Old Town Scottsdale teems with restaurants, many of them locally owned and family-run. At any time of day, you can find a perfect place to suit your craving. The following are my favorites, in no particular order.
1. Hula’s Modern Tiki
A modern take on a tiki bar means fun cocktails and an interesting mix of food at Hula’s Modern Tiki. Start with one of their 14 tropical signature cocktails. My favorite is the Hula’s Hurricane. They also offer four non-alcoholic fruity mocktails. Start a fun evening with friends by sharing some of the 14 starters on the menu. The Pork Stuffed Potstickers and Hilo Sliders are good choices. Their extensive dinner menu includes pork plates, tacos, rice bowls, fresh fish, burgers, and sandwiches. I enjoy Duke’s Luau Pork Plate with slow-roasted pulled pork, soy glaze, and pineapple. Top that off with a rich brownie or key lime pie.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of the happy hour and daily specials to expand your selections.
The delicious pizza made in the coal-burning brick ovens of Grimaldi’s started in Brooklyn in 1990 and spread to 12 states across the country. They first entered Arizona with their location on Scottsdale Road in Old Town. For the thin crust pizza, you have the choice of the classic tomato sauce made with their secret recipe, a white pizza with garlic, or a pesto pizza. All are topped with hand-cut mozzarella and the perfect blend of spices. Then add as many of the 23 toppings that you crave.
You can start with a great salad or bruschetta and can even choose a calzone if you are not in the mood for a pizza. Their array of cannoli and cheesecake options changes with the seasons, though they are always incredible. For a pizza place, there is an impressive number of choices of good wine, most of them from Italy.
Pro Tip: Grimaldi’s offers gluten-free and cauliflower crusts that come out of the brick oven with a nice texture. My usual choice is the pesto gluten-free pizza with fresh sliced Roma tomatoes.
3. The Beverly
At first glance, The Beverly may look more like a bar than a restaurant, but they offer a full menu of appetizers, salads, tacos, wraps, skewers, flatbreads, and burgers. I have yet to be disappointed by whatever I order, as they put their unique spin on all of their menu items. I don’t typically like Brussels sprouts but couldn’t get enough of theirs. The truffle fries are similarly addictive.
The dim interior reveals a hip cocktail lounge with the choice of seating at the long rectangular bar or intimate groupings of dark leather couches. You can also sit on the comfortable patio along Main Street watching gallery goers pass by. The drink menu includes over 50 classic and signature cocktails as well as plenty of wine, beer, and cider selections.
Pro Tip: Happy hour lasts until 8 p.m.
4. Farm & Craft
As you approach the bright comfy couches and chairs occupying the long patio of Farm & Craft, you feel like you are on a sunny country road. The menu focuses on healthy, organic, sustainable food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are looking for a light meal, their blended juices and smoothies offer many interesting and refreshing choices. There are also many pressed juice and kombucha cocktails, fruit shots, and a full bar to suit any taste.
Brunch is served until 3 p.m. and includes protein pancakes, the farm scramble, and avocado toast. You can select one of their signature grain bowls or build your own bowl with 10 vegetable choices and four protein options. The salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches are loaded with fresh, healthy ingredients. At dinner, they add on entrees like steak and salmon and 10 options for delicious sides. I love their veggie lasagna or building a bowl.
5. Brat Haus
In a casual, fun atmosphere, Brat Haus offers seven types of brats with five different toppings to choose from. Don’t pass on the Belgian-style fries; they are crisp and flavorful and are served with a choice of five dips. My choice is usually the sweet brat with sweet onion jam and truffle aioli dip for my fries. Another specialty is the Bavarian pretzel, the perfect blend of crisp and chewy. They also offer burgers and vegetarian options. It is not difficult to find a beer you like from their list of 17 craft beers. Some indoor seating is available, but if the weather permits, choose the fun, spacious patio.
Pro Tip: Ask your server for a taste of a beer that looks interesting so you can try out something different.
6. Craft 64
Craft 64 is the place to go for local craft beer of every type. Their list of over 30 beers means there is something – or several things – for every taste. This is one place I actually have a choice in dark beer; my favorite is the Vanilla Caramel Porter. Plenty of wine and cocktail choices, like their custom mules, are also available. The restaurant sits on the edge of Old Town and offers a cozy interior and secluded patio. Enjoy authentic wood-fired pizza, some bruschetta, or a charcuterie board. The Farmer’s Market Salad abounds with fresh, seasonal vegetables from local farms.
Pro Tip: Be sure to check the daily specials where you will find the best in-season ingredients.
7. The Mission
The Mission has elegant, old-world charm with modern Latin cuisine. One wall is made of Himalayan salt blocks and glows with light. Outside is a small patio with a brick fireplace. The restaurant sits next to the Old Adobe Mission, which was built in the 1910s and is the oldest standing church in Scottsdale.
The food is a sophisticated blend of Spanish, Mexican, and South American tastes. They make their tortillas, salsas, and sauces fresh daily, and you can taste this in every dish. The meat is grilled over pecan and mesquite wood. They serve lunch and dinner every day and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. From the guacamole and the array of tacos to the chorizo porchetta, you can experience the chef’s attention to quality. Finish with the espresso churros for a memorable meal.
8. Bourbon & Bones
With the intent to surpass a stuffy steakhouse, Bourbon & Bones sets out to create a lively, inventive atmosphere. If the crazy-long bourbon and whiskey list seems too overwhelming to make a choice, try a flight of three one-ounce tastes. For those of us not there for bourbon, there is just as extensive of a list of cocktails and wine.
For food, there is plenty more than bones to fill you up. There is enough in the raw bar, appetizers, and salad menu to make a meal. The steaks, however, are the main feature. You have a choice in the type of cut with nine options for sauces and nine various toppings. My filet mignon in red wine glaze and topped with truffle butter tasted amazing and was very tender. There are 16 sides to accompany your meal, and seafood entrees are also available. Saving a little room for dessert is well rewarded.
9. Prep & Pastry
A new arrival on the breakfast and lunch scene in Old Town, Prep & Pastry offers a bright, tasty start to your day. The large interior with its white walls, oak floors, white wicker chairs, and golden chandeliers has the feel of a French country house. The patio, set off behind ferns and with wooden tables and chairs and iron light fixtures, makes guests feel like they’re dining in a garden.
The menu includes the usual breakfast and lunch fare with a healthy, colorful tint. My omelet with goat cheese, pesto, avocado, spinach, and tomatoes was beautiful and delicious. The potatoes were cooked well enough to be just as crisp as I like them. There are many gluten-free and vegetarian options.
I love when a restaurant gives you enough hot water to keep refreshing your tea, and I enjoyed my baby blue teapot sitting on my patio table. If you are looking for something stronger than their many flavors of tea, however, 18 types of mimosas and cocktails beckon. Another indulgence is the incredible pastry display. Choose one of these works of art to accompany your meal or bring some home to remember your visit.
10. Morning Squeeze
Another wonderful brunch spot sits right on Scottsdale Road. Although technically half of Morning Squeeze is indoors, the large openings to the patio allow fresh air to circulate throughout. You can sit at the tables watching the traffic go by or sit in a comfortable half-circle booth inside. It opens at 7 a.m. for those early risers who want to get their fun day started. You can go with a liquid meal of a fresh fruit smoothie or protein shake. Or if a liquid meal means something different for you, cocktails, bloody marys, and wine are on offer.
Pancakes tend to be my staple here. They offer regular, gluten-free, and protein pancakes topped with your choice of various fruits or chocolate chips. You can also order omelets, eggs benedict, burritos, avocado toast, and chicken and waffles. It isn’t on my list, but maybe you would enjoy the Hangover Bowl with green chili pork, potatoes, black beans, jack cheese, eggs, and a red or green sauce. They also offer lunch options like salad and BLTs.
Old Town offers so many options for enjoying a meal while visiting. Park your car and take a stroll to explore your options.
Pro Tip: Follow up any meal with dessert or grab a mid-day snack at Cool Gelato. Tucked in across from the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and right off the Civic Center Plaza, Cool Gelato offers authentic gelato with many incredible flavors.