With a plumb location in the downtown Scottsdale corridor, Scottsdale Stadium is just steps away from many of the city's best restaurants, cafes, gastropubs, and bars.
In fact, one of the best restaurants in town - The Mission - is just a couple blocks from the stadium. This elegant restaurant specializes in Mexican, Spanish, and Latin American fusion. For starters, try the crispy cola pork, which is as irresistible and complex as it sounds.
If you're looking for a good place to grab breakfast before heading to the stadium, check out Karsen's Grill, a small, family-owned restaurant and bar with great daily specials.
For an upscale post-game dinner, try out Tommy V's Kitchen & Bar, an Italian food restaurant with a great patio, live music and delectable entrees.
If you're just looking for a place to catch a quick bite near the stadium, Tacos Jalisco is an unassuming Mexican cafe with a busy take-out window. Speedy counter service and authentic, irresistible Mexican dishes have made this a favorite spot for locals in the know.
Burger lovers: you'll definitely want to make a pit stop at Rehab Burger Therapy. A massive, gourmet burger (if you truly want to indulge, try the spicy mac 'n cheese) will quickly cure whatever ails you.
For a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner in Old Town Scottsdale, Karsen's Grill delivers on lots of flavor and friendly, neighborhood ambiance. The menu is filled with comfort food favorites, including hot wings, quesadillas, meatloaf and a full menu of specialty salads and sandwiches. Menu stand-outs include the Cuban sandwich, or the classic Reuben. Try the sweet potato fries on the side, which are crispy and savory. This small, family-owned restaurant is also a great place to grab a drink before or after a Giant's game at nearby Scottsdale Stadium. The drinks are reasonably priced and the service is consistently friendly. ((480) 990-7660)
There's nothing fancy about the small dining room at Tacos Jalisco in Scottsdale, but sometimes all you need is good food served up by expert cooks. This is the case at Tacos Jalisco, a tiny neighborhood restaurant located next to a laundromat that is dishing out tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas and enchiladas that rival the best in town. Creamy beans, fluffy rice and a long menu of take-out classics make this a must-stop destination for those days when you're craving Mexican comfort food. Easy, fast and always flavorful, a great stopping point for a quick lunch, or order take-out for those long nights around the pool. Friendly service and fresh agua frescas (traditonal Mexican fruit coolers) offer further incentive for making a stop here. ((480) 941-9095)
Long Island is the primary inspiration behind The Montauk, a New American restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale that manages to deliver fresh seafood in the desert. This is the place to go for a savory bowl of clam chowder, lobster bakes and other coastal comfort food favorites. The eclectic menu also delivers sophisticated takes on regional favorites like guacamole (the kitchen here has turned it into a refreshing tuna tartare guacamole) and ceviche. Sandwich, salads and a winning menu of hand-crafted cocktails makes The Montauk a lovely spot to enjoy a long lunch on a sunny patio, sip on a cocktail, or feed your seafood cravings. ((480) 994-1888)
Citizen Public House
Citizen Public House is what the English pub concept looks like in Scottsdale: thoroughly contemporary and upscale, yet still managing to retain the homey charm of a traditional public house. Nestled comfortably in Old Town Scottsdale, Citizen Public House has made a name for iself by serving craft beers, classic and contemporary cocktails as well as a full menu of award-winning gastropub cuisine. For cool nights, there is a cozy patio, a semi-private 12-seat dining alcove and lively public space. Mahogany accents, leather booths and a stainless steel-topped bar combine old and new design elements for a sleek, modern look. (480.398.4208)
Sophisticated yet down-home, FnB is the latest darling of the Scottsdale culinary scene. The menu, which changes frequently, is based on seasonal ingredients sourced from local vendors and farms. The farm-fresh ingredients are carefully selected to create unexpected and delightful pairings. On any given visit, you'll find succulent combos such as leeks and grilled broccoli, brussels sprouts with meyer lemon, chile, and mint, or roasted beets with yoghurt, oil cured olives, cilantro and pinenuts. Expect the unexpected at FnB, where the artful plates are served with locally crafted beer and native Arizona wine. FnB's new location also features a small wine shop and a bodega market. (480-425-9463)
Defalcos Italian Grocery
If you're looking for an original, family-owned Italian deli, Defalco's Italian Grocery is the real thing. This local treasure is located just south of downtown Scottsdale, on the border between Tempe and Scottsdale. The menu features traditional pasta dishes and hot sandwiches. You'll see a lot of loyal customers coming in before dinner to carry out one of the take-home dishes, or shopping for high quality Italian products such as hand-made ravioli and imported olive oil. Enjoy the outdoor patio with a plate of eggplant parm, chicken cutlet, or lasagna. The dessert menu includes traditional Italian classic like cannoli and tiramisu. (480-990-8660)
Tommy V's Urban Kitchen & Bar
This casually upscale restaurant delivers delicious Italian food in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. The restaurant is well-suited for a long, leisurely lunch or dinner with family and friends. There is a nice outdoor patio and a menu, upbeat atmosphere, and a menu of fresh, Italian eats. For starters, try the Chef's Board, a yummy assortment of marinated olives, Italian salami, parma prosciutto, artichokes, fontina and fresh buffalo mozzarella. There's a long list of specialty salads, pasta dishes, entrees and gourmet sides. For pasta lovers, you can't go wrong with the Pappardelle, sausage, broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic. Gluten-free pasta and sides are also available upon request. ((480) 427-2264)
How about a late morning breakfast in a sun-drenched patio, with monarch butterflies fluttering at a respectful distance? Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, Cafe Monarch in Scottsdale is a very real place. Experience a truly unique dining ambiance in this cozy cafe, featuring one of the most unique brunches in town. The menu is small--choose from either a Sweet or Savory option--but the dishes are hand-crafted, fresh and seasonal, and utterly delightful. Frittatas, French toast, and other classic breakfast specialties receive special treatment here from owner, chef, server and all-around culinary maven, Chris, who will make you feel at home at this Scottsdale foodie destination. ((480) 970-7682)
If ever there was a place to enjoy a sophisticated dinner amid the flicker of candlelight, The Mission in Scottsdale is it. This casual upscale restaurant specializes in "modern Latin cuisine" skillfully prepared by Chef Matt Carter using a traditional "plancha" style grill. Kick your meal off with the Crispy Cola Pork, pork belly infused with cola, lime, chiltepin, peanut, pickled red onion and gem lettuce. Try the Pork Shoulder tacos, which features a house pineapple glaze, cilantro, red onions and ten hand made corn tortillas. Another stand-out is the Chorizo Porchetta, pork shoulder, chorizo, rosemary, cotija, white bean puree and sweet garlic crema. Dishes are infused with the traditional essence of pecan and mesquite wood and feature a creative fusion of Spanish and Latin American flavors. (480-636-5005)
Rehab Burger Therapy
There's no use trying to resist the pull of Rehab Burger Therapy. The restaurant, which is located in the heart of downtown, is almost always filled to capacity. One look at the menu - and one bite of their burgers - and it's easy to see why: Rehab Burger Therapy puts out a consistently delicious burger. And not just one burger, mind you, but more than a dozen different varieties of gourmet burgers. Some menu stand-outs include the cheesy spectacle that is the jalapeno popper burger, the veggie burger, and the irresistible spicy mac 'n cheese burger. Apart from delicious burgers, the restaurant also serves specialty salads, soups, sandwiches and homemade desserts. ((480) 621-5358)
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.