locals’ point of view

Experience Scottsdale from the

A Night Out in Cave Creek

By local contributor
Emily Lawrence

Just north of Scottsdale, you’ll find a quirky Western town, where a lot of locals go to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. It wasn’t long ago that Cave Creek officially became a town – 1986 to be exact – but you’ll find plenty to do in this young town, from dining and dancing to cocktailing and bull riding (yes, you read that right – bull riding!). If you’re looking for a night out in Cave Creek, we have you covered.


For Dining

Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue has been a Cave Creek landmark for many years. Chef and Owner Bryan Dooley is doing barbecue the right way, by smoking meat with 100% pecan wood, for a subtle, not overpowering, smoked flavor. From traditional Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Beef Brisket to unique dishes such as the Pulled Spaghetti Squash Sandwich, you will not be disappointed.

Pro tips: If you’d like to kick things up a notch, ask for the spicy barbeque sauce on the side. And if you order the pulled spaghetti squash sandwich, go all the way and get the fried egg on top – you’ll thank me later.


For Drinks

It may have a silly name, but The Horny Toad has been well-loved by locals and out-of-towners alike for more than 40 years. Wood paneling and colorful stained-glass windows give the Horny Toad a rustic, cozy feel. Be sure to look up when you first walk in – you don’t want to miss the stuffed toad that is the restaurant’s namesake! Saddle up to the bar and have one of their special prickly-pear margaritas.


For the Fun

Just up the road, you’ll find another Cave Creek legend, the Buffalo Chip Saloon. You’d never guess by looking at it today, but the Chip burned down in 2015 and has spent the last few years rising from the ashes. For true Western-style fun, bull riders from across Arizona come to Buffalo Chip every Wednesday and Friday night to participate in the rounds. Wednesdays you’ll find amateurs and Fridays are reserved for professional bull riders. Grab a drink and sit in the grandstands to cheer them on (but get there early as seats fill up fast!). Looking for Western fun that’s a little tamer? Throw on your best hat and boots and hit the Chip’s dance floor for a little two-stepping to live music every Tuesday through Sunday night.


If you’re looking to stay the night somewhere close, visit the Boulders Resort & Spa or CIVANA to make a staycation out of it. Cheers to Cave Creek!