Just moved to Scottsdale/N. Phoenix and need food help!!
Hey everyone! I am just not sure where to begin! I moved from NYC and am used to reasonably priced wine bars, and small funky restaurants with an intimate vibe.. you know, the kind of place where you feel like you're in someones house or something. I have looked on tons of review sites to find comparable places but everything I have found looks really expensive! (I moved here to SAVE money, sheesh!) I would love some advice on some non-chain-restaurant places to try out! We like literally every kind of food from american to thai to ethiopian middle eastern bla bla bla, I don't care as long as it is well done! Can anyone help me out?
I think there's a potential mismatch between the area specified (essentially the northeast corner of the Phoenix Metro Area) and the type of place specified ("small funky restaurants with an intimate vibe"). I don't spend a lot of time north of Shea Boulevard, my arbitrary dividing line between the central and northeastern parts of the metro area, but I can think of a lot more places meeting your description south of Shea than north of it. I'm hoping some of the regulars on this board from your part of town can come along and prove me wrong.
If you choose to come south for some meals, I'd focus on older, more walkable neighborhoods such as Uptown, Coronado, Evans-Churchill, Arcadia, Old Town Scottsdale, and Downtown Tempe. That's where a lot of adaptive reuse is going on in restaurant design, resulting in places that feel like someone's house because they once were someone's house. There's also a new emphasis on patio dining. In the past, that occurred mostly at the resorts, because most non-resort restaurants were in shopping centers where the only real view was of a parking lot. When restaurants are placed in older structures with street and neighborhood views instead of big parking lots, there's a lot more that can be done in terms of attractive outdoor dining areas.
Cibo -- craft pizzas, salads, etc. in a renovated house
the Roosevelt -- pub with rotating beer and wine selections; artisan takes on bar foods
Postino -- popular winebar with locations in Arcadia and Uptown (Postino Central)
Petite Maison -- casual, country French. Most entrees under $20. Don't know the history of the building but it feels like a small house
House of Tricks -- Mediterranean / French / Southwestern blend near the ASU campus in Tempe
Nine 05 -- contemporary Asian fusion in a renovated house
Kazimierz -- speakeasy-like wine bar in Old Town Scottsdale
House of Tricks
114 E 7th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103
816 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
3939 E Campbell Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Kazimierz World Wine Bar
7137 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
5144 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012
7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
905 N. 4th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
I second FnB as an excellent option. We visited for the first time last night and were treated as if we were old friends. Really wonderful meal. Chef previously had a restaurant in NYC, so perhaps OP will find him/herself right at home....but with AZ flavor given the local produce, wines and beer.
Sounds like you're in my neck of the woods. Silverbear's right about homey being sparse around here; mainly because it usually requires a neighborhood with some history and things here are newer. Below is a list of places to try that at least meet the price and quality requirements, if not exactly spot on the atmosphere front. I think they're all pretty well covered in the board if you look them up.
Floyd's Kitchen closest to what you're looking for - across street from PV Mall http://www.floydskitchen.com/
Chino Bandido http://www.chinobandido.com/
Carolina's North on Cactus http://www.carolinasmex.com/
Over Easy Scotts. (not my favorite, but is the fav of many others) http://eatatovereasy.com/
Javinos wine bar/restaurant http://www.javinos.com/
ABC Bistro 74th St/Shea
Since you're from NYC, I'm not even going to attempt to list italian or pizza places ;-)
Here are some reasonably priced places that I would go to on a fairly regular basis when I lived in Scottsdale, not too long ago. I could never find any great bargains in Scottsdale.
Humble Pie http://www.humblepieusa.com
Fresh Mint (vegan
Tottie's Asian Fusion (original location)
7366 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
17040 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
13802 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tottie's Asian Fusion
7901 E Thomas Rd Ste 108, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Petite Maison, is possibly the best priced great restaurant in Scottsdale.
Floyd's, we had a really long wait there but I don't think it's typical, just one of those nights and the food was pretty good.
Just tried the Herb Box at DC ranch tonight and I really think that match's well with your not too over priced / intimate setting criteria.
Here's one suggestion that's different, if you don't mind a bit of a drive. Drive to Pinnacle Peak mountain. Walk a bit on the trail up and around the mountain, great views and not a difficult trail. Then after go to Sassi and eat the appetizers at half price in the bar. It's only happy hour Tuesday - Thursday, 5-7pm. But it works well with the mountain closing early with the short days. Its nothing like NY neighborhood, but its a great way to connect with the new place you live.
Having moved from NY a few years ago I understand your dilemma. Our dining out days have dwindled considerably and a lot a of the smaller places we enjoyed are now out of business. Most of the restaurants in this part of town are new so they lack that particular intimate vibe you're looking for. Have you tried Humble Pie across from the Desert Ridge Mall? We like it there, its not a huge place, size-wise It might fit the bill. They have happy hour wine specials and the wood oven pizzas and their price are pretty decent. If you're looking for a tasty burger two places come to mind. White Chocolate Grill, 101/Mayo Blvd has a good burger as does 25 Degrees at City North. Been to Petite Mason for a quiet lunch and really liked it, I'm sure the evenings there are great too. Still haven't found anywhere that's even remotely close to great Thai as Srip in Woodside.
We've had great recommendations on this board so keep checking.
This is a really helpful cool board! Thanks a lot guys! I will definitely let you know how I do with these places.... Tonight we are going to a place called crush'd wine bar.. anyone been there? We have a gift certificate and it looks cool so we figure we should use it. I'll keep you all posted!