With over 800 downtown Scottsdale restaurants, you can sample different options for years and not get to them all. While Mexican/Southwestern cuisine dominates, you will find cuisines of all styles and flavors. What I loved are the range of modern, “cool” restaurants — the kind that make you fall in love with a destination.
There was no way to sample all the Old Town Scottsdale restaurants, but since I love exploring a destination through its food, we did our best to cover as much ground as possible. I have rounded up my favorites, from casual restaurants and coffee shops to fine dining and gastropubs. I do hope to return to Scottsdale again to continue to add to this list.
Favorite Downtown Scottsdale Restaurants
Scottsdale Restaurants for Breakfast
Located right on the main strip through town, Breakfast Club offers all the usual suspects — coffee, eggs bene, yogurt parfaits, omelettes, and southwestern favorites. But the locals go for the famous french toast!
4400 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
For something more casual, pop into the Comoncy Cafe. They have drip and cold-brew coffee, fresh pressed juices, smoothies, and breakfast sandwiches.
7301 E. Indian Place, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Cartel Coffee Lab
I love the vibe of the Cartel Coffee Lab. Not only is it a fun workspace, but the aroma hits you as soon as you walk through the door. Plus, what can be wrong with a coffee shop that also sells beer? While they offer drip coffee as well as pour over, they tend to focus on a lighter roast so if you prefer dark roast, you may want to look elsewhere.
7124 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Scottsdale Restaurants for Lunch
This Mexican restaurant is exactly what I would expect to find in Arizona. A cool design with inside and outside seating. A great menu that goes way beyond typical Mexican fare. Plus Diego Pops has its own parking! You must try the grilled streetcorn with spicy “Cheeto dust”! The grilled shrimp and pineapple pork tacos are also delicious.
4338 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Farm & Craft
Farm & Craft is focused on healthy and sustainable food. In a city where heat dominates, it is so refreshing to find light and healthy options. The menu features four paths to health: anti-inflammatory diet, increasing probiotic levels, antioxidants, and reducing stress by providing sustainable, gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients. You order at the counter and then your meal is delivered to your table. Note: if you order a flatbread, make sure you are hungry or plan to share!
4302 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, A 85251
The Mission is located in Old Town Scottsdale and offers up a mix of traditional and modern Latin flavors. While located next to the old Mission, the inside is actually quite modern and sophisticated. You can also enjoy a meal in the outdoor courtyard when the weather cooperates. The brisket torta is amazing, as is the shaved kale salad.
3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Scottsdale Restaurants for Dinner
I’m a bit of a food snob when it comes to Italian. After all, I’m leaving for my fourth trip to Italy today and I’m from NJ/NY where we know good Italian. Still, Fax OX did more than surprise me, it delighted me with every mouthful. Named after the Italian cattle, Fat OX serves up modern takes on the authentic recipes of rural Italy. The decor is stylish and sophisticated, making it perfect for a date night, without feeling too fancy or stuffy. You really most try the garganelli pasta with truffle butter, speck, and parmesan. Every bite is perfection without being too heavy.
6316 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Citizen Public House
Citizen Public House was named one of the top 10 restaurants in Scottsdale by USA Today in 2016. This gastropub offers upscale American fare, as well as craft beers and contemporary cocktails, including many which are barrel aged. For me, it is the kind of place where I love to sample various small dishes so I started with the heavenly pork-fat buttered popcorn with bacon. Because really, how could I say no to the convergence of bacon and greasy popcorn? I finished that off with the roast chicken. Roast chicken is typically the gimme on the menu to satisfy picky eaters and uninspiring. Not so at Citizen Public House. The accompaniment of mascarpone and chili pepper risotto really set it apart. Meanwhile Glenn was in heaven over the pork belly pastrami.
7111 E 5th Ave, Suite E, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
SWB at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale
If you are looking for a foodie experience, the Wine Me, Dine Me chef’s tasting and wine/tequila pairing at SWB in the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale is the way to go. You can sit right in front of the open kitchen and learn about each dish as it is prepared and presented. The chef takes into consideration your dislikes and sensitivities and then builds out a delicious four-course tasting experience featuring a modern take on southwestern flavors.
7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Dessert in Scottsdale
The cupcake ATM is something that I had seen on Instagram and needed to experience in person. Despite the fact that the cupcakes in the ATM might be less fresh than those inside, it is the novelty that I loved. Like most fancy cupcake joints, Sprinkles features unique flavor combinations with an excessive amount of sweet frosting (but none stuffed in the middle of the cupcake.) Frankly, the cupcake isn’t worth the nearly $5 you pay, but the novelty of the cupcake ATM is worth trying at least once.
4501 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
I am very much looking forward to returning to Scottsdale and continuing my food exploration to update this post. In the meantime, don’t miss my suggestions for planning a romantic getaway to Scottsdale!
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Note: Our stay was hosted by Experience Scottsdale. Our meals at SWB, Citizen’s Public House, and Fat OX were complimentary, all others were on our own dime. All opinions are our own.