Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal
Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal

Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.spotteddonkeycantinaelpedregal.com/
  • Phone: (480) 488-3358
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sun-Thurs 11:30am - 9pm
    Fri & Sat 11:30am - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern
  • Executive Chef: Estebon Colon
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Please call for more details about private event dining.
  • Special Events: Coming Soon!

    Cinco de Mayo Festival @ el Pedregal
    2nd Annual Arizona Micro Brewery Series Dinner Summer 2013

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Carefree Hwy
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal
Fresh, lively and energetic, the Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal is a Scottsdale original. Offering the best drinks, unique food and a festive atmosphere are quickly earning Spotted Donkey Cantina at el Pedregal a reputation as the place to dine in North Scottsdale.

The restaurant's North Scottsdale location provides a fabulous backdrop of 12-million-year-old rock formations and you can catch the Arizona sky creating a stunning atmosphere on our large outdoor patio.

Best Happy Hour 2012 | AZ Centrals Readers Choice Awards
Best Mexican Food 2013 | Arizona Foothills Magazine
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Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.2
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (36)great for outdoor dining (33)fit for foodies (27)good for groups (23)scenic view (14)hot spot (10)great for lunch (8)vibrant bar scene (8)special occasion (6)kid-friendly (6)romantic (4)late-night find (3)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • JohnVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Great place for an exciting dinner, but if you go for Happy Hour, go early!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • misspickyVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    The menu is rather limited, but our waitress was absolutely outstanding!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New go-to Mexican spot
    Foodcoma30
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    We had a great dinner and the atmosphere was great! Love the naranja cocktail and the enchilladas. We ordered the nachos to start and they are some of the best nachos I have ever had. We were a party of 4 celebrating two birthdays and we wanted a special place to go. Thats definitely what we experieced. The only reason I am giving the "service" 4 stars is we had commented on OpenTable that we were celebrating two birthdays and this was never even acknowledged. Our server was awesome but the hostess was less than desirable (needs to smile and act a little more friendly)!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our favorite Mexican restaurant
    Donavon
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    The food here is absolutely one of the best Mexican food available in all of Phoenix area. We always request Josh as waiter...again the best. They do everything to insure your dining experience is great. The food and service are way above average...fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I don't usually eat Mexican food...
    maryspalVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    My wife and I were guests at the Boulders and took the shuttle to the Spotted Donkey on two of our 5 nights. Great food. Rockin tequila they make themselves and great service. Informal: yes; TVs: yes; and lots of fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Patio reservations?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Made reservation wanted patio. Did not see option for patio?
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great food and service
    dnpz
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Pretty drive to get there, great mexican food and drinks, highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place to watch the sunset
    Familyof8
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My wife and I always eat at The Spotted Donkey when we travel to Phoenix. We love the location, the salsas and menu variety.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    We have been dining at the SD for over 8 years. And the food is very good in a southwestern casual way. Our regular server wa s not there last Wednesday and it certainly made a difference! Service was really bad, almost 30 minutes for drinks to arrive, appetizers, chips and salsa took another 20 minutes after 2nd round of drinks and entrees were really slow arriving. Two of the three entrees came first and last entree showed up about 5 minutes later. Our guest got something she did not order, pumpkin seed salad with shrimp instead of the chicken she ordered. Not a good experience at all!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wish They Hadn't Changed The Menu!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    We have been dining at this location, sporadically, for years, and the food is still very good, but we wish that they would revert to the older menu(s). On the latest, much smaller menu, our most favorite "signature shrimp tacos" are missing, as is the caesar salad (as well as several other prior offerings). So, we still recommend Spotted Donkey, but we'd like to see the return of the now-missing dishes. The current menu is too small/limiting, and we also wish that they would provide chips and salsa with the meal. This all being said, the service was excellent, and we love the location of the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Luv2eatout
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Great food and service at this restaurant. It is very difficult to find the doorway to enter. Needs more outside lighting and signage to guide one in to the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • traveler2VIP
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We have eaten here several times and are always pleased with the food. Large portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great out of the way restaurant
    Mary
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We love going to the Spotted Donkey. they have delicious, unusual mexican dishes. We love the 6-pack shooters with a great presentation for stuffed jalapenos. The chimichanga was very good and their salads are large and very good also. They did get rid of their darling half booths and made them just tables. Don't know why,but we used to love that seating. Great place to take out of towners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    place4us
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We really enjoyed your restaurant. The food was wonderful our waiter was attentive. We had a great time and I have already suggested it to two different couples.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved It
    EatingwithEskull69
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Had an early dinner. Restaurant wasn't too busy, but was filling up rapidly when we left. Noise level was fine, not an issue. Loved the food. Donkey nachos were awesome, the pork was amazing. The nachos are served on small tostadas instead of chips. The poblano Chile relleno was great, this also had the pork in the filling. Server was great, very friendly and informative but not intrusive. He recommended the Sopapillas for desert. Again, just amazing. Its a bit out of the way, but well worth the road trip. l'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My New Favorite
    iLOVEfood
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Date night with the hubby and I think I have found my new favorite restaurant! Had the Shrimp as the appetizer, Seafood Enchiladas for entree and Banana Wraps for dessert. Did I mention the amazing Germain Collins beverage?! Might be hard for me to branch out and try other things on the menu due to these being so spectacular!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Usually great, this time not so
    lunchladyVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Patio dining difficult-sole flood light casted terrible shadows. Hard to see what you're eating in the dark. Two of us ordered the Enchiladas de Mariscos, a dish my friend orders every time we dine here together. Mariscos? Within the 2 enchiladas on the plate (I think 2, it was dark out there!) I literally found 1 shrimp in each cheesy roll. The first one I ate but thought it tasted "not fresh". I found the second one and it had that same dry, salty, "off" taste. That one I had to spit out. The crab? Maybe I tasted a hint of it. Not sure. Our server (who was great) took off one of the $23 entrees from the bill, but the manager never came out to ask how everything was. I will go back but will not order this dish again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bring them back
    smartblVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    What happened to the onion rings??? Why would you remove them? Our waiter was great!!!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Been here many times and the food and service is always very good. The reason for 4 stars on the food is because my salmon was a little dry but other than that, everything else was wonderful. Dan our server was excellent in being very attentive but not intrusive. Pleasant, friendly and knowledgeable which made the dining experience wonderful. Great patio views.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but pricey
    wineNdineVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Decent food, but overall too pricey. Drink prices are also expensive.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Likepasta
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We were meeting friends for a 6pm dinner but arrived a few minutes early. After seating us in the main restaurant area, they let us order a cocktail at the happy hour price which we thought was nice. The food was very good & the service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We went on a Travelzoo deal. Very interesting menu. The pork tenderloin with mac and cheese was delicious! Pricey for Mexican if we did not have Travelzoo voucher. Server was awesome!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy
    Delighted
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The two of us were seated next to a large table full of small children. In fact there was one large group when we arrived and we were told they'd be leaving. Then another large group replaced them. Seemed like there were plenty of other places to seat us.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Michael
    MDHouse
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    A very nice place. Great views and a very extensive tequila list
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pablanos
    gourmetfoodie
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Roasted pork stuffed pablanos is AMAZING; order it and split it with a dining companion so you can try another of the flavor-FULL selections.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Return visit
    Inthehood
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We always visit the Spotted Donkey when we visit Carefree/Scottsdale. Excellent food and service. Margaritas are delish and creative.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Where's the fish!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Carne asada was excellent. But fish tacos had the smallest single piece of fish I've ever had on a fish taco. You literally could not taste it will all the other stuff on the taco. Waiter just said maybe it was because they were busy that night
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the drive, every time
    jonminct
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The main reason I keep returning to this place, each time I am in Arizona, is the food. It's a 45 minute drive from my stay in Tempe, but worth the trip. If you like jalapeño poppers, try the cantina shooters! Served in shot glasses, with a buttercream sauce [though this time the sauce was mayonnaise-y, which is not a good thing since I hate mayo!], they are spicy and filled with melted cheese. My meal, enchiladas, were well seasoned [had 1 pork, 1 beef - make sure you ask for a side of the spicy salsa that the chef makes...suggested by our server, it was smoky and spicy and gave my food that extra kick], and my drink was a margarita [Dulce Calor] made with habanero infused tequila - the perfect combination of sweet & spicy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JohnVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Very impressed with their happy hour prices. The food was great also, as was the service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable Dining
    CeehVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Had a very good meal here while staying at The Boulders. Loved the Queso Fundido & chopped salad. Didn't care much for out cocktails. Will stick to beer on our next visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disapointed
    Binkey
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The food was not up to their usual standards. I hope this was just a one time thing as the food is usually quite good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 480 reviews are from the Spotted Donkey Cantina, el Pedregal reviews archive.
  • Disapointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    My wife and I have dine here before and have always enjoyed it . But this time will be the last , Poor service, Blinds on windows broken and very dusty, service was slow and our food choice was a bad decision we ordered Fajitas for two and at most restaurants would be plenty but not here. We had beef and chicken combo but you hardly could fine the meat lots of peppers ,onions, and tomatoes ? ? I never heard of tomatoes in fajitas it looked like they used them to fill up space on plate and 30.00 dollars a rip off for sure Last visit for sure
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    Bigtrain1965
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Food and service were very good. Had a very nice time and would go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The chips were chewy (they were replaced when asked by more crisp chips - but we already had our dinner by then) The meat was bland. The beans were smoked beyond smoked and tasted like an ash tray - horrible! Our waiter had a wrinkled shirt
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Happy Birthday Celebration
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    While staying at the Boulders Resort we found it very convenient to dine at the Spotted Donkey. It was my wifes Birthday and she enjoys good Mexican food. The food was not good it was GREAT and the service and ambiance matched.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great cantina
    GGDB
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Great food good friendly service, fantastic margaritas
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Huge Nachos!
    Bryce
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The Donkey Nachos were a meal unto itself. Lots of chicken and black beans. My wife and I split the enchaladas which were delicious and she had a very fresh and tasty salad.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They were off this time
    FJS2
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    We have been to the Spotted Donkey several times and the food has been wonderful, however it was off this time. We took our grandson there for his 20th birthday. The Wait staff couldn't have been nicer, but all three entrees were below standard. The shrimp fajitas were mostly onions, with little shrimp. The crab and shrimp enchiladas were all cream sauce with no discernible meat. the Chili rellenos consisted of a pile of pork, a pile of rice with the two little peppers, shredded and draped all over the piles of pork and rice with salsa thrown over half of it. We won't be going there again anytime soon, even though it is just a walk from our house.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good ambience
    SilviaeVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The food is good but it has an American flare. It's not truly authentic Mexican because they use cheddar and jack cheeses instead of mexican cheeses. The guacamole was great and the Mexican Mule cocktail was good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    The food was excellent but the nachos were a meal in itself - next time we'd do the nachos and then maybe share a meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate