Although the nationally recognized foodie mecca Pizzeria Bianco first drew eyes and palates to Arizona more than a decade ago, in recent years, the dining environment – in Phoenix/Scottsdale in particular – has evolved into an electric, multifaceted scene, thanks to a treasure trove of chefs cooking well outside the Southwestern box. These dining destinations are among the buzziest in the sister cities and worth a Sonoran desert stop.
Why It’s Hot: Tucked into a rehabbed historic space called The Newton and adorned with kitschy reclaimed dcor, chef Justin Beckett’s spin-off of Beckett’s Table dishes up elevated Southern food. Small plates, entrees and sweets highlight influences from ‘Bama to NOLA.
Don’t Miss: Daily specials like Wednesday-night fried chicken and Tuesday barbecue, as well as the coconut cake with coconut pudding, strike the right home-cooking chord.
300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix; 602-200-0085
Why It’s Hot: The menu’s simple inventiveness – with four categories: crudo, cotto (cooked), mozza and griglia – makes it easy to sample a number of dishes, from butterfish to Burrata.
Don’t Miss: By day (on the weekend), brunch jars (soft-boiled egg, sausage, truffle, arugula); and by night, the horseradish ahi tuna with green garlic.
3603 E. Indian School Rd., Ste. B, Phoenix; 602-358-8666