Those who think all the great dining spots in Greater Phoenix end at Central Avenue—or Seventh Avenue at the least—should think again. The vast area of west metro Phoenix is ripe with unique restaurants, from mom-and-pop cafes sharing family recipes passed down from generation to generation; to culinary-focused eateries led by passionate chefs; to hip, new spots that will take your Instagram feed to another level.
If you’re looking to broaden your dining horizons, try these—and many other—West Valley restaurants serving some of the best food in town.
Dubbed the first vegan fine dining restaurant in the Valley, Casa Terra is the brainchild of chef-owner—and author, speaker and all-around expert on vegan cuisine—Jason Wyrick, who adopted a vegan diet 15 years ago.
Influenced by Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, the menu is filled with seasonally-inspired, elevated dishes, such as the crispy artichoke tacos, smoked mushroom paella, market vegetable and pistachio pesto wood-fired pizza.
6835 N. 58th Drive, Glendale
Tucked in a bustling shopping center near Beardsley and the Loop 101 in Peoria is, perhaps, one of the Valley’s best-kept secrets when it comes to authentic Italian cuisine. At Fabio on Fire, chef-owner Fabio Ceschetti is at the helm of this cozy spot, where everything from antipasti to wood-fired pizzas and a homemade pasta dishes gloriously appear from the kitchen.
Ceschetti is also known for his specials, such as tender gnocchi dressed in a quattro formaggi sauce.
8275 W. Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria
Under the direction of restaurateur Joey Lucidi, The Social on 83rd is promising to make its culinary mark on the West Valley. Executive chef David Duarte—who has taught at Le Cordon Bleu and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and London—offers an eclectic menu focused on local ingredients and made-from-scratch fare.
Standouts include wings made with a Coca-Cola spiced glaze, New York strip stroganoff, and white mac ‘n cheese, made with rotini, gruyere and white cheddar.
8350 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria
Located in the heart of downtown Glendale is a vegan lover’s dream. Owned by Jose and Leticia Gamiz—who chose to go vegan for health and ethical reasons, and were aware of the lack of Mexican vegan options in the Valley—Mi Vegana Madre offers vegan versions of favorite Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos, empanadas, nachos and tortas.
Ground beef and carne asada are replaced with veggie protein and soy meat that taste just as good as the real thing. The restaurant also offers gluten-free tacos made with seasoned crushed potatoes topped with raw shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, cilantro and red salsa.
5835 W. Palmaire Ave., Glendale
When it comes to pizza, all roads lead to Piazza Romana in Avondale, where Justin Piazza—of La Piazza PHX and La Piazza al Forno—introduces Roman pizza to the Valley.
With a light, airy and crispy crust, Roman pizza is served by the slice. Walk right up to the pizza counter and you’ll find a spread of pizzas before you, topped with everything from mushroom, roasted peppers and artichokes, to spicy sopressata, prosciutto crudo, salami and pepperoni.
10210 W. McDowell Road, Avondale
In Arizona, churros are as staple a dessert as apple pie. For die-hard churro fans looking for a unique take on the beloved treat, head over to Churroholic in Peoria. Menu items include a loop churro, a churro sundae, and churro “breakfast bites” topped with fruit, powdered sugar, whipped cream, and raspberry and chocolate sauces.
The eatery also offers boba and milk teas, hot and iced coffees, and signature drinks the like Guava Berry, made with guava, strawberries, and Chamoy sauce (Mexican sweet and spicy condiments) and Tajin (seasoning made with chile peppers, lime and salt).
9340 W. Northern Ave., Peoria
Family owned and operated by the Billelo family, Bella Luna offers a mix of classic and modern Italian cuisine made with local ingredients and specialty items imported from Italy. More importantly, however, the menu offers the family’s unique take on traditional dishes, including one of their signature dishes, the Shrimp Bella Luna. Tender shrimp is seasoned and baked, and prepared with a white wine lemon butter sauce, then served with pasta marinara and vegetables.
14175 W Indian School Road, Goodyear
It’s no “surprise” that Rio Mirage Café has been recognized for serving authentic Sonoran style Mexican cuisine. That’s because the vibrant café—tucked in the heart of Surprise—is inspired by owners’ Alex and Rachel Gomez’s family recipes handed down for generations.
For a real feast, try Rio Mirage’s specialty burrito, a fresh flour tortilla filled with either grilled shrimp, fajita chicken or fajita steak, as well as sautéed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and roasted poblano peppers. It’s then deep fried and finished with ranchero sauce, Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses, and jalapeno cream sauce.
13863 W. Bell Road, Surprise
Located in historic downtown Litchfield Park, the Old Pueblo Café and Pub has been serving hungry diners in the West Valley for more than 50 years. Today, chef Ernestina Borquez continues to serve her family’s secret recipes made from scratch every morning, including her famous hot sauce, pico de gallo, enchilada sauce, and homemade flan.
On Friday nights, enjoy live music on the patio by such groups as Los Gringos, Jeordie, or Copper Sunrise.
102 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park
Offering shareable plates made with local, farm-fresh ingredients is The Lola, located at the Westgate Entertainment District. If you’re looking for a more upscale—and Instagram worthy—alternative to the Westgate lineup, head here for picture perfect small plates of crispy tempura cauliflower, asparagus, and green beans; or boards brimming with seasonal cheeses, fruits, nuts, berries and veggies; or toasts topped with fig and prosciutto; or apple brie and honey. The Lola also serves salads, sandwiches and hearty entrees.
6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale