If you're looking for a break from the conventional Mexican restaurant combo platter, head over to Diego Pops. The stylish diner is home to a unique menu of modern Mexican fare served with a tropical and cosmopolitan twist. The botanas (snacks) menu features classic appetizers like chips and salsa, guacamole, and cheese quesadillas. But you'll also find unique offerings like habanero hot wings and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink brussel sprout nachos (made with corn, fresh Mexican cheese, chili, onion, the house roasted beet crema, and even a fried egg). Tacos stuffed with chicken, pork, chicken and fresh veggies are the main attraction, along with a small but savory menu of main plate entrees.
Recommended for Lunch because: Diego Pops is a stylish Old Town Scottsdale spot for Mexican food.
Patricia's expert tip: Try the Brussels Sprout nachos, a popular starter.
This casually upscale restaurant delivers farm-fresh table with flair and elegance. The menu at Grassroots Kitchen & Tap delivers an eclectic menu of modern American fare with an emphasis on quality ingredients. Start with one of the sharing plates, like the prosciutto wrapped asparagus, which is grilled and drizzled with maple syrup. On the entree side, vegetarian's will appreciate the farm to table vegetable platter, featuring a chef's heirloom tomato selection, sauteed chard, grilled asparagus, a helping of local-seasonal vegetables, served with a side of honey-drizzled texas toast. Sandwiches, salads, seafood, and barbecue fill out the menu. Homemade desserts and a coffee and juice bar offer a sweet finish to your meal.
Recommended for Lunch because: For a wholesome gourmet lunch, Grassroots Kitchen & Tap offers farm-to-table lunch fare, including sandwiches and salads.
Patricia's expert tip: Try the key lime pie - a house favorite.
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.
Recommended for Lunch because: When you're craving hot and ready Italian entrees or excellent deli options, head to Defalco's in south Scottsdale.
Patricia's expert tip: When you are craving authentic antipasto and imported Italian meats, Defalco is a surefire palate-pleaser.
Looking for a nice breakfast or lunch spot in Scottsdale? Check out Noci Cafe, a family-owned cafe serving wholesome, home-style breakfast plates and Italian-inflected lunch options. For breakfast, you'll find options like omelettes, pancakes, Belgian waffles and homemade hash browns. Lunch includes a menu of panini, salads, and Italian pasta plates. You'll also find a pastry counter filled with treats and gourmet coffee. Most items are priced south of $10, making this a good place to fuel up on wholesome, homemade fare, without having to break your dining-out budget.
Recommended for Lunch because: Noci Cafe is a friendly family-owned cafe for a nice lunch in north-central Scottsdale.
Patricia's expert tip: For breakfast, don't miss the homemade jams, hash browns and gourmet coffee.
Butcher paper-topped tables, wood-framed mirrors, and a sleek, zinc-capped bar give Zinc Bistro a distinctly modern and luxurious feel, making it the perfect place to enjoy a special lunch with friends or business associates. Chef Matt Carter has been drawing accolades for his casual take on classic French fare since 2001. Try the truffle-infused pomme frites, the white wine-steamed mussels, and steak au poivre. As would be expected, the list of French wines is outstanding. Cap off a fabulous meal with one of Zinc Bistro's French desserts. Authentic créme brulees and soufflés cap off a fabulous lunch at this favorite French bistro.
Recommended for Lunch because: Zinc Bistro is a sleek north Scottsdale bistro serving some of the city's best French-inspired meals.
Patricia's expert tip: Fresh shellfish available daily at this bistro's popular Oyster Bar.
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.
Recommended for Lunch because: Tacos Jalisco is a good bet for a fast, economical lunch spot that dishes out delicious Mexican fare.
Patricia's expert tip: Try the bean burritos with the red sauce, simple but enchanting.
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.
Recommended for Lunch because: Rehab Burger Therapy is a popular Old Town lunch spot that serves up an expansive selection of specialty burgers.
Patricia's expert tip: Try the spicy mac 'n cheese burger, a house favorite.
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 Lunch because: Enjoy great mid-range Italian at Franco's Italian Caffe, located conveniently in Old Town Scottsdale.
Patricia's expert tip: Some menu items are also available as take-out.
This Scottsdale sushi house has been a local institution since 1997, back when sushi was still a curiosity with many diners. This cozy neighborhood sushi restaurant offers some of the city's best chirashi bento boxes. The inventive menu includes Italian-style whitefish with scallions and tomato with olive oil. Don't leave without trying the Arizona Roll, which features asparagus, scallop, cucumber, avocado, and a special house sauce rolled in cucumber. Also of note is their poke of tuna, yellowtail, salmon, octopus, surf clam, and scallions, served in a fresh vinaigrette. For lunch, the restaurant offers a selection of unique bento boxes.
Recommended for Lunch because: Hiro Sushi is one of Scottsdale's oldest and best Sushi restaurants. For lunch, sample one of the inventive bento boxes.
Patricia's expert tip: Try the Salmon Sushi, one of the best in town.
Owner and chef Giovanni Scorzo, a native of Calabria in northwest Italy, delivers authentic Italian masterpieces at this charming Italian grocery and cafe in Scottsdale. Scorzo makes all his own breads and pastries, including the house tiramisu, cannoli, and even hand-made chocolates. Daily specials include Italian specialties like rosticianna (grilled pork ribs), pasta e fave (pasta and fava bean soup), bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine-style T-bone steak), and other homemade specialties. There's also a well-stocked deli counter where you'll find high quality imported meats, cheeses, and olives. Just try to resist the bakery counter, which is filled with cookies and pastries.