In addition to its already impressive culinary scene, Phoenix has recently garnered further acclaim with several of its chefs and restaurants receiving nominations for prestigious James Beard awards. Among the notable nominees are Bacanora, Glai Baan, and Valentine, showcasing the city's culinary excellence on a national stage. 

Whether you're a local foodie seeking your next adventure or a traveler eager to indulge in the city's hotspots, here are some of the best restaurants in Phoenix that promise to elevate your culinary journey in the heart of the Southwest.


1. Durant’s

For over seventy years, Durant’s has been considered one of the best steak restaurants Phoenix has to offer. Step into a bygone era of old-school American dining, where a mouthwatering selection of steaks is complemented by the cozy intimacy of red leather booths and exposed wooden tables. Indulge in the nostalgic charm of classic dishes like Sautéed Chicken Livers and Oysters Rockefeller in this essential stop on your foodie tour. 


2. Valentine

Located in downtown Phoenix, Valentine is a culinary gem celebrated for its creative American dishes with global flair. This vibrant restaurant offers an eclectic menu that showcases locally sourced ingredients in inventive ways. Don't miss the desserts by pastry chef Crystal Kass, who's a finalist for the 2024 James Beard Award. With its stylish vibe, impeccable service, and delicious food, Valentine promises an unforgettable dining experience.


3. Steak 44

Founded by two James Beard-nominated restaurateurs, Steak 44 stands out as a go-to spot for an amazing steakhouse experience in Phoenix. It's not just a meal; it's a culinary adventure. With a cozy yet upscale vibe, this place is all about top-notch food and good times. Their extensive menu features prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood, and indulgent sides. With a focus on quality and flavor, each dish at Steak 44 is expertly prepared to perfection. The restaurant's commitment to excellence extends to its impeccable service, ensuring guests feel pampered from the moment they arrive.


4. The Farish House

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in downtown Phoenix, book a table at The Farish House . Set in a historic 1899 Bride House, the European-inspired bistro boasts a retro feel, timeless ambiance, and specialty dishes such as cassoulet and Angus ribeye. Sip pre-prohibition era wine on the greenery-adorned patio or dine inside to enjoy the quaint interiors of this local favorite. 


5. Kai

As Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Five Star Award-winning restaurant, Kai has undoubtedly secured a spot as one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. This hotspot blends the essence of the Pima and Maricopa tribes into its menu for a contemporary twist on Native American cuisine. Every dish highlights indigenous ingredients from the Gila River basin, from the Seared Duck Roulade to the Grilled Tenderloin of American Bison.


6. Tacos Chiwas

This family-run taqueria — and James Beard award nominee — brings the authentic taste of Chihuahua, Mexico, to Arizona. From hand-pressed tortillas to meticulously smoked carnitas, every dish at Tacos Chiwas is crafted from recipes passed down over generations. Try the signature Taco Chiwa or the flavorful calabacitas at one of the best Mexican restaurants in Phoenix. The family also owns Cocina Chiwas, a more elevated sit-down spot that’s perfect for date nights and dinners with friends. 


7. Rosso Italian

Rosso Italian redefines Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist, featuring a globally-inspired menu. With an expertly curated wine and cocktail list, paired with a sleek yet rustic ambiance, Rosso Italian offers an unforgettable dining experience for foodies seeking the best Italian restaurants in Phoenix. From signature Napoletana pizzas to mouthwatering entrees like tagliata di manzo and house-made gnocchi burrata, every bite transports you to Italy.


8. T. Cook’s

Located in the Royal Palms, T. Cook’s brings guests on a culinary journey through the Mediterranean in style. From stone fireplaces and high-vaulted ceilings to al fresco dining with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain, every detail elevates the dining experience. Savor locally sourced ingredients and seasonal flavors, carefully crafted into sumptuous dishes that celebrate the Mediterranean region's culinary heritage. 


9. Wren & Wolf

As one of the best restaurants in downtown Phoenix, Wren & Wolf boasts a constantly evolving menu showcasing inventive steakhouse fare and elevated comfort food. By day, savor freshly baked pastries and globally-inspired brunch dishes like the Croque Madame. By night, bite into mesmerizing specialties like the wild boar bolognese and lobster tagliatelle. Whether you’re stopping in for a coffee meeting or kicking off your night, this chef-driven eatery delivers a stellar dining experience.


10. Tia Carmen

Tia Carmen, a culinary gem at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, pays homage to Chef Angelo Sosa’s aunt and her profound influence on his culinary journey. From the unforgettable wagyu tomahawk steak, featuring bone marrow butter and tepary bean mole negro, to the vibrant tomato salad bursting with flavors, each dish embodies a story of tradition and love. Don't miss out on their meticulously crafted cocktails – just be warned, they pack quite a punch. Tia Carmen promises a culinary experience where every bite tells a story of tradition, love, and exceptional flavors.


11. théa

A rooftop oasis perched atop the Global Ambassador Hotel, théa offers a chic bar atmosphere with breathtaking views of the city skyline. A fusion of sophistication and relaxation, théa is an ideal spot to unwind with handcrafted cocktails and delectable small plates. Whether you're savoring a refreshing beverage under the sun or admiring the city lights at night, the ambiance at théa elevates every moment. théa was named one of the best new hotel restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler in 2024.


12. Bacanora

Bacanora, the downtown Phoenix restaurant serving Sonoran comfort food, has garnered national acclaim since it opened in 2021; Esquire Magazine dubbed it one of the Best New Restaurants in America. When you go to Bacanora, everything that touches your plate will be grilled to perfection on Chef Rene Andrade's custom-designed mesquite grill. From pollo asado to homemade flour tortillas to bone-in rib-eye steaks, Chef Andrade's limited menu packs a big punch in flavor. In 2024, Chef Andrade was honored with the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest.