10 Top Picks for Arizona Restaurant Week, Fall 2014

Categories: Top Lists

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Heather Hoch
Rancho Pinot's hearty sauce sticks to your gnocchi and your ribs.
With so many restaurants participating in this fall's edition of Arizona Restaurant Week -- which runs from Friday, September 19, to Sunday, September 28 -- it can be hard to tell where your dining dollars will be best spent. Thankfully, we're here to dish out some suggestions. Some of the restaurants on our list are top Arizona dining destinations where your dollar will go farther during the event than at any other time of year, while others are newcomers to the local dining scene.

At any of the 10, you'll want to make your reservations soon -- many will be booked up entirely by the time the week hits.

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5 New Places for Brunch in Metro Phoenix

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Courtesy of Bootleggers
Chicken and Waffle Bites
Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse

Bootleggers is looking to attract the brunch-time crowd with food and drink deals including $1 moonshine shots and Fried Chicken and Waffle Bites. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, the restaurant will be offering sangria pitchers, moonshine mimosas, and Epic Boot Bloody Marys. Food specials include BBQ Breakast Burritos, Dirty Cottage Fries, and an all-you-can-eat Pig Roast.

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7 Best Sports Bars for Food and Drink in Metro Phoenix

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Katie Johnson
It might take the whole game to finish this massive burger at Bootleggers.
Just because you're headed out to watch football on the regular now doesn't mean you need to sacrifice eating a decent meal and having some tasty drinks. Whether you're a beer fan or a barbecue junkie, there are spots in town that will cater to your cravings in the Valley, all while you watch your favorite team compete this season.

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10 Best Waffles in Metro Phoenix

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Heather Hoch
This sweet and savory waffle is definitely something to brag about.
Breakfast, the best and most important meal of the day, has an all-star confection in its ranks so good that even savory food lovers have to admit a craving every once and a while. No, we're not talking about pancakes. We're talking about the groovy, segmented, fluffy, and delicious waffle. Some prefer thinner waffles, while others go for fatty Belgian liege varieties. You can even go for a gluten-free or vegan waffle without losing out on flavor. No matter which waffle style you go for, there's a spot in town that can help you quell those waffle cravings.

Here are ten of our favorite places to get waffles in the Valley:

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7 Places to Get Artisan Bread in Arizona

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Evie Carpenter
Freshly baked loaves of Noble Bread.
There's nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread. If you ask us, it's one of the most beautiful smells in the world. And the good news is you don't have to look all that far to find it. There are several bakeries and restaurants in town that offer freshly baked bread regularly.

We could make you a long list of reasons why you should you putting down that loaf of store-bought sandwich bread and picking up one of these loaves instead. But to keep things short we'll start and finish with the most persuasive argument of all: artisan bread tastes better. If that's still not enough to convince you, then you'll want to read all about how Phoenix's burgeoning bread scene is truly something to get excited about.

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17 Food and Drink Festivals in Metro Phoenix This Fall

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Multiple chile festivals take place in Metro Phoenix on September 27.

As the weather cools off and the snowbirds start flocking, the short waits and summer discounts at restaurants go out the window. It's not all bad for food lovers, though, as September marks the official beginning of the fall food festival season. There are new and old food festivals popping up just about every weekend, so here's a list to get you started on some of our top picks for the fall.

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5 Things I Will Never Eat or Drink Again

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[puamelia] via Flickr
For every year that my palate matures, two more bad experiences come to my plate. Though most of us would not claim to be picky eaters, we have to admit we've all suffered some form of culinary trauma. Like any sour encounter of my life, my best is not to forgive but to forget. But until I reach the ripe old age where my taste buds and sense of smell start to diminish, these five foods (and drinks) will remain on my black list.


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10 Best Metro Phoenix Restaurants to Dine at Alone

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Lauren Saria
You don't have to be embarrassed to lunch here alone.
Getting a group of friends together to grab a meal and actually finding a place everyone agrees on can be a chore. Heck, even finding a place just you and one other person want to go to can be a task. If you'd prefer to skip the "I don't know. Where do you want to go?" debate, you can opt to eat solo at a number of great spots in metro Phoenix. You don't have to feel lonely or silly eating alone at these 10 places (and one bonus spot!), because they are perfect for people looking for a table for one.

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5 Best Restaurants for Students Near ASU Downtown (Plus One for the Parents)

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Heather Hoch
Pallets in Downtown Phoenix serves affordable sushi and a nice selection of beers.
We've already told you where the best student-friendly restaurants are around Arizona State University's main campus in Tempe. But don't worry, Downtown Phoenix students, we've got some suggestions for you too.

Taking classes on the Downtown Phoenix campus gives you the opportunity to explore an urban jungle and that means a whole different set of dining and drinking options than your Tempe counterparts have available. Downtown is host a bunch of great restaurants including more than one James Beard Award-winning spot and a whole bunch of places for excellent pizza. The places that make this list are great food students in that they're affordable, close to campus, and still serve solid food.

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10 Metro Phoenix Restaurants We Miss

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Heather Hoch
These goat cheese medallions make us miss Lola Tapas.
Some restaurants in Phoenix seemed to be ahead of their time. Others were good in theory but just didn't pan out to be regular stomping grounds for local diners. Still more restaurants just simply couldn't stay open just because we wanted them to, no matter how many times we ate there. Come take a trip with us down culinary memory lane and check out these 10 defunct metro Phoenix restaurants that we wish we could have just one more meal at, but be warned that after reading this you might get a craving for an old favorite that you won't be able to satisfy. Trust us, we know your pain.

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