Sample cuisine from some of the best restaurants in Phoenix during Arizona Restaurant Week. It takes place one week each May and September.
Twice each year, the Arizona Restaurant Association hosts Arizona Restaurant Week. It happens each spring in May and every fall in mid-September. This is a fabulous time to experience something new and exciting. During this week, you can enjoy a prix-fixe dinner for either $33, $44, or $55 either per person or per couple. What a great way to celebrate local Arizona restaurants and those hard workers in the food and beverage industry. I recently had a preview of a few of the menus in advance of the May 20-29, 2022 Arizona Restaurant Week. Here’s what I discovered there and a few of my other favorite options around the Valley. Be sure to check out the current list of participating restaurants (there are DOZENS) and their special menu offerings and pricing online.
How Arizona Restaurant Week Works
Arizona Restaurant Week gives you a chance to sample some of the best restaurants in Phoenix at a fraction of the normal cost. The concept is pretty simple. Participating restaurants set up a special menu that either features some of their favorite items or some specials they bring out for the event. You get a choice of a couple of items to choose from for three courses. That menu is either $33, $44, or $55 and some restaurants price it by the person while others price it by the couple. The cost does not include beverages, tax, or gratuity. Some restaurants are even offering their ARW menu for takeout!
Note: Special Arizona Restaurant Week menus are only for dinner and some restaurants include a drink or other special.
And yes, you can also order off the regular menu if you don’t want the prix-fixe menu options. But there are so many great things from which to choose, that I’m betting your problem will be fitting in all of the great restaurants in one week.
Be sure to make reservations, because it’s always busy during Arizona Restaurant Week. You can check out the website for Arizona Restaurant Week to see if your favorite restaurants are offering takeout for their special AWR menus.
My Favorites Restaurants for Arizona Restaurant Week
I had a chance this week to sample some of this year’s menus. And, yes, I’ve checked out restaurants in the past, so I have a few favorites that I can recommend.
The Canal Club, Scottsdale
Located inside The Scott Resort & Spa at Scottsdale and Chaparral roads, The Canal Club offers some zesty Cuban menu choices. During Arizona Restaurant Week, they’re offering three courses for $44 per person. I had a chance to sample the first courses—Grilled Shrimp Skewers with an avocado purée, Tostones (plantains with a black bean purée), and Ensalada Fresca with a fresh lemon garlic dressing. I can’t pick a favorite, so maybe take some friends and sample everything!
I do recommend that you order a Cuban-themed cocktail while you’re there. I sampled the El Floridita with Nicaraguan rum, maraschino liquor, lime, and grapefruit. It was a lovely cocktail that paired perfectly with those shrimp skewers.
Get the full Arizona Restaurant Week menu for The Canal Club online here.
Pasta Brioni, located on Miller between Camelback and Indian School in downtown Scottsdale, is a classic Italian restaurant. I used to live in the neighborhood, so this was a favorite hangout. It was fun to check out the menu and see that a few of my favorites are not only still on the menu, but are on the Arizona Restaurant Week menu as well.
Pasta Brioni is offering either a $44 or $55 per person menu. While everyone gets a choice of salad and dessert, the protein choice determines the cost. For $44, you can choose from my long-time favorite of Chicken Martini, Pumpkin Ravioli, Pene Vodka with Shrimp, or Veal Shiitake. The $55 menu includes a delicious lobster ravioli, linguine Pescatore, halibut provençale, or the bone-in grilled veal tomahawk ribeye.
You can check out the complete Arizona Restaurant Week menu for Pasta Brioni online here.
Located in the West Valley on the Southeast corner of the 101 and 67th Avenue, Urban Margarita serves up great food all the time. It happens to be, in my opinion, one of the best Phoenix restaurants for fresh, Mexican flavors and delicious margaritas. While drinks aren’t included in the ARW menu, I recommend ordering the Urban Margarita with Hornitos Silver and Grand Marnier.
During Arizona Restaurant Week, you’ll have a chance to taste three great dishes for $44 per person. I’ve had the Mango Buerre Blanc Pan-Roasted Salmon and it is delicious. I’ve actually ever had anything at Urban Margarita that I didn’t like. You can see the full Arizona Restaurant Week menu for Urban Margarita online here.
Another choice in the West Valley is Arrowhead Grill, on Union Hills just west of the 101. Arrowhead Grill is my go-to spot for a great steak and I adore the outdoor patio. The ARW menu, for $55, gives you a chance to sample a starter, an entrée, and a hearty side. Included on that list is my husband’s favorite prime rib and my favorite—and the restaurant’s signature steak—the Delmonico.
If you’re still not full after that meal, you can add on the signature butter cake or flourless chocolate cake for just $5.99. Arrowhead Grill has an impressive wine list as well. You can see the full Arizona Restaurant Week menu for Arrowhead Grill online here.
The Sicilian Butcher
The Sicilian Butcher has three locations across the Valley and all three offer a $44 Arizona Restaurant Week 4-course menu. You can start with an appetizer, followed by a salad, entrée, and dessert. I love the flavors here and recommend you try Tomaso’s Famous Meatballs. They are a classic that owner Chef Joey Maggiore keeps on the menu in honor of his father, Tomaso Maggiore, who founded Tomaso’s on Camelback back in 1977.
Desserts are delicious here and I have had the Cannoli Siciliano, but I really must get back and try the Tiramisu. Although it’s not part of the ARW menu, I do recommend stopping by The Sicilian Butcher sometime to sample the charcuterie boards. The fig jam is amazing!
You can find the Arizona Restaurant Week Menu and link to reservations online for the Chandler location, Peoria location, and the Phoenix location.
Ocean Prime Phoenix
One of the best restaurants in Phoenix for fresh seafood is Ocean Prime, located at High Street at Hwy 101 and 52nd Street. I love to enjoy happy hour at Ocean Prime, but Arizona Restaurant Week is the ideal time to explore the full menu.
I do recommend starting with a cocktail. Ocean Prime does a great job of crafting fun cocktails. My favorite is Berries and Bubbles.
The three-course ARW menu features the scrumptious French onion soup and chicken, teriyaki salmon, or scallops. I love the sea scallops with fresh parmesan risotto, English peas, and a citrus vinaigrette that pulls the flavors together. For a $10 upcharge, you can opt for the 8 oz. filet. For dessert, the five-layer carrot cake is incredible.
You can see the complete Arizona Restaurant Week menu for Ocean Prime online here.
ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
ZuZu, located inside the mid-century modern Hotel Valley Ho, is not only one of my favorite eateries in the Valley, it is one of the best restaurants in Phoenix. It serves up comfort food with a modern twist. Chef Russell LaCasce has some inventive flavors and I spot some of my favorites on the $55 four-course Arizona Restaurant Week menu.
The food at ZuZu is always delicious, and while the tasting menu includes a dessert platter, I recommend that you also order one of the amazing show stopper shakes. These are simply incredible works of art, that also happen to taste amazing. They swap out flavors every quarter, so you’re always in for a treat.
You can find the complete Arizona Restaurant Week menu for ZuZu online here.
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When You Explore the Best Restaurants in Phoenix During Arizona Restaurant Week
There are definitely some great restaurants across the Valley and it’s exciting to see so many of them offering these delicious menus during Arizona Restaurant Week. I recommend that you check out the Arizona Restaurant Week website for all of the participating restaurants—there are dozens—and to see the menus. You can make reservations from there and I recommend making them ahead or you might miss out on these great specials. Check out Wander for more of our recommendations of other great restaurants across Phoenix and other locations including Scottsdale.