One of the best fine dining restaurants near Salt River Fields in Scottsdale is ShinBay. This upscale Japanese restaurant is one of the only places to experience a traditional Omakase style chef's tasting course format. Part of the pleasure is experiencing plate after plate of artfully prepared cuisine in one of the city's most refined and tranquil dining rooms.
Another fine dining destination near the ball park is Grassroots Kitchen and Tap, a farm to table restaurant with a menu full of seasonally-inspired dishes. Both meat-lovers and vegetarians will find plenty of satisfying entrees on the menu.
If you're looking for a quick bite that doesn't skimp on quality ingredients and flavor, head to the Vermont Sandwich Company. It's ideal for a casual lunch that is still hearty and wholesome.
And if you're craving Italian, be sure to plan a pit stop at Andreoli Italian Grocer, a cozy deli and cafe dishing out some of the best and most authentic Italian food in town. Chef and owner Giovanni Scorzo makes all the breads and pastries from scratch, including luscious cannolis and tiramisu.
Pizza lovers take note: Il Bosco has some of the best gourmet pizzas in town. Not a bad dinner idea after an afternoon at the ballpark.
Blanco Tacos and Tequila
You won't find greasy run-of-the-mill tacos at Blanco Tacos + Tequila. The menu blends fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican recipes for out-of-this-world flavor profiles. Start with the popular house guacamole. It's a creamy, spicy treat made with roasted poblano and Anaheim chiles, caramelized onion and cotija cheese. Entrees include traditional combo platters and a taco menu. The carnitas tacos are stuffed with pulled pork that is slow cooked and topped with fresh condiments, including chopped white onion, cilantro, salsa verde and a squeeze of lime juice. ((480) 289-5701)
Veneto Trattoria is modeled after the traditional trattorias of Northern Italy. The menu features fresh dishes prepared with the best ingredients. The healthy, satisfying flavors used at Veneto Trattoria are lightly prepared for a satisfying meal that is never heavy or greasy. The ambiance here is warm, friendly and casual. Try one of the hand-crafted pastas, such as the fresh gnocchi or luscious risottos. Traditional Northern Italian dishes frequently feature balsamic vinegar seasoning, and Veneto Trattoria is no different. Only the highest quality balsamic is used in the restaurant's house dressings and to add sweetness to certain dishes without having to resort to fatty butter. (480-948-9928)
Butters Pancakes & Cafe
"Egg-ceptional eggs," moist and fluffy omelettes, original skillets, scramblers, eggs benedict, fruits and grains, pancakes, French toast, and Belgian waffles are just some of the breakfast specialties you'll find at this bright Scottsdale cafe. Despite the name, don't expect a breakfast platter dripping in butter. The food here is prepared fresh with the most wholesome ingredients available. The orange juice is fresh-squeezed (no slushy concentrate here!), and the bright, impeccably spotless dining room makes this an ideal breakfast spot to get your day started right. Butters is also open for lunch, with the kitchen dishing out tasty burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and classic deli sides. ((480) 629-4333)
Rita's Kitchen at Camelback Inn, A J.W. Marriott Resort
This casual upscale cafe, located at the posh J.W. Marriott Resort, is a sanctuary of soothing terracotta floors, wood-beamed ceilings, and earthen adobe walls. Fortunately the food lives up to the ambiance, with a Southwestern-tinged menu that features seasonal, locally grown ingredients. The savory regional cuisine makes this a great place to enjoy a home-style breakfast. Huevos rancheros, french toast, and flap jacks all get the royal treatment at Rita's Kitchen. Enjoy feasting in an authentic adobe structure, or dine in the cool shade of the patio's sprawling Ironwood tree. A great breakfast spot to enjoy the graciousness and flavors of traditional Southwestern hospitality. (4809481700)
This Scottsdale sushi house has been a local institution since 1997, back when sushi was still a curiosity with many diners. This cozy neighborhood sushi restaurant offers some of the city's best chirashi bento boxes. The inventive menu includes Italian-style whitefish with scallions and tomato with olive oil. Don't leave without trying the Arizona Roll, which features asparagus, scallop, cucumber, avocado, and a special house sauce rolled in cucumber. Also of note is their poke of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, octopus, surf clam, and scallions, served in a fresh vinaigrette. Great for a business lunch or casual night out with friends. ((480) 314-4215)
ShinBay brings refined modern Japanese Omakase-style dining to north Scottsdale. The focus here is on seasonal, high quality ingredients and impeccable presentation. At the helm is James Beard Award-nominated chef Shinji Kurita. There's no better way to enjoy ShinBay than by reserving a spot at the table for one of the restaurant's multi-course chef's choice dinners. These elegant dinners may include whole blue crab, a vast array of colorful sushi, and Santa Barbara prawn with caviar. Reservations are highly recommended due to limited seating. The restaurant offers multi-course meals, but be sure to reserve ahead of time if you've got your heart set on a specific menu. (480-664-0180)
Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
This casually upscale restaurant delivers farm-fresh table with flair and elegance. The menu at Grassroots Kitchen & Tap delivers an eclectic menu of modern American fare with an emphasis on quality ingredients. Start with one of the sharing plates, like the prosciutto wrapped asparagus, which is grilled and drizzled with maple syrup. On the entree side, vegetarian's will appreciate the farm to table vegetable platter, featuring a chef's heirloom tomato selection, sauteed chard, grilled asparagus, a helping of local-seasonal vegetables, served with a side of honey-drizzled texas toast. Sandwiches, salads, seafood, and barbecue fill out the menu. Homemade desserts and a coffee and juice bar offer a sweet finish to your meal. ((480) 699-0699)
Vermont Sandwich Company
If you're craving a gourmet sandwich, head to the Vermont Sandwich Company in north Scottsdale. This low-key gem offers a menu of family recipes and freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps and panini. You won't find stale bread or soggy pre-made sandwiches here. Most ingredients are made from scratch, including hand blended mayos and mustards, housemade salad dressings, and daily soups and salads made from scratch. There are even fresh baked cookies for a sweet finish to your lunch. Popular sandwiches include The Vermonter, a turkey and ham sandwich featuring cranberry mayo, sharp Cheddar cheese and thinly sliced granny smith apples. Take-out and delivery is available. ((480) 767-1651)
Andreoli Italian Grocer
Owner and chef Giovanni Scorzo, a native of Calabria in northwest Italy, delivers authentic Italian masterpieces at this charming Italian grocery and cafe in Scottsdale. Scorzo makes all his own breads and pastries, including the house tiramisu, cannoli, and even hand-made chocolates. Daily specials include Italian specialties like rosticianna (grilled pork ribs), pasta e fave (pasta and fava bean soup), bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine-style T-bone steak), and other homemade specialties. There's also a well-stocked deli counter where you'll find high quality imported meats, cheeses, and olives. Just try to resist the bakery counter, which is filled with cookies and pastries. ((480) 614-1980)
Il Bosco Pizza
Il Bosco's pizzeria is fast becoming one of Scottsdale's favorite pizzerias. Starting as a mobile catering truck, this highly regarded pizza shop graduated to a bricks & mortar operation in the spring of 2012, quickly establishing itself as one of the city's best places to enjoy a well-made pie. The philosophy at Il Bosco's is simple: quality ingredients and hand-crafted pies. The pizza chefs at Il Bosco let the dough rise naturally, form the mozzarella by hand, and fire up the pies in a traditional wood-fired oven. The pizzeria has 40 seats and a very busy take-out window. Along with a selection of specialty pies, the menu also has salads, antipasti, desserts and a wine menu. ((480) 335-8680)
About 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 Writing from the University of Arizona and is working on a novel about growing up in the 1990s.
Read more about Patricia Escarcega here.