If you’re visiting Scottsdale or Phoenix for one of the many current events—such as the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson car auction, the Arabian Horse Show, Spring Training, or even the Super Bowl—you are probably trying to research the best places to eat while you’re in town. The Scottsdale dining scene has an abundance of diverse restaurants, from high-end steakhouses to casual Thai restaurants. To save you some time, I’ve compiled some of the best restaurants to visit on your trip. Whether you’re looking for fine dining for date night, or a fun casual spot for a group after a sports game, you’ll have an option for every day you’re in town.
We’ll start off with the more upscale restaurants, guaranteed to impress. Keep in mind, you’ll need to follow a dress code to match the exceptional experience these restaurants provide. I’ve included my styling recommendations to ensure you stand out (and not stick out) for a great night to remember.
Maple & Ash is a posh Chicago-based steakhouse branching into Arizona. This steakhouse is focused on innovative, wood-fired dishes and incredible hospitality. It’s a great option for date night or a celebration with friends. To maintain the special ambiance, a dress code is enforced. All guests should be dressed in business casual at minimum, or even more formally. This means you should not wear any athletic attire, casual T-shirts, baseball hats, or open toed shoes. Instead, dress in a button-up shirt in your favorite color, plus pressed slacks. You can elevate your look with a jacket and a leather belt. Once you’re dressed up, you’ll be ready to try their sizzling seafood tower or four course tasting menu—Maple & Ash guarantees a great meal and great time.
Let me start off by stating this is one of my all-time favorite steakhouses. It’s the perfect spot for an upscale American steakhouse experience, with their premium steaks, seafood, and an award-winning wine list. The atmosphere is elevated and intimate; therefore, guests are encouraged to dress up. Guests should not show up in athletic wear, printed T-shirts, revealing clothing, or baseball caps. Rather, a nice collared shirt is encouraged—and feel free to dress it up a notch with a sport coat, especially if you’re coming for a date night. Whether you choose to dine in the elegant dining room or out on the patio, you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
Ocean 44 is an upscale restaurant in the Scottsdale fine dining scene, known for their world-class seafood plus the finest steaks from Steak 44. From the highest grade sustainable seafood to intriguing appetizers, Ocean 44 is a unique experience to include on your dining itinerary. As expected, the dress code is elegant-casual at the minimum, or even dressier. This means you should aim to dress up for an elegant evening—a collared shirt paired with a jacket is highly recommended. Do not wear sweats, athletic clothing, hats, or open toed shoes.
This is the place to be on a weekend. With great food and drinks, you will notice that guests dress up for a night at Toca Madera. While a complete suit and tie isn’t necessary, be sure you dress to impress. You can opt for a more comfortable, chic look. A nice jacket with a pair of slacks, or even dressy jeans, plus cool shoes will perfectly suit the vibe.
Dominick’s Steakhouse offers the highest grade domestic Wagyu, a chef’s selection of seafood, and specialty cocktails and wine–needless to say, you need to arrive in style. Proper attire is required, and you’re encouraged to dress up for the elegant atmosphere. A collared shirt and sport coat with nice slacks is favorable. Avoid casual T-shirts, athletic wear, revealing clothing, and any sort of hat or visor—save those for daytime when you’re exploring the city! There is also a rooftop seating area where you can enjoy cocktails by the pool or even enjoy your full fine dining experience poolside.
You may have visited Nobu at one of their many locations worldwide. If you’re looking for Japanese cuisine while you’re in Arizona, Nobu Scottsdale should be added to your list. Plan to dress in smart casual attire, including a pressed button up shirt—it can have a fun print, as long as it’s chic. You can style a pair of chinos or ultra dark jeans with dressier shoes. Don’t show up to your reservation in a tank top, shorts, athletic wear, or flip flops.
If you’re looking for more casual options, the following restaurants have a less formal dress code but still provide an incredible dining experience.
You can’t leave town without visiting Tarbell’s—it’s a Phoenix staple. The menu has a diverse range of options, including seasonal dishes and Tarbell’s classics. There’s truly something for everyone, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
While you won’t need a full suit and tie, you’ll want to look chic and presentable. The ambiance is casual-elegant, and the dress code is generally business casual. Plan to have your shirt tucked in and a neat hairstyle. Although it’s not an ultra-formal establishment, avoid wearing sweats, athletic clothing or shoes, or loungewear.
Looking to enjoy Southwestern food among great ambiance? ALMA is the perfect place, with tastes from the Southwest and Mexico, including fresh tortillas, house made salsas, and an extensive list of specialty tequila from Mexico.
ALMA has a smart casual dress code, meaning you can be comfortable yet presentable—you can wear a button up with chic denim, or a shirt and jacket with chinos and leather shoes.
An elegant and timeless Mediterranean restaurant, Olive & Ivy is a great spot for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The crowd can tend to skew a bit older, but it’s in the heart of Old Town, which is a trendy and fun area. The dress code is smart casual, so you can be more comfortable or dress up to your comfort level. Some guests prefer to dress up a bit more for dinner.
If you’re looking for a taste of Thailand, Glai Baan has amazing Thai cuisine focused on common street food and dishes from the northeastern region (meaning the food is spicy!) You don’t need to dress up, as the restaurant atmosphere is nice yet casual. You can go with a knit polo or T-shirt and jeans. Glai Baan’s dishes are best when shared, so this is the perfect spot for a date or group dining—and reservations are recommended.
This may be the least formal dining experience of all, where you should absolutely wear something you don’t mind spilling ketchup on. It’s a cool, casual vibe, and you don’t need to overthink your outfit (allowing you to just focus on choosing which burger you want to order). You can show up in a T-shirt, zip-up, or even athletic wear. Rehab Burger is in the heart of Old Town, and it’s a great place to grab a bite after a Spring Training game or busy afternoon in the city.
If you need a more formal outfit for your Steak 44 reservation, or a knit polo for dinner at Tarbell’s, be sure to stop by my shop, Q. Contrary, where I can style you for your whole visit. Even if your outfits are already packed and ready to go, I welcome you into the store to say hello and check out our newest gear. I hope you enjoy your trip to Scottsdale, and safe travels!