Top 12 Best Restaurants in Mesa

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Mesa, located in the east valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is the third largest city in Arizona. This diverse city has a vibrant dining scene with restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines to satisfy every palate. From casual spots serving comfort foods to upscale establishments crafting artistic dishes, Mesa has something for everyone.

RestaurantCuisine/Focus
The Cornish Pasty Co.Handmade pasties with various fillings, British desserts
Café LalibelaAuthentic Ethiopian cuisine
Republica EmpanadaVariety of sweet and savory empanadas
Worth TakeawayGourmet sandwiches and salads
Tortas ChiwasAuthentic Mexican tortas
Barrio Café Gran ReservaFine dining with Southwestern and Mexican influences
Worth Takeaway Ice Cream & CoffeeIce cream, gelato, and coffee
Clever KoiAsian fusion dishes
Orange PatchBreakfast and lunch café with comfort foods
Lolo’s Chicken & WafflesSoul food, chicken, and waffles
La Terraza CaféContemporary Peruvian fare

To help you decide where to eat out in Mesa, we have compiled this list of the top 12 best restaurants in the city based on food quality, service, ambiance and value. Ranging from creative Southwestern fares to authentic ethnic options, these restaurants will give your taste buds a delightful tour of flavors. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure to stop by these must-try dining destinations on your next meal outing in Mesa.

The Cornish Pasty Co.

Name and Location: The Cornish Pasty Co. is located in Tempe, Arizona.

History and Significance: The Cornish Pasty Co. opened in 2005 and is known for serving authentic Cornish pasties made from old family recipes. Their signature dish connects customers to Cornwall’s rich mining history.

What to Expect: Expect freshly baked pasties with crimped crusts filled with seasoned ground beef, potatoes, rutabaga, and onions. They also offer vegetarian options as well as sweet dessert pasties.

Visitor Information: Open 11am-8pm daily. Counter service only. Takeout available.

If you’re looking for a quick, savory bite, head straight to The Cornish Pasty Co. This small local chain serves delightful handmade pasties, which are baked pastries stuffed with meat, vegetables and gravy goodness.

Their perfectly crusted pasties come filled with your choice of ingredients like chicken, steak & ale, chili, and more. Vegetarian options are also available. Every warm, flaky bite packs a wealth of textures and flavors.

In addition to an array of pasty options, The Cornish Pasty Co. also serves delicious British desserts to end your meal on a sweet note. With the welcoming ambiance and friendly service, it makes for a top choice for casual comfort food in Mesa.

Café Lalibela

Name and Location: Café Lalibela is an Ethiopian restaurant located in Tempe, Arizona.

History and Significance: Opened in 2013, Café Lalibela aims to share the unique flavors, culture, and hospitality of Ethiopia with its guests. Their authentic cuisine has developed a significant local following.

What to Expect: Expect a welcoming atmosphere, fragrant stews, and spongy injera bread perfect for scooping up flavorful dishes. Vegetarian options available. Food is meant to be eaten communally.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday through Sunday 5 pm – 9 pm. Takeout available. Cash only. Reservations recommended.

For authentic Ethiopian cuisine made with traditional cooking techniques, Café Lalibela is a great pick. This family-owned restaurant crafts each Ethiopian staple from scratch, ensuring only the most authentic flavors make it to your plate.

You can expect dishes like tender piles of tibs (pan-fried meats), array of vegetarian combo platters, and the signature dish of doro wat – chicken drumsticks simmered in a fragrant berbere spice sauce. In true Ethiopian fashion, every dish is served atop injera, a delightfully spongy flatbread made from teff flour.

The cozy atmosphere filled with ethnic décor further adds to the immersive cultural experience. Café Lalibela brings the rich traditions of Ethiopian cooking to Mesa diners.

Republica Empanada

Name and Location: Republica Empanada is a Latin American eatery located in Mesa, Arizona focusing on empanadas stuffed with creative, made-from-scratch fillings.

History and Significance: Opened in 2010, Republica brought the quintessential Latin American hand pie to the metro Phoenix area with an innovative twist. Their fusion empanadas pave the way for unique local cuisine.

What to Expect: Expect freshly baked empanada pockets bursting with both classic and novel fillings like Korean beef, buffalo chicken, and Nutella. Vegan/vegetarian options always available.

Visitor Information: Open Monday through Saturday 10:30 am – 8 pm. Counter service. Takeout available.

Craving hot, crispy and melty empanadas? Look no further than Republica Empanada. This casual eatery puts a creative spin on the traditional Latin American stuffed pastries with a diverse array of empanada options.

You’ll find both sweet and savory empanadas freshly baked in-house, with fillings like chipotle chicken, Cuban picadillo, Jamaican beef patty, Nutella and more. Empanada platters come with your choice of any four empanadas – perfect for sampling different flavors.

In addition to empanadas, they also dish out tasty starters like yucca fries and desserts. With the laid-back atmosphere and mouthwatering aromas wafting around the rooms, Republica Empanada is a must-visit.

Worth Takeaway

Name and Location: Worth Takeaway is a grab-and-go shop situated in downtown Mesa specializing in fresh, high-quality meals, snacks, and grocery items.

History and Significance: Established in 2015, Worth pioneered the concept of convenient, vitamin-packed to-go fare in Mesa using thoughtful ingredients and ingenious recipes focused on nourishing customers.

What to Expect: Expect a wide selection of made-from-scratch salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, snacks, juices, smoothies, charcuterie, and more with dietary preferences accommodated.

Visitor Information: Open Monday through Friday 7 am – 7 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm. Online ordering available.

For gourmet sandwiches and salads made from scratch daily, Worth Takeaway is a terrific dine-in and takeout spot. All their diverse sandwiches and salads burst with fresh flavors and creativity.

From their hot sandwiches grilled up fresh featuring options like the fan-favorite cubano or chipotle chicken club to signature cold sandwiches stacked high with ingredients between slices of crusty ciabatta, there’s something to satisfy everyone. They also craft wholesome signature salads topped with add-ons like honey sriracha chicken or Southwest steak.

Daily soups, sides and desserts round out your meal. In a relaxed café-style setting, it’s perfect for grabbing a flavorful quick bite or an easy takeout meal.

Tortas Chiwas

Name and Location: Tortas Chiwas is a fast-casual Mexican eatery in Phoenix serving tall, crusty sandwiches loaded with authentic regional fillings.

History and Significance: Founded in 2013, Tortas Chiwas was conceived as an edible “hug for your soul” fusing proprietor Elizabeth Bryant’s passion for travel and Mexican culture into tortas just like she enjoyed abroad.

What to Expect: Expect piping hot pressed sandwiches brimming with marinated meats, melty cheese, avocado, beans, salsa, and more on artisanal rolls baked fresh daily. Vegetarian selections always available.

Visitor Information: Open daily. Order at the counter or online for quick pickup. Delivery also available.

Mexico arrives on a plate at Tortas Chiwas, widely loved for serving up Mesa’s most authentic and delicious tortas. Tortas are a popular Mexican sandwich prepared on artisanal rolls and loaded with your choice of grilled meats, veggies, beans, cheeses and sauces.

Each customizable torta at Tortas Chiwas bursts with genuine Mexican flavors between freshly baked rolls. Carnitas, carne asada, chorizo and more – take your pick of sizzling meats and top it with beans, lettuce, avocado and melted cheeses. With every bite into the perfectly pressed and grilled tortas, you’ll be delighted by flavors as vibrant as Mexico itself.

Barrio Café Gran Reserva

Name and Location: Barrio Café Gran Reserva is Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s acclaimed contemporary Mexican restaurant located in Phoenix, Arizona.

History and Significance: Renowned for elevating regional Mexican gastronomy since 2002, Barrio Café has earned prestigious James Beard awards establishing Esparza as an icon in the industry. The intimate space showcases their dedication to culinary excellence.

What to Expect: Expect a sophisticated take on classic Sonoran cuisine highlighting authentic ingredients and Esparza’s skillful yet soulful interpretations of favorite dishes and libations. Vegetarian menu available.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday through Saturday 5 pm – 10 pm. Reservations recommended as seating is limited. Valet parking available.

For an exceptional fine dining experience infused with Southwestern and Mexican influences, make reservations at Barrio Café Gran Reserva. James Beard award-winning chef Silvana Salcido Esparza heads the kitchen, crafting artistic plates blending unique flavors and upscale techniques.

The tasting menus take you through eight to twelve small plates like esquite bisque crab shoots, Mesquite grilled quail and tequila flan, each intricately plated and bursting with unexpected flavors. Local, seasonal ingredients shine in original combinations influenced by traditional Sonoran cuisine.

From the locally sourced fare to the stylish rustic interior dotted with colorful artwork, Barrio Café Gran Reserva is a premier culinary destination in Mesa.

Worth Takeaway Ice Cream & Coffee

Name and Location: Worth Takeaway Ice Cream & Coffee sits along Main Street in Mesa as an offshoot of the original Worth Takeaway shop, specializing in house-made ice creams and custom coffee drinks.

History and Significance: Open since 2021, the ice cream and coffee bar remains committed to Worth Takeaway’s founding belief of providing high-quality, nutritious fare while also showcasing immense creativity through their small-batch frozen delights and coffeehouse staples.

What to Expect: Look forward to a rotating selection of 8-10 uniquely flavored ice creams, along with specialty lattes and refreshing iced coffees incorporating house-made syrups. Vegan options available.

Visitor Information: Open Monday through Saturday 8 am – 9 pm, Sunday 9 am – 3 pm. Counter service only. Online ordering available.

For homey comfort paired with uniquely fun flavors, Worth Takeaway Ice Cream & Coffee hits all the right spots. This super-casual ice cream shop dishes out fresh small-batch ice creams, gelatos and sorbettos by the scoop, pint or quart.

Their weekly rotation means there’s always new flavors to try in combinations like honey mesquite, Mexican hot chocolate, AZ prickly pear, frank n’ marshmallow and more. Cool down after a hot Mesa day with their creamy icy treats.

They also serve a nice selection of chilled coffee and espresso drinks, pastries, waffle sandwiches perfect for a sweet breakfast or snack. Worth Takeaway Ice Cream & Coffee brings joy with every lick.

Clever Koi

Name and Location: Clever Koi is an Asian fusion bistro and bar located in central Phoenix celebrating vibrant pan-Asian flavors through shared plates, bowls, and craft cocktails.

History and Significance: Established in 2016 by chef Joshua James, Clever Koi quickly emerged as a Valley hotspot for progressive interpretations of Asian cuisine ranging from Dim Sum to Korean barbecue, earning local and national praise.

What to Expect: Expect a stylish, lively ambiance and cuisine pulling inspiration from across continental Asia like Saigon chicken wings, miso ramen with braised pork belly, grilled pineapple fried rice, specialty sushi rolls, and more. Full bar.

Visitor Information: Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. Valet parking available.

With its modern ambiance and beautifully plated Asian fusion dishes, Clever Koi strives to deliver a fun, casual fine dining experience. Combining Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese influences with fresh twists, Clever Koi’s diverse menu spans small plates, large plates, bowls and specialty rolls.

From their signature Clever Eggrolls with braised pork belly and kimchi hot sauce to Thai chili garlic noodles, pad Thai fried rice and rainbow veggie roll, every item bursts with flavor and visual appeal. Pair your meal with one of their inspired cocktails like the fan-favorite pearl julep. Clever Koi brings together vibrant Southeast Asian flavors for palate-pleasing plates.

Republica Empanada

Craving hot, crispy and melty empanadas? Look no further than Republica Empanada. This casual eatery puts a creative spin on the traditional Latin American stuffed pastries with a diverse array of empanada options.

You’ll find both sweet and savory empanadas freshly baked in-house, with fillings like chipotle chicken, Cuban picadillo, Jamaican beef patty, Nutella and more. Empanada platters come with your choice of any four empanadas – perfect for sampling different flavors.

In addition to empanadas, they also dish out tasty starters like yucca fries and desserts. With the laid-back atmosphere and mouthwatering aromas wafting around the rooms, Republica Empanada is a must-visit.

Orange Patch

Name and Location: Orange Patch is a charming breakfast and lunch cafe located along a leafy stretch of Main Street in Mesa.

History and Significance: Serving the downtown community since 2009, Orange Patch began filling a niche for Mesa residents craving fresh, clever daytime fare in an artsy yet cozy environment. Their innovative dishes and sincerity garner loyal regulars.

What to Expect: Expect lovingly plated selections showcasing seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients across sweet and savory breakfast plates, patisserie items, sandwiches, salads, and more. Vegetarian friendly menu.

Visitor Information: Open daily 7 am – 2 pm. Counter service only. Picnic benches available outdoors.

For a relaxing breakfast and lunch café bringing Arizona sunshine with scratch-made comfort foods, Orange Patch hits the spot. This farm-fresh eatery serves hearty plates any time from fluffy pancakes and loaded hash to classics like burgers, sandwiches and wraps.

Standouts include their Red Rock burger topped with ham, bacon, cheddar and fried egg, the signature Orange Patch Benedict with citrus Hollandaise, and their dough-licious cinnamon roll French toast. Fresh smoothies and juices make the perfect complement.

With some patio seating and beautiful Arizona photography décor, the welcoming neighborhood vibe at Orange Patch will have you returning again and again.

Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles

Name and Location: Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles brings down-home southern soul food to central Phoenix specializing in crispy fried chicken served alongside sweet Belgian waffles.

History and Significance: An offshoot of his popular Louisiana-inspired eateries, chef Wade Moises opened Lolo’s in 2019 to rave reviews as the Valley’s premier destination for elevated classic chicken and waffles in a lively, family-friendly setting.

What to Expect: Look forward to comforting plates starring Moises’ signature spice-rubbed, double-brined Jidori chicken fried to order and paired with featherlight waffles, syrups, and savory sides like mac & cheese and collard greens. Full bar.

Visitor Information: Open daily 11am-10pm. Reservations accepted. Patio seating available. Online ordering for takeout.

Combining the savory and sweet for the ultimate comfort meal, Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles lives up to the hype. This casual joint excels at the soul food classic – crispy fried chicken served over a buttery golden waffle. Upgrade your chicken and waffles plate with tasty additions like homemade biscuit pot pie or chipotle cheddar grits.

Or opt for flavor-packed fried wings, smothered chicken breast platters or southern sides to satisfy your savory cravings. And if you have room for dessert, their sweet waffles with ice creams and toppings make an ideal ending. Lolo’s mastery of down-home cooking shines through in every thoughtful detail for a hugely satisfying meal.

La Terraza Cafe

Name and Location: La Terraza Cafe is a cozy Peruvian cafe and bakery located in central Phoenix preparing authentic South American specialties.

History and Significance: Family-owned and operated since 1981, La Terraza Cafe shares Peru’s rich culinary traditions through longtime recipes originating from Lima and Cusco, cementing their significance in the Hispanic community.

What to Expect: Signature dishes like lomo saltado, ceviche, tamales, and alfajores cookies headline the extensive menu of Peruvian standards. An oasis for hard-to-find regional ingredients and cuisine. Vegetarian options available.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday through Sunday 8am-8pm. Counter order. Margarita garden patio available. Takeout and delivery options.

Embracing the flavors of Peru while blending Phoenix influences, La Terraza Café & Lounge brings contemporary Peruvian fare home to Mesa. Chef Sheyla Martinez sources quality ingredients to craft vibrant Peruvian plates ranging from ceviches to causas, anticuchos, stews and starred entrees.

Highlights include the Estofado, a traditional Peruvian beef stew, their Ceviche Misti showcasing fresh raw seafood in citrus juices, and specialties like Arroz con Mariscos simmered with seafood in aji amarillo sauce. And save room for the Picarones fritters or Suspiro a la Limeña for a sweet ending. The colorful, modern interior sets an inviting stage for exploring Peru by the fork and glass.

Conclusion

This foodie tour gives you a taste of Mesa’s eclectic range of dining spots cooking up delightful bites from around the world. From the comfort foods at Orange Patch to Ethiopian authenticity of Cafe Lalibela to creative Mexican fusions at Barrio Café Gran Reserva, the top dining destinations of Mesa all deliver excellent food, drinks and top-notch service.

When your cravings hit for international flavors or well-crafted comfort plates close to home, turn to our list for the best restaurant recommendations in Mesa. With these must-try eateries offering cuisine for every mood and meal, you’ll always have somewhere delicious to dine.

Leave a Comment