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AZ for the first time - suggestions please?

Jel212 Jan 23, 2008 07:27 AM

Going to be in Scottsdale for a few days, then exploring Tucson. Looking forward to enjoying the outdoors, but also interested in a fantastic meal or two. Can anyone recommend places in both areas for various meals? Budget breakfasts, moderate or budget lunches, and any great dinners for under $200 for two?


  1. DebitNM Jan 23, 2008 09:00 AM

    T. Cook's at the Royal Palms is an excellent choice for both a fantastic meal in a beautiful setting and top notch service. Under $200 is not a problem; and worth every bit of it. Try the lobster and fennel bisque - it is to die for!

    We had dinner there the weekend before Christmas and it was amazing.

    The grounds are spectacular too; go early and walk around the grounds and do the same after dinner when all of the firepits and fireplaces are blazing. So romantic..



    1. ValleyFever Jan 23, 2008 09:54 AM

      Ranch House Grill (Phoenix)
      Breakfast Club (Scottsdale)
      Harlow's (Tempe)

      Pink Pony (Scottsdale - Steakhouse with lunch menu)
      Honey Bears (Phoenix - Tennessee BBQ)
      Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles - (Phoenix - Soul/Southern)
      La Fonda (Scottsdale - Sonoran Mexican)
      Los Olivos - (Scottsdale - Northern/Western Mexican)
      AND for more Mexican (its what Arizona does better than any other states) checkout this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/387337

      In Tucson, my best suggestion is to try a Sonoran Hot Dog!!!! Try El Guero Canelo.

      I'll leave the great dinners up to everyone else. I eat them, but i much prefer my hole in the wall dives.

      1. j
        jabof72 Jan 24, 2008 01:49 PM

        Two places to explore and eat:
        *Tohono Chul Park: http://www.tohonochulpark.org/
        Tea Room there has a great breakfast and lunch

        *Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum: http://www.desertmuseum.org/
        Ocotillo Cafe has lunch during the Winter, dinner during the Summer. If you just want to grab something while you're there, Phoebes has some pretty nice pastries, and sandwiches. A table outside offers beautiful views of the grounds and Valley.
        Saguaro National Monument (West) : http://www.nps.gov/sagu/
        is right up the road from the museum, and definitely worth a stop at the visitors center. Might want to hit there first; the museum can take you the rest of the day to take in.

        www.bluewillowtucson.com Not exactly budget, but one of the best.
        Cup Cafe: www.hotelcongress.com/cup
        Frank's: www.franksrestaurant.com

        Rosa's: http://www.rosasmexicanfood.com/ Breakfast through dinner.
        Beyond Bread: http://www.beyondbread.com/
        Feast: http://www.eatatfeast.com/feast/
        Taco Bron: http://www.tacobron.com/ I prefer the 1st Avenue location myself. Anything but a picturesque area, on the corner of 1st and Ft. Lowell, the side of the building emblazoned; "Tacos and Beer." Need I say more? If I'm in the neighborhood and they're open, I stop.

        Janos: http://www.janos.com/
        The Grill at Hacienda del Sol: The Grill at Hacienda del Sol
        Sullivan's Steakhouse: http://www.sullivansteakhouse.com/tucson
        Anthony's in the Catalinas: www.anthonyscatalinas.com
        Cafe Poca Cosa: http://pocacosatucson.com/ Not your Madres' Mexican. Get the chef's special.
        Beyond your $200 request, but one of the State's few 5 Diamond Restaurants;
        The Ventana Room: http://www.ventanaroom.com/ Worth a look.

        Enjoy your trip!

        7 Replies
        1. re: jabof72
          travelchow Jan 25, 2008 06:52 AM

          In Tucson our favorite place is Cafe Poca Cosa, we actually try to come upw ith reasons to go to Tucson so we can eat there.
          In Phoenix I love Tarbell's for a nice dinner (it's Phoenix but close to Scottsdale) He was an Iron Chef winner and the dinner is on his menu.

          1. re: travelchow
            Jel212 Jan 25, 2008 09:51 AM

            Wow, thanks everyone!

            1. re: Jel212
              Alice Letseat Jan 25, 2008 03:31 PM

              I want to chime in for Kai (at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass along I-10 on the way to Tucson) for a glamorous, expensive - and fabulous - dinner.

              1. re: Alice Letseat
                jillita Mar 10, 2008 08:54 AM

                Me too. Kai is wonderful -- as is Ko'Sin, the downstairs restaurant in the Wild Horse Pass Resort. In fact, I preferred Ko'Sin because it's small and intimate and we were given a table by the open doors overlooking the patio, where Burning Sky was playing live, and it was one of the most romantic and relaxing dining experiences we ever had! Try their signature Kai cones and game lollipops. They use heirloom produce for salads, grown and harvested by the Pima- Maricopa children.

                1. re: jillita
                  howaboutthat Mar 10, 2008 04:48 PM

                  We very much enjoyed Ko'Sin on a recent visit, but preferred the Latilla Dining Room at The Boulders (Carefree, AZ) for a special occasion meal. We did not get to Kai.

          2. re: jabof72
            cjs123 Mar 5, 2008 05:11 PM

            Agree about Tohono Chul. Was in Tucson yesterday and had a wonderful grilled salmon on rice pilaf with veggies and delicious bread. Had some prickly pear lemonade too--a superb meal. Got the "high tea" menu to go (finger sandwiches, a couple of small pastries and a scone)--lovely. Only get down there every couple of years so figured make the most of it and get a meal to go! Definitely stop there if you have the chance.

            1. re: cjs123
              cjs123 May 13, 2013 02:26 PM

              It had been awhile but I was down in Tucson this Spring and stopped at the Garden Bistro at Tohono Chul again (4/2013). They said they had changed owners twice since I'd last been there and while the menu was different I found the meal to be delicious and the service excellent.

          3. d
            don515 Jan 29, 2008 08:43 AM

            Its been a while so call and Check. Shooters in Tucson on thursday night you can sit outside and watch your T-bone cooked on a Mesquite fire for around $10. Servce can be spotty but its more important to tip the guy cooking the steaks!


            1. travelingman1955 Mar 11, 2008 12:46 PM

              I would highly recommend Roma's Cafe located on Ina road in Tucson. They have the best italian food in town (imho). They are located approx 1 mile east of I-10 off the Ina road exit. My favorite meal is the manocoti but there pizza is fantasic also.


              1. wa6itd Dec 9, 2008 07:23 AM

                If you spend $100 or so for food and ?? for wine at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Tucson, you will put it on your top 5 restaurants list, I'll bet! I have been to them all, and haven't found a better one yet. We always eat there when we golf in Tucson annually. The food is the best and so is the service; a real special place!

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