Ultimate Foodie Guide: Scottsdale, ArizonaBy Alicia Grimshaw
Here’s the thing – we visited Scottsdale, Arizona recently, and we were bowled over by its foodie offering. There’s everything from slow cooked beef brisket to vegan salads and bangin’ brunch spots. If you’re planning a trip to Scottsdale soon – remember to visit these unbelievable restaurants:
Scottsdale Foodie Guide: Brunch
What: Chef Gio Osso is at the helm of Virtu honest Craft, a cosy eatery found on the first floor of a twee bed and breakfast in downtown Scottsdale. Known to the locals as ‘honest craft’, the restaurant seats only 25. What the restaurant lacks in seats, the menu certainly makes up for it with its Mediterranean dishes with global influences. And while they serve breakfast to dinner, their brunch menu is where the food party is at. For the best dining experience, grab a table on the outdoor patio. Brunch always tastes better when eaten al fresco.
Eat and Drink: If you don’t order the chistorra and eggs with caramelised onions and potatoes, then you’re doing it all wrong. Runny yolks, a rich, tangy tomato sauce and homemade chime churri – what’s not to love? For something deliciously different, try the grilled octopus served with fennel, arugula, chick peas, and calabrese chile butter – Scottsdale natives rave about this dish, and we can see why. It’s beautifully fresh, and bursting with flavour. Not your typical brunch eat, sure, but great nonetheless.
Where: 701 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
What: If you want to see how Americans really do brunch – Hash Kitchen is your best bet. It’s over the top, slightly on the gluttonous side, but it’s a must if you’re visiting Scottsdale. Let your imagination run wild at the DIY Bloody Mary bar, make it as quirky or heady as you like. Top your Bloody Mary with everything from hotdogs to gherkins, pickled onions and other mystery meats.
Eat and Drink: Their brunch menu is a minefield of tasty eats, but be prepared to loosen your trousers, or take home a doggy bag. They don’t scrimp on portions here. The sweet apple pie pancakes is essentially dessert for breakfast, but it’s super tasty. Other menu highlights include lump crap frittata with house potatoes, chicken and waffles with fried leeks, and steak and eggs. And we’re never one to turn down a breakfast lasagne.
Where: The Shops Gainey Village, 8777 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
What: As the name suggests, Buttermilk’s Pancake House dish up some of the finest pancakes in the Scottsdale area. These guys know their batter. The restaurant looks slightly like an Ikea showroom, but we won’t hold that against them. The food here is consistently good, and their freshly squeezed orange juice is pulpy and damn delish.
Eat and Drink: Ditch any non-pancake dish and head straight for the fluffy goodness. The pancakes here are super fluffy, and light, and not too heavy. The wild berry pancakes with blueberries, layered with wildberry mascarpone, topped with vanilla cream, fresh wild berries and glaze is seriously good, and made so much better with a side order of bacon. For a truly indulgent brunch, order the Oreo S’mores pancakes stuffed with Oreo cookie and chocolate chips, layered with marshmallow spread and topped with chocolate sauce. Ooo-er.
Where: 7388 E. Shea Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Scottsdale Foodie Guide: Lunch
What: If you’re an avid fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you may recognise Tom’s Thumb. Presenter Guy Fieri dubbed this place as serving up ‘competition style BBQ’. But there’s something that also makes Tom’s Thumb pretty unique – there’s also a gas station, car wax and wash service, a fresh market and coffee shop on site. Get your car washed while you chow down on some meat, and buy a fridge magnet for the road.
Eat and Drink: The beef brisket sandwich is pretty iconic: melt-in-the-mouth brisket topped with a tangy garlic aioli and pickles, and sandwiched between Texas toast. Everything works. And for veggies, try the caprese sandwich featuring thick slabs of fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and a dousing of pesto – it’s lunchtime perfection. We’ve also got a lost of time for the breakfast tacos with creamy scrambled eggs, potatoes and cheese. The sweet potato fries are gloriously crispy, with a fluffy centre. Make sure you order a portion, or two.
Where: 9393 E Bell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
What: Craft beer: check. Wood-fired pizza: check. Artisan wine: check. If you like all of the above, you’re in for a foodie treat at Craft 64. They champion local, organic ingredients and make their own mozzarella from scratch everyday. Their custom build 100% wood oven heats to over 900 degrees, and produces thin and crispy neopolitan pizzas that would make the people of Naples proud. And all these pizzas are best washed down with a craft beer (good luck choosing one – they have 36 tap handles).
Eat and Drink: Bubbly cheese covering a variety of meats on a crispy base is hard to beat. Craft 64 nail pizza creations, and there’s no better pizza to try for the Craft 64 virgin than their Carne. Pillowy heaps of mozzarella sit beside slices of cured pepperoni and nubs of fennel Sausage. The herby meat and the creamy cheese balance the pizza nicely. And if you can stomach anything else, the boozy tiramisu with silky smooth cream is your best bet, and much better than the OTT Nutella pizza. Pizza and beer is the best kind of pairing in our books.
Where: 6922 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
What: Chop Shop is a favourite pit stop for the virtuous foodie crowd, who come here to lap up a bit of zen and delicious, nutritious food. There’s everything from fresh salads, healthy juices to super fruit bowls and protein plates. A great place for vegans, coeliacs and dairy-free queens. Just promise us you order one of their traditional lemonades. Sweet, with a touch of sour.
Eat and Drink: There’s some smashing lunchtime options like the Asian salad with bok choy, snap pea, carrot, green onion, cashews and sesame seeds, and the vegan friendly raw veggies salad with carrot, tomato, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, corn and pistachios. The combinaion of turkey, avocado and roasted red pepper in a wrap is pure magic. We should also mention that Chop Shop make a banging spicy Korean steak protein bowl packed full of roasted broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrot and mushroom. Grab one and eat it on their outdoor patio. Dreamy.
Where: 7158 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Scottsdale Foodie Guide: Dinner
What: With Mexico as Arizona’s neighbours, it’s no surprise that the Mexican grub in Scottsdale is knock your socks off fantastic. There’s no better place to satisfy your guacamole and taco fix than The Misson, a low-lit, ultra cool restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. Here upscale Latin cuisine and craft cocktails is the order of the night. If you ever wondered where Scottsdale natives dine: it’s here.
Eat and Drink: Tableside guacamole is a big thing at The Mission – chunks of avocado weaved with onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, lime and tomatoes. Pile the tortilla chips high and bask in all the healthy fats. The mains read like our favoured death row menu, and essentially includes everything we like. The pork shoulder, served with house made chorizo, rosemary, cotija, white bean puree and sweet garlic crema is the restaurant’s crowning glory. Every mouthful better than the last. It’s a simply stunning dish.
Where: 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
What: Welcome to Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, a casual hangout dishing up barbecue favourites in large portions that could portably feed a whole village. Not a place you’d whisper sweet nothings over the table, but a place to ditch the cutlery, grab a handful of napkins and just get stuck in. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a Friday, their serve their legendary fried frogs legs. We can confirm frogs legs do slightly taste like chicken.
Eat and Drink: Wear something that has a lot of give, or prepare to stew for a good few hours after – the portions are colossal. The brisket is wonderfully juicy, and the ribs are slow-cooked, so the meat literally falls of the bone. The pulled chicken sandwich benefits from a punch barbecue sauce, and the meat is flavoursome and tender. If you like meat, you’re in for a good time. Probably best to leave your veggie pals at home, although their vegetarian pulled sqaush ain’t too bad. You can order pints of sides. We say, order the coleslaw and cowboy beans. They’re too good to miss.
Where: 6130 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
What: FnB’s arrival on Scottsdale foodie scene was met with open arms. The restaurant showcases local, homegrown produce from Arizona’s top local farms and purveyors in inventive ways. It’s a sharing plate vibe, so order a few plates and get tuck in. The menu changes seasonally, and they’re also immensely proud of their wine collection sourced from Arizona’s vineyards highlighting what the blossoming region is capable of producing.
Eat and Drink: The menu at FnB is almost feels like a foodie adventure – it will make your tastebuds sing with happiness. Ingredient are paired together that you don’t think would work, but really do. The brussels sprouts, curry, basil, lime and crispy onion is a great example of this. And the carrot risotto with schreiner’s bacon, goat’s cheese, green garlic and marjoram is off the charts. Just you wait for dessert.
Where: 7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
What: Second Story Restaurant & Liquor Bar in Old Town Scottsdale is somewhat of a unique venue. Located above Scottsdale Road and 3rd Ave in Downtown Scottsdale, you will find not only a chef-driven restaurant, but also an upscale cocktail lounge, and a mecca of over 200 whiskeys.
Eat and Drink: There’s sharing starters, mains, and insane desserts. For starters, the carrot fondue pimped up with pepper jack and serranos, served with assorted bread and veggies will have you questioning the versatility of carrots. It’s that good. The pan seared duck with forbidden dirty rice, parsnip puree, chive oil and glazed carrots is an excellent main, and there’s great veggie dishes on the menu too. The cauliflower mash topped with great northern beans, and fresh pickled salad is packed full of fresh produce and interesting flavours.
Where: 4166 N Scottsdale Rd #102, Scottsdale, AZ 85251