5 Best Restaurants in the Biltmore Neighborhood Right Now

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Photo by Dayvid LeMmon
The Gâteau Marjolaine from Christopher's and Crush Lounge is the perfect dessert for Nutella addicts.
In a neighborhood filled with luxury hotels and some of the Valley's most expensive real estate, you would expect to find some of the city's best eats. And the Biltmore neighborhood delivers. In this northeast Phoenix locale you can find excellent French and American cuisine crafted by chefs who have been cooking for longer than some of their young customers have been alive.

But there's more than just fine dining to be had in the Bitlmore 'hood. The area's strip malls and shopping districts have also attracted chefs who are serving more affordable eats, including one of the country's top pizza chefs and a restaurant where comfort food gets a modern twist.

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6 Things We Learned About Southwest Gardening at the Grow Your Own Food Summit

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Zaida Dedolph
Chef Aaron Chamberlin made lunch for the first-ever Grow Your Own Summit.
On Saturday, March 7th, Grow Phoenix hosted its first-ever Grow Your Own Food Summit. The symposium, which featured talks from local garden experts, was appealing to both seasoned gardeners and novices alike. The topics explored were as diverse as the audience, and included seed saving tips, gardening philosophy, and information about how to raise animals within city limits. A 100% local lunch, catered by Chef Aaron Chamberlain of St. Francis, sealed the deal for us.

If you missed it, don't worry -- Grow Phoenix is planning another summit for Fall 2015, and have plenty of opportunities to learn about urban farming on the docket between now and then.

Here are a few cool things we learned about growing food in the desert.

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5 Best Restaurants in Chandler Right Now

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Lauren Saria
Xiaolongbao from Chou's Kitchen.
Whether it's your neighborhood, just outside your backyard, or clear across town from your regular haunts, Chandler is a dining district that's worth exploring. You'll find excellent destinations for Asian, Indian, and Latin cuisine in this suburb, in some cases not more than a few miles from one another.

Our list of favorite restaurants right now includes some of the very best ethnic restaurants in the area, as well as a cozy neighborhood spot for simple food done well located in the heart of the city's downtown.

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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in February

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Lauren Saria
Crab swimming in melted butter at Little Cleo's in Phoenix
This month's best bites can be found all over town -- literally so, in the case of the smoothie from one of my new favorite food trucks, which travels to Tempe, Phoenix, and Chandler in any given week. Many of the memorable bites come from places I just recently discovered, proving that there's always room for a new favorite restaurant in your life. Assuming that you make an effort to look.

I hope you get to try some of it for yourself.

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5 Best Restaurants in Sunnyslope Right Now

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Lauren Saria
Tostada from El Rinconcito del D.F.
Considering that Sunnyslope consists of only about nine square miles, this north Phoenix neighborhood boasts an impressive selection of restaurants. Bounded by 19th Avenue to the west, Cactus Road to the north, 16th Street to the east, and Northern Avenue to the south, Sunnyslope features dining spots that represent a wide variety of cuisines.

Whether you're looking for top-notch Mexican food, a cozy wine bar, or a place to pick up an excellent dessert, the Sunnyslope 'hood can meet your needs.

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9 Classic Mexican Restaurants in Metro Phoenix

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Heather Hoch
Carolina's Oaxacan burro is a thing of beauty.
We are lucky in Phoenix to have some of the most creative, innovative and tasty out-of-the-box Mexican cuisine in the country. But sometimes you just want a bean and cheese burrito from your old standby. So here's a list of nine of our favorite classic Mexican restaurants in metro Phoenix.

Carolina's
Whether you pronounce it Carlo-LIE-nas or Caro-LEE-nas, there's almost no chance you can live in Phoenix and not know, and love, this restaurant. And no, we don't mean the North Phoenix or Peoria locations, but the original restaurant located in South Phoenix.


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7 Products We Really Want After the Arizona Cocktail Week Artisanal Spirit and Cocktail Market

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Lauren Saria
Suerte Tequila will launch in Arizona next week.
This year's Arizona Cocktail Week Artisanal Spirit and Cocktail Market was a rowdy daytime affair (we blame the free Smirnoff Ice vending machine), but still offered cocktail enthusiasts plenty to see and taste. The vendors ranged from craft distillers to local artisans showcasing everything you could need to make great drinks at home or at a bar.

Not all of the products are available yet or at retail liquor stores, but most can be found at specialty shops such as Tops Liquor in Tempe. If you spot one of the spirits at a local bar, you can also ask if they have a liquor license that allows them to sell bottles to retail customers. Some do.

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10 Best Doughnuts in Metro Phoenix

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Katie Johnson
Although we didn't put it in the top ten, we do believe the Wisconsin fritter from Welcome + Donuts deserves an honorable mention.
Put down the cupcake, and release the lever on the soft serve. Doughnuts are back in black, baby -- although some might argue that they never left. Either way, we can all agree that this deep-­fried pastry has never been more on top of its game. The circular confection that has long since served as the consolation prize for early­-morning commutes has come into culinary good fortune thanks to new restaurants, new ideas, and a new wave of diners who say to hell with that diet. Glazed and frosted, caked and raised, here are 10 reasons to go nuts for doughnuts in metro Phoenix.

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5 Best Restaurants in North Scottsdale Right Now

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Katie Johnson
The mushroom ravioli at Andreoli Italian Grocer is as fresh as it is rich.
It seems that the dense dining destination of Old Town gets most of the attention when it comes to Scottsdale restaurants. But the truth is there's plenty to eat outside of the central part of the city.

Head north and you'll not only find a great selection of restaurants, but also some incredible views and a few cozy, mom and pop shops that we couldn't imagine existing any where else.

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5 Best Things I Ate and Drank in January

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Lauren Saria
Costilla Adobada from Barrio Urbano
Looking back at the best bites of last month makes me confident in saying that 2015 should be quite a delicious year. Two of my most memorable dishes from January come from collaborations between local chefs, and I have a feeling that the trend of kitchen collaborations isn't going anywhere any time soon. Other favorites come from longtime favorite spots, with one being a farewell drink from a now-closed restaurant.

I hope you get to try some of it for yourself.

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