10 Best Restaurants In Fontana, California
Fontana | © Ted Eytan/Flickr
Fontana is a city of over 200,000 residents in the San Bernardino
County of California, part of the Inland Empire region. The city’s attractions include a renovated historic theater, a municipal park, and the Auto Club Speedway. In terms of dining in Fontana
, the city has a diverse selection of exotic tastes to offer, all set in comfortable family-run settings.
Sundowners Family Restaurant
Restaurant, American, Seafood, Steakhouse, $$$
As the name suggests, Sundowners
is a family restaurant. The restaurant has two locations with one in San Bernardino
and the other in Fontana on Sierra Avenue. It’s one of the best places in town to head for lunch, as they have over 40 full course lunch specials from which to choose. The prices won’t break your bank, and you’re always guaranteed to get the best value for your money. The dinner menu is surprisingly large and diverse, with dishes ranging from seafood combos to steak and chicken. You’re bound to find something you like no matter what time of day you visit.
Thai Garden BBQ
Restaurant, Bubble Tea Shop, Thai, BBQ
Thai Garden BBQ
was one of the first Thai
restaurants to open on the east side of the Inland Empire. The restaurant on Sierra Avenue is family owned and operated, and the menu is made up of traditional spicy Thai cuisine, inspired by the streets of Bangkok. The owners use a secret recipe for their sticky rice with mango dish as well as for their pad Thai to keep the noodles moist. It’s clear that they take pride in offering the most authentic experience of food from their homeland, so you won’t find any watered down or westernized dishes here. Moving on from the food, the drinks at Thai Garden BBQ almost give enough reason to visit on their own. They serve delicious authentic Thai iced tea with cream on top as well as bubble tea and fruit smoothies, perfect for a hot Californian
Sierra Noodle House
Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Japanese, $$$
If you find yourself craving Asian food in Fontana but are having a hard time choosing exactly which country’s cuisine you want to go for, no need to worry, as Sierra Noodle House
is an excellent option. It’s an Asian fusion restaurant with a little bit from every country, so you’ll be sure to find your favorites on the menu. It’s a great place to try new dishes and get acquainted with the different tastes of Asia
. You’ll find the best of the continent, including Vietnamese pho, Japanese teriyaki chicken, Chinese barbecue pork, and Thai pad Thai.
Pancho Villa’s Mexican Grill & Entertainment
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Pancho Villa’s Mexican Grill
is a family-owned Mexican restaurant with live Mariachi performances. The family owns three restaurants, two of which are in Fontana and one in Victorville, CA
. Their first to open was Fontana’s Cherry Avenue venue in 1988, and Pancho Villa’s is known as the first restaurant to offer live entertainment in the whole of Inland Empire. Their Mariachi group, which consists of 12 musicians, has toured all over the country as well as overseas, and hearing them play live is an experience that’s not to be missed. To fill your stomach, the menu at Pancho’s Villa is built around family recipes, which have been handed down from generation to generation. Each dish, from breakfast to dinnertime, is made fresh with authentic Mexican ingredients.
Mariscos el Paisa
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
With ‘mariscos’ meaning seafood and ‘paisa’ meaning a fellow countryman or pal, Mariscos el Paisa is a seafood stall that has been open with a warm and friendly atmosphere since 1993. The menu includes different dishes with a Mexican
twist made from fresh shrimp, octopus, crab and oysters. Dining at the restaurant is always a relaxed, enjoyable experience, and their open-air atmosphere makes it perfect for lunch out with friends. The owners have a total of three restaurants, with the other two being in Whittier and Lynwood. The restaurant’s slogan says ‘they may not be the best, but that no one is able to match them’; something that a lot of Fontana locals can agree on!
Tio’s Mexican Food
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, American
There are two families behind Tio’s Mexican Food
: the Loera family and the Contreras family. They have a total of four locations, with two in Rancho Cucamonga, one in Riverside, and one in Fontana. As in all of the restaurants, the atmosphere in the Fontana restaurant is warm and welcoming, which reflects their core principles of love of family, culture and homemade food. You’ll find their homeland, Zacatecas, Mexico, featured on the front of the menu as well as artisanal items and photographs, adding to the atmosphere throughout the restaurant. The families’ love for their new adapted home in America shines through the menu, and the dishes are based on Mexican cuisine with an American twist.
Nokki Thai Kitchen
Restaurant, Thai, Ice Cream, $$$
Nokki Thai Kitchen
is a locally owned restaurant serving authentic Thai food. They have weekly specials during lunch hours, so it’s a good option for daytime eating. The dinner menu is also excellent for taking the family out. You’ll discover a menu of traditional dishes, like calamari as an appetizer, soups, noodle dishes like pad Thai, and curry entrées, but there are also a few with a twist, like Thai-style chow mein. The drinks menu is full of exotic and exciting choices, like Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee, fresh coconut juice, and fresh fruit smoothies with delicious options including avocado, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and watermelon. The desserts are also something to try, with options including fried banana, coconut ice cream and coconut jelly.
Restaurant, Salvadorian, $$$
is a Salvadorean
restaurant on Sierra Avenue. With authentic, flavorful recipes and a warm atmosphere, the restaurant has been built on a long family tradition of passing down and perfecting recipes over generations. The menu includes classic El Salvadorean dishes, which are all created from scratch with fresh ingredients. They have great daily specials, which incorporate local, seasonal ingredients, and the drinks menu includes a range of fresh fruit juices. With locations also in Los Angeles, the restaurants have all been family owned and operated for three generations, since the opening of the first in 1979.
La Tapatia Mexican Grill
Though Fontana is full of Mexican restaurants, many locals recommend La Tapatia
, which is a small family-owned and operated Mexican grill on Arrow Boulevard. With friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, the dining experience always feels personal, as if you’re part of the family. This place is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with specials and combination plates served on the daily. Their menu consists of authentic Mexican recipes, and the food is always fresh. As the restaurant is small and very popular, it’s often packed and sometimes there’s even a line out of the door. It might not be the best place if you’re in a hurry, but don’t let that put you off completely because their customers all agree that it’s worth the wait!
Bigg Dane and Beale’s Texas BBQ
To discover a piece of the South in California, head to Bigg Dane and Beale’s Texas BBQ on East Avenue. The restaurant specializes in Texas-style slow-cooked barbecue with Southern sides like corn bread, mac ‘n’ cheese, and peach cobbler. Bigg Dane and Beale’s is the manifestation of two neighbors going after their dreams; the pair enjoyed barbecuing so much that they started cooking for their friends and family, and eventually went on to compete in BBQ competitions in Houston, Texas. The restaurant’s menu has been created, developed and improved from the knowledge and experience they gained in the competitions, so whatever dish you choose, you’ll be getting the best of the best!