2022 Best of the Valley Food Scene

Editorial StaffJuly 1, 2022
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Best Ghost Kitchen 

Woo Woo Burgers  

The next time you want a quick burger, bypass fast-food chains and opt for this local concept operating out of a Z’Tejas. Nothing fancy, just a basic good burger, chicken strips, onion rings and seasoned fries handed to you through a takeout window. 8300 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 480-770-9820, woowooburgers.com 

Best Place to Impress Out-of-Towners

Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion

The modern, minimalist building, mostly glass, is stunning, as are the views of the city from this hilltop aerie. Meanwhile, James Beard Award-winning chef Christopher Gross offers a multi-course feast of French-inspired, globally accented, utterly jaw-dropping food, best appreciated with brilliant wine pairings from the city’s biggest and best wine cellar. 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 602-522-2344, wrigleymansion.com

Christopher's at Wrigley Mansion. Photo by Paul Markow
Christopher's at Wrigley Mansion. Photo by Paul Markow

Best Chef Who Hasn’t Won a James Beard Award… Yet 

Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant

The passion, the integrity, the creativity, the technical proficiency, the evolution in style… hell, even the résumé. Binkley’s got it all – just not the recognition, an oversight that befuddles industry pros like Christopher Gross and Howard Seftel, who maintain – as we do – that he deserved the Beard 10 years ago. 2320 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix, 602-388-4874,

Best Place to Do Good and Eat Well

Joy Bus Diner

Founded by chef-owner Jennifer Caraway, this gourmet-comfort-food café is the nonprofit offshoot of The Joy Bus, a roaming delivery service that brings chef-crafted meals to cancer patients. Every made-to-order breakfast and lunch by famed chef Josh Hebert is made from comestibles donated by a host of local chefs and restaurant owners, and every penny goes back into the Joy Bus charity. 3375 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, 602-595-5884, thejoybusdiner.com

Best Visionary Dinner Events

Cloth & Flame

Everything Cloth & Flame does looks like it’s ripped out of a magazine – and it’s yours, for a price. A Cloth & Flame dinner isn’t cheap (typically around $200 per person), but it’s magical – under the stars in the Superstitions, outdoors at Arcosanti, in a stylishly dilapidated icehouse Downtown. These people have scouted all the best locations, and they put their stamp – from soup to nuts and tablescaping to die for – on every event. 734 W. Polk St., Phoenix, 480-428-6028, clothandflame.com 

Best Lunch Behind Security


If you don’t mind showing your ID, getting a visitor’s pass and traversing a metal detector, you’ll find an above-average and affordable workplace cafeteria here. Try the green chile burger or the hearty chili. Afterward, walk off your lunch looking at the interesting artifacts in the SRP heritage center. 1500 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 602-236-8888, srpnet.com

Photo courtesy Cloth & Flame
Photo courtesy Cloth & Flame

Best F&B Collaboration

Guy Fieri + Chase Field

401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, mlb.com/dbacks/ballpark

  • Chase Field will be home to Food Network star Guy Fieri’s first – yes, first – sit-down restaurant in Arizona, a gastropub called DTPHX Kitchen + Bar. 
  • It’ll be big. As in, 20,000 square feet and two stories. Although to be fair, the restaurant will share space with soon-to-open Caesars Sportsbook.
  • Diners can enjoy Fieri’s fare beyond the bookends of baseball season, since the new eatery will stay open year-round.

Photo courtesy Chase Field
Photo courtesy Chase Field

Barcoa Agaveria + Xico

829 N. First Ave., Phoenix; 602-980-0788, barcoaphx.com 
Xico: 480-833-5875, xicoinc.org

  • At Barcoa, you get heritage agave spirits, commissioned art in every nook and cranny and an underground bar with seating so coveted, reservations book weeks in advance. 
  • At Xico, you get an open-air art gallery featuring the work of emerging Latinx and Indigenous artists, plus an impressive printing press worthy of its own room.
  • Together, these enterprises show off the joint purchase of a historic Roosevelt Row building and a shared wall torn down so visitors can wander among the two spaces.

Barcoa Agaveria & Xico. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Barcoa Agaveria & Xico. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield