Scottsdale’s Best Cultural Restaurants I Fine Foods and Local Eats in Arizona

Kale salad
Kale salad | Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Chloe Hay

An Arizonan destination of choice for golf enthusiasts, desert explorers and foodies, Scottsdale is home to a vast array of local eateries and luxurious restaurants satisfying visitors and locals alike. Here is an updated version of the original Scottsdale’s 10 Best Cultural Restaurants not to be missed.

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Arcadia Farms Cafe

In an adorable cottage-style eatery, mismatched clocks and ornaments decorate the walls at Arcadia Farms Cafe. White furnishings and chequered booths continue the cosy feel of the dining space, making Arcadia a great stop for a pleasing breakfast or lunch seven days a week. Diners can sip a Kir Royale or Mimosa whilst enjoying a wild mushroom or baby spinach omelette for breakfast or a smoked salmon cheesecake, goat’s cheese tart and tropical key lime pie for lunch. During the weekends, breakfast becomes an even bigger affair with the opening of the ‘create-your-own’ omelette station. Reservations are recommended.

Cafe Monarch

Simply oozing romance, Café Monarch is an intimate dining venue complete with a beautiful candlelit courtyard. Using only fresh, organic and all-natural ingredients, the chef creates a brand new three-course lunch menu and four-course dinner menu every week. The day’s menu can always be viewed on their website before reserving a table. Some examples of their extraordinary dishes include: white truffle celeriac soup, red quinoa salad with squash, beets and wild arugula, and pan-roasted Pacific halibut and roasted fall squash. Cafe Monarch also goes out of their way to satisfy any dietary restriction, making it a great stop for all types of diners.

Citizen Public House

Bringing the old-fashioned public house into the modern day, Citizen Public House blends classic mahogany with contemporary steel creating a cosy yet classy ambience. Diners can choose to sit out on the intimate patio area, hide away in the 12-seat dining alcove or revel in the lively atmosphere in the main dining area. Serving award-winning gastropub cuisine, expect home-style American cooking with a couple of added extras to make it truly memorable. Dishes include bacon fat heirloom popcorn, seared tuna with purple sticky rice, and short ribs rubbed in coffee and a dried cherry BBQ sauce.

Franco’s Italian Cafe

For authentic Italian cooking in the heart of Scottsdale, a visit to Franco’s Italian Cafe is in order. A fine dining establishment, the menu is full of excitingly decadent combinations of flavours such as the bistecca Fiorentina and the shrimp penne with radish. The dining room itself is beautifully rustic in decor transporting diners straight to Tuscany the moment they walk through the door both in surroundings as well as in tastes. Perfect for families, couples and groups of friends, Franco’s is open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner only. Most of the dishes are also available to takeaway and be enjoyed at home or al fresco.

Olive & Ivy

Both a restaurant and a fresh produce market place, Olive & Ivy’s brings a touch of the Mediterranean to Scottsdale. A popular spot to enjoy a morning espresso, locals love to sit out on the shady patio area with a freshly baked muffin or croissant as they read the daily paper. Lunch and dinner are also hugely popular here, and the drinks menu is highly reputed. Diners are encouraged to begin their meal with a choice of three varieties of bruschetta (the prosciutto and fig, quince and chorizo, and asparagus and goat’s cheese work well together, before tucking into a delicious plate of pasta, gnocchi, fish or meat. Guests can continue the night long after dinner is over in the outdoor lounge and bar area. Those that have something special to celebrate are welcome to hire out the signature private dining room.

Roaring Fork

A year-round outdoor dining venue, Roaring Fork has heaters, fireplaces, misters and fans in place to ensure the optimum temperature on their patio area all seasons of the year. Specialising in cooking meats the simple old-Southern way, guests are invited to select between lamb, chicken, beef, pork and fresh fish. Depending on the dish, the chefs will then cook the chosen meat on either the wood fire rotisserie, the open flame grill or in the wood oven for that gorgeous smoky, barbecued flavour. Open for dinner only, there are plenty of exquisite options on the menu including a lamb chop fondue starter and a rainbow trout entree served with roasted almonds, capers, brown butter and green beans. An ideal restaurant choice for larger parties and families but equally as accommodating to couples looking for a bit of romance under the stars, customers can call ahead to reserve a table.

The Phoenician


Said to serve the best afternoon tea in the city, The Phoenician gives diners the opportunity to experience the classic English afternoon tea each day in the elegant Lobby Tea Court. Reservations are essential and the first sitting is at 2 p.m. Guests can choose a pot of tea from a long list of different herbal, white, green and black tea flavours, however, for the true English experience there are only really two choices: the English breakfast tea or the Earl Grey. The pretty china teapot and cups are presented to the table alongside a selection of finger sandwiches, pastries and scones served with Devonshire cream and a choice of fine jams. Quite possibly one of the most authentic English tea experiences in this part of the world, afternoon tea at The Phoenician is a lovely treat.

The Food Kitchen

With so many great restaurants in Scottsdale, it’s pretty easy to over indulge in rich foods. The True Food Kitchen is the place to go when you’re feeling a bit under the weather and need some superfoods and natural antioxidants to perk up. Creating dishes that promote healthy living and anti-inflammatory diets that still taste absolutely amazing, the chefs at True Food Kitchen work hard on their menu to ensure that there’s a dish to excite everyone. Choose either the Tuscan kale salad with grilled steelhead salmon, lemon and parmesan or the teriyaki brown rice bowl full of Asian vegetables, sesame, avocado and a choice of steak, chicken or tofu. Pair that with a glass of medicine man juice, which includes sea buckthorn, pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry, black tea and soda, and you’ll be right as rain in no time.


Located within luxury boutique hotel, the Bespoke Inn, Virtu features a weekly changing menu of contemporary Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Diners can choose between a variety of succulent flavour combinations such as the truffled steak tartare, pan-seared branzino and squid ink linguine. All of the pasta is fresh and made in-house. For a special group dinner or an intimate meal for two, guests are welcome to reserve the Bespoke Inn’s signature flat to enjoy a chef’s special tasting menu around the large handmade walnut farm table underneath a decadent chandelier.

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