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Carlsbad Tavern

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Southwestern, Bar, Mexican, Pub
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3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-6626
+1 480-970-8164
11:00 - 02:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 11:00 - 00:00
Mon - Sat 11:00 - 02:00
More Info
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286 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
Showing 285: English reviews
Level Contributor
179 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We stopped by at the end of happy hour and were seated outside. The atmosphere was very comfortable and pleasant. The restaurant has water features outside and plants. We had terrific margaritas and very good tacos. The house made mole was a great way to end the meal. I'm coming back...

Thank John C
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The food is always great and on the spices side. Bathroom was really dirty. Toilet seat broken, paper on the side not in holder and stuff growing inside. Yuk! There needs to be a special website for bathroom reviews. There are some really nice ones our there and then there's this one

Thank Audelia O
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
36 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Really good food, very friendly service and a unique atmosphere - all at very reasonable prices! Eat in the "bat Cave" - a look alike to a New Mexico cavern. Southwest style food. Try the pork Osco Buco - fantastic!

Thank RICH P
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Very cute restaurant. Good food good service. Happy hour many choices for food and cocktails. Enjoyed the shrimp tacos. If you like spice this is a good place to visit.

Thank Ellen J
Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017

This place is a hidden gem! Love the atmosphere, water fall, moat, all of it! Also the food is fantastic! A theme and restaurant like I've never experienced before. The owner even came around to check on us and answered our questions about the atmosphere and background of the "New Mexican" food. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

Thank kstarkre
Show Low, Arizona
Level Contributor
135 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2016

The setting is ok, but kinda dated. better a after work hangout than a food destination. Menu is ok if just a little short. Outside deck is a nice drink location, but not much of a eating place. Ok location just south of the Scottsdale main area. Not bad, just not worth a long drive.

Thank R H
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2016 via mobile

Food was great! Patio was very nice, had heaters for additional comfort. Staff was on top of the service.

Thank Jade L
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2016

Discovered this neat place tucked away in the open on Hayden Road. I took my granddaughter and her friends out for dinner as they are experts on mexican style food as that is their favoriate and we all gave this a thumbs up. Great and different style food with a fun setting.

Thank Deborah P
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2016

Great food, Service okay, atmosphere looked as though it would have been a ton of fun it if was packed busy. We were there for lunch so not too many people were there. Misters were outside which help keep it cool. Guac was so fresh and spicy. Spicy Moscow mules were on point.

Thank David P
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review

David, Thank you for your feedback about your last visit. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the guacamole and Spicy Moscow Mule during lunch. Please come back and experience dinner with us next time. Thank you, Andrew Capriola Owner CarlsbadFeedback@gmail.com More 

Florence, Oregon
Level Contributor
72 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2016

My husband and I traveled back to Scottsdale; our first stop was this restaurant. Delicious. We also got to see our favorite server there. Love the outside deck (even during the storm).

Thank Terry H
CarlsbadTavern, Owner at Carlsbad Tavern, responded to this review

Terry, Thanks for making sure you made it to Carlsbad Tavern on your trip! We appreciate the loyalty when visiting from out of town. The staff and I look forward to your next visit. Thank you, Andrew Capriola Owner CarlsbadFeedback@gmail.com More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
USD 20
Southwestern, Bar, Mexican, Pub
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Romantic, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Kids, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Cheap Eats
Open Hours
11:00 - 00:00
11:00 - 02:00
11:00 - 02:00
11:00 - 02:00
11:00 - 02:00
11:00 - 02:00
11:00 - 02:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-6626
  • Location: United States  >  Arizona (AZ)  >  Central Arizona  >  Scottsdale
  • Phone Number: +1 480-970-8164
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.

Questions & Answers

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1 question
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over a year ago

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?