Spotted Donkey Cantina at El Pedregal, Boulders Resort

4.4
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1336 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican / Southwestern
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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What 1336 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RC
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined 12 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service every time!

N
Phoenix
102 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent ambience, hospitable staff and most delicious food!!

b
St. Louis
30 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Overall a good Mexican place. We would go back. Great margaritas. The portions were just a little small. Nice place to eat at when staying at the boulders if not looking to drive far

SF
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience1

Very tired decor and doesn’t seem real clean. Food was so spicy I couldn’t eat it. Waiter was nice.

TT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience3

We go here, 4-6 times in a month. Usually just 2 of us. This time we brought a friend.
Issues..
1) had to ask for water every time.
2) drinks never asked if we wanted another...
3) friend ordered, steak fajitas.. only steak.. no problem... dish came with sausage, returned it.. they picked it off...
Allergies people.. seriously... our server, looked like a manager.. came over, (who we ordered from).. since we didn’t have a server it seems.. we explained he ordered the steak fajitas.. with only steak.. his response .well that’s how it comes...!!
4) had a coupon, had no idea how to use it...
what a mess... all I can say...

DS
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Quality has declined, used to really enjoy this place. After last two visits, not going back again.

JB
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience2

If you're looking for a good Mexican meal at a reasonable price, this will do the trick.

J
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

This place used to be good. I am not sure what happened ? It was always expensive but he food was great. Now - it's just the biggest ripoff of all time. They don't just charge for generic chips and salsa -but two (smallish size) baskets of chips and salsa (no refills)- and a tasteless small cup of guacamole was - wait for it...$31 !!!!! $31 for chips and salsa? Are you even kidding me? That alone - takes away from any redeeming quality of the place. (Like the Chicken Pesole - and Carne Asada.) Don't get me wrong - food is decent - but the servers and management all seem very new - and uniformed. No one we came in contact with had any idea how to explain the charges for the chips, etc. The BadAss Burger which used to be the best around - is now run of the mill and generic. I would say this place is going the way of El Pedregal in general...waiting for the bulldozer.

OT
Indiana
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a treat to go there! Food and ambience are fantastic! A great place for a date or for the whole family!

M
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ...I think it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in the area

M
Phoenix
27 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

The hostess did not acknowledge our reservation to OpenTable, even though I checked in with her. The restaurant was out of fajita chicken and fajita beef by 7:30. Our guests were disappointed because they could not order what they wanted.

JD
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

This was a return visit after a wonderful evening here this week. The front desk hostess was welcoming but overwhelmed by the number of people waiting for tables. We refused the first table offered, which was in an overflow room and where a child was having its diaper changed on the floor next to our table. Unacceptable, as she agreed and she arranged for another table, after a short wait, and complimentary chips and guacamole. Our server was also overwhelmed and our main courses arrived seconds after our appetisers: the whole place seemed in a bit of a meltdown! Good and margaritas were good, nonetheless, but would have been a better experience if the staff had been more on their game.

L
Chicago
51 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was all good. Love the donkey nachos.
One thing however, just wanted chips and salsa. They were out of extra hot and brought us a chips “order” that included 3 salsa dips and charged 9.00.

JE
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant. We’ve been visiting from Florida since 2012. Every time we visit we have to go to the Spotted Donkey at least 2 times. Food is fantastic and reasonably priced. Great atmosphere!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Christmas dinner

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DK
Phoenix
29 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit to the Spotted Donkey and we loved it. The food was great and we will be back for sure.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service, and atmosphere! A great meal on Christmas Day!

RC
Phoenix
12 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have had dinner at Spotted Donkey and have always been very happy with quality of food and service! When we had reservations we never had to wait our table has always been ready. Highly recommend this restaurant!

C
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Very poor experience. I’m going to save the details and say that the management was very misguided in the way that they treated us.

A
Phoenix
26 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dominique was a terrific waitress. The quesadillas were delicious. We had beef, chicken and pork.

I
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Catch up with friends. Casual dinner

MM
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Lovely place to eat. Indoors or out.

KJ
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

WE shared a lovely dinner with friends. The food, the setting and the service were all excellent.

OT
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect food and service!

R
Phoenix
21 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

This is a great place to get good Mexican Food. The margaritas are wonderful and they have a the best Prickly Pear one I have tasted. The decor with the donkey’s makes you smile. The service that night was not very good. We have eaten here many times and I felt forgotten about. I had to keep flagging down the staff for items I needed.

MC
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very pleasant experience. Not the best Mexican restaurant, but one of the better ones.

JM
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

We have eaten here several times and this last time the service was terrible. Waited a while for drinks and water. We had a party of 4. Two party members were served their dinner 25 minutes before the rest of the food came out. The restaurant was not full. Disappointing.

GC
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience1

The restaurant had only a few people in it but we had to wait quite awhile for service . The personnel were cleaning up around us and once we finally got our food we did not have much time before the very rude manager came over and told us that the employees wanted to leave and she could not lock the doors until we leave . Our resv was for 8:30 they close at 9 we probably got our food around 8:45 maybe later and then the manager told us to leave . It’s not the first time that we have seen her be very rude to people but it is the first time that we have had her rudeness directed at us .

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience4

The waiter was unfriendly and did not bring us anything that we asked for. We ended up asking the person who dropped our food off. The food was mediocre at best.

f
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Unique, comfortable dining... Excellent margaritas, friendly staff

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f
New England
67 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This is once again my "go to" restaurant this season. Every year I return from the East, eager for Mexican food, and this place never disappoints.

d
Phoenix
31 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Beautiful restaurant, food was delicious, service very good.

OT
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is delicious Mexican food! It is one of my favorite places!

k
Dallas
17 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience4

We were excited to try this restaurant, a few different friends had raved about it! We started at the bar while waiting for our table...ordered a Mexican Mule (interesting!) and Margarita. Once we were seated, it took about 10 minutes for a server to come visit us....too long. All was soon forgiven because the food was delicious...we had the posole, pork nachos and a chimichanga - SO good!!! I especially loved the nachos! We had about half of our nachos leftover and our server packed them up for us to go. However, I was super disappointed when I opened up the box the next morning to find someone else’s half eaten dessert...she gave us someone else’s leftovers! Overall, great food but service needs some work.

OT
Phoenix
31 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our second visit in about 10 days as first visit was so good. And so was the second. It is pricey for Mexican food, but really good menu/food and nice ambience.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience5

Was really disappointed that they completely changed the pork stew. It was a full portion meal previously, it came as a small bowl of broth soup.
Rest of the food was good.
Ventilation is very poor, don’t wear anything you can’t wash right away.

DA
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

The food was OK, but nothing I would recommend to anyone. Very noisy. More like a bar noise level. You have to talk very loud to be heard. Service was terrible. After sitting at our table for over 15 minutes, we had to track down someone just get our water let alone order our meals. Rarely saw our server. Never check if our drinks needed to be replace or refilled (they did need to be).

K
Omaha
102 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to the restaurant on several prior occasions. I have never had such fantastic food and service as I did on Monday night. Cari is an awesome bartender/server and a true asset to your organization. Although I live in Nebraska, I am out there at least annually and you can expect to see me again.

A
St. Louis
20 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love The Spotted Donkey. Their gluten-free options are awesome. Our server Derek was excellent. We eat here almost every week. We recommend it for anyone wanting delicious Mexican food.

DF
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our go to restaurant -always has good food, great service and the prices are reasonable. Give it a try if you haven’t already.