Where to Eat in Phoenix: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Rosalyn Ihle

Nearly perfect year-round weather and several impeccably designed championship courses have made Phoenix one of the top golf destinations in the world. But there's more to this mild-mannered metropolis than pristine greens and tee times. The greater Phoenix area also offers visitors an array of impressive cultural attractions. Visit the internationally renowned Heard Museum for an in-depth look at Native American history or peruse the fine collection at the Phoenix Museum of Art. Enjoy a ballet performance at the ornate Orpheum Theater or or catch a concert at the state-of-the-art Comerica Theatre. In addition to golf, the city offers access to numerous outdoor endeavors including rock climbing, hot-air ballooning, desert jeep tours and more. Family-friendly attractions, first-rate shopping, dining and entertainment, and spectacular recreational activities make Phoenix a must-visit destination.
Things to do in Phoenix

1. Kai Restaurant

5594 W Wildhorse Pass Blvd, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, Phoenix, AZ 85226-5400 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Native American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 105 +1 602-385-5777
Excellent
89%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 424 reviews

Kai Restaurant

Recipient of the Coveted AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Five-Star Award, Kai, meaning 'seed' in the Pima language, features a menu rich in creativity, history and Native American culture. Executive Chef Thomas Riordan and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Swanson incorporate the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes and locally farmed ingredients from the Gila River Indian Community to create unforgettable masterpieces. James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for KAI and is renowned for creating unique and indigenous menu experiences. Open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday, reservations are strongly recommended. Kai maintains a smart business casual dress code. It prohibits hats, T-shirts, and shorts for both ladies and gentlemen, including open-toed sandals for men. Dress hats for ladies are acceptable. Denim is not preferred. As a courtesy to other diners, please refrain from using cell phones or laptops in the dining room.

Reviewed By Rita23890 - Virginia Beach, Virginia

There are no words to describe the amazing dining experience at Kai - and I men that in the best possible way. Everything is 5 Star - time your visit to enjoy the sunset if possible!!

2. Little Miss Bbq

4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034-7317 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Barbecue Lunch +1 602-437-1177
Excellent
83%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 410 reviews

Little Miss Bbq

Reviewed By A2ZREVIEWS

Well we finally took the time and waited in line for 1:36:45... was it worth it? While everything was excellent, is anything really worth STANDING in line for that amount of time? Only you can determine that. The pork ribs are the best I have every tasted, the brisket was excellent and the pulled pork and sausage were very good. The cheddar cheese-jalapena grits and beans were also very good. While I hate to say it, as good as the food was, I would suggest Bobby Q's with just as good food, excellent atmosphere, and much faster service. Bobby Q's also suprises you with free hot mini cinnamon donuts after your meal... YUM!

3. Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana - Phoenix

705 N 1st St, Suite 120, Phoenix, AZ 85004-2022 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 - SGD 33 +1 602-795-2555
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 741 reviews

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana - Phoenix

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana creates the truly authentic pizza experience utilizing the same simple methods that were practiced for hundreds of years in Napoli, Italy where pizza was born and perfected. Pomo&apos;s Pizza is produced according to the Neapolitan tradition where each pizza is a unique piece of art. <br>We combine the slow levitation method to produce our homemade dough, all natural ingredients, and the Blast-Cooking process for 60–90 seconds at 905°C on our wood burning oven imported from Italy to lock in flavors, natural aroma and moisture. This gives the pizza a soft and digestible crust, which is the signature style of a true Napoletana Pizza. <br>Our pizza is made from slow-rising sourdough with a minimum of 24 hours in the rising process.<br>We are proud to be the First - "AVPN" Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certified Restaurant in Arizona. We take Neapolitan pizza seriously and you will be able to tell with every taste.

Reviewed By SixthSister - Fayetteville, Arkansas

We walked from the Hilton Garden Inn on a very pleasant evening. We chose it based on its top Trip Advisor ranking, and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed a large mediterranean style salad and shared a Pomo pizza - rustic style, fresh mozz, great...MoreHi SixthSister, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience via TripAdvisor. We are truly flattered, but most of all, we're so excited that you had such a lovely time. We hope to welcome you back next time you're in Scottsdale.

4. Rusconi's American Kitchen

10637 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85028-6088 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards American, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast SGD 8 - SGD 38 +1 480-483-0009
Excellent
75%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 674 reviews

Rusconi's American Kitchen

Rusconi&apos;s American Kitchen features hand crafted regional American cuisine by Chef Michael Rusconi. We are open for Dinner, lunch and Sunday BrunchOpen every day for happy hour, dinner, wine flights and all around fun and now lunch and Sunday Brunch, our restaurant offers a hearty menu of regional American cuisine featuring a wood burning grill with an abundance of affordable items, bringing sophisticated and accessible fare to Valley restaurant goers. Chef Rusconi&apos;s menu is ever-changing and reflective of the season. Expect a wide variety of your favorite dishes uniquely enhanced with ingredients native to the Valley. The signature menu items are cooked to perfection in our wood burning grill to create a savory and aromatic flavor profile you can only experience at Rusconi&apos;s American Kitchen. About the Chef Born in California and raised in Chicago, Chef Rusconi earned his culinary degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. Chef Rusconi has long been a leader in sustainable food before it was trendy to do so Rusconi&apos;s culinary track record includes a handful of Mobil 4 Star Awards, and consecutive nominations from the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. He&apos;s known for revitalizing the cuisine at LON&apos;s at the Hermosa Inn, and supporting many local and national charity events, but in his own kitchen, Rusconi&apos;s creativity is boundless. From the carefully curated menu to the stunning skylight/community art installation at the heart of the restaurant, this modern day renaissance man has influenced and designed nearly every element and detail you&apos;ll experience at Rusconi&apos;s American Kitchen. As for his food philosophy, Chef Rusconi says simply, "Buy the best ingredients and treat them with love and respect then apply proper technique. Only by doing that will you be able to deliver the best quality possible."

Reviewed By iandavisurol - Ancaster, Canada

After a two week golf trip we decided on a splurge dinner before retuning home.
We reserved a week ahead, arrived on time and then were taken to a small table next to the kitchen door - quite unsatisfactory.
The situation was brought to the Managers attention and the problem was resolved quite quickly in an amicable manner.
The server was pleasant and knowledgeable and the meal lived up to previous reviews i.e. excellent.

We will return next year.

5. Steak 44

5101 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018-1623 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 92 +1 602-271-4400
Excellent
77%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 546 reviews

Steak 44

Steak 44 is an upscale American steakhouse located at 5101 N. 44Th Street in Phoenix. Steak 44 offers a timeless and upscale yet approachable residential feel with handcrafted rich woodwork, low ceilings and contemporary appointments, creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Steak 44 opens for dinner daily offering prime steaks in small, medium and large cuts in addition to veal, lamb, chicken and an extensive selection of fresh seafood. Continuing the best happy hour tradition including exceptional culinary offerings from a delectable Early Bar Menu, Steak 44 offers gourmet light fare dining at its best, 4 to 6:30 p.M. Daily.

Reviewed By akdeepdiver

I always find an excuse to dine here, date night, anniversary family get-together, birthday because the service, food and atmosphere is always consistently incredible.

I came here to celebrate my anniversary. We started off with cocktail while looking over the menu. We started off with 3 Colossal Shrimp Cocktail and 1/2 Oysters. Entrees were the New Bedford Sea Scallop (lemon butter, sea salt, chardonnay) and 16 oz. NY Strip. We ended the evening with an Anniversary Chocolate Dessert.

Evening was perfect! Atmosphere, Food and Service! Thank you!

6. Fuego Bistro

713 E Palo Verde Dr, Ste D, Phoenix, AZ 85014-2598 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 602-277-1151
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 578 reviews

Fuego Bistro

Reviewed By Jason C - Corinth, Vermont

Tucked beind 7th street is an oasis of great food and drinks. The outside courtyard is quite large, with heaters, pergolas and a water fountain. There are several little shops and a dance studio within the bulding. The drink menu is large and everything looks great. I had a blackberry mojito, actually two and they were delicious; other choices that looked great were prickly pear, watermelon and passionfruit. The Cubano sandwich came with a big pile of dirty rice and beans, both fantastic. The Cubano was great and I can't wait to come back for dinner.

7. Bobby Q

8501 N 27th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051-4063 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Southwestern, Bar, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 39 +1 602-995-5982
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Bobby Q

The creator of Bobby McGee’s brings you Bobby Q. With Meats smoked up to 20 hours, to our in house, hand-cut steaks, you&apos;ll have no problem finding a meal to appeal to your appetite!! Reservations are taken for the dining room only.

Reviewed By Tanya W - Fresno, California, United States

Delicious food, fantastic staff! What more can I say! First place I came from the airport. Probably my fifth time here and it’s as good as ever! Today, I had the kale salad, corn bread and a Duck, Duck Goose to drink. Katherine, Alyssa, Lindsey...MoreThank you, Tanya! So glad you love our place! We are thrilled that the salad, corn bread, and drinks hit the spot and we hope you'll be back for another amazing visit soon! Take care, Chef Mark

8. Postino

5144 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012-1441 (Formerly Postino Winecafe) Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations American, Bar, Wine Bar, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks +1 602-274-5144
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 144 reviews

Postino

Reviewed By travelforfun2233 - Fruita, Colorado

So I love Moscato and unfortunately I can't get it at a lot of restaurants so when I do find it I have to give it a try. This is by far my favorite Moscato. For some reason it is listed on their online menu but not the one in the restaurant, but just ask for it- they do have it! The food here is also very good- over my several visits I have had the sandwiches, salad, bruchetta board and meat/cheese boards- none disappoint. The best part about this establishment is the atmosphere- it is very chill and relaxed. You can spend a few hours here catching up with friends and not feel rushed- such a great feeling.

9. Binkley's Restaurant

2320 E Osborn Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016-6622 Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations American Dinner, Late Night +1 602-388-4874
Excellent
79%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
5%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 310 reviews

Binkley's Restaurant

Your dining experience at Binkley’s Restaurant will take you through different sections of the restaurant—starting on our terrace adjacent to Amy Binkley’s garden, followed by moving to the intimate bar area, and ending at your table in the attractive dining room. The dining room might be thought of as an extension of Chef Binkley’s home and kitchen, and the warm, pleasant ambience is designed to be both welcoming and relaxing. The Binkley’s Restaurant dining experience includes a seasonally driven menu that is determined by the chef the day of your reservation. We serve one menu with many courses each night. All of our guests are served each course at the same time, and the cooks come out and describe the dishes. Chef Binkley invites his guests to join him in the kitchen from time to time during the evening. You will want to allow at least 3.5 hours for the dining experience. We are very much looking forward to having you as our guest, and we are committed to making your evening b

Reviewed By The_Loup_Garou - Phoenix, Arizona

We have had the great pleasure to dine with Chef Kevin Binkley, since moving to Phoenix, almost two decades ago. First, it was at his eponymous “Binkley’s” in Cave Creek, and then at his Bink’s Midtown, when it opened.

Binkley’s in Cave Creek was always a treat, and almost always excellent. Over the years, we did intimate dinners, dined with friends, hosted board dinners and even a few International Wine & Food Society wine dinners. We were saddened, when we learned that Chef Binkley was going to close that location, and change directions, of sorts. We rushed to make reservations during the last few days of the Cave Creek location, and for the first time, had a less than excellent experience. It was fairly obvious to us, that with the restaurant’s closing, things were just not as we had come to expect them to always be. We said “good-bye” to an “old friend.”

Word was out that Chef Binkley was planning a new dining concept, which would be located in the spot of Bink’s Midtown, at 2320 E Osborn St in Central Phoenix, a more casual restaurant, that we knew quite well. Once, that location was Sophie’s Bistro, owned and operated by a former Parisian, Serge Boukatch. It was a comfortable and quaint “French Country House,” with very good food. Chef Binkley had done some remodeling, but the intimate rooms, off of the main dining room, the bar in the front, and the limited parking, were all still there.

Shortly after Chef Binkley “re-opened” the property as Binkley’s, we had the pleasure to dine there. We spent some time, trying to pick up all of the changes, between Sophie’s, Bink’s Midtown and the new Binkley’s. Some were evident, some probably escaped us, but the charm of the location had been retained.

When it comes to his food, Chef Binkley has always been an innovator, and a leader. Back with his original Binkley’s, he brought micro-gastronomy, and molecular gastronomy to Phoenix, along with many creative cryo-techinques. He became known for the many, and creative Amuse Bouche courses served, but his meals also had great “substance,” with creative platings, presentations, and just great food! Wine was also a big part of his meals, and all of these have been carried over to his new concept, which I would define as “having a casual dinner party at Chef Binkley’s home.”

Though the venue is smallish, it is a “progressive dinner,” in that one starts in the bar area (we did), then they move to the dining area, and, weather permitting, move to the patio, to finish Chef’s “dinner party.” On our visit, a hot July night, we did not move to the patio, and with good reason. However, that did not diminish our enjoyment.

One aspect of this new concept is the fixed price. One can add wine pairings, and then, there were supplements: for us, a Waygu addition, Foie Gras Course and a Cheese Course. The fees are paid at the time of the reservations. In our case, those reservations were made about 1.5 mos in advance. The supplements, and wine pairings were ordered at that time.

It’s difficult to draw real parallels to the dining experience, as some aspects are unique – as are many of Chef Binkley’s dishes. The closest that I can come up with is Alinea, in Chicago, and Atelier Crenn, in San Francisco. Interestingly, both Chef Binkley and Alinea’s chef, Grant Achatz, are alumni of The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller’s famous, Michelin 3-star Yountville, CA, restaurant. Chef Dominique Crenn is known for publishing her menus in the form of a poem, with no reference to the dishes, or even food, usually. At both, the platings are each a visual work of art – and so it was at Binkley’s. Chef Binkley always did work with intricate, unique and arresting platings, but has taken that talent to a new level, at Binkley’s.

Like his friend, Chef Achatz, Kevin Binkley does go in for a bit of “dinner theater,” but in a less involved, way. There is no ceiling, which flies to the table top, to be disassembled into serving pieces, for instance – yet, from concept to service, there IS a bit of “theater,” and a mighty fine dinner.

IMHO, Chef Binkley has taken it “up a notch,” and in very interesting ways. Everything worked for us, with but the most minute of situations. We (2 couples) were seated at a small 4-top, along the wall in the bar, for the commencement of the evening. That area is slightly raised, and the tables not well-spaced. Service was hampered by the slight elevational difference, the closely-spaced tables, and then a low partition besides the diners, closet to the front entrance. Remember, this new Binkley’s had just opened, so changes might have been made, since our visit. Still, there were some awkward service moments, but then we moved to the main dining room.

There, the tables have much better spacing, and, it seemed, more square footage. This proved a blessing, as the dishes which followed our move, were far more intricate, larger, and some had some active components, that would not have “played well” at the initial, smaller, restricted table in the front. I also believe that in cooler weather, the start of the “event” is on the patio, so we might have been “victims” of a hot July evening? I have to return, to check this part of the flow out for myself – oh, and also the great food and wines.

Now, as the menu changes with great frequency, and certainly by the seasons, I will not go into a lot of detail on our meal. Yours will differ, and possibly greatly.

We had 22 Courses, plus possibly 4 Amuse Bouche Courses, which did not make the menu. Some highlights were”
Cucumber “Slushy” Cocktail w/ Chimoya Chili Sugar on the rim
Spot Prawn Roll w/ pickled Juynsai celery, red onion, prawn-head mustard and matcha salt
Chicken-fried Sweetbreads Biscuit w/ caper aioli and charred onion relish
Black Truffle “Popper” w/ white truffle pepper jelly
Charcoal-seared Copper River King Salmon w/ candied salmon, nopales, avocado mangosteen, tomatillo broth, wasabi and mandarin oil
Charcoal-seared Waygu Tenderloin, cooked on patio, outside the dining room window

Our “wine pairing” was interesting, as well, though two beverages were not wines, but a sake and an ale. We had a lovely Sparkling Grüner Veltliner from Szigeti, in Burgenland, Austria, a Joto “The One with Clocks” Daiginjo, Sake, from Hiroshima, Japan, a Dukes Family Vineyard Eola/Amity Pinot Noir, and a Doyenne Yakima Valley, WA, Syrah, a Brasserie St James “Red Headed Stranger” Ale from Reno, NV, and 4 other wines/beverages. All great pairings with the dishes. Note: a few dishes are paired with the same beverage, so don’t loose count – though a few of ours were “topped up.”

For us, the concept worked very well, in that there was a natural flow of both courses and beverages, as we moved about the restaurant. Chef Binkley was around at each table, during the meal, and well after. His kitchen is also open, and tours are invited – just like a dinner party at a friend’s home, where the kitchen is free to explore. All dishes were described in great detail, which is helpful, when putting together what one is reading, vs what one is seeing on the plate in front of them. Ingredients (some fairly obscure to us, and one in our group writes cook books, and appears on TV cooking shows!) After the meal, one is invited to tour Amy Binkley’s garden, out in front of the restaurant – that garden, and what is ripe, is one reason for the frequent changes in the menu.

While not quite “dinner theater” such as Alinea, with ninja-clad servers in near darkness for some courses, or moving ceilings, or what appear to be acrobats serving great course, after great course, or Atelier Crenn’s culinary art work, that you want to take home, put onto a lighted pedestal and display next to your Tiffany Easter Egg collection, Binkley’s is a concept, which worked well for us – great food, great wines (and sake, and ale), beautiful visual art, and immaculate service (once we moved from the bar seating). The parking is still limited, but with the one seating, that is no longer the problem it was for the previous iterations of this venue. While not inexpensive, and not an easy reservation to secure, it was definitely worth it. Now, to try to get in, in the Autumn, or Winter.

10. The Melting Pot

3626 E Ray Rd, Ahwatukee, Phoenix, AZ 85044-7114 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 31 - SGD 59 +1 480-704-9206
Excellent
73%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 248 reviews

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot Restaurant is where fun is cooked up fondue style. Romantic for Couples and Great in a Group. Our Ahwatukee restaurant is easily accessible from I-10. Take the "E Ray Road" exit off the I-10 and travel 2 miles west into the Ahwatukee Foothills. The modern yet warm casually elegant atmosphere sets the mood for a relaxing evening. The leisurely paced four-course experience begins with a cheese fondue prepared table side. A fresh salad follows while your entrée pot heats up. You’ll simmer a variety of tantalizing meats, seafood and vegetables. Each morsel is hot, fresh and delicious and all entrées are accompanied by an array of dipping sauces to add to the flavorful fun. Chocolate fondue is the finale, all served with decadent dippers. Most make reservations for the four-course dining experience but more than a few have stopped by to satisfy that cheese fondue or chocolate craving. Hand crafted cocktails and great wine list.

Reviewed By Lee M - Phoenix, Arizona

Fondue dining is am relaxing way to enjoy dinner. The Melting Pot has great ambiance and the food is top notch from a Cheese Fondue appetizer to just about anything for a main course. Lobster and Steak are highlights. Dessert Chocolate and caramel need I say more.

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