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Places in Mesa, AZ

I am new to Chow and new to this board! I am so excited, I love phoenix and I love to eat! This is perfect. I live in Mesa, but I am only there to sleep. I work in Tempe and do most of my recreation in Phoenix. I often criticize Mesa for their lack of creativity and local restaurants. I was surprised to read in the thread “Summer Dining Deals” that “lovepinot” recommend a tasting menu at S Bistro in Mesa. I thought to myself, have I been to hard on Mesa is there local independent restaurants that are good. So I thought I would ask the experts……you! Was I wrong are there good places to dine in Mesa or was my original hypothesis correct. (Forgive me if this topic has already been discussed… I’m new)

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  1. One of our favorite dinner spots is Tutti Santi on the corner of Dobson and Guadalupe.

    You'll find mixed reviews of Dooby's on the board but we love it. It's on the same corner.

    Search on Mesa and you'll find lots of threads.

    1. At the west end of Mesa, at the SE corner of Dobson and Main, I've recently discovered Asian Cafe Express and Grill El Quetzal. The former serves Chinese food; the latter serves the cuisine of Guatemala. Both are modest strip mall restaurants without liquor licenses, but they serve authentic and tasty food. Also, there's recently been some discussion of a good Peruvian restaurant a mile away at Alma School and Main.

      See this discussion for more detail:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39586...

      1 Reply
      1. I, too, would love to find some nice places in Mesa because I work there. So far, I generally just stick to the chain places for lunch.

        One place I'm wanting to try (sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but it IS in Mesa) is a new hole-in-the-strip-mall Mexican place called "La merced mexican kitchen" on Extension and University. I've been searching for a good little cheap Mexican place in Mesa and I think (though I could have been wrong) the windows looked like they were advertising "huitlicoche" which I've had before and loved. This could be a nice authentic place! Then again, it might not be. But I thought I would throw it out there for ya.

        1. I'm not sure what you're looking for exactly, but I have found several good mom-and-pop ethnic places in Mesa. Benjarong for Thai, Mango's for Mexican, RigaTony's for Italian, Aloha Kitchen for Hawaiian, sN Pacific Rim Asian Kitchen for noodles, Crackers and Co. for soups/salads/sandwiches, etc. Nothing I would call fine dining, but decent meals nonetheless.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 1wino

            I've tried Chandler's Rigatony's... antipasto salad and table bread, tiramisu and apple bread pudding (EXCELLENT with Frangelico sauce!), chicken piccata and stuffed shells, and their baked rigatoni are very good!

            sN Pacific's key lime cheesecake (yes, key lime cheesecake) is awesome!

            If you love cinnamon rolls and French toast, you must try the cinnamon French toast at Crackers and Co.! The blackberry bread pudding is to-die-for!

          2. Mesa is lucky enough to have both Cafe Roma and Brunello, so it's really not lacking for terrific Italian food. My advice with either place is to not go in thinking you want a particular dish, but to just ask your server to bring you what's good. I've had divine meals at both places that way.

            1. A discussion about chowing in Mesa is incomplete without mentioning Red White & Brew out on Power & McDowell. Really wonderful food in a relaxed atmosphere. My favorite meals there include their complimentary garlic bread (oooh, so garlic-y!), mussels starter, salmon with sweet potato raviolis or one of their wonderful specials. They quite frequently have halibut fish cheeks on special, and they are delightful!

              4 Replies
              1. re: MesaChow

                Thanks for everyone's help!! I just tried S Bistro in downtown Mesa. I liked it! I didn't love it, but I definitely liked it! It is nice to have an independent fine dining restaurant in Mesa. I am going to spread the word. It seems like the Mesa’s dining landscape is dominated by chain restaurants. It nice to see some local springing up around town!

                1. re: bjpeters

                  wow... just read Howie Seftel's review of S'Bistro... that was one of the harshest reviews I've EVER read. just...... wow.

                  1. re: AZBconcierge

                    I think by Mesa standards it's good....any where else..it's lacking!

                    1. re: bjpeters

                      UGH!! Just wrote a long post and it got lost in the ether....

                      Anyway, I live in Mesa and there is a reason I am HOME cook Kirsten...I can recommend any remodeled Safeway, Sprouts, TJ's and AJ's...

                      But for dining out, I limit it to places I really like:
                      Mint Thai
                      Rancho de Tia Rosa (the taqueria is best)
                      El Galecon (mex seafood, Main between Gilbert and Stapley)
                      Mangoes
                      Oasian for noodle soups
                      Molly Branagans for a guinness draught (that IS food)
                      Dragonfly (Vietnamese, Dobson & Southern)
                      D'Vine Wine Bar (for the wine and food)

                      And the above-mentioned places...

              2. Burrito Azteca on the SW side of Lindsey and Broadway behind Frys is a great spot for really good, inexpensive Mexican. It's a clean, friendly small restaurant with limited seating. They have a condiment bar and a few agua frescas to choose from... beer too. Someone on this board was looking for homemade hardshell beef tacos awhile ago. They have them here.

                1. I agree with a lot of the recommendations on this board so far. I'll add a few to the mix:

                  Lucky Lou's (Power & McKellips) - homemade pierogies, great steak sandwich!
                  Pacific Bay Seafood Co. (Power & McDowell) - I've only had wine and apps here but everything we tasted was great! A little pricey though.
                  Sekai Sushi (Gilbert & Southern) - great little sushi place - always fresh!!
                  Bavarian Point (Main between Higley and Greenfield) - authentic German cuisine - I have to fast for a few days before and after going here. Everything is SO good but SO rich!!
                  Mike Thai (Higley and Southern) - I am a fan of Mint Thai and this is a close second! The atmosphere is a little nicer and they serve mixed drinks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: scorpioscuba

                    I forgot to list Sekai - I love it!!

                    I can vouch for Burrito Azteca too - had their menudo this weekend, everything there is good.

                    1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                      I can vouch for D'Vine Wine Bar. Ate there last night for the 1st time (been there for wine & appetizers before). We loved their daily specials. I had swordfish which was wonderful. On Sundays they always have a cello & guitar/singer at dinner. I wish we would have on the patio and been there for the 2nd set at 7PM as we couldn't hear the guitar inside. This isn't formal eating but the food is upscale and a unique menu for Mesa! I think the fine dining is next door at Pacific Bay Seafood Co to which I haven't been.
                      Also LOVE Red, White & Brew but hate the long wait there always. Wish they would take reservations. D'Vine doens't take reservations either.