If you’re planning to relocate to the Arizona capital, is there a better way to celebrate the start of your new life in the desert than to treat yourself to a nice meal in some of the best restaurants in Phoenix. Plenty of venues use fresh items and quality ingredients due to the abundance of farm products in the greater city area. But how to choose the right place to eat out with so many different options?
The capital of Arizona is the fifth-largest city in the US by population and the largest state capital in the whole nation. With adjacent cities such as Tempe and Scottsdale, it forms Arizona’s urban heart that is home to nearly five million people.
Named after a mythological creature that rises from its ashes, the metropolis reinvented itself a couple of times in its history and has developed a regional cuisine with a vast range of dining out options, from pizza joints to posh, upscale venues. When it comes to nearby Scottsdale, which is a part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Statistical Area, recent studies ranked it as the Copper State’s top foodie city.
If you’re moving to Phoenix, you should do some research about the most popular dining spots and those preferred by locals before you go looking for Phoenix movers. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down a list of several most unique and top-rated venues, including vegan and gluten-free restaurants in Phoenix to make your choice easier.
What Should You Know About the Best Restaurants in Phoenix
In recent years, the so-called Valley of the Sun earned its rightful place on America’s gourmet maps. There are so many choices and possibilities when it comes to eating out and trying different sorts of delicacies hailing from all parts of the world. Let’s see what kind of fare you can find in Arizona and its capital:
- Cheese crisps
- Navajo tacos
- Piki bread
- Red chile stew
- Sonoran hot dog
- Sun tea
One thing is sure – if you’re living in Phoenix or planning to settle down in this sunny urban area, pizza is part of the culture. It’s only natural that Arizona’s Urban Heart takes pride in some of the most excellent pizzerias in the country.
Downtown Eateries Are Meccas for Pizza Aficionados
Whether you like Chicagoan deep-dish or wood-fired pizza in the Neapolitan style, Phoenix has it all. Considered the best pizza town in America, it is home to some of the most talented pizzaioli in the entire Copper State.
The Valley of the Sun’s culinary scene has developed around tasty pizzas, but also delicious steaks, bacon burgers, or Chinese-Mexican fusion dishes. If you are craving Italian “secret recipe” doughs with handmade mozzarella and deep-dish sauce, don’t miss the following places downtown.
If you want to enjoy traditional Neapolitan pie crust and try creamy and delicious Margherita or Biancoverde, then Pizzeria Bianco is the place to be. According to New York food critics, the restaurant is lauded as one of the most fabulous places in the country when it comes to Italian pies. But, be prepared to wait a bit for your order. Reservations are considered only in the case of parties of six or more.
When strolling around the downtown, you can discover a lot of new and exciting spots, including shops, bars, and authentic Italian eateries. Yes, the capital is crammed with pizzas, lasagnas, and tasty gelato, and it’s up to you to choose the nook you like the most.
Besides Bianco Pizzeria, you can enjoy authentic Neapolitan flavors in Pomo Pizzeria, since this place is managed by native Italians. Some of the specialties you shouldn’t miss include:
- Eggplant lasagna
- Red bell pepper soup
- Pizza Capricciosa
- Mista salad
There Are Plenty of Vegan Restaurants in Phoenix Worth Trying
If you are someone who prefers vegan-friendly places, the capital of Arizona has so much to offer. Today, Metro Phoenix’s vegan scene has never been more diverse, including both grab-and-go options and sit-down eateries and cafes with plant-based cooking. It’s hard to point out the most significant place because there are a lot of them that are considered top-notch, and we’ve singled out only a few.
A Place Worth Your While: Pita Jungle
The idea for Pita Jungle was born from the concept of healthy restaurants. Realizing that there is a lack of this kind of eateries around universities, Pita Jungle was founded in 1994 on the idea of serving nourishing food at a reasonable price with exceptional work with clients. The restaurant serves tasty, fresh, and wholesome foods, including vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free options. The emphasis is on Mediterranean cuisine mixed with lean proteins, legumes, grains, nuts, and fruit.
Verdura – Arguably the Best Vegan Food in Phoenix
Apart from the excellent service, dedicated chef, and cool-looking dining space, the food is what keeps customers coming back for more. What’s so unique about Verdura‘s plates? One of the most famous is London Calling – a.k.a. “phish” and chips consisting of flash-fried phish, potato fries, slices of lemon, and tartar sauce. And everything is served in a piece of newspaper.
After eating these healthy fish substitutes, you can treat yourself to a dessert. A Japanese-style bubble waffle is highly recommended, topped with raspberry sorbet, sprinkled with shaved coconut, and dripping in raspberry sauce.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Phoenix
Maybe you prefer gluten-free food, or your dietary restrictions require you to eat this kind of fare – whatever the reason, one thing is sure: plenty of city-area restaurants have you covered. Some of them are 100% dedicated gluten-free eateries, while others offer substitutes and gluten-free options. Either way, it’s good to hear that you have a choice and can pick your favorite foodie spot.
Jewel’s Bakery & Cafe
As 100% gluten-free, Jewel’s Bakery & Cafe will provide you with fresh, organic, and local ingredients and meals based on homemade family recipes. Brunch or breakfast, order one of these specialties and enjoy it:
- Warm cinnamon rolls and biscuits
- Eggs with a side of bacon or sausage
- Regular or hot chicken
- Waffles with buttermilk syrup
- Maple bacon French toast
- Lemon raspberry pancakes with ricotta, fresh raspberries, and powdered sugar
If you prefer a healthy blend of seasonal vegetables and high-quality meats, this is the place where you should go: Beckett’s Table. It celebrates the values of farm-to-table cuisine in a pleasant and communal setting.
Besides the cozy interior and two patios with a fireplace, the food is the best of its kind this area has to offer. Thanks to the chef, Justin Beckett, a real expert in culinary art, this gluten-free location can provide you with a sophisticated atmosphere and mouth-watering dishes.
Additional insider tip – enjoy the restaurant’s “social hour” every Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Local Cuisine in Tempe
Tempe is a city of nearly 200,000 people located some 11 miles east of downtown Phoenix, on the other side of the Salt River. It is packed with eateries that offer an eclectic array of food choices. This urban area, known as College Town, has long been influenced by local, regional, national, as well as international tastes. Let’s take a look at two extinguished representatives of Tempe’s culinary scene.
Culinary Dropout Shares Family Recipes From Generation to Generation
Are you looking for a classic American meal with pork ribs, fried chicken drizzled with honey, or pretzel bites? If so, Culinary Dropout might be your favorite dining spot. And that’s not all. Its bar serves ice-cold craft beer and house-made cocktails.
Since 2013, this place has evolved into a central destination in the Valley of the Sun. It is an ideal spot for a relaxed hangout and mouth-watering food. With an open kitchen placed across the sizable indoor-outdoor bar and with dining rooms in between, this venue has great vibes and finger-licking meals that will satisfy the palate of even the pickiest eaters.
Taste New American Fare in House of Tricks
House of Tricks is an ideal dining spot for romantic couples and tranquil moments. Its cozy interior is crammed with a dozen tables that surround a vintage stone fireplace, while the outdoor patios are decorated with the canopy of mature trees.
But it’s so much more than just gracious atmosphere. The exceptional wine list and splendid cuisine attract scores of locals and visitors alike. An additional benefit is the kids’ menu, which makes this place ideal for families.
Scottsdale Takes Pride in a Rich Culinary Scene
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Arizona state and belongs to the Greater Phoenix Area. Dubbed “The Most Livable City,” it offers some of the best things to do in Phoenix, including evenings in fine restaurants. Let’s find out what some of the top-notch venues around Scottsdale are.
Sapiens Paleo Kitchen
Have you heard about Sapiens Paleo Kitchen? It is an excellent spot where you can enjoy French cuisine prepared according to paleo and gluten-free diet nutrition principles. If you were lucky enough to taste some of their specialties, you know how delicious and nutritious they are, while still being simple and light. And if you’re worried about the cost of living in Phoenix, you can get some of these delicacies at quite a reasonable price:
- Sapiens onion soup: $10
- Country terrine: $11
- Paleo dip: $9
- Paleo bread platter: $10
- Roasted chicken: $22
Top Bars With Food
Not only the craft brewery scene, but the complete bar culture has boomed over the last ten years in the Copper State. Whether you prefer cocktail bar options or excellent beer, the Valley of the Sun has it all.
Great bars all around Arizona and its capital are an extraordinary mixture of tasty food and craft wine, beer, and cocktails. By visiting some of the most popular among them, you can expect a unique experience, and above all, fresh ingredients without additives.
Fenney’s Restaurant & Bar
As one of the locals’ favorite venues, and one of the first steakhouses in north-central Phoenix area, this friendly restaurant offers excellent meals, including soups, meats, salad dressings, and desserts. But, if you’re looking for a perfect steak, Fenney’s might be your best shot. Bring your family and friends to delightful classic American dishes, like:
- Prime rib
- London broil
- Liver & onions
- Chicken Greek style
- Shepherd’s pie
When it comes to the pick of the day, it includes weekly specials – beverage prices are reduced to $3 every day from 3 to 7 p.m.
Magical Mexican Cuisine in Gallo Blanco
Ideal for a family Sunday breakfast or intimate dinner, Gallo Blanco is a venue that can satisfy everyone’s needs. Mexican specialties with iconic dishes, such as margaritas, tamales, and tacos, are the kind of food appealing to most people.
In Gallo Blanco, corn tortilla chips are irresistible, and if you combine them with a salad or burrito, this Mexican venue will very soon get under your skin. The breezy patio area option offers a unique experience while sipping a drink, nibbling your tacos, and watching the downtown skyline.
Est 1955, Durant’s Is One of the Oldest Dining Venues in the City
Durant’s won’t impress you with its fascinating exterior, but old-fashioned elegance – it is something that makes it so unique and different from all the rest. Of course, dishes are excellent, and it features an extensive wine list.
This place is not quite suitable for romantic events since music is a touch too loud, but it’s perfect for middle-aged friends as well as business associates enjoying an evening out and delicious fare such as:
- Kobe burger
- Pork rib chops
- Filet mignon
- Double cut lamb chops
- Chicken piccata
Arizona’s Urban Heart Has a Restaurant for Everyone’s Palate
The culinary scene in Arizona’s Urban Heart is incredibly vibrant and has something for everyone. Pizza, steak, and ribs are dishes that have already secured their excellent status among locals and newcomers. So don’t sit on the fence, find your perfect Phoenix neighborhood, order moving services, and venture into the culinary adventure called the Valley of the Sun.