13 Restaurants Rivaling Michelin Standards in Phoenix, Arizona

Nadia Podrabinek Nadia Podrabinek

Written by Nadia Podrabinek

Phoenix Best Restaurants

The US accumulates talent from all over the world, including master chefs who open excellent restaurants in different cities.

But for some reason, Michelin inspectors focus only on four states: California, Illinois, New York, and Washington DC – ignoring Phoenix for some unknown reason. 

Nonetheless, the capital of Arizona offers many fine-dining spots which are barely inferior to Michelin-approved restaurants. 

This article is not meant to persuade Michelin experts to change their minds. Instead, it presents you with high-class places offering outstanding gastronomic experiences. 

Here you will find 13 of the best could-be-Michelin star restaurants in Phoenix that have something for everyone!

Key takeaways

  • Phoenix has no Michelin-star restaurants but boasts fine dining places of the same caliber. 
  • Binkley’sKaiT. Cook’s, and Different Pointe of View are some of the fanciest and best restaurants. 
  • For the best seafood in town, be sure to visit Elements.
  • Vincent on Camelback will offer meals inspired by French recipes. 
  • Check out Persian RoomZur Kate, or Cafe Lalibela for something more unique!

Best “could be” Michelin-star Restaurants in Phoenix


“Pull up a chair, take a taste, and come join us. Life is endlessly delicious!” This quote from famous American chef Ruth Reichl perfectly defines the core of a restaurant’s DNA. 

The chefs’ team invites visitors on an innovative gourmet journey to explore New American cuisine made with fresh local and specialty ingredients.

People reserve tables a few months in advance, demonstrating complete trust in Kevin Binkley’s (the chef) taste and professionalism. As the place turns 20 next year, its reputation as the best restaurant in the city is beyond dispute. 

The menu changes regularly depending on the season, so be prepared for something unexpected. What to expect: Course meals include spot prawn ceviche & ruby grapefruit, lychee & blood orange creamsicle, and asparagus chèvre mousse. 

Binkley’s is not budget-friendly – the tasting menu costs $250 per person with additional items like beverage pairing ($200 per person), Wagyu beef ($60 per person), foie gras ($45 per person) or caviar ($126 per person).

Read also: 15 Perfect Day Trips from Phoenix

Different Pointe of View

Located atop North Mountain Village in Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort, this restaurant has indeed reached “new heights in dining.” 

For over 40 years, this exquisite eatery has invited guests to try outstanding meals with the best panoramic view possible.

Whether you decide to have a meal inside or on the terrace, you can observe the immaculate desert landscape of the valley, and no doubt, many people visit this restaurant for this aesthetic charm. 

As for the cuisine, Chef Aleksandar Knezevic expertly fuses American recipes with Mediterranean influences so that you can try delicious starters such as crispy braised pork belly and Sambuca mussels; entrees like Faroe Island seared salmon and risotto “Caponata”; and desserts. 

As a bonus, if you feel too full to drive after dinner, you can reserve a room at Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort for the night.

Helpful tip The dress code should be at least elegant-casual.

T. Cook’s

It is another fine-dining place with excellent views, this time at Royal Palms Resort & Spa

Inspired by Italian, Greek, and Spanish cuisines, Chef Lee Hillson strives to turn the best hand-selected ingredients into simple but exceptionally delicate meals. 

Sit on the large patio outside to enjoy the views of Camelback Mountain while enjoying a delicious Mediterranean dinner. 

For starters, try salt spring mussels or pumpkin bisque; for main courses, there are “Pork osso bucco” and “Salmon with roasted carrots and garlic papas bravas”; then finish off your meal with framboise chocolate truffle or Spanish crème brûlée Crema Catalana. 

T. Cook’s also offers a brunch menu and meals for kids!

Instagram Review

Kai Restaurant

Even though it has yet to be noticed by Michelin, Kai is the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant in Arizona. 

Have you ever tried Native American cuisine? This spot offers some of its most representative specimens. 

Ryan Swanson, Kai’s chef, combines the soul of the Pima and Maricopa tribes with fresh ingredients from local farms to let guests absorb their odors and appreciate unique tastes. 

The menu consists of five categories; each meal is supposed to be paired with a specific wine for the complete experience. For example, Celebration of Arizona Mushrooms from The Birth section includes wheat berry & black garlic risotto, parsnip puree, fungi & herb tea – perfectly matched with 2018 Produttori del Barbaresco from Piedmont, Italy! 

Check out dishes such as foie gras served with apple tart or grilled tenderloin American bison – not forgetting three delicious desserts: white & dark chocolate mousse stones; olive oil basil cake lemon foam; dark cocoa soil – mouth-watering!

Helpful tip Check the opening hours before your visit since the restaurant is closed from Sunday to Tuesday.

Vincent on Camelback

For my taste, this place looks less exquisite and more pompous, but the food here is beyond delicious. 

According to critics, it is “always intriguing and inspiring,” thanks to chef Vincent Guerithault who opened the place 35 years ago and has been dedicated to this kitchen ever since. 

Having lived in France for a while, Vincent brought his recipes to Arizona, so Southwestern vegetables, meat, fish, and fruit are cooked in an exquisite French style. 

The menu changes daily, so you will never anticipate what the restaurant will prepare on your visit. In a sample menu, you can find smoked salmon quesadillas with horseradish cream, wild mushroom soup, as well as a rack of lamb with thyme, rosemary garlic, and spicy bell pepper jelly – all accompanied by an extensive wine list! 

Overall, abundant flavors, colors, aromas, and non-trivial combinations make dining at this establishment always exciting.

Helpful tip Check the opening hours before your visit since the restaurant is closed from Sunday to Tuesday.

  • Average bill: $80-$100 (per person)
  • What people say on Google: 4.6 stars, 309 reviews
  • 3930 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, United States
  • +16022240225
  • See on the map

Quiessence at The Farm

This restaurant guarantees “a farm-inspired culinary experience.” The ingredients are harvested just a few hours before your visit from one specific farm – The Farm at South Mountain. Chef Dustin Christofolo oversees the planting and knows exactly when each fruit and vegetable is in optimum condition.

Quiessence offers exquisite seasonal menus that renew daily depending on the ingredients. Guests can choose from three, four, or five courses. Among the meals, you will find wood-fired grilled oysters with mascarpone, Italian caviar, and chives; a duck breast with crimson lentils, braised greens, marinated broccoli and beet puree; as well as grilled bone marrow with seared beef tartar. 

Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are provided by request too. 

Apart from the dinner menu, make sure to check out their mouth-watering desserts and extraordinary cocktails!


Elements Restaurant Phoenix 2
Photo by opentable.com

If you are a breakfast or brunch person, kill two birds with one stone and visit Elements. This way, you get a non-trivial culinary experience at the fine-dining restaurant for less money. 

It can be an original Elemental Breakfast with eggs, potatoes and sausage or something fancier like an American Wagyu burger. Try one of their cocktails from the Eye Openers section to wake up and start your day off right.

If dinner is more to your liking, though – fear not! The restaurant will still serve you in the evening as well. 

Chef Samantha Sanz creates immaculate compositions and cooks outstanding seafood meals mostly represented on their dinner menu, such as Tuna tartar, oysters, shrimp cocktail, wild Isles salmon, lobster Cannolichi, and miso-glazed Chilean sea bass – all options are breathtakingly delicious! 

No matter what time of day you arrive, there will be jaw-dropping views of mountains & desert outside, making your meal truly unforgettable every time!

FnB Restaurant

Food & Wine Magazine called this place “the epicenter of creative Arizona cuisine” for a reason. The perfect teamwork between Chef Charleen Badman and Beverage Director Pavle Milic has been highly fruitful so far, gathering thousands of admirers since 2009.

The menu is exceptionally diverse, so you can find spicy grilled broccoli with tangerine aioli and pistachios; local citrus whipped ricotta, yuzu honey, almonds, and basil; as well as Cantonese-style beef short ribs with oyster sauce over jasmine rice and snow peas.

The portions are easily sharable, which makes it perfect for couples or families to order several meals and try each one. 

The dessert section boasts some outlandish mixes of sweet and sour such as hummingbird cake with pecans, cream cheese frosting, and plum jam – but remember that the menu items may be seasonal! 

Additionally, the beverage selection is even more extensive than before – plus, your server will always be happy to choose the best match for you.

Helpful tip Don’t bring cash; the restaurant accepts only credit cards. 

Best Value for Money Places

Now, let me introduce more budget-friendly yet excellent establishments with international cuisines in the Phoenix area.

Cafe Lalibela

Have you ever tried Ethiopian cuisine? Cafe Lalibela invites you to try the unique flavors of East Africa. A wide array of vegetarian options, beef, lamb, and authentic Injera (a sour fermented pancake-like flatbread with a slightly spongy texture) will leave you full and satisfied. 

Furthermore, Cafe Lalibela offers enormous plates with portions for 2 or 4 people consisting of various dips, starters, and vegetables.

Dick’s Hideaway

Dick’s Hideaway is a cozy place with American cuisine fused with Mexican features. 

Flat enchiladas, pork chops served with cilantro-mango chutney sauce, black bean linguine, and bacon-wrapped jumbo shrimp – you will be full for the rest of the day after such a meal.

Zur Kate

For German cuisine, check out Zur Kate. The business initially started in Hamburg, so even Germans confirmed its authenticity. 

Here you can try schnitzels, Bavarian sausages, and smoked pork chops accompanied by traditional pickled cabbage and potatoes. Try Black Forest cherry cake or apple strudel with vanilla sauce for dessert.

Persian Room

The Persian Room provides “exotic aromas and flavors of traditional Persian cuisine.” Marinated beef with basmati rice, turmeric, and vegetables, as well as seafood with dried lime – these traditional combinations will leave you in awe.

I highly recommend you try pilaf, a bowl of fluffy rice mixed with raisins, cherries, lentils, greens, beans, meat, or pretty much anything else. Additionally, the portions are huge, so don’t hesitate to share.

The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge

For diverse comfort food with Asian and Mexican fusions, head to The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge. Enjoy a beer, delicious snacks, and small plates such as street tacos, chicken wings, shrimp ceviche, and many others.

The place is perfect for inviting friends since large platters for groups of two or four include everything you need for a cozy and filling dinner.

Useful Video

Map of Michelin-starred restaurants

What people say on Reddit

Kai at Wild Horse Pass and Binkley’s in Cave Creek are consistently at the top of the list. I think they might both be Michelin rated, if you’re into that.

Rustler’s Rooste is extremely touristy and kinda tacky (in a fun way), but you’ll get a huge steak in a dining room with one of the best views of the Valley.

Marcellino’s in Old Town is also an incredible place for Italian, complete with the over-passionate-about-the-food Italian chef (Marcellino). They used to close for a month or two every year to go to Italy, but it would make sense for that to be in the summer so you’d probably be ok now.

FnB is also supposed to be fantastic (and is a short walk from Marcellino’s) so maybe one of those two and see who has the shorter wait?


Try Avanti if you haven’t. I think it would fit on your list. Their Osso bucco is fantastic, and their lamb chops were perfectly done. It’s not as charming a place physically as those you mention, but the food is top notch.


Alberto Ristorante. This is the place I took my now Wife of 5 years on our first date and it is still one of the best Italian restaurants I have found in the Valley. We’re both not strangers to fine dining and this is a place that’s special to us.


If you like indian, Udupi for dinner or india palace for lunch buffet, Phoenix Palace in chandler has the best weekend dim sum if you like chinese, Pho 68 is the best vietnamese I have and is run by great people, riazzis italian in tempe is super tasty, Frank & Lupes in scottsdale or barrio cafe for mexican, China Bandido is super tasty as well.



Does Arizona have any Michelin-star restaurants? 

No. Unfortunately, Michelin inspectors have not given stars to any restaurants in Arizona yet. Hopefully, one day, the state will get the recognition it deserves.

Which states have Michelin-star restaurants?

California, Illinois, New York, and Washington, DC are the only areas with Michelin-star restaurants.

What does Michelin star mean? 

Michelin star is a world-renowned award for excellent cooking given to restaurants that the Michelin company believes are exceptional and worthy after an anonymous dining experience. These awarded restaurants usually gain massive recognition and praise, increasing their number of patrons as well as their chefs’ reputations. The maximum rating one can receive is 3 stars.

Final Thoughts

Although Michelin inspectors have not yet noticed Phoenix, it has a thriving fine-dining scene recognized by other culinary awards and thousands of people. You can easily find a spot that meets their preferences. 

Do you want to visit a well-known top-notch restaurant with exquisite, one-and-only flavors? Check out Kai, Binkley’s, T. Cook’s, or Different Pointe of View

Do you consider other spots with the freshest ingredients harvested a few hours before dinner? Visit Elements, FnB Restaurant, Vincent on Camelback, or Quiessence at The Farm

Pefer cheaper places with authentic cuisines? Stop by Café Lalibela, Dick’s Hideaway, Zur Kate, Persian Room, and The Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge

And don’t forget to reserve a table in advance at any of the fine-dining places and enjoy every bite!

My Other Posts About Phoenix


17 replies on “13 Restaurants Rivaling Michelin Standards in Phoenix, Arizona”

Hi! I celebrated my anniversary at “Vincent on Camelback” and the culinary experience was beyond amazing. The service was top-notch too

That sounds like a fantastic anniversary celebration! 🙂 “Vincent on Camelback” is known for its exquisite culinary experiences, and it’s great to hear that you had such an amazing time there. Top-notch service can truly elevate the dining experience.

I was lucky to get a reservation at Kai. The innovation in their dishes was mind-blowing. Anyone else tried their signature risotto

Lucky you! Kai’s innovative dishes are truly mind-blowing. Their signature risotto is a must-try.

Nadia, I’m new to the Michelin star scene. Which restaurant in Phoenix would you recommend for a first-timer?

Hi, Michael. For a first-timer in the Michelin star scene in Phoenix, I recommend checking out “Kai” at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. It offers a unique and exquisite dining experience with a focus on Native American and locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy! 🙂

This list is a foodie’s dream, Nadia! Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive guide

How far in advance do you need to book a table at Different Pointe of View? Is it difficult to get a reservation?

Hi, Ralf. It’s recommended to book a table at Different Pointe of View at least a few weeks in advance, especially for weekends or special occasions. Getting a reservation can be challenging, so planning ahead is a good idea.

Dining at Elements was an unforgettable experience! The chef’s tasting menu was exquisite

Hi, Nadia, I’m planning a special dinner and torn between Binkley’s and Zur Kate. Anyone who’s been to both and can offer a comparison?

Hi there! I haven’t been to both Binkley’s and Zur Kate, but I’ve heard great things about both. It might be helpful to check online reviews or ask friends for their experiences to make an informed decision.

To be accurate it probably would be a good idea if you would reinvestigate the number of states that have a Michelin starred restaurants within their boundaries. Nevada (Vegas) has several. Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon just to name two.


Actually, Michelin only rated Las Vegas restaurants in 2008 and 2009 before they ceased rating the city, during which time nine restaurants received recognition. By and large, the ratings continue to reflect the quality of the restaurants, but take them with a grain of salt. The stars are officially valid only for the year they are issued. Additionally, none of these restaurants are listed on their official website.

I hope that helps!

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