20 Best New Restaurants of 2013 in Greater Phoenix

Categories: Top Lists

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Kirsty Hall, Flickr
The good news is that, in 2013, as most of the country was transfixed by the shenanigans of the now-infamous Amy's Baking Company, we eye-rollers in the Valley were being treated to a crop of new restaurants more focused on well-prepared food than overcooked reality.

From big-name chefs and restaurateurs to family-owned eateries, the 20 best new restaurants of the year offer an array of cuisines that take inspiration from across the globe as well as focus on using as many locally procured ingredients as possible.

And that, dear Amy and Samy, is truly what makes us hungry.

See also: 10 Best Things I Ate in November

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Laura Hahnefeld
"Mission Chinese" Kung Pao Pastrami

Clever Koi

The sleek new midtown restaurant from former Parlor Pizzeria chefs Jared Porter and Joseph Absolor along with co-owners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano (who also did time at the pizzeria), the Clever Koi is more or less a Chinese-American comfort food head trip. Porter and Absolor's tight selection of reinvented street snacks, rice and noodle dishes, and steamed buns and dumplings are deliciously inauthentic, the two chefs both paying tribute to -- and taking wild liberties with -- each Asian dish.

See Also: 20 Best New Metro Phoenix Restaurants of 2013 (Complete Slideshow)

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Jackie Mercandetti
Tocino con Rajas

Otro Cafe

This contemporary, easygoing spot in north Central Phoenix from Mexican-born chef Doug Robson both complements Gallo Blanco, Robson's first restaurant, in the way of outstanding Mexican while managing to find a more elevated niche of its own. Not that anything gets too lofty here -- there are excellent tacos, tortas, and street snacks. And if you're in the mood for something a bit more unique -- say, a Spanish-style appetizer, an intricate Inca salad, or a sublime pollo en mole negro -- Otro's got those, too.

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Jackie Mercandetti
Pig Wings

The Blind Pig

Scottsdale's newest meat-intensive venture comes courtesy of restaurateurs Bob and Sally Ann Molinari and Bret Pont, owner of Hobe Meats, the over-50-year-old custom butcher shop in Phoenix. Which begs the question: Does The Blind Pig's freshly butchered offerings of custom meats to take home as well as meaty Mexican-inspired street foods to enjoy on the spot make it a butcher shop with a restaurant or a restaurant with a butcher shop? Either way, it's all about the meat.

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Jackie Mercandetti
Mole Negro

La 15 y Salsas

This cheery restaurant in Sunnyslope from Oaxacan-born owner Elizabeth Hernandez not only features some of the best moles in the Valley, it serves excellent tlayudas, enfrijoladas (chicken enchiladas smothered in an anise-laced black bean sauce), and a spicy homestyle soup called amarillo. The restaurant doubles as a Oaxacan marketplace, boasting deli cases and shelves filled with ingredients, foods, and cooking items from Hernandez's homeland.

Location Info

Clever Koi

4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Otro Cafe

6035 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Blind Pig

3370 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

La 15 Y Salsas Mexican Grill

1507 W. Hatcher Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Virtu Honest Craft

3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Hummus Xpress

930 W. Broadway Road, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Republica Empanada

204 E. 1st Ave., Mesa, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Nook

3623 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Renegade - CLOSED

9343 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bootleggers

3375 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Henry's Taiwan

119 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Pig & Pickle

2922 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Karaikudi Palace

8752 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bink's Midtown

2320 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Little Cleo's Seafood Legend

5632 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bragg's Factory Diner

1301 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Ingo's Tasty Food

4502 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Miu's Cuisine

2314 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Welcome Diner

924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Leah Cook
Leah Cook

^that. Journalist riding the train to Prepositionville?

Morgan McNally
Morgan McNally

What exactly is the issue here? Laura Hahnefeld posted her picks for the 20 best new restaurants in Phoenix. How on Earth is that something worth complaining about?

Gregg Myers
Gregg Myers

~ scuse me, "need"!?! … #shillmuch? … LOL

Mike Woodling
Mike Woodling

This list plays like reviews on Pitchfork. Rarely accurate; some of it good; all wanking. I'm more curious how you found time to legitimately review these establishments, seeing as it was YOU who were fixated on those two twatheads.

Shannon Nowowiecki
Shannon Nowowiecki

How do you name a place that's barely been open a week to the list?! Congrats on naming only one FRC!! Happy to see many independents on here!

Andrew Michael
Andrew Michael

Fernando M. Delucca Nook and Welcome Diner made the cut. So did Bink's. There's a very PR Empanada place we need to check out ...in downtown Mesa :(

richardsonsnm1953
richardsonsnm1953

i think everybody here is a keeper, but cut back on the "oscars". 

Marty Ercoline
Marty Ercoline

nice list.....one recommendation: Lighten up on the content on your web presence....too overwhelming and confuses the content

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