I don't really think of Arizona as a foodie mecca of sorts but I won't lie, I've had some pretty awesome noms whenever I've visited.
Where to Eat
Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician was pretty amazing. Sadly, we were the only people there but that also meant that the service was pretty out of this world. Definitely a fun experience if you're into afternoon tea like I am! Was pricier than a lot of tea experiences but the fact that it was in a luxury hotel kind of says it all.
Sunday Brunch at Zuzu was a lot of fun. The menu has some great traditional "brunchy" items and a few fun experimental pieces. The grits were pretty delicious (if you love grits like me). We grabbed drinks at the bar while we waited and explored the colorful grounds of the Hotel Valley Ho. Such a fun brunch!
Elements inside Sanctuary at Camelback is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've been to in the Southwest. The restaurant has HUGE windows that capture the most amazing sunsets over the mountains in the evening. The menu was definitely pricey BUT they had a pretty inexpensive prefix menu with three courses that was just the right price. The food was delicious and that sunset is no joke. It was absolutely AMAZING. I would go there just for the sunset alone but luckily the food was pretty fantastic too.
(I would have loved to include a photo of the amazing sunset; however, the restaurant was a little snooty about photos so it was hard enough to take a picture of my dinner!)
Because I keep visiting in the summer, ice cream is always a definite must... To be fair, ice cream is a must on any trip for me but when it's over 110, it's basically a requirement, right?
Gelato Spot by Old Town Scottsdale had a big selection and was absolutely delicious. My first gelato experience was in Venice and this stuff came pretty close. I've always had a soft spot for pistachio since I was little (such a weird child asking for pistachio at Baskin Robbins) and theirs was perfection.
Sweet Republic was on my "Must Eat" list ever since I saw it on a few lists for top ice cream places in the country. We had the famed Toffee Banofi Sundae and I could have eaten two. This sundae was just so amazing. They had a few extra goodies by the register like salted caramels (YUM). This is definitely a place I have to stop every single visit to the Scottsdale area.
I'm a huge country music fan so visiting Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row was non-negotiable. It's in a part of Scottsdale that feels like spring break with loud music and crazy college students drinking up a storm. We went on a midweek night for dinner and the food was pretty good. I loved the decor and the music and the atmosphere (the bars across the street were out of control so I was super happy to be in a more chill environment). My only regret- if we had been there the next night instead, we would have gotten a surprise acoustic set from LUKE BRYAN who randomly stopped by on a Thursday. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat????
My first trip to Scottsdale, my friend and I grabbed lunch at a fun little spot in Old Town Scottsdale called Cien Agaves. The restaurant was cute and colorful and the food was pretty yummy. Even better, there was a Groupon. We really do love our Groupons!
I usually skip breakfast or eat something fast and semi portable at work. I know, I know. That's horrible. Fortunately, on vacation, I'm the opposite. I don't start my day without some sort of breakfast. Even if it's just pastries from the coffee shop around the corner, I make sure I have something substantial before a day of sightseeing. We had asked our driver one day for a recommendation and he told us Breakfast Club. He even dropped us right at their door. I'm so glad for driver recommendations because they're almost always pretty amazing. This one was no exception. Big selection and delicious choices!