Chandler is a sprawling suburb, so, based on square mileage alone, it makes sense that it would have a solid dining scene. Whether you realize it or not, this Southeast Valley city really has it all: a variety of awesome ethnic restaurants, a great local brewery, and an award-winning wine bar. It may be a trek if you're coming from Phoenix, but all five of the spots on our list -- and a few more that didn't make the cut -- are well worth the drive.
Here are the five best restaurants in Chandler right now.
Barrelhouse American Kitchen & Cocktails
Since opening in early 2013, Chandler's Barrelhouse American Kitchen & Cocktails has become a true must-drink destination for the Valley's cocktail enthusiasts. The restaurant's list of signature drinks are arranged by flavor profile -- as opposed to type of base liquor -- making it easier to choose the perfect pairing for your meal. Wash down dishes such as sweet pasilla chile shrimp or the hearty Hunter's Burger with impressive cocktails such as the The Blue Dane with Danish Blue chees-infused London Dry Gin and Dolin Dry vermouth. And if you swing through during happy hour, offered Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., it will only make your experience even more affordable.
Chodang Tofu & BBQ
This Chandler restaurant certainly doesn't look like much on the outside -- except for the adorable sign -- but don't let that fool you. Inside Chodang is a modern, clean, and cozy, a perfect atmosphere to dig into a bowl of sundubu jjigae, or spicy Korean tofu soup. Tofu soup is the specialty here so you can and should order a bowl. It can come with your choice of meat, including beef, seafood, dumplings, and more. It arrives bubbling in a stone bowl and is best enjoyed with plenty of the accompanying banchan, or side dishes. Other satisfying options include barbecue beef, bimbimbap, and bulgogi.
San Tan Brewing Company is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Chandler.
|San Tan Brewing Company is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Chandler.|
The brewing scene in town is really growing but Chandler's SanTan Brewing Co., open since 2007, is far from being left in the dust. The brewery just expanded its distribution to Southern California -- quite a feat from a brewpub based out of downtown Chandler -- which will mean an even wider audience for their popular brews, including Devil's Ale, HopShock IPA and Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer. At the brewery, SanTan also offers a weekly cask list with one-of-a-kind offerings such as Super Galactic IWA and Desert Jade Hibiscus beer. They make perfect pairings for their food menu, which includes classic pub fare with a Mexican twist.
Tumi Fine Peruvian Cusine
This strip mall restaurant is easy to miss, but it's flavors certainly aren't. Tumi chef and owner Oscar Graham, who was born and raised in Lima, puts out excellent authentic Peruvian cuisine, including some of the Valley's best ceviche. Don't stop there, though -- you want to order the arroz con mariscos as well. It's a heaping platter of rice and mixed seafood that makes a filling dinner for at least two diners. Save room for dessert and order a few of the alfajores too. These dulce de leche cookie sandwiches feature sweet caramel cream and a hefty dusting of powdered sugar.
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When you think about the fact that the team behind Cork are all alumni of Lon's at the Hermosa Inn, it should come as no surprise that the restaurant is much more than just a wine bar. There is an impressive wine selection (more than 400 options), but chef Brian Peterson also crafts an inventive menu of seasonally influenced modern American cuisine that's not easy to ignore. The restaurant has been given Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" every year since 2009 and has received the AAA "Four Diamond Award" every year since 2011.
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