Arizona is a diverse state with a rich food culture that reflects its history, geography, and demographics. From the spicy Mexican and southwestern flavors of Phoenix and Tucson to the Native American and cowboy influences of Flagstaff and Sedona, there is something for every palate. Here is a foodie’s guide to some of the best restaurants and local flavors in Arizona.
Phoenix, the capital and largest city in Arizona, is known for its abundant sunshine, desert landscape, and diverse culinary scene. Some of the best restaurants in Phoenix include:
Pizzeria Bianco: Located in the historic Heritage Square district, Pizzeria Bianco is widely considered one of the best pizzerias in the country. Owner Chris Bianco uses locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques to create artisanal pies with thin, crispy crusts and creative toppings like fennel sausage and roasted garlic.
The Gladly: Located in the Biltmore neighborhood on Camelback and 22nd Street, The Gladly is a contemporary, modern American restaurant known for its extensive whiskey selection and creative comfort food serving lunch, happy hour and dinner. Standout dishes include the fried chicken with honey-thyme gravy and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf with mushroom gravy.
Tucson, located in the southeastern part of the state, is known for its vibrant Mexican and southwestern flavors. Some of the best restaurants in Tucson include:
El Charro Café: Established in 1922, El Charro Café is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Tucson and a local institution. The menu features classic dishes from Northern Mexico and Tucson, like carne seca (dried beef) and chimichangas (deep-fried burritos), as well as modern twists like ahi tuna tacos and grilled corn with chipotle aioli. El Charro Cafe ships nationwide.
Janos Wilder Restaurant: Located in the Westin La Paloma Resort, Janos Wilder Restaurant is a fine dining establishment that celebrates the flavors of the Southwest. Chef Janos Wilder sources ingredients from local farms and ranches, and serves dishes like mesquite-grilled venison and chile-rubbed duck breast.
Agustin Kitchen: Located in the historic Mercado San Agustin, Agustin Kitchen is a casual, farm-to-table restaurant that serves globally inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Standout dishes include the pulled pork sandwich with chipotle BBQ sauce and the beet and goat cheese salad with pistachio vinaigrette.
Flagstaff, located in the northern part of the state, is a mountain town with a mix of Native American, cowboy, and outdoor influences. Some of the best restaurants in Flagstaff include:
Criollo Latin Kitchen: Located in the historic Weatherford Hotel, Criollo Latin Kitchen is a contemporary restaurant that celebrates the flavors of Latin America. Chef Ryan Clark sources ingredients from local farms and serves dishes like camarones al coco (coconut shrimp) and carne asada (grilled steak).
The Toasted Owl: Located in the downtown area, The Toasted Owl is a popular breakfast and lunch spot known for its creative sandwiches and locally roasted coffee. Standout dishes include the green chili pork sandwich and the avocado toast with egg and bacon.
Shift Kitchen + Bar: Located in the Little America Hotel, Shift Kitchen + Bar is a contemporary American restaurant that sources ingredients from local farms and ranches. Standout dishes include the wood-fired pizza with wild mushrooms and truffle oil, and the pan-seared salmon with quinoa pilaf and lemon butter sauce.
107 N San Francisco St Ste 2, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Scottsdale, located in the northeastern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is a upscale desert city known for its golf courses, spas, and fine dining. Some of the best restaurants in Scottsdale include:
Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse: Located in the Sonoran Desert, Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse is a classic western steakhouse known for its mesquite-grilled steaks and cowboy atmosphere. In addition to steaks, the menu features dishes like grilled quail and buffalo chili.
10426 E Jomax Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
FnB: Once called the ‘epicenter’ of creative Arizona Cuisine, the FnB is Located in the trendy neighborhood of Scottsdale, FnB is a farm-to-table restaurant that celebrates Arizona’s local agriculture. Chef Charleen Badman sources ingredients from small farms and farmers markets, and serves dishes like Sonoran wheat berry salad and grilled quail with prickly pear gastrique.
7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
The Mission: Located in the Kierland Commons shopping center, The Mission is a modern Latin restaurant that serves small plates and craft cocktails. Standout dishes include the ceviche with tuna, mango, and avocado, and the empanadas with beef, olives, and raisins. There is a second location in Old Town Scottsdale.
7122 E Greenway PkwyScottsdale, AZ 85254
Sedona, located in the northern part of the state, is a red rock town known for its beautiful scenery, spiritual energy, and upscale dining. Some of the best restaurants in Sedona include:
Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill: This is a reservations only restaurant, located in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill is a casual, open-air restaurant that serves Latin-inspired dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Standout dishes include the grilled octopus with smoked paprika aioli and the pork belly tacos with pineapple salsa.
700 W Arizona 89a, Sedona, AZ 86336
Elote Café: Located in the Uptown neighborhood, Elote Café is a trendy Mexican restaurant known for its modern twists on classic dishes. Standout dishes include the duck confit tacos with habanero salsa and the lobster enchiladas with chipotle cream sauce.
350 Jordan Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336
Heartline Café: Located in the Sedona Creative Life Center, Heartline Café is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that serves healthy, plant-based dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Standout dishes include the black bean and sweet potato enchiladas with cashew sour cream and the tofu banh mi sandwich with pickled vegetables.
1610 Arizona 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
Yuma, located in the southwestern part of the state, is a desert town known for its sunny weather and agricultural production. Some of the best restaurants in Yuma include:
The Garden Café: Located in the Yuma Center for the Arts, The Garden Café is a casual, farm-to-table restaurant that sources ingredients from local farms and farmers markets. Standout dishes include the pan-seared salmon with quinoa and roasted vegetables, and the grilled portobello mushroom burger with roasted red pepper aioli.
250 S. Madison Avenue, Yuma AZ 85364
The Date Garden: Located in the nearby town of Bard, The Date Garden is a historic date farm and restaurant that serves dishes made with locally grown dates. Standout dishes include the date and bacon-wrapped chicken skewers, and the date and pecan-crusted goat cheese salad.
Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant: Located in the downtown area, Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant that serves authentic Mexican dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Standout dishes include the carne asada (grilled steak) tacos and the mole poblano (chocolate-based sauce) enchiladas.
Lute’s Casino: Where the elite meet and the local eat. The décor is early eclectic, what might be called interesting junk. And it is everywhere. The 12-foot-high walls are plasters with posters, paintings, murals and decals of every description. Order an especial con pappas.
221 Main Street, Yuma, AZ 85364