Phoenix Restaurants Guide
While there are no truly old ethnic restaurants in The Valley, there are certainly some great dining spots. Local chefs pride themselves on cutting-edge creations, often blending old-world cuisine with modern recipes and indigenous southwestern spices and ingredients. The resorts boast wonderful dining. You'll not go hungry here, no matter what your taste buds dictate.
Monti's La Casa Vieja (100 S Mill Ave at Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe) is a historic pioneer home, dating back to 1871. You'll get large, reasonably priced steaks, chops, and chicken. It's not fancy, but the atmosphere is pleasant.
AZ 88 (7353 E Scottsdale Mall, Old Town Scottsdale) features fresh flowers, linen napkins, and great burgers with waffle fries and fabulous salads. The martinis are stupendous, too. You can dine indoors or outdoors on the patio overlooking the Scottsdale entertainment area. If you're not a great burger fancier, try Elsa's chicken, a breast grilled with peppers, pecans, and honey mustard.
Pinnacle Peak Patio (10426 E Jomax Rd) lets you step back in time to the Old West to savor mesquite broiled steaks, cowboy beans, and a brownie roundup. You can dine on the patio looking out onto the desert landscape or indoors near the collection of the area's largest neckties. Live country western music and dancing are featured nightly.
Mobil One-Star Los Sombreros Mexican Cafe and Cantina (2534 N Scottsdale Rd) is definitely not your typical Mexican fare. This is classic Mexican dining in a cute house in South Scottsdale with indoor and outdoor dining. The menu is nicely varied and fresh, and save room for the flan.
Mobil Four-Star Mary Elaine's at The Phoenician (6000 E Camelback Rd) is formal, elegant, and the service is near perfect. It offers seasonal international French-inspired cuisine with dramatic city lights views to match. There's also an extensive wine cellar, making this is a good spot for that very special occasion.
Mobil Three-Star Lon's at the Hermosa (5532 N Palo Cristi Dr) is quaintly situated in a traditional hand-built adobe hacienda in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, once owned by well-known cowboy artist Lon Megargee, who created the famous Stetson Hat logo. This secluded mini-resort offers great dining indoors or on the shaded patio. There's lots of cowboy memorabilia and art, too. A favorite here is the wood-grilled filet mignon over Gorgonzola mashed potatoes. Fresh vegetables come from the on-property garden.
China Chile (3501 N Central Ave) isn't your typical Chinese eatery -- the exterior is far from upscale, but the food is fresh and flavorful. Try the boiled won tons in a very spicy Szechwan peanut sauce as a starter. The chicken in a crisp potato nest with crunchy veggies and bean sauce is a real palate pleaser.
The Grill at the TPC at the Mobil Three-Star Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort (7575 E Princess Dr) serves an unforgettable steak. The prime steaks, both dry and wet aged, can be cut and eaten with your fork. Fresh seafood is flown in daily from both Atlantic and Pacific markets, and the service matches the cuisine.
The average rate of tipping in Phoenix is 15 to 20 percent, which is typical of everywhere.
With so much to see and do, you won't want to miss a beat while visiting Phoenix. See the next page for suggested itineraries to help you plan your days and nights in this incredible city.