This isn’t a guide to the fanciest food in town. We aren’t trying to be like the Michelin Guide. We’re normal people, who just like really, really good food. What follows is what we believe is the best food in Phoenix– we ignore factors like the pedigree of the chef and the price level. Our sole criterion is how good it tastes.
1. St. Francis Restaurant
- They offer Happy Hour everyday from 5pm-6pm, free meals for kids and a seasonal menu that incorporates the freshest ingredients available
- Chosen by OpenTable as Diner’s Choice in 2015, Best Bread in 2012 by AZ Republic, 2011 Best Happy Hour by New Times, and chosen as Restaurants with Great Kids Meal by AZ Foothills Magazine
- The fingerling potatoes are to dire for – love love love the lemon aioli it’s served with
2. Pizzeria Bianco
- Chris Bianco, James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003 winner and owner, started Pizzeria Bianco inside the back corner of a neighborhood grocery store in 1988 and now has 2 locations in Phoenix including an expanded menu with pasta and entrees at Town & Country
- The New York Times call the pizza “perhaps the best in America” in 2004, Rachael Ray declared Pizzeria Bianco the winner of her Pizza Madness Bracket – a contest of pizzerias across the nation in 2010, Food & Wine has labeled Chris’ pizza as “arguably the best pizza in America” on June 2005 and June 2009, and Zagat named Chris as one of the 6 chefs who changed pizza
3. Veggie Village
- Phenomenal vegan spot, especially if you are craving vegan meats
- We’re huge fans of the (mock) orange chicken, the fried enoki mushroom and the general tso / sesame mushrooms.
Set in a restored 1913 bungalow, Cibo (pronounced “CHEE-boh”) has hardwood floors, exposed brick, a stained-glass panel and a fireplace to set the mood while revitalizing the downtown Phoenix area with beautiful salads, antipasto, artisanal pizzas and housemade fresh pasta.
- The live music and twinkle lights outside get us everytime
- Cap off your meal with a nutella strawberry banana crepe
5. Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
- It’s like Chipotle for Enchiladas
- We recommend trying goat cheese on your enchiladas – it’s surprisingly good
- Excellent green sauce – it’s our go-to choice
6. Pomo Pizzeria
- Certified by Verace Pizza Napoletana and Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, Pomo Pizzeria offers one of the most authentic Italian dining experience outside of Italy itself
- Every time we go they’ve given us fried dough crisps at the end of our meal and they are fantastic
7. Phoenix Public Market Cafe
- Casual urban hangout offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They serve fresh market cuisine crafted with seasonal ingredients, many sourced directly from the adjacent farmer’s market
- Their simple, health-focused menu includes hearty sandwiches on house-baked bread, crisp salads, and fresh-baked pastries
8. Nandini Indian Cuisine
- Excellent buffet spot –
- Solid paneer tikka, malai kofta and the garlic naan is great, though it’s hard to mess up garlic naan
- They’ve got a fully stocked bar, offer expertly prepared appetizers, pastas, seasonal vegetables, excellent entrees and their deserts are to die for.
- We’re fans of the fresh seasonal sorbet and the creme brule
10. PHX Burrito House
Address: 4140 N 7th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85013
Phone: (60 2) 265-1274
Yelp: 4.5 stars with 400+ reviews
- Love the burritos here, but the horchata and margaritas are great as well
- Fresh, high quality ingredients reduce the guilt of scarfing down a giant burrito
11. Oregano’s Pizza Bistro
- Owner Mark S. Russel’s grandmother, a great traditional cook, taught his father the secrets of her pizza and many other family recipes. His dad, on the other hand, liked to experiment and actually started using fresh vegetables and whole wheat in his recipes (to the horror of his mother), long before it was in vogue. With the secrets passed on, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro was born.
- Excellent thin crust pizza
- The pizza cookie is a fun dessert
12. The Mission Old Town
- Homemade tortillas, Arepas, and Salsas are made fresh daily and all meats are prepared on a Plancha or a grill using pecan and mesquite wood that instills a rich flavor
- Definitely recommend ordering the table side guac
13. Chanpen Thai Cuisine
- One of our favorite thai spots in town
- Excellent pad thai and coconut ice cream dessert
14. Federal Pizza
Housed in the restored 1950’s First Federal Bank building designed by Al Beadle, Federal Pizza is a midcentury-meets-modern restaurant specializing in wood fired pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and salads. Also not to miss are their selection of wines, old school wine coolers and craft beer on tap and in bottles.
- They have specials like the Monday & Tuesday night where you get one pizza and house bottle of wine or two pitchers of beer for just $20 from 8pm – 11pm and the double down lunchtime where you get ½ pizza and a salad of your choice for $10.50 from 11am – 4pm, 7 days a week
- Brussels Sprouts pizza is a true gem, unique and delicious
Address: 1513 E Apache Blvd Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: (480) 894-1905
Yelp: 4.5 stars with 600+ reviews
- Great, no-nonsense spot for Mediterranean food
- Huge portions, great prices
- They’ve got some of the best baklava we’ve ever had
16. Green New American Vegetarian
- 100% vegan
- Great spot for grabbing your favorite comfort foods done vegan
- Owner Chef Damon Brasch’s sweet treats are made with unrefined, unbleached organic ingredients. Green’s “famous” VEGAN soft serve ice cream is prepared daily in his kitchen, so he can be sure it’s always perfect
- The house made veggie burger is hand packed, cooked to order and served on a freshly toasted bun
17. La Grande Orange Pizzeria
- One of our favorites when we’re craving pizza
- We’re fans of the sourdough crust and Mushroom Party
18. Fry Bread House
Address: 4545 N 7th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85013
Phone: (602) 351-2345
Yelp: 4 stars with 300+ reviews
- Six words of advice: try the fry bread with honey
- More words of advice: Fry bread is great with almost anything
19. OHSO Brewery
Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost (O.H.S.O.) is a restaurant, local nano-brewery and dog-friendly social hot-spot located in Arcadia and many patrons bike to the bar as it’s located right by a scenic canal. They have over 40+ beers on tap as well as wine and house cocktails. They have a huge back patio with orange umbrellas and bikes set up so that when the wheels spin misters go off. O.H.S.O. is a very hip place.
20. Pasto di Forno
They have varieties of bread baked on a daily basis including French baguettes, ciabatta bread, and sourdough boules. They are dedicated to crafting the most delicious and fresh flat breads in the Scottsdale area. Whether the bread is enjoyed on its own or made into a sandwich, you will be able to tell the difference that it was made from scratch
- Dessert, coffee, sandwiches are all also made from scratch
21. The Dhaba
- Solid Indian spot in Tempe
- They offer vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and Halal choices
- Excellent makhni dishes – we love the paneer makhni here
22. Crêpe Bar
Their crêpes are made fresh-to-order and incorporate seasonal ingredients thoughtfully sourced from some of the top farms in Arizona and the region. Open for breakfast and lunch, they also offer an exceptional selection of espresso, coffee, and teas sourced from a carefully curated list of purveyors.
- Was featured in Phoenix Magazine March 2017, 100 Favorite Dishes in Phoenix New Times, 5 Elevated Desserts in Scottsdale Modern Luxury, etc. and was awarded Best Place To Take A Scenester 2016 by Phoenix New Times Best Of Awards, July 2015 Ripe Awards Winner, Best Crepes 2012-2014 by Phoenix New Times Best of Awards, etc.
- Fantastic vanilla bean custard; it comes with strawberries and salted caramel and even though it’s dessert it isn’t overly sweet
23. Barrio Café
Chef Silvana’s versions of regional Mexican favorites are recognized as some of the best Mexican cuisine in Phoenix, the region and nationally. Some iconic menu items include Cochinita Pibil, Chiles en Nogada, Chef’s tableside Guacamole and Churro Rellenos
- Enjoy live music in the dining room each Thursday through Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoons
- They have Happy Hours 2pm – 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday and they are closed on Mondays
24. Lux Central
- They open 6am – 12am every Sunday to Thursday and till 2am every Friday and Saturday so it’s a great spot for when you are hungry really late at night
- Their homemade whipped cream is wonderful – add it to your coffee or pancakes
25. Even Stevens Sandwiches
- They serve sandwiches, salads, bites and craft beer under $5
- For every sandwich sold, they donate a sandwich to a local non-profit. So not only do you enjoy great food, it’s also for a good cause
26. Chelsea’s Kitchen
Chelsea’s Kitchen, an Arizona roadhouse on the canal that pays tribute to the heritage and history of the area, provides high-quality, honest food that is always fresh and never frozen.
- Our go-to is a slice of their incredible red velvet cake and their white sangria
27. Thai E-San
Rodger and Pui Pongtratic have been proud Phoenicians for over 35 years. Both originally from Thailand, this enterprising team have been staples in the community with past ownerships of The Pink Pepper in northern Phoenix, The Bali-Hi Motel & Bar in downtown, and then in 2011 taking over Thai E-San in the heart of the Melrose district.
- Located in the northeastern area of Thailand and with influences from Laos and Cambodia, Esan cuisine, is known to be a little spicer and richer in herbs and sauces. Deceivingly simple, each dish is distinct, aromatic, and multi-dimensional. With every dish, there is a sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and savory component and with each bite, a new layer of flavor unfolds.
- Our favorite south Indian spot
- They specialize in variety of vegetarian & Vegan dishes
- The Cauliflower Manchurian (Gobhi Manchurian) is insanely good
29. Vegan House
- They have lunch specials on Monday-Friday from 11am – 3pm where each item comes with soup and a salad. Their chef’s specials are made fresh daily.
- Their produce is selected each day from local farmers markets and co-ops to ensure the highest quality and freshness
30. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Every Lou Malnati’s pizza is handmade from scratch using the finest and freshest ingredients. Every year, the Malnati team hand selects California vine-ripened tomatoes for the perfect sweet and tangy taste. The fresh mozzarella cheese comes from the same small dairy that has supplied Lou Malnati’s for over 40 years. And the family’s secret recipe for flaky, buttery crust has been passed down from generation to generation.
- Authentic Chicago deep dish pizza
- Lou malnati’s Pizza is considered the oldest family name in Chicago pizza which started way back in 1971
31. True Food Kitchen
They take great pride in a menu that caters to nearly every food preference with a variety of gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings.
- Vegan Pizza is a total game changer – some of the best we’ve had anywhere
- The Ginger Margarita and Hangover RX are some of our other favorites
32. Los Taquitos
- They’ve been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (Food Network)
- $1 Tacos on Taco Tuesdays
33. La Santisima
- Tons of vegan and vegetarian friendly options
- Their trio of tacos is popular and for good reason
- They’ve got tons of salsa options
34. Fuego Bistro
The story of Los Taquitos dates back more than 25 years ago when our parents prepared homemade tacos and burritos using family recipes and sold them from a small food cart in 1981. To this day, the Los Taquitos team still prepare their food using the same family recipes derived in Mexico generations ago. From their marinades to our spices and everything in between, each recipe is followed just as it was many years ago in order to bring you simple, authentic, great tasting food.
- $1 tacos on Taco Tuesdays