Frontier Fare, Southwestern Specialties & Mexican Food

Scottsdale’s food scene while constantly evolving continues to maintain strong with its traditional frontier fare, saucy Southwestern specialties and flavorful Mexican classics. The city of Scottsdale will leave you with flavors that pop and country cooking that will have your stomach grumbling for more southwester specialties, and delicious Mexican food.

6166 N Scottsdale Rd #601, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Tacos. Traditionally Mexican. These days, however, tacos are taking on some new personalities. Though some of the most memorable flavors I’ve ever had on a corn tortilla are still traditional, (pickled onions, please) there are a few new taco flavors that thrill me. Blanco Tacos and Tequila in Scottsdale, Arizona, has created a taco with bbq pork, rich cream, and roasted corn. A nod to the taco’s Mexican heritage, with a hint of the American South.
3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
You will want reservations to get into this place. The Mission Restaurant and Lounge serves modern Latin cuisine in a fantastic bar restaurant with a wonderful outdoor back patio (seen here). The chef is Matthew Carter, also known for the House and Zinc Bistro. For desserts, order the pumpkin bread pudding with scotch, pepitas, and pomegranate.
Scottsdale Vista Estates, Scottsdale, AZ 85266, USA
In downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, there’s a new taco place called Barrio Queen Tequileria. They serve more than 50 kinds of tacos, and I wish I could have tried them all. I lingered there yesterday, and enjoyed a long lunch of shrimp and carnitas tacos, chunky guacamole with pomegranate seeds, and sangria made with sweet peach juice. Do not miss the Mexico City-style elote, or roasted corn with cotija cheese and lime. And ask for Yvette, a server who is as lovely and welcoming as the place itself.
5532 N Palo Cristi Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
LON’s at The Hermosa Inn is our favorite in the Scottsdale area because the outdoor patio dining has a genuine vintage Southwestern feel. The indoor dining experience is superb, but for the ultimate romantic atmosphere try to reserve a spot on the patio. The use of authentic Arizona flavors with cutting-edge trends speaks to what you will find on the menu when dining at LON’s. We go for the fantastic food, and stay for the wonderful ambience. Cocktails start as early as 5 p.m. with delightful bar food during happy hour. Oh, and the bartender makes very interesting drinks. Speaking of the past, when cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee first built the place in the 1930s, it was to be a private home, but he took in guests for extra money. A cowboy artist can always use some extra cash.
2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257, USA
The flavor and Spanish Colonial charm of San Miguel de Allende come to life at Los Sombreros, where the atmosphere is as enchanting as the satiny mole Poblano sauce. If you travel with a friend, try the 10-course tasting menu. For $75, it serves two and includes dishes like pozole soup, fig and panela cheese salad, and chile relleno. Los Sombreros also has more than a dozen margaritas to choose from as well as specialty drinks like the Tijuana Donkey with tequila, ginger beer and fresh lime.
7328 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The Corral family’s second and third generations are behind the wheel at Los Olivos, a restaurant set in an old adobe-style building in Old Town Scottsdale. In fact, it’s a family affair from top to bottom – an uncle handcrafted the Spanish chandeliers, cousins greet you at the hostess stand, and an old family friend is the one to thank for those freshly made flour tortillas. For a delicious dose of patriotism, try the Mexican Flag enchiladas. It’s a 3-in-1 dish that comes with a red-sauce beef enchilada and two cheese versions; one topped with sour cream and the other with green chile peppers.
4800 N Scottsdale Rd #1700, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Roaring Fork brings back the simplicity of wood fired Southwestern cooking. Roasted and smoked ribs are prepared with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce while the “Big Ass” burger comes with Poblano pepper and smoked bacon. Breads and desserts are made from scratch every day, and Chef Michael Bouwens dishes out daily specials and seasonal goods on the regular.
5550 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
For old Arizona charm, head to El Chorro Lodge, a restaurant with fantastic views of both Camelback and Mummy Mountains. Vibrant Western paintings and vintage photos bedeck the adobe clay of its stark white building, which gives off a soft warm glow during sunset. Sit on the large outdoor patio and sip on some Arizona beer, then dive headfirst into a dinner of ancho-rubbed prime steak or a chicken Cobb salad spiced up with Poblano ranch dressing.
4121 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Tucked amongst the galleries in downtown Scottsdale’s art district, Frank & Lupe’s is a charming hacienda with delectable, down-home Mexican food. Its shaded back patio is one of the best places to sip ice-cold Tecate or margaritas on a nice day. No doubt one of the restaurant’s shining stars is the carne adobada burrito plate, a warm tortilla wrapped around pork marinated in red chili sauce, vinegar and oregano. It’s on the spicier side, but a nice dollop of sour cream balances it out nicely.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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