Chico Malo

4.5
303 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Chico Malo, a lively take on Mexican cooking, is located in the middle of it all at CityScape. These rebels are bringing the heat to DTPHX during lunch, dinner and weekend brunch with an array of flavor combinations from all over Mexico. Expect highlights including USDA Prime Carne Asada, Street Corn, Market Fresh Whole Fish and authentic favorites like Pozole and Green Chili Chicken. Diners can also enjoy fresh made guacamole to accompany a craft cocktail at the indoor/outdoor bar while soaking in the downtown views.
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What 303 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JF
Houston
64 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely terrific!!!!

HM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Guac was under seasoned, carne asada needed to be salted, all other food ordered was heavily seasoned.

CD
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food very good, menu could offer a few more options. Drink prices a bit high, should offer a mid-price house margarita.
Service and ambiance were above average.

Chico Malo
Responded 4 days ago

Hi Chuck! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to review our restaurant. Our house margarita is made with Milagro Reposado - an aged tequila that gives the drink a smoother finish - a rich simple syrup we make in house and fresh squeezed lime juice . No sweet and sour or artificial fillers. We offer it during our happy hour for $6. What other items were you looking for on the menu? We love guest feedback and suggestions. Hope to see you soon Thor Nguyen General Manager

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DP
Phoenix
86 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Chico Malo was our choice for dinner before the Phoenix Mercury game. We made a reservation and when we arrived, we were seated immediately. Service was excellent including explanation of menu items and recommendations of options. We enjoyed the Relleno, the Shrimp Diablo and the Pork Verde (which is a lot of meat!). All were proclaimed delicious and filling. We'd recommend Chico Malo for dinner and after dinner bar time.

CA
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Our Server Mario was excellent. The $8.00 extra charge to put small portions of beef in my quesadilla was not worth it. Fun night thought

Chico Malo
Responded 4 days ago

Thanks for the review Catherine! We use some of the best ingredients out there - our carne asada is from a family farm in Wisconsin called Strauss. The cows are grass-fed throughout their entire life and free raised. It creates a beef that is superior in marbling and flavor. In fact - their beef has more omega 3s than salmon! Hope to see you again soon! Thor Nguyen General Manager

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A
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic! The ambiance is great. The server we had was on point and the margaritas were delicious

S
Tucson
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've eaten here several times and each time, I've had a great experience with the seating, wait staff and food. I highly recommend Chico Malo.

OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I came here for my birthday dinner with my family and it did not disappoint! I love Mexican food and can’t believe I’ve never been here. The salsa flight appetizer was a bit pricey, but really delicious. The salsa verde was my favorite. The Elote was to die for! So creamy, just how I like elote. I got a side of coconut rice and it was also delicious! The rice has some kind of seed in it and it was cooked perfectly so there was a bit of bite to it, which I loved. Definitely will be going here again!

e
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I chose this restaurant to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday since we had looked at the menu previously, I ordered the Chile Relleno and it was awesome! My boyfriend ordered the chile colorado and it was delicious, at the end of our meal the manager gave us 2 shots of tequila compliments of the house and the tequila was smooth and excellent taste. Will definitely come back soon to enjoy different items in their menu.

JM
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

Food is horrible! The potatoes tasted like they were cooked in dirty oil, the carne asada had no flavor. I’d recommend for drinks, not food.

AH
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good atmosphere, service was great and as it should be the food was the best part. I definitely would go back here again

AM
Detroit
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service and great atmosphere. The service was spectacular!

BC
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Duck tamale not hot.
Could only taste onion in guacamole. Too much.
All else great.

JG
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After hearing so many amazing things about this place, I had to try and it did not disappoint! Tortillas that you can see being hand made to order in the middle of the dining room, fresh lime juice for my margarita being pressed in a machine thats looks like a robot in the bar area, beautiful interior design.

The service was quick, friendly and efficient. My server was very knowledgeable about tequila and even got me to try some mezcal I was unfamiliar with.

Chico Malo is my new go-to in Downtown Phoenix.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic flavors with a new school twist. Very cool environment with excellent service. My guests were impressed with the experience.

F
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our dining experience at Chico Malo started in complete ignorance. It was the choice of my daughter- in-law who is from Mexico but usually doesn’t enjoy the tame food she usually fines in American Mexican restaurants. We were delighted with her choice. The 5 of us all ordered different entrees, and found all of them equally outstanding. The service was knowledgeable, attentive, and timely. It was the best meal we have ever had in Phoenix. We will definitely be back. I have already recommended it to friends.

KW
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We came here before going to StandUp Live. Food was great. Our waiter was great but the kitchen was slow with getting everyone’s food out at once. The manager handled the inconvenience well. I would come back.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Ordered a glass of wine & waiter brought out a bottle, open & poured. I was away from the table when this happened. Food that I ordered never came out but was still charged.

JM
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and healthy! We did the reservations with comedy club show after dinner, perfecto!

KS
Phoenix
16 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were going to an event at Talking Stik Arena and had dinner here before the event. The service was great, the food was great also. The menu seemed a bit limited, all the choices had items in them that we hadn't had before, some we hadn't even heard of before. All that being said we would go back there again because what we had was very good, the service was excellent and our server was very knowledgeable about items on the menu.

MS
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal. Really enjoyed it. Staff was very responsive, very friendly.

JC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks were excellent. The service was fabulous. Our server was very attentive and offered suggestions for drinks and food. She was extremely knowledgeable about the menu. We had an excellent experience and can't wait to go back.

IN
Washington DC
63 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chico Malo is obviously the place to be in PHX - FAB food, energetic vibe, hip staff, cool and interesting clientele. We had the hummus-salsa-guac trio to start which was reliable but not memorable - what do you expect?! The pozole, chicken verde and snapper were all amazing. The cocktails were works of art.

R
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was tasty... the portions were small for the price. We had a few cocktails and they were not the best but the atmosphere was great! Servers were friendly and the food was out quickly! The ceviche starter was amazing!

B
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Saturday evening was our first time dining at Chico Malo and it was fantastic. My friend and I enjoyed our experience so much and we will definitely be back. I have already told friends and family to try this place. We absolutely loved it!

G
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter Joshua ( 🤔) was fantastic! We had never been before - he explained menu, drink options and was both hospitable and gracious, leaving us time to enjoy!

R
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal I had in Phoenix while visiting for a conference. Service was very friendly and knowledgeable, the queso fundido and elote we started with was amazing and the ribeye was much better than I could have imagined at a Mexican restaurant. My peers were also impressed with their shrimp and pork entrees. When in town, this will be my new go-to.

NG
Key West
11 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Very bad experience. First they would not seat us inside despite tables being open with temperature still over 90. Second rude waiter. Third it took close to an hour to get our food. Stay away

W
Jacksonville
11 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Went there for casual business dinner while in town for a convention. Outstanding food from the Sangria at the bar to the tomato based ceviche to the carne asada platter. Lovely layered spices and good sized but not excessive portions. I was surprised honestly at the food quality being so good as I expected more generic for a downtown restaurant near hotels.

MA
Indiana
24 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful night and great food with my husband. Will be going back there.

e
Dallas
29 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Avoid the pozole - more of a chili than the classic hominy soup. Pork verde was really good with the blue corn tortillas.

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We got let out of a conference late and we showed up with 14 people 45 minutes before closing. Then another 20 people walked in behind us from the conference and they accommodated us all. There was only one server for the whole place but the team pulled it off and we had great food and service! Excellent experience, I would return.

RG
New England
10 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was a great find recommended by a friend. The food was excellent—try the carne de asada or the queso fundido and you will not be disappointed. We will definitely be going back here!

MT
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beth was amazing, great server! Very personable, quick service.

CW
Palm Springs
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This was an excellent find in AZ! Dinner was awesome! My only complaint was that I called the restaurant asking about gluten free options (I'm celiac) and was told their chips were GF. However our waiter actually explained that the tortilla chips were fried in the same fryer as other items. So I could not eat the chips. The waiter offered cucumber chips, which was awesome. But then we found they charged us additional for the cucumber chips. Either Fri the tortilla chips in a separate fryer or don't charge for substitute when it's an allergy. The charge kind of soured my experience. All the menu items were great.

OT
Phoenix
9 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Made a reservation to celebrate a birthday. Was given a table in a terrible location inside. Plenty of tables available inside and outside on a beautiful day. We received an outside table then we not greeted for more than 15 minutes. The server never delivered our drinks when our appetizers arrived. We had to ask about our drinks, and then those were obviously old and poor quality like they’d been left out. We could not continue our celebration here. We requested our bill and left for a better location. Definitely go somewhere else if you’re considering this place.

ZW
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Only a lazy weekend with good weather this is the place to go. Great brunch food and cocktails with excellent service.

DA
Phoenix
18 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

We went for brunch. The server that seated us was awesome...I wish he had waited on us. The service was slow because our server was visibly in the weeds with 3 tables. The other staff was very friendly and helpful, but our server was short with us and made several sarcastic comments that were not appreciated. Like when she forgot or didn’t ask if we wanted sugar or a spoon with our coffee, we knew she was behind so we grabbed it from the service tray behind us. When she saw it on the table she asked, with a very sarcastic tone, if there anything else she could get us. It was simply unnecessary. She warned us that the brunch items were “huge”’portions...but there was no more than 3oz of carne asada in the $19 steak and eggs. It was tasty...but definitely not a “huge” portion and the scrambled eggs on another dish were way over cooked and dry. The French toast was just okay...it was made with large slices of baguette and literally an entire caramelized banana sliced in half. The best part of the entire meal was the elotes. $100 brunch for three people...we expected more. There is a reason Matt’s and Breakfast Club have lines out the door and this place is empty.

PB
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was very good (rellano, shrimp diablo) & so were the drinks (margarita, mango y chile). You get 6 very large shrimp & the rellano is a nice mix of flavors. The margarita is made with fresh lime juice & simple syrup the way it should be & the mango/chile drink has a wonderful smoky flavor. The churro/pudding dessert missed the mark. The churro had way too much cinnamon sugar (yes, that's possible) & the presentation just didn't work (two churros awkwardly plopped on top of the bread pudding). You have to see it for yourself! The bread pudding itself was super delicious.

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