10 Best Group Friendly Restaurants in Phoenix

Photo courtesy of Rustler's Rooste
By Patricia Escarcega, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson Local Expert

For a special night out with a large group of family and friends, Dick's Hideaway in Phoenix is the ideal place to enjoy great food in a sophisticated setting. The menu specializes in authentic Southwestern cuisine, and the restaurant has a private dining room that can seat up to 30 guests. The private dining room has a large table and two booths with a nice fireplace and two televisions. It's the perfect spot for a rehearsal dinner, birthday party, or any other special lunch or dinner with family and friends.

For a large foodie gathering, head to Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood, home to Crudo. Crudo, which means raw in Italian, serves up stylish sashimi with an Italian-style flair. The menu is broken down into four distinct elements: crudo (raw), cotto (cooked), mozza (mozzarella), and griglia (grilled). The menu's long list of unique small plate offerings makes it the ideal spot to share and sample different dishes with a large group of fellow foodies.

For large group celebrations with a Western flair, there's Rustler's Rooste. This cowboy steakhouse offers great city views, communal seating and a festive, family-friendly ambiance. Plus, the cowboy dinner banquet has enough food to feed a small army of steak-lovers. 

10. Comedor Guadalajara

Comedor Guadalajara, situated on a quiet stretch of Central Avenue, has been catering to South Phoenix Mexican food-lovers for more than 40 years. The Sonoran-style menu is straightforward but consistently delicious. Tamales, burros, flautas, and chiles rellenos all make an appearance here, but the specialty at Comedor Guadalajara are their parrilladas--large, sizzling platters of grilled meats and seafood served with vegetables and special garnishing. The restaurant is suitable for large groups, families and anyone who loves great, authentic Mexican food. This is also a great place to enjoy good lunch specials. Call ahead and get your order in less than 30 minutes.

9. Windsor
Photo courtesy of The Windsor

Windsor is trendy, cozy and friendly all in one. No live entertainment: The buzz is from lively conversation. Stop by after dinner and linger over such numerically named cocktails as the No. 17 with cucumber vodka, green tea syrup, fresh cucumber and mint. Dial No. 76 for a concoction of Sauza Blanco Tequila, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and house blood orange sour. This one's not for the kiddies: No. 22, with lemonade, raspberry and blueberry vodkas and fresh blackberry. Want more? There's no shortage of cordials, aperitifs, wines and beers on tap and draft (try the local Four Peaks Kiltlifter Scottish Ale). Come by for brunch, Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., and enjoy the Bloody Mary bar with add-your-own ingredients such as olives, onions, peppers and shots of Worcestershire sauce. If appetites flare, chow down on deviled egg dip with potato chips, picnic kebabs (skewers of chicken, shrimp, pork and veggies) and succulent pork ribs. For lounging al fresco, check out the patio.

8. Tarbell's

A clean-lined interior of neutral colors and vibrant artwork sets the scene for this bustling hotspot. Created by Chef Mark Tarbell, winner of Iron Chef America, the menu of New American cuisine puts a creative twist on fresh vegetables, chicken, seafood, and beef. Although offerings change monthly, you can be assured of terrific food like grilled salmon, rock shrimp, and an upscale vegetable plate. The wine list has a reputation all its own. A private dining room hosts up to 10 diners, and the bistro happily serves appetizers at the bar for those who just want to enjoy the ambiance. The wine pairings here are famously excellent and the knowledgeable staff is always willing to help.

7. St. Francis
Photo courtesy of St. Francis

This bustling central Phoenix restaurant offers charm in spades. The stripped-down aesthetic is married with modern loft design, making this one of the more inviting and interesting dining rooms in the city. The food is just as interesting. Exquisite soups, fresh crusty loaves of bread, and wood-fired entrees are just some of the highlights here. Try one of the specialty burgers or seasonal salads. Chef and owner Aaron Chamberlin infuses the menu with seasonal ingredients, lovingly married with expert preparation. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, as well as popular weekend brunch. The charming outdoor bar makes a great place to relax during the cooler months.

6. Beckett's Table
Photo courtesy of Beckett's Table

Beckett's Table is the brainchild of Chef Justin Beckett, who wanted to create a restaurant that celebrates the values of farm-to-table cuisine in a friendly, communal setting. The interior at Beckett's Table is industrial chic, with concrete floors, exposed block walls, subway tile, and leather-capped stools and cushioned chairs. The two patios have ceiling fans, misters, heaters, and a fireplace that can accommodate 70 guests. But the real star of the show here is the food, which features a menu rich with seasonal vegetables and the highest quality meats. The atmosphere is both sophisticated yet not stuffy.

5. Rustler's Rooste
Photo courtesy of Rustler's Rooste

Rustler's Rooste is Phoenix's down home gem, a destination cowboy steakhouse serving up thick and juicy steaks, ribs, chicken and the freshest seafood around. Appetizers are rather unique at this popular restaurant (rattlesnake, anyone?), but it's all part of the fun. One of the more popular dining options at Rustler's Rooste is Cowboy Stuff, a family-style dinner that includes barbecue chicken, shrimp, beans, baked potatoes, swordfish, pork ribs, sirloin steak strips, corn-on-the-cob, fresh raw vegetables, and rolls with a side of butter and honey. it's a good idea to come hungry!

4. The Gladly
Photo courtesy of The Gladly

The Gladly is a chic New American restaurant in central Phoenix with a stylish bistro ambiance. The globally-inspired menu includes house specialties like the popular chopped salad, brussel sprouts and pork hash. The eclectic dinner menu features an array of gourmet small plates, including charred octopus, roasted root vegetables and burrata. Popular mains include a Waygu burger, duck meatloaf and a tender belly duroc pork chop made with black garlic Oaxacan chile risotto. The restaurant has a sleek bar, which has become known for its craft cocktails. On Sundays, the restaurant's outdoor patio is a gathering place for discriminating brunch goers. This is also one of the city's top whiskey bars, with more than 200 varieties in stock.

3. Tuck Shop
Photo courtesy of Tuck Shop

The motto at Tuck Shop is "neighborhood comfort shop." Tucked away in a central Phoenix neighborhood, this popular restaurant serves carefully crafted comfort food in a small, intimate dining room. The menu, which changes frequently, features Arizona-inspired cuisine made from high quality local ingredients. For starters, try the duck tostadas, featuring plum roasted au jus, jicama, red cabbage and a big dollop of Mexican crema. If you love chicken and waffles, you have to try Tuck Shop's gourmet version of this comfort food favorite. The white cheddar waffles are made with a citrus brine and served with pineapple succotash. Truly original and delicious.

2. Crudo
Photo courtesy of Crudo

Sushi sensibility meets traditional Italian flavors at Crudo, Phoenix's hip Italian cafe specializing in sashimi-style seafood. Fresh, simple and always-intriguing, the Crudo ("raw" in Italian) menu emphasizes seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients and mouth-watering culinary juxtaposition. The menu is cleanly divided into signature sections, including crudo (raw), cotto (cooked), mozza (mozzarella-centered plates), griglia (grilled), and lati (sides). For cold/raw creations, the crudo menu features fresh seafood plates include the albacore (served with apples, truffles, and black garlic) and the ahi tuna (delightful with smoked olives, egg, and lemon). When you're craving something hot, choose from the hot cooked plates from the cotta menu, including gnocchi, dumplings, and mushrooms. Try the uniquely savory risotto, made with squid ink, tuna, chili, and tomato. For a hearty plate, pick from the griglia menu, which includes pork belly, short ribs, and rolled veal breast made with apricots and rosemary and cooked over the restaurants custom-made wood fire grill. Lovers of high quality Italian cheeses will revel in the mozza menu, where plates of mozzarella are served with fresh herbs, oils, meats and vegetables. Diners are invited to sample the menu with a three, four, or five course meal.

1. Dick's Hideaway
Photo courtesy of Dick's Hideaway

Rustic yet casually upscale, Dick's Hideaway is the kind of place locals take out-of-towners for an authentic taste of traditional Southwest flavors. Lunch, breakfast and dinner is served at this small local gem, where the smell of slow-roasted pork greets the steady stream of diners at all hours of day. The Southwest-inspired botanas (appetizers) menu makes a great starting point . Try the roasted garlic plate, served with roasted peppers and green chiles bubbling over with flavor, or the tomatillo toast, grilled chicken and ham served over toast and smothered in green chile peppers, tomatillo salsa and cheddar cheese. Although you can get great burgers, salads and past at Dick's, the Santa Fe Trail menu is the real star of the show. For a little taste of everything, try the New Mexican Platter, featuring a red chile pork tamale, cheese relleno, chicken burro, rice and beans�all simmered in your choice of green or red sauce. But if you want to eat like a local, try the Carne Adovada, a house favorite featuring smoked pork roast simmered in red chile and served with rice, beans and a tortilla. Not to be missed for a true taste of the southwest.