Here are 10 Southwestern restaurants to try, as featured in the latest issue of Experience AZ magazine.
THINGS TO KNOW: You know a restaurant is pure Arizona when patrons have included the late Gov. Rose Mofford, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Arizona historian Marshall Trimble. Sierra Bonita puts new and inventive twists on a Southwestern menu to create a perfect blend of Mexican, Native American and cowboy cultures and create something new and delicious. The results are nothing short of a stampede of flavors.
DON’T MISS: The restaurant pays homage to the Sierra Bonita Ranch, founded in 1872 and one of the oldest cattle ranches in the United States. The restaurant’s walls and corners are adorned with dozens of Western paintings, photographs and sculptures, each connected to the ranching lifestyle and each depicting Arizona and the three prime groups that helped build the West — Mexicans, Native Americans and cowboys.
Acclaimed Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza serves authentic southern Mexican meals, prepped with a subtle French twist at times.
Chef Jeff Smedstad prepares food inspired by 15 years of visiting Mexican markets and serves it at his very popular Sedona restaurant.
Flavors from Oaxaca, Cuba, and Yucatan add depth to the menu at Fuego Bistro.
Richardson Browne has been dishing up hearty New Mexican-inspired fare since 1988.
Housed in a stunning 1940s church, Taco Guild has one of the most unique, yet alluring concepts in Arizona. Order the Yucatan Shrimp New School Tacos.
This steakhouse plates homestyle food in kitschy digs full of Texas memorabilia. Don’t miss the chicken-fried steak.
In a sophisticated yet casual setting, chef Matt Carter and Brian Raab mix tradition and ingenuity in their signature dishes and hand-pressed cocktails.
From seasoned chicken topped with nopalitos salad to green chile barbacoa, the meat entrées are outstanding.
Vincent’s has been a Valley favorite since the 1980s, when Chef Vincent Guerithault pioneered his unique brand of Southwestern-inflected French cuisine.