Cowboy Ciao

4.5
1951 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Ask a local where to find unique food & wines in a fun, unpretentious setting and there's a good chance Cowboy Ciao will be near the top of the list. And why not? Bold flavors, a massive wine list, whimsical decor and friendly, personalized service are a few of the reasons to love this small, independent hot spot. Try the legendary Stetson Chopped Salad or Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry with a Bay To Breakers, your favorite syrah, or a bargain bottle of malbec from South America. Save room for pastry chef Country Velador's memorable desserts! Lunch & dinner daily, Sunday Brunch dishes. A Valley favorite since 1997, this Modern American eatery has two siblings literally next door -- FnB (seasonal, local, often organic & sustainable, all-Arizona wine list); Kazimierz World Wine Bar (wines galore, global grazing, live entertainment every night of the week).
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Southwest, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm (Sundays include Brunch dishes & cocktails!). Dinner: Seven Days a Week: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(480) 946-3111
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Lester Gonzalez
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Catering
While we don't offer off-site catering, we do welcome groups of all sizes. Please see our Private Dining info!
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Cross street
6th Avenue, just South of Cameback
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Parking details
You may find street parking on either Stetson Drive or 6th Avenue (in front of and adjacent to the restaurant, respectively). Valet parking is available ($5) in the parking lot directly behind restaurant (enter from Scottsdale Rd, left at 2nd driveway). There are free public parking garages directly across the street at SouthBridge, as well as one at 3rd Ave. & Craftsman Court (5 minute walk).
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Public transit
The Downtown Scottsdale Trolley is a free service which runs all day and makes frequent stops throughout all the downtown neighborhoods, as well as several Scottsdale and Paradise Valley resorts
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Entertainment
Not here, but at our wine bar Kazimierz, yes...every night of the week! Just a two-minute walk right next door!
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Special events & promotions
Join us for our monthly Sommelier Showdowns, featuring a guest sommelier in a battle of the palates with owner/wino Peter Kasperski. 5 courses, 10 wines. A steal at $50++! Reserve by phone only: 480-WINE-111
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Choose from a variety of semi-private spaces, seating options & table configurations for groups of 12-150. For a double dose of local flavor, start your guests off with a reception at our wine bar next door! Food & Beverage minimums apply on certain evenings, at certain times of the year.

View Private Dining Details
What 1951 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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LJ
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

I’ve always been a Ciao fan but haven’t been in several years. I would say Restaurant Week was probably not the best time to return. The restaurant was extra loud, our service was extra slow and the value is just not there. I didn’t realize that by giving us a great price of $33 for a meal meant you were going to provide miniature versions of the dishes. While I understand this now, I don’t believe that was the point of restaurant week. If serving small portions to make the cost work is what is required to make it work for the restaurant, you should be transparent about this when we choose he menu so we know what to expect. All in all, a very disappointing evening out.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Restaurant week

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TL
Seattle
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Quirky, fun menu and decor. Chose the restaurant week menu - starters of chile tortilla soup (delightfully rich) & shrimp & grits (cheesy!). Mains of short ribs over kale and corn, and steak with black bean risotto. Both flavorful and delicious. Desserts of lemon bread pudding and flourless chocolate cake - these were perfectly sized. Only downside - I wish I had checked the price of the bubbly water before ordering - it was more expensive than the beer. Would go back again in a heartbeat.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was great as always. Highly recommend the Stetson salad.

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p
Dallas
25 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants. I always take friends here. I even hit the one in the airport before I fly home!

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JH
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Maggie was fantastic with recommendations, and the salad was amazing.

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I
Phoenix
27 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

In all the times I've eaten there the Stetson Chop is my favorite and the salad I always order. It never disappoints me. Three of us go for lunch as 'our place' and we all order the exact same thing every time. Yummy.

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CF
Palm Springs
15 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Stetson salad was the clincher in choosing Cowboy Ciao on our short trip to Scottsdale.
It was life changing! Ray was a phenomenal server and helped guide us thru the menu.
My husband had the mushroom dish, but in hindsight, would have done the small plate version. We shared the Asiago bread as an app- it was delicious. My son had the short rib and was a little overwhelmed by how rich it was. Our daughter had the swordfish which was very yummy. Overall the location is fantastic to take a stroll after dinner. Would definitely go back for the salad and a glass of wine!

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g
Denver
36 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my Favorite restaurants in the world ❤️ The Stetson Chopped salad is one of a kind & pare That with their Mac & Cheese is super delicious. I had that with the Entree of Short Ribs Yummie 😄

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The food was decent and creative, although the rude waitress made it an unpleasant experience for us. At 10 pm, we were given the bill and as they cleaned the kitchen, the dining room lights were shut off on us before the credit card was charged. Plenty of better options.

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H
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is very different and tasty and the menu offers lots of choices The Stetson salad is terrific and the scallops are good too. Service is excellecnt and wine list is more that adequate

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AD
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a positive experience. Staff is always accommodating.

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D
Phoenix
9 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Outstanding food!! Short ribs are to die for

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CG
Phoenix
10 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Had not been here for over 10 years since moving to the Valley. We had a guest in town so decided to go back. We had a 6pm SATURDAY NIGHT reservation. Our guest wanted to try the Wild Boar, a signature dish. We were told they were out. So then he opted for the Short Rib in which we were told the Chef has advised that the Short Rib was supposed to of been ready by 630pm but it is not. He finally selected the Skirt Steak which ended up being tough and under seasoned. I had the Swordfish which was also not seasoned and undercooked. My husband had the Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry which listed it came with 9 different mushrooms. They were so undistinguishable there was no way to tell what variety you had or didn't have. Again, not seasoned at all. Prior to our mains we decided to all share the Tiger Prawns appetizer which our server recommended and said the 3 of us could share. When it arrived it came in a tiny bowl with 5 small shrimp, at best, laying over a corn-posole cheesy dip concoction. Although the dip was okay it should have been served with tortilla chips instead. This dish was by no means TIGER Prawns at all. Although our server was pleasant the hostess station was very unfriendly on our arrival. Overall, the food is what we came for and we were all truly disappointed. Sadly we will not be back.

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BB
Phoenix
56 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Very interesting place to go. Found the service quite off beat; could be taken either as a good or bad addition to the evening based on how you like to converse with your waiter/waitress. Food was very imaginative and tasty. First we shared four ways their specialty salad which was an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Two thoroughly enjoyed the boar chop, one had an excellent short rib dish and I fell in love with the mushrooms. I ordered the mini version which I was not able to finish so I am sure the full entree size would fill anyone up.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great

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OT
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always!

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Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Stetson chopped salad keeps me coming back with friends who end up loving it as well

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t
Phoenix
21 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never a bad meal at Cowboy Ciao. Love the Stetson Salad

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DK
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Had a Fantastic time. Our server was great. He knew the menu backwards and forwards had great recommendations. The food was superb. I had the short ribs and they melted in your mouth.

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OT
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an amazing date there tonight. Food and service was fantastic, always a favorite.

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OT
Phoenix
23 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

BEST Swordfish I've ever had...in my life! Tasty & creative cocktails.

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OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding food and great service! In the heart of old town Scottsdale.

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s
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Loved the food. Not so much our table. Asked for quiet / booth maybe. Got right inside the door next to a loud table of sqwaky women. Our server was sweet, attentive, but not overbearing . Felt strained in our conversation due to the loud women and poor location

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JB
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go to Cowboy Ciao every time that I am in Scottsdale for travel; I used to live in Arizona and it is a family favorite! Our server was amazing; he helped us make tough decisions on a fantastic menu and made my boyfriends first time at the Ciao amazing! Make sure to save room for dessert, the frosted flake ice cream dessert is beyond description and the frosted flake brittle, well I am going to figure out how to make it at home! This place is eclectic, fun, has a gorgeous wine list with fun wine flights. It's worth a trip! :)

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TL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We had a wonderful server. So friendly in an endearing way. All the employees talk highly of the owner. I think his name is Peter.
The shrimp with their signature corn/hominy is outstanding and full of flavor. I don’t eat that type of food but I can tell you I made an exception. I don’t write reviews either. 😉 great place!

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SL
Nashville
3 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Extensive wine list!! Always receive a good recommendation on wine and find new ones to try. Don’t leave without having tried the chopped salad.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Everything we ordered was delicious. I think our server had a dry awkward sense of humor and it was hard to tell if he was just bothered. I would still go back as the food was different and delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Server didn’t feel like fetching a drink menu, then proceeded to suggest a whiskey without telling us the price. Filet was great, but the Stetson chopped with fish or the peanut butter bar made my girlfriend violently sick.

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OT
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 1

While the food was absolutely unique and seemed to be prepared both with care and higher quality, I cannot say I enjoyed the uniqueness. The waitress was nice. The ambiance left much to be desired. Noise level of near by diners was over the top, I could not hear my dining partner...we had to keep waiting for lulls in the conversations at other tables. The bathroom left much to negotiate desired with a broken door lock and a soap dispenser that did not dispense. I won't go back and do not recommend unless you want to give it a second chance. For the price, it was below standard.

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JS
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

The waitress was a bit snippy but the food was lovely. Prices are pretty high.

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DA
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Way too loud in the back room. No candles, rather dark, and the food took forever.

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FS
Phoenix
7 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My sister and I (along with our spouses) took my Mom here for her 75th birthday, we were a party of 5. We came here because of the reviews and the menu looked interesting. While I wouldn't go out of my way to return, it was good but not mind shattering. The server was very good, he allowed us to talk ad enjoy our meals. The food...was ok. I would give it s 3 1/2 since that wasn't available I gave it a 4.

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S
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a Monday night, so the restaurant was nearly empty. Our server was great, his recommendations looked up to his descriptions, and the food was excellent.

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MG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

Old stand by in Old town but needs an update, starting to feel dated and grungy

Food is what keeps us coming back!

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s
New York Area
115 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

On this trip to Cowboy Ciao I realized that I have been coming to this restaurant for over 10 years. I live out of state but every time I am in town, having dinner here is on the top of my list. I introduced more friends and family to this restaurant and of course the Stetson Salad was the favorited by all! We had wonderful service, a perfect rose wine and delicious dinners. Thank you for being a long time, neighborhood gem!

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place. The Stetson Salad is a must. Staff is top shelf. Read the comments they post on the menu. Those quotes are great entertainment!

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G
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Can't wait to go back for more

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s
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

our favorite server is MaryAnn - i'm sure everyone is outstanding but she is friendly, knows the menu and is helpful for drink/wine selections

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BT
Phoenix
16 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good food - the chop salad is worth the visit

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