Our annual guide to the Valley's newest crop of culinary keepers.
2243 N. 12th St., Phoenix
Opened: April 2012
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Tu-Sa, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Su; happy hour 3-6 p.m. Tu-Sa.
Toast-worthy: A progressive happy hour (drinks only) starts at 3 p.m., with $3 wines by the glass at 3 p.m., $4 at 4 p.m., etc., plus $1 off beer and cocktails.
Architect-turned-restaurateur DJ Fernandes showed a knack for turning a historic home into a cozy, neighborhood hotspot with Tuck Shop in 2008, and he’s done it again with the adjoining Astor House.
The groovy, retro-mod ’70s space exudes a leisurely vibe, thanks to counter service and easy-going servers who deliver breakfast, lunch and evening small plates. The laughably low-priced fare won’t set foodie hearts afire, but select dishes show real staying-power. Dash in at breakfast for a great cup of joe percolated from Roastery of Cave Creek beans and order a couple of scrumptious Portuguese doughnuts, or linger on the backyard-style patio with a rich plate of spicy beef gravy ladled over a buttermilk biscuit. Tuck into a Cuban sandwich or a mouthwatering muffaletta stuffed wi