Restaurant of the Week: Barrio Queen

With a unique, lively atmosphere and array of reasonably priced-yet-delicious food and tasty drinks, Barrio Queen is easily one of the best Mexican restaurants in town (top 3 in my opinion), and one I have no trouble recommending again and again.


Owners Linda Nash and Steven Rosenfield opened Barrio Queen with the intent of bringing Southern Mexican cuisine and culture to the Valley, and it quickly developed a loyal following. The restaurant now boasts three locations (Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Gilbert), with a fourth, at Tempe Marketplace, on the way, and a fifth coming to Queen Creek later next year. Each exhibit the brand’s signature flair and quality cuisine, but there’s something especially unique about the flagship location. Nestled in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, it features a patchwork interior that is a vibrant tapestry of bright individualism and a large patio overlooking the stately steps of the Waterfront.


Barrio Queen is rare in that it’s a solid option for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and cocktails. The menu is full of delectable, modern Mexican dishes and traditional staples sourced from family recipes. They call it “Mexico City soul food.” You’ll just call it delicious. The tacos are among the best in the Valley and have been awarded as such. A few standouts are the classic Al Pastor, Cochinita Pibil, and my personal favorite, the Gringa. Traditional dishes like enchiladas are also always on point, as are the signature entrees like Chiles en Nogada, Carne Asada, and Carnitas Michoacanas.


Moving on, their signature “Tortas” are always a fun option, with the award-winning, banana-wrapped cochinita pibil a clear favorite. Looking for even more adventure? The “Sonoran Dogs” are a fun twist on an American classic. As for apps, they boast some of the best queso in town, a bubbling pool of delicious Oaxaca, with chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted poblanos swimming on the surface. Looking for something healthier? Don’t fret, there are is almost a dozen different calorie conscious, vegan, and gluten-free options.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mexican restaurant without tequila, and Barrio Queen doesn’t disappoint here either. They boast one of the larger selections in the Valley, and perhaps the best margaritas in the game. The Skinny Chola is all a purist could ask for, while the decadent, $25 El Rey is a lavish option for those looking to splurge, but I prefer the El Don, one of the finer takes on the classic Cadillac I’ve had in a long time. You couldn’t possibly be disappointed.


Happy Hour runs from 2 pm to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, and features great deals like $7 dishes and $6 margs, while every Taco Tuesday you can enjoy all their delectable creations (save for a couple premium ones like the Gringas), for $3 a pop. Add this all up and you have a spot that is certainly worth visiting for any fan of quality Mexican food in the Valley.

To see the complete menu, location information, and more, visit

ty-fahlman-author-bioAbout Author Ty Fahlman

The former Managing Editor of Jetset Magazine, Ty Fahlman has earned a stellar reputation for his probing, introspective interviews of celebrities, as well as his in-depth profiles of resorts, restaurants, and destinations. With over 150 articles published, Ty has ghostwritten for New York Times bestselling authors and celebrities, and given thoughtful and in-depth profiles and interviews of dozens of A-List celebrities including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona but travels as much as he can.

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