If you didn’t know it existed, you’d never find this tiny restaurant behind an unmarked door inside a strip mall with one of the best Southwestern breakfasts in town. Sit along the bar or at one of the few tables for dishes such as spicy huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict jalapeño, green chile stew, and eggs served atop a tortilla.
BTW: There’s an adjacent room that can be reserved for larger parties or used as a community table.
Dick’s Hideaway, 6008 N. 16th St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85016
Matt’s Big Breakfast
Matt’s sweet spot is traditional breakfast fare using high-quality and, when possible, local ingredients. Menu favorites are the Chop & Chick (eggs over a pork chop), scrambles and the Five Spot breakfast sandwich — which are served all day long. Matt’s started as a small cafe in 2004 and has expanded to four locations across Phoenix.
BTW: For less ambiance than Downtown but also less of a wait, try the Camelback Road location.
Matt’s Big Breakfast, 825 N. First St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85004
At Pane Bianco, you’ll find sandwiches by one of Phoenix’s most beloved celebrity chefs, Chris Bianco. The menu is limited to a handful of sandwiches and salads with a market option that changes daily and a daily slice, everything made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Eat in the restaurant (there are multiple locations in addition to Central) or order at the counter next door for to-go service.
BTW: The tuna sandwich is a crowd favorite.
Pane Bianco, 4404 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, Ariz. 85012
This Dairy Queen turned Chihuahua-style taqueria is nothing to look at, but it serves no-nonsense, straight-up delicious tacos, burritos, gorditas and other Northern Mexico fare. Its specialty is the beef-and-ham taco, smothered with chiles and cheese. Order at the counter and then adorn with salsas and pickled vegetables from the condiment cart in the corner.
BTW: Order a side of frijoles charros — a soupy mix of beans loaded with bacon and sausage.
Tacos Chiwas, 1923 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, Ariz. 85006
This cozy family restaurant serves killer Thai street food in a homey setting, with family pictures and vintage Thai ads hanging on the walls and twinkle lights crisscrossing the outdoor patio. The restaurant features northeastern Thai fare and encourages family-style dining with stir-fries, noodles, soups and curries. Glai Baan also has an unexpected cocktail menu with flavors such as black soy and onion.
BTW: The steamed bread and custard dessert is a perfect balance of light and not-too-sweet.
Glai Baan, 2333 E. Osborn Rd. Phoenix, Ariz. 85016
Nestled in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the Coronado Historic District, Tuck Shop serves foodie fare such as beet crudo ravioli, along with fancy comfort food like chicken and waffles, in a comfortable, casual atmosphere that feels as though you’re eating in a friend’s mid-century-modern dining room.
BTW: Order the fried cheese curds. You won’t be disappointed.
Tuck Shop, 2245 N. 12th St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85006
Take the elevator up to the fourth floor for a low-key nightspot with a view and creative cocktails. Little Rituals utilizes foams, muddling and infusions, combined with spirits and fresh ingredients, for some complicated yet memorable cocktails. The drinks complement the menu, which also offers a mix of complex flavors. Restaurant favorites include Hurricane Umami Fries and Caramel Claypot Wings.
BTW: For a more lively atmosphere, get your craft cocktails at the sister restaurant next door, Bitter & Twisted.
Little Rituals, 132 S. Central Ave., Fourth Floor. Phoenix, Ariz. 85004
This spot is more hipster hangout than greasy spoon, but it still has an old-timey-diner feel. It serves carb-y classics like fried chicken and biscuits, mac and cheese, and cheesy, gravy-slathered poutine, served alongside an extensive cocktail and beer menu. Even better, it’s open until 2 a.m. every night.
BTW: If the weather is good, sit on the patio.
Welcome Diner, 929 E. Pierce St. Phoenix, Ariz. 85006