The 5 Best Restaurants of the Year (So Far) in Greater Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

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Jackie Mercandetti, Laura Hahnefeld
Deliciousness from five of the best restaurants in Phoenix -- so far.
What do the stars of this year's Valley dining scene look like so far? Like many across the country still adapting to the effects of the recession (so long, fine dining) and reacting to a culture more informed about food than ever (11 seasons of Top Chef and counting), they're cooking street snacks with culinary flair, re-imagining comfort food, and putting bold spins on dishes from around the globe -- and they're doing it with top-notch ingredients and lots of local love.

In no particular order, here are five of my favorite Valley restaurants so far. And with just four more months left in 2013, I'm glad I won't have to wait long to see what the rest of the year will put on my plate. Enjoy.

See also: Finding the 10 Best Doughnuts in Metro Phoenix

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Laura Hahnefeld

Bink's Midtown

Carefree's Cafe Bink may be more French-inspired, and Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek may draw a more affluent clientele, but Bink's Midtown, the newest restaurant from James Beard Award finalist Kevin Binkley, is the hands-down headquarters of the three for reimagined local produce in Phoenix. And like any hub where vegetables and fruits meet the future, Binkley's food is a mix of science and seasons -- perhaps chunks of melons lit up with pepitas, chile piquin, ricotta salatta, and sangria granité; roasted cauliflower accompanied by almonds, dried currants, and curry foam; or zesty butternut squash bread, celery, and sliced strawberries interspersed with dollops of foie gras mousse. The innovate fruit-focused desserts, like layered push-up pops and a sorbet "soup" frozen with liquid nitrogen, are some of the best in town. And although there's never been a better time to eat our vegetables, it's still good to know that on Saturdays, the kitchen puts on an all-you-can-eat gourmet pig roast of epic proportions.


Location Info

Bink's Midtown

2320 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Welcome Diner

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Otro Cafe

6035 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Renegade - CLOSED

9343 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Virtu Honest Craft

3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
wackus4
wackus4

I had the ramen at Renegade and thought it was one of the worst renditions of ramen I've ever had and they forgot to put on the truffles which to me was really disappointing.

c_vanoverbeke
c_vanoverbeke

Loved this phrase, "woozy hazelnut-crusted scallops with a white chocolate butter luscious enough to stop your inner monologue." Hope to visit some of these on my next trip through Phoenix! 

Andy Tracy
Andy Tracy

Check out Queen Creek New Times if you want those reviews.

Nicole Goard
Nicole Goard

Just a little food for thought: A lot of people/residents/readers live in the East Valley, where there are a lot of good restaurants as well. It would be nice to see some other places featured outside of the N.PHX/Phoenix Metro Area. Just sayin'...

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