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Featured Dining LocationPranee Adachi and her daughter, Jarunee Krathinthong, serve dishes inspired by Adachi’s mother’s recipes.

© Paul Markow


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Best Restaurants 2013
There are many wonderful restaurants in Arizona, and every April, we spotlight some of the best. This month, we're at it again, but instead of having an editorial board make the picks, we enlisted the help of 10 of our favorite food-loving photographers. We also managed to snag a few of their favorite recipes, which you can find by clicking the links that accompany each entry.

By Nikki Buchanan

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Dara Thai Café, Williams (Recommended by Mark Lipczynski)

Pranee Adachi and her daughter, Jarunee Krathinthong, own and operate this small, cozy place, where houseplants and café curtains conjure Grandma's house — if Grandma were from Thailand. Adachi, who learned her fresh-ingredients philosophy from her own mother (a caterer in Thailand), makes everything from scratch, including her own curry paste and coconut ice cream. Customers, in turn, rave about her curries, Pad Thai, Dara tofu and award-winning Evil Jungle Princess, marveling that some of the most authentic Thai food in the state is found in Williams.

Established: 2008
Cuisine: Thai
Chef: Pranee Adachi
Price: $-$$
Open: Lunch, Dinner
Information: 145 W. Route 66, Suite C, Williams, 928-635-2201
recipe>


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AH Best Restaurants


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Los Hermanos, Superior (Recommended by Elias Butler)
Founded by six brothers (hermanos in Spanish), this no-frills operation — outfitted in vinyl and Formica — offers honest, made-from-scratch AZ-Mex at its basic best. Thick house-made chips and plenty-hot salsa are the prelude to enchiladas, tostadas, posole and the best refried beans for miles around. Some people save room for dessert empanadas; others just fill up on ultra-thin, transparent tortillas (made with lard, yay!) cranked out from the adjacent tortilla factory, which also is owned by the Tameron family and their one lone hermano with a different surname: Donlin.

Established: 1976
Cuisine:
Mexican/American
Chef:
Richard Tameron
Price:
$
Open:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Information:
835 W. U.S. Route 60, Superior, 520-689-5465, www.loshermanosrestaurant.com
recipe>


Caffe Torino, Oro Valley (Recommended by Jack Dykinga)

Daniela Borella says her Italian-born mother (from Torino) and father (from Bologna) offer inspiration and support at her intimate, upscale neighborhood restaurant, hung with vintage family photos and the work of local artists. So it's no wonder her lasagna (made with Dad's Bolognese) and her spaghetti with meatballs are legendary. Although veal Marsala, chicken Valdostana and bistecca alla Toscana (not to mention white tablecloths and an extensive wine list, peppered with Italian labels) suggest fine dining, Borella insists that it's her adherence to fresh ingredients and simple, well-prepared dishes that wins her such a loyal following of locals, golfers and, yes, photographers.

Established: 2000
Cuisine: Northern Italian
Chef: Daniela Borella
Price: $-$$$
Open: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Information: 10325 N. La Canada Drive, Tucson, 520-297-3777, www.caffetorinoorovalley.com recipe>


Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market, Oak Creek Canyon (Recommended by Suzanne Mathia)
Situated on the winding road through Oak Creek Canyon, this rustic, flower-bordered country store has been operated by various members of the Garland family (of Garland's Lodge fame) since the '80s. Now that Daniel Garland has made it his baby, the recently remodeled place, finished with local rock, has blossomed into an artisanal way station, stocked with craft beer, Arizona wines and locally sourced products. In the fall, the kitchen turns Oak Creek apples into applesauce, apple butter and apple muffins. But tourists and locals show up all year long for excellent homemade soups and gourmet sandwiches, garnished with local tomatoes and house-made organic pesto when the season allows.

Established: 1984
Cuisine: American
Chef: Daniel Garland
Price: $
Open: Breakfast, Lunch, Early Dinner
Information: 3951 N. State Route 89A, Sedona, 928-282-7702, www.oakcreekmarket.com
recipe>


Booga Red's, Springerville (Recommended by George Stocking)

Edgar Merrill — a red-haired, rough-and-tumble carpenter with the nickname "Booga Red" — opened this down-home Mexican/American restaurant (and built its bar) 32 years ago, and it hasn't changed much since. Now it's owned and operated by Merrill's granddaughter Melissa Madariaga and her husband, Buster, who still turn out praiseworthy huevos rancheros, chicken-fried steak and St. John's tacos (filled with ground beef and griddled in the shell). Filled with hunting trophies and frequented by locals who hunt, fish and cowboy, the place is famous for both its red and green chile, made from generations-old family recipes.

Established: 1980
Cuisine: Mexican/American
Chefs: Gaby Ruiz, Tina Irigoyen
Price: $-$$
Open: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Information: 521 E. Main Street, Springerville, 928-333-2640
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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