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May 29, 2009 10:59 AM

Interesting places for lunch in Fresno?

Going to Fresno on Saturday and was wondering if anyone had recommendation for lunch. looking for a place with character. Could be ethnic food.


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  1. >>>looking for a place with character<<<

    Hi Joe, not sure what you mean. One person's "character" could be another person's need to call the health department.

    Just guessing, but ...
    Imperial Garden (Chinese) excellent dim sum, mostly Chinese clientele. Herndon and Blackstone.
    Max's Bistro good food, good vibes Bullard and West
    Royal Thai Orchid, Herndon and First
    Cracked Pepper Bistro, Blackstone and Fresno
    Parma, very good Italian, Herndon and Marks

    7 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      George's (downtown in the Galleria) - armenian
      Limon (Herndon and Nees - across the street from RiverPark) - peruvian
      LaRocca's (next door to Royal Thai Orchid) - italian
      Hunan (Cedar and Herndon - check first to see if they're open for lunch on Sat.) - chinese
      Don Pepe's (Blackstone and Gettysburg) - mexican (mariscos are the specialty)

      1. re: Gail

        That would be Thai Royal Orchid, and a strong second, call and make sure they're open for lunch on Saturday. Likewise with George's downtown, there's another across from Imperial Garden but haven't been in years. IG dim sum is also an excellent call, as is Hunan but be sure and ask for the Sichuan menu.

        Don't believe Parma is open for lunch.

        1. re: PolarBear

          I've had lunch at Parma, but it was a while back. OP should call to be sure.

          BTW, I just read a Feb 2009 review of Giulia's saying Tony was back in town and the restaurant was back on its original course. It sure slipped during his stay in Italy. Think I'm getting ready for clams linguine real soon.

          1. re: Gail

            Great list!! I would have to agree with all of them. I don't think Parma's is open for lunch on the weekends, just the week days - and Cracked Pepper closed for lunches awhile ago (but if you have a chance do check them out for dinner).

            Gail - Tony (of Guilia's) was in town, but he went back to Italy a couple months ago. Family and friends had a "bon voyage party" for him at the restaurant. My BF and I attended. BF currently works for one of Tony's family members restaurants and I worked for one of Tony's cousins for a couple of years (so basically we are now an adopted part of this large Fresno Italian family!!). It was good to have him back in town, he brings a good energy.

            1. re: cocktailqueen77

              Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that but thanks for the update. I had high hopes for a restaurant we really miss. Is Marlena helping at Guilia's now?

              I was at Parma on a weekday, so you're right...darn. Sorry OP for any misleading.

              1. re: Gail

                I love Parma's lunch during the week, BF and I had a great late lunch of raviolis and rabbit...yummm...

                Marlena is helping out there, she and her sister were singing their hearts out on the kareoke machine the night of Tony's going away party!! I love Italian families!!

            2. re: Gail

              Went by today, you are absolutely correct, Parma is open for lunch Tues - Friday. Closed Sun-Mon.

        2. One of my faves for sandwiches and Italian food:

          Sam's Italian Deli & Market

          2415 N First St., Fresno, CA 93703, (559) 229-9346

          Loads of great atmosphere and good food! Try a sample of the capicolla. Outside dining only.

          North India Bar & Grill
          (In the Village Square Shopping Center), on S/W side of Shaw @ Minnewawa
          80 W Shaw Ave, Clovis, 559-325-7788

          Great Indian food, good service, pleasant ambiance, they're open for lunch daily 11-4.

          1. Sorry to bring a two-year old thread back to life but I searched and this was the closest I can find.

            Life finds me in Fresno this coming Monday and I'm looking for an interesting place for lunch - traveling companion is a pescatarian but I'll eat anything.

            Ethnic /regional foods are a bonus (just no Mexican - we eat plenty of it back home).

            Driving plans take us into Fresno from Los Angeles via 99 N and then we head out via the 180 E -but we're willing to go out of our way for something chow worthy or uniquely local.

            Thanks in advance!


            3 Replies
            1. re: zmirzlina

              I've only been living in Fresno about a year and haven't had much money for dining out, but my favourite restaurant so far is B&K Asian Kitchen, on N1st, a couple blocks up from Olive. They serve Laotian food and everything I've had has been exceptional. Even the dipping sauces seem homemade.

              There's a thread and full review here:

              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                Oh, Laotian - something we don't have much of down here. Good call. Thank you. Now that i think about it, any Burmese in Fresno? We have nothing down here...

                1. re: zmirzlina

                  Unfortunately, no. We have to travel to SF for that.