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Best Things to Eat in Phoenix

Saw this on the California board and thought I would post here to get people's thoughts on Phoenix. This is meant to be a collection of the best things to eat not necessarily the best restaurants in Phoenix (although they are frequently one and the same). Just to get things started:

Wagyu pastrami: NOCA
Caramel churros: Barrio Cafe
Rosa Pizza: Pizzeria Bianco
Chyna's Honey Hots: Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles
KC Strip: Mastro's City Hall
Torta Mexicana: Los Reyes de la Torta

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  1. Commuter w/ bacon and avocado: La Grande Orange
    Short ribs: Cyclo
    Salted Butter Caramel, Real Mint Chip, Basil Lime Sorbet: Sweet Republic
    Pistacchio, Mistico, Vesuvio...basically any flavor: Arlecchino Gelateria
    Waffle: Matt's Big Breakfast
    Chicken Kabob Wrap: The Greek Wraps

    1 Reply
    1. re: andyeats

      Wow, Andy! You and I have very similar tastes when it comes to breakfast. I couldn't agree more on the two morning delights you threw out there. I also add the spicy mustard to the commuter though.

      1. re: duck833

        agree! it's a fantastic value...

      2. Carne Adovada - Dick's Hideaway

        1. Sauteed green beans - Cyclo
          Pink Champagne cupcakes - Barb's Bakery
          Falafel - Spices
          Cream of Mushroom soup - Durants
          Chopped Stetson - Cowboy Ciao
          Lamb Adobo - Los Sombreros
          Mexican Pot de Creme - Cowboy Ciao

          2 Replies
          1. re: ziggylu

            Second the Stetson Chopped! (note my icon) Had it last night for the millionth time...still as good as ever. Also...Cuppa Red Hot Chocolate from Cowboy Ciao is droolworthy if you like chocolate and spicy.

            1. re: Jess321

              agreed on both accounts. Those were the first things to pop into my head when I read the thread, before I saw ziggylu had already covered them...great stuff.

          2. Tomato, mozzarella, basil sandwich: Pane Bianco
            Delux Burger/sweet potato fries: Delux
            Tomato, queso oaxaca salad: Los Sombreros
            Stuffed pork chop: Cowboy Ciao
            Flat Iron steak: Rancho Pinot
            Street Tacos: Phoenix Ranch Market

            3 Replies
            1. re: crsin

              Not Phoenix, but the tomato and oaxaca salad at Cafe Elote in Sedona is fantastic. It comes with a cider vinagrette rather than usual balsamic, which is so bright and fresh tasting.

              1. re: meleyna

                It's more than likely the same dish, since it's from the same chef and the ingredients sound identical. There's some overlap b/w the menus at LS and Cafe Elote.

                1. re: crsin

                  My fault, thanks for pointing that out! I read it, but it obviously didn't click. :)

            2. Spiedini and the Sonny Boy from Pizzeria Bianco
              Pita Jungle's Hummus
              Machaca burrito from Carolina's
              Veggie tacos at Gallo Blanco

              2 Replies
              1. re: kjhart

                Machaca Burrito from Carolina's is on my list too (although I would add, make it enchilada style).

                1. re: kjhart

                  Second the Spiedini! Bianco's Rosa is my all time favorite pizza.

                  Platano Frito con Crema and Frijoles at Eliana's. Try the pupusas too.

                2. lobster roll and duck fat fries - noca
                  truffled mac n' cheese - lon's
                  durants debris - durants
                  bbq pork chop w/ broken rice - da vang's
                  turkey sub - mcgurkee's
                  pulled pork sandwich - cibo
                  banana ooey gooey cupcake - tammie coe
                  fruitti de mar salad - lisa g
                  meatball - lisa g
                  bean taco - frybread house
                  foie gras appetizer - sophie's bistro
                  cherries jubilee - voltaire
                  breakfast torta - gallo blanco
                  yankee flannel - orange table
                  meatloaf - matt's big breakfast lunch special
                  ceviche - phx ranch market
                  hamachi kama - hana

                  just off the top of my head ;)

                  1. Have to respond again to add the beans at Joe's BBQ

                    1. Indian Fry Bread - Fry Bread House
                      Extra Crispy Cheese Crisp - Manuel's (28th Street location)
                      Chicken Romano - Red Devil (31st Street location)
                      All Beef Jumbo Frank - Ted's Hot Dogs
                      Eggs Benedict - Acacia Cafe
                      Hush Puppies - Restaurant 28
                      Boiled Won Tons - China Chili
                      Cheese Sliders - Windy City Sliders
                      Onion Rings - Dillion's
                      Eggs Maximillian - Harlow's
                      Straw Sandwich - Miracle Mile Deli
                      Garlic and Leek Bread - Durant's

                      1. Love the Big Lists!

                        Eggs Bene Jalepeno @ Rich's Dick's
                        Testosterone Salad @ Cowboy Ciao
                        Tortilla Soup @ Delux (or Houston's, chain or not)
                        Grill charred wings @ JT's
                        Free beef jerky @ Roaring Fork
                        Scotch Beef @ Tarbell's
                        Stuffed masshed potato steak @ Eddie's
                        Chicken Fried Chicken @ Over Easy
                        Arugula & Proscuitto Pizza @ Grazie

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kmarg

                          Ahh yes, the Ball O'Steak--a long time Eddie Matney favorite.

                        2. I am going to stick to inexpensive eateries since I cannot afford to eat at the high end places, and as such, have little experience with them. I also live in Tempe, work in Chandler, and have family in Mesa, so this is where I tend to eat:

                          My favorite burger: Chuckbox or Giant Hamburgers in Mesa
                          The Oggie: Cornish Pasty Company
                          Hummus with chicken and pine nuts, Nachos, Chicken Shawarma pita: Pita Jungle
                          Spicy Garlic Green Beans: Pho Chandler (I like these more than Cyclo - actually, I'm not a big fan of Cyclo in general)
                          #22 (curry chicken rice noodle soup): Saigon Pho
                          Pho in general: Pho 68
                          Foot long hot dog and onion rings: Ted's Hot Dogs
                          Cheesecake: Giant Hamburgers in Mesa (they don't make it in house, but it is still to die for. I don't know what bakery they get it from.)
                          Szechuan Pork: Nee House
                          Baklava, tiramisu and Turkish coffee: Byblos
                          Big, cheap, floppy, greasy NY-style slice of pizza: Venezia's
                          Chocolate and chili gelato: Gelato 64
                          Liverwurst sandwich: Best European Meats and Deli

                          Non-eatery food items:

                          Pork Beer brats: Sunflower Market
                          Squid Salad: Mekong
                          Watermelon (most of the time better than what I've gotten at chain grocers): Superstition Ranch Market
                          Romanian Mici/Mititei, handmade head cheese: Best European Meats and Deli
                          Spices, Imported Roasted Red Pepper Spread, and Sour Cherry juice: Haji Baba
                          Unusual things you can't get anywhere else: Lee Lee and Mekong

                          1. My favorites at the informal-type places we go to most often:
                            Clare burro, cheese chile relleno: Restaurant Mexico
                            Caramel macaron: Essence Bakery
                            Kaddo pumpkin: Kabab Palace
                            Brick oven bread: Classic Italian Pizza
                            Capacollo, salami, and provolone sub: DeFalco's

                            More upscale, I loved the moules and frites at Trente-Cinq 35 before it closed, sigh.

                            1. I had to get in on this one:

                              Buttermilk pancakes at Oak's Diner in Cave Creek
                              French fries at Cafe Bink in Carefree
                              Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns at Big Buns in Carefree
                              Old fashioned donut at Rainbow Donuts on Cave Creek Rd. in Phx.

                              So now you see I am a sucker for sugar+butter and starchy stuff in general :) I am looking forward to trying some of the savory items listed here, if I can ever stop eating donuts and the like.

                              1. There are a few things that I have to have when I come in from Chicago.

                                Can't believe no one's mentioned Chino!

                                Jade Red Chix -- Chino Bandino
                                Carne Adovado -- Richardson's
                                Tacos from Ranch Market
                                Wine Burger from Tally's
                                Griddled Corn Cakes at Phoenix City Grille
                                Anything from Cyclo
                                Croque Monsieur from LGO

                                Sad that I won't be back in PHX until Christmas time.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: geg5150

                                  Good additions. Tuesday is taco Tuesday at Ranch Market with tacos priced at just a buck.

                                2. Green Chili Cheeseburger- Richardson's/Dicks Hideaway
                                  Garlic Plate- Richardson's/Dick's Hideaway
                                  Pot Roast- Phoenix City Grill
                                  Nicole's Favorite Extra Crisp- Spinatos
                                  Red Curry Chicken, Thai Hot- Thai Lahna
                                  Ooey Gooey cupcakes- LGO/Tammi Coe
                                  English Muffins- LGO/MJ Bread
                                  Calamari Salad- The Cove
                                  Table Side Guacamole- Barrio Café
                                  Hamachi Collar – Kampai

                                  1. roast quail at pho dalat
                                    chorizo stuffed pork tenderloin at z'tejas
                                    meatloaf at fired up grill
                                    fresh pasta at vincitorio's
                                    carne adovada at richardson's (r.i.p.)
                                    tacos at taco nazo

                                    i know i'll think of more as soon as i post this

                                    1. Chicken Sultani Kabob lunch combo at the Persian Room. Comes with a white meat marinated chicken kabob and a Koobideh kabob. Way more than enough food for one person. Dinner is expensive and too much food for any normal eater. Also, the hummus with some raw onion and basil for the appetizer is a nice touch. Very creamy and smooth, though it was better before they changed the recipe.

                                      Persian Room
                                      17040 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: cruisemo

                                        Persian Room was the place I enjoyed the most in my recent trip to Scottsdale.
                                        We started off with the Appetiser platter, consisting of: dolmeh (grape leaves stuffed with rice, dill, mint & spices), hummus (pureed garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic & lemon juice), yoghurt-cucumber dip and torshi (diced mixed pickled vegetables - carrots, cauliflower, eggplants & herbs in wine vinegar). Quite substantial portion for 2 persons. The dolmeh was good. My entree of grilled boneless chicken barg & minced beef koobideh were both flavorsome. Even the accompanying pilaf rice (baghala polo?) was delicious.

                                        All in all, a surprising & very good find in Scottsdale. Definitely worth the drive there!

                                        Persian Room
                                        17040 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

                                      2. Duck soup with fun noodles at Great Wall
                                        Daily special salads at Essence
                                        Fried chicken at LoLo's