A hundred years ago, in March, Arizona restaurants closed for dine-in service or shuttered completely to stem the spread of coronavirus. Nonetheless, the virus has proliferated and forever shaken up the dining scene. Though the state reopened for business more than two months ago, many restaurants have stayed closed, or have reopened and then decided to close. It’s a brutal time for restaurants. Those with the means and the appetite can consider supporting any of these 23 stellar takeout options.Read More
22 Metro Phoenix Restaurants Still Doing Takeout Right Now
Smoked cochinita pibil, new-age momos, spinach boureks, and other first-rate pandemic takeout
Pretzels, rye bread, and kifli are some of the staple products that fly off the shelves at this north Phoenix bakery. But the Osmic family’s craft reaches its peak with hearty boureks, stuffed with meat, cheese, or spinach, coiled from phyllo dough that they shape by hand. Two make a big meal.
Seydi’s Pupuseria & Grill
Mother-and-son team Seydi and Jose Flores have been churning out to-go orders of chicken tamales, steak, fried whole fish, and other Salvadorian staples. Diners can mix-and-match gooey cheese pupusas, $29 per dozen.
La Mejor Barbacoa
Platters heaped with lamb barbacoa are made for to-go containers. This relatively young eatery that specializes in Mexican-style barbecue is remaining open for takeaway, so call ahead for slow-cooked sheep, menudo, pozole, huaraches, and other dishes.
Hana Japanese Eatery
Lorie Hashimoto’s beloved Japanese restaurant remains open for takeout and delivery. Diners can order from a wide roster of Japanese staples, like sushi, katsu, and agedashi tofu. Raw gyoza are also on offer for pan-frying at home. Look for the $18 curry special that feeds two.
Chula Seafood Uptown
At its uptown Phoenix location, Chula and chef Kyle Kent are offering some of Arizona’s freshest fish prepared in increasingly creative ways. Recently, they rolled out pastrami-style salmon on challah and a char siu swordfish banh mi (both specials). On Mondays, look for rotating large-format family meals.
This new central Phoenix restaurant’s menu rapidly rotates to highlight local farm offerings, and that hasn’t changed with the pivot to takeout. Grass-fed beef shawarma, ‘nduja pizza, and pork cheek tacos have been recent features. Persepshen’s epic platter of charcuterie is also available for takeaway. So, too, are cocktails like a moonshine juicebox.
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Fry Bread House
Sandra Miller’s classic has stayed open to serve homestyle indigenous foods in Central Phoenix. Customers can order ahead and pick up chile stews, tamales, burros, fry bread both sweet and savory, and ceme’t, the thin wide flour tortilla cooked in the Sonoran for centuries.
In early June, James Beard Award winner Charleen Badman and beverage maestro Pavle Milic got back in their downtown Scottsdale saddle to serve takeaway. The bounty of the microseasons remains on full display: lamb manti with cherries, pasta with snap peas, pork shoulder with tomatillo and squash. To-go drinks include Arizona wines.
This Latin-influenced Arcadia restaurant, a 2020 James Beard Award nominee for Best New Restaurant, is open for takeout with a full menu. Cocktails, wine, and a deep list of Arizona beer options are also available to go. Specials have veered into new territory, like pasta.
Northeastern Thai fixture Glai Baan has kept its kitchen open, and some genre-bending cocktails are ready for takeout in illustrated bottles. Diners can order ahead and grab chef Cat Bunnag’s staples like khao soi, panang curry, and smoked mackerel fried rice for curbside pickup.
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Silvana Salcido Esparza has winnowed down her menu to a few greatest hits, some remixed. Cochinita pibil, cecina, and piloncillo-glazed salmon all see the darkness of her upright smoker. Esparza is also making her family’s pork chile verde recipe, chicken with mole, chiles en nogada, and more. To-go drink options include a guava margarita for two.
Authentic Ethio African Spices
Anduale Hassan freely says his tiny Ethiopian kitchen in central Phoenix is a ghost restaurant — meaning a restaurant designed for takeout and delivery. His food is classically Ethiopian, the menu loaded with stews, injera, coffee and juices, an East African spin on pasta, and platters designed for sharing.
The Larder and the Delta
Downtown, the imaginative food of Stephen Jones makes for some of the most refreshing and thought provoking eating in greater Phoenix. Look to his classics, like Hoppin’ John with field peas and Carolina gold rice, crispy pig ears, or Buffalo-style cauliflower. Or get more experimental with a dish like country ham bo ssam for two.
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Though you might miss watching the Cornejos tending dozens of slip-thin steaks over grills of hissing charcoal, you can still taste the carne asada those steaks become. Taco Boy’s remains open to purvey tacos, burritos, vampiros, quesadillas, platters, and an intensely smoky tray of beans.
The longtime Sonoran-Mexican American neighborhood restaurant is still griddling newborn flour tortillas. Get them to go in the form of machaca-and-egg burros, chimichangas, and enchiladas, or whatever from the full menu calls out.
For pickup and delivery, this downtown Mesa sandwich destination is crafting its usual sandwiches, like a Cuban, Reuben, and crispy chicken with honey-Sriracha. Keep up with Worth on social media for wide-ranging off-menu specials on Mondays, recently poutine, spaetzle, and gemelli with lamb ragu. Diners can supplement orders with items from local artisans, like Noi Cacao chocolate bars.
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Come summer, Myke Olsen’s neo-Neapolitan pies enter a time when the seasons present themselves on pizza in uncommon ways. Curls of delicata squash and fontina. Cherries and pistachios. Follow on social media to keep up. Notably, Olsen recently brought back his chocolate chip cookies and started experimenting with ice cream.
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Though rising meat prices are squeezing the Phoenix barbecue scene, James Lewis continues to smoke top-notch meats with inflections of his native Arkansas. Lewis cuts a peppery brisket and pulls a succulent pork, sure, but consider looking to some of his more singular meats: rib tips, smoked Bologna, a Chicago-hinting sausage sandwich.
Subash Yadav translates the bounty of central Arizona farms to into vibrant Nepalese dishes: momos, noodles, soups, stir-frys. Though he opened just before the pandemic, he has already started to amass a cult following. Why? For one, his is thorough. A $6 soup, gundruk, takes 10 days to make.
Tacos Chiwas Chandler
Both locations (Chandler and Phoenix) of Nadia Holguin and Armando Hernandez’s esteemed taqueria are packaging Chihuahuan-style specialties to-go, including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and gorditas. Thankfully, all three of the salsas normally available at the chilled self-serve area now come in small plastic containers.
Ghost Ranch: Modern Southwest Cuisine
The kitchen of this wide-ranging Southwestern restaurant in South Tempe has stayed open with a truncated menu. Chef Rene Andrade and his team are serving multi-person meals (like enchilada and whole chicken combos). They’re also bagging one-person options like a green chile burger and torta ahogada (sauce-drowned sandwiches). Margaritas are available, too.
Cotton & Copper
On top of boxing some recent Cotton & Copper menu staples, chef Tamara Stanger is cooking an intensive large-format meal that changes nightly. Lately, that has meant duck paprikash, Sonoran-style enchiladas, and Korean fried chicken spatzle. Grab one of Sean Traynor’s cocktails to wash down Stanger’s ethereal pies.