Phoenix, AZ

Local Restaurant Awarded "Best New Restaurant" by Esquire

Greyson F
Everything is flame grilled to perfection.Robert Krcmar

Most major publications have some form of a “Best Restaurants'' list. Whether flipping through the pages of Travel & Leisure or waiting at the doctor’s office with a copy of US Weekly, chances are you’ll stumble on a few restaurant listings. Esquire Magazine is similar, although instead of focusing on top restaurants, many of which are repeated from previous years, it features the “Best New Restaurants” in the United States. It’s an excellent way to see what’s new and what’s trending in the world of food, both locally and nationally. And here in greater Phoenix, one restaurant, in particular, made the cut.

Checking in as the 21st best new restaurant in North America is Bacanora out of Phoenix. Just about everything at the restaurant is flame-grilled, all of which can be watched from a seat at the bar. This alone makes it worth visiting, and the entertainment value of watching Sonoran-born chef Rene Andrade and his team go to work makes it not only the perfect date-night location, but an excellent location to go by oneself.

There is a one-of-a-kind grill, made specifically for Bacanora, and most items on the menu are prepared using the grill, which offers the smoke and charred infusion flavors that are not available when using other means of cooking. All of the tortillas are prepared in-house,

The name “bacanora” is a form of mezcal produced in the Sonoran region of Mexico. Whereas most mezcals have a smoky taste to it (more akin to scotch than the widely available brands), Bon Appetit magazine referred to bacanora as a friendly version of tequila, and the missing link between tequila and mezcal. The Bacanora here in The Valley is not directly a reference to the spirit, but instead the moving of Sonoran flavors from Northwest Mexico to Arizona. It’s a migration of traditional flavors and, in a flooded Mexican food restaurant market, it provides a fresh, unique taste that isn’t found in most other locations around metro Phoenix.

If you’re interested in visiting Bacanora, one of the Best New Restaurants in America, according to Esquire Magazine, you can find it at 1301 NW Grand Avenue, Unit 1. It is open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 PM until 10 PM, and Sunday from 11 AM until 3 PM. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday. For photos of the food as well as restaurant updates, make sure to follow Bacanora on Instagram.

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