Every time I visit the Valley of the Sun I am consistently amazed by the enticing restaurants popping up all over the city. For anyone spending a few hours, a few days or even an extended vacation, here are some of my favourite joints to visit while enjoying the sunshine, desert views and Sonoran hospitality.
After initial success at its first location in Downtown Phoenix, Matt's Big Breakfast has expanded to all over the Valley so there are plenty of choices when it comes to visiting. Matt;s Big NBreakfats has known for their cage-free eggs made "cracked to order". Their breakfast is served all day so no need to rush out the door. There is almost always a line but trust me, it's worth it. The decor is a combination of hipster cafes and high school cafeterias, making the place feel warm and homey. But sure to try the Chop and Chick if you're feeling extra hungry. It comes with two eggs, and an Iowa seared pork rib chop! The enormous waffles are light and fluffy, and the griddle cakes are topped with sweet cream butter - drooling yet? Don't wait - head on down to Matt's Big Breakfast for some delicious comfort food.
If you're in the mood for a drive-thru or quick stop experience but don't wanna settled for the standard Starbucks, you should give Dutch Brothers a try. Dutch Brothers has some of the best staff I think you'll meet anywhere in the USA. Their sweet creations consist of variations like The Kicker (a blend of silky Irish cream), The Carmelized ( creamy caramel mixed with mocha) of for the daring - give the 991, a blend of Irish cream and six shots. And there's just no beating their darling Dutch iconography on their store fronts and coffee cups.
If you have a little bit more time to relax, make a stop downtown at Copper Star Coffee, in the charming Melrose District. Copper Star is a hip coffee shop inside a converted gas station and mechanics shop. Inside, there are delightful treasures and artworks all over the walls. The eclectic blend of mix matched furniture makes for a cosy atmosphere. The drinks are unique and the Lavender Mocha!
Brunch isn't just for the big cities. There are tonnes of different places to go for brunch around the city, but The Windsor is one of the best. I love the midcentury decor; the bright red brick walls feel so chic and welcoming. Their Highroad Sandwich made with eggs, belly bacon, tomato & garlic aioli is pure perfection and the best hangover cure. Their Matador is my favourite though; two eggs over easy stacked with griddled cheddar potatoes, a crispy tortilla, salsa verde & avocado relish. It feels like the epitome of Phoenix on a plate, a mix of American, Mexican and southwestern flavours.
The Phoenix Public Market is located in Downtown Phoenix and is one of my favourite places to hop into for a snack. Their pastries are unrivalled, and there is nothing like a cup of their cactus iced tea or cold brew coffee on the side of a mountainous pastry. The Public Market is a program of Community Food Connections which came together to create an excellent store front and weekly open air market on Saturdays. Since the foodie community came together to create this place is it no surprise why the food is so good! Try one of their enormous cinnamon buns or their homemade pop tarts if your need a sugar rush to get your trough the rest of the day.
Joyride Taco House is one of the most fantastical restaurants in the city. When you walk in the door, it's like you stepped back in time. The door and stylings are right out of the 70's. It's the perfect place for a party as it's very suitable for big groups. The food is ideal for sharing, and the best idea is to order a little bit of everything on the menu and pass it around. It might not be traditionally authentic Mexican food, but it's a fresh take on classic dishes and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
The best place in the city for a romantic evening is Cibo Pizzeria. The restaurant is located in a quaint, circa-1913 bungalow. They feature Italian staples, including red & white wood-fired pizzas. My favourite, for those of you who like it hot, is the Diavola, with tomato sauce, mozzarella and spicy salami! Their unique and modern white pizzas are also very popular, one of the best being the Tartufata, with mozzarella, mushrooms, prosciutto and truffle oil. In the evening the tree outside are covered in twinkle lights and from time to time there is even a local musician who will come to entertain the diners under the setting sun.
If there's one thing people know about Phoenix, having visited or not, is that it is hot. Scorching in fact. And there is nothing better to cool you off on a hot summer's day than a creamy and refreshing ice cream cone. And Churn does it better than any old else. They rotating, innovative flavours means that you can come back all the time and always find something new to try. But they always have the classic on hand such as; Cookies & Mint, Sweet Cream and Butter Pecan. Rotating flavours you HAVE to try if you get the chance are Whiskey Toffee Pecan, Peaches 'n Honey, Mexican Chocolate (which has a little bit of spice) and Oatmeal Cookie Dough. All the flavours are made from all natural ingredients you can feel a little better when scarfing down on this sweet treat!
What are your favourite places to visit in Phoenix? There's always something new to try in this ever-growing foodie city so take a chance and see if you find yourself eating at the next hot spot.