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
62 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (34)great for outdoor dining (31)fit for foodies (24)good for groups (20)scenic view (14)great for lunch (7)hot spot (7)vibrant bar scene (6)special occasion (6)kid-friendly (5)romantic (4)late-night find (3)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • Not as good as I remembered.
    15clarest
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Not as good as I remembered. Menu could use some work. We brought guests there from out of town and they were not impressed with the food. My husband loved his (stuffed pepper) so it may depend on what your order. Server was great and always like the ambiance. I usually go for brunch or lunch and sit outside. I think I will stick to that plan. It seems to work out better for us than the dinner did.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible Service!
    suzz
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    We have been to Spotted Donkey many times. Food is excellent. But, due to their popularity, things have changed. For example, they used to prepare their signature salad at table-side; now they don't. Their Margarita used to be $10; now it's $12. And......the service at the Donkey was a complete disaster on our last visit. Why? 1. Salad/entree were served at the same time? Server was nowhere to be found? 2 No ground pepper offered for salad? 3. Friends dinner served 10 minutes later than ours. Server stated it was coming and acted as if was no big deal? , 4. Asked if the Chocolate Cake dessert was enough for two? Was told cake was a very thin slice; yet cake much larger then described. All and all, NOT a good experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!
    Cheryl
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    The Food was fantastic........ the noise level: LOUD LOUD LOUD.... OFF THE CHARTS!!!!! We had an individual in our group that is undergoing cancer treatments and cannot have very spicy food..... when she asked the waiter if one of the dishes was very spicy... his response was: "We're a mexican restaurant...... everythings spicy. I think he was a bit calous .... bordering rude with his response. He appeared to be annoyed with questions.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Good!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    We have dined at Spotted Donkey many times, and we find it consistently enjoyable. This visit was a bit confusing as they have changed their menu, and so it was difficult to find our "old favorites." However, the service was still terrific as was the food. We just hope that they put the Signature Shrimp Tacos back on the menu!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice southwestern food
    DiningProVIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    Service very good with prompt attention soon after we were seated. Food choices very good. Meals were very good with large portions. Sat inside but there is outside seating. Ambience was okay.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Six shooter jalepeno poppers
    JalapenoVIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Best jalepeno poppers ever arrived in shot glasses with buttermilk ranch bacon dressing. Had to stop myself from eating all 6 so I could dive into the amazing pork and short rib enchiladas.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just OK
    Aucki
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    Got the fish tacos (grilled). It was hard to find the fish - very small portions. The sauce tasted like mayonnaise. Not impressed. my companion was disappointed in his small portion, but the flavor was fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great twist on the mexican food men
    JacobNM
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    My wife and I came here (from out of town) 6 years ago and made it a point to revisit this restaurant. The second experience was even better than the first. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were very pleased with
    KimMT
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    We were very pleased with our food and our service at the Spotted Donkey. The special enchiladas were a hit and so were the special margaritas. We would recommend and come back here.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phe-no-men-al!!!
    CoryT1981
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    I love this restaurant! The ambiance is tremendous and the house margarita is the best in town. I've had almost everything on the menu. I highly recommend the meatloaf, Mac n cheese, and chimichanga. The fajitas are good but this last time not the best. Service is always top notch. Again, I love this place!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive and low quality
    Disspointed
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    disappointed in the quality of the food,very ordinary with high end price. the service hurried. told not to expect any free chips or nachos .thought it was condescending to say that even before we looked at the menu. Visiting from Asia,I was attracted to the sambal salmon which waiter said was one of their signature dishes. sambal is a chili paste that is popular in asia. what arrived was plain grilled salmon with bottled sweet chili sauce over diced vegetables. my friends' dishes were also of similar caliber,very disappointing. only thing going for it is the fact that it is one of two restaurants near the Boulders resort in Carefree. I would recommend making the effort to drive a little further for good food, price and service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The place was extremely loud
    yummy
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    The place was extremely loud but the good and service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as always!
    BeebesVIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    Can't stop there with out having their homemade nachos and shrimp skewers for appetizers, so end up splitting a fish taco entree, which was amazing also. Best margaritas in town!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pleasant evening out
    Aucki
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    I return here a couple of times a year. Upscale Mexican with a slight lean toward New Mexican style. This trip I tried the January Special (Lamb & Goat Cheese enchilada) in Mole sauce. It was different and good. They will accommodate your request for grilled fish in the fish tacos. You have to pay for chips and salsa (3 kinds included). Good selection of Margaritas. Suggest reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    HojoVIP
    Dined on 1/8/2014
    Great food and margaritas! Always fresh. Would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood restaurant
    Edward
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    One of the things I like most about this restaurant is the atmosphere. Nice outdoor dining area and lovely southwest decor inside. We requested a quiet table and were seated in the smaller room to the left of the bar. Although this room was not quite as atmospheric as the main dining room, it was certainly very nice. Food was good and service was excellent. Although the restaurant was crowded we did not feel rushed. The menu choices were excellent............something to appeal to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • business lunch
    jessie
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    I use spotted donkey for business lunches in north Scottsdale , easy to find, quiet ambiance especially inside, menu from salads to small entrees good for business discussion. The service is always good, my guests always enjoy it, and it's location is easy to find.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Do not go!!!
    Unhappylocal
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    Overpriced Mexican. Gave it a try again after many months. Will not be returning. Rude manager not a plus!!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kandj
    jandk
    Dined on 12/26/2013
    Biggest complaint is - what Mexican restaurant makes you pay for chips and salsa?!! This one does! Pulled pork sandwich was great - fajitas were just ok
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Barbie
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    You can never go wrong here for great Mexican food...service, decor, food...all excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy Spicy Food
    Mary
    Dined on 12/19/2013
    We went early but decided to sit in the bar. They have a good but limited $5 Happy Hour menu with one of my favorite items....their stuffed jalapenos. Served in a shot type glass with a Ranch type dip. An outstanding presentation. We actually shared with the party next to us who admired the serving. They are very good but can tend to be verrrrry spicy so beware. Their guacamole is first class, enchiladas delicious, and the "mac and cheese" is delicious and splittable. We love going to this darling but far North Scottsdale gem. Try it but make reservations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brought some visitors from
    GPfromPhoenix
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    Brought some visitors from out of town for a southwestern dining experience. Everyone enjoyed their meal and the overall experience on a Friday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Cantina - Phenomenal Food
    NYCFoodConnoisseur21VIP
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    I loved the ambiance of the Spotted Donkey Cantina - the location was excellent as well. We started with the nacho and calamari appetizers which were amazing! The chicken fajita, Southwest salad and Spotted Donkey burger were phenomenal. Our server was friendly & knowledgeable and everything was well-timed. We will definitely return to the Spotted Donkey Cantina next time we are in Scottsdale.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre Thanksgiving Meal
    sherrill53
    Dined on 11/27/2013
    Since we moved here, almost two years ago, the Spotted Donkey has become a favorite. It had been our go to lunch spot, but we decided to try dinner there with our daughter the night before Thanksgiving. It did not disappoint! Service was spot on - friendly, informative, but not over bearing. Food was outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friday Night Dinner
    perry
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    The Mexican meatloaf was very salty. The waiter said it was because of the chiriso, but that sausage is not salty.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mexican fusion with style
    knuk
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    Lovely food, beautifully presented, great margaritas. Very nice view from the patio and excellent heaters for chilly evenings. Generous portions - our waiter wisely suggested sharing the salad. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AWESOME! Early lunch on the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2013
    AWESOME! Early lunch on the balcony mid-week is such a treat at the Spotted Donkey Cantina. My favorite local hangout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food
    diner
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    AS A COMFORTABLE PLACE TO HAVE REALLY NICE FOOD THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD GEM.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Success!!
    ClintonR
    Dined on 11/9/2013
    Spotted Donkey was a great find for us for lunch. Its a little out of the way, but well worth it. Price was good, food was very good, service was even better! Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. I will definitely be back for more.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Meets expectations
    SkPblew
    Dined on 11/4/2013
    Ate dinner with another couple this past Monday. Food was very good & all four of us enjoyed the ambience. Service was as expected -- they came at the appropriate times without bothering us. Would recommend ---- we have eaten here several times and always have been happy with the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Upscale Mexican
    Saffydaffy
    Dined on 11/3/2013
    Not your usual Mexican fare with just Tacos, Enchiladas and refried beans. The menu is very different with some very interesting dishes. All the food was delicious and still hot when we received it. Very good meal. This was not our first time here. We have been going here for several years and never gad a bad meal.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DONKEY KONG
    Bill
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    Took friends and really enjoyed the food and location...Will go back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best nachos in Phoenix
    Lovethatfood
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Restaurant is located in el Pedrigal which is a very cool, southwestern boutique shopping area. We love is location, the food, the margaritas, the service, and the ambience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great
    PJboVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Been here several times and the food is always wonderful. Had the short stack of Nachos, the stuffed peppers and Enchaladas all were superb. It may have been my imagination but the portions seemed much bigger than they were before!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A little disappointing
    Shorty
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    This was our second visit to the Spotted Donkey and I must say the first visit was much better. The food was so-so and a little disappointing. The atmosphere is nice but not sure we'll be going back; so sad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great dinner on the deck
    Sierrasmom
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    The waitstaff was excellent, observant but not hovering. Drinks (we all had margaritas) were great. This place has the best calamari appetizer we've had in a long time -- not tough and chewy like it can be. Sauces provided with it were tasty. Each of our dinners was very good - shrimp tacos, chicken enchiladas, beef fajitas and tilapia. We even splurged on dessert -- the Jalisco tower chocolate cake, which was the only "just okay" part of our meal. The "Patrón XO Coffee Tequila scented chocolate mousse, chocolate covered coffee beans, red chili spiced caramel sauce" seemed to be missing. It simply came off as a rich chocolate cake, nothing more. Will return, but won't bother with that dessert again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Hidden Mexican Food Gem
    lovegoodfood
    Dined on 9/29/2013
    We took out of town family as they wanted South Western food but not necessarily a Mexican meal. The food we ordered was delicious as were their Tequila drinks. A fun place with a fabulous view and a great menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • An incredible waiter!
    SueMVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    We really enjoyed Spotted Donkey Cantina and will be back, when we return to the Phoenix area. Our waiter made excellent suggestions and took us out of our comfort zone. Everything he recommended was great. Thanks for the wonderful evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best neighborhood restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/26/2013
    I dine frequently at this restaurant, service is excellent along with the food. A great place when you want a good meal and exceptional service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is now one of our favorites!!!
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2013
    This is now one of our favorites!!!! Everything was outstanding!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate