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January 23, 2015 at 1:39 PM

Phoenix’s best restaurants, according to locals

Greasewood Flat, Scottsdale. Courtesy of Visit Phoenix.

Greasewood Flat, Scottsdale. Courtesy of Visit Phoenix.

Recently, we posted a story that listed some good bars and convenient eateries for Seahawks fans going to the Super Bowl in Arizona. Recommendations for great restaurants in the area started pouring in from present and former Phoenix residents, and even people who just travel there a lot.

Several readers suggest browsing Roosevelt Row, the arts/shopping/dining district about a 10-to-15-minute walk (or short pedal-cab ride) from Super Bowl Central.

Beyond that, here’s a partial list of specific recommendations. If you have a restaurant in the greater Phoenix area to tout to visitors, email it to and I’ll update the list as time allows. Please give the name of the restaurant and a sentence of description. Thanks!

Bandera: This consistently good restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale serves “the best rotisserie chicken, fantastic ribs, a good macho salad and great cocktails,” according to a reader.

Barrio Cafe: Authentic Southern Mexican food with half-off drinks during happy hour serving the Calle 16 mural project area in  Phoenix.

Bitter & Twisted: Extensive cocktail menu served with a late-night menu in Downtown Phoenix’s historic Luhrs Building — the former prohibition headquarters of Arizona.

Crescent Ballroom: Live music, and serving “mexican-accented road food” daily until midnight in Phoenix’s Government District, just north of West Van Buren Street and North Second Avenue.

Durant’s steakhouse: Classic steakhouse in central Phoenix with old-style martinis; famous for its unique kitchen entrance.

The Gladly: Handcrafted upscale American comfort food and cocktails, serving Sunday brunch with a five-drink specialty cocktail menu in the Cambelback Corridor in Phoenix.

Greasewood Flat: An old bunkhouse that’s been turned into a Western-style outdoor bar and restaurant on the north end of Scottsdale. “Worth the trek,” says a reader.

The House Brasserie: Modern American cuisine served by personable, attentive staff in a charming vintage house in Scottsdale: What’s not to love?

Matt’s Big Breakfast: Owner-chef Matt Pool’s menu is an homage to sweet cream butter, real maple syrup, cage-free eggs, grain-fed Iowa pork and organic produce.

Nobuo at Teeter House: James Beard Award-Winner Nobuo pioneered the concept of pairing Japanese tapas-style dishes with wine. His intimate restaurant, located inside a historic Victorian-style house near the convention center, is one of the most distinctive eateries in the city.

Phoenix Public Market Café: Regularly packed with folks from the neighborhood as well as students from Arizona State’s downtown Phoenix campus, this vintage-chic eatery next to the Phoenix Farmer’s Market on Roosevelt Row serves farm-fresh breakfasts and house-made baked goods (as well as lunch, dinner and booze).

Pizzeria Bianco: New York Times food critic Ed Levine wrote that Chef Chris Bianco crafts what “might just be the best pizza in the world.” It’s near the convention center in downtown Phoenix.

Pomo Pizzeria: Wood-fired, Neapolitan pizza so authentic it’s actually been certified by two separate pizza associations in Napoli, Italy. Serving pizza on thin, homemade crust in locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix near Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Razz: Tucked away in a small strip mall near Scottsdale Road and Shea Blvd, it is a highly energetic, unique, eclectic restaurant/art show displaying the culinary and artistic skill of Erasmo “Razz” Kamnitzer.

Compiled in part by Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Seattle Times staff.


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