Think Phoenix restaurants, and you probably think Mexican. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Phoenix has its fair share of authentic South-of-the-border fare. But, today, dining in the best restaurants in Phoenix also means farm-to-table, comfort food, and globally-inspired options.
10 Best Restaurants in Phoenix
Phoenix’s culinary scene is on fire. With so many James Beard Award winning and nationally-acclaimed chefs and restaurants in the Valley, you’ll never want for a memorable meal. Treat your taste buds at one of these 10 best restaurants in Phoenix.
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Kai at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
The only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant in Arizona, Kai serves Native American dishes like rabbit with Pima wheat berries, lamb with teparay bean, and buffalo with corn puree. Many of the indigenous ingredients come from the Gila River Indian Tribe’s nearby farm.
But, the superb food isn’t the only reason Kai makes the list of best restaurants in Phoenix. Dining here immerses you in Native American culture. Menus feature watercolor paintings by tribal artists, flute music floats through the room, and staff share tribal stories. http://www.wildhorsepassresort.com/kai
Rachel Ray declared Pizzeria Bianco’s pies the best in the nation. Ditto Bon Appetit and a slew of other outlets. What makes it so good? Owner Chris Bianco’s attention to every detail. He obsesses over the quality of ingredients and even makes his own cheese and fennel sausage.
The wait at the original location can top two hours, but you can now savor a slice at one of his other restaurants. Order the Rosa with red onions and crushed pistachios, or the Wiseguy with roasted onions, smoked mozzarella, and sausage.
In a city known for its Mexican food, Barrio Cafe manages to stand out. That’s because Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza focuses on authentic, regional Mexican fare, creating dishes like conchinita pibil, pork marinated in achiote and sour orange, wrapped in a banana leaf, and slow roasted overnight.
Great, authentic dishes aren’t the only reason Barrio Café is one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. The cafe’s walls—inside and out—are covered in artwork by local artists, and live music plays most nights. If you can’t get a table at the original on 16th Street, Esparaza has opened several satellite locations, including one at Sky Harbor International Airport.
Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Headed by Food Network celebrity chef, Beau MacMillian, Elements serves expertly prepared farm-fresh ingredients. The produce is local whenever possible, the seafood sustainable, and the meat hormone-free. You can taste the difference, which is why elements is one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. Period.
Not to mention that the restaurant has unrivaled views of the city below. Elements also boasts one of the best wine lists in Phoenix and one of the best craft cocktail bars, Jade Bar.
Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn
Chef Jeremy Pachecco is a genius when it comes to roasting, smoking, and grilling farm-fresh, local ingredients for his “globally-inspired Arizona fare.” He’s also dedicated to supporting local farms like McClendon’s Select, Rovey Dairy, and Crow’s Dairy. Dig into dishes like pecan-grilled filet mignon for dinner and blue crab eggs benedict for brunch.
Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn has an ambiance to match its cuisine. The Saltillo-tiled, outdoor patio with kiva fireplace, fountain, and incredible views make it a popular choice for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and special occasions. https://www.hermosainn.com/lons
Located in Old Town Scottsdale, FnB is one of the most critically-acclaimed restaurants in Phoenix. Its pork and chicken heart pâté was named one of the top 15 dishes in the country by the James Beard Foundation; Food & Wine magazine declared it the “epicenter of creative Arizona Cuisine,” and multiple local publications awarded it the title “Best New Restaurant.”
Besides the creative dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients, FnB is known for its award-winning wine program, which champions Arizona wines.
Dinner at Binkley’s Restaurant is a more than a meal. It’s a production, which is why it’s considered to be one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. The experience starts with reservations, which must be made in months in advance. Your card will charged for the fixed price meal at that time.
The evening takes several hours and begins on the terrace, moves to the bar, and continues in the dining room. Dining at Binkley’s is often compared to a dinner at The French Laundry in Napa. For a more laid-back experience, try Café Bink instead.
One of the best restaurants in Phoenix for upscale comfort food, Beckett’s Table is known for its fork-tender short ribs on creamy mashed potatoes, pork osso buco with spaetzle, and award-winning fig and pecan pie. It’s also celebrated for its wine list, which has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for five years running.
Chef Justin Beckett didn’t stop there, though. He and his team also own Southern Rail, a favorite among Phoenix foodies. Southern Rail specializes in “American classics with a Southern twist.”
Nobuo at Teeter House
James Beard award-winning Chef Nobuo Fukuda takes an East-meets-West approach to dining at Nobuo at Teeter House. During the day, the restaurant—housed in a turn-of-the-century bungalow in Heritage Square—has a teahouse vibe. At night, Fukuda invites diners to nosh on rustic Japanese small plates.
With a 24-hour advance notice, you can sample offerings from the tasting menu. With at least two-weeks’ notice, Fukuda will prepare a multi-course omakase experience, where you let the chef create unique dishes just for you.
Wright’s at the Biltmore
The flagship restaurant at the Arizona Biltmore, Wright’s at the Biltmore is as gorgeous as it is gastronomically exceptional. Floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate the room, and the décor is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, who contributed to the resort’s design.
Wright’s at the Biltmore takes inspiration from the foods and ingredients of Native Americans and early European settlers. Menu items include venison striploin, shellfish stew, and braised rabbit tacos. While you can order wine and beer, opt instead for a Tequila Sunrise, invented at the restaurant’s bar.
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—Original reporting by Teresa Bitler