Photo: Justin Lee / The Canal Club

The 13 Essential Places To Eat and Drink in Scottsdale, Arizona

Wine Restaurants + Bars Insider Guides Food + Drink
by Jori Ayers Dec 1, 2023

With its high-end resorts and spas, luxury department stores, and clean-cut golf courses, it is no wonder Scottsdale, Arizona, is such a popular destination — especially for bachelor and bachelorette parties. This being Arizona, it’s in the middle of the desert, but it’s far from the cartoon desert of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. For proof, all one has to do is consider the culinary scene and see just how good desert dining can be.

As someone obsessed with food, I jumped at the chance to experience food, drinks, and desserts around Scottsdale on a recent trip, and the city did not disappoint. Upon my arrival, the sun greeted me on a high beam, though the heat didn’t bother me too much coming from the summer temperatures in Florida. But I will say a nice cold drink or ice cream sounded so delicious as the first order of business.

For travelers looking for the best places to eat in Scottsdale — whether on a bachelor or bachelorette trip, a work event, or a weekend getaway — you’ll find what you’re looking for on this list.

Traveling to Scottsdale? Check out Matador’s accommodations guides to the area:


The Mission

Photo: Jori Ayers

The first stop on my culinary trip was The Mission. The Mission is owned and operated by Chef Matt Carter, who owns four restaurants in Arizona. The Mission Old Town opened in 2008 and focuses on Latin cuisine. Take a trip to Spain, Mexico, and Central and South America while eating off this delicious menu. Start with handmade (right in front of you) guacamole that’s fresh, savory, and delicious.

For my main, I went with the crispy rock shrimp, which has raised my expectations for every shrimp taco I will have for the rest of my life. The shrimp were huge, and the crispy in its name did not lie — you could hear the crunch from a mile away. Let’s not forget the rocoto crema (a Peruvian pepper sauce), cotija, and the fresh cabbage that came with the shrimp. The Mission is a spot to go for a nice lunch or dinner, just make sure to have a reservation in the evening as it’s packed out the door.

The Mission: 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


The Wine Collective

The inside of The Wine Collective

Photo: Experience Scottsdale

The Wine Collective is one of seven wine tasting rooms in Old Town Scottsdale. What makes this tasting room so different from the other six is that this is the only one-stop shop for Arizona wines. The Wine Collective has more than 40 wines you can taste and take home. Enjoy curated wine flight options like a Rosé All Day flight, Gold Rush flight (light and crisp wines), Bold and Beautiful flight (big red wines), Sweet and Savory flight, and, if you’re feeling wild, a Just Trust Me Flight where your wine concierge picks out a few Arizona wines for you.

The Wine Collective: 4020 N Scottsdale Rd suite 104, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Sugar Bowl

The Sugar Bowl Scottsdale Arizona

Photo: Thomas Trompeter/Shutterstock

If you, like me, started thinking about a cold, sweet treat as soon as the Arizona heat hit, this is the place to go. Sugar Bowl opened in 1958 as Scottsdale’s first family friendly restaurant and ice cream parlor. Not much has changed since, from the menu to the decor to the soda fountain. It honestly looks like a place right out of Grease. I opted for a strawberry sundae with extra cameral drizzle, and it instantly took me back to summer in my younger days sitting on my driveway with my neighbor with an ice cream in hand. If you want to experience a bit of nostalgia and mouthwatering ice cream, then Sugar Bowl is your place to be.

Sugar Bowl: 4005 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows


Photo: Experience Scottsdale
Photo: Experience Scottsdale
Photo: Experience Scottsdale

While in Scottsdale, I stayed at the beautiful and serene Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows. This 23-acre resort is a luxury desert experience. The bungalows are spacious and cozy, and don’t get me started on the bathroom. Someone should put up that bathroom for the best bathroom award for the space and the lighting that it gives.

At Andaz’s onsite restaurant, I experienced a seasonal cocktail-making class where my talented mixologist not only made delicious cocktails on the spot, but also taught us the way of the bar. After cocktails, we headed to the restaurant’s glass box exhibition in the kitchen, along with a chef’s table, where we had front-row seats of all the action in the kitchen.

The food at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen is just as enticing as the cocktails. The shrimp curry is savory and cooked to perfection, with a curry that has a bit of a kick to it but isn’t overpowering with spice. The pickled cucumber tabouleh is a light dish I would whip up to beat the heat, made with eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, dill, onions, bulgur wheat, and sumac. Then there are the plates of pasta. All of the pastas are made in-house, so you can guarantee they’re fresh and top-of-the-line. I tried four: black pepper gemelli, tagliatelle, agnolotti, and pappardelle. The first two really stood out. The arugula pesto is creamy and savory on the tagliatelle, and the black pepper gemelli has a rich sauce balanced out by grana padano cheese and pancetta. Don’t forget dessert: the strawberry freezecake keeps it simple and is the ideal way to end the night.

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen: 6114 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253


The Herb Box

The inside of The Herb Box

Photo: Experience Scottsdale

The Herb Box serves meals cooked with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. This modern hip-styled restaurant has two locations, one in Old Town and the other in Central Scottsdale. I visited the Old Town location, and the setting is sophisticated and relaxed. The refreshing pomegranate paloma cooled me down instantly. To start was Korean fried cauliflower, kale, corn, sweet onion pakora, and crispy Brussels sprout chips for appetizers. The crispiness of the Brussels sprouts, the kick of the Korean fried cauliflower, and the sweetness of the corn and sweet onion is a spot-on combination. Don’t miss the market sunflower salad made with grilled chicken, goat cheese, bacon, local strawberries and blueberries, sunflower seeds, and the tastiest and tangiest balsamic vinaigrette I’ve ever had.

The Herb Box: 7051 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Gelato Tour with JoyRides AZ


Open air vehicle on gelato tour

Photo: Jori Ayers

Ice cream is always a good answer in the Arizona sun, and there’s no shortage of options in Scottsdale. For a taste of what the town has to offer, consider the Gelato and Ice Cream tour with JoyRidesAZ. The company has a range of tours and was started in 2013 by husband and wife team Kirk and Monica. JoyRidesAZ is a great way to experience Scottsdale, all while being eco-friendly. JoyRidesAZ offers private tours and services from a local point of view so you can see downtown Scottsdale from a different aspect than every other tourist.

I visited three of the seven ice cream shops as well as the five gelato shops in Scottsdale on the tour. Some favorites were Jeni’s Ice Creams, Pussy Cat Gelato, and Yellow Spruce. In between stops, Monica gave me a tour of Old Town Scottsdale in their open-air vehicle and told us interesting facts about the city.

JoyRidesAZ: 7142 E 1st St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Citizen Public House


For upscale food and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere, Citizen Public House is the spot. There are craft cocktails like the bourbon-based bramble and appetizers like beer fondue with sausage, pretzels, bacon fat heirloom popcorn, and the chopped salad (a local favorite). For the main, consider the seared scallops with sweet corn grits. The scallops are well-cooked and large. As a girl from the South, grits are a special treasure, so I was a little hesitant ordering them off a menu in Arizona. Here, they aren’t like the fluffy, buttery, and sugar-filled grits from home, but the bold taste from the cola gastrique sauce and the sweetness of the corn heightened the taste. It came almost close to back at home, these grits were just more upscale.

Citizen Public House: 7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251



Entrance to Fnb

Photo: Experience Scottsdale

FnB is a farm-to-table restaurant that opened in 2009, and it has been a hit ever since. Chef Charleen Badman, a recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Best Chef of the Southwest award, owns the restaurant. She is well known for her bold flavors and seasonal menu that changes weekly based on locally sourced ingredients like tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, radishes, garlic, celery, and peppers. If you want something vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian, FnB can accommodate you. FnB’s menu constantly changes (on my visit, the vegetables with hummus and freshly made pasta with lobster particularly stood out). Along with the food, guests can get a curated wine pairing from co-owner Pavie Milic.

FnB: 7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


The Thumb

The Thumb interior

Photo: Jori Ayers

The Thumb was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and if that doesn’t give the notion to visit, then I don’t know what will. After a long hike at the McDowell Sonoran and Gateway Trail Loop, my stomach yelled at me to get food. Driving past The Thumb, you might initially think that it’s just an ordinary gas station, but boy, is there more. The Thumb is also your one-stop shop for all things barbecue. It has award-winning barbecue, a bakery, and a huge gift shop. So basically, this could be a Scottsdale version of Buc-ee’s in terms of range of things to buy.

The Thumb: 9393 E Bell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260


Postino Highland

Interior of Postino Highland

Photo: Jori Ayers

Walking into Postino Highland, I could immediately tell this was a local hangout spot. There are many happy hour options like a 25-dollar bottle of wine and bruschetta board every Monday and Tuesday after 8 PM and $6 glasses of wine and pitchers of beer until 5 PM. Postino Highland is inside a restored 1960s bank designed by Drover, Welch, and Lindlan architect Frank Henry. The first Postino opened in 2001 in Phoenix, and has since expanded to other locations and cities. Scottsdale’s Postino Highland for wine and simple and delicious food like sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and salads.

Postino Highland: 4821 N Scottsdale Rd #109, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Century Grand



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Century Grand opened in 2019, and won the Tales 2023 Spirted Awards for Best Cocktail Bar in 2023. It has three different immersive rooms. The cocktails served in each experience are not just any ol’ cocktail, but are carefully crafted and curated drinks to match your experience in whichever setting you’re in. There’s Platform 18, which gives you the experience of being on a train with “windows” and train sounds. Next is Under Tow, a nautical cocktail bar that gives off more under-the-sea vibes. Lastly, there’s the Grey Hen Rx, a New Orleans apothecary inspired cocktail bar. When I stepped into the Grey Hen Rx, I was immediately transported to New Orleans. It has a low-lit setting with vines above and many different liquors lining the wall. It’s truly as immersive as a Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney.

Century Grand: 3626 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018


Hash Kitchen


Hash Kitchen is another hang-out spot and perfect for bachelorette parties. Husband and wife duo executive chef Joey Maggiore and Cristina Maggiore created Hash Kitchen. This bright, colorful, and airy establishment has a DJ jamming out and has the state’s largest build-your-own bloody Mary bar. When reviewing its extensive menu, I decided on a crowd favorite: the hangover hash with a tsunami strawberry shortcake pancake (a mouth full from the name to the actual dish). It’s served in a medium-sized skillet that’s filled with slow chile-braised beef, jalapeño cornbread and potato hash, mozzarella, your choice of eggs, and fried onion rings. The tsunami strawberry shortcake pancakes are precisely as worded. It’s three fluffy pancakes with a tsunami of strawberry shortcake waiting to overflow on top. If bloody Marys aren’t your style, Hash Kitchen has a mimosa flight with a daily selection of four mimosas. I tried the blueberry, pineapple, strawberry, and orange mimosas with some glitter for that added touch.

Hash Kitchen: 14838 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260


The Canal Club at The Scott Resort and Spa


Photo: Experience Scottsdale
Photo: Experience Scottsdale

For my last two nights, I had the pleasure of staying at The Scott Resort and Spa. This boho-themed resort transports you to something out of a movie. The resort is beautifully decorated and on par with the Scottsdale vibe with spacious rooms that have the perfect balcony access to sit and unwind. Last on my culinary adventure through Scottsdale was The Canal Club, The Scott Resort and Spa’s on-site restaurant.

They had a DJ playing 90s throwbacks, and the sun was setting in the distance. Since I had been out all day, I opted for a table for one inside and ordered the letter to a friend cocktail made with highland tequila, grapefruit, lime, and soda. I ordered an appetizer of queso dip and crispy skin salmon for my main meal. The latter came with purple potato hash and chipotle butter, but I took the leap to add a bit of queso dip to it and I highly recommend.

As the night came to a close I wanted a sweet treat to remember Scottsdale by, and what better way to do so than some churro doughnut holes? The cinnamon sweetness paired with the white chocolate anglaise guava jam was so tasty that I took the rest and snacked on those while hanging out on my balcony for the rest of the night.

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