Arizona’s hospitality industry is in the throes of its high season, when the world-at-large descends on the Grand Canyon State to enjoy our sunshine, spas, golf courses, restaurants and resorts. Lucky for them, many of the region’s top resorts happen to have some of our biggest culinary talents. Here are some of the best Arizona resort restaurants that set the standard for fine desert dining:
With celebrity chef Beau MacMillan at the helm for decades, Elements being listed here should come as no surprise as it’s one of the best Arizona resort restaurants. But there are actually two big reasons beyond the Food Network darling that Elements continues to be a must for any foodie. Last year, the resort brought on James Beard Award nominee Samantha Sanz as chef de cuisine at both Elements and Jade Bar. Her farm-fresh American cuisine with Asian and Latin accents amidst some of the most breathtaking views in the Southwest must be on your bucket list. In addition to her, Sanctuary also brought on Christiaan Röllich as bar chef. He has reignited the resort’s cocktail program, adding everything from harissa-infused syrups to truffle oil washes.
Learn more: sanctuaryoncamelback.com
Chop, Block & Brew
In 2018, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino opened Chop, Block & Brew in Maricopa. Rustic and relaxed yet an upscale adventure for one’s taste buds, three of the many highlights: the dry-aging of the meats, allowing them to rest in a carefully controlled state to develop a deeper layer of flavor; select steaks are sous vide, which produces a more consistent taste and size, and ensures a more even temperature based on guest preference; and any number of accompaniments ranging from lobster tail to maître de butter. The 3,454-square-foot restaurant also notably features Native American-inspired artwork and design elements that highlight the culture and traditions of the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
Learn more: harrahsakchin.com
Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak
Egyptian-born Michael Mina is a magician with flavors. His team members at Michael Mina Group, which has more than 40 high-end concepts worldwide to date, are artists of atmosphere. And the team at his Scottsdale namesake, located in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess? They are masters at making unforgettable evenings for every single person who dines with them. Given its name, it should go without saying that the steak offerings will rock your world. However, dig a little deeper into the menu when you have a chance and explore the other delicacies, including an ultra-chic take on a shellfish platter. Also, don’t miss that glass wine cellar.
Learn more: scottsdaleprincess.com
The Forbes Four-Star Award-winning Talavera, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a dramatic fire that lines the interior of the entire restaurant, is the jewel in the crown of the sophisticated Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North. The Spanish-influenced menus, featuring paella, jamón ibérico, and a laundry list of globally inspired tapas, are quickly becoming the stuff of legend. Insider tip: within Talavera there is also a small cocktail spot called Gin Bar that specializes in gin tonics, which are far more aromatic and botanically forward than traditional gin and tonics. It is the perfect way to kick off or end an unforgettable evening.
Learn more: talavera.com
When Mountain Shadows Resort re-opened its doors in 2017 after a complete re-imagining to every inch of the property, Hearth ’61 made its debut. A blend of American and Mediterranean flavors, Hearth ’61 prides itself on truly using the best ingredients, local and seasonal whenever possible. The menu changes at least monthly, featuring what is exquisite at the moment. McClendon’s Select, Two Wash Ranch, Duncan’s Trading Company, and Noble Bread are just a few of the restaurant’s local purveyors.
Learn more: mountainshadows.com
Located at Hotel Valley Ho, the whimsical restaurant is homage to “ZuZu,” which is the nickname given to noted cook and real estate icon Rosalyn Bennett Lyon, whose son Scott was a key member of the company that developed the hotel. And you know if someone names a restaurant after a mom; then it must be amazing. Russell LaCanse, who leads the culinary team onsite, is quietly one of the best chefs in the Southwest. He isn’t scared of going bold with flavors, having fun with plating or challenging guests to try a little something new. Of course, the venue also boasts the Showstopper Shake, which is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. ZuZu’s pastry chef collaborates with LaCasce to come up with a brand-new flavor every month, creating a new spin on this classic 1950s dessert.
Learn more: hotelvalleyho.com
LON’s at the Hermosa Inn offers many romantic settings for an intimate dinner experience: an outdoor dining patio featuring gorgeous flora and fauna, a trickling fountain and a massive fireplace; a ruggedly handsome indoor dining room illuminated by candlelight; and an underground wine cellar for private dining. The cellar dining is an especially magical experience. Limited to just 12 guests total, the cellar is inspired by tunnels that used to exist on property during the Prohibition era to allow imbibing guests to escape from the Sheriff if he made an unannounced visit. Though they were eventually ravaged by fire, in 1992, the then-owners took meticulous care to find the tunnels and rebuild them using steels and reclaimed brick. Today, the space celebrates Arizona’s storied history while helping you write a chapter of your own. It is also one of the most acclaimed Arizona resort restaurants.
Learn more: hermosainn.com
ShadowRock Tap + Table
As much a social hub as culinary hotspot, this indoor-outdoor dining adventure at Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock celebrates the red rock spirit of adventure through a wealth of amenities including the Porch, a large outdoor garden with fire pits, water features, lawn games and scenic seating. In addition to the restaurant’s inviting setting, guests and locals can enjoy a variety of creative seasonal activations and seasonal menu stunners that set the resort dining experience among the best in the Southwest. Insider tip: visit now through late March as the resort offers an igloo dining experience under the stars, inclusive of your own post-dinner fire pit for s’mores.
Learn more: hiltonsedona.com
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
In 2021, celebrated Arizona and Culinary Institute of America and Hyde Park alum chef Dushyant Singh took the helm of all culinary operations at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, most notably Weft & Warp Art Bar. Since joining, Singh has worked with the culinary team to create a menu bursting with exceptionally bold flavors and focused on globally inspired ingredients, especially his favorites from northern Italy, southern France and Spain. The result is clean, bold flavors, all with a view of Camelback Mountain.
Learn more: andazscottsdale.com
Tucked into Castle Hot Springs near the property’s one-acre farm and greenhouse that grows more than 150 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and florals including 30 types of heirloom tomatoes, per season, Harvest strives to find the synthesis between every fruit, vegetable, herb, and flower that find its way from the Sonoran soil to guests’ plates. The menus change daily based on the actual on-site farm’s yield, with the goal of offering a kaleidoscope of freshness and flavors at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making it one of the most unique Arizona resort restaurants.
Learn more: castlehotsprings.com