Where to Dine in Phoenix, Scottsdale & Other Valley Cities: Our Picks in August

Editorial StaffAugust 9, 2022
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Welcome to Phoenix!

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

The restaurants listed are noteworthy and randomly selected from our rotating master list. We suggest that you confirm information, and we solicit your help in correcting any errors in the guide. We also ask readers to send us complaints in writing when one of the listed restaurants fails to meet expectations. Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, the listed restaurants offer free parking and recommend reservations for peak hours and large groups. Price categories reflect average dinner entrée prices; drinks, tax and tip are extra.

  • $=under $10
  • $$=$11-$15
  • $$$=$16-$25
  • $$$$=$26 and over

PHOENIX

Aftermath
New American
1534 E. Bethany Home Rd.
602-607-5240, aftermathphoenix.com
In a neighborhood bursting with neighborhood restaurants, Aftermath stands boldly out, offering a casual but sophisticated setting for wildly creative New American eats, including sexy vegetables (try the broccolini) and big, satisfying entrees such as harissa-glazed short rib with lentils. $$

Beckett’s Table
American
3717 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
602-954-1700, beckettstable.com
Chef Justin Beckett draws raves with his seasonal American cooking and classic comfort food. Don’t miss the signature fork-tender ribs, pork osso buco confit, cast-iron petite chicken and sweet pea agnolotti made with local goat cheese. Every Sunday, the restaurant offers half-off select bottles of Arizona wine. $$

Photo courtesy Beckett's Table
Photo courtesy Beckett's Table

Belly Kitchen + Bar 
Southeast Asian
4971 N. Seventh Ave.
602-296-4452, bellyphx.com
Known for slinging adventurous cocktails and turning out edgy riffs on the classics: crispy crab bánh xèo; PEI mussels, afloat in a fragrant broth of coconut milk and lemongrass; salty king mushrooms, zapped with Sichuan peppercorns; and crispy fried chicken shellacked in a funky, fish-sauce-based glaze. And look for this on-again, off-again special: five-spice-flecked lamb shank braised to unctuousness in coconut juice, garlic, shallots and caramel sauce. $$

Century Grand
New American
3626 E. Indian School Rd.
602-739-1388, centurygrandphx.com
Set in a Prohibition-inspired mock train station, complete with a lifelike Pullman railcar where guests can sip craft cocktails while a wintry landscape whizzes by, this high-concept culinary playground has rightly been described as Disneyland for adults. The cocktails are fabulous. $$-$$$

Durant’s 
American
2611 N. Central Ave.
602-264-5967, durantsaz.com
This midtown institution has been serving beef and booze for the past 50 years. Phoenix’s movers and shakers come for Florida stone crabs, excellent lunchtime sandwiches and classic martinis. $$-$$$

Glai Baan
Thai street food
2333 E. Osborn Rd.
602-595-5881, glaibaanaz.com
Pornsupak “Cat” Bunnag escapes the Americanized Thai restaurant tropes with her spin on classic Thailand street food and specialties from her home province of Isan. Using locally sourced ingredients, Glai Baan (loosely translated as “far from home”) offers a menu of small plates meant to be shared, like steamed pork dumplings and chicken wings with garlic chips. $$

Kaizen
Japanese/sushi
515 E. Grant St.
602-432-0752, kaizenphx.com
Chef Gustavo Muñoz brings a Latin vibe to this hip fusion sushi spot in the warehouse district, where you can expect to find ceviche, scallop aguachile and tiradito alongside florid sushi rolls made with striking ingredients. $$

Los Dos Molinos
Mexican
8684 S. Central Ave.
602-243-9113, losdosmolinosphoenix.com
Some like it hot. But for those who like it hellish, there’s Los Dos, a New Mexico-style restaurant located in cowboy star Tom Mix’s old house. Try the iconic carne adovada. Other locations: Chandler (480-706-1066), Phoenix (602-528-3535), Mesa (480-969-7475). $$

Pa’La Downtown
Italian/Global Seafood
132 E. Washington St.
602-368-3052, palakitchen.com
Expect hipper digs and an edgier global menu at this second-story sib to the sparely furnished, Italian-inspired Pa’La on 24th Street. The focus on pristine seafood is still here, but this go-round, it might be accented with Middle Eastern za’atar or Japanese togarashi. The broader menu also features cocktails, pizza, pasta, mains and desserts. $$-$$$

SCOTTSDALE

The Americano
Italian Steakhouse
17797 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480-573-0001, theamericanorestaurant.com
This sexy steakhouse speaks with an Italian accent, so imagine tagliatelle Bolognese as well as prime beef and a terrific roasted half chicken. It wouldn’t be a hardship to hang out at the modern bar sipping excellent cocktails either. $$-$$$

Chula Seafood
Seafood
8015 E. Roosevelt St.
480-621-5121, chulaseafood.com
Don’t be turned off by the run-down strip mall that houses this cute, clean-as-a-whistle seafood market and restaurant specializing in fish caught off the Southern California coast. The poke bowls and smoked fish sandwiches are crazy-good. Other location: Phoenix (602-354-3599). $$

June House
Chinese
6245 E. Bell Rd.
480-219-9848, junehousekitchen.com
This to-go-oriented spot offers a mash-up of Asian favorites, from Americanized orange chicken to pad Thai. The wrinkle is a winning emphasis on Cantonese dim sum dishes, like shumai (dumplings): plump orbs of umami, the sausage-like pork insides snapping your senses to attention with green onion and ginger. $$

The Mick Brasserie + Bar
French/Global
9719 N. Hayden Rd.
480-210-5500, themickaz.com
There’s nothing fancy about The Mick, a Midcentury-Modern watering hole with a lovely French-inspired menu that’s all over the map – literally. Graze on dishes like char-siu pork belly banh mi sliders, Moroccan duck confit pastilla, chicken liver mousse, escargots or (best of all) butternut squash tartine. $-$$

Pitch
Modern American
6350 E. Thomas Rd.
480-272-7500, pitchpizzeria.com
Those who wish to partake of the locally fleeting pleasure of dining al fresco should appreciate this pizza-centric gastropub, which has an expansive courtyard patio with a commanding view of the Papago Buttes beyond. The food is even better than the view. Chief tempter among the sandwiches is the short rib grilled cheese – punchy barbecue Angus beef and cheddar on toasty multigrain bread, with truffle fries on the side. $-$$

Roka Akor
Steak/Sushi
7299 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480-306-8800, rokaakor.com
The open charcoal-fire robata grill anchors this chic international superstar of Asian fine dining. Robatayaki (a grilling technique of Japanese fishermen) inspires a menu featuring sushi, salads and grilled entrées. $$$

Talavera
Spanish Steakhouse
10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr. (Four Seasons Scottsdale), Scottsdale
480-513-5085, talaverarestaurant.com
With its covered, second-story patio overlooking the desert and recently refreshed dining room, this beautiful hotel restaurant transcends the genre, offering spectacularly good Spanish cuisine, including crudo, tapas, steaks and dreamy, Latin-inspired desserts. $$$$

Photo courtesy Talavera
Photo courtesy Talavera

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
Southwestern/Modern American
6114 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480-214-4622, andazscottsdale.com
Housed in the Andaz Resort (formerly The Cottonwoods), this cheery Midcentury-Modern restaurant specializes in Southwestern-inflected European cuisine, reprising classics such as Spanish octopus and Hatch chile-rubbed filet of beef. Have a craft cocktail on the patio overlooking the pool. $$-$$$

Zinqué
French/Californian
4712 N Goldwater Blvd.
623-745-9616, lezinque.com
Paris meets SoCal at this upscale bistro, café and wine bar located in Scottsdale Fashion Square’s ever-evolving luxury wing. Find French fare such as tartines, charcuterie and ratatouille, and consider a splurge on the grilled whole branzino with chimichurri. $-$$

ZuZu
New American
6850 E. Main St. (Hotel Valley Ho), Scottsdale
480-248-2000, hotelvalleyho.com/zuzu
The Midcentury-Modern Hotel Valley Ho’s signature restaurant has evolved into an airy, open eatery offering entrées like berbere-spiced pork tenderloin, honey-lacquered chicken and black truffle tagliatelle. If you have a sweet tooth, try an oversized, over-the-top Show Stopper Shake gilded with house-made desserts, candies, sauces and more. $-$$$

Photo courtesy Hotel Valley Ho
Photo courtesy Hotel Valley Ho

EAST VALLEY

At My Place Cafe
Filipino
3450 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler
480-838-1008, facebook.com/atmyplacecafeaz
As casual and welcoming as its name, this cute Filipino café draws loads of Asian cuisine lovers who show up for lechon kawali, adobo, beef caldereta, breakfast silogs (offered all day), pork sisig, lumpia, empanadas, buko pandan and more – basically, all the Filipino classics, deliciously prepared. $-$$

Ban Chan
Korean
2909 S. Dobson Rd., Mesa
480-414-2525
This pleasant little Korean restaurant in Mesa features excellent dishes such as spicy pan-fried octopus and squid, Korean-style pork belly (sam-gyeopsal) and monkfish stew (agujjim), a favorite with the regulars. It’s a valuable addition to the Valley’s Korean dining scene. $-$$

The Dhaba
Indian
1872 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe
480-557-8800
Named after Indian truck stops, this nicely decorated haven serves Punjabi cuisine – hearty, full-flavored and including both vegetarian dishes and halal meat options of chicken, lamb, goat and fish. Take a handful of mukwah, candy-coated fennel and anise seeds, when you depart $-$$

The Halal Guys
Middle Eastern
1015 S. Rural Rd., Tempe
480-275-7502, thehalalguys.com
Decorated in red and yellow – the latter color an homage to the Muslim cabbies who were early customers – The Halal Guys has morphed from Manhattan food cart to multi-national fast food chain. Regulars love chicken, gyros and falafel platters with plenty of the eatery’s signature white sauce, a spin on toum, a garlicky Middle Eastern sauce. Check online for other locations. $

Venezia’s New York Style Pizzeria
Pizza/Italian
744 W. Ray Rd., Gilbert
480-786-3200, venezias.com
Owner Domenick Montanile gives loyal diners a New York feel and a touch of Italy. Everything is authentic, down to the family photos displayed throughout the restaurant. Enjoy award-winning pizza, along with delicious calzones, stromboli, sandwiches, wings and more. Multiple locations. $

Zu Izakaya
Asian
2210 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe
480-625-4372, zuizakaya.com
Owned by Chef June Kang of Scottsdale’s Bei Sushi, Zu captures the spirit of a Japanese izakaya pub without its more traditional trappings. A massive menu of tempura, hot pots and grilled meats includes gyoza, chile-garlic edamame and tempura sweet potatoes, with fried cheese SPAM katsu sliders for more adventurous appetites. $-$$

WEST VALLEY

Abuelo’s
Mexican
16092 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center Dr., Peoria
623-878-8282, abuelos.com
Constructed to look like a Mexican hacienda, these Texas-based corporate restaurants offer hearty Mexican food with a decidedly Tex-Mex accent. Expect large portions and lots of spice. Save room for chocolate flan. Other location: Chandler (480-855-0960). $-$$

Dazzo’s Dog House
American
6143 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale
623-934-3536, dazzosdoghouse.com
The Chicago native Dazzo brothers and their families have been running this joint since 1979. Grab a hot dog, Polish dog or bratwurst or feast on a Chi-Town smorgasbord of Italian beef sandwiches, chili dogs, pizza puffs, Chicago tamales and fresh-cut fries. Cash only. $

Eric’s Family Barbecue
Barbecue
12345 W. Indian School Rd., Avondale
623-248-0148, ericsfamilybbq.com
This barbecue joint specializes in Central-Texas-style brisket, rubbed with little more than salt and pepper and smoked over mesquite, until it reaches a lovely ratio of caramelized bark to fatty flesh. Also pay heed to the pulled pork, pork ribs and uniformly delicious sides. $$

PHOENIX MAGAZINE TEAM PICKS

August is National Sandwich Month! What’s your favorite in the Valley?

“When someone ‘owes’ me lunch, I try to make them pay with a mesquite-broiled filet mignon club from Durant’s. It’s an epic bite, and the power-lunch people-watching is nonpareil.”
— Craig Outhier, editor

“What’s the tea? Cha Cha’s Tea Lounge has stellar sammies! My fave: The plant-based pesto and avocado sandwich, with roasted eggplant, house-made pistachio pesto, arugula and fresh avo tucked in focaccia. The bread is somehow crisp, crunchy and doughy all at once, and pairs perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.”
— Madison Rutherford, associate editor

“It’s not in the budget to travel to Paris, but I am grateful that I can get a taste by going to Cafe Paris. They have the most delicious croque monsieur ever! It’s made with ham, melted Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and a béchamel sauce, with a side green salad. Everyone needs to run here and try this!”
— Angelina Aragon, managing art director

“I can’t stop ordering the Shabazi at Twist Hot Chicken: super crunchy – and hella juicy – fried chicken, red cabbage slaw, zhoug (a spicy Middle Eastern sauce made with herbs, chiles and spices) and tangy, creamy tahini sauce.”
— Leah LeMoine, managing editor

“The Noble Eatery Caprese. It’s got a hearty helping of creamy burrata packed along with arugula, tomato and saba into a hearty, scrumptious, dream-stealing pide. I crave it every day!”
— Mirelle Inglefield, art director