The southern states of USA draw visitors from all over the country and beyond for their temperate climate, huge variety of cultures, friendly and welcoming locals and extraordinary local topography. Yet many visiting Arizona see only the Grand Canyon. If you should find yourself in Arizona this spring, you should rejoice in the fact that this is one of the best times to visit the state. Despite its reputation for blistering heat, Arizona gets bright and sunny early in the year but the air retains a balmy warmth in spring that newcomers will find more hospitable than the searing summer.

If you plan on stopping by the state capital of Phoenix, you’ll see a city of great and diverse industry and culture. You can check on AZ Agenda a little of what Phoenix has to offer. But if there’s one thing for which the south is known, it’s the variety of tempting and tasty foods that draw visitors from around the globe. From the soul food of Florida and Louisiana to good ole Texas barbecue, if there’s one thing southerners value it’s great food. You have to agree, there’s nothing like the good old Southern hospitality! If you’re passing through Phoenix, here are some great restaurants to suit all taste buds.

Mexican

Like many southern states, Arizona prides itself on its delicious, authentic and spicy yet flavorsome Mexican foods. Arizona has also adapted some traditional Mexican dishes in ways that you won’t find outside the state. Sure, you’ll find burritos, tamales and the like but you’ll also find Navajo tacos (frybread topped with salsa, beans, meats and cheeses), Posole / hominy stew and Chimichangas (which were apparently invented in Arizona). Do check out the low key Barrio Cafe, or La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop.

Vegan

The south has a long association with meat and seafood. Think of Florida and you’ll think of fried catfish, think of Texas and you’ll think of huge steaks and barbecue ribs but there’s plenty in Phoenix to tempt vegan diners. Veganism has risen by a staggering 600% since 2014 and Arizona is no exception. Throughout Phoenix you’ll find many great restaurants serving mostly or exclusively plant based foods. Chief among them are Picazzos (a vegan Italian restaurant and pizzeria), Mi Vegana Madre (a pop up food truck serving exclusively vegan Mexican food) and Green, a high end fast food restaurant that makes vegan versions of carnivorous classics from Chicago Cheese Steaks to Big Macs.  

Pizza and Italian

When a pizza is good, it’s very, very good. And when it’s bad… It’s still pretty good. Thus, if you have a passion for pizza you’ll find plenty of it in Arizona. Try Lou Malnati’s if your pizza passion favors the deep dish or Pizzeria Bianco if you prefer more authentic wood fire cooked pizzas just like Mamam used to make. If you fancy going a little classier, try celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Mora Italian.

Fine Dining

Dining in Arizona is not all burritos and burgers. You’ll find plenty of fine dining all around Arizona too. In Phoenix you can take a “dining journey” courtesy of celebrated local chef Kevin Binkley at his sensational restaurant Binkleys in the heart of Phoenix. If you like Basque inspired cuisine with a real sense of adventure, look no further.

Have you been to Phoenix? What are your favorite places to eat? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love your suggestions.

This is a collaborative post.

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What and Where to Eat in Phoenix, Arizona