Fantastic Phoenix-Area Food

Dec. 29, 2013

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By Eric DeSalvo

Editor's note: The blog entry below was written by UCF staff member Eric DeSalvo, a former resident of Arizona, to share some dining options with Knights' fans who are making the journey to support UCF in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With UCF fans continuing to flow into the Valley of the Sun, I thought I'd share some of my favorite eateries in the area that I thoroughly enjoyed in my time living in the Grand Canyon State a few years back. 

Eric DeSalvo

If you venture north to Flagstaff (which I highly recommend), check out the featured places I've highlighted there as well.

Phoenix Area Eats

Chompie's Deli
Any time you can go to an eatery that Adam Richman from Man v. Food destroyed, you know it's good. Chompie's features phenomenal sliders that must be tried.

In-N-Out Burger
A staple of West Coast living, In-N-Out offers up a solid burger with fresh-cut fries on its simplistic menu. Top off the meal with a milkshake, and don't forget to ask about making your burger "Animal Style."

Oregano's Pizza Bistro
Thin crust or deep dish, you can't go wrong with either at Oregano's Pizza Bistro. With multiple locations in the Phoenix area, it's easy to find one convenient for you.

Joe's Farm Grill
A menu that features pretty much anything you can think of, this family-friendly eatery provides a unique atmosphere for any visitor.

Pinnacle Peak Patio
Just north of Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak is a one-of-a-kind restaurant for the entire family, where you can sit outside and enjoy the views, the live music and the great food.

Fairmont Princess Hotel
I would be remiss if I didn't mention our amazing hosts here in Scottsdale. The UCF team hotel has many wonderful dining options. But at this time of year, I highly recommend sitting outside at one of the Plaza Bar's tables with built-in firepits in the center. It's a true Arizona winter outdoor dining experience.

Flagstaff Eats

Diablo Burger
All-natural ingredients, all the time. Diablo Burger features top-notch beef on an English muffin in so many varieties. Want an egg on your burger? Go for it! How about guacamole and jalapenos? Done.

NiMarcos Pizza
This local pizza joint uses only the freshest ingredients with a homemade sauce that has a little kick. Each specialty pie is top-notch, but the "monster meat" is a personal favorite and well worth the purchase. 

Mama Burger
Another burger joint? Yes. Mama Burger is another Flagstaff staple that features fantastically juicy patties and perfectly spiced fries to leave the burger connoisseur pleased.

Beaver Street Brewery  
One of a few brewery restaurants in Flagstaff, Beaver Street features a variety of tasty craft beers brewed in house, wood-fire pizzas and loads of entrees to take care of any craving you may have.

These are just a few recommendations. There are plenty other wonderful options all over the area. Along with the help of smartphone apps like Urbanspoon and Yelp, you will eat like a champion before and after UCF takes on Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night.



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