From bruschetta bars to dog-friendly breweries to chili burgers made by cowboys, we’ve got you covered with the best Phoenix restaurants. Without further adieu, here is the epicure’s guide to this delicious desert city:
3939 E Campbell Avenue + other Arizona locations
Originally the Arcadia Post Office Building in the 1950s, Postino owners Craig and Kris DeMarco, and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey, both husband-and-wife teams, transformed the building into a neighborhood-friendly indoor-outdoor wine bar and cafe with a friendly neighborhood feel. There are a few major highlights of a visit to this restaurant. One is the urban-farmhouse-meets-hipster vibe, with wine racks showcasing the latest bottles, wood accents, comfy couches and walls lined with local artwork. Another is the inventive bruschetta menu, with slices of crostini topped with everything from brie & apple with fig spread, to prosciutto with figs & mascarpone, to fresh mozzeralla with tomato & basil. Lastly, a happy hour featuring $5 glasses of wine from 11am to 5pm daily is reason enough to visit this indoor-outdoor eatery.
La Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria
4410 N. 40th Street
La Grande Orange Grocery isn’t your average supermarket. They focus on flavorful meals made with all natural ingredients, as well as inspirational retail items. Inside, you’ll find shelves stocked with quote blocks, mugs, beach pails, candles, cards and picture frames, as well as counters selling artisanal pizzas, homemade baked goods enhanced by raw honeys and date sugar, and caffeinated beverages decked out in latte art. Some stand-out items include the “Mushroom Party” pizza featuring three types of mushrooms, sweet onion and shaved fennel; the first press olive oil pound cake; and the deep-dish chocolate pecan pie topped with Kahlua whipped cream. Libations are also on offer, and they even have a tap wine and refill-your-growler program (LGO Growlers are $12). If you don’t feel like getting out of your car, park in front of the shop and a member of the staff will come out to take your order curbside.
O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery
4900 E Indian School Road
O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery brings hip to Arcadia in an unpretentious way. Pet owners will love this dog-friendly brewery, allowing pups inside and even providing free water and home-made treats. It’s also bike-friendly, with the interior walls adorned with bike chains, wheels and spokes and the exterior featuring a Christmas light-strung bar interwoven with a hanging bike — not to mention their winter Bike-In Beer Festival. Inside, you can watch beer being made in huge tanks right next to the dining room, as well as check out an easy-to-digest exhibit detailing exactly how beer is made, helping you to better understand your beverage. After ordering a beer from their expansive chalk board list — like “Praying Monk Blond,” “Hop Kitchen #6” and “Smoked Cherry Porter,” pair the drink with a Brewer’s Board (shown above) showcasing a mix of cheeses, meats, corn nuts, dried cherries, olives and pita chips.
Don’t miss their beer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 2pm, where for $10 you can match dishes like buttermilk biscuits and beer gravy, green chile pork carnitas, and agave syrup-topped French toast with a 10-ounce home-brewed beer. This is just one of their many regularly-occurring events.
Country Boys Restaurant
3202 E. Greenway
For a no-fuss yet delicious meal that will leave you full for hours, head to Country Boys Restaurant, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is the sort of diner where everything comes out tasting like your grandma made it. Picture a Belgium Waffle soaked in maple syrup and butter served with eggs and bacon; a Spanish Omelette the size of a football stuffed with ground beef, homemade salsa and cheddar; and a “Porker Skillet” of ham, sausage, onion, peppers and mushrooms slavered in thick gravy. While not ideal for those on a diet, this is a great venue for those with a big appetite and small budget. In fact, check their website for printable dining coupons.
27375 N Alma School Parkway
While actually in Scottsdale — at least for the time being, as there is talk of the venue relocating to a new spot nearby — it’s a popular burger joint taking you back to the Old West. Housed in a 130-year-old bunkhouse, it’s more of an experience than a restaurant. Greasewood Flat features live country music (Thursday-Sunday), an al fresco dance floor, antique tractors and guns, barrel fires, horseshoe games, barns stocked with firewood and communal outdoor picnic tables to savor green chile burgers and hot dogs made by cowboys. Order a drink from their indoor bar, where the ceilings and floors are covered in message-adorned dollar bills. Greasewood Flat has been open since 1975, and is truly a staple of the Greater Phoenix community. Tip: While they offer a green chile-topped burger and a chili stew gowned burger, ask if you have both accompaniments combined. The combination is out of this world.
4773 N. 20th Street
For a gourmet farm-to-fork experience, Sage Kitchen serves a selection of vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten-free items. Start with one of their made-from-scratch dips or raw sushi rolls before moving on to wraps, pizzas, salads and entrees. Some standout menu items include the “Crispy Kale Pizza” made with a creamy pesto alfredo, mozzarella and Miti Caña goat cheese mix; a colossal “Hercules Burrito” enhanced by a spicy black bean-sweet potato ragout; and the “Quinoa Salad” loaded with veggies and topped with feta and avocado. They’re also BYOB, and you’ll find suggested wine pairings on their online menu. Whether you imbibe or not, don’t miss their expansive tea assortment, including specialty organic house blends (we love the dessert-like “Golden Moon,” like a warm apple pie right out of the oven). Leave your meal guilt-free, concerning both health and morals.
Biltmore Plaza Shopping Center, 3164 East Camelback Road
As soon as you step into the Gelato Spot you’ll be overwhelmed — in a good way — by the variety of flavors, colors and topping enhancements. While you’ll mentally be transported to Italy, the truth is all ingredients are domestically sourced, mainly from the Northern Italian Company in Colorado, and made right in Tempe, Arizona. One fun annual event they host is Gelato Wars, where local chefs compete to come up with new flavors, which patrons can then sample. Some creative flavors from the 2014 competition include “Blueberry Buttermilk Pie,” “Honey Almond Biscotti,” “Smoked Banana Pudding,” “Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey” and a “Vegan Chocolate” infused with smoked almonds and caramel. All are creamy and light, in true gelato fashion. Yum!
Need to work off those calories? Phoenix is called the “Valley of the Sun” because it is surrounded by mountains — which make for perfect hiking and climbing. One recommended hike is Piestewa Peak, an urban climb that makes you feel far away from the city, despite the fact you’re still in it. It takes about an hour to get to the top, with few breaks from the steep inclining path. For hard facts, it’s 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) to the top, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet (366 meters). From the summit, enjoy panoramic views of the city, surrounding mountains and beyond.
What’s your favorite Phoenix culinary experience? Please share in the comments below.
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