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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 very far to find a cafe or restaurant. Scottsdale's Old Town district is home to dozens of restaurants, including Virtu, a small cafe dishing up refined renditions of Mediterranean classics.

The Mission, which specializes in modern Latin American cuisine, melds disparate influences with compelling results.

For farm-fresh ingredients artfully transmuted into a menu of globally-inspired small plates, head to FnB, the domain of James Beard Award-winning chef Charlene Badman. 

For a special occasion dinner, Cafe Monarch offers seasonal tasting menus in an ultra-romantic Old Town Scottsdale setting. Inventive and casual fine dining takes center stage at Weft + Warp Art Bar, the stylish restaurant located at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort. 

Finally, let's not forget Citizen Public House, a critic's darling that combines the jovial ambiance of the traditional public house with a modern menu of comfort food.  


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Franco's Italian Caffe


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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: If you're looking for high-quality old school Italian fare in Old Town Scottsdale, Franco's Italian Caffe is it.

Patricia's expert tip: Some menu items are also available as take-out.

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Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen


Weft & Warp brings Southwest-inspired flavors, ingredients and panache to what might otherwise be a stale hotel restaurant. Instead, this art-inspired restaurant offers sleek design and a creative, well-composed menu. The dining room is sunny and casual, featuring a sleek open plancha-style kitchen, chef's table seating and a patio with views of palm trees and Camelback Mountain in the distance. The menu incorporates Sonoran Desert in dishes like Arizona-grown Medjool dates, sliced and served with fresh cream and pistachio crumbles. Even more intriguing are the Crow's Dairy goat cheese dumplings. Mains include a Sonoran "risotto" made with local wheat berries, wild rice, and quinoa.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Weft & Warp serves refined yet creative dishes in a swanky resort dining room.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the blue corn pancakes with orange poppy seed créme Anglaise during the weekend brunch.

Read more about Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen →


Cafe Monarch


How does an intimate, multi-course dinner in a lushly landscaped patio set amid gurgling fountains and Old World decor sound? The setting may sound a bit like a mirage but, fortunately, Cafe Monarch in Scottsdale is a very real place. A seasonal tasting menu is at the heart of this high-end cafe. Every week, the restaurant offers a rotating four-course prix fixe menu. The menu changes regularly, but deluxe ingredients are a mainstay feature. Expect to find Hudson Valley foie gras, Kurobuta pork, Niman Ranch beef and other rarified bites. A substantial wine list makes this a very good destination for devoted oenophiles.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Cafe Monarch offers seasonal tasting menus in a luxe and romantic Old Town Scottsdale dining room.

Patricia's expert tip: Wine lovers, take note: each server at Cafe Monarch is trained through the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers program.

Read more about Cafe Monarch →


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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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale defines culinary adventure and quality with a menu that is both traditional and creative.

Patricia's expert tip: The crispy pork belly with a Cola-lime glaze has emerged as a house favorite over the years.

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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 itself 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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale is an award-winning restaurant that combines convivial ambiance with modern pub grub.

Patricia's expert tip: Enjoy discounts on drinks every day from 3 pm to 6 pm during the pub's social hour.

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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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Southwestern-inspired cuisine and wood-fired dishes shine at this modern Western restaurant in Old Town.

Patricia's expert tip: Roaring Fork makes large portions their default, so you know this place is good for a good group-friendly destination.

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New Wave Market


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 are served in a sunny, vintage-inspired space filled with natural light and pastel colors. The marketplaces offer 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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: New Wave Market offers casual yet refined breakfast and lunch in a colorful Old Town Scottsdale cafe setting.

Patricia's expert tip: Don't miss the cafe's hand-rolled bagels.

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Sel


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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Sel is pleasant fine dining outpost in Old Town Scottsdale with a strong prix fixe menu.

Patricia's expert tip: Although you can order a la carte, the best value is in the restaurant's signature prix fixe menu.

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Virtu


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 chickpeas, 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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: Virtu is an Old Town Scottsdale gem serving up Mediterranean classics with a modern, artful twist.

Patricia's expert tip: For starters, don't miss the grilled octopus.

Read more about Virtu →


FnB


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 yogurt, 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.

Recommended for Best of Scottsdale's Old Town because: FnB in Old Town Scottsdale is a critic's darling that delivers on farm-fresh flavors and creative, unexpected food pairings.

Patricia's expert tip: Wine-lovers: don't miss the fine selection of Arizona wines at FnB.

Read more about FnB →


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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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