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Various ice cream flavors arranged in cups with wooden Sweet Republic spoons on a table.
Ice cream from Sweet Republic is a must-try.
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Phoenix’s 19 Most Iconic Dishes

The must-try dishes from around the city

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Ice cream from Sweet Republic is a must-try.
| Sweet Republic [Official photo]

Though Phoenix’s food scene has only just started to spread its wings, iconic dishes abound. This has a lot to do with the especially arid stretch of the upper Sonoran Desert where the city stands — a broad valley that yields astonishing crops, and a junction of many ancient and newer cuisines. Along with this, the wealth of iconic dishes can be attributed to the unique mix of cultures drawn to the desert. In Phoenix, the capital of a state where more than 50 percent of residents were born in another one, regional ingredients and traditions meld with influences from farther abroad.

Iconic dishes range from Sonoran machaca, O’odham ceme’t, and flour tortillas to brilliant crudo and some of the most thoughtful pizza in the country.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Marranitos at La Purisima Bakery

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4533 W Glendale Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301
(623) 842-1400
Visit Website

For three and a half decades, the Arellano family has been producing an all-star lineup of Mexican baked goods. Though the pan dulce, pumpkin empanadas, and chocolate conchas are all worth piling into a bag and enjoying throughout the week, it’s hard to do much better than plain old marranitos. These furrowed, pig-shaped cookies are like gingersnaps... but without ginger and without snap. Fluffy yet chewy, light yet touched with rich molasses, there’s a reason marranitos are the beloved shop’s best-seller.

Service: Open for takeaway.

2. Sonoran Hot Dog at El Caprichoso Hot Dogs Estilo Sonora

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2826 N 35th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 561-3723
Visit Website

The humble beef frank can’t get much better than when it receives the bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog treatment. Sonoran dogs peak in metro Phoenix with the version served on the roadside at El Caprichoso. Lavished with toppings like beans and pico de gallo, finished with guacamole, crema, and a blizzard of cheese, it’s easy to overlook the true difference-maker of this hot dog: the bun. That bun is ample, chewy but soft, and kissed by the griddle for just long enough.  

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

3. Machaca at El Horseshoe Restaurant

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2140 W Buckeye Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 251-3135

It’s hard to get more old-school Arizona than a platter anchored by machaca — dried-then-rehydrated beef. The version at El Horseshoe Restaurant has long been considered one of the most satisfying in town. At simple red tables in an unadorned room, diners at breakfast and lunch tuck into plates of machaca and eggs, machaca and potatoes, and machaca and vegetables. Another great way to experience the shredded beef here is wrapped with rice and beans into a flour tortilla.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

4. Green Chile Stew with Ceme’t at Fry Bread House

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4545 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 351-2345

The Native American foods served at the restaurant Cecilia Miller opened more than 25 years ago are largely from the Tohono O’odham tradition. An uncommonly soupy green chile with lengths of pepper twisting through, however, has Pueblo roots. For the preparation, Fry Bread House gives chiles sourced from Hatch, New Mexico, in 100-pound gunnysacks an extra long simmer. On the side of the fiery, beef-studded stew comes a foil-wrapped fold of ceme’t, the sail-like flour flatbread that some indigenous people of the Sonoran Desert cook on the hot wheel rim of an old retired tractor.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

5. Broiled Steak at Durant's

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2611 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 264-5967
Visit Website

According to a locally popular refrain, “cattle” is one of the 5 foundational “c”-words on which Arizona was built. Durant’s has been plating broiled steak for seven decades, showcasing beef since the days Phoenix first began to transform from a cattle town into a sprawling desert metropolis. For generations, ordinary and powerful Phoenicians have ducked into Durant’s, a sterling example of the classic American steakhouse, to saw into t-bones, ribeyes, and porterhouses. Lavish booths are upholstered in leather, and darkness swallows much of the dining room but for some wan reddish lightning, and martinis flow clear and cold. 

Service: Open for dine-in.

6. Rosa Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco

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623 E Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 258-8300
Visit Website

Longtime pizza grandmaster Chris Bianco’s most storied creation is a white pie. The Rosa spotlights crushed pistachios, parmesan cheese, garden rosemary, and red onion so thin it both lightly chars and melts into the cheese and crust. This pizza is apex Bianco — a genre-bending pie with a beautifully crusty nod to the flatbreads from which pizza evolved hundreds of years ago. Every last detail, from grain sourcing to oven wood, has been not only considered but relentlessly improved over decades. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

7. Fried Chicken at Mrs White's Golden Rule Cafe

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808 E Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 262-9256
Visit Website

Elizabeth White founded her downtown soul food restaurant in 1964, and it has been plating the likes of sweet potato pie, collards, catfish, and stewed oxtails ever since. But for all those who have sunk into her piping-hot, juicy, shatter-jacketed fried chicken, it’s physically difficult to order anything else. Sharpied praise angles and blocks across the intimate eatery’s plain white walls. Lots of these comments laud the chicken; after that first bite, it’s easy to see why. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

8. Buttered flour tortilla at The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food

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1202 E Mohave St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 252-1503
Visit Website

Arizona, like its neighboring states in northern Mexico, is a land where the flour tortilla reaches soft, fragrant, chewy heights. At generational standby Carolina’s, you can see those tortillas being made — sculpted and griddled behind the register of the spartan ordering room, arriving in your hands still hot. Spackled with perfect brown blemishes from the grill, slathered with butter, a near-naked, newborn flour tortilla soars to life in astonishing ways. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

9. Cochinita Pibil at Barrio Cafe

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2814 N 16th St #1205
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 636-0240
Visit Website

Long before Silvana Salcido Esparza opened her pioneering Barrio Cafe on 16th Street, moving Phoenix’s Mexican food scene into a bolder direction, she learned how to make cochinita pibil from a Mayan family. To emulate ancient pit-cooking methods, she employs slow-roasting and smoking. Shredded pork heaps on a banana leaf, dripping juices into a vivid crimson pool. Flavors of smoke, bitter orange, and achiote roughly harmonize, a soulful keynote from one of town’s essential chefs. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

10. Brown Butter Tuna at Valentine

Copy Link
2201 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 759-8132
Visit Website

Thanks to a new wave of suppliers and a base of skilled, creative chefs, seafood in the Sonoran Desert took a few giant leaps forward in the last decade. One eye-opening example: brown-butter tuna from Donald Hawk, chef at Valentine. Mid-pandemic, Hawk decamped from the Gladley and took his cult-favorite dish, giving it a few upgrades. Lately, the fish has been hiramasa. Opalescent slips rest in a puddle of lime vinaigrette with fish sauce and brown butter. Hawk’s new adds include I’itoi onion, mint, and whole golden raisins.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

11. Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore

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2400 E Missouri Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 955-6600
Visit Website

After a day in the desert sun, an original tequila sunrise can bring fresh life. Way back in the Arizona Biltmore’s 91-year history, a bartender named Gene Sulit invented the classic cocktail of tequila, crème de cassis, club soda, and lime. Ice packs through the tall thin glass and mounds past its brim, tight walls bowing inward slightly, almost like an hourglass. A wistful shade of red colors the bottom and fades to a near-white at top, mimicking the ombre shading of a sunrise. 

Service: Open for drink-in.

12. Pee-posh Garden at Kai Restaurant

Copy Link
5594 Wild Horse Pass Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85048
(602) 225-0100
Visit Website

The ancient farmed and wild foods of the Sonoran Desert get a global filter at Kai, owned by the Gila River Indian Community. Chef Ryan Swanson’s “Pee-posh garden” unites the best of the desert’s seasonal bounty in one dish, emulating a garden. Right now, that means “plants” like hedgehog mushrooms, fermented I’itoi onion, and pickled baby corn from an Akimel O’odham farm, all interspersed with espuma and frozen pesto. The garden is embedded in a “dirt” of black garlic, chanterelle powder, and more.

Service: Open for dine-in.

13. Fatty Brisket at Little Miss BBQ

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4301 E University Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 437-1177
Visit Website

In a town where lines for food are scarce, meat-seekers flock to Little Miss BBQ an hour before opening to get into position for Central Texas-style smoked meats pulled from thousand-gallon offset smokers. Though Scott Holmes’s very best dishes are pastrami (Thursday) and beef rib (Friday and Saturday), fatty brisket is his biggest draw. An ivory-webbed slice dissolves on the tongue in a primal rush, like a cross between porterhouse and warm meat ice cream. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

14. Ice Cream at Sweet Republic

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410 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 105
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 292-8557
Visit Website

Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp make some of the most thoughtful ice cream in town — essential eating in a city as hot as Phoenix. Yung has experience as a line cook in the Bay Area, and her chef-like approach to frozen treats sets Sweet Republic apart from a horde of Valley ice cream shops. Sweet Republic’s flavors shuffle with the seasons and even reflect specific holidays (Irish honeycomb in early March, for instance). Standout flavors include honey-lavender, horchata, and an ultra-fresh mint chip. Both the marshmallows and the almond-toffee brittle on sundaes are made in-house, making worthy toppings for scoops of ice cream in flavors like sweet corn and bleu cheese. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

15. Date Shake at Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry

Copy Link
3039 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(800) 482-3283
Visit Website

Dates, which grow in just two American states, were formerly a pillar of Arizona’s economy, luring tourists to the Sonoran Desert with promises of palm trees and “exotic” fruit. Vestiges of this now-largely-vanished culture linger, including the date shake from South Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Ranch. This roadside shop specializes in the date in its many varieties and forms, shake most of all. A date shake is just that — a date milkshake. It’s a uniquely Arizonan way to experience a food generally overlooked in the U.S., one that can have surprising nuance, as delicate varieties like Phoenix’s own Black Sphinx date reflect. 

Service: Open for takeaway.

16. Varying Two Wash Ranch Chicken at FnB Restaurant

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7125 E 5th Ave #31
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 284-4777
Visit Website

Change is constant on luminary Charleen Badman’s deeply Arizonan menu — and so, in some ever-changing form, is Two Wash Ranch chicken. Birds raised by poultry farmer Dave Jordan get the royal treatment at FnB. In winter, Badman might braise what she calls a Macau-style bird with soy, peanuts, curry, and coconut milk. As the seasons shift, she might roast the bird and pair it with spaetzle in spigarello (an Italian broccoli), or she may even fry the bird come summer. Gizzards, livers, and hearts from her weekly chickens find their way to other nooks of the menu: pate, ragu, stock, terrine, and so on. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

17. Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookie at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats

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7120 E 6th Ave #19
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(602) 736-2383
Visit Website

Country Velador, the co-owner of Super Chunk and a James Beard Award-nominated baker, might make the Valley’s most renowned cookie: mesquite chocolate chip. It uses some mesquite flour, meaning powdered parts of the curved pod that sprout by the hundred on the stark, gaunt-limbed desert tree. Mesquite flour imbues cookies with a delicate spicing somewhere between cinnamon, dark honey, and the scent of the open desert. Her cookie is phenomenally craggy, thin with chew, the familiar chocolate a natural fit with the more elusive mesquite. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

18. Grilled Quail at Rancho Pinot

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6208 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(480) 367-8030
Visit Website

Arguably, nothing speaks to the Italian-accented but intimately Arizonan food of Chryssa Robertson more than her quail. It is whole but tiny, a hard char coloring burnished meat and dainty bones. Sitting in polenta and its juices, the delicate bird has been rained with roughly chopped herbs. Some of the added touches change with the local microseasons, in the quarter-century-old Rancho Pinot way. The mostarda might be peach one visit, fig another, but the dish will always draw diners close to the heart of the Southwest.

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout (though this has changed often)

19. Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Worth Takeaway

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218 W Main St
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 833-2180
Visit Website

Though young for a classic, Worth Takeaway has become one of the stalwart eateries of the East Valley, anchoring Mesa’s Main Street with a roster of original sandwiches that are impeccably made. Worth is known for gentle riffs, weekly specials, and themed pop-ups. The shop’s most visible sandwich centers breaded chicken breast on ciabatta. It’s juicy with fierce crunch. Lettuce and house-made pickles lend textural foils and freshness. With a smear of honey-Sriracha mayo, this crispy chicken sandwich is everything its distantly related versions from the fast food drive thru wish they could be. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

1. Marranitos at La Purisima Bakery

4533 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301

For three and a half decades, the Arellano family has been producing an all-star lineup of Mexican baked goods. Though the pan dulce, pumpkin empanadas, and chocolate conchas are all worth piling into a bag and enjoying throughout the week, it’s hard to do much better than plain old marranitos. These furrowed, pig-shaped cookies are like gingersnaps... but without ginger and without snap. Fluffy yet chewy, light yet touched with rich molasses, there’s a reason marranitos are the beloved shop’s best-seller.

Service: Open for takeaway.

4533 W Glendale Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301

2. Sonoran Hot Dog at El Caprichoso Hot Dogs Estilo Sonora

2826 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009

The humble beef frank can’t get much better than when it receives the bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog treatment. Sonoran dogs peak in metro Phoenix with the version served on the roadside at El Caprichoso. Lavished with toppings like beans and pico de gallo, finished with guacamole, crema, and a blizzard of cheese, it’s easy to overlook the true difference-maker of this hot dog: the bun. That bun is ample, chewy but soft, and kissed by the griddle for just long enough.  

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

2826 N 35th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85009

3. Machaca at El Horseshoe Restaurant

2140 W Buckeye Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85009

It’s hard to get more old-school Arizona than a platter anchored by machaca — dried-then-rehydrated beef. The version at El Horseshoe Restaurant has long been considered one of the most satisfying in town. At simple red tables in an unadorned room, diners at breakfast and lunch tuck into plates of machaca and eggs, machaca and potatoes, and machaca and vegetables. Another great way to experience the shredded beef here is wrapped with rice and beans into a flour tortilla.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

2140 W Buckeye Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85009

4. Green Chile Stew with Ceme’t at Fry Bread House

4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013

The Native American foods served at the restaurant Cecilia Miller opened more than 25 years ago are largely from the Tohono O’odham tradition. An uncommonly soupy green chile with lengths of pepper twisting through, however, has Pueblo roots. For the preparation, Fry Bread House gives chiles sourced from Hatch, New Mexico, in 100-pound gunnysacks an extra long simmer. On the side of the fiery, beef-studded stew comes a foil-wrapped fold of ceme’t, the sail-like flour flatbread that some indigenous people of the Sonoran Desert cook on the hot wheel rim of an old retired tractor.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

4545 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013

5. Broiled Steak at Durant's

2611 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

According to a locally popular refrain, “cattle” is one of the 5 foundational “c”-words on which Arizona was built. Durant’s has been plating broiled steak for seven decades, showcasing beef since the days Phoenix first began to transform from a cattle town into a sprawling desert metropolis. For generations, ordinary and powerful Phoenicians have ducked into Durant’s, a sterling example of the classic American steakhouse, to saw into t-bones, ribeyes, and porterhouses. Lavish booths are upholstered in leather, and darkness swallows much of the dining room but for some wan reddish lightning, and martinis flow clear and cold. 

Service: Open for dine-in.

2611 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004

6. Rosa Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco

623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Longtime pizza grandmaster Chris Bianco’s most storied creation is a white pie. The Rosa spotlights crushed pistachios, parmesan cheese, garden rosemary, and red onion so thin it both lightly chars and melts into the cheese and crust. This pizza is apex Bianco — a genre-bending pie with a beautifully crusty nod to the flatbreads from which pizza evolved hundreds of years ago. Every last detail, from grain sourcing to oven wood, has been not only considered but relentlessly improved over decades. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

623 E Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85004

7. Fried Chicken at Mrs White's Golden Rule Cafe

808 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Elizabeth White founded her downtown soul food restaurant in 1964, and it has been plating the likes of sweet potato pie, collards, catfish, and stewed oxtails ever since. But for all those who have sunk into her piping-hot, juicy, shatter-jacketed fried chicken, it’s physically difficult to order anything else. Sharpied praise angles and blocks across the intimate eatery’s plain white walls. Lots of these comments laud the chicken; after that first bite, it’s easy to see why. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

808 E Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85034

8. Buttered flour tortilla at The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food

1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Arizona, like its neighboring states in northern Mexico, is a land where the flour tortilla reaches soft, fragrant, chewy heights. At generational standby Carolina’s, you can see those tortillas being made — sculpted and griddled behind the register of the spartan ordering room, arriving in your hands still hot. Spackled with perfect brown blemishes from the grill, slathered with butter, a near-naked, newborn flour tortilla soars to life in astonishing ways. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

1202 E Mohave St
Phoenix, AZ 85034

9. Cochinita Pibil at Barrio Cafe

2814 N 16th St #1205, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Long before Silvana Salcido Esparza opened her pioneering Barrio Cafe on 16th Street, moving Phoenix’s Mexican food scene into a bolder direction, she learned how to make cochinita pibil from a Mayan family. To emulate ancient pit-cooking methods, she employs slow-roasting and smoking. Shredded pork heaps on a banana leaf, dripping juices into a vivid crimson pool. Flavors of smoke, bitter orange, and achiote roughly harmonize, a soulful keynote from one of town’s essential chefs. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

2814 N 16th St #1205
Phoenix, AZ 85006

10. Brown Butter Tuna at Valentine

2201 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Thanks to a new wave of suppliers and a base of skilled, creative chefs, seafood in the Sonoran Desert took a few giant leaps forward in the last decade. One eye-opening example: brown-butter tuna from Donald Hawk, chef at Valentine. Mid-pandemic, Hawk decamped from the Gladley and took his cult-favorite dish, giving it a few upgrades. Lately, the fish has been hiramasa. Opalescent slips rest in a puddle of lime vinaigrette with fish sauce and brown butter. Hawk’s new adds include I’itoi onion, mint, and whole golden raisins.

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

2201 E Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016

11. Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore

2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016

After a day in the desert sun, an original tequila sunrise can bring fresh life. Way back in the Arizona Biltmore’s 91-year history, a bartender named Gene Sulit invented the classic cocktail of tequila, crème de cassis, club soda, and lime. Ice packs through the tall thin glass and mounds past its brim, tight walls bowing inward slightly, almost like an hourglass. A wistful shade of red colors the bottom and fades to a near-white at top, mimicking the ombre shading of a sunrise. 

Service: Open for drink-in.

2400 E Missouri Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85016

12. Pee-posh Garden at Kai Restaurant

5594 Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

The ancient farmed and wild foods of the Sonoran Desert get a global filter at Kai, owned by the Gila River Indian Community. Chef Ryan Swanson’s “Pee-posh garden” unites the best of the desert’s seasonal bounty in one dish, emulating a garden. Right now, that means “plants” like hedgehog mushrooms, fermented I’itoi onion, and pickled baby corn from an Akimel O’odham farm, all interspersed with espuma and frozen pesto. The garden is embedded in a “dirt” of black garlic, chanterelle powder, and more.

Service: Open for dine-in.

5594 Wild Horse Pass Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85048

13. Fatty Brisket at Little Miss BBQ

4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034

In a town where lines for food are scarce, meat-seekers flock to Little Miss BBQ an hour before opening to get into position for Central Texas-style smoked meats pulled from thousand-gallon offset smokers. Though Scott Holmes’s very best dishes are pastrami (Thursday) and beef rib (Friday and Saturday), fatty brisket is his biggest draw. An ivory-webbed slice dissolves on the tongue in a primal rush, like a cross between porterhouse and warm meat ice cream. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

4301 E University Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85034

14. Ice Cream at Sweet Republic

410 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 105, Tempe, AZ 85281

Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp make some of the most thoughtful ice cream in town — essential eating in a city as hot as Phoenix. Yung has experience as a line cook in the Bay Area, and her chef-like approach to frozen treats sets Sweet Republic apart from a horde of Valley ice cream shops. Sweet Republic’s flavors shuffle with the seasons and even reflect specific holidays (Irish honeycomb in early March, for instance). Standout flavors include honey-lavender, horchata, and an ultra-fresh mint chip. Both the marshmallows and the almond-toffee brittle on sundaes are made in-house, making worthy toppings for scoops of ice cream in flavors like sweet corn and bleu cheese. 

Service: Open for dine-in or takeout.

410 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 105
Tempe, AZ 85281

15. Date Shake at Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry

3039 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Dates, which grow in just two American states, were formerly a pillar of Arizona’s economy, luring tourists to the Sonoran Desert with promises of palm trees and “exotic” fruit. Vestiges of this now-largely-vanished culture linger, including the date shake from South Scottsdale’s Sphinx Date Ranch. This roadside shop specializes in the date in its many varieties and forms, shake most of all. A date shake is just that — a date milkshake. It’s a uniquely Arizonan way to experience a food generally overlooked in the U.S., one that can have surprising nuance, as delicate varieties like Phoenix’s own Black Sphinx date reflect. 

Service: Open for takeaway.

3039 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Related Maps

16. Varying Two Wash Ranch Chicken at FnB Restaurant

7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Change is constant on luminary Charleen Badman’s deeply Arizonan menu — and so, in some ever-changing form, is Two Wash Ranch chicken. Birds raised by poultry farmer Dave Jordan get the royal treatment at FnB. In winter, Badman might braise what she calls a Macau-style bird with soy, peanuts, curry, and coconut milk. As the seasons shift, she might roast the bird and pair it with spaetzle in spigarello (an Italian broccoli), or she may even fry the bird come summer. Gizzards, livers, and hearts from her weekly chickens find their way to other nooks of the menu: pate, ragu, stock, terrine, and so on. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

7125 E 5th Ave #31
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

17. Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookie at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats

7120 E 6th Ave #19, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Country Velador, the co-owner of Super Chunk and a James Beard Award-nominated baker, might make the Valley’s most renowned cookie: mesquite chocolate chip. It uses some mesquite flour, meaning powdered parts of the curved pod that sprout by the hundred on the stark, gaunt-limbed desert tree. Mesquite flour imbues cookies with a delicate spicing somewhere between cinnamon, dark honey, and the scent of the open desert. Her cookie is phenomenally craggy, thin with chew, the familiar chocolate a natural fit with the more elusive mesquite. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

7120 E 6th Ave #19
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

18. Grilled Quail at Rancho Pinot

6208 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

Arguably, nothing speaks to the Italian-accented but intimately Arizonan food of Chryssa Robertson more than her quail. It is whole but tiny, a hard char coloring burnished meat and dainty bones. Sitting in polenta and its juices, the delicate bird has been rained with roughly chopped herbs. Some of the added touches change with the local microseasons, in the quarter-century-old Rancho Pinot way. The mostarda might be peach one visit, fig another, but the dish will always draw diners close to the heart of the Southwest.

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout (though this has changed often)

6208 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

19. Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Worth Takeaway

218 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201

Though young for a classic, Worth Takeaway has become one of the stalwart eateries of the East Valley, anchoring Mesa’s Main Street with a roster of original sandwiches that are impeccably made. Worth is known for gentle riffs, weekly specials, and themed pop-ups. The shop’s most visible sandwich centers breaded chicken breast on ciabatta. It’s juicy with fierce crunch. Lettuce and house-made pickles lend textural foils and freshness. With a smear of honey-Sriracha mayo, this crispy chicken sandwich is everything its distantly related versions from the fast food drive thru wish they could be. 

Service: Open for dine-in and takeout.

218 W Main St
Mesa, AZ 85201

Related Maps