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Guidebook for Phoenix

Amanda

Guidebook for Phoenix

Food Scene
Desert Donuts makes their donuts to order, with toppings like bacon and maple, lemon and almonds, chocolate pretzel and more. They're hot and wonderful, and it's within walking distance!
Desert Donuts
3134 West Carefree Highway
Desert Donuts makes their donuts to order, with toppings like bacon and maple, lemon and almonds, chocolate pretzel and more. They're hot and wonderful, and it's within walking distance!
This is a good, authentic Mexican restaurant with a nice patio and good service. Be sure to try prickly pear margaritas and pollo fundido with a side of extra fundido!
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El Encanto Dos
1112 East Carefree Highway
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This is a good, authentic Mexican restaurant with a nice patio and good service. Be sure to try prickly pear margaritas and pollo fundido with a side of extra fundido!
A little more out of the way than El Encanto Dos from here, the original El Encanto has all the charm of one of the North Valley's oldest Mexican restaurants.
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El Encanto
6248 East Cave Creek Road
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A little more out of the way than El Encanto Dos from here, the original El Encanto has all the charm of one of the North Valley's oldest Mexican restaurants.
Looking for a fun place to work for the day, or just a great little breakfast and lunch spot? The Grotto is a local favorite. Located behind the Red Truck, a fun little shop, it's a little hard to find, but worth it. Personal favorite: Fish tacos, chicken salad sandwich on cranberry bread, and breakfast burritos. Great spot to hit after a hike!
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The Grotto Cafe
6501 E Cave Creek Rd
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Looking for a fun place to work for the day, or just a great little breakfast and lunch spot? The Grotto is a local favorite. Located behind the Red Truck, a fun little shop, it's a little hard to find, but worth it. Personal favorite: Fish tacos, chicken salad sandwich on cranberry bread, and breakfast burritos. Great spot to hit after a hike!
You may not think of great seafood as something you'd expect in the desert, but Ocean Prime is the *best.* A James Beard Award-winning restaurant, it's upscale (code for "not cheap"), but it's a wonderful place to go for special occasions, or if you just want some of the best cocktails, biggest shrimp, or most wonderful sea fare around. Tell Tony, the owner, that Amanda sent you!
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Ocean Prime
5455 East High Street
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You may not think of great seafood as something you'd expect in the desert, but Ocean Prime is the *best.* A James Beard Award-winning restaurant, it's upscale (code for "not cheap"), but it's a wonderful place to go for special occasions, or if you just want some of the best cocktails, biggest shrimp, or most wonderful sea fare around. Tell Tony, the owner, that Amanda sent you!
Tonto Bar and Grill is just good. With fresh ingredients sourced from the Arizona desert whenever possible, this award-winning restaurant casts a decidedly Southwestern flair to the farm-to-table concept. In nice weather, be sure to reserve a seat on the patio, which overlooks the Rancho Manana Golf Course. Great food, priced accordingly.
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Tonto Bar & Grill
5736 East Rancho Manana Boulevard
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Tonto Bar and Grill is just good. With fresh ingredients sourced from the Arizona desert whenever possible, this award-winning restaurant casts a decidedly Southwestern flair to the farm-to-table concept. In nice weather, be sure to reserve a seat on the patio, which overlooks the Rancho Manana Golf Course. Great food, priced accordingly.
If you're looking for a mid-priced, local, family-owned restaurant for the whole family, make a stop at Liberty Station. Their BBQ, smoked in the huge "Big Poppy" on the patio, is iconic, but it's not strictly a BBQ spot. There are regional favorites, like seafood you'd expect in Boston, Cajun you'd swear came from the Louisiana bayou, and Midwestern favorites like meatloaf and more. The bar opens up garage-door style, and don't forget to try one of their award-winning cocktails!
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Liberty Station
34522 N Scottsdale Rd
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If you're looking for a mid-priced, local, family-owned restaurant for the whole family, make a stop at Liberty Station. Their BBQ, smoked in the huge "Big Poppy" on the patio, is iconic, but it's not strictly a BBQ spot. There are regional favorites, like seafood you'd expect in Boston, Cajun you'd swear came from the Louisiana bayou, and Midwestern favorites like meatloaf and more. The bar opens up garage-door style, and don't forget to try one of their award-winning cocktails!
Drinks & Nightlife
While Janey's is a coffee house during the day, it's a great little local scene for live music, local wines, and craft beers at night. It's one of the best-kept secrets in Cave Creek!
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Janey's Coffee Co. & Bodega
6602 E Cave Creek Rd
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While Janey's is a coffee house during the day, it's a great little local scene for live music, local wines, and craft beers at night. It's one of the best-kept secrets in Cave Creek!
Harold's is one of the first bars in Cave Creek, and remains true to its roots. It's a great place to go for live music, dancing, and an authentic Western scene. Cave Creek is full of unique characters, many of which can be found there about any night of the week.
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Harold's Cave Creek Corral
6895 East Cave Creek Road
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Harold's is one of the first bars in Cave Creek, and remains true to its roots. It's a great place to go for live music, dancing, and an authentic Western scene. Cave Creek is full of unique characters, many of which can be found there about any night of the week.
This is one of the best kept secrets in the area--but not for long! Go east on Cave Creek Rd. until it feels like you're lost, and there you'll find Raven's View. It's across the street from Desert Mountain's Outlaw golf course (DM being one of the most exclusive clubs in the Southwest), and the views are wonderful. The wine selection and craft beers are also great. Best time to visit is on weekends when brunch includes homemade mimosas, hand-crafted bloody Mary's, and a really nice but limited menu. They often feature live music, and artwork is done by local artists.
Raven's View
42016 N Old Mine Rd
This is one of the best kept secrets in the area--but not for long! Go east on Cave Creek Rd. until it feels like you're lost, and there you'll find Raven's View. It's across the street from Desert Mountain's Outlaw golf course (DM being one of the most exclusive clubs in the Southwest), and the views are wonderful. The wine selection and craft beers are also great. Best time to visit is on weekends when brunch includes homemade mimosas, hand-crafted bloody Mary's, and a really nice but limited menu. They often feature live music, and artwork is done by local artists.
Parks & Nature
Hike to the top of this iconic local mountain and see the Valley for miles around! Several celebrities, including Johnny Carson, Mike Tyson and members of the Wrigley family have called Black Mountain home, and each year a group of people dressed as Santa Clauses scale its craggy path. It's a bit of a heavy-breather kind of hike, but even if you only make it to the first (false) summit, it's still quite a view.
Black Mountain
Hike to the top of this iconic local mountain and see the Valley for miles around! Several celebrities, including Johnny Carson, Mike Tyson and members of the Wrigley family have called Black Mountain home, and each year a group of people dressed as Santa Clauses scale its craggy path. It's a bit of a heavy-breather kind of hike, but even if you only make it to the first (false) summit, it's still quite a view.
This park has a great visitors' center where you can learn about desert flora and fauna, and also some great trails.
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Cave Creek Regional Park
37019 North Lava Lane
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This park has a great visitors' center where you can learn about desert flora and fauna, and also some great trails.
Cave Creek is one of the only area waterways that flows year-round, and this beautiful gem of the desert is rich with riparian life, cottonwoods, and so much more to see! It's a great hike, no matter your fitness level, and is connected to longer trails should you want more of a challenge.
Jewel of the Creek Preserve
Cave Creek is one of the only area waterways that flows year-round, and this beautiful gem of the desert is rich with riparian life, cottonwoods, and so much more to see! It's a great hike, no matter your fitness level, and is connected to longer trails should you want more of a challenge.
Whether you want to rent a paddleboard, slide on a jet ski, or just hang out on a beach in the middle of the desert, Lake Pleasant is a great place to go! If you can hit it on a weekday, you'll have plenty of privacy.
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Pleasant Harbor Marina
40202 87th Avenue
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Whether you want to rent a paddleboard, slide on a jet ski, or just hang out on a beach in the middle of the desert, Lake Pleasant is a great place to go! If you can hit it on a weekday, you'll have plenty of privacy.
Arts & Culture
MIM is amazing! Not only will you see a lot of really interesting music-related, wonderful things, but they also host concerts featuring many famous artists, as well as cultural presentations and a great variety of neat shows.
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Musical Instrument Museum
4725 East Mayo Boulevard
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MIM is amazing! Not only will you see a lot of really interesting music-related, wonderful things, but they also host concerts featuring many famous artists, as well as cultural presentations and a great variety of neat shows.
Essentials
Albertson's has a great variety of groceries and is within walking distance.
Albertsons
3130 W Carefree Hwy
Albertson's has a great variety of groceries and is within walking distance.
Shopping
Frontier Town in Cave Creek offers some of the most unique shops in the Valley. Popular among tourists, it's the perfect spot to pick up an authentic Arizona souvenir.
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Frontier Town
6245 E Cave Creek Rd
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Frontier Town in Cave Creek offers some of the most unique shops in the Valley. Popular among tourists, it's the perfect spot to pick up an authentic Arizona souvenir.
If you have ever dreamed of having a perfect hand-made cowboy hat made just like in days of old, Watson's is the place to go. If you're lucky, you may bump in to a famous and familiar face, as Eric Watson has now become hatmaker for the stars.
Watson's Hat Shop
7100 E Cave Creek Rd
If you have ever dreamed of having a perfect hand-made cowboy hat made just like in days of old, Watson's is the place to go. If you're lucky, you may bump in to a famous and familiar face, as Eric Watson has now become hatmaker for the stars.
Whether you want to check out a movie, buy a book, or nosh at one of about a jillion chain-based restaurants, Happy Valley is a good spot to visit. Mellow Mushroom and Sauce are among our favorite restaurants there, but there's something for everyone. Barnes and Noble, Ross, WalMart, Pier 1, and many more stores are also in the center.
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Happy Valley Towne Center
2501 West Happy Valley Road
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Whether you want to check out a movie, buy a book, or nosh at one of about a jillion chain-based restaurants, Happy Valley is a good spot to visit. Mellow Mushroom and Sauce are among our favorite restaurants there, but there's something for everyone. Barnes and Noble, Ross, WalMart, Pier 1, and many more stores are also in the center.