Don’t you love how when the weather gets cooler, we get an influx of visitors to the Valley? Friends and family love to visit us from October until around April, and I don’t know about you, but it is hard to entertain so much at home. I mean it’s a lot of work, right? So, how about taking some of the burden off your shoulders and just go out for brunch? In this roundup of the best of brunch in Scottsdale and the Phoenix valley, there is a mixed bag of my old favorites and new spots to try. Let me know your favorites! xoM
Virtù Honest Craft
Chef Giuseppe (Gio) Osso debuted this eatery in the Bespoke Inn, a four-room luxury B&B in 2013. Virtù is hands down one of our favorite brunch places in town for simple, but elevated dishes and the charming setting off a quiet street in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Snag a spot on the patio next to a gurgling fountain and order a glass of rosé or perhaps one of their exceptional cocktails, like the Sicilian Slang with Tito’s Vodka, Averna, Luxardo Cherry Morlacco, orange bitters and bitter lemon soda.
The concept is called (by Osso) “honest craft” cuisine, a reference to the farm-to-table experience. For brunch you will find some of Virtù’s specialties, like the grilled octopus with fennel, arugula, lemon chickpeas and Calabrese chile butter, or the grilled asparagus topped with Two Wash Ranch duck eggs, feta, bacon candy, foie gras hollandaise, and a drizzle of truffle oil.
My usual is the Classic Crêpe, with Parma cotto ham, gruyere cheese, and eggs topped with a creamy mornay sauce. The server will be able to recommend a pairing or a bottle from the thoughtful wine list of mostly Italian and Spanish selections that also includes a few select Arizona wines. I am not a desert fan, but always end my meal with an affogato, espresso poured over vanilla bean ice cream.
3701 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (In The Bespoke Inn) www.virtuhonestcrafts.com
Campo Italian Bistro & Bar
I think Campo Bistro & Bar is not only one of the best gems in Scottsdale overall, but also one of the better brunch spots around. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm, with a menu that adds a delicious Italian twist to classic brunch fare such as savory Dutch Baby Pancakes (with prosciutto, pesto, and fontina cheese) or the Campo Benedicto (poached egg topped with spinach, capicola and roasted pepper hollandaise).
I also find the Breakfast Pizza to be an innovative twist, with grilled onions, potato, Italian sausage, egg and Parmesan cheese. I started off my meal with a mimosa served off their Bloody Mary and Mimosa cart, followed by the Eggs in Purgatory—basically a take on the shakshuka—and capped off the meal with a simple Illy espresso. Chef Alex Stratta and Culinary Director Jeremy Pacheco source what they can from local farms and ranches, like McClendon’s Select, Crow’s Dairy Farm, and Queen Creek Olive Mill to name a few. Campo has a delightful patio but reserve those seats in advance as they go fast!
8260 N. Hayden Rd. #A102, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 www.campoitalian.com
It is awesome to think that what started 20 years ago in a quiet renovated Arcadia post office has grown to 17 locations across three states. Founders Kris and Craig DeMarco had traveled extensively throughout Italy and Europe and felt there was a need for a neighborhood place where one could get good quality, reasonably priced glasses of wine alongside small bites of food, and a culinary star was born. It is true, such a place did not exist, but thanks to their inspiration and innovation, we have our pick of seven across the Phoenix Valley.
Postino’s recently started serving wine-based brunch cocktails along with their delicious weekend brunch dishes, and I cannot stress the importance of trying, for instance, a Focaccia Stack–grilled focaccia, smashed avocado, crispy prosciutto, fried egg, watermelon radish, arugula, feta, and spicy marcona almond—with a Sherry Merry, Oloroso Sherry, Rainwater Madeira and their famous Bloody Mary mix. Unlike your choice of hairstyle in the 80’s, you won’t regret it.
Various Valley Locations www.postinowinecafe.com
Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions
Originally opened in 2012 by two sisters, Marissa and Kirsten, Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions is now located within the Vintage Arcadia at 4418 E. Osborn. Offering a casual, farm-to-table experience, Chestnut’s menu tends to focus on health, but there is something for everyone. I have recently become obsessed with the Morning Bibimbap Bowl – possibly a nod to the owners’ Korean heritage? – and the kids love the Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes that are served with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate sauce.
This brunch spot in Phoenix features several local producers including Noble Breads, MJ Bread, Matador Coffee, and McClendon’s Select organic produce. Breakfast and lunch are served from 8 am to 3 pm daily. There is also a full bar with signature cocktails and an extensive beer and wine selection.
4418 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix AZ www.chestnutaz.com
Prep & Pastry
Established in 2013 in Tucson, Prep & Pastry opened their Scottsdale location in September 2019 across from Nordstrom in the Scottsdale Broadstone Waterfront. Housed inside the beautiful, soaring, indoor-outdoor space, Prep & Pastry serves up a menu of breakfast, lunch, and brunch, paired with an extensive menu of craft cocktails, house-steeped teas and organic fair-trade coffee drinks.
Open daily from 7 am – 3 pm, Prep & Pastry favorites include a Cast Iron Duck Confit, Steak and Egg Sammie, and Breakfast Poutine, plus some vegetarian favorites like the Chickpea Scramble and the Monster Bowl. There is special care to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind brunch experience, adding unique touches with their house-made jams and pastries, build your own mimosas, a House Bloody Mary made combining guajillo & garlic infused vodka, herbed mustard mix and a shot glass of beer, and a full coffee bar featuring fresh-ground OX Coffee and your choice of 15 different loose-leaf teas.
7025 E Via Soleri Dr #175, Scottsdale, AZ www.prepandpastry.com
Schmooze Workspace and Cafe is a remote workspace with a charming patio that serves breakfast and lunch and is situated on a quiet corner of Marshall Way in Old Town Scottsdale. John Vatistas, of Launch Realty, created Schmooze as a place where real estate agents and clients could meet to discuss the details of buying a house in the Valley. This innovative idea turned into a beautifully designed co-working space serving coffee, tea, cocktails (most on tap) and food. Fiber internet provides fast and reliable wi-fi connection, and individual offices are for rent both hourly, daily and monthly.
Hubby and I first stumbled upon Schmooze one afternoon while riding bikes around Old Town. We stopped in and to our delight they served some refreshing Aperol Spritzes on tap. Since then, I have returned for breakfast and coffee, enjoying the Avocado Toasts and Breakfast Bowls filled with quinoa, sautéed mushrooms, and arugula salad topped with two fried eggs.
4222 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ www.schmoozescottsdale.com
The Farm at South Mountain
LLocated just south of downtown Phoenix, The Farm at South Mountain, is literally an oasis in the desert, situated on a former riverbed that rewarded the grounds with naturally rich soil. It is also another unique spot to get brunch in Phoenix.
A pecan tree grove provides the shade for organic gardens and three separate restaurants: the Morning Glory Café offers house smoked meats, seasonal omelettes, and fresh baked goods for breakfast, The Farm Kitchen serves sandwiches, fresh soups, and seasonal salads packed in picnic baskets (perfect for exploring the grounds!), and Quiessence delivers a “farm-to-table” dinner experience using local produce, meat and wine to create a choice of 4 to 6-course tasting menus. There is also an art gallery and gift shop onsite.
Specialties at Morning Glory Café include Pancho’s Chilaquiles, Brisket & Egg Open Faced Sandwich, and the Farm Monte Cristo, brioche French toast toasted with ham, eggs, Gruyère cheese and topped with syrup.
6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ, www.thefarmatsouthmountian.com
The Henry is a Fox Restaurant Concepts venue located on Camelback Rd. at the 44th Street intersection. Touted as The Greatest Neighborhood Restaurant, The Henry truly is an ideal place to grab coffee with friends, a late lunch with a colleague, dinner with the family, an after-work cocktail on the scenic patio, or a comfy place to peck away at your computer for hours.
If arriving for breakfast, you can order at the counter and find a seat in the bright, spacious areas. You can choose from a variety of pastries and a small menu with familiar selections like avocado toast, burritos, French toast and breakfast sandwiches. Brunch on the weekends offers a wider selection, including a Flower Child Scramble and a Rancheros Breakfast Bowl, and bringing in lunch and dinner favorites like the Spicy Tuna & Crispy Rice, Short Rib Pot Stickers, Harvest Bowls and Roasted Turkey French Dip. Cocktails are light and refreshing, and I highly recommend the Grapefruit Spritz or Arcadia’s Best G&T.
4455 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ www.thehenryrestaurant.com
The Larder + The Delta
The Larder + The Delta, a Southern farm-to-table concept started by the talented Chef Steven Jones, moved from a stall in the DeSoto Central Market to Portland on the Park, a luxury condo building on Portland Ave in downtown Phoenix in 2018.
The restaurant is open for dinner every day–except for Mondays when it is closed–and is open for brunch on Sundays only from 10 am to 3 pm. Chef Jones churns out dishes that are both hearty and delicious, using local Arizona produce to create Southern favorites with a twist. Many items on the menu are seasonal, but you may find dishes like Appalachian Shrimp and Grits with Carolina Gold rice, Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Crispy Chicken McMuffin, and Andouille and Bacon Dirty Rice.
You could also see a spattering of dishes from their dinner menu that are not to be missed, like Crispy Pig Ears dusted with Cheetos, or Fried Chicken Skin that has been drizzled with honey, Pimiento Cheese with Benton ham (from TN), tomato, and jam on grilled bread, and my favorite, the Hoppin’ John, a dish with Carolina Gold rice, Sea Island red peas, and plenty of fresh herbs. Many of the customers are regulars, living nearby and making time to frequent the restaurant weekly. Others, like us, ventured out from the suburbs, and are all the better for having done so.
200 W Portland St #101, Phoenix, AZ www.thelarderandthedelta.com
The Mission Old Town
Renowned Zinc Bistro Chef Matt Carter is the force behind this perennial Old Town favorite, now with a second location in the Kierland Commons. While you can visit the newer north Scottsdale location, you would be missing out on the charm of the Old Town location, next to the white adobe church on Brown Ave.
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.
Their brunch at both Scottsdale locations is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm. There is a Shaved Kale Salad with Ají Amarillo (Peruvian chili) vinaigrette, Almejas al vapor, grilled street corn, anticuchos, gorditas, and tacos. Sides dishes are also rich with flavors, like the Oaxacan Cheesy Rice or the Roasted Poblano Grits. Don’t miss out of the Espresso Churros for dessert.
3815 N. Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ www.missionaz.com
Brought to you by Upward Projects Restaurant Group, the Windsor continues the mission of the group to be connected to the communities in which they serve. Windsor takes its name from the local historic Phoenix neighborhood, and serves breakfast Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 am, complete with a build-your-own bloody Mary bar cart, $5 brunch cocktails and pitchers of beer. Seating on the backyard-style patio is popular, so make a reservation or arrive on the earlier side.
Popular brunch dishes include Eggs Benedict, Beignets, Southern Style Sausage and Gravy with cheddar biscuits, and Chicken & Waffles. To wash this all down, Windsor serves high-quality wine and beer on tap, as well as a robust selection of prohibition cocktails with a heavy emphasis on whiskey, rye, bourbon, and scotch.
5223 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ www.windsoraz.com
Hungry for more breakfast or brunch options in Scottsdale and beyond? Check out my recap of The Scout Guide’s nominees for this years’ best Breakfast & Brunch category.