Best Food Finds in Phoenix
More people moved to Maricopa County in 2017 than any other county in the entire nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reported recently. As the largest city in the county, many of those moves were likely to Phoenix. If you’re like so many others considering a move here, you’ve probably searched through homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ, and discovered some rather enticing gems at relatively affordable prices. But before making the leap, you might want to learn more about what else this area has to offer, including its dining scene.
Menus here feature everything from authentic Mexican and standard southwestern fare to modern fusion, international cuisine and just about everything in between.
For the very best food finds don’t miss these treasures.
Barbecue at Little Miss BBQ
There’s no need to travel hundreds of miles to Texas for mouth-watering barbecue, the state with the greatest number of BBQ eateries, with 2,238 according to a 2015 report. While Texas may be famous for its delectable BBQ dishes, Arizona is home to the highly acclaimed Little Miss BBQ.
A hot lunch spot serving BBQ Central Texas style, it’s only open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until sold out, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The juicy, tender meat is cooked with pecan wood, Arizona oak using Camelback Smokers, sold by weight and tossed on white bread, topped with jalapenos, pickles and onions. The sandwiches are served with house made potato salad and ranch-style beans, but you’ll want to save room for the smoked pecan pie – heavenly!
Being so close to the Mexico border, it’s no surprise that Phoenix offers practically an endless number of Mexican restaurants, but of course, some are better than others, like CRUjiente. While you might think a taco is just a taco, Richard Hinojosa takes tacos to a whole new level, with all sorts of interesting, tasty twists. He makes traditional chicken, beef and pork tacos topped with the usual guac and other standard toppings, but he also offers many other unique takes on the taco, like lamb, lobster, octopus and Szechuan beef cheek tacos using beef that’s been braised for 36 hours. He presses his own tortillas using heirloom blue corn mesa and then flavors them with ingredients like dashi, cardamom, poblano, cilantro and Fresno chilis.
Restaurant Progress is one of Phoenix’s newest offerings, with its doors opening in 2017. An instant hit with foodies, it specializes in small plates paired with creatively crafted cocktails that makes it ideal for a date night. The menu changes about every four to six weeks and features dishes like chicken-fried trout, pork belly and soy-cured watermelon. A few of the terms frequently used to describe the experience here among Google reviews include: “truly inspired,” “beautiful, slow food,” “impeccable service” “an instant classic.”
Just about every city has a favorite pizza joint, and in Phoenix, that’s CIBO. Located downtown for over a decade, it’s housed in a historic bungalow and features just about every type of gourmet Neapolitan pizza you could ever imagine, with a choice of red or white sauce, along with delectable homemade pasta dishes. The Pomodoro Fresco pie, with mozzarella, basil and grape tomatoes, is considered the very best in the city.