Mesa, AZ is known for its views of the Superstition Mountains, its desert landscape, and, as with all Arizona cities, its sometimes insufferable heat. Whether you need an air-conditioned reprieve from the heat or you just want some good food, there are so many amazing restaurants in Downtown Mesa to choose from. Here are some of our favorites, and, arguably, some of the best restaurants in Downtown Mesa.
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Say yes to sausage, schnitzel, and German beer.
4815 E Main St | Downtown | zurkate.com
With such a diverse culture in Mesa, it’s no surprise a restaurant with cuisine all the way from Germany has made its way to the top of our list. Günther and Irene Krause owned and operated the original “Zur Kate” in Hamburg Germany for 16 years before relocating to Mesa and opening what we know today as “Zur Kate German Restaurant.”
Choose your preferred sausage, schnitzel, or other German specialty from a small menu. We recommend the Currywurst, a bratwurst covered in their house curry sauce.
Prices are also super affordable, with sausages ranging around $10 and schnitzels at $14.
Rest assured, whatever you get to eat, there will be lots of German beer to choose from to wash it down with.
“OMG!! This place is delicious. Prices are very reasonable; service was great and staff were friendly. We had the Wiener, the Jaeger and the Rahm, all were very tasty!! I highly recommend giving it a try!” - Yelp Review
Mexican food takes on America’s fast-paced lifestyle.
263 W University Dr | Downtown | alibertos.com
Merging the food of Old Mexico with America’s fast-paced lifestyle, Aliberto’s is one of the first Mexican eateries with a drive through for customers on the go. Whether you just want to grab a beef burrito or you want hot, tasty fajitas but have no time to sit down at a Mexican restaurant, Aliberto’s is just the place for you.
Their menu covers all of the bases, from breakfast to tacos to side orders of chips and guac. It even has a kids menu with a quesadilla and a bean and cheese burrito as well as American favorites like chicken nuggets and a hamburger in case your kid is a picky eater.
The food is not only convenient, it’s also excellent and satisfies one’s taste for the traditional fare of Old Mexico.
“It's fast, it's easy, I stop by when I won't have much time to eat during the day. They give you enough food to fill you for breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner which makes it great for a busy girl. The people are good, honest, and
quick.” - Yelp Review
American food and drink with a Mediterranean influence.
270 W Main St | Downtown | ilvinaio.net
“Il Vinaio” translates to “the Wine Merchant,” so you can guarantee you will have an excellent selection of boutique wine (as well as craft beer) at this elegant yet casual wine bar and restaurant.
Open for all three meals, you will find American home-style breakfasts and lunches featuring local, freshly baked artisan breads, homemade soups, and locally grown organic produce, as well as dinners with Mediterranean influences created by their Executive Chef to pair well with their boutique wines and craft beers.
Begin with the Share Platter, your choice of three meats and cheeses with toasted crostini, fruit, olives, and nuts, and move on to the Linguine Bolognese, house marinara and a half pound of ground angus sirloin topped with fresh parmesan.
They even have a gluten-free menu as well as vegan and vegetarian options (check out the Vegan Burger)!
“Il Vinaio is a unique restaurant, specializing in wine pairings. They introduced me to an antelope burger - yes, antelope - if you are a carnivore, you must try an antelope burger from il Vinaio in Mesa!” - Yelp Review
The best homemade Mexican food north of the Rio Grande.
44 W Main St | Downtown | mangosmexicancafe.com
Decorated with bright colors, this Mexican eatery is a fun, casual place serving Mexican food that is arguably the best homemade Mexican food north of the Rio Grande.
Choose from a menu of tacos, tortas, chimichangas, and more Mexican favorites. We recommend starting off with the classic chips and salsa, and then ordering any of the combos as they are served with rice and beans.
Who says you have to wait to enjoy Mexican food until dinner? Here you can also find breakfast platos like Huevos Rancheros and a Breakfast Burrito with chorizo.
“Great service, great food, nice atmosphere, nice people, reasonable prices, great selection, great view of the street and patio out front, clean, bright, colorful. What more can I say? I will be back!” - Yelp Review
Voted best Thai restaurant in Mesa by the Phoenix New Times.
17 W Main St | Downtown | nunthapornthai.com
Nunthaporn Thai Cuisine serves traditional Thai food, and was even voted best Thai restaurant in Mesa by the Phoenix New Times back in 2014.
They offer four levels of heat: mild, medium, spicy, and Thai spicy. However, there are also many options for those who would rather not try anything they may consider too spicy.
Pad Thai and Pad See-Ew are popular favorites, but Basil Fried Rice, stir-fried rice with your choice of meat, fresh chili, garlic, yellow onion, carrot, bamboo shoot, green bean, white mushroom, baby-corn and basil leaves, or Evil Jungle Princess, sautéed your choice of sliced meat with galangal root, lemon grass, lime leave, yellow onion, and mushroom in coconut milk, seasoned with spicy lime sauce and sweet soybean chili paste, served on top of finely sliced cabbage, are great menu options if you want to branch out.
“This has to be the absolute best Thai food I have eaten in Mesa. No flavor overshadowed any other. I had Drunken Noodles and my husband had Thai Fried Rice. Service was impeccable. We can't wait to go back!” - Yelp Review
Arizona’s largest selection of South American-style empanadas.
204 E 1st Ave | Downtown | republicaempanada.com
Behold Arizona’s largest selection of South American-style empanadas. Their empanadas, as well as their other dishes, represent the different regions and tastes of Latin American food.
You have to begin with the Yuca Frita, cassava fries served with cilantro jalapeno ranch. From there you can dive into their extensive empanada selection. You can get whatever your heart desires, from plain cheese to Mushroom Chicken stuffed with chicken, sautéed mushrooms, and kalamata olives.
For dessert, be sure to get one of their sweet empanadas like the Dizzy Fig, stuffed with local Mesa grown figs, mozzarella, and South American style dulce de leche, or the Ruiz’s Pieces filled with nutella and peanut butter.
“The food was good. I went with cheeseburger, cubana, chicken and pbj. I enjoyed all of them but I'm a sucker for warm peanut butter. The sweet one was my favorite. We'll be returning for sure.” - Yelp Review
Family-friendly taproom and restaurant.
12 W Main St | Downtown | 12westbrewing.com
This place is your best bet for a family-friendly dining experience in Downtown Mesa. Your dogs are even welcome on their outdoor patio, so there’s no excuse not to get out of the house!
Enjoy a pint, a flight, or a crowler, and of course, some good bar food. We recommend the Bretzel, Frontside Fries, and Cauliflower Wings.
Whether you come straight after work for happy hour Tuesday-Friday 3pm - 6pm or for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am - 3pm, you are sure to enjoy some good food and a good time.
Be sure to check out their Daily Specials on their website!
“This place is great! They had live music when we went on Friday evening. It was busy and very loud, but enjoyable. I got the Saturn Cocktail and the Brombucha. Both were very good!” - Yelp Review
Authentic Mexican food in the heart of Mesa, AZ.
Mr. Pancho Mexican Food serves authentic Mexican food in the heart of Mesa, AZ. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can get your fix for authentic Mexican food no matter the time of day
Their most popular dishes are Milanesa, Bistec Ranchero, Enchilada Dinner, and Carne Asada Tacos, but their menu boasts much, much more.
Be sure to check out their daily specials. Right now Thursday’s special is Chicken Mole and Friday’s is Chile Relleno.
“Great addition to the area! I tried the chicken mole special today, delicious and for seven dollars a great value! It looks like I will be a regular here, highly recommend!” - Yelp Review
Yummy Venezuelan cuisine.
142 W Main St | Downtown | quechevereaz.com
When owners and operators Maria Fernanda and Orvid Cutler met and Maria first shared her Venezuelan cuisine with Orvid, he knew they needed to share this food with the public. Thus, the Que Chevere food truck and restaurant were born.
This restaurant and food truck serves yummy Venezuelan cuisine such as arepas, empanadas, cachapas, juices, malta polar, and more.
On their menu, you will find a variety of arepas to choose from (even a Vegan Arepa!), as well as three different kinds of empanadas. You will also find other traditional dishes and desserts, and even a small kids menu with choices of Sweet Plantains, a Cheeseburger, or White Rice and Black Beans.
“This place is super legit delicious. The food is fantastic. I ordered take away and left with four empanadas and a handful of the tequenos (fried cheese sticks) for the kids. The fam and I will be visiting again.” - Yelp Review