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The Best Restaurants in Scottsdale

February 11, 2020

Often lumped into the same breath as Phoenix, Scottsdale is a rapidly expanding destination all its own, beloved for its mid-century cool and its exceptional food.

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Photo: Jill Richards Photography


Since 2009, Chef Charleen Badman has tirelessly cooked to show off Arizona’s farming and agricultural communities at FnB. In 2019, her efforts were rewarded with a Best Chef Southwest Award from The James Beard Foundation. Meanwhile, co-owner (and Los Milics wine creator) Pavle Milic works the floor to make FnB feel as homey and welcoming as possible. Pro tip: Don’t go here with friends who don’t like sharing, because anything that hits the table is fair game. Badman is a vegetable whisperer and will have you wondering how you ever ate squash without pumpkin seeds, mustard and feta, or why you don’t grill broccoli and serve it with pistachios and meyer lemon aioli more often.

Editor's note: This guide has been updated with the latest information on these restaurants as of July 2021.

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Fat Ox

The food and vibes feel sexy, modern and fun at Fat Ox, a new(ish) restaurant from Chef Matt Carter, Brian Raab and Mark Drinkwater — names behind places like Zinc Bistro, The Mission and The House Brasserie. An order of house-made pasta should be mandatory. Depending on what the kitchen is turning out, often by hand, you can choose between stuffed caramelle, elegant pappardelle or tubes of garganelli, all paired with seasonal ingredients.Another must: tableside Caesar salad. And save room for the secondi piatti, which include an impressive selection of steaks, as well as branzino. YOLO, baby.

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Mexican and Asian don’t seem like culinary soulmates, but SumoMaya fuses the two into one, serving an amazing tapas-style menu that’s customizable for any occasion, from romantic tables for two to office-wide tables for 20. Whether you go guac and sushi, or a miso Chilean sea bass with American wagyu carne asada, SumoMaya is one of the most-inventive dining destinations in Scottsdale.

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Toca Madera

Los Angeles’ Madera Group has opened three Phoenix/Scottsdale outposts of their fast-casual Tocaya Organica in rapid succession. Amidst this, they also opened a Scottsdale version of their sceney and upscale Toca Madera. Here, a nightclub vibe sets the stage for re-imagined Mexican fare. For the full tour, do the omakase menu, selecting Jalisco, Oaxaca or Baja as your theme. Ask to sit “in” the patio — a retractable roof is just one of Toca’s many architectural marvels.

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