For The Love of Food

Who has been ordering out for delivery in quarantine? Between food delivery and online shopping, I might never leave the house ever again. With so many options available, it can be daunting to know where to find a delicious meal. So I thought I’d compile a few of my own favorite places around the valley. If you don’t live in Phoenix, hopefully this can at least give you a cuisine or dish to try in your own city. Asian food is a weekly staple for me, so this first list is all the best places, in my humble opinion, around sunny Phoenix.

Is there anything better than a bowl of silky pad thai after a long day? I think not. Thai food is probably my number 1 go to for a delicious weeknight meal. There are plenty of great Thai restaurants in the valley, but my favorites are Wild Thaiger for dumplings and the best homemade coconut ice cream. This joint has 2 locations in Phoenix & Scottsdale. I’d swing by the Phoenix location because its close to the art museum, a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Or refuel in Scottsdale after spending the day shopping at Fashion Square or visiting SMOCA. I can’t wait for museums to open up again, I guess I will venture out of the house after all!

The best pad thai is from Thai Thai Thai, pictured above, my favorite delivery on doordash. Their monsoon curry is also a good choice, it’s super creamy thanks to coconut milk and you can pick the spice level. I have to give Soda Bun in Mesa a shoutout though, because their portions are huge and the pad woo sen and drunk noodles are phenomenal. My mouth is watering right now, guess what I’m having for dinner?

An old friend of mine went to teach English in Vietnam in college. Her instagram feed was filled with the most delicious looking food. Vietnamese quickly became another weeknight staple in my house, and while there’s lots of good options around, Pho Thuah Than can’t be beat. The brisket pho is a big bowl of rich flavors and So.Many.Noodles. There is nothing else to do but slurp away! I love their red pork bahn mi, I literally dream of this sandwich and would eat it every day if I could. I enjoy so many dishes from their menu, the pork vermicelli and shrimp fried rice are more decadent options. Plus, the spring rolls are always a treat. When I’m not completely stuffed, which is always, they have a few desserts too. Che ba Mau or rainbow dessert is so light and refreshing. Its red bean, mung bean and coconut sauce over crushed ice. My only complaint is they don’t deliver! Luckily it’s not too far from my apartment, so I don’t mind a quick pickup!

This chocolate cloud cake from Tous les Jours is as yummy as it looks!

I have been eating delectable korean food since college. I love the seasonal ban chan that comes with every plate. Don’t worry, kimchi is always included! This is a type cuisine that you can find several great restaurants around the area, but I am a repeat offender at Hodori’s. They are right by a thrift shop I like to visit and the asian grocery used to complete the strip mall. Bulgogi is a mouth watering beef dish with rice or if you’re looking to slurp a sweet but still savory noodle, try chap chae.
Savory pancakes, panjeon, or bibim neng myun, literally meaning cold soup, are other great options, especially when its a hot day and we just want something light yet tasty.
The grocery store moved, but don’t fret. It’s right across the street in a bigger space so you can get all kinds of authentic food. They also have some restaurants inside, including B-Bop, where you can build your own bibimbap bowl or pick up a loaf of matcha bread at Tous les Jours. I got my birthday cake here this year and couldn’t have been more pleased!

Hodori and Bbop are open for takeout or delivery, daily.

I had to search high and low for dim sum in Mesa. I finally figured out that Shanghai soup dumplings are their American name-and Dim Sum Cafe had the tastiest ones. This place has a mix of chop suey favorites and some traditional dishes, like clay pots or sweet and sour pork. You get a tower if you order fried tofu, just sprinkle a little salt on top and dip them in soy sauce. YUM!

Dim Sum Cafe is closed on Mondays, but you can dine in or order takeout Tuesday-Sunday.

If your in the mood for sushi, Makitos is the one to try. It opened up right next to a movie theater in 2018, and my friend and I went to try it one night. We loved it and told people about it, then long story short, a friend of a friend knew the owner of this establishment, and one night, he cooked for us. It was an incredible evening, with homemade cucumber saki and matcha ice cream. I even tried squid for the first time that night!

Makitos is open for dine in and takeout

Thicker wheat noodles in a miso based broth switch up the consistency of this japanese dish compared to hot pot or pho. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth that adds a ton of flavor. It can come with a variety of vegetables from seaweed to bean sprouts to corn. The custardy runny yolk of a boiled egg is just the cherry on top. I always order from Ramen House in Scottsdale and I’m never disappointed. Complete your meal with crispy gyoza(dumplings) and a ramune soda!

When I lived in Utah, there were several times that I would have a craving for Indian food. Fortunately, there were plenty of eatery’s of exceptional quality. When I moved to Arizona, I didn’t have as much success in finding some of my favorite Northern Indian dishes such as tikka masala, tandoori chicken, or vindaloo. Finally, thanks to food delivery apps, Guru Palace was on my radar. No order is complete without garlic-y, buttery naan. When you get a craving, the samosas are a great appetizer.

I discovered Princess Market & Deli for Persian food thanks to Doordash, and was blown away by the flavors. Spicy and citrusy beef kabobs were the winner, but I was happily munching on leftover kofta the next day. This place has the best selection of middle eastern eats. Dine on yummy favorites like schwarma, sambusas, falafel and more. I saw the stuffed grape leaves on a cooking show and was so excited to try them! They were so tasty dipped in homemade tahini sauce.

Princess Market & Deli is open and delivers on Postmates, Ubereats, DoorDash and GrubHub.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Share it in comments for other readers. Happy dining!

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