Looking Back at Our Favorite Phx Food Joints that Opened in 2019



Another year has passed and it’s hard to remember all that’s happened since January, but we can certainly remember that there’s been no shortage of great food this year with acclaimed new restaurants opening throughout the Valley.

And while there’s certainly been highly anticipated new locations of restaurants, like Chula Seafood and Pane Bianco, we dug through our archives to bring you the best of the best when it comes to brand new spots to Arizona this year — from high-end steaks to hot chicken. It looks like 2020 won’t be slowing down either, with openings from established Arizona culinary legends like Gia Osso’s Pizzeria Virtu to more high-end nationally recognized spots like Nobu. 

Maple & Ash

Chicago-grown Maple & Ash made history when it brought a high-end steakhouse with nightclub energy to the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The restaurant effortlessly combines top-quality food and a sophisticated atmosphere with menu items names like ‘I Don’t Give A F*@K’ and unheard of surprises like the opportunity to be doused with a champagne gun. In addition to the lineup of wood-fired steaks, diners can look forward to seafood towers, handmade pastas and caviar — to name a few. As would be expected, they also have a knockout wine selection and unique cocktails like the Tropic Monk featuring green chartreuse, Marie Brizard cacao blanc, mango, cream and lime. 


This Latin restaurant made a name for itself quickly in Arcadia, which can be hard to do in the neighborhood that’s incubated some of Arizona’s best-loved restaurants. It’s earned it’s almost perfect Yelp! rating with a seasonal menu that offers elevated, but not over-complicated dishes like a carne asada ribeye and beef barbacoa tostadas as well as a one-of-a-kind bar program that focuses on rare beers and wines as well as unique cocktails.


Toca Madera 

Yes, this Los Angeles-based hotspot is undoubtedly a place to see and be seen in downtown Scottsdale, but it’s also a phenomenal Mexican food restaurant. The menu offers fantastic variety with an extensive raw bar, wagyu, traditional Mexican dishes and of course, tacos. Fortunately, the cocktail program with over two dozen options and luxe atmosphere are equally captivating and vibrant with indoor trees, a DJ and even a photo booth. 

Hush Public House

Well-known Valley chef Dom Ruggerio and mixologist Charles Barber teamed up to open this casual, yet top-notch New American restaurant in North Scottsdale and its received overwhelmingly positive feedback ever since thanks to its well-curated spirits and creative menu items that range from crab hush puppies to chicken liver mousse to the classic Hush Burger. 


Monroe’s Hot Chicken 

Hot chicken is taking over the nation, and we’re just glad it was time for the Valley to finally have its own restaurant dedicated to the delicacy. Opened by the owner of Lo Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, it was a sure bet that Monroe’s Hot Chicken would take off. While the menu offers a salad and chicken tenders, the real stars of the show are the fried chicken sandwich and hot chicken Belgian waffle sandwich, each with a choice of six levels of heat ranging from southern to ‘What Da Cluck!’, which means very hot. Opt for one, or a few, of their classic sides, like the cornbread mac and cheese or smoked turkey collard greens and you’ll be enjoying a taste of Nashville right in downtown Phoenix. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant that opened in Phoenix in 2019 that belongs on our list? Leave a comment below or show us how awesome it is by tagging #FrayLife #PhxFray in your social posts next time you’re there!

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