Ten Dining Secrets in Phoenix

written by Julie Cohn

Phoenix has so many great places to eat, with different culinary choices to satisfy any craving.  With so many options, it can be difficult to distinguish the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here are ten dining secrets in Phoenix (and some not so secret).

  1. Fried Avocado with BBQ Pulled Pork:  Salty Sow

Salty Sow

Before you nosh on Crackling Pork Belly,  Salmon BLT, or Rotisserie Roasted Pork at Salty Sow, make certain you start with the creamy Fried Avocado encased in a crisp shell of bread crumbs and topped with their on-site smoked pork BBQ.  Intoxicating!

2.  Sangria:  Chelsea’s Kitchen

Chelsea's Kitchen 2

Chelsea’s Kitchen’s laid-back atmosphere makes you feel like you are in your grandmothers living room…if your grandmother was a hipster.  The food is easy-going gourmet, but their white sangria, loaded with fresh fruit and juicy wine, is the stand-out in the already stellar menu.

3.  Big Fat Burger:  Roaring Fork

Everything at Roaring Fork is bigger and better, and their “Big Ass” burger is no exception.  Juicy beef with cheddar cheese, smoked pepper bacon, and Poblano pepper make this burger shameless.  Plan on lots of napkins and a fork and knife–there is no way any decent person could fit this in their mouth.  By the way, Roaring Fork’s other entrees aren’t too shabby either.

4.  Quiche:  Lux Coffee


Lux is well known for their delicious coffee and hipster atmosphere, but have you ever tried their quiche?  It tastes as if Julia herself works in the kitchen preparing these decadent custard pastries.  Creamy, with a flaky crust and lots of fresh veggies, one slice will leave you weak in the knees.

5.  Croque Madame:  Zinc Bistro

Zinc Bistro

Zinc Bistro has two great secrets, so it is hard to decide which one to feature; a toss-up between the Truffles and Parmesan Frites or the Croque Madame.  Fortunately, the Croque Madame wins by a fork. Ham, leeks, and gruyere nestled on buttery brioche, topped with a fresh sunny-side up fried egg and mornay sauce.  Swoon all you want, but eat it before it gets cold.

6.  Guacamole:  The Mission

The Mission 2

Guacamole doesn’t come any fresher than this.  The server mixes up the guacamole fresh tableside, blending jalapeno, red onion, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, chipotle puree, olive oil, and cilantro, then topping it with a sprinkle of roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and cotija cheese. I could make a meal on this and chips!

7.  French Dip:  Houston’s


Houston’s has so many dishes to choose from, such as the Thai Steak & Noodle or the BBQ Ribs, but it’s the classic french dip that keeps people coming back again and again.  Juicy prime rib beef is shaved fresh daily and piled high on a soft egg roll,  ready to dip with a side of tangy horseradish and a savory au jus.  (Houston’s and Hillstones are part of the same restaurant group, so you can also find the French Dip at Hillstone’s in Phoenix too.)

8.  Flaming Coffee:  La Hacienda


La Hacienda has such an impressive menu, anything you try would be incredible.  Located in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Hacienda offers over 200 different kinds of tequila, has an impressive table-side guacamole, and some of the best Mexican entrees, with fresh lobster, crab, beef, sea trout, and shrimp,, but it is their famous bebida de fuego or flaming coffee that will have you cheering by the end of the meal.  Made table-side, a server artfully swirls coffee with sugar and cinnamon, along with lots of liqueur, such as Bailey’s, Frangelico, or Grand Marnier, then lights it on fire.  The server twirls the cup, sending flames high into the air, as the coffee, spices, and liqueurs are brewed into the coffee.  He finishes the coffee with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. A spectacle to see, and delightful to drink.

9.  Devil’s on Horseback – District Kitchen

District Kitchen

This District Kitchen signature appetizer, made from dates filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and drizzled with a maple/chili glaze is devilishly addictive.  Enjoy a few (or 10)  before diving into District Kitchen’s Hudson Valley duck breast with cocoa gnocchi or the Oak Creek Nut Brown Ale braised short ribs.

9.  Sweet Corn Ice Cream – Sweet Republic

Sweet Republic

The ice cream at Sweet Republic is made in-house, and you can taste the difference.  Fresh cream, sugar, and natural ingredients make this ice cream one of a kind.  With flavors such as Honey Blue Cheese, Basil Lime Sorbet, Honey Lavender, and Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, you would never get bored, but it is the sweet corn flavor that will really make your mouth smile.  Who knew eating your vegetables could be so enjoyable?

I am always looking for new foodie treasures…what are some of your ten dining secrets in Phoenix?

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Sarah 08/26/2014 at 9:19 pm

I’m in Phoenix all the time — thank you for the great tips!!!

Julie Cohn 08/27/2014 at 12:08 am

Sarah– I’d love to know more about some of your favorites too! What places have you been to in Phoenix that you have enjoyed?

Jennifer Van Huss 08/26/2014 at 10:36 pm

I have never been to Phoenix before but these look some really good spots! I love the varieties!

Julie Cohn 08/27/2014 at 12:07 am

Thank you Jennifer!

Crystal 08/26/2014 at 11:34 pm

My next trip to Phoenix needs to be solely a dining tour of the city. Everything looks so amazing, but that Croque Madame is calling my name.

Julie Cohn 08/27/2014 at 12:07 am

Crystal, that Croque Madame is to die for—so good I am craving it now! If you come to Phoenix, let me know, I will give you a personal tour!

Jenn 08/27/2014 at 2:01 pm

I’ve been to Houston’s and Roaring Fork…. I am so, so with ya on those picks!! Uh-Maze-Ing!

Lisa 08/27/2014 at 3:02 pm

Boy, I feel like I need to fly out today. LOL!! I have never been to Phoenix before, what a great variety of delicious dining places! Awesome blog :0)


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