The Hotel Valley Ho has always been one of my favorite places in Scottsdale. It has been open since 1956 and designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student, Edward L. Varney. It quickly became known as a fashionable hot spot of the valley and a favorite of celebrities and sports stars. In 1973 it was purchased by the Ramada hotel chain and its vintage design was deemed “out of date” and covered. In the early 2000’s it was purchased again and restored to its chic, mid-century modern look where it has remained ever since. Throughout its years it has expanded to include a high-rise with new guest rooms and condos and the American restaurant, Cafe ZuZu. It has even been called one of the “best preserved mid-century modern hotels in the country.”
Are you still with me? Well, just last weekend my BEZ treated me to a very special (belated) birthday brunch at Cafe ZuZu where, unfortunately just like this post, she had to listen to me ramble on and on about everything from furniture to architecture. We had a really nice brunch and explored the grounds where I, like a tourist, took photos and touched nearly everything (like the weirdo I am). You can see some snapshots on my Instagram.
What makes Cafe ZuZu so cool? Well its American food and their brunch menu features everything from classic breakfast foods to sandwiches and burgers. I had a chicken sandwich with carmelized onions, fontina cheese, sun-dried tomato aioli, and roasted red peppers. It was absolutely delicious. I would have likely had breakfast food if it was earlier in the morning, but around lunch I can’t resist a good sandwich. Cafe ZuZu has a make your own bar where guests are invited to create their own mimosa or bloody mary. We didn’t take part in that, but it looked pretty delicious. In retrospect, I wish we had because we probably would have gotten larger mimosas than the bartender-supplied ones. But then again I’m not really into making a drink in front of a restaurant full of people.
Cafe ZuZu is like walking into the set of Mad Men. There are bright colors, chic fabrics, and a rock wall which is quintessentially 60s. After awhile I began to feel as though I was waiting on Don Draper to walk in or I was an extra in the Howard Johnson scenes of the show. Hanging out in the booth I could only imagine what it would have been like in the 1960s; Smokey, upscale, and a place everyone just had to be seen. I apologize to all of the old people and family’s I might have scared by nerding out. I hope some day soon I can get a room there for a little staycation.
6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ
Brunch from 6:30AM-2:30PM
Images via Hotel Valley Ho