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Featured Dining LocationMaynards Market & Kitchen brings back the elegant charm of an old- time railway dining car.

© Paul Markow


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Best Restaurants 2012
There are three main ingredients that go into a great restaurant: food, service and ambience. In our fifth-annual roundup of the state's best eateries, we feature 15 places that can deliver all three. Places like Cibo in Phoenix, Downtown Kitchen in Tucson and Garland's in Sedona. Among others. We'll tell you about all of them, and we'll even throw in a few of their signature recipes. Eat Here!.

by Nikki Buchanan

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Downtown Kitchen, Tucson
Food-fanatical Arizonans associate Janos Wilder with Southwest Cuisine and Latin Fusion as it's deliciously expressed at Janos and JBar respectively. When this James Beard Award-winning chef decided he needed a new playground, he opened DK — an airy, art-filled and distinctly urban space to celebrate America's culinary melting pot. His exotic but approachable menu — which features griddled gnocchi with grilled vegetables and burrata, Hawaiian ahi poke and Ras al Hanout marinated chicken — is literally all over the map, and that's the fun of it. Craft cocktails and mixology classes prove Wilder's got his finger on Arizona's culinary pulse. This is who we are and what we want now.
135 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-623-7700, www.downtownkitchen.com
recipe>


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AH Best Restaurants


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Garden Café, Yuma
When the weather's nice, there's no more blissful place to be than this lovely, family run café. Open October through May, the café was built around a terraced garden lush with trees, vines and flowers. Chirping free-roaming birds, as well as those from the café's aviary, become the seductive soundtrack for charming breakfasts, lunches and Sunday brunch, featuring signature dishes such as Southwest quiche, strawberry-turkey salad, house-made muffins, the city's best tortilla soup and Yuma Spice iced tea, a specialty blend customers may buy to brew at home. White layer cake with coconut-cream filling and whipped cream is named Torture Cake for good reason: It's torture to leave it alone..
250 S. Madison Avenue, 928-783-1491, www.gardencafeyuma.com
recipe>


Garland's Oak Creek Lodge, Sedona
Overnight guests of this lovely, historic lodge are treated to hearty breakfasts, afternoon tea, predinner cocktails and elegant evening meals, all wrapped into one set price. With a little luck, however, it's possible for outsiders to snag seats (by reservation) at a shared table for a fabulous prix fixe dinner prepared by longtime Garland's chef and cookbook author Amanda Stine, who puts out a completely different menu of homemade bread, soup, salad, entrée, dessert and coffee six nights a week. Stine gathers fruit, vegetables, herbs and fresh eggs from the trees, gardens and chickens on the property to make food that's simple, sophisticated and well worth planning a weekend around.
8067 N. State Route 89A, 928-282-3343, www.garlandslodge.com
recipe>


Java Blues, Springerville
The blues are the very last thing you're likely to get at this cute coffeehouse, which has slowly morphed into a full-blown restaurant and bar with free Wi-Fi and occasional live music. In the beginning, locals came for great coffee drinks, smoothies and plain or fancy breakfasts. Now this beloved Springerville fixture is equally famous for its burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, steaks, catfish platters and house-baked pies, which sell out every day. As for the wildly original blueberry-sausage cake (pecan-crusted and drizzled with blueberry syrup), let's just call it a coffeehouse perk.
341 E. Main, 928-333-5282
recipe>


Maynards Market & Kitchen, Tucson
Housed in Tucson's historic railway depot, this charming upscale market and dark, romantic restaurant — designed to replicate the plush dining cars of another era — have become both East End hub and food-geek destination, wrapped in one delicious package. Locals laud the excellent wine shop, weekly farmers' market on the plaza, pristine locally sourced products in the market and, of course, Chef Addam Buzzalini's seasonal, French-inspired menu, which often features classics such as poutine, raclette, steak tartare, bouillabaisse and choucroute. Insiders make early reservations for the five-course Farmer's Supper held on Sundays.
400 N. Toole Avenue, 520-545-0577, www.maynardsmarket.com
recipe>


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DiningWhether you find yourself famished in Flagstaff or starved in Sonoita, there are many great spots to find a bite in Arizona... [more

Weekend GetawaysCheck out Weekend Getaways around the state. ... [more]

Events CalendarEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

 

LodgingNo matter where you travel in Arizona, you'll find lodging that ranges from rustic to ritzy, along with everything in between... [more]

External LinksFor more information about great places to visit in Arizona, view our list of links to external resources, from Native American arts to parks and national forests... [more]

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