The dining scene in Old Town Scottsdale offers an incredibly diverse array of cuisines and atmospheres to suit any taste or occasion. From upscale steakhouses to casual taco joints, this area has top-notch restaurants that should be on every foodie’s radar when visiting Scottsdale.
An Overview of the Vibrant Old Town Scottsdale Restaurant
With its walkable streets lined with art galleries, shops, bars and restaurants, Old Town Scottsdale provides a lively dining district perfect for spending an evening or full day indulging in the city’s best food and drink.
The restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale range from dine-in movie theaters to James Beard award-winning establishments, allowing visitors to tailor their experience based on interests and budget. The neighborhood also hosts a number of annual food and wine festivals that celebrate the city’s eclectic culinary offerings.
With so many excellent options to choose from, finding the perfect spot for any occasion can be a bit overwhelming. This guide covers some of the very best restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale, from hidden gems to popular longtime favorites, to help narrow down the choices and ensure a memorable dining experience during your visit.
Best Places To Eat in Old Town Scottsdale
The Mission: Trendy Latin Fusion in a Lively Setting
The Mission (Website) brings a modern twist to Latin cuisine in a vibrant, high-energy environment. Conveniently located at 3815 N Brown Ave, the spacious indoor dining room and patio seating allow guests to soak up Old Town’s atmosphere.
Chef Matt Carter offers bold, innovative dishes like Butternut Squash Tacos, Chorizo Porchetta, and Pacific Swordfish that incorporate both traditional and unexpected ingredients. More traditional plates like the Roasted Pork Shoulder Tacos also satisfy.
Ideal sides to complement the complex flavors include the Oaxacan Cheesy Rice and Duck Carnitas Empanada. The restaurant’s extensive cocktail list provides the perfect pairing for the zesty, robust cuisine.
With its festive decor, wait staff clad in button-downs and bowties, and live music pulsing later in the evening, The Mission exudes an energy perfect for large groups and special occasions.
Citizen Public House for Refined Seasonal American Fare
For a more refined gastropub experience in Old Town, Citizen Public House (Website) offers upscale ambiance paired with creative seasonal dishes.
The interior dining space features warm lighting, leather booths and brick walls for an intimate but lively setting. A partially covered patio provides scenic outdoor seating.
The menu showcases American classics prepared with meticulous technique and high-quality ingredients. Standouts include the melt-in-your-mouth Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi, crispy Crab Cakes, and flawlessly cooked Crispy Branzino. For seafood lovers, the plump Seared Sea Scallops also astound.
But Citizen Public House excels beyond just seafood and steak. Their juicy Green Chili Burger, tofu and vegetable-packed Stir Fry, and drool-worthy PB&J Wings during social hour attract those craving a more casual, bar-friendly menu.
Citizen Public House also crafts some of the most well-balanced cocktails in Scottsdale, like the refreshing Rabble Rouser with vodka, elderflower, and grapefruit.
FnB Restaurant: Imaginative Dishes from Local Arizona Farms
Chef Charleen Badman of FnB Restaurant (Website) has earned prestigious accolades, including a James Beard Award, for her ingredient-driven cooking style that showcases Arizona’s exceptional produce.
Conveniently located on Craftsman Court, the modest dining room decor allows the artfully composed dishes to shine. A partially covered patio provides outdoor seating.
Chef Badman transforms humble vegetables into culinary masterpieces, like the meaty Roasted Carrots and silky Squash Blossoms appetizers. Mains like the flawlessly seared Mexican Pink Grouper and comforting Chicken Paprikash astound with their bold, layered flavors.
The well-curated wine list and cocktails like the herbaceous Cucumber Sour complement the dishes perfectly. Save room for nostalgic desserts like the Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding.
With its ever-changing menu guided by seasonal availability, FnB Restaurant offers a highly memorable fine dining experience unique to Scottsdale.
Roaring Fork: Hearty Wood-Fired Dishes in a Rustic-Chic Setting
For a taste of quintessential American comfort food, Roaring Fork (Website) serves up bold, smoky flavors in a Western lodge environment. Conveniently located on North Scottsdale Road next to Old Town’s core.
Inside, the stone walls and leather booths surrounding a central wood-burning grill provide rustic charm. Their patio overlooks the bustling sidewalk.
Roaring Fork excels at wood-fired preparation. The crisp char on the Boneless Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin gives an incredible depth of flavor. Carnivores will delight in the sizzling Bone-In Ribeye kissed with smoke.
Ideal sides like the Corn Bread Stuffing and Truffle Fries soak up any juices. During happy hour, nosh on shareable bites while sipping stiff classics like their Frozen Huckleberry Margarita or Old Fashioned. With its homey environment and heartwarming dishes, Roaring Fork offers quintessential Americana in Old Town.
Virtú Honest Craft: Intimate Mediterranean Cuisine with Daily Changing Menus
Those seeking a more intimate and progressive dining experience will relish Virtú Honest Craft (Website). Tucked away on North Scottsdale Road, their hidden garden oasis transports diners to the Mediterranean coast.
With just 30 seats in their cozy dining room and patio, Virtú Honest Craft provides a personalized experience. The daily rotating menu highlights ultra-fresh and seasonal ingredients in dishes like the delicate Crudo and rich Pasta Bolognese. Dishes often have Mediterranean influences but with Chef Gio Osso’s creative flair.
Make sure to sample the ever-changing cheese course served before dessert. With its hushed environment and attentive yet unintrusive service, Virtú Honest Craft offers a refined respite perfect for intimate dinners.
Sugar Bowl: Vintage Ice Cream Parlor and Diner Since 1958
For a sweet taste of nostalgia, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor (Website) has been a Scottsdale institution since 1958, now conveniently located in downtown Scottsdale.
Step inside its pink walls and snag a stool at the horseshoe-shaped counter to feel transported back to a 1950s soda fountain. Servers in pink-and-white uniforms cheerfully whip up indulgent treats like the Creamy Pineapple Mint Shake, Dusty Road Sundae, and Root Beer Float.
Beyond sweet confections, Sugar Bowl also slings classic diner fare like the Sliced Meatloaf Sandwich, crispy Chicken Strips, and juicy Patty Melt. Wash it down with the namesake Sugar Bowl Scotch & Soda.
With its retro vibes and timeless menu, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor offers family-friendly fare perfect before or after exploring Old Town galleries and shops. The ice cream itself brings back the carefree nostalgia of youth.
Fat Ox: Refined Italian Cuisine with Housemade Pastas
For an upscale Italian meal on Scottsdale Road, Fat Ox (Website) impresses diners with its refined ambiance and meticulously prepared dishes.
Tucked behind a cascading wooden exterior, the interior dining space provides understated elegance. On warm nights, score a table on their palm tree-lined patio.
Start your meal with shareable plates like the melt-in-your-mouth Veal Meatballs or briny Steamed Mussels swimming in tomato broth and herbs. The tender Prime Ribeye cooked in their wood-fired oven also astounds.
Fat Ox takes housemade pasta to the next level with selections like the delicate Ricotta Caramelle stuffed with decadent fillings. Even classic pastas like the Spaghetti Pomodoro transport diners to Italy with their exemplary execution.
End your meal on a sweet note with the crowd-pleasing Banana Tiramisu, inventively incorporating the tropical fruit into the traditional Italian dessert. Fat Ox provides refined yet welcoming Old Town dining.
Diego Pops for Fresh Takes on Mexican Classics
Forelevated yet affordable Mexican fare in a lively setting, Diego Pops (Website) hits the mark. Located north of Old Town’s central strips, its vibrantly colored walls and hanging papel picado banners set a festive ambiance.
In addition to imaginative dishes like the Bean + Cheese Burrito and Braised Pineapple Pork Bowl, Diego Pops excels at Mexican classics. Their Beef Machaca Tacos and Bacon-wrapped Sonoran Hot Dog demonstrate culinary prowess with flavorful proteins and exemplary technique.
Ideal sides like the Fried Plantains and Coconut Rice complement the complexly spiced entrees. On Taco Mondays, score $3 tacos all day – perfect for trying multiple varieties.
The tequila-focused bar program also impresses with a lengthy list of hand-crafted margaritas that provide a quintessential Mexican dining experience.
Cafe Monarch: Fine Dining Destination with Intimate Ambiance
Since 1998, Cafe Monarch (Website) has provided an upscale fine dining experience befitting special occasions and date nights. Tucked away on Scottsdale Road just steps from the Waterfront, its intimate ambiance heightens the already exquisite cuisine and service.
Their fixed-price menu offerings change seasonally, but consistently highlight refined technique and luxurious ingredients. Recent highlights include the velvety Roasted Cauliflower Soup, plump Scallop Mi Cuit, and tender French Veal paired with expertly seared Yellowfin Tuna.
For adventurous eaters, Café Monarch also offers a caviar tasting with premium add-ons like Ossetra and Beluga caviars. Cap off your experience with the rich Chocolate Caramel Torte, an ethereal cloud of chocolate mousse and caramel cake.
The restaurant also holds monthly special wine dinners meticulously paired with multiple courses. With its white tablecloths, formal servers, and piano player, Café Monarch transports diners to a romantic era perfect for celebrating special milestones.
Rehab Burger Therapy: Creative Burgers Worthy of Their Own Therapy Session
Those seeking a more casual but highly craveable meal need look no further than Rehab Burger Therapy (Website). Tucked away at the end of a small shopping center just northwest of Old Town, this eatery slings enormous burgers with unconventional toppings and sides.
Indulge in their melt-in-your-mouth PBJ & Bacon Burger, with crunchy potato chips layered right into the sandwich. The Philly Cheeseburger also brings comfort with its gooey cheese sauce and peppers.
Beyond cheeseburgers, other sandwiches like the Super Cluckin’ Chicken and pasta dishes like the Bistro Bowl satisfy lighter cravings. Kick back on the lively patio with a unique cocktail like their Margatini or a sweet treat like the Orange Creamsicle Milkshake.
With its black walls covered in cheeky slogans, Rehab Burger Therapy provides a whimsical setting ideal for casual meals with friends. The novel burger creations make this a must-try Old Town Scottsdale spot.
Cartel Roasting Co.: Artisanal Coffee Drinks and Baked Goods
For a locally roasted coffee accompanied by freshly baked pastries, Cartel Roasting Co. (Website) offers the perfect start to a day exploring Old Town Scottsdale. Conveniently located steps from the district’s main drag.
The minimalist space provides ample seating at long communal tables, the perfect perch for getting some work done over coffee. The laidback staff prepares drink orders like the velvety Cascara Vanilla Tonic with precision and care.
Indulge in flaky pastries like the Hatch Chile Bagel Bomb, loaded with melty cheese and roasted hatch chilies. The Apple Butter Pop-Tart offers nostalgia in handheld form. For non-caffeinated options, the Sparkling Prickly Pear Tea offers a refreshing dose of vitamin C.
With its upscale yet unintimidating vibe and attention to quality ingredients, Cartel Roasting Company provides Old Town’s best coffeehouse experience.
Best Restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale: Summary
With its outstanding restaurants ranging from fast casual to fine dining, Old Town Scottsdale offers incredible eats for any taste or budget. Food lovers will delight in exploring the area’s specialties like wood-fired cuisine, elevated Mexican dishes, and refined seasonal American fare.
Exciting recent openings also continue to shape the district’s ever-evolving culinary landscape. Within just a few blocks, you can travel the world through food, enjoying Thai, Italian, Japanese and more.
Beyond the excellent restaurants covered above, nearby downtown Scottsdale also offers trendy new dining and drinking spots worth checking out if time permits. Areas like South Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Waterfront provide additional variety for repeat visitors.
With its year-round sunshine and vibrant food and arts scene, Scottsdale provides an outstanding travel destination for savoring exquisite meals al fresco. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your own favorite Old Town restaurants or dishes so we can pay them a visit next time.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.