A heavy lunch or dinner during the summer can leave you feeling bloated, heavy, and gross. Keep your meals light and stay cool at one of these eight Chandler restaurants.
1909 E. Ray Rd., Chandler, AZ 85225
Phone: (480) 805-6661
Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The first authentic Japanese ramen noodle bar in the East Valley simmers its broth for more than 20 hours, then adds fresh ramen made in-house using a machine imported from Japan. The result? A light, flavorful bowl of noodle goodness. Choose from six varieties ranging from traditional Tonkotsu to the house special, featuring thick, black noodles and nori (dried seaweed). Bowls start at $9.45 and top out at $11.95, so options are easy on the wallet, too. Not into ramen? Nishikawa Ramen also serves small plates, including gyoza (pan-friend dumplings) and deep-fried tofu.
4959 W. Ray Rd., Chandler, AZ 85226
Phone: (480) 961-5100
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
When you want a light, weekday lunch, look no further than Café Cornucopia. The popular lunch spot prepares fresh soup, quiche, salads, and sandwiches daily along with fresh-squeezed lemonade (the tangerine lemonade is to die for!). If an entire sandwich seems like too much, opt for a half sandwich paired with your choice of soup or salad. Expect to pay under $10 for your lunch unless you opt for the slightly more expensive sandwich combo ($10.95) or quiche ($11.95).
2955 W. Ray Rd., Chandler, AZ 85224
Phone: (480) 821-9447
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Yes, Whole Foods is a grocery store, but this Chandler location isn’t your typical supermarket. Create your own salad at the extensive salad bar, pick up a sandwich or sushi, or ladle a cup of soup to go. You can even select a fish and have it grilled while you wait. If someone in your party wants something more substantial, a hot food bar offers heartier options. Still not impressed? After you grab your food, head to the Watering Hole, located inside Whole Foods, where you can order one of 31 beers on tap, wine on tap, or wine by the glass. Grab a table and people watch while you eat.
Original ChopShop Co.
35 W. Boston St., Chandler, AZ 85225
Phone: (480) 426-0216
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Light and healthy go hand-in-hand at the Original ChopShop Co.. Start the morning off with parfait, acai bowl, protein shake, or fresh-pressed juice, then come back at lunch or dinner for salads, sandwiches, and protein bowls. If you have food allergies, a chart is available at the counter where you order specifying gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, peanut-free, lactose-free, and soy-free menu options. Most items are under $10.
2051 W. Warner Rd., Ste., Chandler, AZ 85224
Phone: (480) 899-7191
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Lunch daily 11:30 to 2 p.m.
This Japanese restaurant has two components: a full sushi bar where you can order sushi, sashimi, and rolls and a dining area that serves full meals. When it heats up outside, seek refuge at the sushi bar. Most items on the menu are under $10, but some sashimis and rolls are a little more expensive. Yakisoba (pan-fried noodles), salads such as daikon radish, udon noodle soup, and small dishes like gyoza dumplings and tempura are all reasonably-priced, too. If you’re in the mood, Shimogamo has an impressive sake list and serves beer and wine.
3305 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226
Phone: (602) 283-7006
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Closed Sunday)
It may be a chain restaurant, but Café Zupas uses only quality ingredients in the chef-crafted recipes prepared fresh onsite every day. No soups or sauces from a bag here! Choose from salads like strawberry harvest chicken, kale and quinoa, Maui tropical chicken, or Asian citrus chicken on hot summer days. Or, order a bowl of Yucatan chicken tortilla or roasted veggie and quinoa soup. There’s also cream-based soups like New England clam chowder and wild mushroom bisque, if those aren’t too heavy for you, and sandwiches like BBQ pulled pork and Cuban grilled pork.
6140 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226
Phone: (480) 785-1000
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
You can make a meal as light as you want at Fresh Millions, a casual restaurant that serves made-to-order, healthy meals. Step one is to pick a protein and a sauce, which ranges from basil pesto to Alfredo, and then add four mix-ins from a list that includes tofu, broccoli, and apples. The staff sautés your choices while you wait and pours it over your choice of noodles, rice, pasta, spinach, or romaine. If that seems too heavy, you can also “design your own” salad or order a gourmet salad. Most offerings range from $6 to $8.
Pho Viet Nam
393 W. Warner Rd., Chandler, AZ 85225
Phone: (480) 855-0300
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Craving Chinese but don’t want anything fried or sticky sweet? Try Vietnamese instead, and replace egg rolls with their lighter cousin, the spring roll, and dishes like sweet and sour chicken with stir-fry noodles and pho, a beef noodle soup. Chandler has several Vietnamese restaurants, but Pho Viet Nam consistently ranks among the best and has an extensive pho menu. And, the best part? A bowl of pho is under $10.