Unique Restaurants in Arizona: 12 Coolest Places to Eat in AZ

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Arizona
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Are you on the hunt for unusual places to eat in Arizona? From the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon to the vibrant streets of Phoenix and Tucson, here are some of Arizona’s coolest restaurants.

Arizona’s got a vibe that food lovers can’t resist. I’ve explored from the cool shadows of the Grand Canyon to the lively streets of Phoenix, and wow, the eating spots here are something else.

Imagine chowing down on pizza under the glow of an organ or laughing with friends at a haunted burger joint. Arizona’s best restaurants are all about unforgettable moments and flavors that pop, showcasing that distinctive Arizona charm.

You’ll find places that turn dinner into an experience, from quirky cafes to luxurious spots with views that compete with the food. Ready to explore the unique places to eat in AZ that make every meal an adventure? Let’s get going!

The top restaurants to visit in Arizona right now

Weird & Wonderful Places to Eat in Arizona

Ready to explore Arizona’s culinary gems? We’re about to embark on a flavorful adventure, discovering everything from luxurious dining experiences to quaint, off-the-beaten-path treasures. Let’s set off on a journey to the most unique places to eat in AZ.

Ever thought about enjoying a meal amidst the sprawling beauty of the Sonoran Desert or inside a historic saloon from the Wild West? Or perhaps savoring gourmet dishes in a restaurant filled with comic book memorabilia? Arizona’s dining scene is as diverse and captivating as its landscapes. Here’s your essential guide to the most unique restaurants in Arizona, making it one of the top places to live and visit in the Southwest US.

1. Organ Stop Pizza

Head to Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa for an evening where pizza and tunes blend in perfect harmony. This isn’t just any pizza place. It’s a venue where the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, a marvel with over a thousand keys, buttons, and switches, takes center stage.

Imagine enjoying your favorite pizza while listening to live renditions of everything from “The Phantom of the Opera” to “Uptown Funk.” This $8 million instrument, complete with xylophones, glockenspiels, and even a set of dancing marionette cats, turns a meal into an unforgettable concert.

The atmosphere buzzes with excitement as 700 guests fill the seats, all eager for the unique blend of flavors and melodies. Hits like “Let It Go” from “Frozen” and the classic “Chattanooga Choo Choo” make you feel part of something special, as if the dining room itself comes alive with music. The organists, true virtuosos, keep the playlist fresh, covering everything from Lady Gaga to the classics.

Every time I drop by Organ Stop Pizza, it’s a whole new adventure with awesome tunes and tasty slices. Honestly, it’s one of the most fun restaurants in Arizona I’ve ever been to!

Organ Stop Pizza is one of the unique restaurants in Arizona.
At Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, enjoy pizza and tunes in perfect harmony with the Mighty Wurlitzer organ.

2. Haunted Hamburger

Let me take you on a trip to The Haunted Hamburger in Jerome, AZ. Here, the burgers are as legendary as the ghosts that supposedly roam its halls.

The story behind this spot is as juicy as the burgers. When the owners started renovations, their tools began to mysteriously disappear, especially hammers, only to reappear in the strangest of places. It’s the kind of tale that adds a sprinkle of mystery to every meal.

This isn’t just any burger joint. Imagine sitting down to eat and hearing about doors slamming shut with no breeze in sight, cans flying off shelves, and even ghostly figures appearing in photos. It’s all part of the charm here. The atmosphere is charged with tales of the past, which makes each visit a thrilling adventure.

I highly recommend the Haunted Burger. This isn’t your average burger. It’s a towering creation with bacon, cheddar, Swiss, mushrooms, green chilies, grilled onions, and guacamole. Every bite is an explosion of flavors that’ll keep you coming back for more.

If you’re on the lookout for unusual restaurants in Arizona, The Haunted Hamburger should be at the top of your list. It’s a place where delicious food and ghost stories blend together for an unforgettable dining experience.

If you're on the lookout for unusual restaurants in Arizona, The Haunted Hamburger should be at the top of your list.
If you’re on the lookout for unusual restaurants in Arizona, The Haunted Hamburger should be at the top of your list.

3. Longhorn Grill and Saloon

Stepping into Longhorn Grill & Saloon feels like walking into a scene straight out of the Wild West, but with a twist. The entrance? Absolutely unforgettable. Picture this: you’re about to dine, and you find yourself walking through the nose of a giant longhorn skull. It’s a true landmark in Amado, Arizona.

Since its revival in May 2019, this once-abandoned space has transformed into a destination for both locals and travelers. The Longhorn Grill & Saloon is celebrated not just for its distinctive entrance but for bringing a piece of the Old West to life. Here, every meal is an adventure, enriched by the ambiance that surrounds you.

And let’s not forget about the finale – the house made desserts. Trust me, you’ll want to save room for this! Whether you’re here for the novelty of dining under a longhorn skull or the promise of a sweet treat to cap off your meal, Longhorn Grill & Saloon stands out as one of the coolest restaurants in AZ. It’s a must-visit for anyone craving a side of history with their meal.

Stepping into Longhorn Grill & Saloon feels like walking into a scene straight out of the Wild West, but with a twist.
Stepping into Longhorn Grill & Saloon feels like walking into a scene straight out of the Wild West, but with a twist.

4. Black Bart’s Steakhouse

Imagine tucking into the juiciest oak-broiled steak or savoring some fresh seafood, all while being serenaded by the future stars of stage and screen. That’s dinner at Black Bart’s Steakhouse in Flagstaff. This place is all about great food and great performances.

Born from an RV Park in 1979, its transformation into a steakhouse is as unique as the entertainment it serves up. The owners envisioned a stage for the musically and theatrically inclined students from Northern Arizona University.

Fast forward to today, and the tradition is alive and kicking. Every night, Black Bart’s turns dinner into a show with a full musical revue. From the magic of Disney tunes to the best of 80s hits, the entertainment here covers all the bases. It’s like enjoying your favorite concert, but with steak—and who wouldn’t love that?

Don’t skip the cocktails when you’re here. The menu is a tribute to the Southwest, with drinks that are as inspired as the performances. If you’re looking for fun places to eat in Arizona, Black Bart’s Steakhouse is where you need to be. Believe me, it’s a meal you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.

Experience the juiciest oak-broiled steak or fresh seafood while being serenaded at Black Bart’s Steakhouse.
Experience the juiciest oak-broiled steak or fresh seafood while being serenaded at Black Bart’s Steakhouse.

5. Sugar Bowl

Walk into the Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale and you’re instantly transported back to the 1950s. This iconic ice cream parlor and restaurant is a blast from the past, serving up smiles since 1958. The pink walls and vintage decor capture the essence of an era filled with soda fountains and rock ‘n’ roll.

Here, you can grab a seat at the soda fountain with space for 10 or join the crowd at tables that seat 100. Planning a party? They have a room just for that, fitting 40 guests. The charm of the Sugar Bowl lies in its consistency. The menu and decor have barely changed, offering a slice of nostalgia with every bite.

You’ve got to try the Top Hat Sundae when you visit the Sugar Bowl. Picture this: a fluffy Sugar Bowl cream puff, which is already amazing on its own, but then they fill it with creamy vanilla ice cream. And just when you think it can’t get any better, they drench the whole thing in hot fudge. It’s a special favorite among baseball stars, and trust me, one bite and you’ll know exactly why.

Without a doubt, the Sugar Bowl is one of the coolest places to eat in AZ. It’s your chance to step into a living piece of history, where each scoop of ice cream comes with a generous serving of nostalgia.

Step into Scottsdale's Sugar Bowl for a blast from the past.
Step into Scottsdale’s Sugar Bowl for a blast from the past.

6. Mammoth Steak House and Saloon

Heading to the Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon is like jumping into a time machine and landing smack in the middle of the 1890s. Imagine walking down an 1890s ghost town boardwalk, stepping into a place where every meal is a throwback to the cowboy era.

The menu is a dream for any meat lover. Those Mammoth Burgers? Absolutely legendary. And the steaks are so juicy, you’ll be talking about them for days. Pair that with the coldest drinks around, and you’ve got yourself a meal to remember. It’s the perfect spot to unwind with a cold brew or a classic sarsaparilla, surrounded by old west artifacts that tell tales of yesteryears.

And don’t even get me started on the Old West Stagecoach in the saloon! It’s a real piece of history from Tombstone, Arizona.

Believe me, eating at the Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon is an adventure. Located in Apache Junction, it’s definitely one of the top hidden gems in Arizona. You really have to see it to believe it.

At Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon, step into a 1890s ghost town boardwalk for a cowboy-era dining experience.
At Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon, step into a 1890s ghost town boardwalk for a cowboy-era dining experience.

7. Persian Room

Next up on our list of Arizona’s unique restaurants is Persian Room in Scottsdale. For over 30 years, this spot has been the go-to for a taste of Persia right in the desert.

From the moment you’re in, the smells hit you – fresh bread straight from the clay oven, basil that’s like a hello from the garden. The place is decked out with chandeliers that sparkle like stars, pillars that tell tales of ancient times, and water fountains that whisper secrets of the past.

Now, let’s talk eats. The menu? A feast that could make Persian royalty jealous. We’re talking juicy kebabs, lush vegetarian plates, and for the happy hour crowd, free hummus that’ll make you want to move in. Plus, drink specials that are too good to pass up. It’s fancy without being stuffy, generous without breaking the bank, and the kind of place where every dish has a story.

The Persian Room is where you go when you want a night out that’s a cut above. It’s fun, it’s lively, and it’s where you’ll find some of the best food in Arizona. So, if you’re craving an adventure without the plane ticket, this is your spot. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t forget, making it one of the top restaurants in Scottsdale.

In Scottsdale, Persian Room offers a taste of Persia in the desert for over 30 years.
In Scottsdale, Persian Room offers a taste of Persia in the desert for over 30 years.

8. Tortilla Flat Saloon


If you’re itching for a taste of the Old West with a side of stunning views, you’ve got to hit up Tortilla Flat. Believe me, this place is the real deal. Established in 1904, it’s nestled along the scenic Apache Trail, and it’s like stepping back in time.

The saloon here is something else. You’ll be parking yourself on actual saddle bar stools, which is as cool as it sounds. And the walls? They’re plastered with dollar bills and business cards from folks all over the globe. It’s like everyone who’s passed through left a piece of their adventure behind.

I highly recommend the “prickly pear” cactus treats. The ice cream and jellies? Deliciously unique. And the “killer chili”? It lives up to its name!

Just 25 miles northeast of Mesa, right past Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat is one of those unique places in Arizona to eat that you just can’t miss. It’s a slice of history, a dash of wild, and a whole lot of fun, all rolled into one.

For a taste of the Old West and stunning views, Tortilla Flat is a must-visit.
For a taste of the Old West and stunning views, Tortilla Flat is a must-visit.

9. The Toasted Owl Cafe

The Toasted Owl in Flagstaff is where food meets fun in a way you wouldn’t expect. This place has an interesting menu that keeps you coming back and an outdoor dining area that’s just perfect for those sunny days.

Inside, it’s a whole different world. You’ll find an eclectic mix of tables and chairs set against a concrete floor, all surrounded by a collection of owl decor. And no, we’re not talking real owls, but the vibe is just as intriguing.

You’ve got to try the Brie/Prosciutto Omelette. It’s the kind of dish that makes your taste buds sing, with the arugula and jam adding layers of flavor that are hard to beat.

For anyone looking for a quirky restaurant in Arizona, The Toasted Owl in Flagstaff is a must-visit. It’s an experience that blends great food with a quirky, cozy atmosphere, making every visit memorable.

The Toasted Owl in Flagstaff offers a surprising menu and a perfect outdoor dining area for sunny days.
The Toasted Owl in Flagstaff offers a surprising menu and a perfect outdoor dining area for sunny days.

10. Comicx Restaurant Bar & Store

Heading to ComicX in Phoenix is like stepping into your favorite comic book. This place is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds, with over 25 life-sized statues of comic book heroes and villains greeting you as you walk in. Imagine grabbing a drink at the bar with R2-D2 or eating your meal while the Silver Surfer soars overhead. It’s the first of its kind in the United States, blending the lines between a restaurant, theme park, and museum.

The vibe here is all about fun and fantasy. The menu? It’s a mix of “South of the Border” delights like shrimp tacos and steak fajitas, alongside classic American pub fare. Think juicy ribs, hearty pastas, loaded burgers, and pizzas that are out of this world.

The menu items are named after comic book legends. Kick off with some Wonder Wings, dive into a Supersonic Cheeseburger, and cap it off with The Incredible Churro Bowl or a glass of Harry’s Butter Beer for dessert.

While the beer selection might stick to the basics, the cocktails are where ComicX really shines. A Pop Rock Raccoon cocktail with a rim of tropical punch pop rocks? Yes, please. Or how about a Banana Cream Pie Martini that’s as memorable as your favorite comic strip?

Without a doubt, ComicX is one of the most unique restaurants in Phoenix, AZ. Whether you’re a comic book fanatic or just in it for the food, this spot is sure to leave a lasting impression.

ComicX in Phoenix: a unique blend of restaurant, theme park, and museum.
ComicX in Phoenix: a unique blend of restaurant, theme park, and museum.

11. Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge

Slipping into Kon Tiki in Tucson is like hopping on a time machine back to 1963, right when the tiki craze was hitting its stride. This place has dodged the tiki bar blues to become one of the last originals standing, and let me tell you, it’s dripping with Aloha spirit. Imagine being surrounded by the world’s biggest collection of Milan Guanko’s tiki carvings and all sorts of island oddities. It’s a vibe that’s hard to find anywhere else!

Kon Tiki isn’t just about sipping drinks. It’s about sinking into a sea of hospitality that’s as warm as the Arizona sun. This spot has become one of the best places in Tucson, famous for shaking up over 50 tiki-inspired concoctions that’ll make you feel like you’re on vacation.

And the food? It’s a tasty trek through island favorites and comfort food classics that’ll have you feeling the island breeze in the middle of Tucson. Kon Tiki stands out as one of the best Arizona restaurants, offering a slice of paradise for anyone looking to escape the ordinary. A trip here is like a mini holiday, no plane ticket required!

Kon Tiki in Tucson: a time-traveling tiki haven with the world's largest collection of Milan Guanko's carvings.
Kon Tiki in Tucson: a time-traveling tiki haven with the world’s largest collection of Milan Guanko’s carvings.

12. Little Anthony’s

Little Anthony’s Diner truly stands out in Tucson’s dining landscape as the city’s premier 50s-themed eatery. Located at the corner of Broadway and Kolb in East Tucson, stepping into this diner feels like a time warp straight back to the era of Elvis and poodle skirts.

From the moment you walk in, the ambiance hits you full force. With sparkly red booths, classic checkered flooring, and servers decked out in 50s gear, the vibe is nothing short of electric. It’s like being on the set of “Grease,” but even better because the milkshakes and burgers are real!

The diner regularly hosts car shows that transform a simple outing into a vibrant celebration of all things retro. Imagine munching on a juicy burger while classic cars gleam under the Arizona sun or the neon lights at night. It’s a feast for the senses, with rock ‘n’ roll tunes providing the perfect soundtrack.

I’ve got to say, their classic car shows are not to be missed. They’re a brilliant showcase of local culture and a fantastic spot to connect with others who share a love for the bygone 50s era.

Little Anthony’s Diner is hands-down one of the most entertaining and unique places to eat in Tucson. A visit here is more than recommended – it’s essential for a taste of nostalgia and fun.

Little Anthony's Diner is the city's premier 50s-themed eatery, located at the corner of Broadway and Kolb.
Little Anthony’s Diner is the city’s premier 50s-themed eatery, located at the corner of Broadway and Kolb.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in AZ

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Arizona? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Arizona’s most unique restaurants.

What are some unique foods in Arizona?

Arizona’s unique eats include Sonoran hot dogs, wrapped in bacon and loaded with toppings; Navajo tacos on frybread instead of tortillas; and prickly pear treats, used in everything from candies to margaritas.

What kind of food is Phoenix known for?

Phoenix shines with its Mexican cuisine, especially street tacos and chimichangas. The city also loves its wood-fired pizzas, showcasing a knack for artisanal foods.

Wood-fired pizza fresh from the oven
Wood-fired pizza fresh from the oven

What is unique about Arizona?

Arizona is known for its stunning natural landscapes like the Grand Canyon, a vibrant mix of cultures, and a sunny climate that’s perfect for outdoor adventures all year round. Whether you’re exploring the state’s diverse attractions or seeking relaxation, discover where to stay in Arizona for a memorable experience.

What are 3 fun facts about Arizona?

  1. Arizona houses the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This breathtaking natural formation is about 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep.
  2. It’s the sunniest state in the U.S., with Phoenix enjoying more sunny days than any other metropolitan area in the country. Perfect for solar power and year-round ice creams!
  3. Arizona is the only state to contain part of the four corners, where you can stand in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado all at the same time. It’s a quirky geographical highlight and a must-visit for those quirky photo ops.
The top restaurants in Arizona for all types of travelers
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