Maybe you’re a Rockies season ticket holder and you attend every spring training because, well, baseball is life. Maybe you’re dodging Colorado’s slushiest snowstorms. Or perhaps you’re living in a family of baseball fanatics and you’re just along for the ride—and the food.

Whatever your path, a warm-up trip to Arizona might just be the spring you need in your March step. The action at Rockies spring training, which runs February 23 through March 26, 2024, unfolds just five miles from Old Town Scottsdale and a world of creative menus. Treat yourself to this under-the-radar culinary destination’s tastiest dishes and headline-making, home-run restaurants. Here’s where to eat in Scottsdale this spring.


A dish at FnB. Photo courtesy of Debby Wolvos/Experience Scottsdale

They call Charleen Badman “the Veggie Whisperer.” The chef and co-owner of FnB has a knack for coaxing divine flavors from locally grown vegetables, earning her the 2019 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest, among many other accolades. Badman’s globally-inspired, seasonal menus spotlight Arizona agriculture, pairing beautifully with the restaurant’s Arizona-only wine program curated by co-owner Pavle Milic. Find FnB in downtown Scottsdale’s historic Craftsman Court and see what’s cropping up. You’ll find clean, unfussy dishes like German turnip salad with cheddar, walnuts, and apple; broccolini in a gingery peanut sauce with crispy onions; and a charred whole sweet potato sitting on a bed of harissa vinaigrette. The only menu constant? A cup of old-fashioned butterscotch pudding—the thick, custardy treat stands the test of time with browned butter and caramelized sugar. 7125 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale

Virtù Honest Craft

Virtù Honest Craft. Photo courtesy of Slaven Gujic

Twenty-somethings pop into Virtù Honest Craft, an intimate eatery at the Bespoke Inn bed and breakfast, with the same anticipatory glimmer in their eyes as couples celebrating their 40th wedding anniversaries. They know chef Gio Osso’s Mediterranean-inspired menu and simple stylish dining room promise a memorable culinary experience. Virtu’s course-by-course menu changes almost weekly, sometimes daily, depending on the chef’s whims and which seafood and produce is freshest. Expect delights such as smoky grilled octopus drizzled in Calabrian chile butter, lamb tartare with kimchi cashew crunch, and Champagne foam–topped, rhubarb-infused Ice Queen vodka cocktails. 3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale


The paella at Talavera. Photo by Lisa Blake

This vibrant Spanish steakhouse is tucked inside of the Four Seasons just north of Scottsdale. The gorgeous desert valley views from the open-air, covered dining deck are worth the drive, and the hearty wine list and stout espresso martinis may just tempt you to book a plush casita and stay the night. Start with the puffy ham croquetas, then move on to the duck breast Sevillana and try not to drool while the server waterfalls a sweet sherry orange reduction over the tender slices of meat at the table. Or share the legendary Talavera paella piled high with chorizo, chicken, lobster, prawns, mussels, clams, and chunks of pork belly. Save space for a cappuccino and cinnamon churros presented in a swirl of smoke with a side of rich chocolate sauce for dunking. 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale


Turkish eggs with smoked salmon at Cala. Photo by Lisa Blake

Coastal and refreshing is the running storyline at this buzzy be-seen hotel restaurant in Old Town’s entertainment district. High-energy Cala resides on the bottom floor of the Senna House, inviting diners to linger over its all-day menu in cabanas and patio seating while sipping on passion fruit margaritas and biodynamic California wines. Cushy couch booths and rows of plants bring a homey vibe while local celebrity chef Beau MacMillan’s menu skips along the Mediterranean coastline. Chile-fried organic eggs meet up with smoked salmon and whipped yogurt while Greek brandy blazes atop the torched saganaki (fried kasseri cheese). Hints of green olive and apricot sing from the Moroccan chicken and housemade pastas are topped with everything from pancetta to vegan red lentil Bolognese sauce. 7501 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

The Mission

Guac at the Mission. Photo courtesy of Halie Sutton/Experience Scottsdale

Dip out of the desert sun and into this Scottsdale essential’s dark, sultry, always busy dining room (reservations recommended, even for lunch). Request a table near the glowing Himalayan salt block wall and start with a freshly juiced jalapeño-cucumber marg while you read your menu by flickering candlelight. Beware of the crave-worthy complimentary homemade tortilla chips and red chile salsa laced with soy sauce. The 12-ingredient tableside guacamole is a must-order as are the pork shoulder tacos with pineapple-habanero glaze. The flavorful meat is prepared on a grill using pecan and mesquite wood, and the hand-pressed corn tortillas are served on a hot slab of salt so they stay piping hot while you enjoy them one by one. 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale

Fat Ox

The Fat Ox. Courtesy of the Fat Ox

Settle in for modern riffs on regional Italian classics at this evocative dinner destination peppered with just the right amount of fancy. Begin your epicurean journey with imported cheeses and salumi and homemade bread dressed in whipped ricotta and hot-pepper-zinged butter. If you’re a pasta lover, this is where you dig in and go all out; pasta made in house daily shows up as a 25-layer lasagna and tubes of garganelli in black truffle butter and speck. Proteins like the eight-ounce beef filet served with a Barolo demi-glace are cooked over wood in a custom hearth, and definitely don’t miss the Frangelico-doused tiramisu. 6316 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer and children's book author living in Breckenridge. When she's not writing about food and mountain adventures, she can be found on the river with her son, pug and husband.