Over the past few months I’ve been fortunate to work with the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, and I’ve shared with you a handful of awesome things to see, do, and eat in Scottsdale, Arizona. I’m stoked to get to share one more post with you, this time all about food!
You all know how much I love food. Even when I’m in a blogging rut (like now, haha) I still post my weekly recipe link-up and throw in an occasional recipe here and there. Food is good. Food is necessary.
But there are times when I just want food put in front of me without doing any of the work. With a family of 6 on a single income we don’t often go out to eat, so when we do I want to make it count. While we enjoy trying a new place now and again, you’ll most often find us out at the same handful of restaurants because either a) the food is amazing, b) the prices are amazing while still serving pretty amazing food, c) they are family friendly, or d) all of the above.
I know I’ve reviewed a handful of restaurants on this blog and shared my reviews with you. Chances are I wouldn’t have been to those places had I not had an opportunity to review them because of the blog but now that I have, many of them tend to be on our list of ‘must eats’. SO, for those of you traveling to the Scottsdale, Arizona area looking for a place to get amazing food, look no further. Here is my top list of ScottsdaleAZ Must Eats.
1) Zinburger, Sauce, True Food Kitchen (or any of the Fox Restaurant Concept restaurants)
I realize this is not one place, but a few. We’ve personally only eaten at Zinburger, Sauce, and True Food Kitchen, however, I’ve been thrilled with my experience at each of these restaurants and I’m sure the same would ring true for the others. The food is fantastic, and they’re great restaurants for kids.
Zinburger offers the best in tasty milkshakes and delicious certified Angus burgers. Offering a variety of burgers from the basic Plain & Simple Burger- lettuce, tomato and mayo- to my favorite El Diablo burger- fire roasted jalapenos, pepperjack cheese, caramelized onions and chipotle mayo- you’ll find the perfect burger to suit your taste. Be sure to order the Double Truffle Fries with your burger; they’re the BEST!
Currently Zinburger is offering their $3 kids meals at the Biltmore Fashion Park and Scottsdale Quarter locations (see my review from last summer- it’s an awesome deal). The $3 kids menus run all day every day now through Aug. 31. The Camp Bo-vine menu includes their choice of hamburger, turkey sloppy Joe, grilled cheese or chicken fingers, alongside a tasty side and drink. For just $2 more, kiddos can upgrade to one of Zinburger’s decadent milkshakes or floats. This special deal is limited to kids aged 12 and under.
At Sauce you’ll find your favorite Italian eats paired with affordable wines. From pizzas to pastas, salads and more, plus $5 kids meals every day of the year, Sauce is a great place for families who love Italian food!
This summer they’ve also brought back the Summer Sampler – your choice of fresh salad, delicious warm pizza and two glasses wine for an irresistible price of just $20. Choose from a variety of salads, and indulge in a gourmet 12-inch pizza like the spicy chicken sausage or the prosciutto melon (back by popular demand for a limited time). Top off the experience with your choice of two specialty wines exclusive for the Summer Sampler, Coppola Pinot Grigio and Clifford Bay Pinot Noir, or choose from a handful of others. This limited time offer is the ideal for splitting with a friend, date or spouse.
True Food Kitchen is where you’ll want to go if you’re looking for healthier options. They offer a wide, healthy selection of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. I was a bit skeptical at first because many of their foods and ingredients were things I was unfamiliar with. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my experience. I went for Saturday morning brunch. The food was fantastic, full of flavor, and I was happy to know I was eating good, healthy food that was good for my body. I crave their Quinoa Johnny Cakes, with blueberries, Maple syrup and topped with Greek yogurt!
This summer True Food Kitchen announced the launch of their High Five True Kids Challenge (from now through August 31st), a healthy lifestyle initiative that provides online resources to assist families in meeting the suggested five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In addition to providing guidance on healthier cooking tips and techniques, the True Kids Challenge is also a call-to-action, encouraging families across the country to reassess their eating habits during a 30-day pledge to eat more fruits and vegetables. Upon signing up for the challenge, families will receive weekly emails for 30-days with helpful resources for healthier eating, including educational materials, recipes and more. After making the pledge, True Food Kitchen will encourage families to share their progress on social media, offering a $500 donation to a children’s charity in each of the seven True Food Kitchen locations if 3,500 pictures are shared on Instagram using the handle @true_food_kitchen and hashtag #TrueKidsChallenge. The goal of the program is for families to have learned new eating habits and introduced new foods to their diets during the 30 days so that their progress can continue when the challenge is complete.
Yes, I realize this is another burger restaurant, but it’s so good I had to include it too. Rehab Burger Therapy offers tons of burgers, plus pastas, wings, salads, sandwiches and more. However, you’ve really got to go for one of their crazy good, unique burgers. Perhaps you want to try the PBJ & Bacon Burger (yes, peanut butter and jelly and bacon on a hamburger-it’s actually really, really good), or maybe the Hangover Burger is more your style, with a fried egg, bacon, colby jack cheese and hatch green chili. They also have lots of great sauces (I LOVE the pineapple aioli best) and you must try the Sweet PoTOToes! The food is delicious and the atmosphere is a blast.
If you’re not sure which burger place to choose, start with where you’re staying or what activities you have planed before or after your meal. If you’re in Old Town Scottsdale or near there, head to Rehab Burger Therapy. See my review post of Rehab Burger Therapy and the Scottsdale ArtWalk for more info and pics!
3) Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Food
This is by far one of my absolute favorite places to eat. I grew up eating here with my family, so not only is the food amazing, but it brings back many fond memories of my childhood. Being in Arizona and not far from the Mexican border, we’d like to think we have some of the best Mexican food around. While there are tons of great places to get Mexican food in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, if you ask me Carlos O’Brien’s is THE best one. Whatever your favorite Mexican food dish is, they’re likely to have it. My personal favorite is the Pollo Fundito, a Chicken Chimichanga covered with Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Cheddar Cheese.
We’re likely to fill up on the chips and salsa/ hot sauce while we wait for our food, eat a small portion of dinner before we’re too full, and then have the rest for lunch the next day. Best leftovers ever!
This is one of my husband’s very favorite places to eat. He grew up in Chicago, enjoying the best of Chicago style hot dogs, big beef sammys and tamales. For as long as I’ve known him he’s been trying to find a place in town that was close to what he grew up eating. Not long ago we discovered a Portillo’s location in Scottsdale ( the first Portillo’s was opened in Chicago in 1963) and we’ve been hooked ever since. Gary always gets an Italian Big Beef Sandwich and a Tamale, and I can’t get enough of the Beef-N-Cheddar Croissant. Great food, and a fun atmosphere too!
Check out my review post on Portillo’s (with more food pics and something fun to do in AZ in the spring)!
5) Oreganos Pizza Bistro
Yes, this is another Italian place, but very different from Sauce. Choose from pizza, unique pasta dishes, entrees, apps, salads and more.
We love the– Pasta and cream, , topped with diced Roma tomatoes- and the Chicago style stuffed pizzas. YUM! As much as I love the food, the atmosphere of the restaurant is an absolute blast too, with big family tables available, fun vintage decor, oldies music, and TV sets running black and white commercials and movies from the 50s.
Now I’m hungry… I think we’ll have to plan on hitting up one of these restaurants this weekend with the family. YUM! If you’re looking for more information on places to eat in Scottsdale, AZ, be sure and check out ExperienceScottsdale.com!
I was compensated for sharing this information with you. Regardless, all thoughts expressed are my own, and I never share anything I don’t feel would be a good fit for myself or my readers.