Tacos to Korean fried chicken: 17 new restaurants, bars and coffee shops open in Chandler

·6 min read

The already booming Asian food scene in Chandler and the East Valley is only getting bigger.

A couple new boba shops have opened, offering extensive milk tea and fruity drink selections. 99 Ranch Market opened last year, anchoring a shopping plaza with two new dining spots, a sushi joint serving plates by the conveyor belt, a Taiwanese desserts shop and a Chinese hot pot restaurant.

Elsewhere in Chandler you'll find Chicago deep dish pizza and plenty of tacos.

Whether you live in the neighborhood or are coming from another part of the Valley, there's no shortage of new restaurants, bars and cafes to check out in Chandler. Here's your guide.

So good: You'll only find real shawarma at this family-run Iraqi restaurant in Chandler

Bap and Chicken

Bap (or bob/bop) means cooked rice or rice meal in Korean and it's having a bit of a fast food moment in metro Phoenix. The latest arrival, Bap and Chicken, is located near the southwest corner of 54th Street and Ray Road in Chandler. Along with rice bowls, the restaurant offers Korean fried chicken and corn dogs on Thursdays.

Details: 960 N. 54th St., Chandler. 480-306-3324, bapandchicken.com.

First bite: Come for the kimchi burger, stay for the Korean fried chicken

Meet Fresh

This popular Taiwanese dessert shop opened in the same shopping center as 99 Ranch Market. The shop specializes in bowls of grass jelly, taro balls, boba and other toppings served as a dessert soup or over shaved ice or purple rice.

Details: 1900 W. Chandler Blvd., #26, Chandler. 480-597-8088, meetfresh.us.

Romey’s Sandwich Bar

Located in the former building of Wild Elk Den, this sandwich shop offers a variety of grab-and-go sandwiches and salads.

Details: 275 W. Warner Road, Chandler. 480-597-6056, romeyssandwiches.com.

Tacos Calafia

Vampiro al pastor (left) and vampiro carne asada (right) at Tacos Calafia in Tolleson.
Vampiro al pastor (left) and vampiro carne asada (right) at Tacos Calafia in Tolleson.

This former taco truck has expanded from the West Valley across the metro area, offering Tijuana-style tacos, vampiros and mulitas. Former Arizona Republic dining critic Dominic Armato was a fan of the al pastor, "sizzled to a charred crisp with a potent marinade and a light cinnamon scent." The new Ahwatukee shop is located in the plaza near the southwest side of I-10 and Chandler Boulevard.

Details: 4909 E. Chandler Blvd., #511, Phoenix. tacoscalafia.com.

K-38 Beach Mex Cantina

You can find shrimp borrachos, green chile queso, mango micheladas and a variety of margaritas at this new Baja California-inspired restaurant in south Chandler. The cantina is named after the surf breaks found at Kilometer 38 of Baja Highway 1.

Details: 1155 W. Ocotillo Road, #1, Chandler. 480-758-4536, k-38beachmexcantina.com.

Ziggi's Coffee

This drive-thru chain from Colorado offers classic cappuccinos, cold brews and café au lait, as well as flavored coffee drinks like Turtle Mocha and Raspberry Truffle. The coffee shop also serves smoothies, Red Bull infusions and scones.

Details: 4044 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler. ziggiscoffee.com.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill

This Utah-based restaurant chain opened two more locations in metro Phoenix. Popular menu items include the enchilada-style sweet pork burrito and fire-grilled chicken salad with creamy tomatillo dressing.

Details: 19550 W. Indian School Road, Buckeye. Also at 1010 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. caferio.com.

ChongQing Chicken Pot

These spicy, build-your-own hot pots come with a variety of ingredients to customize your order, including rice balls in sweet rice wine, crab sticks, bean curd and sliced lamb. Look for this restaurant in the 99 Ranch Market shopping center.

Details: 1926 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. 52chickenpot.com.

Lou Malnati's

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria serves classic Chicago deep-dish pies.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria serves classic Chicago deep-dish pies.

Chandler is now home to one of the many chains from the Midwest that Arizonans can't get enough of — Chicago-style pizza at Lou Malnati's. The deep-dish pies are known for their buttery crusts.

Details: 2815 S. Alma School Road, Suite 15, Chandler. 480-561-5350, loumalnatis.com.

Mountain Mike's Pizza

This California pizza chain brings massive pizzas made with handmade dough, bone-in wings, garlic bread, salads, mozzarella sticks and a selection of beer and wine to Chandler. The restaurant is known for its crispy, curly pepperoni.

Details: 800 N. 54th St., Suite 5, Chandler. 480-550-8141, mountainmikespizza.com.

Whataburger

This Texas fast-food chain has expanded with a new East Valley location. Popular menu items include the chicken tenders meal with fries, Texas toast and gravy, as well as the honey butter chicken biscuit served during breakfast hours.

Details: 3077 E. Queen Creek Road, Chandler. whataburger.com.

Tea Fresho

A taro milk tea with boba from Tea Fresho in Gilbert.
A taro milk tea with boba from Tea Fresho in Gilbert.

Another Gilbert boba shop that's ventured into Chandler, Tea Fresho offers both bubble tea and coffee. Try the peach oolong tea with cream cheese topping or, for something creamier, the ube taro cream brulee.

Details: 6140 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. facebook.com/teafresho.brew.

How to order like a pro: A guide to the best boba tea shop in metro Phoenix

Boba Cutea

This Gilbert boba tea shop opened a second location in Chandler. The shop offers an extensive drink menu that can be customized by amount of ice, sugar, as well as choice of toppings and milk substitutes. Gelato with boba is also on the menu.

Details: 3400 W. Chandler Blvd., Suite 3, Chandler. 480-306-6847, bobacutea.com.

Chino-Mex

This south Phoenix fusion restaurant opened a second location in Chandler. The menu features a mix of American Chinese and Mexican foods. The quesabirrias and birria ramen are popular choices.

Details: 6140 W. Chandler Blvd., Suite 2, Chandler. 480-690-1010, chino-mex.com.

Patent 139 Brewing Co.

Patent 139 was started by Tim Hass, the great grandchild of Rudolf Gustav Hass, who patented the Hass variety of avocado, per the brewpub's website. While the family did not renew the patent, Hass avocados are featured on several menu items.

Details: 1949 W. Ray Road, No. 11, Chandler. 480-597-7138, patent139brewingco.com.

Recreo

Sliders are on the menu at Recreo, a schoolyard-themed bar in downtown Chandler.
Sliders are on the menu at Recreo, a schoolyard-themed bar in downtown Chandler.

Located in downtown Chandler, Recreo is the bar for adults who want to be kids again. The space has a schoolyard theme, decorated with a swing set and bus art installation. Drinks include The After-School Special (a white wine spritzer) and frozen Yolo Whip.

Details: 28 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler. 480-909-6467, recreoaz.com.

Kura Revolving Sushi

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar opened its first Arizona restaurants in late 2021, with locations in Phoenix and Chandler.
Kura Revolving Sushi Bar opened its first Arizona restaurants in late 2021, with locations in Phoenix and Chandler.

The newest conveyor belt sushi restaurant in town opened to long lines. With sushi priced at $3.10 per plate, people can grab from the belt or order from a touchpad.

Details: 1928 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. 520-479-2707, kurasushi.com.

First bite: I tried Kura, the revolving sushi bar you keep seeing on Instagram

Follow the reporter Priscilla Totiyapungprasert @priscillatotiya on Twitter and Instagram.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 17 new restaurants to try now in Chandler