If you’re local in Arizona, here’s a list for you! I’ve compiled our favorite local restaurants, old and new, and why we love them.
If you’re not local, I challenge you to compile and share a list of your favorite food and drink spots in your area!
Budgeting can be difficult when there’s so much good food around! Here they are in no particular order…
1. Mangos– Mangos is located in downtown Mesa on Main Street. It’s right next to Milano’s Music store. I’ve been going there for almost 15 years now and I love it every time. When Josh and I first started dating, I brought him there and it instantly became one of his favorites too. They have the BEST salsa and chips which they bring to your table right after you order. (Any Mexican restaurant that doesn’t give free chips and salsa makes me sad. It’s only the best part.) Back in my meat eating days the shredded chicken tacos were so delicious, and you can never go wrong with a plain old bean and cheese burrito wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. From the Killer Burrito to the fish tacos, you shouldn’t be disappointed!
2. So Cal Fish Tacos– Do you see a theme? Mexican food? We can’t help it. Arizona has Mexican food like nowhere else. We probably have some sort of burritos, tacos, or quesadillas at least half of the nights in a week. Our quesadilla maker hardly leaves our counter top. But back to So Cal…located in downtown Gilbert, So Cal has not only great food, but the best atmosphere. A laid back, calming, Southern California surf themed restaurant that makes you feel like you’re a mile from the beach, not in the middle of the desert. They even have a great patio in the back. We liked the feel of the restaurant so much, its what we based M’s room on when we moved into our new house. If you go, you have to try the Mexicali Shrimp Cocktail. Tomatoes, onion, cucumber, jalapeño with delicious shrimp served with tortilla chips. Mmmmm.
3. Postino– Postino is a wine cafe and has more than one location. We go to the one in downtown Gilbert, just steps away from So Cal. Postino is famous for their bruschetta boards. You get to pick four different types of bruschetta and they make up your board. It is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. My favorites are the warm artichoke, white bean hummus, traditional tomato, basil, and mozzarella, ricotta with pistachios and dates, and the brie with apples and fig. I’ve also heard good things about the one with salami and the prosciutto one too. Josh was hesitant the first time we went thinking it was going to be food that he wouldn’t care for based on what I had told him. He ended up loving it and now we spend quite a few date nights there. Just thinking about it makes me want to get in the car and drive there right now. But the sleeping baby and toddler with no pants on tells me otherwise.
4. The Soda Shop– This one is brand new and has become an instant crowd pleaser. The Soda Shop is located in Milbert (the border of Mesa and Gilbert) at Greenfield and Baseline. It’s in the same plaza as the new Fat Cats amusement center. They have all sorts of sodas, flavors, fruit purees, etc. that are mixed into the most wonderful creations. The last one I got was the Life’s a Peach- I think it had Dr. Pepper, mango, peach, and half and half. And you can make your own! They also sell heavenly cookies which I hear are from the Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop, also located in the same plaza. Such a great place to go for a date, after school treat, or just whenever! Oh, and they also have a drive thru which makes me love them a hundred times more because no one has to get out of their car seats! Yessssss!
5. Burger-Fi– First of all, you can order their fries in a size called a bucket or whatever they call it and you can order them either limp (soft) or crispy, and you can get them with cheese. They also offer other toppings for fries like salt & vinegar, parmesan & herb, cajun, and chili. The fries are all I really need, but since their veggie burger (made with vegetables and quinoa) is amazing, of course, I get that too. Burger-Fi has become one of my favorite places over the last year or so. The first time I went I thought, “Yeah, it was good.” The next time I thought, “Wow, that was even better than last time.” and by the third and fourth times, I was so looking forward to it and it just kept getting better. Their “Fi-sauce” is full of flavor and is one of the best parts. I even get extra on the side to dunk my cheese fries in. They also have hot dogs and dreamy custard shakes and treats. There’s 75 locations, but only one in Arizona located in Mesa on Val Vista right across from Dana Park.
6. Salsa Cabana– Again, Mexican food. Sorry, not sorry. Salsa Cabana is one of those small, hidden gems with the BEST burritos. They are well priced and portions are huge. I’ve never heard anything other than great reviews about their food and some of our favorites are their breakfast burritos, the Burrito Mexicano, the fish tacos, and the taco salad. My favorite is the Burrito Mexicano. You can call in your order and pick it up right on your way home. Or even if it’s not on your way home like me, you just go get it anyway. Located on Greenfield and Brown.
There you have a few of our favorite places to eat. Have you tried any of them before? What’s your favorite things to order?
If you’ve never been to these places, maybe it’s time you try something new! Let me know how you love them!
Mangos photo from mangosmexicancafe.com
So Cal photo from @dished_out on instagram
Postino photo from East Valley Tribune
Salsa Cabana photo from ezlocal.com