The best food and dining experience in Scottsdale, AZ.
Picking only ten of the very best restaurants in Scottsdale, which is known for its gourmet eateries makes for some hard choices. Like the wonderful boutiques, art galleries, and parks, there are dozens of fine restaurants in Scottsdale, each with its own unique flavors and cuisine.
After much thought here are some of the very finest, an accolade that equates with world class according to not only their patrons, but food magazines and organizations around the globe.
Franco Fazzuoli was born in Florence, in the heart of Tuscany. He immigrated to the United States at age 25 and has worked his way to the top from busboy and dishwasher to chef and owner. This isn’t his first rodeo. He had several successful restaurants in New York before he found his home in Scottsdale. Franco’s is noted for its bruschetta, a good start for any meal. The beet salad with arugula is served with goat cheese. The various forms of yummy pasta are also available gluten-free upon request.
The entrees include the Chicken Contadina, a dish straight out of the Tuscan countryside. The Filet Mignon All’Arrabiata has to be experienced at least once in your life.
The wine list is comprehensive with numerous fine vintages. Topping your meal off with the Mascarpone Cheesecake saves almost the best for last.
Franco’s is a heavenly place for foodies.
Forget the ambience, go for the food. This sushi restaurant isn’t impressive from the outside, but once you walk in and see the chefs creating their magic at the front of the store, your impression will change. You can watch the rolls and orders being made from the freshest ingredients. The Spicy Sashimi Salad makes an excellent starter for your meal although the Super Crunch Shrimp is marvelous. For the entree try the Finding Nemo Roll or the Oh My God Roll. And give the Japanese beer or the hot or cold sake a try. You’re guaranteed to enjoy your meal.
Chula Seafood isn’t just a restaurant where you can get the freshest, never frozen, best tasting seafood in Scottsdale but also a seafood market. They even sell wholesale to businesses in the area. How can they claim their fish is so fresh? Because they catch the fish themselves. Based in Point Loma, California, this family owned and operated business specializes in harpoon caught swordfish. Harpooning is a sustainable fishing method. They catch their own fish with their 68 foot commercial fishing boat, F/V Chula.
The menu can vary depending on availability. But you can be guaranteed to get the freshest, tastiest seafood in town. Whether you choose swordfish or tuna, the quality of the food, the presentation, and the friendliness of the staff will make your meal one to remember.
Sitting on the patio next to the Arizona Canal (did you know the canal was built in the 1880s?), you can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine with a view of the McDowell Mountains, which are spectacular at sunset. Be sure to pick wine to go with your meal. Reds from Argentine vinyards. Whites from Napa Valley. Champagne from France. Or choose a craft beer.
Start with bruschetta, my favorite, but the choices are difficult. The Mediterranean salad with feta cheese, almonds, couscous, and tomatoes is lovely. I would have a hard time picking an entree. The shrimp scampi or the Atlantic salmon? Then there’s the chicken scallopini. Decisions! Decisions!
Don’t forget the gelato is made on site every day.
Transport yourself to the Riviera and enjoy.
Vietnamese food has become popular in the past decade. Yet good Vietnamese food is still hard to find. You can find it here in this little family owned eatery. The wait for your food may seem long, but it is being made from scratch. This is not a fast food operation. Be prepared to be patient. It is worth the extra time.
Try the Crispy Rice Clay Pots. The outer layer of rice becomes crispy as it cooks in the pots. The toppings are usually vegetables with a meat of your choice. Whatever you choose will come out tender and cooked to perfection. Combined with the Pho Noodle Soup and spring rolls, you have a delightful taste of southeast Asia.
Public houses in centuries past, think Roman Empire, were basically taverns where a traveler could get a meal, a drink, and a bed for the night. Later they became public houses, then shortened to pubs. They were and are places where people can go to enjoy the company of their friends, have a drink, and enjoy good food. The Citizen Public House follows this tradition, offering a warm, welcoming atmosphere, craft beers and good wines, and delicious food.
Try the Original Chopped salad, made with couscous, arugula, freeze-dried corn, dried tomatoes, and smoked salmon. The buttermilk dressing is made in-house. The starters menu includes the wonderful salmon rillettes and the crab cakes. For the main course, I would choose the seared scallops. I have heard the Togarashi spiced filet mignon is to die for. And, oh, by the way, you can actually hold a conversation here.
Almost hidden away in the Bespoke Inn in Old Town, Chef Gio Osso lets his imagination take rein in the charming restaurant called Virtu. The menu changes at least every week, sometimes every day. The changes are due to seasonal availability of the freshest produce and fruits, fresh caught fish and seafood, as well as new creations from the innovative mind of Chef Osso. Even the cocktail menu changes as Chef Osso insists on the freshest fruit to be squeezed, making exceptional drinks.
That changing menu can include incredible dishes such as Tonno, which includes pimenton seared ahi with honeydew, saffron ricotta, chive ash, and pistachio. Do not pass up the delicious Budino: salted butterscotch pudding with whipped cream and a hazelnut praline
Almost hidden away in the Lincoln Village Shops at the corner of Lincoln Drive and Scottsdale Road, this gem has been around for a long time in the Valley. Chef Chrysa Robertson established this restaurant in 1993, a track record that many chefs may envy. And she is one of the very few female chef/owners in the area. Her restaurant, her menu are Southwestern to the core and proud of it. She depends on local produce and suppliers and some of the menu is seasonal and subject to change. The recipient of many awards, she continues to offer excellent food with impeccable service.
The decor is warm and inviting as you enter, the lighting soft. You almost feel as if you were stepping back to an earlier time when the West may have still been wild, but there was culture and refinement, too. The wine list can attest to the refinement.
The food is marvelous. The grilled scallops, grilled quail, Nonni’s Sunday Chicken, and the ricotta gnocchi have to be experienced to be believed. And Mom’s Honey Pecan Square for dessert: perfect.
In the middle of Old Town, FnB offers New American cuisine based on local, seasonal fresh produce. The menu changes almost daily. Opened in 2009 by Chef Charleen Badman and manager and Sommelier Pavle Milic, the restaurant has received accolades from Food & Wine Magazine, The New York Times, Phoenix Magazine,and the James Beard Awards.
Milic has created an all-Arizona wine cellar that highlights the wonderful wineries in the state, as well as complimenting Chef Badman’s cuisine. Picking the right wine to go with the locally raised roasted chicken or the braised leeks topped with mozzarella, fried egg, and mustard bread crumbs, takes a lot of experience. The food, the wine, the atmosphere, the staff are all excellent. It is a gastronomic event that you’ll always remember.
Named as one of the top three fine dining restaurants in the United States, the restaurant is known for its sophistication and five-star cuisine. The dozens of awards include: top 25 best fine dining restaurants in the U.S.; top 25 most romantic restaurants in the U.S.; the most romantic restaurant in the U.S. according to Yelp; as well as awards for wine excellence. Travelocity selected it as the second most romantic restaurant in the country.
The servers are trained as sommeliers and are able to help select the appropriate wine for the meal. The meals are based on four course fixed menus that are changed frequently with the main course being either meat or fish based on your preference. At times the chef makes an appearance in the dining rooms and chats with diners. The whole experience makes memories to last a lifetime. And the food is beyond wonderful.
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