The Sophisti-Kids’ Best of Scottsdale/Phoenix

We have been fortunate enough to eat at several delicious restaurants throughout the world and in our hometown of Scottsdale.  In fact, we have a tremendous backlog of posts on these various restaurants.  We’re not even sure when we’ll be able to get to writing about these fine culinary establishments, but wanted to give you our BEST OFs – our favorite places to eat in Scottsdale/Phoenix.

Best Ice Cream:  Sweet Republic:  The owners, Helen and Jan, were previously investment bankers, but have always wanted to open their own ice cream shop. Sweet Republic has become highly successful and highly publicized.  Our favorite flavors are Cashew Turtle, Milk and Cookies, Almond Buttercrunch, Salted Caramel, and Coconut Sorbet.  For shakes and malts, we’d recommend the Salted Caramel and the Coconut Sorbet (you’ll never believe it’s a sorbet).  Benita (spelling?) is the best shake maker!  Other delicious flavors include Rose, Huckleberry swirl, and I LOVE BACON!  Believe it or not, bacon tastes great in ice cream!!!  No doubt, all their flavors are delicious because everything is made from scratch.  For example, the cookies that go into the Milk and Cookies flavor are fresh-baked at the store.  You can always smell the fresh waffle cones being made; but best of all, is the smell of their homemade bacon brittle!

Location=9160 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ. Link:

sweet republic

Above is a picture of Anya with Owner Jan.

Best Special Occasion Ice Cream Pies and Cakes:  For special occasions, we rotate between Sweet Republic’s Ice Cream Pie and That’s Amore Gelato Cakes.  Below is a picture of the three Sweet Republic pies we had for Thanksgiving (you can see that we almost started eating before the picture was taken!).

ice cream pie

Here’s a picture of a That’s Amore’s Cake. He does specially ordered cakes and always designs them according to the occasion!  Below is one he did for us on Chinese new year this year (the year of the Snake).

ice cream cake


Best Italian:  Andreoli (refer to post). Link to post: are weekly customers and know all of their waiters and waitresses. Located on 8880 E Vía Linda, Scottsdale, AZ.

Best cotton candy:  Noca-located on 3118 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ. They are rated high on stars and give MOUTHWATERING FREE COTTON CANDY! How cool is that!? In addition, Noca and FnB, the 2 foodie destinations, had a fried chicken competition and Noca won! Link: Besides the cotton candy (though that is our favorite thing there), the food is also very high quality and their menu changes regularly.


Best Tacos:  Phoenix Ranch Market, the Mission, and Barrio Cafe.  Of these three locations, we frequent the Mission, partly because of its location in Old Scottsdale, but mostly because of  their delicious pork tacos. (See post: Although Karsen prefers the mahi-mahi tacos, I have noticed that recently, he keeps asking me if we can trade. Funny, isn’t it?

Phoenix Ranch Market is located on 5833 S Central Ave, the Mission is on 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, and Barrio Cafe is on 2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006.  Quick note: Barrio cafe has a sister restaurant in downtown Scottsdale called the Barrio Queen.  We’ve been there and have been disappointed (in fact, we wished we had gone just down the block to the Mission!).  If you’re craving Barrio’s tacos, we’d recommend going to the original. Much Better!


Best Guacamole:  The Mission (see previous post). Link to post: Link: Located on 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 We usually don’t order guacamole; Mommy makes an excellent one, but the Mission’s is special. They asked you what level of spicy-ness you want, and then ask you what you want in it. They even present it at your table and mix it in perfectly!

Best fast food burger:  Smashburger (See previous post: Link: Location:15801 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Uniquely, they smash their burgers, unlike normal fastfood restaurants like In-and-Out.

Best sushi:  Roka Akor. Our two favorite people are a waiter who we call Tintin, the detective from the series of mystery books Tintinbecause of his hair, and Chef Kenichi, the SUSHI MASTER (I want that title!) Link: out their menu! Location:7299 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258. Here are picture of our favorite sushi roll (the dynamite), Tintin, and chef:

dynamite rollTintinChef kinichi


Best new pub:  Citizen Public House (Just went there!) Also has great lemonade. Last time we went, our waiter’s name was Kent (we remembered his name because Superman’s alter ego is Clark KENT); he was very nice, and the one who offered DESSERT! Most important!

Location:7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Link:


Here is a picture of their famous Stetson salad – BTW this should be in the Best Salad category!:

citizen puclic house salad

Best Pizza:  We are lucky that this valley is filled with fantastic Pizza places. In fact, we have THREE favorites.  Andreoli’s (every Wednesday and Saturday night),  Bianco’s (there is a new location at 20th and Camelback), and Pomo. LInk Andreoli: Link Bianco’s:

Best Bruschetta: Postino. Their toppings include:  Brie & Apples with Fig Spread, Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato & Basil, Prosciutto with Figs & Mascarpone, Warm Artichoke Spread, Smoked Salmon with Pesto, Tomato Jam & Fresh Sheeps Milk, CheeseBurrata, Bacon, Arugula & TomatoRicotta with Dates & Pistachios, White Bean with Chopped Tomato, Roasted Peppers with Goat Cheese, and Salami with Pesto are all the different bruschetta flavors. They also have seasonal flavors. Our favorites are the prosciutto and fig, which make a surprisingly good combination, and the mozzarella and tomato, a classic.

Best Key Lime Pie:  Chelsea’s Kitchen.  Although we’ve never been to Chelsea’s Kitchen, we had a Sugar Party once and were fortunate enough to have Chelsea’s Key Lime pie.  Truly – if you like KLP, you will LOVE this one!!!! The Key Lime flavor is truly amazing and is featured on all of the key lime cream at the top!

Best Macarons:  Essence Bakery.  As you know from our previous posts, we’ve been to Paris several times and love macarons.  Essence Bakery’s macarons are the closest to La Duree’s and Pierre Herme’s in Paris.  They feature many flavors including:  key lime pie, meyer lemon, strawberries and cream, chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate, raspberry, hazelnut, salted caramel, espresso, and seasonal flavors.  Our favorite is the caramel.  In fact, when we buy a box, half our box is filled with caramel. For Anya’s birthday, we had a macaron cake that looked like this:

macaron cake

Best Boba:  Taiwan Express in Mekong Plaza.  Not all boba are created equal.  Some are overcooked and gooey.  Some are undercooked and crunchy.  Taiwan express always has the perfect texture.  Mommy and Papa like the Thai Coffee or the Traditional Milk Tea.  We like their slushies, usually opting for the pina-colada flavor.  These drinks are especially refreshing in the Arizona heat, and especially after eating their spicy taiwanese food!

Best Lemonade:  Karsen and I love fresh lemonade.  In general, restaurants have whole menus devoted to adult drinks and a small selection of drinks for children.  We don’t mind the small selection but like fresh juices.  We always ask if there is fresh lemonade and have found that Roka’s Yuzu Citrus Lemonade is the MOST delicious. Their is even some yuzu lemon on the top! Here’s a picture:


Runner-ups include:  FNB, Cafe Binkley, and Citizen Public House.

Thank you for looking at this post!

We apologize for the lack of recent posts. New ones will be coming up soon! Summer!