Restaurant Guide–Arizona

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  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Ajo

Desert Rain Cafe–100 Estrella Ave. (Southwest) Open Fri 4-8 pm; Sat & Sun 7 am to 8 pm.  This is a restaurant run by the Tohono O’odham tribe that moved from its location in Sells. It serves Mexican, Native American, and American food (the previous restaurant had a patio setting but I don’t know about the new one). Dishes make good use of traditional and locally grown foods, and include such items as wraps, salads, and Mexican style items. (4-5-19)

Bisbee

Cafe Roka–35 Main St. (Modern American) Open Thu-Sun (dinner only). Very good food. Everything is served in a four course meal. Restaurant is small so it’s best to make a reservation.  (520) 432-5153. (2-28-19)

Thuy’s Noodle Shop–9 Naco Rd. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun & Mon. Most reviewers say the food is excellent (and not just for a small town). Has vegan pho if you want it. (2-28-19)

Bullhead City

Bangkok River Thai–1751 Hwy. 95 (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Good reviews, and they say this is one of the few places in town that is not a tourist trap. Spice level here is Thai (spicy means very spicy compared to most restaurants). (4-18-19)

Chocheras Peruvian–576 Marina Blvd. (Peruvian) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon); open to 7 pm Tue-Fri.  Supposedly is the real deal for Peruvian food, and has very high ratings on Yelp. (4-18-19)

El Charro–2101 Hwy. 95 (Mexican) Closed Sun & Mon. The “little things” are very good here (chips, salsa, beans, and especially the tortillas). Menu seems to be divided between Cal-Mex and authentic Mexican (but both have excellent reviews). Apparently if you want interior style Mexican food here you can get it, but you will get it with chips & salsa (and the American style setups). (4-18-19)

Note: Bullhead City has a number of Mexican restaurants, and apparently is known for its Mexican food.  El Charro is representative of the good restaurants rather than being the “recommended” restaurant.

Cornville

Harry’s Hideaway–10990 E. Cornville Rd. (New American) Dinner Tue-Sat, brunch on Sun.  Chef is from Chicago, and food reputedly is big city quality. Better still, everything on the menu is less than $20. (1-25-19)

Manzanita Inn–11425 E. Cornville Rd. (German) Open Tue-Sun (closed from 2:30 to 4:00 pm).  Reservations are recommended (928) 634-8851 (just e. of Cottonwood).  Reviewers say the food is about as authentic as anywhere in the US. The chef is Swiss trained. They grow their own vegetables and herbs in their garden. Also has some highly reviewed non-German items such as prime rib. Listed in the $$ price category (but I suspect it is almost at $$$). (1-25-19)

Cottonwood

Farside Bistro–1075 S. State Rt. 260 (Persian) Closed Mon & Tue.  The food is comparable to the restaurants in Phoenix. Kebabs are recommended, and in fact are just about the only entrees on the menu (there is not a wide choice of Persian dishes). (1-25-19)

Randall’s–891 S. Main St. (American) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only).  This is a breakfast restaurant–some visitors to Cottonwood say the breakfast here was the best they experienced on their whole trip (and almost all of them say the food here is very good). Mostly serves standard breakfast items, but also has some local dishes such as Navajo tacos. (1-25-19)

Flagstaff

Ewa’s Thai–110 S. San Francisco St. (Thai) Closed Sun lunch. This and Dara Thai get the best reviews, but I chose this for the list because the best dishes are pad thai, pad woon sen, curry, etc. while at Dara Thai people mention items such as orange chicken (I am sure the real Thai food is good as well, but Ewa’s probably would be better. (3-23-19)

Delhi Palace–2500 S. Woodlands Village Blvd. (Indian) Open daily (closed from 2:45 to 5:00 pm). I can attest to others’ good reviews because this mini-chain used to have a restaurant in El Paso which I frequented. I agree with others that the buffet here is good (and I usually do not like buffets). Buffet is at lunch only ($8.95 on the latest menu). (3-23-19)

Nomads Global Lounge–19 W. Phoenix Ave. (International) Dinner only (closed Mon).  If I understand it correctly, they try to take some of the best plates from all over the world and combine them into a meal (many items are served as tapas or small plates). People mention green chile soup, African peanut soup, Yucatan chicken, Aussie meat pie, etc. I think many of these are daily specials, so part of the attraction is the variety if you make several visits. (3-23-19)

Salsa Brava–2220 E. Route 66 (Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Good reviews for the food (but not for the price). Apparently it is New Mexico style, with red and green enchiladas and stuffed sopapillas. Also has Navajo tacos. The salsa bar is one of the best features of the restaurant. Many people seem to think it is not the best Mexican food ever, but it’s good for this part of Arizona. Note: I think if you order the wrong thing you will get gringo food instead of New Mexican. Dishes that look good from the photos are ones with red or green chile. (3-23-19)

Florence

Old Pueblo–505 S. Main St. (Mexican) Closed Mon. This is supposed to be one of the best Sonoran style restaurants in Arizona. Tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and breakfast are popular. Enchiladas and chile rellenos are most popular with their mild green chile on top. Opens at 6 am (7 am on weekends). (3-23-19)

Globe

El Ranchito–686 N. Broad St. (Mexican) Closed Mon, breakfast on the weekend, closed Sun evening . Sonoran style. Breakfast, or anything with green chile, are popular. (2-28-19)

Irene’s Real Mexican Food–1623 E. Ash St. (Mexican) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Tue). Sonoran style. Good reviews, but to me it looks more American style than El Ranchito. (2-28-19)

Grand Canyon

El Tovar Dining Room–Grand Canyon South Rim (American) Open Daily.  Hit or miss–some items are very good (breakfast is good). Limited options in the national park, and this seems to be the best. (I think some of the negative reviews might be a bit too critical based on my experience at National Park restaurants, which have been very good). (12-16-18)

Kayenta

Amigo Cafe–US 163 (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Mexican food & Navajo fry bread (Navajo tacos are popular). (12-16-18)

Golden Rice Bowl–US 160 Navajo Nation Plaza (Chinese) Open Daily.  I was not as surprised to learn that there was a Chinese restaurant here as to learn that it has good reviews. All items are made without MSG, and it has interesting choices such as mapo tofu. Some say if you order food spicy you will get more spice than you might expect. (12-16-18)

Kingman

Bangkok Thai–208 W. Andy Devine Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun (open until 8 pm other days). Excellent reviews, not only by locals but also by people from California and others passing through town. Pad thai has excellent reviews, but this is a great place to try other dishes and find out how the authentic “Thai style” version tastes. Has Isan style food from northeast Thailand (but apparently also has more well known dishes from the Bangkok area). (3-15-19)

Federico’s–1470 E. Northern Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. Almost everyone gives high ratings, but a few things stand out–street tacos, burrito, enchiladas with green chile, sopes, chile relleno, tamales. I don’t know why, but this location has higher ratings than the one in downtown Kingman. (3-15-19)

Thai 66–2018 E. Andy Devine Ave. (Thai) Open Daily.  Reviews indicate that it is very good and offers a flavor contrast to the other Thai restaurant in town. This has a very hole in the wall atmosphere. Reviews are good for all types of food served, but massaman curry and panang curry seem to be popular. (3-15-19)

Note: Mattina’s Italian Restaurant is very popular, and may be the best restaurant in Kingman, but is in the $$$ price category and is only open for dinner. (3-15-19)

Lake Havasu City

Chao Praya–2010 McCulloch Blvd. N. (Thai) Open daily 11am to 9pm.  Reviewers say it is fresh with good flavors. One tip most people give is to order food at spice level 1 or 2 (3 is extremely spicy). (1-25-19)

Javelina Cantina–1420 McCulloch Blvd. N. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Right next to the London Bridge. Has an outdoor patio that allows pets. Serves Sonoran style Mexican food that apparently is usually very good, but subject to the type of variability frequently found in tourist towns. One tip from reviewers is that they have a lunch menu with much cheaper prices, but you have to ask for it (they don’t tell you about it otherwise). (1-25-19)

Lakeside

Mountain Thai–2741 AZ-260 (Thai) Closed Mon. Reviewers say the food is similar to Thai food in Phoenix and other large cities. I think, though, that a few items are their favorites such as the yellow curry. (3-23-19)

Nogales

El Zarape–964 N. Grand Ave. (Mexican).  Sonoran food (this is supposedly the best in Nogales). Wed. is chicken mole special (go on Wed. if possible). (2-28-19)

Zulas–982 N. Grand Ave. (Mexican).  Sonoran style.  In business at least 40 years. Many like it (but not rated as high as El Zarape). The most popular item seems to be the Mexican hamburger. Mexican combination plate looks good from the photos. Has mole every day. (2-28-19)

Note: La Roca in Nogales, Sonora is popular for Sonoran food (and is probably better than the food in Nogales, Ariz.). Mole is said to be good. There are undoubtedly several good places to eat in Mexico but La Roca has an upscale setting and is popular with Americans. (2-28-19)

Parker

Tierra Caliente–900 S. Joshua Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 8 pm.  Good reviews. From photos, the food looks like El Paso style (with red and green chile) but reviewers just say it is good. (3-15-19)

Prescott

Biga–623 Miller Valley Rd. (New American) Closed Sun. High in flavor and quality. Has a rotating menu and food is locally sourced. Chicken and dumplings are said to be good. Green chile mac & cheese is also recommended. (4-18-19)

Taj Mahal–124 N. Montezuma St. (Indian) Closed Tue. Good reviews, but only for food ordered from the menu. The buffet is said to be bland and not spicy. (4-18-19)

Thai House–230 N. Cortez St. (Thai) Closed Sun. My assessment, from the reviews, is that this is the closest thing to authentic east Asian food in Prescott. Some other restaurants seem to be pretty good, but this seems to be better. Curry is recommended (especially green curry). (4-18-19)

The Local–520 W. Sheldon St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only. Locally sourced ingredients–people say the flavor is good and the quality of ingredients is even better. Even though it’s an American restaurant, the huevos rancheros for breakfast is the most recommended item. (4-18-19)

Sedona

Elote Cafe–771 Hwy. 179 (Mexican) Open Tue-Sat (dinner only).  Gourmet Mexican–similar to Rick Bayless’ food. Can have up to a two hour wait (and almost everyone thinks it’s worth it). Price listed as $$ (not in the expensive category, as I would have expected). Elote is the signature dish. (1-14-19)

Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill–700 W. Hwy. 89A (Latin American) Open Daily.  Upscale Argentinian, Chilean, and Uruguayan food that reviewers say is worth the money if you are willing to pay a little more than usual (signature dishes are steaks but they have other dishes as well that are Latin style). (1-25-19)

Picazzo’s Organic Italian–1855 W. Hwy. 89A (Italian) Open Daily.  Organic food–pizza is popular. Like Thai Spices, it has better reviews for the quality of the food than the flavor. (1-14-19)

Tamaliza Market–1155 W. Hwy 89A (Mexican) Open Tue-Sat 9 am to 7 pm.  Popular place that recently moved into a larger building. The food is upscale–some say it is Mexico City style but more healthy (made without lard). Tamales and chile relleno are the most recommended items, but everything is fresh and flavorful. (1-14-19)

Thai Spices–2611 W. Hwy. 89A (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed 3-5 pm).  According to reviews on Yelp the food here is all natural and organic (this is the good part) but the Thai flavors are lacking (this is the bad part). The service is good but the building is bad. It’s a mixed bag, but will give you a good meal. (1-14-19)

Note: Dahl & DiLuca (Italian) Restaurant is also well recommended, but is in a higher price category.

Show Low

Bandido’s Express–2101 E. Deuce of Clubs (Mexican) Open Daily. Reviewers say the food is flavorful, but the chile relleno really stands out as one of the best in the state. (3-23-19)

What’s Cooking Kitchen–5171 Cub Lake Rd. (American) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only). Fresh and flavorful food that makes this probably the best place in town for breakfast. Reviewers say they also have excellent Thai, Mediterranean, and Latin American food (mostly soups and stews). Usually I would say this is hard to believe, but the reviewers sound pretty convincing. (3-23-19)

Sierra Vista

German Cafe–1232 E. Fry Blvd. (German) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Many say it is authentic and maybe more European than many restaurants (thus some do not like it as much). There are other German restaurants in SV (I don’t know how good the others are, but I think the photos on Yelp will convince many to come here). (2-28-19)

Indochine–1299 E. Fry Blvd. (Vietnamese & Thai) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun). Asian rest. in SV with the most positive reviews, and it looks like big city quality. Thai food seems to have better reviews than the pho (so I think this is really a Thai restaurant). Everyone seems to like the spring rolls. (2-28-19)

Mom’s Kitchen–1100 SH 92 (Korean) Closed Tue. Serves several types of cuisines, but Korean is the specialty (and the most popular with reviewers). This is one of several Korean restaurants in town (some others may be very good as well). (2-28-19)

Springerville

Los Dos Molinos–900 E. Main St. (Mexican) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  New Mexican style. Note: Yelp reports that the restaurant is closed. (12-16-18)

Tubac

Elvira’s–2221 E. Frontage Rd. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon. Moles are the specialty. This is more upscale than the Nogales restaurants and more pricey (and many say the food is better). Also good for steaks. (2-28-19)

Tuba City

Cameron Trading Post–466 Hwy. 89 (Southwest) Open Daily.  Cuisine is “American, Mexican, and Native American” (according to its web site). Navajo taco is recommended (large one is more than enough for a meal). (12-16-18)

Williams

Dara Thai–145 W. Route 66 (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say it is excellent Thai (the best for many miles around).  Pad thai and evil jungle princess are recommended.  (There is also a Dara Thai in Flagstaff–out of the two the one in Williams seems to have better reviews). (3-23-19)

Winslow

Turquoise Room–303 E. 2nd St. (Southwest) Open Daily (serves breakfast). Locally sourced ingredients. Grows its own lamb, and serves other game. (Gil likes breakfast & double chocolate souffle–this takes 25 min. to prepare). Cost category is $$$ (it is probably not this much for breakfast). (3-23-19)

Yuma

Chile Pepper–1030 W. 24th St. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 8 pm (Closed Sun). Rolled tacos are recommended. Home made tortillas. Old school Yuma Mexican food. (3-15-19)

El Charro–601 W. 8th St. (Mexican) Open 11 am to 9 pm (Closed Mon). Reviewers say it is one of the best “old school” Yuma Mexican restaurants, but Chile Pepper seems to be the highest rated overall. The green chile burrito and green enchilada are recommended here. (3-15-19)

Los Manjares de Pepe–2187 W. 8th St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Pork in tomatillo sauce is the specialty. Chile verde is good. Authentic Mexican food (different from “Yuma style”). Breakfast burritos are popular (restaurant opens at 7 am). (3-15-19)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Eater Guide to the Southwest 2019

EGullet (Southwest)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Trip Advisor (Yuma)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Arizona)

Zomato (Flagstaff)

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