We may not have a lot of great entertainment in this city, but one thing we do have is a lot of unique, delicious restaurants and tons of variety! I love trying new places and experiencing different food, and I get asked for recommendations pretty often, so whether you’re in town visiting, or you live here, I hope you find something you like!
Restaurants I Love:
Avanti (Italian, pricey)
My thoughts: Avanti will always be my all time favorite restaurant. It’s like getting served in some secret, under ground, fancy, Italian mob cover up in the best way possible. There is almost always a pasta trio special. You can get it with any pastas and sauces you’d like, you just have to ask. The gnocchis are seriously out of this world. They melt in your mouth!
**Healthy options: They will do anything you ask, so when I’m watching it, I just ask for grilled salmon and steamed veggies all cooked without oil, and it is still out of this world.
True Food (Contemporary American/Healthy, moderate prices)
My thoughts: You really can’t go wrong! Tons of options for any type of eater (vegetarian, vegan, gf, even teenage boy meat-a-tarians). I really love their sweet potato hash.
**Healthy options: Pretty much everything! That’s one of the best parts!
Beckett’s Table (Contemporary American, moderate prices)
My thoughts: This is my favorite new restaurant I’ve tried in quite a while. It’s essentially slightly updated comfort food. Get those cheddar biscuits. You can thank me later.
**Healthy options: I’ve only eaten there once and I wasn’t looking for healthy. TBA!
POSTS: Beckett’s Table
The White Chocolate Grill (American, moderate prices)
My thoughts: I love that there are tons of options at all different price ranges. I love everything from the decor, the atmosphere, the amazing white chocolate martini, the food (especially the desserts!), all the way to the fact that this is where Steve happened to propose It’s the perfect spot for a date night!
**Healthy options: Lots of fish, a small fillet is actually a pretty healthy choice (they’re the leanest steak cuts), and they have lots of veggie sides.
Sam’s Cafe (Southwestern, moderate prices)
My thoughts: This is the epitome of delicious Arizona food. If I had a friend in town and they wanted food that screamed Arizona, I wouldn’t even open my yelp app. My favorite thing about Sam’s is their chips and salsa! They have several different kinds of chips including sweet potato and even a slightly sweet cinnamon one. Everything I’ve ever tasted is delicious and you get a white chocolate tamale at the end!
**Healthy options: The fajitas are amazing, and you can ask them to be cooked without oil!
Dilly’s Deli (Sandwich/Lunch, inexpensive)
My thoughts: Ummm, THE BREAD! It’s like the perfect cookie–slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft and almost cake like on the inside! I could go for lunch, just eat the bread, and leave happy. They have a huge sandwich selection, lots of soups and salads, including several healthy options.
**Healthy options: They have them clearly marked on the menu. Always appreciated
Sacks (Sandwich/Lunch, inexpensive)
My thoughts: No matter what, order the hot special. It is always delicious and usually contains sauteed onions and mushrooms. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to switch things up, even in the special they are super accommodating, and a big plus is your sandwich comes with a perfectly portioned chocolate chip cookie!
**Healthy options: They have a delicious grilled chicken salad and a fat free tomato basil vinegarette, and you can modify their sandwiches to take out the less desirable ingredients.
Pita Jungle (Mediterranean/Healthy, inexpensive)
My thoughts: I took a lot of my out of town friends here the week of my wedding and they all loved it. It’s the perfect combination of healthy, flavorful and full of variety. I’ve never ordered something I didn’t love. The chicken lavosh pizza, turkey pesto lavosh wrap, and cilantro jalapeno hummus are my favs.
**Healthy options: They have a nutritional guide online. They are known for being healthy, but have huge portions, so if you eat it all yourself, you’ll likely come out higher than you bargained for. The broiled chicken salad is super delicious and you can eat the whole thing guilt free!
Flemings (Steak, sad wallet)
My thoughts: It is, on rare occasion, worth spending $100+ on a 2 person dinner for some of the most delicious steaks and side dishes ever. There’s no surprises at Flemings. It’s that kind of American steak house you have a hard time justifying for the price tag, but sometimes it’s worth it to splurge, and if you’re going to splurge on steak in Phoenix, I suggest Flemings.
**Healthy options: Fish, fillet, veggies.
Modern Steak (Contemporary American, sad wallet)
My thoughts: Now, if you want to splurge on a fancy steak dinner that is contemporary and non traditional, then I would suggest modern steak. I’ve only been there one time, but the butternut squash soup I got tasted like dessert in the best way possible, and every single thing I tasted was new, interesting, and incredibly delicious. Again, worth it for a splurge.
**Healthy options: Again, only been once and it was on a date night. TBA.
Fez (Mediterranean/American, moderate prices)
My thoughts: Don’t go with a large group. I love Fez because I really really love their food (the best black bean burger and sweet potato fries I’ve ever tasted), but the one time I went in a large group, we had a really lame experience. The food is good enough to go back for, though!
**Healthy options: Lots of salads, and I imagine their black bean burger isn’t too bad, but they don’t list their nutrition, so I could be wrong!
The Yard House (American/Beer, moderate prices)
My thoughts: With over 140 beers on tap, and a menu filled with a huge variety of food that can please any guest, I feel like you can’t go wrong! I’ve loved everything I’ve tasted there especially the sandwiches and beer!
**Healthy options: They have a nutritional guide, and it’s not pretty. A few of the salads are okay, but really I suggest just sharing if you’re trying to watch it.
POSTS: Celebrations and Such, Date Night: The Yard House
T.C. Eggingtons (American Brunch, inexpensive)
My thoughts: Definitely one of the most amazing breakfast places in the Phoenix area. Their French toast is out of this world, but I also love their omelets, pancakes, and even lunch sandwiches. Also, get the apple bran muffin. Trust me.
**Healthy options: You can get any omelet with egg whites only, or light/no cheese (they have low fat cream cheese which is delicious in omelets!), and they also have frittatas that you can do the same way, plus oatmeal is always a good choice!
St Francis (Contemporary American, moderate prices)
My thoughts: I love it for brunch or dinner! Lots of fresh, seasonal choices and an atmosphere that is urban and contemporary without being overly trendy and stuffy. Definitely one of my fav spot for a post race brunch!
**Healthy options: For brunch they offer lots of egg white and veggie combinations, and their dinner menu has a lot of fish and whole grains on it. I had something with salmon, quinoa and veggies and absolutely loved it!
POSTS: St Francis, Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Recap
The Main Ingredient (Contemporary American, inexpensive)
My thoughts: I love that this restaurant is almost tucked into it’s downtown Phoenix neighborhood. They have a beautiful patio area where you sit literally looking into a neighborhood instead of the main street. I’m pretty sure they modified an old house and turned it into this restaurant. The menu is simple and delicious. My favorite is the veggie sandwich, but that’s what I end up ordering most places because I love the taste of roasted vegetables. Also, order the Sonoran White Chocolate beer and thank me later. Yes, it’s the most expensive drink on the menu–share with a friend (although you won’t want to).
**Healthy options: I would say one of the salads is probably your best bet, but the nice thing is you can choose between a salad and chips with your sandwich. I always get cranky when people want to charge me more for 3 cent lettuce.
POSTS: The Highlight of My Weekend
Seasons 52 (Contemporary American, moderate prices)
My thoughts: Delicious, seasonal, wood fired food with every dish coming in at under 475 calories?! Sign me up! It is not diet food. Not even close. It’s also not rabbit food or itty bitty portions. It’s mindfully cooked, nutritious, delicious meals with the menu changing every season and specials changing every week (hence the name Seasons 52). I love every dish I’ve ever ordered. I don’t think you can go wrong!
**Healthy options: Not ordering 7 things
House of Tricks (Contemporary American, pricey)
My thoughts: Some of the most unique, flavorful and delicious food I’ve had in Phoenix. I absolutely love the beautiful outside dining experience when the weather is nice (they have a small inside as well). Their menu is seasonal and constantly changing. I especially love it for lunch or happy hour (for price and atmosphere).
**Healthy options: When I’m trying to watch it, I usually get an appetizer. They’re pretty large, and I find the uncommon ingredients and careful pairings make it kind of challenging for the entrees, so I either let it be or just try to be mindful and eat smaller.
Vintage 95 (Contemporary American, inexpensive)
My thoughts: I was in love with this place at first sight! Great atmosphere and decor, and every single item on the menu looked delicious. Everything we ordered was amazing–I really don’t think you can go wrong!
**Healthy options: Lots of salads and flat bread options that aren’t too bad. I did not get healthy food, but I feel like I could have
POSTS: Bethany’s House & Vintage 95
Switch (American/Wine Bar, moderate prices)
My thoughts: As soon as I looked at the menu online, I was pretty sure I would love this place! Everything looked so delicious, it was hard to make a decision as to what to order. I loved everything I tasted–food, drinks, dessert–it was all fantastic!
POSTS: Steve’s Birthday Dinner @ Switch
More coming soon…
Restaurants I’m Dying to Try:
If you have suggestions for my list, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always looking for suggestions!
Cafe Monarch (Contemporary American)
Liberty Market (Contemporary American) LOVED!! Thoughts coming soon.
Gallo Blanco Cafe (Mexican)
Barrio Cafe (Mexican) LOVED! Thoughts coming soon.
Postino’s Wine Cafe (Wine bar)
The Greene House (Californian–whatever that means)
Pizzeria Bianco (Pizza, obviously.) LOVED! Thoughts coming soon. Delux (American) Good, but not great.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (Pizza…surprise!)
Citizen Public House (Contemporary American) Liked it a lot, but doesn’t make the favorites list.