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Best Restaurants in PhoenixOur favorite places to eat include some of this destination's best local restaurants—from fine dining to simple fare.

A Regional Classic

Owned and operated by Native Americans, The Fry Bread House isn't on most tourists' radar, but it should be on yours. Located in central Phoenix, a short trip north of downtown, this hole-in-the-wall diner dishes up what are arguably the best fry bread tacos in the city. Bring a hearty appetite because these babies are huge: deep-fried, melt-in-your-mouth discs of Navajo fry bread loaded with the meat of your choice (green or red chile beef, spicy pork), cheese, beans and lettuce. Prices are cheap and you will leave stuffed. You can thank us later.

Paradise for Carnivores

Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert smokes its own meat and chicken over pecan grill fires for an unbeatable flavor. Try the tender ribs, the barbecue pit beans (chunky with meat) and the zesty coleslaw. For dessert—you are on vacation after all—there's homemade root beer and brownies. On weekends, take-out service may be faster—there's usually a line out the door—but you just might want to wait and enjoy the fun of serve-yourself eating on the outdoor patio. Locals know Joe's as a great place to take the kids.

Iconic Pies

An ever-growing legion of pizza geeks and foodies swear that Pizzeria Bianco serves the best gourmet pie in the country. Chef Chris Bianco smokes his own mozzarella, hand tosses the dough, tops his creative pizzas with high-quality ingredients and cooks them in a classic wood-fired oven. To feast on what even The New York Times has admitted “just might be the best pizza in America,” you must first endure an epic line that typically stretches down the block from this culinary travel destination (reservations are accepted for groups of 6 to 10 only; smaller parties often queue-up an hour before opening time). Want to whet your whistle while you wait, and wait and wait? There's an excellent wine bar next door.

Unique Eateries

In the recycled Arcadia post office, Postino Winecafe blends Mediterranean tastes and flavors. Try the bruschetta on a serving board with toppings of roasted artichoke or ricotta with pistachios. Freshly made soups, crisp salads and panini sandwiches round out the menu. Service is relaxed, and the décor is charming—garage-style glass doors open to the sunny outside dining patio. There's always a waiting line for lunch.

For great steaks, a warm, friendly atmosphere and accomplished service, Durant's fits the bill. The meat is aged to perfection, and a series of “Porterhouse Club” plaques on the walls attest to all the diners who've eaten the 48-ounce Porterhouse steak in one sitting. Fresh seafood is flown in daily and includes stone crab (in season) and Idaho trout. As you're walking in from the parking area, be sure to greet the grill chef as you pass through the kitchen. Durant's has been in business for more than 60 years and is often mentioned as one of the best restaurants in town for steaks; the well-trained staff strives to make every visit exceptional.

Roaring Fork in Scottsdale is ideal for any special occasion. Service is consistently friendly and accomplished, and chef Bryan Hulihee combines Southwestern herbs and sauces with meat and fish in unique ways; his braised “Dr Pepper” beef short ribs are a signature dish. From a fantastic dessert list, the chocolate opera cake is a dieter's downfall. The warm and intimate dining rooms of this “American Western bistro” have canal views and small niches for romantic dining.

Feast on Local Ingredients

Using Arizona's indigenous foods, the chef at Kai (in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort) has created a changing menu of seasonal recipes—many featuring Native American ingredients and spices. Heirloom produce comes from ancient seeds cultivated by Southwestern tribal groups. Specialties include soup made with huitlacoche, a smoky-tasting fungus that grows on ears of corn; pan-seared duck breast with prickly pear compote; and beef tenderloin with a pomegranate demi-glace. In this elegant, modern space, you'll savor every bite.

Great Spots for Couples

Looking for things for couples to do? Make a reservation at T. Cook's , where elegant high ceilings and flowing draperies create Old World ambiance. This restaurant in the Royal Palms Resort and Spa offers a selection of Mediterranean entrées, including delectable rotisserie dishes. Try the Maine lobster served with a champagne-chive butter sauce or the house specialty, paella with lobster claws.

French-influenced Mediterranean cuisine isn't the only star at Different Pointe of View . This restaurant at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort should be on anyone’s list of things to do in Phoenix, as it sits some 700 feet above the city and offers a spectacular sunset view of the valley and its sparkling evening lights. From thick and creamy soups like lobster bisque to delicate fish in savory sauces, the menu takes advantage of fresh seasonal ingredients. The award-winning international wine list is another selling point.

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Phoenix, AZ

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Travel Information

City Population

1,445,632

Elevation

1,117 ft.

Sales Tax

The statewide sales tax is 5.6 percent; an additional 2.3 percent is added in Phoenix and an additional 0.7 percent is added in Maricopa County. There is a hotel/motel tax of 12.57 percent. Rental cars incur a 15.1 percent tax, plus an 11.11 percent concession fee. There is a stadium tax of 3.25 percent. Airport parking includes a daily surcharge of $4.50.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(602) 262-6151

Hospitals

Banner Estrella Medical Center, (623) 327-4000; Banner—University Medical Center, (602) 839-2000; Maricopa Integrated Health System, (602) 344-5011; St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, (844) 369-5479.

Visitor Information

125 N. 2nd St., Suite 120 Phoenix, AZ 85004. Phone:(602)254-6500 or (877)225-5749

Air Travel

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Rental Cars

At the airport, Hertz, (602) 267-8822 or (800) 654-3131, offers discounts to AAA members.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc. has terminals at 2115 E. Buckeye Rd., (602) 389-4200, and 2647 W. Glendale Ave., (602) 246-0907 or (800) 231-2222.

Taxis

Taxi companies serving the greater Phoenix area include Yellow Cab, (480) 888-8888; Discount Cab, (602) 200-2000; and VIP Taxi, (602) 300-3000.

Public Transportation

Valley METRO Light Rail connects downtown Phoenix to the neighboring communities of Tempe and Mesa. To reach Sky Harbor International Airport, get off at the station at 44th and Washington streets. From there, the free PHX Sky Train connects to the East Economy parking area and Terminals 3 and 4. At Terminal 4, shuttle buses provide transportation to Terminals 2 and 3.

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