As culinary contributor to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale, this is my last of four posts covering their 2021 Dine Like a Local contest. This year you may notice that I am posting the winners on a quarterly basis and have focused each post on a specific area of the Valley. Below are the winners of the best restaurants in North Scottsdale. If you missed my first post on Central, Uptown and Downtown Phoenix, you can find it here, my second post on Arcadia and the Biltmore area here, and my third post on South Scottsdale/Old Town is here.
In each category, the winners for North Scottsdale restaurants–chosen by the public–are listed first, followed by one of my choices from the nominated restaurants, as indicated by the stars**
My hope is for you to try some of these spots, and as always, please drop me a line to tell me what you think! In the meantime, eat and drink well locally! xoM
COFFEE, TEA, & SWEETS:
Soda Jerk Milkshake Bar
Soda Jerk is a modern take on the old fashioned soda fountain and is located in a development called High Street, a shopping/retail/condo/restaurant development just north of the Highway 101 near 56th St. Soda Jerk offers over-the-top hand-crafted milkshakes, floats, and and sundaes. Go for one of their seasonal flavors or stick to a signature milkshake, like the Death By Chocolate, or my favorite–I am a bit old fashioned myself–the Mint to Be, filled with Andes Chocolate Mint-covered Oreos, Hershey’s chocolate bar, and topped with vanilla whipped cream, fudge, and an Oreo crumb rim.
5350 E High St #109, Phoenix, AZ www. sodajerkco.com
** The Sicilian Baker
The original Sicilian Baker–for there are now three–opened next to its sister concept, The Sicilian Butcher in 2019 in North Scottsdale off Tatum Road. Developed by celebrity chef Joey Maggiore, his wife and lead designer Cristina Maggiore, and business partner Flora Tersigni, The Sicilian Baker specializes in cannoli–giant and small–while also offering a selection of arancini, pizzettes, traditional Sicilian sponge cake, muffuletta sandwiches, and Sicilian cookies. In addition, you can order cappuccinos, lattes, cold brews, Italian sparkling sodas, fresh pasta, sauces, house-made sausages, meats, and cheese at their full-service counter.
15530 N Tatum Blvd #140, Phoenix, AZ www.the sicilianbaker.com
BRUNCH & LUNCH:
Since 2002, Zinc Bistro has been serving French bistro classics in Kierland Commons to valley diners under the leadership of Arizonian, Chef Matt Carter. Think everything you love about French food: oysters, onion soup, moules marinières, croque monsieur, flat iron steak, diver scallops, chocolate soufflé, and beignets. In addition, there are a couple of American-ized favorites, like the “Zinc” Burger with blue cheese, the Macaroni Au Gratin, and the Shaved Grilled Chicken Caesar. Plus, the garden patio at this North Scottsdale restaurant is stunning, as is the 25-foot zinc bar for which the bistro is named.
15034 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.zincbistro.com
** The Mission
Chef Matt Carter is also the force behind The Mission in Kierland Commons, which is the second Mission location after the original one in Old Town Scottsdale. Choose from a variety of modern Latin dishes whose influences range from Spain, Mexico, Central America to South America. Home-made tortillas, arepas (Colombian specialty), and salsas are made fresh daily and all meats are prepared on a plancha or a grill using pecan and mesquite wood. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. Favorites include a Shaved Kale Salad with Ají Amarillo (Peruvian chili) Vinaigrette, Almejas al Vapor, Grilled Street Corn, Anticuchos, Gorditas, and a variety of street tacos. Don’t miss out of the Espresso Churros for dessert.
7122 E Greenway Pkwy Ste 140, Scottsdale, AZ www.the missionaz.com
DINNER & DATE NIGHT:
Hush Public House
Chef Dom Ruggiero left his long-standing stint at Chelsea’s Kitchen and joined forces with restaurateur Charles Barber, who oversaw the bar program at Zinc Bistro. Now, at their North Scottsdale restaurant, they serve valley diners their take on classic dishes like Pâté en Croute, Macaroni au Gratin, and Steak Frites, as well as some of their original specialties like Fried Cauliflower with house-made harissa, Wild Mushroom Ragout with poached Farmi duck egg, Duck Fried Rice. Along with one of my favorite all-time dishes served in the Valley (not exaggerating), the Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwich with braised oxtail, smoked provolone, and giardiniera on brioche bread.
14202 N Scottsdale Rd #167, Scottsdale, AZ www.hushpublichouse.com
** Andreoli Italian Grocer
Owner and chef Giovanni Scorzo, Calabria born and Liguria raised, made big news this year as the only Arizona chef to make it as a finalist for the James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest award. Scorzo moved to Arizona after meeting ASU student Linda Rupp, who was studying abroad in Italy, and followed her back to the states, eventually marrying and together they have been behind several Valley favorites (remember La Bruschetta or Lecabaffi?) before opening Andreoli. Scorzo makes all his own bread and pastries, tiramisu, cannoli, and chocolates. Daily specials in the restaurant might include Italian specialties like Farfalla alla Boscaiola, Rigatoni con Salsiccia e Piselli, and Pasta e Fagioli soup. Definitely check out the deli counter where you’ll find high quality imported meats, cheeses, and olives, or the bakery counter, which is filled with cookies and pastries.
8880 E Vía Linda, Scottsdale, AZ www.andreoli-grocer.com
NEW & NOTEWORTHY:
Campo Italian Bistro & Bar
Campo Italian Bistro & Bar is part of the Genuine Concepts restaurant group (The Vig, The Womack, and The Little Woody) and is located near McCormick Ranch at the intersection of Hayden and Via de Ventura. Open weekdays for dinner and weekends for brunch and dinner in North Scottsdale, Campo boasts soothing interiors and a lovely patio with an Italian-countryside theme that carries through to the menu. A hearty selection of antipasti, like Mushroom Arancini, Cannellini Bean Hummus and Whipped Eggplant Purée are a prelude to house made pastas, pizzas made with local organic flour, and main courses like Red Wine Braised Short Rib and Chicken Parmigiana. Save room for a Semifreddo or Affogato for dessert.
8260 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.campoitalian.com
** The Americano
Opened February 5, 2020, the restaurant concept by Pomo Restaurant Group and Creation Hospitality wows with European table side service, fine China flatware, innovative cocktails and an expansive wine list crafted by beverage director and head sommelier, Nick Padua. The Americano’s craft cocktail menu features six signature cocktails, plus five to eight seasonal cocktails created by the bar team every quarter. Presentations are show stopping, attracting the attention of diners from across the expansive dining room. Order a Drunken Wifey cocktail before diving into decadent menu selections like Caviar Fries, Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Spiced Moulard Duck Breasts and Veal Chop Parmigiana.
17797 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.theamericanorestaurant.com
Dominick’s Steakhouse opened in 2011 by brothers Jeff and Mike Mastro, who in 1999 launched the Mastro’s steakhouse legacy, selling the wildly popular concept in 2007. For their second act, the brothers partnered with their father, Dennis Mastro, and Scott Troilo to create Prime Steak Concepts. In 2011, they opened Dominick’s Steakhouse in the Scottsdale Quarter, followed by Steak 44 (named for its location on 44th Street and Camelback in Phoenix) in 2013 and most recently, Ocean 44. Dominick’s prides itself on elegant fine dining with exceptional personal service and a menu featuring prime steaks, fresh seafood, and an extensive wine selection. The menu is located on the website and almost identical to that of Steak 44.
15169 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.dominickssteakhouse.com
** La Hacienda
Chef Richard Sandoval, the so-called father of modern Mexican cuisine, collaborated with the Scottsdale Princess Resort to create the menu for this North Scottsdale restaurant led by Executive Chef Forest Hamrick. The course of your evening should go something like this: order a signature margarita or a tequila “neat” from one of La Hacienda’s 200 tequila selections while you peruse the menu. The table side guacamole is very popular, as is the Tampiqueña–my favorite meat dish from Tampico– the Shrimp Enchiladas and the Braised Short Rib Tacos. End with the Flaming Coffee, served table side, with tequila, coffee, cream, and cinnamon that will have you truly feeling as if you were in Mexico City.
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ www.scottsdaleprincess.com
Culinary Dropout at Scottsdale Quarter
Culinary Dropout is a Fox Restaurant Concept that originated in Old Town Scottsdale, across from Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. It quickly expanded to Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, and Gilbert, and is touted as a place where friends can gather to play games, have drinks, and listen to live music. Their Pretzel Balls and Provolone Fondue are famous, easily shared, and paired with cocktails that are known as “vices” that run the gamut from a Signature Old Fashioned to the Evil Jungle Princess, with rum, orgeat, pineapple, guava, and lime.
15125 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ www.culinarydropout.com
** Gin & Reel
Gin and Reel is a hidden bar behind The Stir Coffee Bar on High Street. I don’t want to give too much away and ruin the surprises. You need a password to enter, but the password is found in the coffee shop. Behind the hidden door is a quaint cocktail lounge reminiscent of “old Hollywood” during the 1920s, where most of the cocktails on the menu would reflect the 1920s, such as a Manhattan, Sazerac, Gimlet, or Vesper. Just my kind of place… and one of the best secrets (or maybe not so much a secret anymore!) around town!
5415 E High St Ste 103, Phoenix, AZ www.thestircoffeebar.com
I hope you enjoyed this list of some of the best restaurants in North Scottsdale! If you’re looking for more recommendations in other areas of the valley, check out my About Town archive, or my most recent Dine Like a Local post which features restaurants in South Scottsdale and Old Town.