In addition to being one of the least sinful cities in the country, Gilbert happens to be one of the hottest dining mini-hubs in the Valley. Later this year, the city's downtown area will welcome a slew of new eateries to the scene, including Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles, Snooze, and Sam Fox's Zinburger.
But the recent explosion of new restaurants doesn't mean there aren't already some great dining destinations in this Southeast Valley suburb. Here are five of the very best.
Joe's Real BBQ
Since 1998, Joe's Real BBQ has been serving some of the Valley's best ribs, beans, and pulled pork. Each delicious meat is served cafeteria-style inside a renovated 1929 brick building complete with a restored 1948 John Deere tractor and a mural depicting Gilbert's agricultural history. All that plus the good eats makes this an ideal spot to take the whole family. We love everything from the spicy hot links to the tender beef brisket, which only get better when paired with any of the numerous side items. Think: mac 'n' cheese, sweet corn, cole slaw, and killer corn bread. Oh, and don't forget to fill up your cup with Joe's homemade root beer.
From the outside, Flancer's Cafe might not look like much, but step inside and you'll find a rock 'n' rolling restaurant with a menu of Happy-tizers (okay, we know it's a little corny), sandwiches, pizzas, and more. Chef/owner Jeff Flancer is a graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America and puts his talents to good use by churning out unique sandwiches like the The Perfect "Prickly" Pear Chicken, which features prickly pear marinated chicken, tomato, melted provolone, and the restaurant's housemade green chile mayonnaise. The pizzas are also anything but ordinary. Take the Goat to Get You Into My Life pie for example, which comes with goat cheese, basil pesto, roasted red bell peppers, chicken, and red onions.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
When it opened last summer, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. became the first craft brewery in Gilbert. The company was founded by friends Jonathan Buford, Tim Isaac, and Patrick Ware, who started brewing beer in a garage in 2010 and got their business off the ground thanks to successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. We've already been impressed with their unique brews, including the Picacho Pecan Pie Brown Ale they produced in the fall -- made with six whole pecan pies, maple syrup, vanilla beans, and handcracked pecans. Plus the AWBC crew is always up to something new, so you can bet there's a new brew just around the corner.
Joyride Taco House
Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey of Upward Projects have built a successful cluster of restaurants in midtown Phoenix, and they've hit up Gilbert -- first with their classic, Postino Wine Bar, and then, last June, they took their unique brand of fresh, fun food to the East Valley with the opening ofJoyride Taco House. As with all of their restaurants (which includes all three Postinos, Windsor, Churn, and Federal Pizza) Joyride Taco is housed in a historic building, in this case the historic Grainbelt Building -- the same as space Postino East. The restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Mexican fare including burritos, tortas, tacos, and some really awesome salsa. There's also a lineup of enjoyable cocktails and aguas frescas (available with or without booze).
Romeo's Euro Cafe
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At Romeo's Euro Cafe, chef Romeo Taus executes an impressively long menu of Mediterranean cuisine unlike anything else in the Valley. From appetizers like eggplant cappicola, which includes deep-fried provolone and ham cappicola wrapped in eggplant, to entrees including Chicken Omega -- grilled chicken with spinach, pine nuts, and garlic in a white wine cream sauce -- everything at this restaurant ensures you'll have a satisfying meal. Other options include a large selection of pasta dishes, plenty of seafood, and a whole page of pitas stuffed with ingredients like grilled mushrooms, roast beef, pastrami, and of course, traditional gyro meat.
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