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Restaurants in Fresno area

We will be spending about five days in the Fresno area, but it has been nearly 18 years since I lived in the area and I no longer remember the restaurants.

We're planning to eat in Yosemite at the Ahwahnee Hotel one night (I was a sommelier there years ago) and also plan to eat at the original Sal's in Selma. I know - quite a contrast, but it's all about the food/experience and in the case of the Ahwahnee the memories.

Any other suggestions in Fresno? We'll eat most any type of cuisine. Fresh and flavorful food is a must.

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  1. Italian: Parma (Palm/Herndon)
    Chinese: Imperial Garden (Blackstone/Herndon) Great dim sum
    Bistro: Max's Bistro (West/Bullard)
    Continental: LimeLight (Shaw/Palm) Old style comfort food
    For upscale chains: Flemings Steak (Fashion Fair) Ruth's Chris (RiverPark)
    Well, that's a start. I'm sure others will chime in with their faves...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      Ktsword: I have only gone to Imperial Garden with a local Fresno friend who moved from the SF Bay Area a couple years ago. Her opinion is that if you're from an area that has good dim sum, don't bother with this place and go on the weekend. Week day offeringshere are more limited (check list, not cart/tray service) and the quality can be uneven .

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      Imperial Garden Restaurant
      6640 N Blackstone Ave Ste 108, Fresno, CA 93710

      1. re: Stephanie Wong

        You're right, Stephanie, the cart service is weekends only. I've enjoyed dim sum in "The City" as well and still enjoy the choices at Imperial. I think the OP would find it just fine! The weekends are more fun and certainly with more choices.

        1. re: Stephanie Wong

          Thanks Stephanie and Gail. Good to know.

      2. No need to drive all the way to Selma, the Sal's at Fresno and Alluvial is also run by Karl and his mother, get the braised ribs or Karl's Special (Fancy) burrito, made with the rib meat. Avoid the other brother's places (Bobby Salazar's).

        Do not miss Hunan (SE Cedar & Herndon), Chef Liu is world class, be sure and ask for the Sichuan menu.

        Thai Royal Orchid (SW Herndon and First) is our current favorite.

        B-K Kitchen (First btw Olive & McKinley) for authentic Lao and Thai, best for lunch. Two newer locations for dinner, Thai Fusion (NE Herndon & Willow), or Thai Fusion Noodle House (NW Shaw & West)

        Trelio in Clovis is one of the best dinner houses in the area, great wine list, chef Mike Shackleford and brother Chris is the sommelier.

        Cracked Pepper Bistro (SW Shaw & Fresno) and Yalla Yalla (NE Friant Rd and Ft. Washington) both featuring Chef Vatche are great options.

        Same center has Limon featuring Peruvian dishes, sister to the SF place opened by family originally from here.

        6 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          Thanks PolarBear. I know Bobby and while I like him well enough his restaurants have never been on par with the original. Good to know about the Sal's at Fresno and Alluvial. I love their Fancy Burrito. I still dream about it, kind of like having a total hankering for Hungry Bear cookies come out of the blue. :D

          Love Thai and Malaysian. Peruvian sound intriguing. We've learned to love food from El Salvador as well.

          I checked and Butterfields was apparently sold back in 2000. Has anyone tried Sequoia Brewing? The Tower District always reminds me of summer nights in lawn chairs behind the Chicken Pie Shop and watching movies projected onto the back wall.

          1. re: ktsword

            I live in the Tower and often get beer from Sequoia. I don't think I've ever had a beer there I didn't like and their IPA is excellent. The food I've had is decent too, although not amazing. They're pretty good for sandwiches and sweet potato fries.

            I would second B-K Kitchen. It's one of my favourites.

            Fasika on Blackstone, just up from Gettysburg, is a great place for Ethiopian. Mehek Punjab de on Shaw, just past Marks, has some great vegetarian Indian food.

            The Chicken Pie Shop is still there, although I haven't eaten there yet. I'm pretty sure the alley behind has been taken over by meth-addicted teenagers, but perhaps they would like to watch a movie with you. :)

              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                Will always second Trelio's.
                There is an Ethiopian place in (very) north east Fresno - Lucy's Lair - Maple & Behymer - but nothing else around there to do (in a residential strip mall)
                I also like Lime Light (more so than Elbow Room)
                As for the tower, try (what used to be?) Oggis. It's just south of Olive on Van Ness. And there's always El Conchito Contento.
                Sequoia has two locations, one in tower and other in north east Fresno (Champlain and Perrin). I like the beer. Food is okay.
                And a shout out for any of the camarone dishes at Don Pepe. Original is Blackstone and Gettysburg and new one is across the street from Fresno State.
                Oh and Casa Corona - original at Cedar and Herndon and new one at NE corner of Marks and Bullard (old Toro Tambien, I think). New one is crazy busy but original is easy to get into.
                Yalla Yalla is closed.

                1. re: tavmark

                  Oh and although not a restaurant - best cup of coffee in town - is in the tower at Cafe Corazon - on Wishon just north of the Bank of America (left hand side). (It is the building just north of the parking lot for Livingstones.) There is also a new bar, Tower Bar, that just opened in there as well. I know the owners. (So far as I know, the bar does not do food.)

                  And after eating at Sal's at Alluvial you can literally go down a couple doors and get a Doug Out cookie fix. (yeah, I know it's not Hungry Bear, but try the jalapeno chocolate chip cookies.)

                  1. re: tavmark

                    Hunan is not to miss! Make sure you order the Buttercream Prawns there. Campagnia is another one of our favorites. Dine out in the atrium room, I have lunch there with my daugther weekly when we are in town. Ruth's Chris and Flemings are both excellent places for a nice steak meal. If you like Japanese food, go to Sakanaya out on Friant and Fort Washington. :)