Everyone has their favourite type of vacation. Maybe you’re all about relaxing on a beach, exploring a new city, fueling your inner-child at an amusement park or something completely different. But I can’t be the only one who sometimes thinks I don’t care what we do, as long as we don’t have to cook!

Any new destination brings with it the chance to explore a new food scene and the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, do not disappoint. Now, choosing which restaurants to visit—that can be tricky. A Google search will make your head spin with options, and while putting the question out to your Facebook friends can sometimes help you find a hidden gem, other times it leaves you with nothing. But if you’re heading to Scottsdale for the joy of not cooking—or enjoying a drink or two—these five options will not disappoint.

Hash Kitchen

Hash Kitchen had my attention at mimosa flight. Okay, and bacon board. It had my attention at mimosa flight AND bacon board. This breakfast and brunch eatery is a trendy restaurant with two locations in Scottsdale. Known for their Hashes but offering a varied menu that brunch dreams are made of, everything that came out of the kitchen looked amazing. Add to the experience a build-your-own bloody mary bar and, if you are like me, you’ll be wishing you planned to eat here twice.

Scottsdale - Hash Kitchen - Photo Codi Darnell

Hash Kitchen flight of drinks- Photo Codi Darnell

Diego Pops

In the mood for Mexican? Diego Pops will hit the spot with it’s authentic and fresh Mexican menu complimented by a few modern twists. Keep your meal classic or venture out of your comfort zone to try something new—the brussel sprout tacos come to mind. The funky and retro decor gives this restaurant a 60’s vibe, and there is no shortage of tequila—a Mexican meal staple. My advice? Enjoy it in their Prickly Pear Margarita.


Scottsdale - Diego Pops - Photo Codi Darnell

Diego Pops – Photo Codi Darnell


Marcellino Ristorante

Admittedly, I have never been to Italy. But walking into Marcellino Ristorante felt like everything I have imagined it to be. From the beautiful patio framed in bistro lights to the vibrant and friendly atmosphere and the fantastic fresh, handmade pasta—it is a little piece of Italy in Arizona. The chef and his wife, Marcellino and Sima were the most welcoming hosts—often stopping to chat with customers as though they were old friends. An authentic menu created and shared with pride by Marcellino accompanied by an extensive wine list made for a great Italian evening out. Be sure to visit on a Thursday or a Sunday for live music.

Scottsdale - Marcelino - Photo Codi Darnell

Marcellino – Photo Codi Darnell

LDV Winery

What do I know about wine? Not much. Except that it’s delicious and that when you think of visiting wineries, Arizona is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But the state has several established and emerging wineries, many with tasting rooms right in the heart of Scottsdale. The LDV Winery tasting room was quaint and fun. The husband and wife team who own the winery were full of knowledge about the growing region and had a great sense of pride in the wines they’ve created. We left with two bottles of wine and a whole new region of wines to explore.

Scottsdale - LDV Winery - Photo Codi Darnell

Perfect place for a selfie at LDV Winery – Photo Codi Darnell

Arizona Food Tours

Where can you enter a saloon with amazing burgers and live music, try house-made Apple Pie Moonshine with your meal, explore an Old Town Scottsdale favourite, enjoy a wine tasting and still find your way to dessert in just three hours? Arizona Food Tours, that’s where. I was new to food tours when we met up with our guide Zach and the group, but I quickly understood the appeal. We spent three hours touring five restaurants getting a backstory for each and a little bit of town history along the way. Zach was an engaging guide, and the pre-set food options were all delicious introductions to each restaurant. Whether you want the real inside track on Scottsdale’s food scene, you have trouble picking just one restaurant, or you’re simply looking for something fun to do, these tours are for you.

Scottsdale - Food Tour 2 - Photo Codi Darnell

Happy and full after the Food Tour – Photo Codi Darnell

Tip: Book your food tour at the beginning of your trip so you can visit your favourite places for a full meal later on.