Ah, soup. There is perhaps no other dish that soothes the soul, cures the ails, and hits the spot better than a steaming bowl of soup. And while we know no one makes soup better than your mom, there is great soup to be had in Phoenix. The city’s figurative spoon runneth over with a variety of ladle-worthy options guaranteed to warm you up on even the chilliest of days.
Named for the historic Sierra Bonita Grill Ranch in southeastern Arizona, this central Phoenix neighborhood eatery is the place to go for Mexican comfort food. And when it comes to pozole, a savory stew made with hominy, no one does it better.
The Green Chile Pork Pozole is chock full of tomatillos, jalapenos, pork, cabbage and hominy, and topped with a generous sprinkling of onions and cilantro. The pozole is good—so good, in fact, that it made the Food Network’s “50 States of Soup” list. Now that’s what we call ladle-worthy.
6933 N 7th St, Phoenix 85014
The heart of Phoenix’s Melrose District is a world away from the Esan region of Thailand. But you wouldn’t know it after dining at Thai E-San, where owners Rodger and Pui Pongtratic share the distinct and aromatic flavors of their home country.
Capturing those enigmatic flavors are the restaurant’s soups, which feature fresh ingredients and Thai spices imported directly from Rodger’s hometown of Phetchburi. The must-have is the coconut soup made with coconut milk, Thai spices and mushrooms, and served in a fiery tureen brimming with the savory and spicy goodness.
616 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix
Known for its seasonally inspired cooking—and its enviable location at the Desert Botanical Garden—Gertrude’s is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful bowl of soup surrounded by desert beauty. Celebrating farm-fresh flavors from Arizona growers, the restaurant is dedicated to sourcing locally grown, sustainable, naturally-raised and organic products. This dedication to freshness can be found in the Farmer’s Soup, which changes seasonally, but has included roasted red pepper and habanero, gazpacho, and carrot and potato.
1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix 85008
Located at Desert Botanical Garden
Nestled in the heart of Roosevelt Row in central Phoenix is a ramen paradise. Originally a Flagstaff staple, the restaurant owners opened up shop in 2016 and since then have served noodle lovers some of the best ramen in town.
While there are many varieties of ramen—distinguished namely by the broth—SoSoBa offers an out-of-this-world katsu ramen made with a miso dashi broth teeming with noodles, panko chicken, fire-roasted corn, braised carrot, soft egg, bacon and scallion.
214 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
With 20 years experience in catering, Jennifer Russo sure knows a thing or two about feeding people. With knowledge and experience in hand, she opened the Market by Jennifer’s Restaurant & Bar, where she serves upscale American comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dishes are made with locally grown, sourced and crafted ingredients, including her signature Butternut Squash Bisque. Smooth like velvet, it’s made with puréed butternut squash, popcorn, white cheddar cheese, crème fraiche and thyme, making it one of the most popular items on the menu.
3603 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix 85018
Further proving the notion that soup is the perfect meal is True Food Kitchen. The two Greater Phoenix locations are favorite spots for health-conscious diners and offer a rotating menu of 17 flavorful and nutritious soups.
Seasonal offerings include the Green Curry Cauliflower, an Asian-inspired soup made with lemongrass, coconut milk, ginger and jalapeno; Lemon Chicken and Brown Rice, a tomato-based soup with lemon, parsley and dill; and the Sweet Potato and Poblano, pureed with turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic and oregano.
Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
15191 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale
In today’s dining scene, there are build-your-own burgers, pizzas, burritos and poke bowls. But build-your-own soup? Cornering that market is Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup with their famous Linda’s Homemade Tortilla Soup.
It starts out hearty helping of a tomato-based broth made with carrots, celery and onion ladled into a bowl. From there, add any of their signature mix-ins, from roasted tomatillo chicken to guajillo braised short ribs to sweet and spicy cornbread. Top it with a hearty dollop of cheese and watch it turn into a bubbly bowl of heaven. Finish it off with some crisp slaw, pickled onion or scratch-made crema, and you, my friend, have a soup masterpiece in the making.
3313 N 7th St, Phoenix 85014
4031 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix 85018
While Kai—the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant located at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Resort—offers the most unique, most luxurious and decadent dishes, even a simple bowl of soup gets the star treatment.
Aptly named the Essence of Autumn, it’s made with mesquite charred ha:l (squash from the Tohono O’odham reservation) purée, sunflower and pepita (pumpkin seed) tuile, and chiltepin cochineal. Order it a la carte or, better yet, indulge in one of Kai’s renowned multi-course tasting menus. Which ever you choose, it’s the perfect precursor to the unrivaled dining experience only Kai can offer.
5594 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix
There are few restaurants that have a cult following like Noble Eatery in central Phoenix. That’s because everything here is served with the famous Noble Bread, a favorite among local chefs who serve the delicious, hearty loaves with everything from cheese and meat boards, to dips and sandwiches, to, of course, soups.
Noble offers four soul-soothing soups—tomato, lentil, cauliflower, and one made with beans, carrot, celery and onion—that all go best with their warm, fresh-baked bread. Use it as a side or to sop up every last drop. Either way, enjoy the comforting goodness that only the perfect union of soup and bread can bring.
4525 N. 24th St., Phoenix
When you think of CRUjiente Tacos—the award-winning Arcadia taco shop that pushes the creative possibilities of Mexican street food to the extreme—you immediately think of, well, tacos. But before you bypass everything else on the menu and make a beeline for the taco offerings, consider the posole rojo, a slow-simmered soup made with a charred tomato and roasted chile-based broth, pork, hominy, lime, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. It’s the epitome of comfort in a bowl.
3961 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
There’s no question the bone-chilling winters of eastern Europe have inspired a vast array of hearty and soul-warming foods. And while Phoenix will most likely never experience anywhere near that level of cold, we can still enjoy comforting delicacies from our global neighbors thanks to Soup & Sausage Bistro in north central Phoenix.
Specializing in Polish and Ukrainian cuisine, the restaurant offers soups, ranging from traditional borscht and solyanka, to chicken and mushroom. But for the ultimate soup experience, try the flaczki, a hearty bowl of well-seasoned broth thickened with potatoes and onions, and laden with strips of tender tripe.
13240 N. 7th St., Phoenix
There’s something to be said about a restaurant that has nearly 40 years of history behind it. Case in point, Chompie’s, the New York-style deli that has been treating Arizonans hungry for a taste of the East Coast everything from mile-high pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, to smoked fish, to boiled-then-baked bagels. And when it comes to soup, Chompie’s makes them fresh every day—chicken with noodles, mushroom beef barley, vegetarian split pea and its famous chicken with matzo ball. Served with homemade bagel chips, this is pure comfort in a bowl.
Five Greater Phoenix locations. See website for details.