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10 Spicy Dishes to Turn up the Heat

By local contributor
Julia Hill

If spicy dishes and drinks are on your Scottsdale bucket list, consider this your go-to guide on where to find the best of the best. From margaritas to soups to tacos, you won’t want to miss out on any of these favorites, especially if you love a dish that packs some heat.


CRUjiente Tacos

Korean fried chicken

Photo Credit: Debby Wolvos

Known for their crave-worthy, hand-sized street tacos, CRUjiente Tacos turns up the heat on their Korean Fried Chicken Tacos with pickled jalapeño and sweet-and-spicy gochujang chili paste. Still hungry? Try the Crunchy Beef Taco, which gets its zip from cheddar-jack cheese and a house-made hot sauce.


Craft 64

Aji pizza

Who would have thought that jalapeño peppers and pizza would be such a great pair? Well, that’s exactly the combo Craft 64 celebrates with their Aji pizza. This delicious and spicy pairing features house-made mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fennel sausage, sautéed onions, ricotta and their Spicy Aji jalapeño sauce.


The Vig


Photo Credit: Studio Alcott

Kickstart your day with the red chili-spiced Pozole, a hearty and spicy Mexican soup made with pork, hominy, cilantro, radish, red onions and cabbage. The popular soup is available all day, every day and is also served during brunch on the weekends.


HULA’S Modern Tiki

Spicy Thai

Photo Credit: HULA’S Modern Tiki

The Spicy Thai Chicken bowl of Polynesian delights features marinated chicken breast swathed in a spicy Thai sauce and dressed with avocado and fried sweet plantains. Want to start with something hot? The edamame appetizer is spiced with serrano pepper.


Old Town Tortilla Factory

chipotle honey sauce

Literally meaning “spicy meat,” the Carne de Fuego boasts a bistro-cut steak smothered in homemade chipotle honey sauce, and served with sautéed peppers, onions and a whipped sweet potato stuffed with green chile. Enjoy your hot meal in the cool shade of 100-year-old pecan trees on the restaurant’s beautiful patio.


Barrio Queen

Barrio Queen

A local favorite, the Pollo con Chorizo, features juicy, spice-rubbed chicken, caramelized onions and roasted poblano peppers bathed in a spicy cream sauce and topped with chorizo and fragrant cilantro. Looking for more? Pair it with one of the Queen’s fiery Jalapeño Margaritas!


Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar

Twisted Grive

Photo Credit: Common Ground Culinary

Don’t let the name of The Grove’s Sweet & Spicy Margarita fool you—this silver-tequila drink might have a twist of sweet and sour, but with ingredients like jalapeño agave, a cayenne salted rim, and half a jalapeño as garnish, it’s a spicy sipper designed to bring on the heat.


Cien Agaves Tacos & Tequila

Jalapeno Agave

In the Diabla Shrimp Tacos, traditional Guajillo chile sauce adds a smoky, spicy tang to tacos so hot they’re diabolical. Put down your devil’s pitchfork to enjoy another favorite from the taco stand: the Tinga Taco, which is made with juicy shredded chicken braised in a chipotle sauce and decked with Mexican crema.


Jalapeño Inferno

jalapeno Inferno

As one of only four entrées featured in a special “Some Like it Hot” section of the menu, Courtney’s Burrito isn’t pulling any punches. It’s stuffed with your choice of char-grilled chicken or steak, red enchilada sauce, a house made INFERNO sauce, black beans, cilantro and onions and is topped with  rajas (thin strips of roasted poblano chile). It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.


Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar


Hot Chinese mustard gives The Cubano its kick. This two-fisted sandwich starts with a soft roll that’s piled high with pork carnitas, cured ham and swiss cheese. If you’re really hungry, warm up your taste buds with an order of Crispy Chicken Wings in spicy plum sauce.