The Best Restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona

We spent a weekend scouring Scottsdale, Arizona for the best eats in town.

Image courtesy The Upton.

Image courtesy The Upton.

The Upton

An intimate restaurant with a charming back patio, this downtown gem serves up a playful menu of global fare with trendy touches like the "Mason Jar" salad, southern fried chicken and bone marrow foie gras pate. There's a slew of options for the adventurous foodie to the vegetarian, paired perfectly with their hand-crafted cocktails. With a relaxed, thoughtful service and elevated dishes, it's ideal for happy hour or a romantic dinner for two.

What You Need to Get: Large enough to make a meal, the Smoked Salmon Kale Salad was light, but filling. Our favourite of the specialty cocktails was The Refresher, muddled with cucumber, mint and lime, it was indeed refreshing.

Where to Find:
7216 E Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale
1-480-991-6887
theuptonaz.com

Stephanie Gray

Who could say no to this brisket? Image courtesy of Bootleggers.

Who could say no to this brisket? Image courtesy of Bootleggers.

Bootleggers

Calling all meat lovers … Bootleggers in Old Town Scottsdale is where you’ll get your BBQ fix and then some. You can smell the delicious smokehouse vibe from outside the building – and it’s just the beginning of the mouth-watering items you’ll find inside. Aside from the huge selection of craft beers you’ll find an Arizona-inspired list of cocktails (the Lonestar Mule with ginger beer, lime and vodka is a good place to start, or the Don’t Be a Prick-Ly Pear using the local prickly pear fruit) and even rustic moonshine cocktails.

What You Need to Get: Once you have cocktail or beer in hand, you’re ready to dive into the Bacon Board … just what you think, loads of cured bacon with sourdough bread, sweet and savory jams, mustards and gherkins. The Kitchen Sink Guacamole (chunky avocado, charred nopales, pomegranate seeds, toasted pepitas and chicharones) will get your veggie quota in before moving on to the Niman Ranch Beef Brisket, St. Louis Ribs or the Smoked Turkey Breast (all served with cole slaw and tortillas). You can throw in some sides (smashed red goat cheese potatoes, smoked sweet corn, and cauliflower puree all pair perfectly with the smoky meats). And if you can manage to squeeze it in, the seasonal fruit cobbler is bursting with fresh fruits and a crumbly topping that will remind you of grandma’s.

Where to Find:
7217 E 1st Street, Scottsdale
1-480-404-9984
bootleggersaz.com

Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington

Image courtesy Sweet Republic.

Image courtesy Sweet Republic.

Sweet Republic

It's a drive from downtown, but with accolades ranging from being featured on the Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate and numerous best-of lists, you make the effort. With a line almost out the door, the draw is for the rich and creamy artisanal ice cream made from scratch. There's colossal sundaes, hand-spun milkshakes and made-to-order cookie ice cream sandwiches to pick from. It's worth every decadent calorie.

What You Need to Get: A sweet sundae will take your ice cream experience to the next level, especially if you opt to have it in a crispy waffle cone. The toffee brittle is a topping you can't miss out on and even the vanilla ice cream is bursting with flavour.

Where to Find:
9160 E Shea Blvd, #105, Scottsdale
1-480-248-6979
sweetrepublic.com

Stephanie Gray

Your table will be full at Hula's Modern Tiki.

Your table will be full at Hula's Modern Tiki.

Hula’s Modern Tiki

Hula’s literally has something for everyone – making it a must-stop for lunch or dinner when in Scottsdale. Burgers, salads, tacos, fish, vegetarian and even vegan, it’s a big menu full of really delicious finds with Hawaiian, Mexican and Asian influences. Which is why we went all out and ordered loads of dishes. But first things first … a drink. And why settle with just one cocktail when you can order a bowl with multiple straws to sip on (we went for the Scorpion Bowl with a mix of rums, brandy, pineapple, lemon and cranberry juice with a flaming rum float in the middle).

What You Need to Get: Test out the raw ahi Island Style Poke (so fresh it took us back to being on the Big Island), the spicy edamame, or if you want to keep it simple to start, the crispy seasoned sweet potato fries will satisfy. Don’t skim over Hula’s Favorites section on the extensive menu … the Jawaiian Jerk Pork Plate (with slow roasted pork, plantains and mango salsa is to die for) or The Big Kahuna for those with a BIG appetite (14 oz grilled rib eye with potatoes and fresh local veg), and the Habanero Lime Chicken Tacos ill fix your Mexican craving (as would the spicy tofu tacos). We could go on and on, but really you should get yourself there … maybe twice to fit all the options in.

Where to Find:
4700 N Central Avenue #122, Scottsdale
1-602-265-8454
hulasmoderntiki.com

Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington

The Proof patio at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

The Proof patio at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

Proof

At the Four Seasons Scottsdale, Proof is the hotel's main destination for eats. Dubbing themselves an "American canteen" there's a western flair that extends beyond the decor with the old-fashioned soda fountain, and comfort fare like fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles, and shrimp and oyster po’boys. There's not shortage of spirits either with an emphasis on bourbon and whisky, plus more than 50 microbrews available. Health-conscious travellers fear not, as there is still an abundance of calorie-conscious dishes, including a nutrient-packed "Superfood" salad with kale and avocado, ideal for post-spa sessions.

What You Need to Get: Be sure to make it for at least one brunch session. For a light start the Egg White Frittata is high on both protein and flavour, while the Bourbon Pecan Sticky Bun is a sweet indulgence with a southern twist.

Where to Find:
Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
10600 E Crescent Moon Drive
1-480-515-5700
proofcanteen.com

Stephanie Gray

 

Image courtesy of The Mission.

Image courtesy of The Mission.

The Mission

Full warning before you even step into this rustic-chic Mexican joint. You’ll likely eat more guacamole than you ever though you could (it’s that good) and it’s easy to order more than just anther round of their addictive cocktails (the Cucumber Jalapeno is a good place to start). With that being said, there’s also so much more to tempt yourself with at The Mission.

What You Need to Get: Dive into the Grilled Street Corn to start, then move onto the tacos –battered Mahi Mahi with a green olive roasted garlic crema, or the Roasted Organic Butternut Squash with black beans for the vegetarians. Don’t pass on the sides. The creamy White Bean Puree and Black Bean Puree are musts (And you may want to actually order two of each because they will go fast). And just so you know, here’s all the goodness in that guac: avocado, jalapeno, red onion, garlic, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, chipotle puree, cilantro, cotija and roasted pepitas.

Where to Find:
3815 N Brown Avenue, Scottsdale
1-480-636-5005
themissionaz.com

Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington