Just northeast of Phoenix, you’ll find the best restaurants in Scottsdale, which will leave you elated, impressed, and gastronomically fulfilled.
Food is more than something that sustains life through calories. It is a staple of hospitality and a window into the culture of a place. So, if you've spent some time exploring Arizona or seeking out its best lakes, we think you'll need somewhere to recharge and refuel. Well, lucky for you, Scottsdale, Arizona has some incredible food. From four-course meals to public drinking houses, there is a myriad of options to choose from. Any of the following best restaurants in Scottsdale won't disappoint. They are ready to keep you wanting more.
1. Cafe Monarch
Credit: Cafe Monarch / Facebook
If we could list all the awards that Cafe Monarch has won, it would take this whole article. It is not only one of the best restaurants in Scottsdale, but one of the best restaurants in the nation. This family owned and operated cafe brings the utmost in service and style to its patrons. Each of their servers has been trained by the Court of Master Sommeliers program and have extensive wine and food knowledge. Each meal you have here will be a masterfully prepared four-course dining experience. Made with local, fresh ingredients, the menu changes weekly to incorporate this. That being said, having the same thing twice here is unheard of, which we love.
Whether it’s the Smoked King Salmon Rillette that draws you in or the Summer Watermelon Salad, we don’t blame you for wanting to eat every meal here. The Niman Ranch Tenderloin Tips will truly show you why Cafe Monarch is one of the best restaurants in Scottsdale. But, the Charred Spanish Octopus and some rum cake for dessert will finish your meal off perfectly. Of course, you can add a wine pairing to your meal for a well-rounded experience. Overall, chef and owner Gus Lewkowicz has created a magical phenomenon at Cafe Monarch, making it a must-have if you’re anywhere near Scottsdale, Arizona.
Credit: Sel / Facebook
Simple. Bold. Extraordinary. Chef Branden Levine prepares an innovative, locally sourced menu every few weeks to keep all his regulars coming back for more. Serving a four-course dinner meal every day of the week, Sel exceeds all our expectations of what the best restaurants in Scottsdale should be. With a fixed menu, options do not run rampant here. However, thought and creativity are infused into each and every dish served here. The brains, innovation, and skill are all evident behind each of these creations. You won’t be disappointed. In addition, the knowledge of wines and liquors by the wait staff is unparalleled and applauded by all patrons.
For a taste of what you could experience, here is a bit of their late summer menu. You can start with the Grilled White Asparagus appetizer. A delectable parmesan crisp and mousse, slow poached organic farm egg, and white truffle-grilled lemon vinaigrette top this marvelous concoction. Next, tempt your taste buds with the Butternut Squash Cappellacci, made with Roquefort, walnut tuile, and a prosecco-mushroom sauce. Finally, a Perilla Crusted Halibut with smoked ham hock, clam, fennel, pea pesto, and preserved lemon oil can be your main dish. If this doesn't sound like a meal worth having, I’m not sure what would. Granted, there are many options to choose from, so don’t worry if one of these doesn’t sound like you. Overall, Sel will clearly win a spot on anyone’s best restaurants in Scottsdale list if you give it a chance.
3. Citizen Public House
Credit: Citizen Public House / Facebook
For a deliciously hip gastropub, look to Citizen Public House. It has quickly earned the title of being one of the best restaurants in Scottsdale due to its exceptional food, provocative drinks, and chic atmosphere. The infamous chopped salad is what they are most well known for, which will be chopped right at your table. It is a mixture of smoked salmon, couscous, arugula, Asiago cheese, currants, pepitas, dried super sweet corn, marinated tomatoes, and a buttermilk herb dressing. If that doesn’t sound like a little piece of heaven, well, read it again. It gets amazing reviews and is a must-have if you’re anywhere near old town Scottsdale.
While they have a decently sized menu, the Pan Seared scallops are another local favorite. Sweet corn grits, Hampshire bacon lardon, wilted snow pea greens, and a cola gastrique pair next to this marvelous seafood. The Citizen Public House is also known for its stellar happy hour, so make sure to stop by between 4 and 6pm any day of the week. From light snacks under five dollars to half-price draft beer and wind at five dollars a glass, you can’t go wrong. As this spot has been made to feel like a public house of old, you will find new family and friends here as well. So, come for the food but stay for the atmosphere and people at one of the best restaurants in Scottsdale.
4. Virtu Honest Craft
Credit: Virtu Honest Craft / Facebook
This next option on our list of the best restaurants in Scottsdale has quickly gathered acclaim for being one of the best new spots in the country. Nestled inside the Bespoke Inn Bed & Breakfast, Chef Gio Osso has created a masterpiece. This global restaurant is inspired by his family’s Mediterranean roots. So, you can come to expect delectable handmade pasta, premium seasonal produce, and incredible seafood imported from North America and southern Europe. The cocktails also rotate seasonally to accommodate fresh-pressed juices and unique spirits from around the globe.
The menu at Virtu Honest Craft changes so often as Chef Osso gets inspired by the daily fluctuations in produce, meats, and seafood. But, we’ll give you a taste of what he is capable of creating. You can start with a small bite of asparagi. Made with two Wash Ranch duck eggs, feta, bacon candy, foie gras hollandaise, and a truffle drizzle, your mouth will only begin to water. Next up, enjoy hand-crafted gnocchi, paired with house-made sausage, fava, chanterelles, marsala butter, and grana. While there is a myriad of entree options, one could be the smoked duck with radicchio insalata, pear brown butter, smoked onion & taleggio phyllo. Each of these dishes can be paired spectacularly with one of the handcrafted cocktails as well. So, for a true dining pleasure, head to Virtu Honest Craft. It is hands-down one of the best restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona.
5. Culinary Dropout
Credit: Culinary Dropout / Facebook
For a local vibe and killer music, along with spectacular food, Culinary Dropout is your destination. You can come to expect large portions at this family-friendly bar. With great American bites, it’s hard to go wrong here. They are known for their pretzel bites and provolone fondue, as well as the famous fried chicken drizzled with honey. If you’re in need of some good slow roasted pork ribs to go with a local beer on tap, you’re in luck. They cook their ribs for 36 hours for a truly delectable experience. This attention to detail and craft while still keeping a lower priced menu and the relaxed vibe is why it made it on the list of the best restaurants in Scottsdale.
Every night of the week, you can experience the great live music. There might just be a little dancing to go along with it, too. You can personalize many of the dishes here as well, which is an aspect of the exceptional service we love. One of the local favorites is choosing your own charcuterie board. But, whatever you end up grabbing at the Culinary Dropout, you will be happily impressed with its presentation, flavor, and size. So, head on over to see if you think these place has earned a spot on your own list of the best restaurants in Scottsdale!
6. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
Credit: Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen / Facebook
Every city needs a marvelous farm to table restaurant on its streets. Scottsdale’s contribution to this is Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen. Located in the Hyatt, both delectably fresh food and stunning views will meet you here. It has a one of a kind view of Camelback Mountain, elevating your experience here that much more. The food is a mixture of traditional dishes and new, innovative Sonoran dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can have your choice of small plates, shareable dishes, or a multi-course meal. With local, seasonal ingredients boasting the delight and history of Arizona, you will be able to truly experience all that the best restaurants in Scottsdale have to offer.
If you love watching chefs at work, book a spot at the Kitchen Table. With this option, ten guests have the chance to watch their meal be prepared by the chef. This is a great opportunity for small groups or an intimate meal with your family. You can always pair your meal with any of the handcrafted cocktails. Each one has been planned and prepared by experienced mixologists. If you want a taste of the local delicacies, make sure to try the Arizona-grown Medjool dates. They come sliced and served with fresh cream and pistachio crumbles to give you the most delectable local experience. For another dessert favorite, grab the Sonoran risotto, crafted with a combination of local wild rice, wheat berries, and quinoa. Whatever you get here, it will be a bit pricey but well worth it for the stellar taste that has been fused into the dish.
When it comes to choosing the best restaurants in Scottsdale, we can’t help but get incredibly hungry writing about the impeccable food in this Phoenix suburb.
If you’re already out and about on the town, then make your way over to any of these spectacular dining spots. If you’re in the area for a weekend getaway, you might as well book your stay at the Hyatt or Bespoke Bed and Breakfast. That way, the best restaurants in Scottsdale will literally be feet from your doorstep! Whether you’re in need of a spectacular four-course farm to table meal or some great fried chicken, there’s a place for you to dine in Scottsdale. So, start heading to the desert because they sure do have some mind-blowing dishes awaiting you.
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