The Grand Canyon State is certainly a place of beauty. There’s an endless list of reasons why you might choose to visit Arizona, and its delicious and vibrant food scene may be one of them. With a number of creative flavors and food, you might wonder if there are any Michelin Star Restaurants in Arizona.
Despite the popularity of cities like Phoenix and Tucson, there aren’t any Michelin Star restaurants in Arizona. Even though Michelin created the first guide in 1900, it didn’t make its way to the United States until 2005. Currently, there are only five U.S. locations with Michelin Guides, and it’s not surprising that places like New York City and California were the first to make the list.
With Michelin adding two new locations this year, there’s a possibility they could add an Arizona Michelin Guide at some point. Keep reading to find out what Arizona restaurants could make the list if Michelin created an Arizona Guide.
Michelin Star Restaurants in Arizona
When it comes to Michelin Star Restaurants across the world, restaurants have to meet specific criteria to be considered worthy of a star. From the quality of the ingredients to the chef’s personality, it takes a lot for a restaurant to earn even one Michelin star, let alone two or three stars.
Arizona is home to some delicious restaurants that offer unique flavors and items that are specific to the Grand Canyon State. There’s plenty of history and tradition to explore when it comes to the top restaurants and fine dining in Arizona.
If Michelin decided that Arizona was worthy of a Michelin Guide in the future, here are some of the Arizona restaurants that could make the cut:
- Cafe Monarch
- Maple & Ash
The Michelin Star is still considered the most prestigious award that any restaurant can achieve. Keep reading to find out why each restaurant may be worthy of the elusive Michelin Star rating.
Binkley’s is one of the most frequently mentioned fine dining restaurants in Arizona. From the upscale, high-class dining room to the relaxing terrace, the ambiance is intimate and romantic no matter where your seat is. The full experience at Binkley’s begins with appetizers on the terrace and then a move to the dining room for a multi-course experience.
Like a true luxury experience, dining at Binkley’s takes time and is never rushed. You can expect dinner to last between 2.5 and 3 hours. The menu changes regularly to keep the ingredients fresh and within the season.
Some menu items may include are Caramel Octopus with corn relish and horseradish caramel. There's also the Apricot Brioche with apricot goat butter. For dessert, you can enjoy sweets like the Prickly Pear Infusion or the Chocolate-vanilla Pistachio Milk.
Whether you choose a seat in the vibrant, colorful dining room or on the quaint patio area, your experience at Sel will certainly be one to remember.
Located in Old Town Scottsdale, Sel is owned and operated by Chef Brandon Levine and his wife May. It's easily one of the best restaurants in the Phoenix area.
The dinner at Sel is focused on fresh local ingredients and a blend of cuisines from all around the world. Like all the items on the menu, the Chef's Tasting Menu is constantly changing. It's also he best way to experience all that Sel has to offer. You might enjoy dishes such as the Alaskan Halibut Crudo or the Roasted Beet Gazpacho.
Prepare to be amazed as you walk into the extravagant, chandelier-lit atmosphere of Cafe Monarch. They combine exceptional service and delicious cuisine to create an all-around elegant dining experience.
Cafe Monarch aims to offer fine dining redefined. With an ever-changing variety of menu items, they focus on including the best local and sustainable ingredients.
In addition to their exceptional service skills, each server at Cafe Monarch goes through the Court of Masters Sommeliers Program. This makes they have the training and experience necessary to help you find the perfect wine pairing for each part of your meal.
The Chef's Tasting Menu includes eight delicious courses. You might experience items such as the Argentinian Shrimp Ceviche or the Berkshire Pork Belly with goat cheese, grilled peaches, and spiced cashews.
Located within the Sheraton Grand Resort, Kai is one of the best fine dining establishments in Arizona. This restaurant has won the Forbes 5 Star award and the AAA Diamond Award for its excellent food.
The cuisine at Kai is meant to celebrate the culture, history, and flavors of Native Americans. With a breathtaking view overlooking the Komatke Mountain Range, the atmosphere of the restaurant is divine.
Chef Drew Anderson leads the way to delicious cuisine and menu items focused on the local flavors in the community. The menu specifically includes items from the Native Seed Search Foundation that focus on preserving ancient lines of indigenous seeds. You might enjoy items such as the Wheat Berry & Black Garlic Risotto, or the Seared Quail with Huckleberry Compote and Roasted Turnip.
Maple & Ash
Maple & Ash is the epitome of a luxury steakhouse. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Michelin Star Chef Danny Grant created the menu at Maple & Ash to craft an innovative and authentic approach to fine dining. Maple & Ash also has a location in Chicago.
On the dinner menu, you’ll find items such as the Alaskan King Crab Legs or the Fire-roasted Seafood Tower. The tower includes a collection of seafood roasted in the hearth and drizzled with garlic butter and chili oil. You can’t miss out on dessert when there are choices like the Citrus Mousse with mint pecan streusel or the Coconut Cream Pie with brown butter graham crust and rum chantilly.
If you want the full experience at Maple & Ash, you can also choose their take on a tasting menu. This four-course chef-created masterpiece is their way of showing guests the best they have to offer.
Quiessence is a true farm-to-table experience in Arizona. Each week, Chef Dustin Christofolo creates the menu based on the vegetables, flowers, eggs, and herbs gathered from the onsite garden and local farms. Chef Dustin brings a level of luxury to fresh ingredients that no other restaurant in Arizona has.
There are numerous seating areas at Quiessence at the Farm, and each seat offers an intimate, romantic, and unique experience. On the way into the restaurant, you can stop by the Soil & Seed Garden at the Farm. It’s in this lush garden that you’ll find the connection between fresh produce and an incredible dining experience.
As the freshest ingredients change throughout the year, so does the menu at Quiessence. As part of the seasonal tasting menu, you can choose from the three-course, four-course, or five-course meal. On each menu, you'll find distinguished items such as the Duck Confit with pumpkin puree, braised greens, and red pepper jam. Or you might enjoy the Potato Gnocchi with beef ragu, asparagus, poached tomato, and goat cheese.
Finding the Top Restaurants in Arizona
From beautiful scenery to delectable restaurants, Arizona is one of the top states in the country to visit. No matter how delicious some of the restaurants are, there are currently no Michelin Star restaurants in Arizona. However, Michelin hasn’t chosen to rate the Grand Canyon State yet, but it could always add Arizona to the list in the future.
No matter what your thoughts are on awards and restaurant ratings, the Michelin Star is still considered the most prestigious rating a restaurant or chef can receive. If Michelin decided to add Arizona to their list, it would have a significant impact on the dining scene and nightlife in the state.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com.