1. Sottise

The gist: The sister restaurant of Melrose’s Restaurant Progress, Sottise enchants from the moment you walk through the door with its warm atmosphere, shareable French-inspired fare, excellent aperitifs, and vibey playlist that sets the tone from happy hour to after-hours. The century-old bungalow that houses Sottise stands out against the growing backdrop of highrises and apartment complexes that pack the Downtown Phoenix landscape, providing an intimate, slowed down dining experience for hungry bon viveurs.
The food: Refined, unpretentious cuisine that draws inspiration from Paris and the French countryside, with a nod to the classics—think warm baguettes decorated with cultured butter and fig jam and savory veal broth onion soup. Standouts include the baked camembert with calvados honey and hazelnut vinaigrette, salmon rillette, braised pork shank, and the croque harmonized with country bread, French ham, gruyere, and egg.

2. Clever Ramen

The gist: A new ramen concept by the restaurant pros who blessed us with Clever Koi, Across the Pond, and Fellow Osteria. The Scottsdale Skysong newbie takes a fast-casual approach with counter-service, build-your-own ramen bowls, and a shortlist of sides all served in convenient takeout packaging. Hanging out? Slurp your noodles in Clever’s art-peppered dining room or bring your bao out to the shaded open-air patio.
The food: Choose from traditional, vegan, or gluten-free ramen options and stock your customizable bowl with your choice of full-flavored broth, hot proteins including braised pork belly, chicken, or grilled tofu, and don’t forget the veggies and housemade kimchi. Sides including a full selection of steamed bao buns that run the gamut from pork belly and hot chicken to kimchi cauliflower are on standby. And the kimchi cheese fries and Krazy Fries, decked out with black pepper garlic aioli and pork belly, are a savory indulgence, respectively.

4. Oak on Camelback

The gist: Oak is a cozy neighborhood restaurant with classic charm conveniently positioned along Uptown’s Camelback corridor (formerly St. Francis). Oak on Camelback offers not one, but two levels of gathering space, from its brick-clad dining room to its upstairs hideaway. And, it is made whole with an open-air bar and a lush gardenesque patio garnished with string lights sets the stage for weekend brunch.
The food: New American cuisine rules, with enticing sandwiches like the braised short rib dip with housemade jus, mains like buttermilk fried chicken and pork osso bucco, wood-fired pizzas, and spectacle of healthful seasonal salads. Brunch favorites from breakfast bowls to burgers come handy when weekend hunger knocks. And a selection of house cocktails hit just right when happy hour rolls around.

5. Taco Boys

The gist: The Valley certainly has its fair share of taquerias. But like tacos, there’s always room for more; we’re looking at you, Taco Boys.
The food: Much of what’s available on the Taco Boys’ compact menu has been kissed by their piping-hot charcoal grill. Expect authentic Mexican fare like tripa, cabeza, and barbacoa, to name a few, at the newest outpost of Taco Boy’s in Tempe—just like the Downtown Phoenix original. And whatever you do, don’t skip the vampiros.

6. Via Della Slice Shop
Downtown Phoenix

The gist: The latest pizza joint to swing open its doors in Downtown Phoenix, Via Della Slice Shop satisfies with its lineup of uncomplicated pies.
The food: Expect crispy pepperoni, gooey cheese, and bubbly crusts at this Downtown Phoenix pizza shop. Available by the slice or whole pie, Via Della’s creations range from classic options to more adventurous takes on Italian staples that include a white pie with a sesame seed crust, a pie smothered with vodka sauce, and a deep dish square pie with crispy-crunchy edges.

More City Guides

Discover the best things to eat, drink, and do
with our expertly curated city guides.