Editors’ Picks for Best of the Valley 2021 in Food & Drink

Editorial StaffJuly 7, 2021
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So much of what we love about the Valley is what it puts in our bodies, from vegan tacos to fruited sour beers to local habanero hot sauce.

Best Burger
Paradise Valley Burger Co.

The fiendish geniuses behind the Crème Brûlée Burger understandably get the PM staff pick. We’ll send them our endocrinology bill. 4001 E. Bell Rd., Phoenix, 602-535-4930, paradisevalleyburger-company.com

Best Patio
LON’s at The Hermosa Inn

So vast, so sylvan, so gorgeous. There really is nothing like the saltillo-tiled patio at the Hermosa Inn, in terms of pure patio pulchritude. The new Lylo Swim Club at Rise Uptown is special, too, in a pool party kind of way. 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, 602-955-7878, lons.com

Best Fancy Tacos
CRUJiente Tacos

Chef Rich Hinojosa’s gourmet tacos are so beautiful, you feel bad shoveling them in. Awesome happy hour, too. 3961 E . Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-687-7777, crutacos.com

Photo by Debby Wolvos; Food Stylist Anna Shchekin
Photo by Debby Wolvos; Food Stylist Anna Shchekin

Best Down-Home Tacos
Tacos Huicho

It’s the al pastor that clinched a staff-vote victory for this Midtown taqueria: sweet, smoky and shaved right off the trompo. 1941 E. Oak St., Phoenix, 480-398-6766, tacoshuichoaz.com

Best Sushi
Hana Japanese Cuisine

The Valley sushi scene took a pair of painful hits with the closure of Yasu and Nobuo in 2020-2021, but at least we still have Lori Hashimoto and her irreplaceable Uptown seafood lab. 5524 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-973-1238, hanajapaneseeatery.com

Best Steakhouse
Steak 44

If you want to feel like you’re dining with Jersey mob bosses, you go to Durant’s. If you want the most reliably perfect steaks, shrimp cocktails and martinis in town, and are willing to pay for the pleasure, you hit the 44. 5101 N. 44th St. Phoenix, 602-271-4400, steak44.com

Best Bottle Shop
Trevor’s Liquor

Much more than a mere grab-and-go shop, South Scottsdale’s fancy new craft booze playground beats out neighborhood faves like Hidden Track and Arcadia Premium. 7340 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, 480-581-8923, trevors.com

Best Italian
North Italia

This one almost started a PM civil war. Some of us were, like, “What?! It’s gotta be Andreoli!” Others said, “C’mon, it’s obviously Tratto.” But this farmhouse-style favorite had the votes behind its own passionate fanbase. Italian is like that. Multiple locations. northitalia.com

Best Chinese

This is an infinitely more complicated question than 10 or even five years ago, before the Valley’s recent groundswell of regional Chinese eateries. Aptly, this specialist of Dongbei (northeastern) Chinese cuisine gets the nod. Two locations. chouskitchen.com

Best Everyday Pizza

Chewy, old-school crusts, rampant nostalgia elevates this Valley pizza chain in our staff vote. Now with 44 (!) locations in Phoenix and Tucson. barrospizza.com

Best Fancy Pizza
Pizzeria Bianco

It’s this little out-of-the-way spot we know about. Few know of its existence. You’re welcome! Multiple locations. pizzeriabianco.com