Where to Eat in Old Town Scottsdale: 10 Excellent Downtown Scottsdale Restaurants

When you're ready to sit down and eat in Old Town Scottsdale, you certainly won't have to look far for a winning meal. Scottsdale's Old Town district is home to dozens of award-winning restaurants, including Virtu, a small cafe dishing up artful versions of Mediterranean classics. Don't miss the grilled octopus, a house favorite.

 The Mission, which specializes in modern Latin American cuisine, shows off the city's flair for melding disparate influences with amazing results. This upscale restaurant is a great place to sample what's on the cutting edge of Southwestern, Mexican and Latin cuisine.

For farm-fresh ingredients skillfully prepared and creatively paired, head to FnB, a foodie haven where artful plates are served with Arizona-crafted wine.

For a special occasion dinner, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better Old Town destination than Cafe Monarch, which features a romantic patio courtyard complete with gurgling fountains and rustic lantern lighting. Chef/owner Gus Lewkowicz offers a different seasonal and chef-inspired four-course prix fixe menu every week, all featuring organic and locally sourced ingredients. 


Finally, let's not forget Citizen Public House, a critic's darling that combines the jovial ambiance of the traditional public house with a menu steeped in pub grub, delivered with gourmet execution and flair. 


This story-themed restaurant and bar is a unique addition to the Old Town Scottsdale food and drink scene. The restaurant and bar serves up an eclectic and fun menu full of creative fusion dishes with an Asian twist. From the shareable appetizers menu, it's hard to resist the kitchen's "WTF" biscuits with seasonal jam, or the brisket and pork meatballs. For dinner, enjoy pastas, a NY Strip, and seafood entrees like diver scallops served with farro risotto. Second Story also offers a small happy hour and late night eats menu. Cocktail lovers will want to check out the restaurant's list of creative and classic drinks.

Native Florentine and longtime Valley restaurateur Franco Fazzuoli brings fresh, upscale Italian flavors to Scottsdale at Franco's Italian Caffe. The restaurant, located in downtown Scottsdale, offers Florentine Italian dishes like Filet Mignon All'Arrabiata, Bistecca Fiorentina and Spaghetti Salsa Cruda. There are also specialty salads, including a lovely Beet Arugula salad that comes with goat cheese. But before you get to the secondi courses, start with one of the restaurant's trademark bruschetta, including a popular tuna bruschetta. Other small plate appetizers include prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella. The restaurant offers a comprehensive wine list, as well. Gluten-free options are available with pasta dishes.

How about a romantic dinner in a sun-drenched patio, with gurgling fountains, evergreen vines and rustic lanterns setting the tone for a leisurely and romantic meal? Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, Cafe Monarch in Scottsdale is a very real place. Experience a unique dining ambiance in this cozy cafe, featuring a menu of seasonal fare. Every week, the restaurant, which is only open for dinner on Tuesdays through Sundays, offers a different seasonal and chef-inspired four-course prix fixe menu. Chef/owner Gus Lewkowicz tends to favor organic and locally-sourced fare, for a dining experience that is at once indulgent and wholesome in character.

The Mission

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.

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.

Roaring Fork

The wood-fired cooking and classic American cuisine of Roaring Fork makes this a favorite gathering spot for the Scottsdale lunch and dinner crowd. Inspired by the history and essence of the Old West, Roaring Fork seeks to recapture and celebrate the simplicity of open-fire cooking and the bold flavors of wood-fired cuisine. Choose from lamb, beef, chicken, pork, and fresh fish entrees, all cooked to order using wood fire rotisserie, open flame grill, or classic wood-oven roasting. An inviting atmosphere and impeccable service make this a good spot for fans of rustic, boldly-flavored Western cooking, done with panache and a New West twist.

New Wave Market is a newer gourmet cafe and market from the team behind Old Town Scottsdale's popular Super Chunk Sweets & Treats. Breakfast and lunch is served in a sunny, vintage-inspired space filled with natural light and pastel colors. The marketplaces offers specialty food products and fun accessories, while the menu features gourmet breakfast staples like blueberry balsamic jam French toast made with house-made Hawaiian bread and a rotating weekend frittata. For lunch, the menu features sandwiches with homemade dressings served on hand-rolled bagels and ciabatta bread. The cafe is located adjacent to Super Chunk, which means you can grab a dessert to go, as well.

Sel is a small fine dining outpost situated amid the art galleries and shops of Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale. Chef Branden Levine, who has appeared on Food Network cooking competitions, offers a four-course prix fixe menu of contemporary American cuisine (diners can also order dishes a la carte). The restaurant is small and chic, and the menu is constantly in flux. But no matter what is on the menu du jour, expect to find skillful fine dining renditions of roasted kabocha squash panisse, roasted Romanesco soup, filet mignon and upscale seafood dishes. The restaurant also has a strong cocktail and dessert menu.

Tucked away in the Bespoke Inn in Old Town Scottsdale, Virtu is a charming cafe with a world-class menu. After only a few months in operation, the small eatery made a big splash by appearing in Esquire Magazine's annual Best New Restaurants in America list. The menu incorporates Mediterranean flavors with Southwestern zest. Try the grilled octopus, which is cooked tender and served with fennel, arugula, lemon chick peas, and calabrese chile butter. Don't miss the hand-crafted cocktail menu. A seat in the tiny dining room here is in high demand, so make sure to make reservations to secure your place at the Virtu table.

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.


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.