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“Happy hour didn't disappoint”
Review of Carlsbad Tavern

Carlsbad Tavern
Ranked #89 of 1,339 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 1 - US$ 20
Cuisines: Southwestern, Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Founded with the mission of bringing unique New Mexican cuisine to Scottsdale diners, Carlsbad Tavern & Restaurant has been serving up authentic, spicy and flavorful food for nearly two decades. Created by Michael P. Capriola and named in homage to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico, the restaurant opened in 1995 at Scottsdale Road and Earll Drive. The original location was developed with an eclectic New Mexican theme, including bats, Mexican movie posters, Roswell memorabilia and a newspaper menu called The Daily Guano. In 1998, the restaurant moved to Hayden Road, just south of Osborn where the bat cave theme was further developed, making the most of the water feature, The Guano Canal, on the patio and providing a cave-like interior in the dining room and bar. Carlsbad Tavern’s philosophy centers on providing guests with an entertaining environment, excellence in the kitchen and friendly, efficient service. While the sign touts New Mexican “grub,” the quality of food and attention to detail in preparation has always been of utmost importance. Many of the original and core dishes are still being served today. Favorites (carne adovada, osso bucco, crab-stuffed poblanos) requested by regulars – aka “bat fans” – are daily specials. Over the years, Carlsbad Tavern’s menu has consistently won accolades on the local and national level, including: • 20 Places for Hispanic Dishes: Enchantment Platter, Arizona Republic, September 2011 • 10 Favorite Spicy Dishes: Habanero Cheeseburger, Phoenix New Times, September 2011 • Top 100 Dishes in the Valley: New Mexican Potstickers, Phoenix New Times, August 2011 • One of 51 Ways to Beat the Heat, Phoenix Magazine, July 2011 • Best Burger in Phoenix/Scottsdale in Travel and Leisure Magazine, May 2011 • One of the Top 85 restaurants in Phoenix Magazine, January 2011 • Habanero Cheeseburger, Best Burger in Arizona, Food Network Magazine, 2009 • Best Restaurant, Food Lover’s Guide to the Valley; Phoenix Magazine, 2007 • Best Pork Dish for Carne Adovada, 50 Best Dishes in the Valley; Phoenix New Times, Jan. 2009 • Best Patio Dining, Best of Phoenix; Phoenix New Times, 2001 In addition, Carlsbad Tavern prides itself on providing locally-brewed and micro-brewed beers on draft, as well as a comprehensive wine list with wine pairings suggested on all entrees. Happy hours offer a discounted menu, and a reverse happy hour and menu in the evenings draws out industry workers from throughout the Valley, who appreciate the atmosphere, the quality of food and the company. Carlsbad Tavern continues today under the ownership of Andrew Capriola and Judith Merritt. As a family-run restaurant, Carlsbad Tavern welcomes all ages and offers excellent food and service in a relaxed and welcoming environment for casual dining, special occasions, group events and parties and just hanging around the bat cave with a draft beer.
Reviewed 13 January 2018

wine for 5.75 glass, martinis for 6.75 and delicious spicy crab cakes and great potsticker appetizers reasonably priced. Lots of TVs in the bar area and a Veronica was a great server. Will be returning.

Thank Sunny405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (359)
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29 - 33 of 359 reviews

Reviewed 11 January 2018 via mobile

Carlsbad Tavern and the lovely mural surrounded by a decorated environment with a bridge and a waterfall take you to inside and outside tables where you can try the best of renowned Mexican dishes with the best of Mexican spirits, beers and drinks.
Hearty food and salads with choices of chicken, beef, pork, seafood.
If you’re a vegetarian it’s ok because there are vegetarian options too.
Top it all with a delicious dessert and a cup of coffee.

Thank imperatore2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2018 via mobile

I needed a Tex-Mex fix. This actually is a New Mex fix. Tasty food, I had some kind of NM potstickers. Different, but good. It was Happy Hour, football on TV, people coming in after work. I ate at the bar. Love all the "bat" stuff. The outside is very cool, but not open when I was there.

Thank Grace151405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2017

So I had the kids and grandkids here visiting for Christmas; since they're from the east coast it seemed only proper to introduce them to New Mexico's cuisine. We really covered the waterfront from adobada ribs, chicken quesedillo, adobada burrito, chile rellenos, even a kid's cheeseburger! Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was great! My only complaint is really a matter of personal choice: I'm "Old School" and I like my adobada ribs "fat". These ribs were lean - probably like most people like them, but I like the grease running down my chin - to the dismay of my cardiologist.

A good meal, a good family get-together!

    • Value
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Thank RPL365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2017

Open since 1995. Very popular and fun atmosphere (listed as a "bat" and "cave" atmosphere). Outside area is two levels with a small brook between them. We opted for sharing (3) appetizers: Carlsbad Brochettes (kabobs with chicken, shrimp and steak), spicy crab cakes, tequila shrimp (excellent complimentary beans) . Only 2 crab cakes though served witrh a sald bed. Menu also has burgers, sandwiches & wraps as well as a good selection of other entrees. We enjoyed the atmosphere and different spin on Mexican food! Very relaxing! Our waitress had just started that night, and did fine, but not sure how to judge service otherwise.

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Thank bobbyza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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