10 Underrated Restaurants in Metro Phoenix
It's a familiar scene: You're in your main food hang-out in town and it's dead. Why is it dead? You know it's great but for one reason or another your favorite joint just doesn't get the cred it deserves. We have a few of those places and we're sure you have many more. Here's our list of the most underrated dining spots in town, but if you think we missed any, pipe up in the comments section and let us know.
Jackie Mercandetti Sure it's a hotel restaurant, but have you had the sangria at Rita's Kitchen?
See Also: 10 Signs You're a Phoenix Foodie
Swing a dead cat in this town and you'll hit a hotel restaurant. Some are better than others, and most are overrated and overpriced. For our money, we'll take a table at Rita's Kitchen, the casual dining spot at the Camelback Inn. Adjacent to the swankier BLT, Rita's has a serviceable indoor dining room. But you will want to reserve a table outside on the patio, to take full advantage of the Camelback Inn's lovely grounds and live music in the evenings. On winter nights, they build big fires and you can sit in a ring and warm your toes. Any time of year, start with a glass of the hotel's signature red sangria (the not-so-secret ingredient is vanilla) and a bowl of yellow gazpacho. The tableside guacamole is excellent. We recommend the fajitas and the Marriott burger -- and another glass of sangria.
Courtesy of Otto Pizza and Pastry/Facebook Being open for about 20 year in Tempe means Otto's been doing something right.
Otto Pizza and Pastry
How Phoenix became a mecca for pizza snobs, we'll never know. But it did. That doesn't mean there isn't room for a few no-frills pizza joints, right? Otto Pizza and Pastry is one of those Tempe mainstays that doesn't get the love it should. With freshly made, crispy thin crust pizzas and even pizza by the slice, college kids in the know flock to the joint for a quick lunch between classes. However, their tasty desserts, gigantic calzones, pasta, and French and Italian sandwiches, there's a lot more to this small spot off Ash Avenue and University Drive than just the pies. Plus, the cheap prices and friendly, family-run vibe make it a nice place to relax without breaking the bank.
5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ
804 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, AZ
910 N. 5th St., Phoenix, AZ
2825 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ
1537 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe, AZ
3215 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ
10 W. Vernon Ave., Phoenix, AZ
4243 S. 36th Place, Phoenix, AZ
7373 E. Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ
1 N. 1st St., Phoenix, AZ
5037 S. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ
16459 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ