The intersection between the famous Apache Trail and U.S. Route 60, where Apache Junction, Arizona lies, is home to breathtaking views of the Superstition Mountains and the legendary Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Soak up the ambiance of the real West — think toe-tapping hoe-downs and the best barbecue ribs — at one of Apache Junction’s top 10 restaurants.
Located on the Apache Trail, Elvira’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina is the best place to enjoy authentic Mexican food in Apache Junction. This vibrant and inviting dining area is great for all occasions, be it a quick lunch or celebratory dinner with family and friends. On the menu, you have all the essentials such as nachos grande, taquitos, tostadas, and, of course, plenty of fresh guacamole. Then there are Elvira’s specialty dishes such as fire shrimp (jumbo shrimp with spicy seasoning), pozole (a special Mexican pork soup with hominy), and Elvira’s chile rellenos (fresh roasted green chilies stuffed with cheese and cooked in an egg white batter). From burritos to tacos and varieties of chili, Elvria’s brings the heart and soul of traditional Mexican cuisine to Apache Junction.
Serving up rustic American dishes in a no-frills, Western-style bar, Superstition Skies is the essence of Apache Junction’s rich heritage. Established in the early 1950s, the bar was the watering hole for countless cowboys and movie stars who’d come to enjoy the spirit of the American West. Today, Superstition Skies is one of the last real honky tonk bars. On the menu, you’ll find all-American classics like a range of fine quality burgers (the green chili burger is a specialty), baskets such as popcorn shrimp, baby back ribs, as well as tempting light bites including beef nachos, chicken wings and onion rings. Featuring regular live music acts, Superstition Skies has been the launch pad of many a country star!
Another cantina joint out for the title of Apache Junction’s best Mexican, Los Gringos Locos is, in their own words, ‘owned and operated by a bunch of crazy gringos’ dedicated to offering the tastiest bites and top-notch service. Tourists will find Los Gringos the ideal place for a bite whilst visiting the Superstition Mountains or biking the Apache Trail. A wide range of dishes are available, including ‘nachos especial’ and burritos for traditionalists, carnitas (grilled pork cutlets smothered in tomato sauce) and pollo con mole (marinated chicken breast covered with Chef Citlaly’s mole sauce) for meat lovers. There are also plenty of seafood options, including camarones verdes (mix of sautéed shrimp, with mixed vegetables, nestled in a creamy poblano sauce) and excellent seafood enchiladas. Los Gringos Locos was also the 2010 Winner of the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.
Opened in 1961 and located at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Mining Camp Restaurant imbibes Apache Junction’s rich and colorful history. Keeping the look and feel of old cook shanties, Mining Camp Restaurant prides itself on the tradition of good food and warm service. Specializing in family-style dinners, Mining Camp Restaurant has a fixed price menu for its immense platters. Choose from barbecue ribs, roast chicken, or oven-baked ham with all the traditional fixins’, including sourdough rolls, raisin bread, baked beans, coleslaw and roast potatoes. Mining Camp Restaurant also has regular live shows featuring local talent, which you can watch while you eat. It is the ideal place to see some proper thigh-slapping cowboy music.
To taste the real spirit of the region, there’s no place better than Cowboys Up Steak House and Saloon. This vibrant sports bar and restaurant showcases a range of events for you to really experience the soul of the West. Sample one of Cowboys Up’s filling salads — grilled chicken apple, salmon, or quintessential caesar — or big-eat dishes such as grilled catfish, pan-fried pork with Creole marmalade, or a classic Western cheeseburger. Cowboys Up also hosts regular entertainment evenings, with live music every Friday night, and karaoke on Tuesday. You can also put your card skills to the test with poker nights, and get bopping country-style with Cowboys Up line dancing lessons.
Serving ‘pizza, pasta, fish and more,’ Scuttlebutts is an Apache Junction favorite. From its beginnings in 1977 in upstate New York, this family-operated pizzeria specializes in wholesome, original recipe meals. On a mission to make only the best pizzas with the finest ingredients, Scuttlebutts has plenty of customers who agree. When it comes to pizza, the menu is both varied and original. Choose from New York or Chicago-style pies with a plethora of toppings, as well as calzones and strombolis. Other highlights include the variety of fish dishes, including a deluxe lobster and crab version of a clam chowder, freshly made shrimp and crab ravioli, the ‘clam digger’ sandwich, and Scuttlebutts’ own calamari.
A family business through and through, Barleens Arizona Opry was founded in 1987 and incorporates 22 members of the Barleens clan. This entertainment hub showcases the real talent of the region, including country, blues, rock and tribute musicians, comedians, and variety performers. During matinee or evening performances, have a bite to eat in the relaxed but vibrant setting. The menu is comprised of hearty dishes such as slow-cooked roast beef with creamy Yukon gold mashed potatoes or grilled chicken breast with savory wild rice. Finish your feast with the signature Opry Chocolate Cake. Also, don’t be surprised if a member of the band brings you your drink — the team loves to get to know their patrons.
Widely known as the best breakfast in town, fans of Hacker’s Grill rave about its low-key, family atmosphere. Customers don’t hesitate to give this diner-style gem five stars for its great service and winning plates. Serving up enormous portions with a smile, Hacker’s doesn’t disappoint brunch fans. Strawberry crepes, a wide variety of omelets, homemade English muffins, bacon and raisin toast, and a selection of breakfast specials all make an appearance on the menu. While it may be a little off the beaten track, you’ll be glad you hunted for it. Hacker’s delivers comfort in every sense of the word.
Situated at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Filly’s Roadhouse is the perfect place to indulge in ‘a little eatin’, a little drinkin’, a little dancin’.’ This roadhouse bar and restaurant brings back the spirit of the Old West to modern-day Arizona, with customers returning time and time again for the fun-time atmosphere. You’ll find some genuine cowboys and cowgirls saddling up their horses before taking to the bar and outdoor dance area. The menu includes favorites such as hot chicken wings, traditional bowls of chili, barbecue-glazed ribs, and burgers with all the trimmings. Filly’s is ideal for a real taste of local flavor, both on the plate and on the dance floor.
Fans of Chinese cuisine confirm that Lotus Garden Chinese is the real deal. The exotic, flavorsome dishes and reasonable prices transform first-time customers into regular diners. Aside from your regular Chinese favorites, the Lotus Garden specials are not to be missed. Scallops with snow peas, sweet and sour combination, and sizzling black pepper steak are just some of the must-tries. The lunch menu is particularly noted for its value for money. Choose from tasty bites such as Kung Pao chicken, shrimp with lobster sauce, Mongolian beef and orange tofu, along with a soup, spring roll and rice on the side, starting from under six dollars.