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Phoenix/Scottsdale must tries

I will be staying in Phoenix this weekend (actually Scottsdale, but will travel). What would you say are your top 3 restaurants that I must try? I am looking for things that you can only get in Arizona, no Italian or Sushi, etc. Price no limit, but I am equally interested in the best taqueria as I am with the top resort restaurant. Local ingredients, a plus.

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  1. 1. Los Sombreros (Scottsdale) - Some of the best Mexican food in the Valley. On Scottsdale Road south of Thomas.

    2. Phoenix Ranch Market (Phoenix) - The Food Court is outstanding. Get a Horchata, some tacos and a torta, and then visit the bakery on your way out. 16th Street and Roosevelt.

    3. T. Cooks (Phoenix) - One of the best fine dining restaurants in the metro area. You will pay top dollar, but the food and experience is wonderfully romantic and stellar. In the Royal Palms Resort on Camelback Road.

    Enjoy your trip and report back!

    1. I've enjoyed some terrific meals at Medizona and Rancho Pinot Grille. Rito's Market has good burritos, but it's pretty much a take out place.

      1. I would agree with Seth, except for that I haven't been to T. Cooks.

        So, my third pick would be Richardson's. Their website does not work with certain browsers, so, let me know if you need more info.

        Dick's Hideaway and Richardson's are basically the same place.

        Neither have a non-smoking section. Breakfast at Dick's Hideaway is excellent. It is available every day starting at 8:00am.

        I like to show up right at 11:00 am or after 1:30 to avoid the lunch rush at Richardson's.


        1. Lon's at the Hermosa on Palo Christi in Paradise Valley has been excellent on repeated visits. It's expensive, but I think it's a little less than T. Cook's was when we went there. However, T. Cook's is indeed amazing. You can't go wrong at either place, imo.

          1. Can I jump on this question? I will be at the Hyatt Regency downtown in Sept. Where can I get a good lunch and dinner - not expensive but not down and dirty either...

            5 Replies
            1. re: LauraBear

              This question is directed toward LauraBear.

              Will you have a rental car? If yes, all of the options mentioned above apply. If not, you'll be limited to a much smaller array of downtown restaurants or restaurants accessible via a bus ride from downtown.

              1. re: silverbear

                I will have a car. guess I'm have to use it... Is 16th and Roosevelt Ranch Market walkable? distance and/or safety?

                1. re: LauraBear

                  The distance is about two miles from the heart of downtown, but I would not recommend walking. In the daytime, the heat will still be oppressive. At night, safety may be an issue.

                  If you wish to find restaurants within walking distance of the downtown Hyatt, try searching this site with the words "Phoenix" and "downtown" for numerous prior threads on this issue.

                  If you wish to drive a bit into surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs, then all of the postings in this thread will be helpful.

              2. re: LauraBear

                The spots listed are wonderful- T Cooks is one of our favorites. We went to the Hyatt Saturday night before a concert. Had terrific service(thanks to Jerri), drinks, appetizers and a special for the night of three seafood- halibut, salmon, shrimp with different delicious sauces. It reminded me of Janos in Tucson- the summer tasting menu. Great view and nice up high view of all or Phoenix.

              3. Besides the above "usual suspects," I'll chime in with my usual recs., Vincent's on Camelback. A slightly SW take on French Cuisine by a James Beard Award winning chef, 40th St & Camelback.

                Roaring Fork, above Camelback on Scottsdale Rd. Another JBA chef, with his take on SW.

                Cowboy Ciao, 6th St (Scottsdale) and Stetson in Old Town Scottsdale. Chef Bernie does some fabulous entrees, and the wine flights are always great fun.

                Great lunch (or dinner if you have time with all of the other recs.) is Sophie's, 24th & Osborne (definitely Phoenix), is a great little French bistro.

                The other recs. are all right-on, and worth the trip to dine there.


                1. These are great suggestions, thanks to everyone. I will certainly report back.

                  1. We were in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area this summer and I did exactly as Seth has recommended. Dinner the first night at Los Sombreros (great meal, not expensive). Lunch the next day I was on my own and found one branch of the Phoenix Ranch Market (probably not the one closest to where I was staying because I drove forever, oh well). My problem here was the intimidation factor -- how I wished I'd taken Spanish, not French. I did manage to order, but just barely and I did wonder what all I was missing. They were much too busy to have time for me to point and try to ask questions. T. Cooks that night was wonderful -- very special, lovely food, lovely atmosphere. Great contrast to Los Sombreros. (expensive but worthwhile).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gsElsbeth

                      The last time I was at Ranch Market, I asked for water, and somehow ended up with horchata. It was great!

                    2. As much as I love Ranch Market, I also think Lee Lee's should be mentioned in the same breath. It's not Southwestern, but is probably one of the best Asian markets in the U.S.

                      Any foodie with a taste for Mexican or Asian should be steered to either/both places. Both are gems.

                      1. The Phoenix Ranch Market on 16th Street and Roosevelt has a new restaurant called Tradiciones. I just got back from a dinner there, and I can say it is some insanely good chow, easily a contender for the best Mex in town. I'll be doing a full review some time in the near future.