If you’re a foodie like I am, then you probably find finding food in a city an exciting adventure to embark on. Phoenix, the capital city of Arizona (my state), is enriched with so many restaurants and full of great food, and you know, it’s probably going to be a lot of work digging around for the best ones to settle for. That’s why I decided to make a list of restaurants that I believe are worth checking out and trying, which from my personal experience have been able to try for myself!
I know that whenever I go to a new city, I always find myself confused by where to just stop for some type of food, so I have made this list specific to find the best type of restaurant, depending on the time of day and what you’re in the mood for. By doing it this way, it would be much easier to narrow down your choices as you do research upon other blogs that have listed their suggestions. And as I continue to try out more restaurants in the city of Phoenix, this list will be updated.
Here are some of the best restaurants to try in Phoenix, Arizona:
1. Best Bar: Century Grand
If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it’s like to go back in time, specifically Prohibition time, then you’ve got to check out this bar called Century Grand located in Phoenix. As you step inside Century Grand, you will be taken back to a different time and there’s a couple of bars all connected under the same roof.
It’s especially known for their 90-minute simulated immersive train experience called Platform 18. However, it can get very busy and walk-ins are limited in availability, so you must make a reservation ahead! Once you are aboard, you can choose a wide selection of cocktails, alcohol-infused dessert, and even some mocktails. Once the train is done, you can hangout at their New Orleans-inspired bar called Gray Hen Rx.
And on the other side, there’s the Undertow, a nautical-inspired bar with tropical cocktails which also has a 90-minute journey on the Clipper ship (reservations must be made ahead too).
2. Best Burger Joint: Jackalope Gastropub
This restaurant called Jackalope Gastropub has a very relaxed atmosphere. Their menu consists of handcrafted food and drinks, and I have to say their burgers are one of the best things to get from here! In fact, I bought two of my friends here about 2 years ago and we all tried a different burger each. This is what my friends had to say about their burgers:
“The classic burger was probably one of the best burgers I’ve had. I really liked that there wasn’t so much bread and it was like an equal amount of everything. And as a ranch enthusiast, I highly approve of their ranch.” –Jaymie
“The Jackalope Burger was delicious!! It was very filling and so juicy. It was definitely one of the best burgers I’ve had. The appetizer was great. I just didn’t like the ball things (note from Gabby: Those are the falafels) and it’s probably because my taste buds are weird and I don’t like most things, but I highly recommend this burger and the restaurant in general.” –Sam
Their bar food really doesn’t disappoint, and I also loved their truffle fries. (I’m a sucker for those!) You can hang out with your cocktails/mocktails outside and get cozy with the fire pit and Adirondack chairs.
3. Best BBQ: Little Miss BBQ
I think the memory behind going to Little Miss BBQ for the first time wasn’t the best one because I went on this one date with someone I just met off a dating app and afterwards, he ghosted me, almost to the point of standing me up to the next location after eating here! It was terrible to experience and really rude. However, I do have to say, the food he treated me here was legitimately good BBQ haha and the food was the highlight of a terrible “first date”!!
The portions are so good and filling too. It’s no wonder why so many rave about Little Miss BBQ. There is meat you can get by weight, plates, sandwiches, and the restaurant also has burritos. It’s also really nice to choose to sit outside or indoors, whichever you prefer. Their BBQ meat ranges from brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, turkey and sausage.
4. Best Brunch: First Watch
Would you consider yourself a brunch lover? Then, you’ve gotta head on over to First Watch. This chain originally came from Florida, but there are so many restaurants like this in Arizona and it was the first time I tried it in this state! Their food portions are great and you’ve gotta try their Purple Haze drink, which is made of butterfly pea flower tea with lemon, cane sugar, and a hint of lavender. I also recommend their omelets.
5. Best Breakfast: Breakfast Club
I’ve taken my friend, aunt, uncle, and my parents here when they were visiting at different times and this place never fails to satisfy us for breakfast. Breakfast Club is also located at a good spot in downtown Phoenix (specifically in CityScape Phoenix) and you have the option to sit outside or indoors, whichever you feel comfortable in. You have options to choose from healthy light options (like oatmeal, acai bowl, etc.) to savory filling ones (like omelets/frittatas, waffles, and combination plates of eggs and meat).
6. Best Brewery: SunUp
Although I’m personally not a drinker anymore, I’ve taken my friends who were visiting once here at SunUp Brewing Co. and they really enjoyed the beers they had. I had their root beer called Logan’s Root Beer, as an alternative to beer. Not only does this location have a chill lounge area where you can play games like their shuffleboard but there’s a little cafe-like area and you can order food too to pair along with their beers. The place is very helpful in helping you choose what beer to try too if you have a specific palette.
7. Best Dessert: Snoh Ice Shavery
If you’re visiting on one of those hot days where you feel like melting (which is probably most of the year in Phoenix), then it’s probably the best time to go get some cold treats. Snoh Ice Shavery has some of the best shaved ice (as they like to call ‘shaved snow’) and boba teas! Their shaved snow consists of a few staple flavors to go by and then you can build it up with a lot of their toppings.
8. Best Asian and Italian Food: Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe
Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe is next door to Snoh Ice Shavery on Camelback Rd of Phoenix, so you can literally go from one place to the next. Their sushi is really good and so is their selection of udon and soba noodle soups and ramen. Their portions are also amazing. Their options don’t only stop with soup and noodles too, but you can get Italian pasta to order from here. So if you’re looking for a place with an Italian-influence in Asia or an Asian-influence in Italy, this would be the place.
9. Best Food Vendor Experience: Pemberton PHX
Pemberton PHX is not a restaurant, but rather it is an outdoor collective with a bunch of food vendors in one. Located in Downtown Phoenix by Roosevelt Row, the Pemberton experience has a variety of food and drinks to find along (as shown in my reel below) with some boutique stores and music to enjoy! The place also features a lot of art installations around that are good for fun photo opportunities.
10. Best Dinner Experience: Valentine PHX
Having gone here for my sister’s birthday, it has to be one of the best places in this list for the best food. Valentine PHX has items on their dinner menu that are the epitome of Arizona from its Southwest influence with also a mix of Mexican, Italian and American ingredients. Their meals blew my mind because it was that palatable and the portions just sat right with me. Valentine has that laidback, eclectic atmosphere when you walk in, and you’ll also have the chance to go here for brunch. At the back of the restaurant, there is a bar where you can hang with your cocktails and you may spot the record player.
Some of the items we tried were: Italian bitter aperitivo (Sanbitter & Soda – a mocktail), White Sonoran wheat pretzel with guinea hen butter & AZ honeycomb, Hiramasa (fish) crudo, Pork ribs with sarsaparilla glaze and chayote slaw, Elote pasta, and Coconut panna cotta.
Looking for more options of where to eat around in Arizona aside from just Phoenix? I recommend a few of these bloggers who cover everything food-like in Arizona!
- Arizona Foodie: https://www.arizonafoodiemag.com/
- A Taste of AZ: https://atasteofaz.com/
- AZ Food and Wine: https://www.azfoodandwine.com/
- AZ Food Guy: https://www.azfoodguy.com/