Windsor5223 North Central Avenue
Windsor offers a triple threat of family packs. For pork lovers, there’s the New Orleans BBQ Picnic ($60) with a rack of ribs, pulled pork, and tender belly ham. For chicken lovers, the buttermilk fried chicken ($45) comes with eight pieces of craggy, crispy, creviced chicken, and a killer kale Caesar with cheddar biscuit croutons or fattoush salad with butterbeans and feta. Then there’s Kebobs for All ($50), a chicken and beef skewer feast with salad. All of the above come with sides. We suggest the mac and cheese and Jo’s Church Potatoes.
Mandy’s Fish & ChipsMultiple Locations
If you’re from south Phoenix, you’ve not only heard of Mandy’s Fish & Chips, it probably holds a special place in your heart. This family-owned business has been slinging fish and chips since 1986 and has the fried-to-order service down to a science. Choose from eight, 12, or 20-piece packs of catfish, whiting, tilapia, sea bass, or codfish, all hand-battered for hedonistic crunch. They're paired with a generous helping of fries and sauces (from $20.99). Or go big with the 20-piece meal deal, a combo of fish and shrimp, extra large fries, and coleslaw ($39.99). The deep-fried Oreos are optional but necessary.
Pita JungleMultiple Locations
Pita Jungle’s Family Meal for four is full of killer choices. You pick the protein (chicken, gyro, Philly steak, tofu, or falafel balls), the vessel (loaded pitas or turmeric brown rice bowls), the hummus, the sides (there are mac and cheese, Greek salad, roasted veggies, and more), and the sauces (like tahini and tzatziki). The only non-choice is the walnut baklava, which is exactly the right dessert and they know it. The end result is a delicious and plentiful spread with something for everyone ($39).
Doughbird Pizza & Rotisserie4385 East Indian School Road
The Family on the Fly meal deal at Doughbird is simple yet sophisticated. It comes with a whole rotisserie chicken (duh), but this ain’t just any bird. It’s a slow-roasted, free range chicken that’s spiced and spit-cooked until crackling and colorful on the outside and all juicy on the inside. It comes with a large sauce for smearing or dipping (think pineapple teriyaki, jalapeno pesto, or chipotle barbecue) a crouton-topped Caesar salad, and a choice of broccoli, mashed potatoes, or mac and cheese. All for — drum roll please — $32 bucks (to-go only).
Seydi’s Pupuseria & Grill2625 East Greenway ParkwayThere are a few things you should know about the pupusas from Seydi’s Pupuseria & Grill in north Phoenix. First, they’re super stuffed. The rounds of masa come crammed with combos like slow-cooked pork and cheese, beans and cheese, steak and cheese, and loroco and cheese — the melty insides sometimes oozing out to create that revered crispy coating. Second, a little of the accompanying curtido (pickled cabbage) and spicy salsa go a long way. Last thing: One dozen of the tasty El Salvadorian staples is $28.99, or $24 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And they make great leftovers.
Chula Seafood Uptown100 East Camelback Road
Chula isn’t your average seafood joint. The family-owned operation sells sustainable, never-frozen fish, some caught right off their own boat in San Diego, to bring you the freshest catch in town. And their Family Pick Fish ($27 to $32) isn’t your average family meal. More a seafood symphony than a mere fish platter, you choose the pound of fish (from blackened halibut and grilled salmon to raw sea bass or ahi tuna poke), plus two sides like fries or roasted beets. It's the next best thing to a family trip to the coast.
Authentic Ethio African1740 East McDowell Road
Like its name suggests, Authentic Ethio African serves traditional Ethiopian cuisine. Owner Anduale Hassan mans the front of the house, while his wife, Elsa Tiruneh, slow cooks fragrant stews and spicy sides like the kind they grew up eating. The vegetarian combo for two ($11.99) includes four sides — could be split peas, lentils, collard greens, and beets depending on the day — while the meat and vegetable sampler ($14.99) gives you two meat dishes, like beef stew or spicy chicken, plus two vegetarian sides. Either way, scoop it up with tangy injera (gluten free is available) and forget the utensils.
GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina920 East University Drive, Tempe
GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina is totally plant-based, but it doesn’t feel very vegan. Yes, the place looks more badass than bohemian with its graffitied walls, but it’s the menu, a true celebration of Mexican food, that gives it its edge. Families can pick between the Enchiladas de Calabacitas ($50), a roasted squash and zucchini taste party topped with house rojo sauce and cashew crema, or the Tacos Dorados ($50), a dozen hand-pressed crispy tortillas filled with roasted veggies, tomatillo cruda, and salsa macha. Both come with crispy corn tortillas and salsa, plus three house-made sides, like cauliflower al pastor and elote with “cotija” for a full fiesta.
PHX Beer Co.8300 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
PHX Beer Co. is more than just beer, not that we’re knocking its hops. To feed your brood, it has six Brew Crew Family Meals to choose from, available for to-go only at the Scottsdale location. The spreads range from pizza and salad ($24) to mac and cheese ($39) to a fried chicken tenders party pack ($35). Of course, you can’t forget the beer. Add a 32-ounce crowler or a 64-ounce growler of their Orange Grove IPA or Sonoran White Chocolate Ale as your beverage.
Bobby-Q has plenty of finger-licking family deals for carnivores with slow-cooked meats (roasted over almond and mesquite woods) and sides like cornbread and ranch beans. Our favorite is the Family Feast ($47), a meat-lovers medley with a half-pound of smoked beef brisket, half-pound of smoked pulled pork, half of a rotisserie barbecue chicken, a half rack of St. Louis Ribs, and choice of two sides. Holy leftovers! But here’s the rub: It’s only available Sundays at the Mesa and Biltmore locations.