I’m a huge fan of visiting non-chain restaurants and coffee shops when I can. As I’ve started traveling more and more I’ve also started seeking out fun places to eat at when I’m in other cities and now that is starting to overflow into my everyday life. I’ve been attempting to explore my hometown a bit more, both to find the unique and quirky places, but also in an attempt to discover local chains that are only in Arizona.
I’ve started making a list of places that I want to check out and my hope is to feature some of them here on the blog as I discover places I really like. And since I already have a handful of places that I love, I figured I’d start by sharing some of those.
I hope that those of you who live in Phoenix will be able to enjoy some of these great places! And for those of you who aren’t local to Phoenix, I hope that someday when you visit Phoenix that this list might be of use to you!
Spinato’s used to be a hole in the wall italian place with delicious food that I’d go to now and again, but then one day they started getting really popular. Popular enough for them to open up a large location and completely remodel the one by my house. To be honest, I was a bit sad that everyone else had discovered them, but at the same time I’m happy for the family’s success. And I still get to keep eating there, so it’s a win-win.
Mexican food is plentiful in the southern half of Arizona, but there’s standard mexican food and then there’s amazing mexican food. Valle Luna is amazing and incredibly authentic. I’m pretty sure they’ve won about all the food magazine awards that a restaurant can win.
Cornish Pasty Co
Of all the places on this list, the Cornish Pasty Co is my most recent find. I immediately felt like I had a taste of England brought to Arizona. In my 20+ years of living here I’ve never found another pub style restaurant with a food and extensive menu like this one.
I wrote a whole blog post about The Duce so I won’t get into it again, but one thing I will re-iterate is that there is nothing else quite like The Duce. Be sure to try the pot pie! And if you enjoy swing dancing, go on a Tuesday night.
Biscuits Cafe is actually a fairly recent discovery of mine that came about because they have a location close to my office. Turns out that they also have a location over in Glendale (closer to where I live) but I never realized that. And they are technically a “chain” restaurant that started in Portland and has a few locations there and in Arizona. But it feels like a local family owned place when I’m there, and the food is delish. I head there for lunch during the work week.
Wildflower Bread Co
I love ordering breakfast food at Wildflower, but I also get their pasta and soups and have enjoyed everything. Of all the places on this list, Wildflower has the most locations as it’s become a popular chain in Arizona, but the atmosphere that they create at each of their locations never feels like a chain restaurant.
Looking on the website is appears they have locations in multiple states, but they only have one in Arizona and thus I assumed they originated from here. And it turns out that their only location in AZ is the one that’s a quarter of a mile from my house! It’s both a wonderful and terrible thing to be located that close to them. Their maple frosting is my favorite ever, and I’ve been a maple frosting fan my entire life, so that’s saying a lot!
For all my Phoenix readers, what places would you recommend? Leave a comment below and I’ll try to check them out!