Answers from Our Experts (2)
Dining in Phoenix has come a long way in recent years. While much of the city's cuisine is still based on Southwestern and Sonoran influences — and we're not complaining — Phoenix is also home to considerable innovation thanks to James Beard Award-winning chefs and Five-Star worthy dining experiences. The local food movement is taking off in the city, with chefs around the Valley of the Sun snapping up the city's best produce — and growing it themselves — and transforming it into simple, bright dishes. Increasingly, artisanal products such as local olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill and Arizona wines are showing up on tables across the city. Still an affordable city, this is the place to try prix-fixe menus without breaking the bank. The only downside to the recent explosion of the restaurant scene is the lack of a central neighborhood to dine in. Much like the sprawling desert, the best of Phoenix dining stretches across cities, suburbs and even into outlying areas.
Even though it rains just a few times a season in Phoenix, the city’s dining scene is growing at an alarming rate. Everywhere you look around the greater area, you’re bound to see (and certainly smell) something delicious. Blue Hound, which sits on the ground level of downtown Phoenix’s brand-new Hotel Palomar, is doing wonderful things with its gastro-pub menu. Beckett’s Table and Windsor are two other PHX restaurants cooking up some sustainable magic. A little further from the city center are exciting southwestern-tinged places like the TQLA in Mesa and Saddle Ranch Chop House in Glendale. But, of course, while all of this newness is cooking up, established eateries like Arizona Biltmore’s Wright's at the Biltmore and the Royal Palms’ T. Cook's are doing inventive things of their own to keep their kitchens relevant.