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)


Cafe Roka–35 Main St. (Modern American) Open Fri & Sat only (dinner only). Said to be 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. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)

Thuy’s Noodle Shop–9 Naco Rd. (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon). Most reviewers say the food is excellent (and not just for a small town). Has vegan pho if you want it. (Takeout only 7-17-21)

Bullhead City

Bangkok River Thai–1751 Hwy. 95 (Thai) Closed Sat.  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). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

El Charro–2101 Hwy. 95 (Mexican) Closed Sun evening; closed 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). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)


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). Cameron is about 50 miles n of Flagstaff on US 89. Note Jul 21: Many tourists stop in here on the way to or from the Grand Canyon. The restaurant has limited dining space because of covid, but they do serve customers here. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)


Manzanita Restaurant–11425 E. Cornville Rd. (German) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  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 $$ price category (but I suspect it is almost at $$$). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)


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. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)


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. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)

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). (Dining room is open 7-5-21)

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. (Temporarily closed 9-6-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)


Old Pueblo–505 S. Main St. (Mexican) Open Daily. 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). (Dining room is open 7-20-20)


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. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)

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). (Dining room is open 7-25-21)


Amigo Cafe–US 163 (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Mexican food & Navajo fry bread (Navajo tacos are popular). (Takeout only 7-5-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)


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). (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

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. Note: this is a chain with several locations in Phoenix. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

Thai 66–2018 E. Andy Devine Ave. (Thai) Closed Mon.  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. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

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. (7-25-21)

Lake Havasu City

Chao Praya–2010 McCulloch Blvd. N. (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 8:30 pm.  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). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

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). (Dining room is open 9-23-20)


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. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)


El Zarape–964 N. Grand Ave. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening.  Sonoran food (this is supposedly the best in Nogales). Wed. is chicken mole special (go on Wed. if possible). (Dining room is open 7-17-21)

Zulas–982 N. Grand Ave. (Mexican) Closed Tue.  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. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

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. Is as much of a bar than a restaurant. (Dining room is open 7-20-20)


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. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)


Biga–623 Miller Valley Rd. (New American) Closed Sun & Mon. 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. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

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. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

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). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

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. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)


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. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill–700 W. Hwy. 89A (Latin American) Dinner only (closed Tue).  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). (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

Picazzo’s Healathy 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. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

Tamaliza Market–1155 W. Hwy 89A (Mexican) Open Tue-Sat 9 am to 7 pm; Sun 9 to 4.  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. (Dining room is open 7-12-20)

Thai Spices–2611 W. Hwy. 89A (Thai) Closed Sun.  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. (Dining room is open 7-25-21)

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 9 am to 7 pm (closed Sun). Reviewers say the food is flavorful, but the chile relleno really stands out as one of the best in the state. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)

What’s Cooking Kitchen–5171 Cub Lake Rd. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun). 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. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)

Sierra Vista

German Cafe–1232 E. Fry Blvd. (German) Open 11 am to 7 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). (Dining room is open 7-17-21)

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. (Dining room is open 7-12-20)

SV Home Korean Rest.–45 S. Garden Ave. (Korean) Closed Sun. Reviewers say the food is authentic and as good as it is in Korea. Note: Sunna’s Korean Rest. has reviews that are almost as good as SV. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)


Avery’s–262 W. Main St. (BBQ) Closed Sun & Mon.  Reviews indicate that this may be the best BBQ in Arizona. Pulled pork, brisket, and ribs are popular. Reviewers also like the green chile mac & cheese. (Dining room is open 7-5-21)


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. (Dining room is open 7-17-21)


Dara Thai–145 W. Route 66 (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon (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). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)


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). (Dining room is open 7-5-21)


Chile Pepper–1030 W. 24th St. (Mexican) Open 9 am to 7 pm (Closed Sun). Rolled tacos are recommended. Home made tortillas. Old school Yuma Mexican food. (Dining room is open 8-12-21)

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. (Dining room is open 9-23-20)

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). (Dining room is open 8-12-21)


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.



Eater Guide to the Southwest 2019

EGullet (Southwest)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Google Maps

Trip Advisor (Yuma) (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Arizona)

Zomato (Flagstaff)

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