Last Updated on September 2, 2015 by Jody Halsted
Finding great family restaurants when you're traveling can be tricky. Thankfully the SunnyAZ CVB directed me to quite a few restaurants near Phoenix that were both family friendly and incredibly delectable!
Best Restaurant for Feeding a Hungry Family
The Old Spaghetti Factory, located at the Chandler Fashion Center, is the perfect stop to fill your hungry family. One of Parents Mazine’s 10 best family restaurant chains, you’ll find large portions at a reasonable price. Dinner entrees for kids and adults are complete meals, served with fresh bread, soup or salad, a drink and spumoni for dessert.
Tip: Enjoy the water show in the fountains outside the restaurant or treat the kids to a stop in the Lego Store in Chandler Fashion Center.
Best Meal With a Show
If you find yourself in Apache Junction, near the base of the Superstition Mountains, you’ll want to make reservations at the Mining Camp Restaurant. All You Can Eat meals, served family style, begin with hot rolls or homemade raisin bread. For a real treat smother them with Cactus Jelly. Roast chicken, oven baked ham and barbeque ribs fill the table, barely leaving room for the accompanying pots of coleslaw and baked beans.
Tip: Call ahead for reservations- the Old West Musical Luncheon is very popular!
Best for Breakfast
Though the name stands for Breakfast Lunch Dinner you’ll really want to come to BLD in Chandler for your morning meal. Try the Breakfast Burrito with Braised Short Ribs, the Bacon Studded Waffles with Fried Chicken or the almost sinful Monte Cristo. The kids will adore the Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip pancakes (hint- silver dollars are BIG in Arizona!)
Tip: Kids are given a packet of Wikki Stix instead of the traditional crayons. Best. Thing. Ever.
Best Traditional Mexican
Serrano's, a family-owned Chandler institution, is incredibly popular- especially on the weekends- so come early or be plan to wait. Everything is prepared fresh and comes to you sizzling hot. Try the Prickly Pear margarita- with or without alcohol- it’s delicious.
Tip- If you’re dining at the original Chandler location skip dessert and head to the opposite side of the town square for a sweet at Paletas Betty. These handmade fruit or cream pops are irresistible. Fruit flavors are seasonal; try the arroz con leche, a traditional rice pudding dessert made with freshly ground canela.
Best Hyper-Local Cuisine
You can’t get much more local than growing the restaurant's food just outside your door, which is exactly what makes Joe’s Farm Grill at Agritopia worth the drive to Gilbert. Items that aren't produced in Agritopia’s lush gardens are local, organic or natural. The food is beyond amazing, portions are large enough to share and Joe’s popularity has people from miles around standing in long (long) lines for amazing, fresh food combinations. Hint: if you go on a weekend call ahead to place your order.
Tip- Try not to eat too much, or plan to walk around the farm, because you’ll want one of the cupcakes from The Coffee Shop at Agritopia. Created by Jessica Cuff and Jenna Flowers, winners of Cupcake Wars, these treats are as pretty as they are delicious.
Best Place Lose Yourself
Located in the first home built in Tempe, Monti’s La Casa Vieja has become a sprawling mansion of deliciosity. Home to one of the finest steaks you’ll ever eat and the Monti family’s famed ‘Roman Bread’, this is one of Tempe’s most popular restaurants for groups and celebrations. The Filet Mignon will melt in your mouth.
Tip: Your place mat is a ‘self guided tour’ of the restaurant, complete with history. Be sure to ask your server about family secrets and the ghost.
Best Midwest Comfort Food
It’s a joke here in Iowa that we lose half our population every winter to Arizona. And, really, it’s not that far from true. So it just makes sense that the Iowa Café’s small, hometown ambiance is one of Mesa’s most popular restaurants. People come from as far as, well… Iowa, for their Famous Pork Tenderloins and homemade pie.
Tip: Breakfast, lunch & supper are served all day. And, yes, you can have pie for breakfast.
Share your favorite Phoenix area restaurants in the comments!
Family Rambling thanks the Sunny AZ CVB for sharing their favorite restaurants with us- and treating us to a few meals!