous atmosphere.
Sample a burrito filled with carne seca (air-dried beef) at this original location.
John Wayne ate here, so a meal is obligatory for all True Grit fans. Keep in mind: real cowboys order steak. And don’t let the kitschy steer on the roof put you off.
Despite its unassuming strip mall location in Paradise Valley, this tiny Japanese restaurant has an inviting interior with bamboo ceiling panels, decorative screens, and soft jazz background tunes.
Located 30 minutes from Scottsdale at the CopperWynd Resort, Alchemy serves New American cuisine amid panoramic views of the Sonoran Desert and McDowell Mountains.
You’ll find good hearty barbecue and smoked pork—plus plenty of old-timey atmosphere—at the town’s oldest continually operated restaurant.
This sexy Spanish hacienda serves American/southwestern fare with a spicy twist, like shrimp tamales (served with poblano cream sauce) and guacamole made tableside.
The lovable dive, has been serving tasty beef enchiladas for more than 60 years and three generations. Order one of their mason-jar margaritas and deep-fried, cinnamon sugar–dusted fruit “burros.” Even the fiberglass chicken statues are larger than life.
The artisanal, wood-fired pizzas (which come with toppings like rainbow trout and aged New York steak) strike the perfect balance between family-casual and creative cuisine.
Phoenix has many Mexican restaurants, but this one gets extra points for ambience, creativity, and affordability. It’s a neighborhood hangout, but instead of vinyl booths and plastic tables, it favors dark wood and Diego Rivera prints.
The View: Soak in two billion years of geologic history—layered in slivers of deep orange, dusty violet, moss, and gray—from the dining room at the El Tovar Hotel, set about 50 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
Head into the foothills for killer barbecued ribs.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the bar offers a special: mussels and a glass of wine for $11.50.
Located in Old Town, Stax Burger Bistro uses local ingredients to provide unique food combinations, such as wild boar burgers topped with Asian slaw and coconut curry sauce.