‘Check, Please! Arizona’ returns for a ninth season!

Guests sit at the Check, Please! Arizona table in Arizona PBS' studio

After a four-year hiatus, “Check, Please! Arizona” is back to putting locally owned Arizona restaurants in the spotlight! On Thursdays at 7 p.m., join Mark and three guests – members of our community who have volunteered to share their favorite restaurants – as they review and recommend some of their favorite independent Arizona restaurants.

From 2011 to 2018, “Check, Please! Arizona” featured close to 300 restaurants around the Valley and across Arizona, earning four regional Emmy Awards. In every episode, the show featured three guests who dined at and then reviewed three local restaurants they recommended to each other. Chef Mark Tarbell moderated these lively roundtable discussions, adding his own expertise as a restaurateur.

The series explores eateries of all kinds, from fine dining to food trucks, local favorites to hidden gems. At its heart, “Check, Please! Arizona” highlights food and restaurants that guests are excited about, sharing their stories across Arizona and beyond. See how you can recommend your favorite restaurants for the show! You can also watch “Check, Please! Arizona” online or on the PBS Video app. Select episodes are available now, with more added as the season continues.

January 27

Chef Mark Tarbell and three guests sit down together to dish on Hodori, Uprooted and Old Pueblo in a classic throwback episode from the original run of “Check, Please! Arizona.”

February 3

Chef Mark Tarbell and three guests sit down together to dish on Liberty Market, Franco’s Caffe, and Zur Kate German Restaurant in a classic throwback episode from the original run of “Check, Please! Arizona.”

February 10

Join three foodies from the Arizona PBS staff as they sit down with Chef Mark Tarbell to dish on three of their favorite restaurants. They’ve all sampled Chinese food at Shaanxi Garden, known for their noodles that are three feet long, indulged in bold and unique flavors of Oaxaca at family-owned Cocina Madrigal, and tasted how Green New American Vegetarian takes popular dishes and makes them vegan. 

February 17

Meet three students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication who introduce us to three of their favorite spots. Together with Chef Mark Tarbell, they dish on salads, wraps and burgers at Perfect Pear Bistro, pizza whose crust takes days to prepare at Humble Pie, and Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles, whose iconic soul food has brought joy to the city of Phoenix since the ’60s.

February 24

Chef Mark Tarbell and our three guests dish on takeout from Topo, which specializes in burritos, elotes and soft-serve ice cream. They also dined-in at Oven + Vine for a New Mexico spin on traditional Italian food, and enjoyed AZ Barbecue Company, where a husband and wife team are known for smoked chicken wings.

March 17

Mark and our guests compare notes about breakfast at Tempe fixture Harlows Cafe and southern sweets at Scottsdale’s Sugar Jam Southern Kitchen. They’ve also visited The Larder + The Delta, which takes Arizona produce and makes it distinctive. (See another look at The Larder + The Delta from “Plate & Pour.”)

March 24

Meet three guests who introduce us to three of their favorite spots. Together with Chef Mark Tarbell, they dish about Clever Koi, an Asian-inspired kitchen that also serves craft cocktails and is known for its ramen. Little O’s, a neighborhood spot that’s perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner—even after-work drinks. And Ghost Ranch, an upscale Mexican, and New Mexico-inspired cuisine restaurant.

March 31

Meet three guests who introduce us to three of their favorite spots. Together with Chef Mark Tarbell, they dish on Italian pizza at Bottega Ristorante, authentic and spice-inspired Latin cuisine at The Mission in Old Town, and Taste of Thai known for using fresh ingredients in all of their dishes including their green papaya salad and more.

April 7

Mark and our guests chat about their experiences at Luci’s at the Orchard, a neighborhood spot with an eclectic vibe, The Gladly, widely known for the Original Chopped Salad, and Worth Takeaway, where the owners take pride in creating craft sandwiches and soups.

April 14

Meet three guests who introduce us to three of their favorite spots. Together, with chef Mark Tarbell, we visit Moku Hawaiian Grill, one of the few places outside of Hawaii where you can get Dole Whip, LAMP Pizzeria known for their wood-fired pizza, and a cheese shop and eatery that specializes in charcuterie boards.

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