Our food picks and pans for Scottsdale, AZ

One of the best parts of vacation is getting to try out new food and the local specialties. In the few days we were there, we got to try out places throughout the town and were pleasantly surprised with each experience.

Lunch & Dinner

Rita’s Kitchen: This restaurant was located in our resort, JW Marriott Cambelback Inn. We had lunch there when we were got into town. We weren’t expecting much, as some hotel restaurants can just be okay. Luckily, we were wrong. Because it was lunch, we had a lighter fare of salads. My husband had the beet and goat cheese salad and I had the Rita’s chop salad. Both were generous portions and the chop salad had some toppings that gave it some southwest flair. Other options on their lunch menu include apps, sandwiches, soups, and tacos, along with a full drink menu. I had a glass of the house made sangria that did not disappoint. Great place for lunch. Decor is also very cool, and goes along with the same theme as the surrounding lobby and bar area.

Strawberry Shine Cocktail at Bootleggers

Bootleggers: This unassuming restaurant is located in the Old Town section of Scottsdale. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed. This area is very cool, with tons of mom and pop stores selling a variety of local specialties, souvenirs, and jewelry (We’ll get more into that in our things to do in Scottsdale post). The majority of foods on their menu are bbq based, but many items have new wave twist. We first heard about them after watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The meats are smoked and delicious! One of their unique options is the build your own BLT or mac & cheese. My husband went for the mac & cheese option and loved it. Tons of drinks on their menu, including various beers that change with the season. I went for this beautiful strawberry shine drink. It wasn’t too strong or too sweet. Just delicious!

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill: We first visited their Tempe location years prior and once we saw there was one in Scottsdale, we knew it had to be added to our list. The cornbread is something you must get! It’s served hot in a skillet and is so good. The first one is one the house, and any after that (which you will probably want!) is a small charge. For our meals, we indulged in some southwestern food, that included burritos and tacos. The drink menu is chock full of margaritas, mules, specialty cocktails, wine, and frozen drinks. There’s plentiful beers on tap too. Another restaurant we would recommend. And, if you’re not in the Scottsdale area, they have two locations in Texas and one in Chandler, AZ. Don’t forget to get the cornbread!

Margarita on the rocks at Barrio Queen

Barrio Queen: This Mexican restaurant is located in the waterfront section of Scottsdale. We sat outside, as it wasn’t too hot that evening. They had misters and fans going that made it pleasant outside. The service wasn’t that great. Drinks were delicious. We ordered the table side guacamole, which included peppitas, that we fell in love with. The salsa was also good, and two options were provided. Our meals were good, nothing too amazing. Unfortunately, the slow service we experienced really put a damper on our dinner. With two kids, it took entirely too long and our waiter was unapologetic. This probably was an isolated issue and hopefully was rectified. Our recommendation for Barrio Queen is to go for a couple margaritas, chips, salsa, and guacamole.

Desserts and Sweets

The Baked Bear: The premise is genius and a must visit, in my opinion. They are known for their custom ice cream sandwiches. It’s in a plaza and was a little confusing to find, but well worth the search. When you walk into this place, the first thing that hit me was the smell of fresh baked cookies. It made me so happy and I imagine that’s what heaven must smell like, but I digress. In addition to the wide variety homemade cookies, their ice cream is made onsite and there are tons of flavors. I loved it here because I cannot eat ice cream and so many times I miss out on dessert because of this…not here! I got a sample of the cookies for myself, funfetti and chocolate chip. Everyone else I was with ordered their own custom made ice cream sandwich and were wowed! After picking your type of cookie, ice cream flavor, and topping, then then hot press your sandwich to warm up your cookie! Click here to see their full menu, appetizing pictures, and prepare to get hungry! They have locations throughout the country, so if you’re nearby any of them….run, don’t walk! The Baked Bear is a DeRo Destination must!

Creamistry: This unique dessert place is located in the waterfront section of Scottsdale. I say unique because I never saw anything like this before. Their ice cream is made to order, using liquid nitrogen. It does sound weird at first, but it guarantees the freshest made ice cream possible, and with the exact flavors you want. The whole process is interesting to watch. Our kids loved watching them make the ice cream, as the liquid nitrogen would create plumes of steam when freezing the ice cream. There are tons of flavor and topping options. They also make shakes, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, and pints to go. There’s also a second location in Scottsdale, located in the Scottsdale Quarter. Definitely a cool, no pun intended, experience!


We had three great dining experience and one that was so-so. For desserts, we had two unique and delicious experiences. Because our stay in Scottsdale was only a few days, we weren’t able to check out any breakfast places. Have you been to any of these places? Have any suggestions?

Check out our video with a summary of Arizona visit. Like and subscribe to keep seeing our trips.

Our post Family Friendly Activities in Scottsdale, AZ, reviews all of the fun things our family did in the Scottsdale area. The video above is a little tease on what fun we had. 🙂

3 Comments Add yours

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