10 Best Restaurants Near ASU Tempe: Chow Bella's Back to School Guide
El Pollo Supremo
In the next few days, Tempe will welcome literally thousands of college students back into the fold. And though we're sure the studious lot will be spending the majority of their time hitting the books at Hayden Library, it's inevitable that they'll also need to eat. The Memorial Union and that slop line they call a dining hall are perfectly viable options, but we just want to make sure Arizona State University's students know that their neighborhood has lots of other dining options to offer. Here are some of our favorites.
El Pollo Supremo 221 W. University Drive 480-966-3713 $5 and under
When it comes to bargain pricing and good eats, El Pollo Supremo, located just west of Mill Avenue, definitely delivers. There are only two options at this neighborhood staple: chicken or beef, and if you're asking our advice, we'll point you toward the chicken. You can pick up a quarter chicken, tortillas, beans and salsa for under $5, which is quite a deal for struggling students.
Healthy eats from D'lish
D'Lish 1135 E. Apache Blvd. www.dlishdrivethru.com $10 and under
For years, hungover students looking for a healthy drive-thru breakfast had to head all the way up Scottsdale Road to get to D'Lish, but the popular eatery opened a second location last year just off the southeast corner of campus. The health-focused spot serves breakfast and lunch sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and burgers as well as coffee, iced teas and smoothies. In short, everything you need but probably don't want to have to get out of your car to get.
Curry Corner serves up authentic Indo-Pak cuisine
Curry Corner 1212 E. Apache Blvd. www.facebook.com/CurryCornerTempe $10 and under
Located on Apache Boulevard a few blocks west of campus, this popular family-owned eatery offers flavorful Indian and Pakistani food. Students love to come visit owner and chef Farah Khalid, who makes pretty much everything herself. Many of the dishes are vegetarian, but she still delivers on meatier options such as garlic goat served with tomatoes and onions, kebabs and wings. Everything is affordable and all of it's delicious.
Quiche at Essence
Essence Bakery 825 W University Dr. www.essencebakery.com $10 and under
This popular cafe and bakery is less than a mile off campus and serves the best breakfast anywhere around campus. The Quiche Lorraine is particularly memorable but you can't go wrong with the French toast, scrambled eggs, or Croque Madame. At lunch, your options will expand to include cold and hot sandwiches. Don't leave, though, without taking home a croissant or one of their famous French macarons. They're pricey for students, but worth it.
The Torpedo at The Chuckbox
The Chuckbox 202 E. University Drive www.thechuckbox.com $10 and under
The Chuckbox is older than nearly anything else in Tempe and does one thing quite well: charcoal-grilled burgers. For decades, students have been able to step off campus (but just barely) and into this rustic little cabin for an affordable burger unlike what you can find anywhere else. There's no flat-top here, just the open flames of a mesquite charcoal grill that, when combined with their special secret spices, makes for one great lunch.
Fresh Mediterranean food available now at Pita Jungle
Pita Jungle 1250 E. Apache Blvd. www.pitajungle.com $10 - $15
You'll want to drive to this Mediterranean eatery but you can still feel good about your diet and exercise regime after dining here. That's because Pita Jungle's known for their healthy-minded and vegetarian friendly eats including favorites like their garlic dip, baba ganoush and tabouleh. Meat-eaters have options too, including their schwarma pita. The fun and funky atmosphere is totally enjoyable, but if you're in a rush to get back to your studies, know that they're more than happy to make your order to-go.
Cornish Pasty Co. 960 W. University Dr. www.cornishpastyco.com $15 and under
In a strip mall on University Drive just east of Hardy, you'll find Cornish Pasty Co., a dark hipster hangout with some pretty unique eats. If you've never had or heard of a pasty, know the English dish is basically a giant turnover stuffed with the kinds of things you might expect to find in a pot pie. They have traditional versions with pork, steak and the like, as well as some crazy varieties filled with pesto chicken, pastrami and corned beef and even red chile.
Pad-See-Ew at Thai Basil
Thai Basil 1111 S. Rural Rd. www.thaibasilasu.com $15 and under
There are two Thai Basil locations around Tempe campus, the closer of which can be found on Rural Boulevard across the street from the newly built Barrett, the Honors College complex. It may not be the most authentic Thai eats you've ever had or even the very best, but for students looking for a convenient, affordable and enjoyable dining experience, this place delivers. They have all the standard Thai dishes from curries to pad thai, drunken noodles and fried rice.
Salads and other healthy options at this Tempe spot
The Original ChopShop Co.
The Original ChopShop Co. 222 E. University Drive www.chopshopco.com $10 and under
From kale to quinoa, The Original ChopShop Co. has it all. This newish eatery specializes in "healthy craft cuisine" including sandwiches, salads, breakfast eats and pressed juices. Located on University Avenue between Forest and College, this place definitely falls within walking distance from even the opposite end of campus. And if you're looking for something filling but of the liquid variety, they also serve up a selection of protein shakes.
The vegetarian platter at Cafe Lalibela is a painter's palette of color and taste.
Cafe Lalibella 849 W. University Drive www.cafelalibela.com $20 and under
If you've never had Ethiopian food, get your fingers ready for a pretty fun dining experience. At Cafe Lalibela, on University Drive east of Hardy, diners dig into traditional Ethiopian stews with their fingers because that's the custom. Scoop up mouthfuls of beef, lamb or veggies with the spongy injera bread and wash it all down with Ethiopian coffees, teas, wines, and beers. Don't forget to bring a friend or two; it makes the whole experience that much more fun.
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