A Local's Guide to the Best Bars and Restaurants in Phoenix & Scottsdale

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


  • Phoenix

  • Scottsdale

  • Arizona

If you haven’t heard, there’s lots happening in Phoenix and Scottsdale. We recently met up with local Fora Advisor’s in the neighboring Arizona cities. Below, they provide their top recommendations for the area’s best restaurants and bars.

Ready to head to PHX? Connect with one of the featured advisors to plan and book your desert getaway today.

Where to eat in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Fora Advisor Anne Travous highly recommends The Mick Brasserie, a hidden gem beloved by locals and perfect for all occasions. She loves their legendary wine events, like their Somm Brawl, which features a curated four-course menu accompanied by perfect wine pairings. On Thursday nights, local musician Jesse Valenzuela sets the vibe on his acoustic guitar.

Matt’s Big Breakfast is a favorite of Fora Advisor Rollo Reese. Comforting breakfast staples are made with high-quality and locally sourced ingredients. Get the pancakes which are slathered in sweet-cream butter and Vermont maple syrup. La Grande Orange, a general store, pizzeria, wine bar and restaurant wrapped into one, is also great for breakfast, said Fora Advisor Courtney Fischrup. Another must on Rollo’s list is Pizzeria Bianco, especially the downtown location, whose six signature pies never disappoint. For additional pizza, Forno 301 is also a must (he loves the diavola), but consider the pasta.

“I'm telling you the homemade pasta is where it's at!” he said. “Just try any pasta ‘special’ of the day! You won't believe you are so lucky to eat here!”

Italian staples can also be enjoyed at Fellow Osteria, a go-to for Fora Advisor Emily O'Gorman, who recommends the squid-ink pasta and crispy prosciutto pizza. Postino, which has a few locations in the area, is known for their bruschetta boards and wine. But she noted how the “snack things” — crispy cauliflower with romesco, gourmet grilled cheese with tomato soup dip — are not to be missed, nor are the skewers. 

This being Phoenix, the Mexican food is prime. Courtney loves Otro Café, a family-run restaurant highlighting locally sourced ingredients. (Don’t miss their weekend brunch.) La Santisima, beloved by Fora Advisor Nathan Mitchell, is “home of the best taco."

“Don't overlook the seafood tacos just because Phoenix is in a desert!” he stressed.

Cocina Madrigal is an esteemed spot for tacos and enchiladas, but don’t sleep on the restaurant’s crispy salmon dish paired with mashed potatoes, tomatillo salsa and avocado relish — “something I didn't know I needed in my life until now,” Rollo said.

For New Mexican-inspired fare in a dimly lit space, Courtney loves Richardson’s, another eatery popular with locals. (The restaurant’s covered patio is especially lovely.) She says to enjoy dinner there, and then head to the Cellar Bar for after-dinner drinks, located in Rokerij, Richardson’s sister restaurant.

For dinner with a view — specifically, a 360-degree, rotating panoramic view — Fora Advisor Yvonne McVay recommends The Compass, perched on the rooftop of the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. Another great special-occasion spot, per Emily, is the trendy Maple & Ash, which boasts great people watching and a must-get roasted seafood tower. Also a must is Ocean 44. The restaurant is known for their seafood, but “I come here for the steak!” she emphasized.

Where to drink in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Start your day with a coffee at Cartel Roasting Co. They have multiple locations, but Nathan recommends their original, in downtown Tempe. Your favorite coffee drink will be best accompanied by one of their homemade pastries, like their artisanal pop tarts.

For a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap, AZ88 is the place to go, Anne shared, especially if you’re into martinis. Another top pick is The Rose Garden, Yvonne added, perfect for a date, girls’ night or pre-show bite.

Even better, “the cocktails are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious,” she said.

Ready to head to PHX? Connect with one of the featured advisors to plan and book your desert getaway today.

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