Essential Phoenix Dining: 10 Phoenix Restaurants You Shouldn't Miss

The best restaurants in Phoenix all have one thing in common: passion for quality ingredients and flawless execution.

Looking for the best pizza in the country? Some would argue that you'll find it in Phoenix, at chef Chris Bianco's Pizzeria Bianco, where pizza aficionados from around the world come to commune with Bianco's winning roster of James Beard Award-winning, wood-fired pies.

For classic Arizona dining, check out Durant's near downtown Phoenix, perhaps the city's most storied and beloved steakhouse. 

For refined riffs on Mexican cooking, make a date with Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva, one of the latest efforts from James Beard Award-nominated chef Silvana Salcido Esparza. 

Speaking of James Beard nominees, if you love creative tasting menus, you'll definitely want to plan ahead and reserve a spot at Binkley's Restaurant in midtown Phoenix. Perennial James Beard Award nominee Kevin Binkley brings his flair for modernist technique and creative comfort food to his new flagship restaurant, where the average multi-course dinner can stretch upwards of three hours. 

For another excellent Phoenix fine dining destination, you should not miss Kai Restaurant, located just south of Phoenix at the Wild Horse Pass Resort. The menu offers creative and refined takes on Native American-inspired fare, with hard-to-find native ingredients that are often harvested locally. 

Keep reading to find more of the best in Phoenix dining. 

Photo courtesy of flickr/Jeff Tidwell


Durant's has been a staple on Central Avenue for decades. The secret of its success is simple enough: perfect martinis, fantastic steaks, and incomparable service have made this steakhouse a popular local haunt. Dark wood, leather booths, and...  Read More



Sushi sensibility meets traditional Italian flavors at Crudo, a restaurant and bar that often riffs on the concept of sashimi-style seafood. Fresh, simple and always-intriguing, the Crudo ("raw" in Italian) menu emphasizes seasonal and...  Read More



A Different Pointe of View stands out as one of the most distinctive Phoenix fine dining destinations. The restaurant is situated atop a mountain in north central Phoenix and offers incredible city and desert views. Diners sit nestled around...  Read More



Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain offers a unique fine dining experience in a bucolic slice of South Phoenix. The restaurant, located inside a historic home at the end of a pecan tree-line path at The Farm, features excellent...  Read More



From acclaimed Phoenix chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva is like the smaller yet ultra-sophisticated sister of the original Barrio Cafe on Calle 16 in Central Phoenix. Gran Reserva is an art-filled Mexican restaurant located...  Read More



Little Miss BBQ isn't located in one of Phoenix's hottest dining districts – the barbecue destination is located on an industrial stretch of University Drive on the Phoenix-Tempe border. But just because it's not in a trendy dining corridor...  Read More



This Japanese-inspired restaurant was an immediate sensation at its debut back in 2010, famous for the artistic sensibilities of local James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda. The chef-artist is a critical darling for his iconoclastic take...  Read More

Pizzeria Bianco


Chris Bianco's celebrated pizza evokes memories of Naples. A wood-fired brick oven and a passion for quality make Bianco's traditional Neapolitan pizza crust a work of art. The restaurant was famously short-listed by New York critics as one of...  Read More



Fine dining in Phoenix doesn't get much more interesting, creative and unforgettable than a night at Binkley's Restaurant, the latest endeavor from James Beard Award-nominated chef Kevin Binkley. The restaurant is located in a charming historic...  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


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