10 Best Restaurants to Experience Southwestern Cooking in Phoenix

Southwestern food in Phoenix is many things, but one thing it isn't is boring.

One great place to experience the zesty, spicy and undeniably tasty flavors of Southwestern cooking is at Sierra Bonita Grill, a comfy bar and grill offering a full menu of regional classics. This long-standing midtown Phoenix restaurant serves classics like pork osso bucco, served here with green chile, cheddar, roasted baby carrots, cipollini onions, zucchini, and a Hatch green chile sauce. 

For a local take on Southwestern cuisine, head to Barrio Cafe, a central Phoenix mainstay known for its gourmet sensibility and creative, modern take on Mexican and Southwestern fare. Try the guacamole, which is peppered with fresh kernels of pomegranate, for a tangy, fruity kick of flavor. 

If you love tacos and tequilas (and who doesn't), head to Taco Guild, a southwestern-style gastropub located inside a former church in midtown. The menu delivers big on both ambiance and flavor. Food means serious business here, with dishes made from scratch using locally-sourced ingredients. For starters, try the Schreiner's chorizo meatballs served in a spicy chipotle prickly pear sauce. 

For one of the most unique southwestern-inflected menus in town, head to Vincent's on Camelback. This landmark midtown Phoenix restaurant is the domain of chef Vincent Guerithault, who masterfully blends classic French cooking with Southwestern traditions and ingredients. 



Z'Tejas Grill

An interior of mellow wood and Texas limestone defines the casual atmosphere of this privately-owned regional chain. Dishes come from a variety of backgrounds but share a common Southwestern flair. Signature items include voodoo blackened tuna...  Read More


Kai is noteworthy on so many levels that it's difficult to know where to start when describing it. The esteemed crew includes Consulting Chef Janos Wilder, Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd, and Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong. They have devised a menu...  Read More

This southwestern gastropub is tucked away inside a historic midtown church. The ambiance here is irresistible: wood beam ceilings and colorful stained glass windows lend the dining room warmth and southwestern charm, and the bar features an...  Read More

La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop - formerly known as La Condesa - is not your run-of-the-mill taco shop. Here you'll find fresh produce sourced from local farms and combined with the unique and traditional flavors of Mexico: bright green...  Read More

Since it opened, folks have been clamoring to this hopping, no-reservations-accepted restaurant for its inventive southern Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. Abandoned are bland burritos and tacos in favor of lush, richly layered flavors achieved...  Read More

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...  Read More

It's hard not to stop and stare at the bright, neon-lit sign annoucing "Gadzooks - Enchiladas and Soup." Venture into this modern, sleek fast-casual restaurant and you'll be reward with exactly what the sign promises: pretty darned good...  Read More

What could be more "southwest" than a killer burrito? That's the house specialty at the PHX Burrito House, a mom-and-pop cafe tucked away inside a charming bungalow off 7th Avenue. The homemade burritos manage to be both hefty and delicate, with...  Read More

This central Phoenix bar and grill is named after the historic Sierra Bonita Ranch in Southeastern Arizona. The restaurant offers an authentic Southwestern culinary experience, dishing out menu favorites such as their house Cowboy Stew, made...  Read More

Vincent on Camelback has been a Valley favorite since the 1980s, when Chef Vincent Guerithault pioneered his unique brand of Southwestern-inflected French cuisine. Chef Vincent boldly marries traditional French techniques with indigenous...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia

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