You love food. We get it, so do we. You also love traveling to new destinations. Us too! But we’ve been to all the mainstream foodie towns, you know, like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Vegas, and of course, we love L.A. Next on the list is Scottsdale! Scottsdale is undergoing a culinary renaissance. With nearly 800 restaurants, ranging in a variety of cuisines, the downtown district is booming with innovative food-focused businesses, most of which use ingredients from local farms and serve local beer and wine. Yes, there is farming and winemaking in the desert, and it’s excellent! Arizona boasts over 30 breweries, and the arts district in Scottsdale has five wine tasting rooms with more on the way. It’s truly a culinary oasis in the desert. With only a 50-minute plane ride away from LA, Scottsdale is your quick getaway to food, fun, and relaxation.
You’re here for the food, and if you’re staying at the Hyatt Regency, you’ll very much appreciate the “Wine Me, Dine Me” experience at Southwest Bistro. Sit at the chef’s open kitchen and enjoy a four-course tasting menu that will be the best Resort/Hotel dining experience you have had to-date. Chef Juan Solorio will create stunning offerings like the fresh ceviche paired with a rare Tequila Anejo, and a steak cooked to perfection paired with the perfect, velvety, luscious red wine – it’s a must-have experience in Scottsdale.
James Beard nominated, Chef Charleen Badman creates an elevated vegetable driven menu that features local Arizona wines and produce. The trendy restaurant is located in the middle of downtown Scottsdale and offers a very seasonal menu that is always changing. Fresh local ingredients are at the forefront in this bistro-like restaurant. Make sure you reserve a table in advance as they only keep one table free for walk-ins, and it goes fast.
Second Story Liquor Bar is probably one of the coolest places to have dinner in Scottsdale. An unassuming bar located above a pizza joint, this restaurant is putting out some of the best food in the area. The hamachi crudo dish is something you would expect in a fancy white-table cloth establishment. It’s delicate, flavorful, and a work of art on the plate. If you’re more inclined to the regular gastro-pub fare, the burger is one of the best in the city. The drinks are also a highlight; it is called Second Story “Bar” after all. Whiskey is king here, and you’ll find just about any spirit that’s brown and barreled here – the whiskey list is one of, if not the longest in all of Scottsdale. Order the Old Fashioned; it won’t disappoint.
The guys at Craft 64 are passionate about their craft (pun intended). The pizza is one of the best we’ve had anywhere. Just the basics, like the crust, is perfectly charred from the wood burning oven and the ingredients are all local and fresh. All those components make a great pie, but add to that a unique combination of ingredients, and you have taken the pizza game up to another level. The Spain – fresh mozzarella, chorizo, Spanish almonds for texture, cured olives, and mild Harissa sauce, make this a must order. It’s spicy, savory, and makes you want more after each bite. The Green Aji pizza with sautéed onions and fennel sausage is worth the trip from LA to AZ alone. This pizza is perfection, plain and simple. Pair it with over 30 local brews, and you’re in pizza nirvana. Also, worth ordering is the BLT, fresh mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes, and bacon on fresh baked bread – it’s the ideal Italian take on a BLT.
Of course, you’re going to stop at one of Scottsdale’s best sweets spot. Super Chunk Sweets & Treats is the brainchild of husband/wife team, Sergio, and Country Velador. Everything is made in-house, from scratch. We dare you to find a better chocolate chip cookie in all of Arizona! Also, the blondies are to die for.
Wines from Arizona? Yes! Since the 1970’s, several of these locally made wines have won numerous awards and gained international acclaim. Some have even been served in the White House. Arizona, the new Napa Valley? When visiting Scottsdale, stop into LDV Wine Gallery and experience award-winning Rhone varietal wines. Peggy Fiandaca will walk you through the history of every bottle and make you feel right at home. It’s one of the best wine tasting experiences.
Okay, you love to eat, we know! You’re pressed for time and want to try Scottsdale’s best eats, so what do you do? You reserve your spot on the Arizona Food Tour. You’ll walk through downtown (about a mile and half total) and try five to six places while learning all about the history of the city with other fellow foodies.