This blog post was updated on November 5, 2019.
Phoenix, located north of the Mexican state of Sonora, takes its culinary cues from its proximity to America’s southern border, the traditions of the nearby Native American communities, and the sunny arid climate for which Arizona is so well known. With a number of restaurants to choose from in this city, we’re sure you’ll go home with a few new favorite foods and eateries! Folks here love the bold flavors, so start looking for flights to Phoenix to see what the grub here is all about! If you’re interested in dining at some of the best restaurants in this city, read on to learn where you should go.
Head to these hot spots in Phoenix if…
You love a good burrito.
The burrito is possibly the most beloved Mexican American food not only in the US but also around the globe. Along with San Francisco, Phoenix is a contender for making the very best. Also referred to as “burros”, you’ll find these stuffed to perfection throughout Arizona. Narrowing down the tastiest in town is no easy feat, but you can’t go wrong with the chicken burrito at Asadero Norte de Sonora, the carne asada burrito at Asadero Toro, the green chile burrito at Rito’s, and anything on the menu at Phoenix Burrito House!
Chimichangas are your favorite.
Arguably the state dish of Arizona, a chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito made with a flour tortilla. Pretty much everybody who’s had one can agree “chimis” are delicious. You can order this dish dry (topped with sour cream, guac, and cheese) or wet (covered in salsa). Decide for yourself at Macayo’s Mexico Table (a 75-year-old, family-run restaurant chain), Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant, Rito’s, or any other top-notch Mexican and Mexican-American eateries around Phoenix.
You’re craving a tasty frybread.
Frybread is exactly what you think: fried dough. This traditional Navajo staple is a much sought after treat across the Southwest, but most folks reckon the best frybread comes from Arizona. One especially scrumptious way to enjoy frybread is as the base for a frybread taco, aka a Navajo taco or an Indian taco. The Fry Bread House, a no-frills James Beard award-winning eatery, is the standard bearer in Phoenix. The Emerson Fry Bread food truck and Sacred Hogan Navajo Frybread are also amazing and make extra tasty Navajo tacos!
You haven’t had a Sonoran hot dog.
The humble, affordable, and supremely flavorsome Sonoran hot dog is a mandatory munch when in Phoenix. With a grilled hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and all sorts of condiments and served in a crispy bun, a Sonoran is no ordinary dog. Nogales Hot Dog seems to be the front-runner for local preference, but the Phoenix outpost of Tucson’s much-lauded El Guero Canelo has ardent fans as well.
You enjoy a hearty tortilla soup.
The simplicity and ubiquity of tortilla soup make this dish often overlooked as something else while tortilla soup is actually an iconic local dish. That said, there’s a lot of rich tomato-broth tortilla soup usually served with shredded chicken and with a fiery kick in Phoenix. Determining which one deserves to be deemed #1 is a toughie. But only in the most desperate of situations will you get a less than satisfying bowl after you’ve hopped off flights to Phoenix.
Have you visited Phoenix recently? What was the best meal you had there? Tell us in the comments below!