Glendale is having a new restaurant boom, particularly at Westgate Entertainment District. Within the past year, the West Valley suburb that’s home to more than 247,000 Arizonans welcomed a diverse range of new dining options, from trendy Taiwanese hot pot to St. Louis-style barbecue to a torta restaurant that, according to our dining critic, makes the perfect Mexican sandwich.
New vegan options range from loaded mac and cheese to traditional Indian dishes. And for those looking for a drink or dessert, a whimsical new bar offers both, serving cocktails and over-the-top milkshakes.
Here are a dozen new restaurants and bars to try now in Glendale.
Taiwanese hot pot restaurants have exploded in popularity over the last few years and when this California chain first arrived in Mesa, The Republic’s then-dining critic declared it among the best in town. A second spot has since opened in Glendale, offering generous portions of pre-assembled hot pots served over a small flame. Choose from menu items like cheesy milk hot pot or seafood lobster hot pot and order additional ingredients to cook in your pot.
Details: 6645 W. Bell Road, #101-103, Glendale. 623-230-2048, tastypotusa.com.
The Arizona Republic named this restaurant one of the best barbecue spots in metro Phoenix. At its new location at Westgate, you can expect slow-smoked brisket, jalapeño hot links, St. Louis-style ribs and hand-pulled pork on a brioche-style bun. The meats here come unadorned, so you can dress them up yourself using a selection of housemade sauces.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, 9405 W. Glendale Ave., #120, Glendale. 623-230-2199, nakedq.com.
Crab n Spice
This California seafood boil restaurant joins the ranks of Hot N Juicy, LA Crab Shack and Angry Crab Shack. The menu features baskets of fried calamari and crab n’ fries, which are Cajun-spiced fries with chunks of crab meat. The Captain’s Choice combo comes with a half-pound of shrimp or crawfish, lobster tail, half-pound of snow crab, two pieces of corn or potato and half-pound of sausage.
Details: Arrowhead Towne Center, 17275 N. 79th Ave., Glendale. 623-328-9615, crabnspiceaz.com.
Carousel Arcade Bar
Adult beverages and childhood entertainment collide at this fair-themed bar at Westgate. Along with video games, pinball machines and air hockey tables, visitors can grab a burger and cocktail. Dessert options include a basket of fried candy bars and a confetti milkshake topped with a slice of cake and a sprinkle rim.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., #G207, Glendale. 623-877-9777, carouselarcadebar.com.
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This fast-food restaurant chain, now open in Westgate, is known for Korean-style barbecue served in a cup with white rice, cabbage mix and japchae sweet potato noodles. Toppings include fried chicken, mandoo dumplings and tofu, with kimchi available as a side. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, 9410 W. Hanna Lane, #A101, Glendale. 602-860-2713, cupbop.com.
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Located in a Walmart strip mall, this restaurant focuses mainly on — you guessed it — mac and cheese. The restaurant serves dishes like the Northeastern Mac, featuring shell pasta with cheese sauce, lobster, gouda, gruyere and Ritz crumbs. Build-your-own and vegan options are also on the menu.
Details: 6530 W. Happy Valley Road, #116B, Glendale. 623-248-0719, macshackaz.com.
Republic dining critic Andi Berlin described her Norteña — a torta of carne asada topped with grilled onions, melted mozzarella cheese, chipotle salsa and ripe avocado — as “a perfect sandwich, a titan of the telera roll.” And then went on to name this torta shop one of the best new restaurants in metro Phoenix. From the corner of a Glendale parking lot, Renato De La Torre serves a streamlined menu of Mexico City-style tortas, following in the footsteps of his family, who run the popular Los Reyes de la Torta in Phoenix.
Details: 13971 N. 59th Ave., Glendale. 623-600-8630, tortascm.com.
Located near downtown Glendale, this pizzeria and gelato shop serves fettuccine alfredo in creamy house-made sauce, ravioli stuffed with beef or ricotta and lightly-breaded eggplant parmigiana. On Sundays, spaghetti plates are two for one. And, as the name suggests, there’s plenty of pizza options too.
Details: 5713 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. 623-931-0884, jetzapizzaphx.com.
Haldi Indian Cuisine
Haldi, which also has a location in Surprise, is the place to go in Glendale if you need to satisfy a craving for chicken tikka masala, aloo gobi and garlic naan. Other menu items include biryani, tandoori, samosas and pakoras. For dessert, try the mango and pistachio kulfi.
Details: 18561 N. 59th Ave., #122, Glendale. 623-440-8150, haldiaz.com.
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Matt’s Big Breakfast
One of metro Phoenix’s most popular and locally owned brunch spots made its West Valley debut in north Glendale’s Arrowhead Ranch neighborhood. Founder Matt Pool first opened the restaurant in 2004 in an 800-square-foot, red brick building in downtown Phoenix. The restaurant has since expanded to multiple locations. The restaurant is known for its hearty breakfast plates, including Guy Fieri’s favorite the Chop & Chick, a skillet-seared Iowa pork chop marinated in pesto and served with two eggs and toast.
Details: 7507 W. Rose Garden Lane, Glendale. 623-259-9836, mattsbigbreakfast.com.
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Myungrang Hot Dog
Myungrang Hot Dog was launched in 2016 near Korea’s Pusan National University. Since then, Myungrang has gone global, spawning hundreds of franchise locations. Unlike the American counterpart, the batter for these dogs is made from a rice flour mixture to lend a chewier texture. At the new location near Westgate, order a variety of sausage, mozzarella and combinations of the two served on a stick like a corn dog. Order one with an array of optional sauces, seasonings and toppings.
Details: 9140 W. Glendale Ave., #102, Glendale. 623-213-7475, myungrangwestgate.com.
Arizona State University alumnus Dean Le opened the first Tacos Culichi restaurant in 2018 with his friend Adan Pulido, an immigrant from Culiacán, Mexico. The Phoenix taquería has now expanded to a second location at Westgate. Along with fat burritos and thickly stuffed quesadillas, the restaurant serves tacos with birria de res, tostadas de ceviche and Sinaloa-style hot dogs topped with Ruffles potato chips.
Details: Westgate Entertainment District, 9380 W. Westgate Blvd., #D-103, Glendale. 623-248-6580, instagram.com/tacos_culichi.
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COVID-19 note: Health experts strongly recommend booster shots to protect against severe illness from COVID-19. If you test positive or feel symptoms of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you stay home and isolate for at least five days, and then if symptoms improve, wear a well-fitted mask around others for another five days.
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