Arizona looks to become next 'foodie' destination

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The Taco Guild's success, along with the popularity of other one-of-a-kind restaurants with award-winning chefs, has put Arizona on the map as a culinary destination. The Taco Guild's success, along with the popularity of other one-of-a-kind restaurants with award-winning chefs, has put Arizona on the map as a culinary destination.
Arizona is doing its best to become a foodie destination. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona is doing its best to become a foodie destination. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The state's Office of Tourism is in the process of creating a new website that will help out-of-towners plan their culinary experience in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The state's Office of Tourism is in the process of creating a new website that will help out-of-towners plan their culinary experience in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

When most people think of Arizona they think of the sunshine, spring training and the nice resorts.

But what about the food? The cool restaurants? The award-winning chefs?

The Taco Guild Gastropub in Phoenix is making a name for itself with its unique atmosphere (it's an old church) and off the charts taco creations.

The Travel Network just called it one of the best Mexican eateries in the country.

"People come in here and they fall in love with the building first," said Sam Cavallaro, manager of the Taco Guild in Phoenix. "Then, once they try our food, we have 'em ."

The Taco Guild's success, along with the popularity of other one-of-a-kind restaurants with award-winning chefs, has put Arizona on the map as a culinary destination.

"Different restaurants are popping up that are not necessarily from here," said diner Maria Escobar. "But it also brings in different cultures."

In an effort to highlight all the tasty food and wine experiences Arizona has to offer, the state's Office of Tourism wants to promote Arizona as a "foodie" destination. 

Deputy Director Stephanie Dowling said they're in the process of creating a new website that will help out-of-towners plan their culinary experience in Arizona.

The site will feature Arizona chefs and restaurants, food tours, wineries and farm to table experiences.

"This particular website, we hope, provides one place where they can go to get all the information," said Dowling. "They can really plan their trip around which restaurants they want to experience, and they can really eat their way through Arizona."

According to Dowling, they've teamed up with the Arizona Restaurant Association to screen and recruit restaurants they plan to promote on the website.

They're hoping to have Arizona's top foodie destinations posted in the next couple of months.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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