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.
The food isn’t fancy at the Buffalo Chip—grilled steaks and chicken, barbecue platters, baked beans—but this cowboy embodies radiates real Western charm, with live music, dancing and professional bull riding out back. Kids can even sign up for mutton busting (aka “sheep riding”).
The name says it all. Orange Sky restaurant was designed with the Arizona’s amber- and saffron-streaked sunsets in mind. Glass elevators whisk guests up the 15th-floor dining room, where floor-to-ceiling windows showcase 360-degree views of the desert, mountains and city.
Serious wine lovers will appreciate Kazimierz’s listing of 2,000 wines from around the world, which regularly earns recognition for its depth and value. Curl up on one the plush sofas, and pair an Arizona wine with a flatbread or charcuterie plate.
Travis Nass’ creative, yet not overly frou-frou drinks attract a cocktail-savvy crowd to the bar at The Heromosa Inn, a boutique hotel in the desert enclave of Paradise Valley.
Located in downtown Phoenix, Crescent is one of a handful of small venues in the city where you can see big-name acts and up-and-coming bands.
They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. Handlebar J bills itself as Scottsdale’s last “authentic Western-style steak house and saloon,” and it’s hard to argue with the assessment.
It’s all about handcrafted cocktails at this second-story speakeasy and restaurant. The changing lineup features reinvented takes on classic cocktails, including gimlets, martinis, old-fashioneds and retro punches.
The ever-changing lineup of drafts at O.H.S.O. feature a host of Arizona brews, including longtime favorites, such as SanTan Brewing’s Mr. Pineapple and Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA and the Scottish-style ale, Kilt Lifter.
This Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant and bar specializes blending exotic flavors, and its craft cocktails are no exception.
Arizona’s burgeoning wine county—located in the state’s southeastern grasslands—has gained of momentum in the past decade, producing an impressive lineup of reds and whites made from varietals from Italy and Southern France.
Just the mention of AZ88 to its devoted regulars brings the same response: Oh, the martinis! This place knows how to shake (or stir) a mean dirty martini. And they’re big—I mean double the size of your average cocktail.
The margarita is Arizona’s unofficial state cocktail, and with 10 salt-rimmed options to choose from at the Mission, you’ll understand why.
Mexico City’s street food gets an Iron Chef makeover from Jose Garces at his Scottsdale outpost. Hand-painted Dia de los Muertos skulls, glittery tabletops and boldly colored patterns provide a suitably vibrant backdrop for the satisfying collection of innovative small plates and tacos.
Owner Azucena Tovar draws upon her Central Mexican roots in crafting a deliciously original menu. For something on the lighter side, try the fig and panela cheese salad, and salmon with mango pico de gallo.
The adjacent Old Adobe Mission serves as the inspiration for this chic restaurant’s candle-lit, modern-colonial décor. Start with one of the ten specialty margaritas and almejas al vapor, a simmered hot pot of steamed clams, rock shrimp, chorizo, and yucca.