Best Bites Near Phoenix – Restaurants the Entire Family Will Love

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.

Fountains at Chandler Fashion Center
After enjoying an Italian meal the fountains are fun to watch

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

Family Style Sides at the Mining Camp Restaurant, Apache Junction, Arizona
Baked Beans, Coleslaw & Fresh Baked Rolls

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.

The Mining Camp Restaurant- Dinner & a Show
The McNasty Brothers put on a fun show while you eat

Tip:  Call ahead for reservations- the Old West Musical Luncheon is very popular!

Best for Breakfast

Breakfast at BLD in Chandler, Arizona
Bacon Studded Waffles, Silver Dollar Pancakes & Breakfast Burrito with Braised Short Ribs

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!)

Wikki Stix figure made at BLD in Chandler, AZ
So much better than crayons….

Tip:  Kids are given a packet of Wikki Stix instead of the traditional crayons.  Best. Thing. Ever.

Best Traditional Mexican

Prickly Pear Margerita
Totally yummy!

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.

Paletas at paletas Betty in Chandler, Arizona
A sweet treat made of real fruit.

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

Only the freshest food at Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert, Arizona
BBQ Chicken Pizza & Sonoran Dog

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.

Cupcake from The Coffee Shop at Agritopia, Gilbert, Arizona
Sprinkles & Sparkles? Best. Cupcake. Ever.

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

Filet at Mionti's Casa Vieja in Tempe, Arizona
A perfectly prepared steak

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

 

Pork tenderloin at Iowa Cafe in Mesa, Arizona
Famous Pork Tenderloin Photo Credit: Roadfood.com

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!
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