By Sally J. Clasen
All the neckties and joke books you’ve bought dad for Father’s Day are priceless and cherished. But maybe this year it’s time to switch up the gift-giving. Honor the patriarch of the family by treating him to lunch or dinner at one of many unique restaurants in Chandler or from our Visit Chandler Instagram Pizza Guide. Spend Father's Day in Chandler with our list of dining ideas to suit every dad’s taste.
Ghett Yo Taco
Located in Downtown Chandler, Ghett Yo Taco is the perfect place for the dad who has an appetite for tacos without the dining pretense. The fast-casual urban taqueria specializes in street-style tacos, including carne asada and el pastor served on corn tortillas, as well as sliders and all-day burritos in a colorful setting. You also can enjoy a selection of beer and wine, and challenge the big man to dominoes and corn hole on the spacious patio.
Map: 241 S. Oregon St., Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 726-9654
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
Pops might not be a shopper but he’ll appreciate the consumer choices at the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill, located next to Chandler Fashion Center shopping mall. The modern pub serves a full lineup of eclectic scratch recipes and craft cocktails with multi-cultural “bar” food such as bacon-wrapped BBG prawns and spicy fried cauliflower appetizers, sandwiches, burgers and kitchen specialties, including Tuscan Romano chicken and braised pork belly ramen.
Map: 3077 W. Frye Rd., Chandler AZ 85226 or (480) 786-5799
The down-home inspiration behind Backyard Taco in east Chandler—which draws on the owners Mazatlan, Mexico-derived origins to produce simple, yet fresh street tacos—is dad-worthy. Voted Best Taco by the East Valley Tribune six years running, the corn tortillas are filled with slow, marinated grilled carne asada steak, chicken, birria (shredded beef), or pork al pastor seasoned with authentic spices and flavors. The menu also has stuffed quesadillas, burritos, and the crispy Crazy Potato (papa loca), fluffy on the inside and topped with seasoned meats or veggies.
Map: 2400 S Gilbert Rd, Chandler AZ 85286 or (480) 809-6482
American Way Market Cafe
Just like dad, American Way Market Cafe in Uptown Chandler is a comforting classic that reminds you of simpler times. Situated in the Merchant Square Antique Marketplace, the menu focuses on locally grown produce, home-smoked meats and dairy, and homemade bread for its barbecue-themed lineup that includes pulled pork, brisket, and kielbasa sandwiches, handcrafted soups and salads, pastries, and smoked meats sold by the pound. And don’t forget to grab a six-pack of vintage soda on your way out.
Map: 1509 N Arizona Ave, Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 772-1877
What better place to celebrate dad on Father’s Day then with a visit to locally-owned Forefathers in Ocotillo, which pays homage to our country’s founding fathers with a nod to Philly cheesesteaks—any way your dad wants them. The counter menu features a pick-your-protein category of beef or chicken topped with choice of cheese, veggies, and sauces and sides such as cheese or sweet potato fries. And, yes, Cheese Whiz is a Forefathers option. Dad also can order chopped romaine or kale salad and top it with steak, BBQ chicken or Buffalo chicken.
Map: 1075 W. Queen Creek Rd., Chandler AZ 85248 or (480) 662-2123
Ginger Monkey Gastropub
All dad needs to know is Ginger Monkey Gastropub in south Chandler is an upscale sports bar that puts a twist on classic American food—tie optional. The inventive fare covers all bases with soups and salads, shareables such as Ginger Monkey wings, twisted spareribs, burgers and sliders, and entrees including shrimp and grits. And don’t forget to share the joint offers more than 30 beers on tap and a deep roster of wines with indoor/outdoor seating and live music.
Map: 135 W. Ocotillo Road, Chandler 85248 or (480) 802-6659
If your papa is more of a surf and turf dude, consider Smokin Fins in west Chandler, where the ocean meets the land in a menu that features fresh seafood catches and salmon-grade sushi along with house smoked meats. Influenced by Asian, Mexican and Northwest flavors, diners can enjoy items like key lime aioli calamari, Fin’s famous fish and chips, baked lobster mac and cheese, premium ribeye steak, cedar plank Skuna salmon, and a weekend brunch menu that includes steak and eggs and bottomless mimosas.
Map: 900 N 54th St Suite 1, Chandler AZ 85226 or (480) 508-5971