Diners at The Mission in Scottsdale can enjoy tableside guacamole and a broad selection of Latin fare.

Photo: Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

#2. Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ is one the best food cities in America. Don’t let the arid, desert climate and western architecture fool you – the food scene in Scottsdale is lush. This oasis of culinary delights continues to attract creative chefs who’ve led the city into a culinary renaissance. Visitors should be warned: Your taste buds won’t want you to leave.

While steakhouses and Southwestern cuisine can be found in ample supply, the variety of restaurants in Scottsdale is impressive. Residents take full advantage of the many choices there are for eating out. Among the most popular restaurants is The Mission, which serves modern Latin cuisine in a sophisticated yet casual atmosphere. Flights of tequila pair well with items like chicken anticuchos, malbec braised short ribs and chorizo porchetta. Citizen Public House offers a contemporary setting to dig into refined comfort foods like veal meatloaf, roasted buttermilk chicken and beef belly BLTs while sipping on a glass of craft beer or enjoying a delicious cocktail. A 2013 James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalist, ShinBay is the creation of chef Shinji Kurita, whose Japanese dishes provide not only an ambush of flavor but also unique textures. These three restaurants are but a small sampling of the culinary adventures Scottsdale has to offer.

Farmers markets and green grocers like Bodega Market provide fresh produce and high-end proteins for home cooks to show off their skills. Scottsdale residents spend more on food than most Americans and have easy access to high-quality ingredients.

Other places to sniff out: Grimaldi’s, 5th and Wine, Pink Pony, Rehab Burger Therapy, Roaring Fork, FnB

Don’t miss: The daily dessert at FnB. It could be butterscotch pudding, lemon cake, cornbread with whipped cream, ice cream and strawberries, or chocolate whiskey cake

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