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10 Best Homestyle Restaurants in Phoenix for Comfort Food Favorites



Phoenix offers all kinds of homestyle restaurants delivering the kind of flavors that make home-cooking so craveable. For homestyle soul food, there's the legendary Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles, a south Phoenix institution known for soul food classics like fried catfish,  shrimp mac and cheese, and of course, crispy homemade fried chicken. The restaurant has an excellent all-day breakfast menu that features everything from short stacks to egg white omelets. 

For comfort food with foodie flair, head to Phoenix's artsy Roosevelt neighborhood for lunch at the Welcome Diner. Try one of the house made biscuit creations, like the Bumblebee plate. It comes with fried chicken breast, local honey, house made beer mustard, bread and butter pickles. 

Another midtown gem is Tuck Shop, which describes itself as a neighborhood comfort shop. The menu changes frequently, but you can always count on modern comfort food with a gourmet twist. For starters, try the beer-battered cheese curds. It's a decadent, mouth-watering appetizer that you simply won't find anywhere else.

For breakfast platters dripping with homestyle flavors, head to Phoenix's historic Arcadia neighborhood for brunch at the Ranch House Grille. The chicken fried steak is generously topped with the kitchen's excellent homemade gravy.

Finally, if you're looking for upscale comfort food, head to Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits, where you'll find classic southern starters like hush puppies, along with midwest standards like Cincinnati chili.  

 


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Matt's Big Breakfast


If you don't know where Matt's Big Breakfast is, no problem. Simply look for the long trail of chatting, slightly restless men and women lined up outside a modest brick house on First Street. This is Matt's Big Breakfast, one of the city's most popular breakfast destinations, especially on the weekends. Try the Hog and Chick, two eggs with your choice of thick-cut bacon, country sausage, or off-the-bone ham. Lunch, featuring a short menu of sandwich classics such as The Classic Reuben and BLT, is served starting at 11am. The menu is simple, fresh and always delicious. Well worth the wait.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Matt's Big Breakfast in central Phoenix is one of the city's most popular destinations for homestyle breakfast dishes.

Patricia's expert tip: Feel free to sleep in: breakfast is served all day at Matt's Big Breakfast.

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The Original Breakfast House in northeast Phoenix is a popular breakfast and brunch destination for classic diner grub with a twist. The huge breakfast menu includes house favorites like the deep-fried French toast topped with seasonal food, and the unique Spam and eggs over cilantro lime rice with mango salsa. Of course, you'll also find fluffy omelettes, egg dishes, pancakes, and lighter breakfast fare. All egg dishes come with your choice of hash browns, home fries, or fruit, and your choice of biscuits with gravy or toast. The restaurant only serves cage free eggs. If you love the food, the diner also sells its own jams, syrups and other breakfast products.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The Original Breakfast House specializes in classic diner food, served with a unique twist.

Patricia's expert tip: Add a southwestern kick to your breakfast repertoire with the chicken green chili tamal and eggs.

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Phoenix has a lot of barbecue joints, but Pork on a Fork stands out from the crowd for its dedication and passion to complex, succulent chicken and beef brisket, pulled pork, and smoked ribs. High quality meats are shipped in from the owner's family farm in Nebraska, and all meats are slowly cooked over pecan wood. Fall-off-the-bone meats are complemented by a small but delicious selection of side dishes. This independent barbecue restaurant is tucked away in a small business park in north Phoenix, but it is well worth seeking out when you're craving some of the city's best barbecue.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Pork on a Fork is a North Phoenix staple famous for its fall-off-the-bone, homestyle barbecue.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the pulled pork sandwich, a favorite of local barbecue aficionados.

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This South Phoenix institution has been dishing out some of the best home-style Mexican food for decades. Don't be fooled by the humble exterior and lackluster dining area: the food is hot, tasty, and top-notch. Tacos, burros, flautas, chimichangas, tostadas, and tamales: all your favorites are here, made to order. As if that wasn't enough, you can eat well here with the spare change in your pocket. Perfect for a quick and affordable meal on the go, Carolina's continues to draw regulars craving down-home, no-nonsense Mexican food. Great for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. Don't forget to sample the famous tortillas.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Carolina's is a South Phoenix mainstay dishing out authentic, homestyle Mexican food.

Patricia's expert tip: The hot, pillowy flour tortillas at Carolina are legendary. Make sure to take a dozen home with you.

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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.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Tuck Shop in midtown Phoenix is the place to go when you're craving elevated comfort food.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the beer-battered cheese curds, a decadent starter that you won't soon forget.

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Located in the Arcadia neighborhood, Ranch House Grill is a family-owned restaurant in dishing out tasty Southwestern-style comfort food for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is known for its large portions, great value, and of course, comfort food classics like chicken fried steak with homemade gravy, fluffy pancake stacks, burgers, cheese steaks, and deli sandwich favorites. This a popular breakfast spot for foodies looking for big portions and big flavors. Prepare to wait for a table during the popular weekend brunch hours, but the wait is more than worth it for a taste of home cooking. The restaurant also offers to-go orders and on-site catering.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Cafeteria on Thomas in Phoenix dishes out homestyle breakfast and lunch dishes in a comfortable midtown location.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the popular chicken fried steak platter for a truly homestyle breakfast.

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"The most important meal of the day!" reads the breakfast menu at Biscuits, a popular mom-and-pop diner dishing out hot, delicious breakfast platters for a steady cadre of regulars. Old-fashioned breakfasts are the specialty here, including huge omelet platters, pancakes, and a large selection of house specialties. Dishes are prepared with fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, adding to the charm of this local diner. If you enjoy the heartiness of a giant chicken fried steak platter in the morning, you won't want to leave Biscuit's without trying this house specialty. And if you're watching the waistline, Biscuit's also offers a low fast breakfast menu.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Biscuits is a popular mom-and-pop diner serving old-fashioned, mouth-watering breakfast and lunch platter.

Patricia's expert tip: Dieter's take note: Biscuits offers a low-fat breakfast menu.

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What this tiny traditional diner lacks in square footage, it more than makes up in style and heart. The vintage diner ambiance and modern American menu of comfort food classics has made Welcome Diner a downtown favorite. The food menu includes burgers, buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, and side dishes. The menu also features a supper menu that includes a market salad, New Orleans-style red beans and rice, and vegan po-boys. The drink menu includes Mexican Coca Cola, rotating draft beers, and a small selection of cocktails and wine. Side orders include unique dishes like smoked spring union slaw and poutine, fries with cheddar and gravy.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Welcome Diner in Phoenix's Roosevelt districts dishes out great homestyle plates in a vintage diner.

Patricia's expert tip: For dessert, try a specialty scoop from Sweet Republic Creamery.

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Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles


A local institution, Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffle's popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, prompting an expansion into all corners of the city. But the original location on Central Avenue is still the best, offering a taste lesson in authentic, down-home Southern cooking. The star of the menu is the eponymous chicken & waffles menu, but there are plenty of flavor highlights at this popular neighborhood eatery. The rotisserie chicken, fried catfish, and shrimp mac and cheese are all mouth-wateringly good. There's even a veggie platter available for non-meat eaters, served with a slice of fresh cornbread.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles is a Phoenix institution, famous for its made-from-scratch fried chicken and fluffy, golden waffles.

Patricia's expert tip: The shrimp mac and cheese is not to be missed.

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For homestyle eats in Phoenix served with a creative and upscale flair, head to Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits. Chef & Owner Jeff Hostenske has become known for his approachable take on midwest classics and southern eats. The menu offers classic homestyle starters like hush puppies, shrimp & grit cakes, fried green tomatoes, and southwestern-inspired appetizers like the house braised beef tacos. Popular entrees include pulled pork burgers, Cincinnati chili, and gourmet burgers. For dinner, enjoy popular plates like slow-roasted pot roast and a hand-cut steak served with fries. Of course, there's also a whole menu of craft cocktails.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Enjoy homestyle classics like Cincinnati chili and hush puppies at Ten Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits, a casually upscale neighborhood eatery.

Patricia's expert tip: Enjoy specials during the "Decompress" menu, which is offered on Mondays through Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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