Local Favorites at Scottsdale Restaurants

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Discovering new flavors is one of traveling’s greatest joys. But in a city that offers literally hundreds of dining options, where do you start? Here, in no particular order, are 10 signature Scottsdale dishes to kick off your culinary explorations.

 


Charred Octopus at Virtú Honest Craft


One of the stars of Chef Gio Osso’s stellar menu of Mediterranean cuisine, this succulent dish features slow-cooked octopus that’s marinated and charred to perfection. The dish gets a little kick from the calabrese chili butter, while the lemon chickpeas and arugula and fennel side salad cool things off.

 


Tableside Gucamole at The Mission


All guacamoles are not created equal, and Chef Matt Carter’s 12-ingredient tableside guac at The Mission is exceptional. Creamy Haas avocados, fresh garlic, chipotle puree, roasted pepitas, cotija and many more bits of goodness are hand mixed while you watch. Tip: Your guacamole comes with crispy house-made chips, but we recommend ordering the warm corn tortillas served on a heated salt block.

 


Braised Leeks at FnB


Named one of the 10 best restaurant dishes of 2010 by Food & Wine, Chef Charleen Badman’s Braised Leeks with mozzarella and a fried egg are practically a local legend. They’re a seasonal item, so if you don’t find them on the menu, opt for one of the other veggie dishes on FnB’s menu of locally sourced, organic delights – after one bite you’ll know how Chef Badman earned her rep as the “Veggie Whisperer.”

 


BBQ Baby Back Ribs at Don & Charlie’s


Go for the full slab of these award-winning beauties with a side of Don’s famous creamy or deli-style cole slaw (never underestimate the power of the slaw). If you have room for an appetizer, go for Don’s famous Chopped Liver Platter served with bell pepper strips, diced onions and chopped egg.

 


Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry at Cowboy Ciao


Mucho mushrooms (cremini, oyster, morel, shiitake, black trumpet, lobster and more) are bathed in ancho cream and served over double-cooked polenta with a topping of avocado, cotija cheese and fresh roma tomatoes.

 


The Hot Italian at Brat Haüs


The Brat Haüs is known for their handmade artisan sausages, including this zippy number that gets its kick from paprika and chili flakes. It’s served perfectly grilled on a sausage roll, with your choice of nine gourmet toppings (try the sweet onion jam and beer cheese sauce!). Start off with a Haüs-made warm pretzel and cold beer from their selection of German and Belgian imports and craft brews.

 


Apocalypse Sow at Pig & Pickle


Pretty much everything at this quirky, pork-loving eatery is either made from scratch in house or locally sourced from someone who does. The Apocalypse Sow features a juicy, house-ground pork burger topped with crispy bacon, grilled onions, tangy cheddar and aioli. Get it with fries or a dump truck salad, or tots for an extra buck.

 


Blanco Pizza at Craft 64


Fresh dough and creamy mozzarella, both made in-house, form the foundation of the amazing wood-fired pies at Craft 64. The Blanco is simple and simply delicious – mozzarella, burrata, spinach and garlic on a crispy crust. Wash it down with one of the 36+ Arizona craft beers on tap.

 


Ricotta Gnocchi at SASSI


These pillowy dumplings, made in-house daily, feature asparagus, arugula, pecorino and a hint of Meyer lemon and mint for brightness. Pair them with one of SASSI’s creative antipasti plates like the Marinated Baby Beets with pear puree, gorgonzola panna cotta and hazelnuts.

 


Sweet of the Day at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats


Named “Arizona’s Best Sweet Shop 2015” by AZ Central, Super Chunk delights with a changing menu of small-batch, handcrafted treats. On any given day, you’re likely to find delights like hand-pulled taffees, honey cakes with cinnamon tres leches and mascarpone cream, and the Cowpuncher, a zippy jalapeno-and-cayenne spiced cookie.