Eating Out In Peoria, Arizona, The Top Local Restaurants

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Rachel Gould

Art & Design Editor

One of the ten largest cities in Arizona, Peoria is a major suburb of Phoenix and was listed in Money Magazine as one of the top 100 places to live in 2008. Peoria’s culinary scene may be dominated by highly frequented chain restaurants such as Texas Roadhouse and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, but that’s not all the city has to offer. Here are 10 best independent food joints to try.
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Brushfire Tacos y Tapas

Vegan tacos

Dine unconventionally with Brushfire Tacos y Tapas, a drive-thru/walk-up restaurant that serves unexpectedly refined Mexican and Spanish cuisine to go. The small but affordable menu was crafted by an award-winning chef and features fresh, health conscious dishes, including a selection of five grilled tacos or burritos, empanadas, croquetas and a choice of sides. Even better a percentage of each purchase is donated to a select charity such as the local YMCA that helps to benefit underprivileged children. Eating well in every sense of the word has never been this easy and guests can even order online beforehand. For a loftier fast food experience, Brushfire Tacos y Tapas does not disappoint.

Caminero Mexican Restaurant

With an honorable mention in a USA Today article profiling the best Mexican restaurants across the country, Caminero Mexican Restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This small, family owned eatery exudes a hole-in-the-wall kind of charm, fostering a relaxed atmosphere in an informal establishment that operates via counter service. The decor is cheerful with scattered Mexican accents, consisting most notably of a mural depicting a village scene. Choose from a selection of burritos, chimichangas, quesadillas, tortas and other home made dishes, and accompany your meal with tamales, rice and beans or chips and salsa. Caminero Mexican Restaurant additionally offers a catering service for larger events. For delicious Mexican food in Preoria, Caminero Mexican Restaurant is a must-try.

China Grill

With consistently good Chinese cuisine, China Grill on Thunderbird Road offers extensive lunch and dinner menus with something for everyone. Located in a strip mall, the restaurant is spacious and scaled-back in decor, yet fosters an attractive setting in which to dine. The food is American-inspired as the restaurant serves the usual favorites; egg rolls, pot stickers and fried wontons for starters and noodles, Mongolian beef, chicken Teriyaki and tofu entrees. China Grill additionally boasts a fully stocked bar and the option to take your meal away with free delivery. For friendly service and good food, China Grill makes for a pleasant dining experience.

Cucina Tagliani

Pasta dish

A neighborhood mainstay for Peoria residents since 1993, Cucina Tagliani aims to replicate the warm and cozy feeling of a home-style kitchen with the personality of independent family ownership. Everything on the menu is handmade fresh on-site, from sauce to soup, dressing and dessert, a thoughtful concept that chain restaurants simply can’t compete with. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner and happy hour (confined to the bar area only), with reasonably priced Italian favorites that include pastas, pizzas, soup and salad. The happy hour menu features wines and beers with small plates such as bruschetta and calamari, and select bottles of wine are discounted on Tuesday wine nights. Sit in for a quaint dining experience or order your meal to take away.

Gyros Town

Delicious Gyros

Satisfy your craving for delicious Greek food at Gyros Town, located in the Lake Pleasant Towne Center. The venue is clean and cheerful with large Greek-themed murals on the walls, the staff is welcoming and friendly, and the food does not disappoint. Characterized by a relaxed and casual atmosphere and well-priced dishes that come in large portions, Gyros Town is a go-to place for local, quality Mediterranean food. The menu offers traditional Greek dishes such as souvlaki, pita bread with hummus and, of course, gyros. For the perfect lunch or dinner stop for a quick but quality Mediterranean meal.
Gyros Town, 9940 West Happy Valley Parkway #1050, Lake Pleasant Towne Center, Peoria, AZ, USA, +1 623 566 4027

Leo’s Island BBQ

For delicious food without the frills, Leo’s Island BBQ is well worth a try. This low-key restaurant specializes in Hawaiian plate lunches, which combine the culinary traditions of China, Japan, Portugal and the Philippines. Leo’s Island BBQ offers well-priced meat-based dishes with steamed rice, steamed cabbage and macaroni salad as sides. Dishes include the likes of smoked and roasted kalua pork with banana leaf and vegetables as well as Maui pineapple chicken and island grilled fish. It’s best to arrive hungry as the menu is decadent and the portions are plentiful. While the restaurant can be mistaken for a chain, it is independently and family owned and all ingredients are prepared fresh to order. Leo’s Island BBQ offers cuisine unique to the area in a cheerful and friendly atmosphere.

The Greek Wraps

Indulge in the likes of spanakopita, falafel with hummus, assorted kabobs and a selection of fresh Greek salads at The Greek Wraps, where quality Mediterranean food is made to order. The restaurant opened in 2003 with a straightforward concept in mind: to serve delicious food made from fresh ingredients and cooked in an open kitchen where customers can be involved in their meal from start to finish. The Greek Wraps reimagines the fast food experience, with clean decor and a welcoming and family friendly atmosphere, they also have a kid’s menu with smaller portions of grilled chicken or gyro pieces served with French fries. The restaurant accommodates both meat lovers and vegetarians with a dynamic menu of traditional Greek favorites.

Twisted Italian Restaurant

Putting a slight ‘twist’ on otherwise traditional Italian food, Twisted Italian Restaurant outshines the commonplace chain restaurant experience. The restaurant opened in 2011, a relatively new culinary addition amidst the sequence of chain restaurants in the area. The menu features popular Italian dishes with a dash of added inspiration, to include bruschetta with Gorgonzola and honey, mozzarella Caprese with orange slices, Mediterranean pasta with feta cheese, sundried tomatoes and Kalamata olives, and a ‘French Fry Pie’, a pizza with applewood smoked bacon and garlic parmesan French fries. Pair your meal with a beer, cocktail red or white wine and top it off with tiramisu or a cannoli. The restaurant is clean and simple, offering consistently good food at good prices.

V’s Taproom

Located on the grounds of the Trilogy golf course is V’s Taproom, a New American restaurant with sleek, contemporary decor. The interior exhibits rustic accents such as stonewalls, a wooden planked ceiling and tasteful art deco-style light fixtures. The space is light and airy with a fantastic view overlooking the golf course as well as outdoor seating. The restaurant offers one menu with a dynamic selection of choices to take you through the day, with appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers as well as larger entrees including seafood, pasta and wood-fired pizzas. The menu also lists tap and bottled beers and wines. The restaurant is located within a large retirement community but is open to the public as one of the nicer independent restaurants in Peoria.

Wild Horse West

Delicious Burger

This highway-side bar and shop boasts the best burgers in Arizona, located in a highly casual Americana setting where the food is the star of the show. Wild Horse West hosts indoor and outdoor dining with a jukebox, television and pool table. Additionally, the restaurant provides the option to take your food away. Attached to the restaurant is a general store that sells outdoor equipment from fishing to boating supplies. The menu is completely scaled-back and the restaurant is cash-only with an ATM on site, but customers rave about the delicious burgers and very reasonable prices. Perfect for a simple and inexpensive roadside stop, Wild Horse West is worth a try.

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