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“Great atmosphere!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Carlsbad Tavern

Carlsbad Tavern
Ranked #91 of 1,241 Restaurants in Scottsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$1 - US$20
Cuisines: Southwestern, Bar, Mexican, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Cheap Eats, Child-friendly, Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Romantic
Dining options: Brunch, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Waldorf, Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

I have to agree with another reviewer that the food is a little more on the spicy side than most of the other mexican restaurants that I've been to. However, the food was very good. We went late (8pm) during the week so had no wait and very quick service. The atmosphere was great. Nice outside patio with a waterfall, it was perfect. We were on vacation there but if you aren't on vacation this would definitely give you the impression. I will definite make the effort to come here again on a return trip to AZ.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank trvl_eu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Thank you very much for choosing to dine at Carlsbad Tavern during your recent vacation. We truly appreciate your business, and your feedback. We hope you return to the restaurant next time you travel to Scottsdale. We look forward to having you!

Andrew Capriola
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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302 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Omaha
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Ok. Not best service ”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

Liked patio. Waited twenty min. Waiter messed up order and then when we told him wrong as we ordered fish tacos on Friday during lent and we told him we couldn't eat meat when he brought chicken he said do you still want as there was a large table that got ahead of you and it could be a wait. We said yes we still wanted as we were hungry. Waited for about 30 min and then got. Tacos were pretty good. Waiter then gave us wrong bill. Probably wouldn't go back. They charge for chips which is odd for Mexican restaurant.

Helpful?
Thank susiesw99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for writing this review and making us aware of the poor service you experienced during your last visit to the restaurant. I apologize for the experience you had in the restaurant. We listen carefully to all of the feedback we receive and use it to address any issues uncovered. If you can provide further details about the service you received, we would very much appreciate sending us an email to carlsbadtavern@qwestoffice.net.

hank you again for your feedback,
Andrew Capriola
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rensselaer, New York
Level Contributor
56 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Great Choice!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

Ate here on our first night of our recent vacation to Phoenix and were very pleased we did! Great atmosphere and food. I had the stacked enchiladas which were excellent, my wife had chicken fried chicken which she loved and our son had a quesadilla for an appetizer and a burger for his meal. The burger comes with a pretzel roll bit was very good. Great place, nice atmosphere with the water and great outside seating.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank glscws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for choosing to come in to Carlsbad Tavern during your recent visit to Scottsdale. We appreciate your business and the time you took to share about your experience with other TripAdvisor users. We are so pleased you enjoyed your meal and we look forward to serving you again soon!

Andrew Capriola
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
246 reviews
142 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Spicy Goodness”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

The food is spicy but in a satisfying way. Each bite is like a soft kick to the taint, but you keep going back for more because of the delicious flavors. The service is always good and they have great alcoholic drinks. I have yet to dine inside as the outside patio area, complete with running stream, is the place to be. I give this place 4 aaaaayyyyhahahahahahaaayyyyyyyyys.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheJimmyco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Thank you so much for your sharing your glowing review with other TripAdvisor users! We very much appreciate your business and your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back into the restaurant again soon!

Andrew Capriola
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Level Contributor
129 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“FUNKY AND INTERESTING OUTDOOR DINNING”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014

We were visiting friends in Scottsdale and they recommended the Carlsbad Tavern because of the wonderful outdoor dinning. The outdoor dinning was interesting and funky just as our friend indicated it would be.
We had made reservations ahead of time for our party of five, which is recommended because Scottsdale is hopping every night of week.

Because our party had Mexican food the night before, many of us decided to order off the American menu. . I had the fish nd chips which was very generous portion, and came steaming hot, and others ordered hamburgers.. Everyone enjoyed their meal, and the prices were reasonable; not to say we enjoyed the wonderful outdoor dinning experience.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MarilynG61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review, 1 May 2014
Thank you for visiting Carlsbad Tavern during your visit to March last month. We are so pleased you enjoyed our outdoor patio and the meal you shared with your friends. We look forward to hosting you next time you visit Scottsdale.

Andrew Capriola
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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