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Phoenix restaurants

Hi all, San Diego chowhound here visiting Phoenix for the weekend. I'll be staying at the Sheraton Crescent on West Dunlap. What are some good chow-ish restaurants in the area of the hotel? Local flavors especially appreciated.

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  1. There ain't much up that way... the ones that pop to mind are Chanpen Thai, and Chino Bandido. Chino's is a divey little place, but there is truly nothing like it anywhere else... they do Mexican/Chinese/Caribbean combo meals. We aren't just talking different cuisines on the same plate... we're talking a teriyaki chicken quesadilla with a side of jerk chicken fried rice, if you want.

    Chanpen Thai
    13828 N 51st Ave, Glendale, AZ 85306

    Chino Bandido
    15414 N 19th Ave Ste K, Phoenix, AZ 85023

    1. What about Mi Cocina Mi Pais, a Ecuadorian little place not too far

      Address is 4221 W. Bell Road, Phoenix, (602) 548-7900

      Other than that, I would cut over Dunlap to 19th Ave or Central and head south down the Central corridor.

      If off-hours (not rush hour which is early here, 6:30-9:00 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m.), the freeway is right there and can take you anywhere in about 30 minutes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HomeCookKirsten

        What I mean by that is explore Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc. by freeway. Have fun!

      2. There's little fine dining and not even much good casual dining in the immediate area, but the neighborhood just to the east, Sunnyslope, offers some good choices for the adventurous.

        For traditional Arizona / Sonora - style Mexican food, El Bravo on 7th St. south of Dunlap is a good bet.

        For a more authentic, interior Mexican experience, you might want to try Los Reyes de la Torta, on 7th St. at Hatcher (about half a mile north of Dunlap). Until recently, this place was known as Tortas La Presa, so you may find more information under that name. Here's a recent review that roughly corresponds to my impressions after eating there:


        For decent Japanese, Mr. Sushi (AKA Akaihana) at Northern Ave and the I-17 Frontage Rd. (one mile directly south of your hotel) is a good choice.

        Sorry, I'd like to add places links, but that feature still seems incredibly broken for me. Every attempt to add a link brings up the wrong place. If you search the board with the names above, you should be able to find more information.

        1 Reply
        1. re: silverbear

          Finally able to add place links for some (but not all) recommendations in my first response.

          El Bravo
          8338 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020

          Mr. Sushi Japanese
          8041 N Black Canyon Hwy Ste 112, Phoenix, AZ 85021

        2. This doesn't get much play here, but I like the place . . . if you're into meat: Mirage Restaurant.

          It's not too far - up 17 to Greenway then West half a mile or maybe a mile.

          It's interesting, eastern European menu with very nice staff, usually some cool techno-pop video/karaoke channel going and the meats are very good. Very unusual and I think priced pretty well. They call it European American, but I'd stay away from the American dishes and just get the cool cured meats, simmered dishes and unusual cuts. I like the Kebapcheta, the Kufteta and the Tatarsko Kufte.

          Mirage Restaurant
          3345 W Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85053

          1. Not sure about walking distance but there are several very good restaurants around in the area if you are willing to travel a mile or two. They don't get talked about as much on here though (probably because most people on here don't live in the area).

            GreekTown is a fantastic restaurant and I've never been disappointed there. I highly recommend it.

            As silverbear pointed out, Mr. Sushi is a good option.

            Shish Kebab House is pretty decent but they can be hit and miss sometimes (it's on Olive avenue which is the same as Dunlap ave).

            There's also Cafe Sarajevo -- this is a hole-in-the-wall place and is very easy to miss but the food is great and the owners are absolutely wonderful people. Not a whole lot of vegetarian options here though.

            I'll post some more later if anything comes to mind.

            Greek Town Restaurant
            8519 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020

            Cafe Sarajevo
            3411 W Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051

            Mr. Sushi Japanese
            8041 N Black Canyon Hwy Ste 112, Phoenix, AZ 85021

            Shish Kebab House
            5023 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302

            1. The Sheraton is centrally located and should be farely simple to get to some great restaurants in central Phoenix;
              Hana Japananese Eatery-great Hawaiian style Japanese food
              Pizzeria Bianco & Pane Bianco- James Beard award winning chef, pizza only open at night, sandwich shop only open for lunch (but amazing) no lines for lunch, long, long lines for dinner, but I think worth the wait, go next door and have a glass of wine. I fI ever move from Phoenix I will need to visit to get my Bianco fix
              Lux Coffebar-next door to Pane Bianco
              Richardsons- New Mexican style food
              Fry Bread House- native american food (very authentic)
              El Bravo-always good (I grew up going there)
              I Like Greek town but find Yusef's on Cave Creek to be just that much better, if you like middle eastern food he makes the best falafel, gyro and eggplant dip
              Chino Bandido is definitely different-(I know the owners) not sure that you could find that style of food anywhere else. Inexpensive, good food pretty much a dive.
              I happen to also be a big fan of Oregano's (Italian with a twist of southwestern) not to sure there are too many people making Italian style guacamole but it's pretty tasty.
              Have a great trip

              5 Replies
              1. re: travelchow

                Did Richardson's reopen? (I know they are serving the food in their off shoot restaurants - but though Richardson's itself was still closed from the fire.)

                1. re: nolazona

                  oops - ignore me - got into a VERY old thread somehow - thought I was on the Pinnacle Peak one from today. It's been that kind of day.

                  1. re: nolazona

                    No problem. The last I heard, Richardson's is currently under construction, right next to Rokerij, projected to open Nov 1, 2010.

                    6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016

                    1. re: johnseberg

                      Rokerij is still serving the whole Rich's menu if you need a fix ...

                      6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016

                      1. re: kmarg

                        As is Dick's Hideaway. I went yesterday for lunch and had the carne adovada. It still rocks.

                        Dick's Hideaway
                        6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              2. Two places, that come to mind, one in the neighborhood, and the other not too far away, are:

                Pappadeaux (a small chain out of Texas), that features New Orleans inspired cuisine, and is located on the eastern (northbound) service road to I-17, just above Dunlap. Now, I'm from NOLA, so I can be highly critical, but I'm in Phoenix now, so things are different. The seafood is mostly fried, but usually very well done. I'd recommend their "shrimp stew," which is closer to my wife's "gumbo," than is their gumbo. Not fine-dining, but with a passable wine list, and the right frame of mind, I can almost think that I am at a typical New Orleans neighborhood restaurants, except for the size.

                The other is Basis New American Restaurant. It's located at 410 E. Thunderbird Rd (about 2 exits up I-17 and then 5 miles east)": http://tinyurl.com/3xztue
                Phone: 602-843-3689. More in line with fine-dining, but in a neighborhood setting. Great food, small venue with a neat, well-thoughout wine list. If you wish to venture a bit north and east, then check out some recent menu references to this restaurant on the SW board.

                Enjoy your stay,

                13 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  One time I was stranded in Albuquerque without a car and within walking distance of Pappadeaux. I managed to do the same/similar dinner 3 days in a row. Hot French bread with butter and one of their soups. Started out with a shrimp appetizer as well the first day & then just went with the bread and soup the next 2. Though I haven't eaten at once since (none near), I'd go back anytime. Yummy hot bread, butter & a decent shrimp or lobster bisque always work.

                  1. re: ccl1111

                    Another option real close is Fajitas on the I-17, big open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant,lots of different Fajita options.
                    If you are willing to drive . . .
                    Saturday morning small farmers market in downtown Phoenix (Central & McKinley) across the street is Matts Big Breakfast (Best rosemary potatos) Also happens to be related to Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco)
                    For a fun evening option Matts also owns the Roosevelt bar downtown, nice wine list, beer list and an amazing grilled cheese & tomato soup, large soft pretzel with dipping sauces.
                    Carolina's on Cave Creek & Cactus has been voted the best tortillas in town for ages, very very inexpensive and great food.
                    Have a great trip!

                    1. re: travelchow

                      Unless you are looking for Tex Mex (which I can't stand), I'd give a big NO to Fajita's. Then again, lots of people like that sort of thing, and for what it is, they do a good job.

                      And I love Pappadeaux. I grew up just outside of Houston with the whole Pappas chain. Next to the defunct Pappas Oyster Bar, Pappadeaux was my favorite. They do a blackened mahi mahi with and imperial sauce that amazing. It isn't on the menu, but they often have it as a special. They also have Shiner beers on tap, which is also a big plus for me. I would say travelchow nailed it by calling it N'awlins inspried. It is more seafood house than cajun, but its nice not to have to go to red lobster or the fish market for seafood at a decent price.

                    2. re: ccl1111

                      Reread this & don't want to give the wrong impression. While I'd be happy to go to Pappadeaux anytime (since it is near you), if I had the means to drive a bit, I'd still definitely go for most of the other options folks have listed here first. Just meant that it's not bad at all for a chain if distance is a major factor.

                      1. re: ccl1111

                        I agree with you completely. I live in North Phoenix, so it's not THAT far. However, I find that I'll drive to Scottsdale for food, more often than I'll head there. Sometimes, though, I get a "hankerin" for a shrimp po-boy, and my B-I-L in New Orleans has not sent the "fresh off the boat" seafood package to me, so we'll head over. Where the menus overlapped, I liked the food at the old Justin's Ragin' Cajun, on Cave Creek Rd, better. It, however, was far too loud for me. Though Pappadeaux can be crowded, especially when they have live music on the patio, it's not so loud, that you cannot converse. Given the option, I'd be seated at the formica tables at Felix's, in the French Quarter, ordering up my shrimp po-boy, but talk about drive time...

                        From what I have sampled around the Phoenix Area, Pappadeaux is the best example of New Orleans cuisine, though it is a small chain. There have been a few new spots rec'd here, but they seem to close, before I can give them a try - need to be quicker on my feet. Along these lines, I do like Baby Kay's, but last few trips there, felt that her sons needed to get a tad more serious. Things just did not seem to be the same, as when Kay was cooking. Maybe I'm being too hard on them. Personally, I'd consider their location to be a bit too far for the OP.

                        Unless I did not want to drive, I'd go to Basis, but I am a fan. Were I arriving late, and not wanting to travel much, I'd go to Pappadeaux.

                        As for Fajita's, I have not tried it. OTOH, I love Tex-Mex, and miss it greatly. Sonoran and Baja Mexican are very good, but I grew up with beef and beef broth based sauces and chili, more than the lighter fare from some of the western, Pacific states. It's good, and I do enjoy it, but need to get to San Antonio, or a shack in Laredo for a real Tex-Mex fix, every now and then.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Felix's is outstanding, as is Mother's. Definitely need to get back again soon - thanks for jogging the memory. I keep seeing Pappadeaux mentioned, so I will have to head over there. Happen to know if any carry Abita? They really make great root beer, when I'm in the mood.

                          1. re: azhotdish

                            I do not. We usually go with a btl. of Conundrum, as it pairs so well, and is not priced too badly, for small chain restaurant.

                            It seems that they had Dixie's Blackened Voodoo, but do not know if it's even being made anymore, as that brewery suffered major flooding durning Katrina.


                            1. re: azhotdish

                              Baby Kay's used to carry Abita Turbodog, but stopped because the distro always brought them beers that were past date.

                              Papago Brewery carries it, and sells it to go.

                              1. re: ValleyFever

                                Thx ValleyFever, I'll have to swing by Papago.

                            2. re: Bill Hunt

                              I picked up an oyster po boy and side of hush puppies from Baby Kay's today and was quite pleased with the sandwich, but waiting 10 mins at the bar after telling me 15 mins on the phone was a little annoying, not to mention the fact that they only gave me a half-sandwich rather than whole (I called, this will be rectified on my next visit). The hush puppies were delicious though and right out of the fryer, so my craving for cajun has temporarily been quenched.

                              Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen
                              2119 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

                              1. re: azhotdish

                                I am a little jealous. I work in way north east scottsdale. The hub of all that is cultureless.

                                hey, but at least all the houses look the same and the roads are clean, right?

                          2. re: ccl1111

                            How funny...I just spent 2 nights in Albuquerque...and I ate @ Pappadeaux both evenings...The first evening I had a half dozen gilf oysters...which were icy cold and very fresh along with a dinner entree of blackened soft shell crabs and an enormous baked potato.....the second evening I enjoyed the cedar planked salmon w/ the asparagus....I started my meal w/ the baked oyster sampler and the crawfish bisque which has a very nice flavor.......
                            I was surprised at how well everything was prepared.

                            I guess it is worth checking out in Phoenix.....I have driven by the I-17 location many times....

                            Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
                            5011 Pan American West Fwy NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                            Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
                            11501 N Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ 85029

                            1. re: ccl1111

                              In Albuquerque this week on Business...had dinner @ Pappadeaux tonight....don't think they have missed a beat.

                              Shared a bottle of Caymus Conundrum, had a Crawfish boil appetizer ($4.95) shared a Yellow Fin Tuna served medium rare w/ a baby bok choy and sticky rice ($26.95)...it was superb!

                              I think I will be revisiting Pappadeaux tomorrow night as well.....

                          3. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. From the looks of it we will probably end up taking Kirsten's suggestion and exploring more of the general Phoenix area by car (esp since it turns out we're probably going up to Sedona one out of two days). However, if I do end up making to any of these places I can promise a full chowhound report!

                            1. My husband and I recently spent a week in a motel at 17 and Greenway. After an inedible meal at the pseudo-Mexican recommended by the concierge, we went on the prowl to find good meals within 15 minutes' drive. Four winners: 1) Richardsons -- dark, clubby, terrific New Mexican comfort food at very fair prices. At 16th and Dunlap. The hatch chile beef stew was outstanding and the staff were terrific. 2) Right next door, the Mediterranean Table is owned by a very nice Korean woman who dishes up very tasty eastern Mediterranean (Turkish/Greekish) food which is inexpensive. Not Oleana, but exotic and good, nonetheless. 3) Havana Cafe (Bell) was a little longer drive, but also well worth it. The fried plantains appetizer was terrific; so was the chicken. 4) MiCocinaMiPaisa on Bell @ 44 Ave was unbelievable. Tiny. Hidden behind the Taco Bell. Central American food and drinks like we had never tasted. Melting roast pork. Beautiful tamales. Oddly satisfying Oak drink. So good we went back when we were back in town for one night. On the way out of town we stopped by the Ranch Market near the airport (Roosevelt). Definitely worth a detour for the four seprate food courts and unbelievable Mexican foods and cookware. Next time we bring a cooler for the gorgeous meats, shrimp, ceviches, chilis, and cheeses. It was nice to find that Phoenix has alot more than Applebees... Next time we plan to try Los Sombreros, Texaz, and of course Pizza Bianco.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: 3fish

                                Good report, but it should clarified for the benefit of the OP that Richardsons and Mediterranean House are at 16th St. and Bethany Home Rd, rather than 16th St and Dunlap.

                                Mi Comida Restaurante Latino
                                4221 W Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85053

                                Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico
                                1582 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016

                                Mediterranean House
                                1588 E Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ