13 Best Ethnic Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

Jackie Mercandetti
The seasonal menu of exquisite country-French bistro fare also includes a few stellar specials.
Looking for something a little different to eat? Well, Chow Bella is here to help. We spent the past year scouring the Valley to find the best ethnic restaurants.

Here's a list worth saving for when you're looking for some great ethnic cuisine, no matter where you are in metro Phoenix.

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8 Best Neighborhood Pizzerias in Metro Phoenix

Jackie Mercandetti
The Casanova pizza at Federal, is one of our favorites.
There's nothing better than a pizza after days of stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers. You're in luck, because Chow Bella spent the past year scouring the Valley to find the best pizzerias.

Here's a list worth saving for when you need a great pizza, no matter where you are in metro Phoenix.

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8 Best Neighborhood Breakfast Spots in Metro Phoenix

Laura Hahnefeld
Vovomeena's bread pudding French toast.
We spent the past year putting together a list of the best breakfast spots in the Valley for the 2013 Best of Phoenix® edition.

Print this off, bookmark it, pocket it, or make your own list for the next time you feel like rolling out of bed and having someone else make breakfast for you. Bonus: There's no clean-up.

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8 Best Neighborhood Mexican Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

Joseph Maddon
Asadero Norte De Sonora's pastor tacos.
There are few places in the states where you can find the quality of Mexican food that Phoenix has. We spent the past year putting together a list of the best places for authentic Mexican cuisine for this year's Best of Phoenix® edition.

What follows are the eight best neighborhood Mexican restaurants in the metro Phoenix area. Print this off, bookmark it, pocket it, or make a list for the next time you need a taco or chimichanga fix.

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8 Best Coffee Houses in Metro Phoenix

Photo via Voice Places
Coffee: Elixir of the gods -- or at least the sleep-deprived. Here in the Valley, there are plenty of places to get a fix of fresh-brewed coffee. But if you're looking for a particularly satisfying jolt of caffeine we've narrowed down the options in this year's Best of Phoenix® edition.

Here are the eight best coffee shops around metro Phoenix.

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7 Best Happy Hours in Metro Phoenix

Evie Carpenter
The complete meal from Bink's ranch-themed Pig on the Patio.
Not all happy hours are created equal. In this year's Best of Phoenix® issue, we scoured the Valley to find the best places to grab a drink and a bite after a long day.

Here's a look at the seven best places to enjoy happy hour in Metro Phoenix.

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Vintage Phoenix Artifact: Bill Johnson's Trailer

Future plans for Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurant trailer include turning the vehicle into a mobile classroom and more.
Just when you think you know everything there is to know about Phoenix, someone finds an old trailer, once owned by a barbecued-beef baron, that used to house a radio station and, well, you realize there's still more to learn about this crazy place.

Built by Bill Johnson of Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurant, the trailer -- a long-bed number that Johnson hauled around with a Ford pickup truck -- was used in the '60s as a mobile station for KTAR radio, host to Johnson's very own radio program, usually broadcast from a corner of his popular eatery. Later, Johnson used the trailer as a mobile office before sending it out on the road to promote his business.

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Vintage Phoenix Business: Durant's

Andrew Pielage
Comfortable and stylish, the bar at Durant's is popular all day long. See the full slideshow.
Not many restaurants can say they have a "Marilyn Monroe table" and actually have a plausible story to back up the claim. But the legendary Durant's steak house does, and it's a little surprising.

Talk to any of the waiters or employees and you'll quickly realize that the majority of the anecdotes about the restaurant -- especially ones about Jack Durant himself -- aren't backed up by many facts. Almost every story at Durant's (2602 North Central Avenue) is a rumor, but it keeps the mystique alive, and we like it that way. It's certainly true that Marilyn Monroe did, indeed, sit at Table 54, though, and to this day patrons still request the spot when they call for reservations.

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Vintage Phoenix Memory: Out to Eat

The first time I ate shrimp, I was with my father. It was 1972; I was 10, and Dad's youngest brother, my Uncle John, was visiting from New Orleans. Dad wanted to take John out to dinner at someplace fancy, and so we drove all the way downtown, from the west side, where we lived, to John's Green Gables at 24th Street and Thomas.

Talk about fancy. There was a lifesize sculpture of a guy wearing a suit of armor, seated on a horse, out front. The interior was dark and cool and the menus were -- at least in my memory of this auspicious occasion -- bound in leather. Our waitress wore stockings with seams and her blond hair was piled way up near the ceiling.

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Vintage Phoenix Q&A: Monica Heizenrader of MacAlpine's

Monica Heizenrader (center) with her two daughters at MacAlpine's.
MacAlpine's is it: the last of the vintage soda shops. First opened in 1928, the former Birch's Pharmacy became MacAlpine's Rexall Drugs 10 years later -- a popular pharmacy with a lunch counter and soda fountain. In 1991, Monica Heizenrader bought it and has been running it, with her two daughters and son-in-law, as a diner and antiques shop ever since. Monica stopped slinging vintage hash one recent weekday, just long enough to talk about ghosts, and victory rolls, and the chewing gum of Wayne Newton.

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