Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps best known for its bar scene and old-timey shops frequented by tourists in search of silver and turquoise jewelry. That’s all well and good, but beyond the club and craft scenes you’ll find a culinary scene rife with options. We’ve rounded up a bevy of restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual comfort food. Scottsdale locals love their eats and the following 10 restaurants each cater to a discerning and decidedly hungry customer. Whether you’re after an ice cold beer and fresh baked pretzel or a glass of award-winning wine and handmade pasta, there’s a restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale to serve and satisfy.
Perhaps the poster child for Arizona cuisine, FnB has received national acclaim for its chef as well as its wine program. In fact, Chef Charleen Badman was named the “Best Chef Southwest” in 2019 by the James Beard Foundation. The restaurant offers a seasonal menu that changes according to what’s fresh from Arizona’s top local farms. The wine program was also nominated for a James Beard Award in 2019 and its selections—including local wines—rotate monthly. FnB is located in historic Craftsman Court and describes itself as farm-to-table New American cuisine.
Located along the main drag of Scottsdale Road in Old Town, Brat Haus is the place to go when the weather is fine and you're hankering for an ice cold beer. There is inside seating, but it’s the restaurant’s beer garden that brings the crowds. In addition to 28 beers on tap, there are games like ping-pong and darts on the outdoor, dog-friendly patio. The menu carries epicurean comfort food like house-made sausages and Bavarian pretzels, Belgian-style fries, and burgers. Be sure to check out the chef-selected sausage and topping pairings like Duck & Sun-Dried Tomato with hollandaise aioli and bacon.
This restaurant featuring modern Latin cuisine is an area staple located in the heart of historic Old Town. Its dimly lit, moody interior is reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda, and handmade tortillas, sauces, and salsas reign supreme. All meats are prepared a la plancha, or grilled using pecan and mesquite wood. The Tecate Creekstone Skirt Steak tacos with morita salsa, avocado, lime, cilantro, and cotija will haunt your dreams. The Mission has also given rise to a lot of Arizona’s preeminent chefs, so swing by to see where they got their start.
If you’re a lover of fine dining or are celebrating a special occasion, Café Monarch is the grande dame of Scottsdale restaurants. It’s only an eight-minute walk west of Old Town’s main drag and is reservation only—so plan ahead! It features a four-course, prix fixe menu centered on local, organic, and sustainable ingredients. While known for its epic eats, Café Monarch is equally notorious for its service and ambiance. It’s known as one of the most romantic restaurants around and its chandelier-clad high ceilings and candlelit courtyard are reminiscent of an Italian villa. Each server has been trained through the Court of Master Sommeliers program and boasts extensive knowledge about the menu and wine list.
Located a few miles north of the center of Old Town, SumoMaya offers funky Mexican-Asian fusion. Great for groups, this restaurant offers tapas-style plates, so plan to order three to five dishes each. The menu is, of course, diverse and features guacamoles, sushi, ceviches, and wok-fried noodles. Swing by during the weekend for their Bottomless Brunch. You’ll get unlimited shared plates and desserts, plus one entrée per guest for just $29 a person. You can add on unlimited cocktails for just $10 more.
A favorite among locals and the post-work cocktail crowd is Citizen Public House. It’s known as an upscale gastropub, featuring New American comfort food and barrel-aged cocktails. The menu is small, with craft-twists on classics like bacon-fat heirloom popcorn and local coffee-rubbed short ribs. Located in downtown Scottsdale near the Waterfront, swing by during their “Social Hour” for sophisticated snacks and rubbing elbows with the regulars.
Chef Matt Carter is the Phoenix-born man behind some of the Valley’s most reputable restaurants like The Mission and The House Brasserie. Fat Ox is his latest venture and focuses on traditional Italian cooking, with an emphasis on simple, elevated dishes. The menu features sumptuous roasted meats and a dozen pastas made in-house daily. Most dishes are comprised of four to eight ingredients, proving that high-end cuisine doesn’t have to be complicated. Wet your whistle with the help of the sommelier who will help you navigate the international wine list and classic Italian aperitifs and digestifs.
If it’s quick, quality Mexican food you’re after, then Diego Pops is it. This playful restaurant is inexpensive and offers an eclectic menu of tacos, bowls, burritos, salads, and seafood like fresh poke and ceviche. On Mondays head over for $3 tacos, and be sure to save room for dessert. The treat bar features sweets and sundaes like Mexican Coffee, made with coconut soft serve, cold brew coffee, shaved Mexican chocolate, and dulce de leche.
If you’re feeding a crowd, Roaring Fork is an excellent option for folks with differing tastes. While there are plenty of fresh, inventive salads on the menu, those who love nothing more than a great piece of protein will feel at home here. The concept was inspired by traditional, Western American cuisine, with many dishes cooked over an open-flame grill or wood-fire rotisserie. The menu is described as having a “rugged edge” with duck, chicken, beef, pork, and fresh fish entrées.
Known for its unique, Victorian-inspired setting and curated menu, The House Brasserie is another option that’s meant to impress. If you’re celebrating or want to show off the local culinary scene for out-of-towners, this is a great option. Chef Brandon Jedd prides himself on showcasing local ingredients, so keep your eyes peeled for seasonal menu specials. During the winter months, be sure to check out the brick-paved patio with an outdoor fireplace. A menu standout is the Maine lobster gnocchi. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and is just a few blocks from Scottsdale Road in Old Town.