About Spotted Donkey Cantina at El Pedregal, Boulders Resort

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

34505 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite G2
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mexican / Southwestern

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thurs 11:30am - 9pm
Fri & Sat 11:30am - 9:00pm

Cross Street:
Carefree Hwy

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(480) 488-3358

Website:
http://www.spotteddonkeycantinaelpedregal.com/

Catering:
Please call for more details about private event dining.

Executive Chef:
Francisco Sanchez

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Join the Boulders Resort this week at the Taste of Cave Creek!

Spotted Donkey Cantina at El Pedregal, Boulders Resort Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

83% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (26)
Great for Outdoor Dining (15)
Neighborhood Gem (13)
See All
Creative Cuisine (13)
Bar Seating (12)
Authentic (12)
Fun (9)
Good for a Date (9)
Good for Groups (9)
Happy Hour (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Cozy (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Great for Lunch (6)
Spicy (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Scenic View (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Great Beer (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Romantic (3)
Tapas (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Business Meals (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Healthy (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Seasonal (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Sports (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
People Watching (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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930 reviews
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·Dined on November 10, 2017

Everyone (11 of us) enjoyed their food except those who ordered the burrito. The pork tenderloin with mac & cheese is excellent and highly recommended, however that selection was not included in the menu.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Service was great and food is always great. I especially recommend the nachos.

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food5
ambience5
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value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 7, 2017

From the moment we came in the front door we were greeted by the friendly staff.
The service was excellent and the food was creative and outstanding quality

I would highly recommend the Spotted Donkey to all!👍

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food5
ambience5
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value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Love the atmosphere of this restaurant! Nice and cozy! The noise level is nice! We went with another couple and we were all happy with our food! The pork chimichanga was excellent. And the chips and salsa were great also especially the tomatillo salsa! The only complaint would be the drink prices. They were a little high!

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups, Cozy, Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Jill is always the most polite, cheerful and helpful. The burgers, which we had, are delicious- a full 3/4 of a pound, served with fries... great!

The ambiance is casual and friendly....such a great place for lunch or dinner - a neighborhood gem! We were greeted by the super-friendly Leah...charming!

This is owned by The Boulders Resort and always echoes their value.

This is a must for Cave Creek and Carefree...also worth the drive from Scottsdale!

Thank you for your consistency!

Tags: Tapas, Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Lunch, Fun, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on November 2, 2017

It's a hidden gem just north of north scottsdale, but a great ambiance and some good food. Service was outstanding. Drink menu okay...great if you like tequila, which we don't.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Great Beer
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 30, 2017

Decent size portions. No vegetarian options, unless you ask. Balcony dining was very nice, and the ambience is casual and friendly.

Tags: Tapas, Happy Hour, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Dinner started out with two of the most limey margaritas that we have ever had. We sent them back and the waiter said 50% of margaritas get sent back for having too much lime juice. I said wow, that sounds like a problem you should fix. He stated that management didn't have a handle on the bartender and made it sound like chaos there. He went back and personally made the margaritas and they were great. I didn't care to hear about the employees that were not getting it done there, I just wanted good food and drink. I think there is much better Mexican food in the valley for a better price than here.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 25, 2017

This restaurant is always a treat. Had a great meal – opted for a low calorie salad and loved it.

Tags: Authentic, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 24, 2017

This is one of many visits. We have had good and, well, less than desired. This visit was difficult because of understaffing and very slow service. Food was ok but way over salted. Paid $8 for chips and salsa. Chips were crushed into large crumbs. They replaced them but really, why would you ever serve them. I think we are going to find a replacement restaurant.

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food3
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service3
value2

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Food was fantastic and the atmosphere was enjoyable. Loved the Carne Asada and will be back for more.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Attentive service. Good mexican food, served hot at a fair price. If you like mexican food you won't be disappointed. We discovered when the bill came that you can charge it to your room at the Boulders, which is very convenient.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Terrific restaurant. Great food, fun atmosphere, great service. Would definitely come again.

Tags: Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Super food. Love that they don't water down the spices with the snowbirds coming in.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 19, 2017

We were ignored for the first 10 minutes after we were seated. When the server did show up she took our order and another persons order who had just been seated. The other person had several questions regarding to drink menu and our order did not get placed for several more minutes. The poppers and the jalapeño margarita were top notch. I was looking forward to the green chili stew. It lacked flavor and was blah. The shrimp tacos were were good but nothing to write home about. We drove 25 miles to enjoy this place based on recommendation. Should have eaten close to home

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 17, 2017

Good Mexican Food. Enjoyed the frozen margarita, mahi mahi tacos and flan for dessert.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 16, 2017

PROS
Lisa was our server and she was absolutely adorable.
Food was really good.

CONS
I asked for nachos without jalapeno and it came with, which was really a problem for me.
My friends enjoyed it so I didn't say anything but I had to pass on this dish :(
20% service had been added to the check, which seemed a bit too much for a party of 5.
We asked Lisa to remove it and she did. We gave her more than 20% :)

Tags: Good for a Date, Business Meals, Spicy, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Always used to like this restaurant but this time my fajitas where burnt, and the over priced margaritas where all ice.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 9, 2017

The atmosphere was great. The food was awesome. It was a little hidden but well worth the hunt

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food5
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value4

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 8, 2017

On point, with beautiful views from patio.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 2, 2017

Spotted Donkey is one of our 'go to' spots. The food is delicious. I love the fajitas and the salmon tostada is also excellent. Good selection of beers. They have some very fine tequilas although they can get pricey. Price is about average for this area which is a bit upscale. In the fall and spring, the patio is a great. During the fall/winter/spring make a reservation as it can get crowded.

Tags: Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Casual, Quick Bite, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 25, 2017

We just loved the Spotted Donkey. Service was outstanding and the food exceptional. We plan to go back soon.

Tags: Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Spicy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
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food5
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value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 24, 2017

The restaurant is very hard to find after dark if you are not familiar with the area. It is located in a shopping mall on the second floor. The restaurant décor is nice and our male server was efficient. The guacamole appetizer was good but expensive and the wine list had a few good red wines to choose from. We found it a little strange that chips and salsa were not served and the dishes we ordered included rice but no refried beans. The chile Rellenos and fish tacos were both good.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Consistently delicious food and delightful to eat on the patio with El Pedregal views and mountains. Donkey Nachos are always a favorite!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic
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food4
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value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Service was lacking, quality of food was poor and prices were not commensurate with the experience. Very disappointed.

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food1
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·Dined on September 20, 2017

Had a GREAT dinner and drinks for our Anniversary! We will definitely be back!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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service5
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 17, 2017

John was our waiter excellent service

Susan the Manager is always great with any food allergies

and Doug the Chef so friendly and also makes sure your food is to your liking

Go here you will not be disappointed

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Authentic
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food5
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vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 14, 2017

Local favorite with good happy hour and nice ambience.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Nice surprise....upbeat, busy place with great Mexican food....

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on August 26, 2017

We always have the greatest experience at this hidden gem in El Pedregal. Even during the summer months it is best to make a reservation which speaks to the loyalty this restaurant commands. Great Mexican food with a contemporary twist.

Tags: Seasonal, Business Meals, Bar Seating, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
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service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 26, 2017

We have been coming here for years. It's our go to when in Scottsdale, our second home.

Tags: Comfort Food, Healthy, Casual, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Romantic, Cozy
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food5
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value4

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 25, 2017

I wanted to like this place. It's a lonely restaurant in what was once a thriving shopping area and now is still a lovely property but empty of tenants. But when 2/4 of us think the enchiladas are bad, that's not a good sign. Lack of flavor and luke warm temps doesn't get it. Just very mediocre food. To their credit the guacamole was tasty, but we could have used more chips. Service was fine, but food is main event so it's not worth returning.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Food was great but unusually slow service. Made a reservation and sat down right away but had to locate a server to take our order. Normally they are pretty attentive.

Tags: Cozy
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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 15, 2017

We've eaten at the Spotted Donkey several times and last night's meal was the least satisfactory in all our visits to the restaurant. It seems there was a new chef in place and we found the food less well prepared than before. The calamari had to be sent back because it was way over cooked. My wife's enchiladas seemed to be baked in a over heated oven as the tops were charred but the insides were not hot. We won't go back until the chef is either changed or learns his business.

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food2
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vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Lukewarm Food. So incredibly disappointed I faked an emergency and then threw out my "to go" food when I got back to the hotel. Maybe it was an off night... but I'll never know, because I'll never return. There are too many other places to eat.

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food1
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 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Wonderful service great food

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food5
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·Dined on August 7, 2017

Not impressed. I only ate half of my dinner. My husband liked his. I ordered a simple chimi and it was soggy. Waitress not friendly.

Tags: Great Beer
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food2
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 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 7, 2017

My wife and I shared the chicken fajitas. Lots of greasy onions, a few peppers and very little chicken. Didn't care for their fajita seasoning. We have had much better.
Don't know about the noise level because there were not many people dining

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food2
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 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 6, 2017

Pork stew was slightly off on this occasion. Seasoning?

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food3
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vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Our group of seven recently enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Spotted Donkey. The margaritas are top notch and the food is consistently excellent. Our server was great. The Roasted Chili Pork Stew made with Hatch, New Mexico chili is especially tasty.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Casual, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
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