Variety is the spice of life when it comes to food, and Arizona’s cultural diversity makes it a prime destination for endless culinary adventures. The following 11 restaurants might not be winning any awards for external appearance, but the quality of their food is second-to-none.
1. Lim's Chinese Restaurant (Phoenix)
Chinese buffets don't exactly have the best reputation in terms of quality, but Lim's is changing the game. Family-owned and operated, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant prioritizes fresh vegetables, small-batch cooking, and undeniable flavor. Pro-tip: don't pass up the orange chicken or chow mein.
Address: 2412 East Greenway Road, Phoenix, AZ, 85032
2. Original Mr. K's BBQ (Tucson)
Hiding in plain sight near the Tucson Airport, Mr. K's has blessed us desert rats with authentic Texas barbecue. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and several other delicious meats are slow-cooked to juicy perfection. Go with the three-meat combo, but make sure to save room for sides and dessert! There's nothing quite like homemade peach cobbler fresh from the oven.
Address: 6302 South Park Avenue, Tucson, AZ, 85713
3. Rito's Mexican Food (Phoenix)
4. POCO (Bisbee)
POCO is an all-vegetarian restaurant, but don't let that turn you away - even the most avid meat eaters can't get enough of the food. Tacos, chimichangas, nachos, and other Mexican-style favorites have been given a healthy makeover without sacrificing flavor. The quirky atmosphere also can't be beaten, perfectly capturing Bisbee's unique charm.
Address: 907 North 14th Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85006
4. Pizzeria Bocce (Cottonwood)
If you're looking for real Italian pizza, this is the place to go. From a classic margarita to creative options like pesto chicken, these pies are wood-fired to perfection. An awesome perk is that they're made with gluten-free flour, so no substitutions are necessary. Grab a seat by the outdoor fire pit if possible!
Address: 1060 North Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, 86326
6. The Mine Cafe (Jerome)
Another family-owned joint, The Mine Cafe offers hearty diner food in a simple, unassuming space. Start your day off the right way with fluffy pancakes, crisp bacon, buttermilk biscuits with homemade country gravy, and plenty of other classic Southern eats. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. every morning, so it's a perfect stop before exploring all day long.
Address: 115 Jerome Avenue, Jerome, AZ, 86331
7. Burger House (Miami)
Miami might be home to less than 2,000 people, but that doesn't mean you won't find great food here. Burger House is a mom & pop establishment serving both Mexican food and hamburgers, a combination that isn't easy to come by elsewhere. This is the Burger Ole, filled with cheese and enchilada-style meat. Another crowd favorite is the scrumptious green chili burger.
Address: 812 Live Oak Street, Miami, AZ, 85539
8. Darbi's Cafe (Pinetop)
Darbi's Cafe is an enchanting cabin restaurant that looks like something out of a children's storybook. The food is no less magical: huge portions of chicken-fried steak, liver & onions, and decadent breakfast favorites like made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls.
Address: 235 East White Mountain Boulevard, Pinetop, AZ, 85935
9. The Turquoise Room (Winsdlow)
Hidden inside La Posada Hotel, The Turquoise Room is fine Southwestern dining in a comfortable atmosphere. Start with the squash blossoms, then move onto Bison Short Ribs or a Wild Platter before splurging on the chocolate soufflé for dessert. Placing a large emphasis on high-quality ingredients like grass-fed meat and local produce, you can really taste the difference.
Address: 303 East 2nd Street, Winslow, AZ, 86047
10. Hole in One (Show Low)
Hole in One is so little-known, you almost have to already know that it’s there to be able to find it. People make the drive to Show Low from all over Arizona just to sink their teeth in these beauties. You can't go wrong with the mushroom bacon burger!
Address: 1554 Bourdon Ranch Road, Show Low, AZ, 85901
11. Blue Hills Cafe (Dewey)
Blue Hills Cafe is unassuming as can be on the outside, but you'll sing a different tune after trying the food. While definitely not reinventing the wheel, all-American classics like burgers and fries, omelets, and fried chicken never get old.
Address: 12262 East Bradshaw Mountain Road # 1, Dewey, AZ, 86327
How many of these hidden gems have you visited? Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know your thoughts!
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