Tacos filled with cheese and nachos in Los Dos Molinos, one of the best Phoenix restaurants

29 Best Phoenix Restaurants (Where to Eat in 2023)

I’m an Arizona local and in this guide, I give the low-down on this year’s absolute best Phoenix restaurants and places to eat.

Featured eateries cover a range of international cuisines, and some you’ve likely seen in the press before. But I also share a few personal favorite restaurants that fly under the radar and are so worth visiting. 

In the words of Guy Fieri, next stop, Flavor Town! 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

29 Best Restaurants in Phoenix

Dick’s Hideaway

🍽️ New Mexican / Southwestern | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 241-1881

Juicy steak on a plate with rice in Dick’s Hideaway

This is a hidden gem if I’ve ever seen one. With a very unassuming facade, the atmosphere in this dimly lit dining room is fantastic. Intimate nooks and a cozy bar, along with a welcoming and knowledgeable staff, make this one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. And the extensive menu doesn’t disappoint.

Dick’s Hideaway serves New Mexican food, which is not a typical cuisine I’ve discovered in Phoenix. I ordered the Top Sirloin featuring the most delicious peppercorn whiskey lime sauce and a stack of tortillas made right before my eyes. Paired with a couple of strong Old Fashions, it’s safe to say I had a fantastic meal. 

I have only been here once, so I didn’t get the chance to try all of the incredible options on the menu. But everything I had was stellar and I can’t wait to go back to try more! 

👉 Don’t Miss: Just down the street from Dick’s Hideaway lies Old Town Scottsdale, one of the best things to do and see in Phoenix.

Cibo Pizzeria

🍽️ Pizza / Italian | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 441-2697

Two whole pizza on a plate in Cibo Pizzeria

This Italian restaurant is set in a 109-year-old bungalow located in west Downtown Phoenix. Hardwood floors, stained glass windows, and a massive fireplace set the mood from the moment you step through the front door. If you’re a fan of a personal pizza, this is the place to sink your teeth into a 12-inch pie all to yourself. Every pizza is hand-tossed to perfection and the Tagliatelle Bolognese (served after 5 pm) is life-changing.

This spot is a favorite for tourists and locals alike, and it’s no secret why. Cibo’s Italian food is authentic and so very flavorful. You’ll feel like you just bit into a wood fired pizza on the Amalfi Coast! It’s also conveniently located near the Van Buren, so you can grab a bite on their shady patio before or after seeing an awesome concert.

Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles

🍽️ Chicken / Southern Comfort | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 340-1304

Two pieces of fried chicken and a waffle with a scoop of ice cream from Lolo's Chicken and Waffles

On this list of Phoenix restaurants, Lolo’s will forever be at the top for me. I used to drive with my dad from Tucson just to get breakfast here. Home of the best fried chicken and waffles in Arizona, you simply can’t miss out on their Southern comfort classics.

With locations in Scottsdale, Downtown, and at the airport, it’s easy to find a Lolo’s no matter where you stay in the capital city. Choose from a vast menu of fried chicken specialties, accompanied by hearty sides like fried mac n’ cheese balls and grits. If you’re not famished, order the Betty’s Boob (yes, I order it because it’s a funny mention of my name) for a simple one-piece breast atop one fluffy waffle.

To be honest, I’ve never ordered anything but chicken and waffles here, but I don’t see how I could ever stray from perfection. So when you visit, do yourself a favor and order something off the Hood Classics menu. Don’t forget to wash it all down with their famous Kool-Aid!

Buck & Rider

🍽️ Seafood | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 346-0110

Fresh oysters on a tray with ice in Buck & Rider

If you’re a fan of raw bars, Buck & Rider should be at the top of your Phoenix restaurants list. As we are in a landlocked state, it can be difficult to find a seafood restaurant with truly reputable dishes. This Scottsdale establishment passes the test on every level: sushi, oysters, salmon, lobster, you name it. Every dish is prepared by highly skilled chefs, and the flavors are unparalleled to any of the other seafood restaurants in Phoenix.

Buck & Rider is on the pricier side of this list, which is expected from the makeup of the menu. However, it’s worth the splurge to enjoy the freshest seafood in Phoenix with a handcrafted cocktail in hand. And their indoor dining room has a really lovely atmosphere. You won’t be disappointed!

👉 Don’t Miss: Walk across the street to get a killer cocktail from The Henry, a popular Fox Restaurant Concepts establishment, before dinner.

Chelsea’s Kitchen

🍽️ American | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 957-2555

Close up view of a filet mignon with garlic in Chelsea’s Kitchen

This place has it all: a view of the canal, fantastic service, and of course, delicious food. The environment here does not disappoint with some of the best outdoor seating in Phoenix. It’s a bit on the pricier side, but the prices match the flavors. Make sure to make a reservation so you don’t show up to an hours-long waitlist.

I recommend the filet mignon if you’re in the mood for steak (which I always am). They also have some killer desserts, like the best red velvet cake and key lime pie I’ve ever had! I have never ordered anything I didn’t like at Chelsea’s Kitchen, so I know you’ll be set with anything on the menu. This is a great spot for a dinner party with your favorite people!

Durant’s

🍽️ Upscale Chophouse / Seafood | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 264-5967

Grilled meat with vegetables on a plate and a glass of red wine

Not just a steakhouse, Durant’s is one of those restaurants that makes you feel like a famous star dining in an old Hollywood speakeasy. Red leather booths and dimly lit, velvet walls set the scene for a celebratory dinner to remember. This place has been around for over 70 years, so you know it’s got a personality that has lasted for a reason.

Serving top-notch steaks, prime rib, and seafood, you’re going to pay a pretty penny here. I recommend taking your special someone to Valentine’s dinner at Durant’s. The moody, romantic atmosphere is too perfect to experience without good reason! This is by far one of the best restaurants in Phoenix.

👉 Pro Tip: Make a reservation well in advance to ensure you can get a table.

Ingo’s Tasty Food

🍽️ American Breakfast / Burgers | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 795-2884

Close up view of a burger and a fries in Ingo’s Tasty Food
Nothing beats a good poppy seed bun!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree there is nothing, I repeat nothing, greater on this earth than a juicy cheeseburger, potato chips, and a cold beer. If you agree with this statement, you have to go to this downtown restaurant.

I have a cheeseburger at least twice a week (my health choices are questionable, but we won’t discuss that here), so I have a pretty solid repertoire going on. Ingo’s has one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever had. From the poppy seed bun to the Angus beef dripping with Russian dressing, it’s just heavenly. 

And the housemade potato chips? I would die for them. Seriously, this place is just so good. The dining room is super casual, so you don’t have to go for any special occasion.

Taco Chelo

🍽️ Mexican | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 368-5316

A woman getting a taco on a big plate
(photo: jamie.sue.photography / Shutterstock)

When you ask a Phoenician where the best place to get tacos is, the answer is almost always going to be Taco Chelo. A collaboration between Chef Suny Santana, a local artist, and a restaurateur, the space is beautifully decorated to reflect Chef Suny’s Mexican heritage.

Aside from the decor, the mouthwatering scents are unreal. With a straight-to-the-point menu of just tacos and small sides, everything is made from scratch and the aroma is just as good as the flavor. Try the tacos Al Pastor or the carne asada for a heavenly experience. You will leave Taco Chelo satisfied no matter what you order.

🍺 Pro Tip: They serve $15 buckets of beer from 3-6 pm daily!

Matt’s Big Breakfast

🍽️ American Breakfast / Burgers | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 254-1074

View of Biscuits and Gravy on a plate served in Matts Big Breakfast
(photo: Brand Loyal – Phoenix, AZ)

There’s nothing like a greasy-spoon breakfast joint to lift your spirits on a weekend morning. Matt’s Big Breakfast is just the place to indulge in, you guessed it, a big breakfast. Open from 7 am – 2 pm daily, they offer all the breakfast and brunch fixings you need to start your day off right. And they have multiple locations in Scottsdale, downtown, and at the airport, so you can easily find one near you!

I like to come here on the weekdays since it’s a small space and the weekends tend to get packed with long wait times. But even if you do have to get in line, it’s worth it to enjoy a platter of Matt’s home fries, a heaping plate of biscuits and gravy, and a mug of bottomless coffee.

Happy’s Hamburgers

🍽️ Hamburgers | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 630-2330

A hand holding a loaded burger

This hole-in-the-wall diner is one of my favorite restaurants in Phoenix. Their classic American food is unparalleled to any other diner in the Scottsdale area. Happy’s is unassuming from the outside, but I promise your expectations will be exceeded when you take a bite into one of their tasty slide burgers. 

The Classic Arizona Burger is my personal favorite (bacon + onion rings = perfection), but I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every patty I’ve tried at Happy’s. They’re open from 10 am – 9 pm on the weekdays and until midnight on Friday and Saturday, which is perfect for those who get late-night cravings.

Chino Bandido

🍽️ Mexican-Asian Fusion | $ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (602) 375-3639

A tacos filled with vegetable in Chino Bandido

Take a burrito, add some fried rice and Asian spices, and what do you get? A Mexican-Asian fusion that’s going to 100% blow your mind. Of all the Phoenix restaurants, this one will forever make my top 5. It’s unique, mildly priced, and absolutely delicious. You might drive right by this hole-in-the-wall if you didn’t know where to look. My advice? Don’t pass up this glorious gem of an establishment. Thank me later.

I recommend the jerk chicken rice bowl with refried beans if you like things spicy. The carnitas and fried rice burrito is also a real winner. Honestly, it’s all great food. You won’t be disappointed by any of it, and you’ll keep coming back for more until the end of time.

Pizzeria Bianco

🍽️ Italian | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 258-8300

People eating outside the Pizzeria Bianco at night

In the back of a grocery store nearly 35 years ago, Chef Chris Bianco sparked the artisanal pizza movement in the Phoenix restaurant scene. Crafting locally-sourced recipes, he eventually won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2003. This honor boosted his credibility as one of the most talented chefs in Arizona, and Pizzeria Bianco is a testament to that.

This place truly makes the best wood fired pizzas and house-made pasta I have ever had. Soak up cheesy carbonara with fresh bread, and share a wiseguy pizza (mozzarella, fennel sausage, smoked onions) with a friend. I guarantee it’ll be one of the greatest dinners of your life.

Harumi

🍽️ Sushi | $$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (602) 258-0131

Close up view of sushi on a wooden board in Harumi

If the mention of sushi and sake gets your heart racing, you can’t miss Harumi. I am not a big sushi person myself, but even I can’t resist the rolls prepared here. Fresh-tasting seafood can be difficult to find in my landlocked state, but Harumi never fails to serve the best-tasting fish. It seems as though each meal was caught moments before meeting the plate!

The Thumb

🍽️ BBQ / Wine / Gas Station Grub | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 513-8186

View of a ribs on a grill in The Thumb

One of my favorite spots on this list, The Thumb is a culinary experience all its own. The restaurant is part diner, gas station, car wash, and bodega. I heard about this place from a close friend, so when I needed a car wash one day, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was not disappointed. The staff was incredibly welcoming, and the wine section had an impressive variety. It smelled amazing of juicy barbecue classics.

Open daily from 7 am – 8 pm, you can stop in for coffee and a savory breakfast sandwich or grab a bottle of wine to go with a brisket dinner (which I highly recommend). Don’t miss this unique Phoenix eatery!

👉 Pro Tip: Peruse the shop while getting your car washed to capitalize on time.

The Capital Grille

🍽️ Chophouse | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 952-8900

Close up view of a rare steak on a wooden board from The Capital Grille

Celebrating a special occasion? The Capital Grille is one of the best restaurants in Phoenix to treat yourself. White tablecloths and black ties fill the dining room, and you’ll be treated like royalty by the staff the moment you walk through the door. I’m telling you, this place oozes elegance.

While it is certainly one of the most expensive picks on this list, The Capital Grille earns its stars and its dollar signs. They serve incredible food prepared by an executive chef, like the prime rib and pan-seared sea bass. Try the bone-in Kona crusted NY strip, which pairs well with their Kona espresso martini. 

They also have plenty of vegetarian dishes and pasta dishes if you seek something more affordable than the expensive steaks. Don’t miss out on one of the best restaurants in Phoenix.

OAK on Camelback

🍽️ New American / Fine Dining | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 200-8111

Burger, fries, and vegetables on a plate in OAK on Camelback

OAK in a word? Trendy. This spot not only satisfies your stomach but also your eyes. Each dish is beautifully presented, and the portions are a great size. You’ll likely have lots to take home. The best thing about this restaurant is its artsy cocktails. Don’t leave without trying the famous Pig Dig sandwich alongside a handcrafted cocktail.

Haji Baba

🍽️ Mediterranean | $ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (480) 894-1905

Gyros and fries on a wooden board in Haji Baba

There’s nothing I love more than hot shawarma or a juicy gyro in a soft pita wrap. Haji Baba delivers just that in its highest form. There’s nothing fancy about this place, which is why I like it. You go in, they serve you incredible Mediterranean food, and there are no frills along the way. If you want a meal that will show up in your dreams weeks following, this is where to dine.

Thai House Mesa

🍽️ Thai | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 924-1623

Panang curry, beef fried rice, and a glass of beer from Thai House Mesa
Panang curry and beef fried rice… nothing compares.

If you’re looking for casual ambiance and a whole lot of authentic flavor, Thai House Mesa is calling your name. I have had plenty of Thai food in Arizona as it’s my go-to dinner at least twice a week, and this place easily makes its way to my top 3 list. 

You’ll know you’re in for a genuine Thai meal the moment you walk through the door. Try the Panang curry for a classic flavor that won’t let you down (make sure to get it extra spicy!).

📚 Related Reading: Best Day Trips from Phoenix

OEB Breakfast Co.

🍽️ American Breakfast | $$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (480) 597-4463

View of dishes served in OEB Breakfast Co.

Did somebody say brunch? OEB has everything you could dream of for the perfect morning meal. Their benedicts are to die for (hello, side of duck-fat breakfast potatoes), and their signature breakfast poutines induce pure taste bud ecstasy. 

Feeling a little hungover? I mean, you are in Scottsdale, so it’s understandable. Pair one of their massive breakfast burritos with a fizzy mimosa or a rosemary gin and tonic for the ultimate hair of the dog cure.

Los Dos Molinos

🍽️ Mexican | $$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (602) 528-3535

Tacos filled with cheese and nachos in Los Dos Molinos

Did you really visit Phoenix if you didn’t get some killer Mexican food? Los Dos Molinos is everything you want in an authentic cantina. It’s a little greasy, anything but fancy, and it’s entirely authentic. 

The cheese crips and chicken enchiladas are the best things on the menu, in my opinion. Get a strong margarita while you’re at it! The great food and drinks at Los Dos Molinos will make your belly happy.

Postino

🍽️ Italian / Wine Bar | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 274-5144

View of the Postino in Scottsdale from the outside
The Scottsdale location (photo: BCFC / Shutterstock)

Postino is a wine bar serving Italian classics with a chic atmosphere and damn good deals. Take a good look at the wine tasting menu – the options are broad! 

Their Board & Bottle deal after 8 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays includes a bottle of wine and a board with four different kinds of bruschetta for just $25. They also serve $5 beer pitchers before 5 pm, which is a steal for beer lovers. Postino makes for a great kick-start to your workweek!

This is one of the best spots to hang out with your favorite friends in a laid-back setting. With seven locations in various Phoenix neighborhoods, it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Phoenix!

👉 Pro Tip: Ask your server about joining the Wine Cult for awesome membership deals.

Flaming Pig

🍽️ Filipino | $$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (623) 999-7446

View of pork knuckles on a grill in Flaming Pig
Grilled pork knuckle

As the youth of a family that grew up in the Philippines, I’ve had my fair share of mouthwatering Filipino food in my 24 years of life. Nothing ever seems to quite measure up to the homemade recipes of a native Filipino, but I have discovered some gems in my state. Flaming Pig is one of them. 

As the name suggests, they serve tons of juicy Filipino pork dishes. These include tocino, sinigang, and sisig along with other classics like pancit and lumpia. You get to grill your own meal at your table, which makes the experience all the more fun! This is one of the most unique restaurants in Phoenix. If you’re craving a taste of the Philippines, don’t skip Flaming Pig.

Hidden House

🍽️ Country-Chic | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 275-5525

A pasta dish from Hidden House

Located in the south Phoenix town of Chandler, this elegant restaurant is worth the trip if you’re seeking a romantic night out. Nestled in a 1939 cottage in Historic Downtown Chandler, this place has true character and the variety on their menu is commendable. 

Spanish, Asian, and Italian influences display their worldly flavors in an array of dishes. And to top it all off, they play live music in the evenings. Stop in for reverse happy hour from 10-close on the weekends!

Pedal Haus

🍽️ American / German / Brewery | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 314-2337

A group of friends toasting with their glass of beer in Pedal Haus

Looking for fairly cheap eats and a stein-full of beer? Look no further than Pedal Haus. I visit this great brewery every time I find myself on Mill Avenue. It’s one of my favorite outdoor dining spots because they have a spacious patio with misters, lovely plants, and floor to ceiling windows that give a great view of the brewery inside.

Serving traditional dishes and beers from Germany, my recommendation is to pair a German lager with their pretzel flight. Nothing is more satisfying than a massive pretzel dunked in beer cheese with a stein in hand. You can’t go wrong with a visit to this Tempe favorite.

Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse

🍽️ BBQ | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 404-9984

Close up view of a barbecue ribs on a wooden board with a brush beside it

If you’re like me, you’ll do virtually anything for a killer brisket meal slathered in smoky barbecue sauce. There is little to nothing better than this combination, and Bootleggers does it just right with their chopped brisket sandwich! Along with other classic BBQ dishes (pulled pork, chicken wings, and fried mac n’ cheese), you’ll find smoked mussels, fresh salads, and even Mexican fare.

You’ll undoubtedly be full for days after a trip to Bootleggers Smokehouse. And they serve unique moonshine cocktails, which I have not found anywhere else in the Phoenix area. Don’t miss this barbecue gem, as seen on Food Network!

🎥 Don’t Miss: Watch the Bootleggers episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Virtu Honest Craft

🍽️ Mediterranean / Cocktail Bar | $$$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (480) 946-3477

Different kinds of dishes from Virtu Honest Craft

If you’re lodging at the Bespoke Inn, one of the most special features of this boutique hotel is Virtu Honest Craft. When you read the reviews of this place, nearly every comment raves about how this restaurant provided one of the best meals of their lives. This is the perfect place to treat yourself to a gourmet, coursed meal in a quaint environment.

📚 Related Reading: Learn more about staying at the Bespoke Inn in my Where to Stay in Phoenix article.

Across the Pond

🍽️ Cocktail Bar / Sushi | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (602) 296-5629

Group of friends having a toast with their cocktails in Across the Pond

If you’re a cocktail bar kind of person, this is the spot for you. This cocktail bar has personality and style and is dimly lit with subtle neon artwork on the walls. The service is fantastic, too, so you simply can’t have a bad time here. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Phoenix.

Try the Berry White if you want to drink a form of sake artwork. Each handcrafted cocktail comes gorgeously assembled, so you can’t go wrong no matter your choice of liquor. Oh, and their salmon roll gets 5-stars from me. 

Check this place out along with Clever Koi next door. Take a walk around Steele Indian School Park Pond afterward for a romantic date idea!

👉 Pro Tip: Get 20 % off your tab from 5 pm-6 pm!

Nobu

🍽️ Japanese | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (480) 581-0055

View of the Nobu sign at the entrance
(photo: BCFC / Shutterstock)

Looking for a glitzy night out on the town with rolls of the finest sushi in Phoenix? You’ve probably heard about this glamorous chain located in big cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago

Nobu has a massive reputation in the sushi-lovers community, and it certainly lives up to it. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny – the cheapest meal here is around $25. As one of the most upscale restaurants in Phoenix, Nobu is great for a date night or a special occasion!

🛍️ Don’t Miss: Scottsdale is one of the best places to visit in Arizona, and Fashion Square Mall is a top attraction. Go shopping before enjoying your meal at Nobu!

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen

🍽️ Italian / Vegan / Gluten-Free | $$ | Website | 📍Google Maps | 📞 (480) 785-0522

View of a whole vegan pizza in Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen

Every best-of restaurants list needs a healthy option or two. Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Pizza offers all the health benefits without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. Vegan or gluten-free? Their menu has plenty of tasty options to choose from, unlike the limited menus you might find at a similar establishment. 

Try the gluten-free pizza with vegan cheese or the pesto ravioli for a truly unique Italian experience. With five locations in the greater Phoenix area, you’ll never be far from a Picazzo’s. This chain is a delicious and healthy option for those seeking great food at a reasonable price.

👉 Read Next: 31 Top Places to Eat in Tucson

FAQs About Phoenix Restaurants

Is Phoenix a foodie town?

Phoenix is a foodie town. As you can see from this list, there’s a wide range of culinary genres, especially in the Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. Filipino, Thai, Mexican, Native American, West African, you name it! No matter what you’re craving, you’ll surely find a unique array of Phoenix restaurants to satisfy your inner foodie.

What food is Phoenix famous for?

Phoenix is famous for Sonoran food, as well as great pizza. There are multiple internationally renowned pizzerias, my favorite of which is Cibo. And with such proximity to the Mexican border, it’s no surprise the city is overflowing with fantastic Mexican food.

What are the most popular restaurants in Phoenix?

The most popular restaurants in Phoenix are The Capital Grille, Durant’s, Chelsea’s Kitchen, and Postino. What makes these some of the best restaurants in the city is their excellent menus paired with a great atmosphere and stellar service. They’ve all earned their spots on this list!

🍽️ Headed to Vegas? Check out Isabelle’s guide to the 31 top Las Vegas restaurants.

***

Now that you have a list of the best restaurants in Phoenix, which category will you tackle first? Will it be spicy Mexican food, fresh sushi, savory Italian, or something completely different? No matter where you choose to chow down, I’m confident that any spot on this guide will leave you beyond satisfied. And if you feel I missed a real gem, leave a comment below and I’ll check out your recommendation!

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