When in Chandler, do as the locals do and feast on the city’s must-have eats. From tacos drowned in a savory broth, to pizza toppings stuffed in a muffin, Chandler is home to some of the most creative and unique dishes in Arizona. If you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons, stop by these local restaurants and indulge in their signature creations.
Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta
It’s only natural that a Chandler landmark like Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta would have an iconic dish. Open since 1996, this family-owned and -operated pizzeria offers traditional pizzas and pastas. But for something truly unique, try their famous pizza muffins, doughy pockets of cheese-filled love. Selections include the original style stuffed with ham, ground beef and sausage; barbecue chicken filled with chicken breast, bacon and onions; and the gourmet white, featuring Floridino’s secret white sauce, a blend of herbs and tomatoes. Or try the staff favorite: the spicy chicken wing muffins.
Map: 590 N. Alma School Road, Chandler 85224 or by phone (480) 812-8433
Chodang Tofu & BBQ
A true hidden gem north of downtown Chandler, Chodang is where you go for authentic Korean cuisine. The menu features a vast array of barbecued meats, steaming bowls of bibimbap, dumplings and cold noodles. But if you want to try a true taste of Korea, have the soft tofu soup. The dish begins with a hot earthen bowl filled with a bubbling spicy red broth and filled with silken tofu and scallions. From there, add an assortment of extras, including seafood, beef, kimchi, dumplings, bean paste or fish roe.
Map: 501 N. Arizona Av., Chandler 85225 or by phone (480) 855-7712
Strips and Cones, Elmer’s Tacos
While these may sound like things you wouldn’t think to eat, at Elmer’s Tacos, they’re what puts this popular taco spot on the must-eat list. Armed with his mother’s Sonoran-style recipes, Elmer Cuen opened his namesake restaurant in 1974 and continues to dish out tasty tacos, from chicken, beef and potato served in a crisped shell.
But for something fun and different, try the strips. Freshly made with corn tortilla chips, it’s topped with shredded cheese and Elmer’s famous sauce (get it with a side of beans for a well-rounded meal). Elmer’s is also known for its chili cone, a tortilla fried in the shape of a cone and filled with mild red chili, spicy green chili or machaca. Fill it with your choice of bean and cheese, red beef, machaca beef or chicken, or green chile beef or chicken.
Map: 355 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 963-6763
Bean Dip, Serrano’s
With roots in the city that span more than 100 years, Serrano’s is synonymous with downtown Chandler, where the family opened the Serrano Brothers Popular store in 1919.
While the restaurant is known for its homemade authentic Mexican food, Serrano’s is also famous for its free warm bean dip, which is served alongside chips and salsa with every meal. The family developed the dish and first served it in the early 1980s and four decades later, it remains a must-have. Creamy and delicious, it goes best with a side of crunchy tortilla chips. A meal at Serrano’s would be incomplete without it.
Map: 141 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 899-3318
Mighty Superstition, Chase’s Diner
If you’re of the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Chase’s Diner is the place for you. If you’re also of the notion that bigger is better, you’re guaranteed you’ve definitely come to the right spot.
Dubbed the Mighty Superstition, this breakfast icon is essentially a giant buttermilk pancake (big enough to feed four) that you can almost hear groan under the weight of hash browns, sausage gravy, bacon and cheddar cheese. Come with an appetite because this delicious behemoth of a meal means serious business!
Map: 2040 N. Alma School Road, Chandler AZ 85224 or (480) 855-3663
Smoked Egg Salad Sandwich, American Way Smokehouse
For a true taste of nostalgia, American Way Smokehouse will satisfy any craving you may have for food prepared with premium ingredients the old-fashioned way. The farm-to-table smokehouse, bakery and café, offers everything from handcrafted salads to ribs smoked daily.
But it’s the restaurant’s famed smokehouse sandwiches that will have you coming back for more. While there are 14 delicious sandwiches on the menu, the must-try is the smoked egg salad sandwich. Made with hard-boiled eggs that are smoked then mixed with celery and red onion, it’s served with spring mix on artisan white bread. Wash it down with vintage soda—there are more than 150 flavors to choose from—and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the heart of small-town America.
Map: 1509 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 772-1877