10 Best Things to Eat and Drink While Visiting Metro Phoenix

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Nikki Buchanan
The Marinara Pizza from Pizzeria Bianco
So Phoenix may not quite be a culinary destination, like New York or Chicago, but that doesn't mean we don't have plenty to offer the wandering food lover. In fact, there's so much to eat and drink in this town, we'd argue that there's simply no way you could get to it all without simply putting down roots here and deciding to stay.

But we do want you to make the most of your time here in the Valley of the Sun, so to ensure you have the most fulfilling dining and drinking experience while you're here, don't miss these essential dishes, drinks, restaurants, and chefs while you're visiting Phoenix.

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10 Best Restaurants for Brunch in Metro Phoenix

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Lauren Saria
The Brunch Burger at Orange Table in Scottsdale.
There's something inherently enjoyable about brunch. Maybe it's because most of us can only fit it in once a week. Maybe it's because the hybrid meal allows the freedom to eat pretty much whatever you want. Most likely, it's because it's an acceptable excuse to drink well before 5 'o'clock. But for whatever reason, it's easily our favorite meal of the day, er, week.

And because choosing a place to enjoy your brunch outing is as important a dining decision as you'll face, we've compiled a list of the 10 best restaurants in the Valley for brunch.

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10 Metro Phoenix Chefs We Want to Date

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Chris McKinley, Facebook / Atlas Bistro
When it comes to finding love, we at Chow Bella aren't asking for much. All we need is someone to make us sweet pastries in the morning, a three-course candlelit dinner in the evening, and the occasional brunch on Sundays.

Basically, we want to date a chef. Someone who can melt the butter as well as our hearts. Which is why our staff got together to compile a list of the top 10 kitchen catches in Phoenix this Valentine's Day.

We know most of them aren't available. But, hey, we can dream, right?

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10 Valentine Gifts from Metro Phoenix Bakeries and Candy Shops

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Essence Bakery and Cafe
Valentine's Day treat boxes from Essence Bakery.

Still stuck on what to get your special someone for Valentine's Day? Skip the same old box of chocolates and check out our list of locally made confections.

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5 Best Places to Eat and Drink: The Waste Management Phoenix Open Edition

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Dayvid LeMmon
A dinner at Zinc Bistro promises your day will have a sweet ending.
The caddy races might be banned this year, but that won't stop thousands of (rowdy) locals and tourists from hitting the green to get in on the action at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Tradition dictates that the event is as much about drinking and partying as it is about golf, particularly on the infamous 16th hole. Which is a large part of the reason it's the best golf event all year.

But alas, the fun has to end sometime. And when it does, you'll probably be looking for a nearby place to sober up and grab a bite. Good news, you have options to appeal to every type of dining experience you could want. Here's our list of the Best Places to Eat and Drink around the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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The 10 Weirdest Chocolates for Your Valentine

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Vosges.com
The Hunger Games truffle collection is designed for an elaborate 18-course tasting.

Ever since Vosges Haut-Chocolat broke through with Mo's Bacon Bar, chocolate flavor combinations have wandered away from the safe territory of fruits and nuts toward shocking infusions including vinegar and even pig's blood. Strange as they may sound, each of these 10 chocolates has its fans.

The chocolates make great gifts year-round for birthdays, holidays, and pranks. But with the biggest chocolate holiday of the year only a couple of weeks away, you'd better order these bizarre chocolate bars by mail ASAP. Whether your sweetie loves shiitake mushrooms or pepper vodka, kimchi or ketchup, there's a box or bar of chocolates here for every Valentine -- or at least those with an adventurous spirit.


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10 Best Italian Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

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Katie Johnson
The Linguine Con Vongole at Tutti Santi by Nina comes with your choice of white or red tomato sauce.
When catering to the taste buds of the masses no genre of food is a bigger culinary crowd-pleaser than Italian -- thinly pounded meats, hand-rolled pasta, rich and zesty sauces paired with red and white Tuscan wines, and oh, did we mention all the cheese?

Sorry, Phoenix, better check your no-carb New Year's resolutions at the door, because we're about to dish on the 10 best Italian restaurants in the Valley.

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10 Freebies and Other Restaurant Deals in Metro Phoenix

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Jennifer Woods
This is the entire kids' menu at St. Francis -- choose any of these for free.
In an effort to live with more thrift and grace (and because we're cheap), we bring you 10 of our favorite free food finds. Get in the spirit: Swing by the massive cookbook section at the Burton Barr Library on your way home or swipe some citrus from your neighbor's yard (with permission, of course) and you'll really feel like you've hit the big time. Either way, we love feeling treated.

Here are our 10 favorite free restaurant perks around the Valley:

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10 Edible Stadiums for Your Super Bowl Party

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Charbroil.com
The grill master's edible stadium

The biggest sporting event in the States is around the corner, and while football fans are eager to find out which two teams will make it to MetLife Stadium, we at Chow Bella are getting excited for the Super Bowl snacks. Throw the ultimate party with your very own snackadium, a centerpiece made of game day foods like burgers, potato chips, and -- if your resolutions are still on your mind -- veggie sticks. If you're more focused on enjoying the eating event of the season, opt for pizza, M&Ms, and piles upon piles of Twinkies.

Can't decide how to build your edible football stadium? Here are ten ways to construct a one-of-a-kind snack stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.


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5 Best Restaurants in Downtown Phoenix Right Now

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Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Sure, there's still room for improvement, but downtown Phoenix's dining scene is slowly -- slowly -- coming into its own.

At the moment, the five best restaurants downtown feature noteworthy chefs (including two James Beard Award winners) expertly crafting dishes from around the world made with only the best ingredients. And although the food may be first-class, the casual urban settings make it easy to relax and enjoy the experience -- especially with a cocktail in hand.

Pay them a visit and see for yourself.

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