Top restaurants: Chandler - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Guide

East Valley Guide Top restaurants: Chandler

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Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010 5:00 am | Updated: 3:13 pm, Wed Apr 20, 2011.


Brunchies (17 E. Boston St., [480] 899-5036). Brought to you by the folks behind Serrano's Mexican restaurants, this Old Town spot serves brunch until 2 p.m. daily. The tasty spread includes all the usual suspects - pancakes, eggs, fruit, sausage and home fries - along with a variety of soups, desserts and Mexican breakfast favorites. $

C-Fu Gourmet (2051 W. Warner Road, [480] 899-3888). This Chinese eatery is best known for its daily Dim Sum, a kind of snack lunch full of tasty dumplings and pastries, served between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. And with good reason - it's the best in the East Valley, with the shumai (pork dumplings) and shrimp rice noodle roll particularly good. Their dinner service is also a winner, offering nearly 200 options and 13 "regional specialty sauces." $

Cyclo (1919 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 963-4490). Adventurous flavors, affordable prices and a BYOB policy make this locally owned Vietnamese hideaway a hot spot. The crispy lemongrass chicken and beef carpaccio are delicious. $

El Zócalo (28 S. San Marcos Place, [480] 722-0303). The lush, inviting back patio - often with live music - makes a great backdrop for enjoying the flavorful chicken mole or carne asada at this downtown Chandler hot spot. $

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill (3435 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 814-8003): Inspired by the cuisine of Aspen, Colo., Firebirds specializes in steaks grilled over an open flame, fresh seafood and hearty pasta served in a lodge atmosphere. $$

Floridino's (590 N. Alma School Road, [480] 812-8433). Don't calzones look like pizzas dressed up as Hot Pockets for Halloween? Here, for $7 and change, you get a two-item calzone nearly as big as a football. The pizzas and pastas are tops as well. $

Hon Machi Sushi & Teppaniaki (3450 W. Chandler Blvd., 2975 S. Alma School Road and 1947 W. Lay Road, [480] 857-2021). From calamari, shrimp and scallops prepared on teppanyaki tables to an extensive sushi menu, this Japanese strip mall gem is sure to delight. Expect high-quality cuisine without the high prices. $

Jimmy & Joe's Pizzeria (3950 W. Ray Road, Chandler, [480] 963-6633). Tucked away behind a CVS store, this unassuming strip-mall eatery serves some of the East Valley's best-tasting pizza. Daily lunch specials include a gigantic slice and drink for just $5. $

The Keg (3065 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 899-7500). Dark wood, glowing fireplaces, extensive stonework and dim lighting make for a classy steakhouse and bar. The well-marbled meats are grilled to perfection, but you're just as likely to fall in love with the outstanding twice-baked potato or the warm, crunchy sourdough round. (Mmmm, carbs.) For dessert, the Billy Miner Pie is lip-lickingly delicious. Additional location in Gilbert. $$

Kona Grill (3111 W. Chandler Blvd. [480] 792-1711). Among the Valley's prettiest people, Kona Grill is the place to be for happy hour. And for good reason: The snazzy eatery's appetizers - including Maui tacos, California rolls and calamari - are half off. While you're there, also check out the sushi menu, which includes octopus and freshwater eel. Additional locations in Gilbert and north Scottsdale. $$

La Stalla Cucina Rustica (68 W. Buffalo St., [480] 855-9990). With a bubbling fountain, wooden ceiling beams, iron chandeliers and stone walls, this Chandler pasta and pizza place exudes Old World charm. The Rustico (enormous focaccia sandwich with grilled chicken, avocado, sautéed spinach and tomato) is a good bet. $

New York Pizza Department (2580 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 722-0898, and 9845 S. Priest Drive, [480] 705-6973). Authentic, mouthwatering New York-style specialty pizzas and pasta dishes are on the menu at this local chain. Specialties include Broadway bruschetta, Da Works pizza, Al Capone calzone and New York's Finest Cookie 'N' Cream dessert. Additional locations in Scottsdale, Tempe and Gilbert. $

SanTan Brewing Company (8 S. San Marcos Plaza, [480] 917-8700). Owner Anthony Canecchia was a head brewer at Four Peaks in Tempe for seven years before taking his talents south to Chandler, where he's created his own successful hot spot. Housed in historic downtown in an all-brick building with garage-door windows and a large patio, SanTan features six original brews on tap. Canecchia has also added an original twist to pub favorites like the turkey Reuben and jalapeño Caesar salad. $

Shimogamo (2051 W. Warner Road, [480] 899-7191). A cozy, sleek, modern space serving some of the freshest, most authentic sushi in the East Valley. $

Swaddee (5055 W. Ray Road, [480] 785-1640). This unassuming Chandler restaurant serves what's arguably the best Thai in town. The pad Thai, tom yum (hot and sour) soup, Massaman curry and chicken spicy noodles are all outstanding choices. Swaddee has a legit five-star heat scale, so cool down by ordering the homemade coconut ice cream, a coconut milk sherbet topped with crushed peanuts. Additional location in Scottsdale. $

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