Chandler’s 300-plus sunny days provide plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore. Make a day of it of the next time you’re looking for fun in the sun by picking up a meal to go. That way, you won’t have to interrupt your adventures to forage for food
These five eateries offer to-go options, and in case you don’t already have a destination in mind, we’ve included suggestions for where to spend your sunny day.
Carlo & Emilie’s Gourmet Deli
2040 S. Alma School Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85286
This authentic Italian deli serves hearty hot and cold sandwiches on fresh bread, salads, and pasta dishes to go. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, try the hot pastrami or the #9, made with sopressata, capocollo, and asiago cheese, and unless you’re starving, take advantage of the half-sandwich option. Half of a sandwich is more than enough for most people, especially when paired with a cup of the soup of the day. All sandwiches come with a side of homemade, to-die-for potato chips.
Go to Tumbleweed Park: Carlo & Emilie’s Gourmet Deli has a shaded patio, but for a day of fun in the sun, take your sandwiches (or salad and pasta) to Tumbleweed Park. Chandler’s largest park has 14 covered ramadas with picnic tables and a 2.5-acre playground, and it’s just around the corner from the Arizona Railway Museum.
Eat Fit Go
4050 S. Alma School Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
For a lighter and healthier meal, check out Eat Fit Go. The concept is a little different: you chose from breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options stocked in the built-in refrigerators and either eat it there (after heating your meal in the onsite microwaves) or take it to go. All meals are low calorie, low sodium, high protein, and allergy-friendly, so whatever you chose—from a breakfast burrito to a salad topped with berries—will provide the perfect fuel for your day.
Go to Paseo Vista Recreation Area: This 60-acre recreation area has covered picnic tables, a dog park, playground equipment, archery range, and disc golf course. Walk off your lunch by taking the path down to the Paseo Trail along the canal. The trail stretches two miles south (to the left) or 4.5 north (to the right).
AJ’s Fine Foods
7131 W. Ray Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85226
The Shoppes at Casa Paloma location of this gourmet supermarket has a fresh salad bar, deli, pizza oven, sushi bar, and bakery. Several options, such as the sushi and some baked goods, are pre-packaged and ready to go; others need to be ordered at the counter. (Call at least 30-minutes ahead if you want a pizza.) AJ’s Fine Foods also has a good selection of cheese, Italian meats, and bread if you want to put together your own charcuterie to go.
One of the perks of getting your food to go from AJ’s Fine Foods: You can purchase a bottle (or can) of your favorite craft beer or a split of wine to accompany your meal. AJ’s Fine Foods has a second Chandler location at 1192 S. Bridger Drive.
Go to South Mountain Park: At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the world. Enjoy your breakfast, lunch, or dinner at one of more than 70 covered picnic tables and then hit the 51 miles of trails in the park. Or, learn about plants, animals, natural history, and conversation of the Sonoran Desert at the park’s South Mountain Environmental Education Center.
250 S. Arizona Ave.
Chandler, AZ 85225
When founders Brandon Fisher and Darron Moffatt couldn’t find fresh, healthy meals near their offices, they came up with the idea for Crisp Greens, a fast casual restaurant serving salads, wraps, paninis, juices, and smoothies. True to their original concept, all of the produce—most of which is locally or, at least, regionally sourced—is chopped, sliced, and diced fresh daily, and all dressing are made from scratch. Try the crisp Cobb as either a salad or a wrap for a tasty meal on the go.
Go to Dr. A.J. Chandler Park: Crisp Greens is located a short walk from the heart of the city, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, so place your order to go and head north to claim a spot on one of the benches there. After you’ve finished your meal, shop at the unique stores along the square, including gift store Sibley’s West and Saba’s Western Wear, or spend the afternoon browsing the 200-piece collection at Vision Gallery across the street on Arizona Avenue.
GRAZ Kitchen Fresh
1005 S. Arizona Ave.
Chandler, AZ 85286
GRAZ Kitchen Fresh is another great option for healthy meals on the go. In the morning, grab a breakfast sandwich, fresh baked pastry, or yogurt parfait; for lunch, choose from salads, sandwiches, or grilled cheese. Offerings from the juice bar include made-to-order carrot juice and juice blends such as the Green Machine (cucumber, kale, lime, mint, and apple) and The Bounty (carrot, beet, apple, kale, and ginger). All menu items are simply prepared using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Go to Veterans Oasis Park. GRAZ Kitchen Fresh is close to several parks, including Tumbleweed Park and Paseo Vista Recreation Area, but the nearby Veteran Oasis Park has a lake for fishing, butterfly and hummingbird habitats, waterfall, and 4.5 miles of trail, including a solar system walk with signs representing the sun, planets, and other cosmic entities.
Coming soon: This summer, Salad & Go will open a Chandler location at Kyrene Road and Chandler Blvd., where you’ll be able to order salads and wraps in combinations ranging from traditional Cobb to roasted sweet potato and strawberry. From there, you’re a short drive to South Mountain Park.