Located in the heart of Agritopia in Gilbert, the high-end integrated mixed-use community touts the walkability of an urban setting, where destinations to quench every craving are just a short stroll away.
Speaking of hankerings, six of Epicenter’s high-profile restaurant and bar roster are open, the newest being Matt’s Big Breakfast.
Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup and Spinato’s Pizzeria and Family Kitchen are scheduled to open this spring, followed soon after that by Buck & Rider. In the meantime, here are Epicenter spots to grab bites and sips. Epicenter is located at 3150 East Ray Road in Gilbert.
Matt’s Big BreakfastSuite #158
This breakfast and lunch spot that started in a teeny space in downtown Phoenix has achieved a huge loyal following. Credit goes to its hearty and comforting lineup of egg dishes, thick-cut bacon, savory home fries and made-from-scratch melty griddlecakes, tasting so dreamy that the accompanying butter and Vermont maple syrup aren't needed.
In February, Matt’s Big Breakfast opened its sixth location, bringing to Gilbert its famous Salami Scramble with Molinari soppressata, and the Chop & Chick — a glorious duo of two eggs accompanied by a skillet-seared Iowa pork rib chop and potatoes.
Chef Claudio Urciuoli of Pa’la fame chose this Gilbert spot for his Mediterranean-centric Source. Its one-stop-shop approach includes a bakery, wine bar, and elegant fast-casual eatery that can effortlessly go from day to night with sandwiches and salads to tapas and pizza. Urciuoli’s Italian roots are strong on the menu and reflected in dishes such as the Italian farro bowl, antipasti platter with Pecorino Toscano, and the Salsiccia pizza anchored by spicy Italian sausage from Arcadia Meat Market. Keep an eye out for new pantry items on the market shelves that span wines by the bottle and other take-home goodies.
With its second location, Belly’s modern renditions of Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese dishes find a new audience seeking a chill yet hip atmosphere. Its shareables lineup indicates more-the-merrier items are encouraged, with off-the-grill Vietnamese elote that incorporates coconut sauce and black salt, and a sambal oelek and jalapeño-adorned fiery jackfruit with hoisin sauce. The crispy soft-shell crab bao buns and Vietnamese crab cake also beg for attention. At the bar, natural wines and fun cocktails — the K-Pop Espresso Martini and the meant-to-be-shared booze bomb Belly of the Best, for starters — steal the spotlight.
Take a seafaring journey without leaving the city with UnderTow’s legendary maritime environs. Fans of the original Phoenix location know the drill: Guests are whisked away while seated in the belly of a fictional spice trader’s turn-of-the-century clipper ship under the leadership of Captain John Malloy, who encounters a bit more than rough waters along the way. The immersive experience is complemented by libations inspired by the era. The award-winning Barter & Shake team is responsible for a lengthy list that boasts classics like the Blue Hawaii and Jungle Bird. There also are newer takes like the gin-and-rum-based Poseidon’s Court and the clarified milk punch Clear Skies & Tropical Winds. Nonalcoholic cocktails crafted with housemade spirit-free spirits are also on the menu. No food is served here, but fueling up at a nearby spot won’t be difficult.
Beer BarnSuite #150
If you prefer your craft beer with sides of yoga, lawn games, and trivia, Beer Barn is your jam. The sister establishment of The Sleepy Whale beer bar and bottle shop in Chandler and The Theodore beer and wine bar and bottle shop in Phoenix offers about 30 or so rotating draft brews. Selections are featured from local businesses, and other Arizona breweries including Flagstaff’s Dark Sky Brewing Company and Tucson’s 1912 Brewing Company, as well as from California, Florida, and Maryland. More can be found on the extensive bottle list, too.
Peixoto Coffee RoastersSuite #100
Just like the original location in downtown Chandler, the second Peixoto Coffee Roasters shop thrives on its crop-to-cup coffee starting from the family farm in Brazil before reaching the desert, where it is roasted. Grab a bag of direct trade specialty beans, a warming cup of the house drip, cold brews, or espresso concoctions that incorporate housemade syrups. Seasonal specialties include the chipotle mocha, lavender latte, and orange juniper.