Located on the banks of the Colorado River Yuma, Arizona, is an historically important city known as ‘the crossroads of the Southwest’, today a vibrant and diverse community with a stellar dining scene to match. Check out our guide to the city’s 10 best restaurants in Yuma.
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River City Grill
River City Grill has an eclectic, country-hopping menu – which spans the cuisines of the Pacific Rim and India to the Mediterranean and Caribbean. This, along with its hip, urban ambience have earned the popular restaurant flattering reviews. Located in a restored adobe-style building, River City Grill is chic and intimate with a special flair for innovative seafood dishes. Enjoy the likes of mustard-crusted halibut with spinach ricotta ravioli and olive tapenade or Indian curried shrimp on a bed of basmati rice with mango chutney. Plenty of vegetarian, vegan, meat and gluten-free options are available too.
Located in a building that dates back to 1901, this is the city’s premier destination where ‘the elite meet and Yuma eats’ since the early 1940s. As such, Lutes Casino is a historical fixture on Yuma’s dining scene. Full of retro memorabilia, pinball machines and billiard tables – and regulars playing dominoes – Lutes Casino is where the locals come to relax and socialize. On the other hand, visitors come here to soak up the native ambience. Lutes’ American and Mexican menu is legendary, with must-try dishes that include its potato tacos – potato filled corn tortillas deep-fried and served with shredded cabbage, tomato, mayo and Cotijia cheese – and the famous Lutes Especial – a cheeseburger and hot dog combo served since 1951.
Prison Hill Brewing Company
Yuma’s first and only microbrewery, Prison Hill Brewing Company proudly pairs pints of its own handcrafted brews and other craft and imported ales and lagers with hearty American gastro pub fare. The brewpub’s name is a nod to the nearby Prison Hill, home of the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum and Park. Sandwiches, burgers, salads and smoked meats make up much of Prison Hill’s menu while its weekly roster of beers – of which five are the brewery’s own – are a must-try.
Yuma’s go-to restaurant for tasty pizzas and pasta dishes since it first opened its doors in 2002, Da Boyz is located in a gorgeous historical redbrick building in downtown Yuma. It is a former home to the city’s Kress department store and is known for its casual, friendly vibe and family atmosphere. Alongside regular pizzas, the Italian spot also offers gourmet pizzas like Da Hot Wing with red hot sauce as well as chicken and fresh mozzarella. A range of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and calzones – with 20 beers on tap to wash them down with – are also available. A second branch is located outside the city center in the Fortuna Foothills neighborhood, a popular destination for RV holiday makers.
Burgers & Beer
Burgers & Beer started as just one restaurant, originally opened in 1985 in the neighboring Californian border town of Calexico. Today it consists of five branches across Southern California and Arizona, including its popular Yuma branch which opened in the early 1990s. Dedicated to succulent, great tasting burgers perfectly accompanied by refreshing ice cold beer, Yuma’s Burgers & Beer is known for its comfortable and casual atmosphere and friendly staff. It is also widely regarded as serving the best burgers in town. Dive into one of its famous burgers like the Mexicali – a hamburger patty spiced up with serrano chili, onion and cilantro – while quenching your thirst with one of its any domestic, draft and imported beers.
The Crossing Grill & Bar
A popular hangout for groups of friends looking for fun and tasty food, The Crossing Bar & Grill has been a local Yuma dining tradition since it first opened its doors back in 1988. Taking its name from the city’s past as a crossing point on the Colorado River for historical travelers, the restaurant specializes in New American fare. Standout dishes include the broiler tilapia with peach habanero sauce and wild rice and the succulent 12 ounce roasted garlic rib eye steak with garlic herb sauce, seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. Spoil yourself with a triple chocolate cheesecake dessert and be sure to try one of The Crossing’s signature cocktails.
Market Wine Bar Bistro
Based on the ground floor of the Yuma Radisson Hotel, Market Wine Bar Bistro is the hotel’s resident restaurant and one of the city’s go-to destinations for upscale dining and cuisine with international sophistication. Operated by the Philipps family since it opened in 2008, the restaurant is a stylish affair with a vibrant dining room, luxurious lounge and picturesque patio terrace. On its menu is an eclectic concoction of New American and Greek flavors with a special emphasis on steak and seafood. Meat lovers will adore the 16-ounce center-cut porterhouse steak available with a range of sauces and sides. Notable fish dishes include the seared mahi-mahi with basil butter sauce and marble potatoes.
The Garden Café
Just a short walk from Yuma’s revitalized Colorado riverfront and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, The Garden Café is a seasonal place open from October through to May. It is known for its beautiful location and hearty breakfasts, lunches and Sunday brunches. Guests enter via a side street courtyard and follow a winding path that leads to a picturesque secret garden full of leafy lemon trees and vines. They then are seated on open air brick terraces with canopies protecting from the hot Arizona sun. A number of specialty sandwiches steaks, soups and salads feature on The Garden Café’s menu while Sunday brunch is an appetizing affair with dishes like Swedish oatmeal pancakes and homemade muffins.
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