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29 Iconic Dishes in Phoenix for the Ultimate Foodie Experience

29 Iconic Dishes in Phoenix for the Ultimate Foodie Experience

Did you know that Phoenix ranked 22nd in the United States as a foodie city? It’s not surprising because the city has always been known for its vibrant culinary scene and iconic dishes that bring history and culture to every bite. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the most iconic eats to help you experience Phoenix as a food haven. Read on and add these 29 dishes to your upcoming food trip in the city.

1. Chocolate Soufflé at Zinc Bistro


Address: 15034 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Contact details: 480-603-0922
Operating hours: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

The Zinc Bistro is known for its dreamy, labor-intensive chocolate soufflé. It’s made with premium Valrhona chocolate and dusted with powdered sugar. 

The server deflates at the table with a spoon, filling its molten core with rich, creamy Grand Marnier poured from a tiny pitcher. The large soufflé takes 30 minutes to bake, while an individual size is ready in under 20 minutes.

2. Fatty Brisket at Little Miss BBQ Sunnyslope


Address: 8901 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Contact details: 602-314-6922
Operating hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Little Miss BBQ’s specialty is the Fatty Brisket, an ivory-webbed meat that dissolves on the tongue in a burst of salty, rich, robustly beefy flavor and is eaten with ranch-style beans and cheddar-jalapeño grits.

This brisket strikes the ideal balance between juicy fat and savory lean meat, creating an explosion of flavor and texture with every bite. Expect melt-in-your-mouth tenderness because it’s been slow-cooked over mesquite wood for hours!

3. Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore


Address: 2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Contact details: 602-955-6600
Operating hours: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

After a day of exploring the desert, it’s best to cool down with a Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Baltimore. Fun fact: this is the home of this cocktail’s origin story; it was invented here by a bartender named Gene Sulit in the 1930s!

The original recipe perfectly balances sweet, tart, and citrusy with tequila, orange juice, grenadine, and lime juice. It’s an experience you won’t forget as you’ll be surrounded by history, sipping on a delicious drink and enjoying the Arizona sunshine.

4. Clam Chowder at Chula Seafood Uptown


Address: 100 E Camelback Rd Suite 172, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Contact details: 602-354-3599
Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The clam chowder is a must-try at the Chula Seafood Uptown. It has a creamy base made chunky with potato, onion, celery, Neuske’s bacon, and sweet chopped clams. 

It is a popular dish many love for its “perfect” balance of creaminess and thickness and an affordable price of $9. Many love the broth’s richness, the clams’ quality, and the bacon’s satisfying smokiness.

5. Hiramasa Crudo at Valentine


Address: 2201 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Contact details: 602-759-8132
Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM

The Hiramasa crudo from Valentine by Chef Donald Hawk is another signature dish from Phoenix. It features Hiramasa, a type of yellowtail amberjack known for its rich, buttery flavor, dressed in a surprising and delectable combination of ingredients.

The dish blends Japanese influences with unexpected yet harmonious flavor pairings. For instance, brown butter adds richness, while the fish sauce-enhanced tomatillo vinaigrette provides tang and umami depth. 

6. Green Chile Stew with Ceme’t at Fry Bread House


Address: 4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Contact details: 602-351-2345
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM 
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Green Chile Stew with Ceme’t at Fry Bread House in Phoenix is lauded for its unique blend of flavors and Puebla roots. This dish is a staple in Tohono O’odham cuisine, the indigenous people of the Sonoran Desert. 

The stew has a deep, smoky flavor and is slow-cooked to perfection, thanks to Hatch chiles. The ceme’t, a toasted corn masa pancake, adds a unique texture and sweetness to the dish. 

7. The Original Chopped Salad at Citizen Public House


Address: 7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Contact details: 480-398-4208
Operating hours: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM 

The Original Chopped Salad at the Citizen Public House is a colorful mix of smoked salmon, arugula, pearl couscous, pepitas, dried sweet corn, and marinated tomatoes, arranged in rows and sprinkled with Asiago cheese and buttermilk dressing.

The salad perfectly balances savory and sweet, crunchy and creamy. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch, a satisfying dinner option, or a side dish, the Original Chopped Salad is an excellent and healthy choice.

8. Butterscotch Pudding at FnB Restaurant


Address: 7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Contact details: (480) 284-4777
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Chef Charleen Badman, nicknamed “Veggie Badman,” is the mastermind behind the iconic butterscotch pudding at the FnB restaurant. This pudding is a symphony of textures and flavors, with a silky smooth custard base, a hint of sea salt, and toffee. 

FnB is known for its commitment to using seasonal and local ingredients, so it’s no surprise that the cream used on the pudding comes from Arizona dairy, while the toffee is made with locally sourced butter and sugar. 

9. Macarons at Essence Bakery Cafe


Address: 3830 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Contact details: 602-296-4958
Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday – 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos was the first to introduce French macarons to Phoenix nearly 30 years ago. No wonder her macarons have become a culinary institution in this city. 

These macarons are offered in two sizes at the Essence Bakery Cafe. They’re crisp yet moist, a little chewy, and they come in various colors and flavors like raspberry rose, pistachio, key lime, Meyer lemon, French chocolate, and caramel cream.

10. Lobster Roll at Nelson’s Meat + Fish


Address: 2415 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Contact details: 602-596-4069
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM

In the middle of the Sonoran Desert, Nelson’s Meat + Fish offers the best lobster roll in the city. Owner Chris Nelson sources 14 dozen lobsters from Maine weekly to satisfy the city’s demand for his lobster roll special.

The lobster roll contains firm chunks of sweet lobster meat, minced celery, and chives, tossed with mayonnaise, lemon, and a dash of Old Bay and all this is tucked into a buttery split-top bun custom-made by Noble Bread. 

11. Date Shake at Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry


Address: 3039 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Contact details: 800-482-3283
Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Grown in only two states, Medjool dates are practically synonymous with Arizona. In Sphinx Date Co., their Date Shake represents Phoenix’s culinary heritage, combining ice cream’s rich, creamy texture with the sweetness of Medjool dates.

Because it uses fresh Medjool dates instead of artificial syrups, the shake is sweet and subtly nutty, with a hint of the date’s natural caramel notes. It can be enjoyed anytime, such as a refreshing and satisfying snack on a hot Phoenix day.

12. Sonoran Hot Dog at El Caprichoso Hot Dogs Estilo Sonora


Address: 2826 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009
Contact details: 602-561-3723
Operating hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday – 7:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Friday to Saturday – 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM
  • Sunday – 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM

The Sonoran hotdog was invented in Phoenix, and the best way to try them is at El Caprichoso. Here, the bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog is grilled on a mesquite grill and topped with beans and pico de gallo, guacamole, crema, and a blizzard of cheese. 

El Caprichoso has been a Phoenix institution for over 30 years. It’s a casual, open-air restaurant, making it a great place to grab a quick and delicious bite of the Sonoran hotdog for the first time.

13. Cochinita Pibil at Barrio Cafe


Address: 2814 N 16th St #1205, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Contact details: 602-636-0240
Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Cochinita Pibil is made by slow-roasting and smoking pork that emulates the flavors of the pit cooking common in the Yucatan’s iconic dish. The shredded pork is placed in a banana leaf and roasted in a pit to infuse the meat with smoky, earthy notes.

The pork is marinated in achiote paste with citrus, spices, and annatto seeds. It’s served with all the trimmings, hand-pressed tortillas, pickled onions, and fresh cilantro, which you can customize to your desired bite.

14. Broiled Steak at Durant’s


Address: 2611 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Contact details: 602-264-5967
Operating hours: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM

For over 70 years, the broiled steak at Durant’s has been a Phoenix staple. This classic American steakhouse serves perfectly charred, dry-aged steaks, making it a must-try for any meat lover visiting the city. 

Durant’s is a Phoenix institution that uses only the finest cuts of beef cooked to perfection under a broiler. They serve generous portions of steaks and sides like mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and onion rings, perfect for a hearty meal.

15. Guacamole at Gallo Blanco


Address: 928 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Contact details: 602-327-0880
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Doug Robson from Gallo Blanco arguably makes the best guacamole in Phoenix. His guacamole is mashed to the creamy but chunky stage and embellished with charred tomatoes, orange segments, and cotija cheese. 

You’ll enjoy the guacamole scooped onto hot, crispy, house-made chips. Gallo Blanco also gives it a modern twist by offering a spicy version with serranos and jalapeños and a “green goddess” guacamole with herbs and spices.

16. Rosa Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco


Address: 623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Contact details: 602-258-8300
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco makes Rosa Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco, a white pie sprinkled with crushed pistachios, parmesan, rosemary, and red onion. Anthony Bourdain famously declared Rosa Pizza “the best pizza in America.” 

Rosa Pizza is considered a legend because it’s simple yet exquisite, showcasing the power of fresh, local ingredients and expert craftsmanship. Rosa Pizza stands out for its focus on pure, unadulterated flavor, proving that “less is more.”

17. Machaca at El Horseshoe Restaurant

Address: 2140 W Buckeye Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85009
Contact details: 602-251-3135
Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The best plates of Machaca, a dried and rehydrated beef alongside eggs, potatoes, or vegetables, are served at El Horseshoe restaurant in Phoenix. Their machaca is seasoned with spices and onions, capturing the essence of Sonoran comfort food.

El Horseshoe makes its own Machaca from scratch as they air-dry lean cuts of beef in the desert climate. You can enjoy Machaca with eggs for a hearty breakfast, piled on tortillas for a satisfying lunch, or stuffed into burritos for a portable fiesta. 

18. Flour Tortilla at The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food


Address: 1202 E Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Contact details: 602-252-1503
Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

The Original Carolina’s Mexican Food makes the flour tortillas fresh every day. Although these tortillas are the foundation for Carolina’s famous burritos and chimichangas, many customers buy a dozen for take-home. 

The tortilla is made from a cherished family recipe. It can be enjoyed solo with a sprinkle of salt or lime or become the foundation for countless dishes, from tacos and burritos to enchiladas and quesadillas.

19. Chimichanga at El Charro Cafe


Address: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Contact details: 520-622-1922
Operating hours: Monday-Sunday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Chimichanga is a deep-fried giant burrito served with scoops of sour cream and guacamole. In the 1920s, El Charro Café founder Monica Flin invented the chimichanga when a burrito fell into the deep fryer she was using. 

Today, El Charro Cafe serves chimichanga with a crispy golden exterior, filled with savory meat, beans, rice, and cheese, all bursting with Sonoran spices. There are also other filling options like pork, chicken, or vegetables. 

20. Prickly Pear Margarita at Javelina Cantina


Address: 671 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336
Contact details: 928-282-1313
Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 11:00 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Friday to Sunday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

The best place to enjoy a prickly pear margarita is the Javelina Cantina. Pair it with housemade chips and guacamole. This margarita is made with fresh, prickly pear syrup and offers a vibrant pink color and a sweet-tart taste.

Javelina Cantina uses fresh, local prickly pears in their margaritas, ensuring the highest quality and flavor. It’s been named the “Best Prickly Pear Margarita in Sedona,” you can enjoy stunning views of Sedona’s red rock formations. 

21. The PBJ & Bacon Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy


Address: 7210 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Contact details: 480-621-5358

Operating hours: 

  • Sunday to Thursday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM

The PBJ & Bacon Burger is one of the tastiest burgers ever, with its sweet jam, salty bacon, rich peanut butter and hot sriracha sauce. This burger is a symphony of sweet, savory, and salty nestled between savory layers of burger goodness.

The burger itself is Instagrammable for its vibrant colors, making it a feast not just for the taste buds but also for the eyes. It has garnered positive reviews from local and national food critics, solidifying its reputation as a culinary gem in Phoenix.

22. Frozen Custard & Steakburgers at Freddy’s


Address: 7000 E Mayo Blvd #5, Phoenix, AZ 85054

Contact details:

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Thursday, Sunday – 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 10:30 AM to 11:00 PM

People love returning to Freddy’s because of their frozen custard and steakburgers. They offer a distinct combination of steakburgers, hot dogs, and frozen custard and pride themselves on using fresh ingredients, all prepared in-house.

The frozen custard is praised for its smooth, creamy texture and rich flavor, adding a sweet ending to your meal. You get to enjoy all these in a vintage-style diner ambiance, complete with red and white checkered floors and red booths.

23. The Deep Dish Pizza At Oregano’s Pizza 


Address: 1008 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Contact details: 480-829-0898

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, Sunday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Oregano’s Pizza nailed how to make an authentic deep-dish pizza in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Inspired by Chicago-style pies, it features a buttery, flaky crust, generous tangy tomato sauce, and high-quality cheese. 

The deep-dish pizzas are famously large and can easily feed a group of three to four people. So, it’s a great value for money, and you can enjoy a flavorful, gooey, and satisfying experience with your friends and family. 

24. Ice Cream at Tortilla Flat Saloon


Address: 1 Main Street, Tortilla Flat, AZ 85190

Contact details:

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

As you hike or drive on the Apache Trail into the Superstition Mountains, quickly stop at the Tortilla Flat and treat yourself to some creamy ice cream. This vintage-style ice cream parlor is known for offering homemade ice cream to hikers and tourists.

You can enjoy ice creams in classic flavors like strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla and more adventurous options like prickly pear and cactus blossom. So, indulge in ice cream while appreciating historical landmarks and old-fashioned vibes. 


Address: 5223 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Contact details: 602-279-8024

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday – 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the ice cream cookie sandwich at Churn. Here, you get to choose the cookies, even two different types, and your ice cream flavor to create an ice cream cookie sandwich.

The ice cream is made in small batches, hand-churned custard, while the cookies are made with real butter and premium chocolate chips. Try out unique flavor combinations like prickly pear sorbet and lavender honey.

26. Build Your Own Bowl of Ramen at the Clever Koi 


Address: 4236 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

Contact details: 602-222-3474

Operating hours: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

If you’re in Downtown Phoenix, try eating in Clever Koi and build your bowl of ramen. Just pick a plain bowl and load it up with their extensive selection of broths, noodles, proteins, vegetables, and toppings.

Clever Koi uses fresh ingredients, and their broths are simmered for hours for maximum depth and flavor. Even the noodles are handmade daily, and the proteins are cooked to melt in your mouth, making sure that every slurp is a genuinely satisfying experience.

27. TV Dinners at the Angel’s Trumpet Ale House 


Address: 810 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Contact details: 602-252-2630

Operating hours: 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM

TV Dinners are a popular event at Angel’s Trumpet Ale House every Tuesday. It’s served exactly like the retro TV Dinners, and you can head to their blog to check out the menu every Tuesday.

Their rotating weekly menus include New Mexico-style enchiladas, honey-butter fried chicken, Canadian poutine, and pepperoni pizza mac and cheese. They cook in generous portions so you can share plates and try every dish with friends. 

28. The Waffle with Peppered Bacon at Matt’s Big Breakfast


Address: 825 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Contact details: 602-254-1074

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM

To complete your brunch experience in Phoenix, try the waffle with peppered bacon at Matt’s Big Breakfast. It’s been featured on the Food Network’s famous show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and has been a local favorite for years. 

Matt’s waffles are light, fluffy, and made of buttermilk, providing a pillowy base and slight tang. On the other hand, the thick-cut bacon is generously coated in cracked black pepper, adding a savory and slightly spicy kick to the soft waffle.

29. The Chilaquiles at Over Easy


Address: 4730 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Contact details: 928-699-4478

Operating hours: 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM

The Chilaquiles at Over Easy has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Phoenix New Times for their unique take on the classic dish. These chilaquiles are known for their flavorful sauce made with chiles like guajillo and pasilla.

To add textural contrast, they add crispy tortilla chips against the sauce and fresh and flavorful toppings like eggs, cheese, onions, and cilantro. You can also add proteins like chorizo or shredded pork to add layers of flavor and richness.

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