Spotted Donkey Cantina at El Pedregal, Boulders Resort

4.4
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1354 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 1354 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
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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I
Phoenix
24 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

We love their dishes! 3 salsas aren’t necessary, especially for the $9 charge. We think there should be a 1 salsa option for much less. And FRESHER chips. No other local places charge.

VJ
Phoenix
20 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Service was extremely slow at the on-set. The food more than overcame the initial wait to be served at the table. The

OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food2service3ambience3

We dine here on a regular basis. This evening we arrived 45 minutes for our reservation, which was no problem as we were nearly the first to be seated. We were seated near an open door, which proved to be breezy and chilly. When I requested to be moved to an empty table, I was told that wasn’t an option as they already had the night planned out. Funny thing was, when we left, the tables I wanted were still vacant. Word of advice, it’s always possible to make a customer happy. “Not possible“ should not be part of a service industry’s vocabulary.

L
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food4service2ambience4

Our service was lovely, and the food was great. But we waited an exceptionally long time for our food. We ordered two appetizers and one entree and waited over an hour for the entree. We had a limited amount of time to dine and do a few other things while we had a babysitter and the delay from the kitchen made this a very stressful Saturday night. The GM did the right thing by comping our meal, and our services Marissa was an absolute delight and handled everything flawlessly.

LL
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Great food and ambiance. Outdoor patio is great. Fun with all the specialty margaritas.

LL
Phoenix
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines

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JC
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience2

We met old friends and had a great time together. The food was delicious and the ambiance conducive to visiting! All of us will return. Thanks!

OT
East Sussex
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Inattentive service once again, the bus boy slammed guacamole ran off before we could ask for salsa. Server not around, no tables to speak of, all congregated at bar. Wait on bar drinks long. Food delivered appears to sat under heat lamp. Just poor service. We are not quick to return. Very disappointing this use to be a great “spot” to dine! What happened?

AM
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was delicious. Service a bit slow, but not too bad. Overall, we enjoyed our evening and will return.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We had two small children and the waiters were very gracious and accommodating. Food was excellent and specialty drinks worth trying.

NK
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food great; service friendly and competent; everything done well!

m
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful as always

OT
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The place was great, the service was impeccable and the food was top notch. Prices are very reasonable as well. I would highly recommend.

l
Seattle
30 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great, fresh food. Definitely not your typical American Mexican food. If you love hatch chilies, you’re going to love this place.

CS
Phoenix
19 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Bad service again! Our “server” was almost non-existent. My enchiladas were salty but we waited so long for food that I didn’t want to wait any longer for them to remake it. So they fired their awesome bartender (Scott Pearson) when he’s the one who should be training the staff on great service. We won’t go back again - so sad when this was once one of our favs.

TH
Phoenix
46 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and wonderful food love the hamburger

C
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Consistently high quality Mexican-style cuisine with some unusual dishes you generally don't find. Nice environment and excellent service.

RC
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service every time!

A
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The dining experience was the best I have experienced during my 20+ years as a Boulders resident and client of The Spotted Donkey

N
Phoenix
104 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent ambience, hospitable staff and most delicious food!!

b
St. Louis
30 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
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 on January 22, 2020
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
12 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
21 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.