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The Horny Toad

HORNY TOAD FUN

The Horny Toad restaurant is the oldest, original restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona and has been the location for many "Old West" movies and photo shoots. Enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran desert as you dine from the expanded patio or experience the multiple interior dining rooms and Saloon. Live entertainment and music is offered seasonally for those who want to kick their heels up.

With over 50 years of restaurant experience the Price family welcomes you to The Horny Toad with large food portions at affordable prices. The Horny Toad restaurant was purchased by the Price family in 1976 and it has stayed in the family ever since. Jeff Price is the managing partner with his son Tom working as manager. Visit the Cave Creek Live "articles" section for more on the Price family and Horny Toad history.  Chef Don Dantine has been with The Horny Toad restaurant for over 23 years overseeing an experienced kitchen staff that is dedicated to making your visit one you will not forget.

service at the Horny Toad Cave Creek

What's a horny toad?

(Somebody always gets in a nasty chuckle). Maybe to easterners, it's a frog anxiously awaiting an answer to a mating call. Some other innocent soul might visualize a frog with spikes. Well, they are answers, however wrong, but a man named Webster put in a lot of research and when he publicized his book telling what things meant, he came up with "...any of several, small, scaly insect-eating lizards of the family Iguanidae, genus Phrynosoma, whose body somewhat resembles that of a toad or frog. The body is rough, the tail short, the head furnished with horny spikes. Several species inhabit the arid plains of the southwest U.S...."

We named our restaurant after this much-maligned desert dweller after hearing -

The Truly Forgettable Saga of the Horny Toad

Sometime during the last century, an old prospector working the area a few miles northeast of the little town of Phoenix, Arizona, came upon a small watering hole. He thought to himself that this here was mighty purty scenery and he'd bet them easterners would give an arm and a leg for some of this property. They could build them some roads and put up funny names on the street signs and everybody'd be carefree, even if they had to live in caves and drink from the creek. Unpacking his burro, he ate the wrapped tortilla prepared by the Mexican cook back in Phoenix before he unloaded his donkey. As he sat stirring the campfire, he noticed the ruckus the frogs over on the other side of the pond made with their mating calls. They sure sound anxious, he thought to himself. His aching feet reminded him not to buy any more of those 2 for $5.00 boots. As he eased the boots off to soak his tired feet, he saw the many calluses they had given him and he said to himself, I sure am getting horny toed.
 
July 3rd at the Horny Toad Cave Creek

 horny toad cave creek

For the best lunch in the Cave Creek area, come to The Horny Toad, a landmark restaurant establishment for more than 39 years. In addition to our famous fried chicken and ribs, savor a fresh fish or tuna melt sandwich followed by our renowned strawberry shortcake. Join us at 6738 E. Cave Creek Road in historic Cave Creek, Arizona!

 

Blue Burger at the Horny Toad Cave Creek

Ham & Cheese at the Horny Toad Cave Creek

Shortcake at the Horny Toad Cave Creek

 

 

 

 

LUNCH MENU CLICK HERE           DINNER MENU CLICK HERE             KIDS MENU CLICK HERE

 Please call any time 480-488-9542 for the specials if you don't have Facebook!

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Jeff & Tom from the Horny Toad

Meeting Cave Creek by Kimberly Gunning

The Road to the Toad

Like father like son: The owner of The Horny Toad restaurant is not the first generation of his family to run a restaurant, and he says he won’t be the last.

Jeff Price’s grandfather, then his father, ran The Red Vest restaurant in Grand Haven, Mich., on the shore of Lake Michigan, and a restaurant called The Bear Lake Tavern in Muskegon. Young Price worked as a bus boy and helped out with odd jobs around the restaurants. He attended Davenport College in Grand Rapids, earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management, then returned to work for his father at The Red Vest.

Price’s father surprised him one evening more than 40 years ago by stomping into the house, irritable but resolved. He aimed straight for the bedroom and emerged with an armful of his ties, dumped them in the trash and announced that he and Jeff’s mother were “out oTHE HORNY TOAD BIKEf there.”

Jeff stayed in Michigan to manage the Red Vest, but once his parents reached Rio Verde Arizona and decided it was the right place to settle, he got a phone call from his father. “Pack up all your stuff, son. Join us as here as quick as you can.”

In August 1975, the family bought The Horny Toad and more than four acres of land surrounding it. They heard that many of the business owners of Cave Creek doubted whether a Michigan family had the savvy to successfully run a restaurant in their wild west town. They did!  

The Price family began with one small bar and a dining room with a dozen tables. Over the next 40 years, they transformed the property into several large dining rooms, an expansive patio, and several gift shops behind the restaurant they leased to local business owners.

The Horny Toad is noted for its crispy fried chicken. Managing partner Price says the restaurant has sold 2.5 million pounds of it. He also attributes The Toad’s success to its homemade barbeque sauce and in-house battered and fried fish.

The décor of The Horny Toad reflects its owners’ interests: framed and signed sports and western memorabilia and a bar top that has supported countless bent elbows. 

“Anybody’s welcome here,” says Price. “Bikers, families, retirees, cowhands  Dick Van Dyke and Charles Barkley have dined here.”

 It’s not only a restaurant for everyone. The staff has become Price’s second family. In fact, many of his kitchen and front of the house staff members have been with the company for more than 20 and 30 years. Price’s son, Tom, is next in line to take over the operation. “He’s probably going to end up doing it better than me; he’s just a natural at it,” Price says with pride.

Entering his 40th year at The Horny Toad, Price says that, when the time comes, he will enjoy more excursions on his Trask Harley. He also plans to take a long sailing trip to the Bahamas or the Caribbean. When asked about selling the restaurant, he doesn’t blink an eye.
“It’s a family thing,” says Price. “My son will be the fourth generation to manage it. You seldom hear that in the restaurant business.”

jeff & tom price