Residents of Cave Creek will be quick to let you know how much they love their hometown. This beautiful city is not only a nature lover’s paradise, but it is also full of charming local eateries. While it is still part of the greater Metro Phoenix, Cave Creek offers a more casual small town feeling for those looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of some of the more populated areas. With a population just over 5,000 locals, the Cave Creek local community is a close knit one!
Janey’s Coffee Co. & Bodega
Photo credit: TripAdvisor
Janey’s Coffeehouse and Bodega is tucked back off of Cave Creek Rd in downtown, and serves coffee in the mornings, good food during the day, and is one of the most fun places to watch live music at night in Cave Creek. They have a nightly music calendar, with live music every single night of the week! There are certain specials you can take advantage of each day during the work week, with Bottle & Board on Tuesdays after 6 pm and Tap Takeovers on Thursdays at 7 pm. You can enjoy happy hour Monday-Friday from 3 pm-6 pm every week.
There is a small cover to see the live music artists on certain days of the week, so check the music calendar if you are curious to see who is playing and learn more. Their patio is also dog friendly, so you are welcome to bring your pups in the evening to enjoy some live music as well!
The Grotto Cafe
Photo credit: SonoranNews
The Grotto Cafe is another Cave Creek local favorite, known for their relaxing patio atmosphere, great food, and live music events. They have been open for ten years in Cave Creek, and serve locally roasted organic coffee from the Roastery of Cave Creek, along with fresh bagels and pastries for lunch.
Currently they have live music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm, with a great lineup of local artists. The Grotto Cafe also hosts a weekly trivia night on Thursday nights each week at 6:30 pm. You can enjoy dinner, while testing your knowledge on a variety of fun topics like music, television, art, and movies!
Wagon Wheel Restaurant
Photo credit: Wagon Wheel
Located just outside of downtown Cave Creek you will find the adorable Wagon Wheel Cafe, which is open daily for breakfast and lunch. They pride themselves on keeping their prices low and offering some of the most delicious brunch items you’ll find in the Valley. Wagon Wheel opens early, so it is a great spot to stop by if you are looking for a hearty early morning breakfast before work. Inside, the ambience is casual with a country western atmosphere.
Vino & Panino
Photo credit: TheForkingTruth
Vino and Panino is a whimsical one-of-a-kind spot in Cave Creek that pairs wine and toasted sandwiches. You will know you have arrived when you see the psychedelic swirl on the front door of the restaurant. Vino and Panino is a 70s inspired panini shop, with the motto: Cave Creek’s “finest and funnest culinary experience.” Inside there are flower garlands and lava lamps to really transport diners back to the era of the 70s. This groovy restaurant offers a mixture of wine and paninis, and the workers are always happy to help you pick out your best wine and panini pairing. Vino and Panino specializes in Spanish, Italian, and American West wines, but they do have some local favorites available as well. This isn’t an eating experience you will be quick to forget!
Photo credit: SeattleBars
Harold’s Corral has been a fixture in Cave Creek since 1935. It has a long history of crazy moments, with everything from movie stars stopping in for lunch to being home to lions and tigers in the 1950s. What remains is the legacy of being a great place to go for good food, live music, country dancing, and a whole lot of fun. Harold’s Corral holds the title for being Cave Creek’s original “Wild West Saloon and Restaurant,” and continues to be a favorite spot for both residents and tourists alike.
In addition to the restaurant, Harold’s Corral includes a large stage and dance floor. They host free country dance lessons every Friday from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. If you have ever wanted to learn how to dance the two step, Harold’s Corral is the place to go! Not only is the ambience fun, but the restaurant serves delicious food, with everything from pizza and pasta to steak and BBQ.
El Encanto Mexican Patio Grill
Photo credit: TripAdvisor
Cave Creek is home to the original El Encanto restaurant. It is a romantic, beautiful Old-World mission style restaurant located in central Cave Creek. When you walk through the grand archway at the front of the restaurant, you will feel like you have been transported from Arizona straight to Mexico with the brick walkways, wrought iron gates, and comfortable outdoor seating overlooking a natural pond.
Try to get a table at the patio, where you can enjoy a margarita next to the pond and observe wildlife such as turtles and herons while you eat! Make sure to order the guacamole as an appetizer for your table when you dine at El Encanto.
If you love El Encanto when you dine in Cave Creek, you can check out their other locations around the Valley, including El Encanto de la Fuente, located near the Fountain Hills fountain.
While the town of Cave Creek might be smaller, there is not a shortage of delicious food and restaurants in the area. The city offers a lot of fun casual spots to grab a bite, many of which have unique live music performances too! You’ll find you cannot go wrong with any of these Cave Creek local favorites, and you will be ready to return for more.
Local Jonny’s Tavern & Cafe
Photo credit: Arizona Craft Brewers Guild
Local Jonny’s Tavern & Cafe is a family-owned restaurant and pub that locals love in Cave Creek that was voted “Best 2020 Breakfast Spot” by North Valley Magazine. They specialize in three things: their food, beer, and coffee selections! When it comes to choices on the menu, Local Jonny’s has a wide variety with everything from your favorite comfort foods to more health conscious options. This is a great place to stop in for breakfast or lunch after a local hike in the area.
Local Jonny’s currently has Open Mic night on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm, with an opportunity to sign up to perform starting at 5:30 pm each week. They also have live music on Fridays and Saturdays on their recently renovated back patio.