Eat Here Now

10 New Food and Drink Spots to Satisfy Your Cravings

The restaurant industry was particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with many favorites across the Valley shuttering their doors forever. But the good news is that Gilbert's food and beverage scene continues to thrive. The last six months have seen a profusion of new dining and drinking establishments — from local chains to independent eateries. Whether it's pizza and tacos, a Tucson cult phenomenon, or dessert and beer specialty destinations, there’s something for every taste. While we couldn’t feature all of the new joints, here is a sampling of 10 of the most recent additions to Gilbert’s growing culinary landscape. Bon appetit!

1. Flower Child

This esteemed healthy fast-casual dining spot opened its doors on Sept. 28, at 1950 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 101, with an exclusive preview of the chain’s fall menu. The specialty selections join such fresh staple dishes as Flying Avocado Wrap, Organic Kale Salad, “Forbidden” Rice Bowl and more. Drink selections include the Signature Rose Petal Lemonade, iced tea kombucha on tap, and local beer and wine. iamaflowerchild.com

2. North Italia

This modern eatery known for its handcrafted cuisine and cocktails opened its newest location at 1950 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 102, near SanTan Village, on Sep. 22. The menu features a wide array of Italian dishes with a modern take, including Cacio e Pepe Pizza, Glazed Short Rib Cavatelli, Wagyu Skirt Steak Tagliata and more. Specialty cocktails include Ginger Blossom Margarita, White Peach Negroni and Italian Clover. northitalia.com

 3. The Caspian Cup

This dessert shop opened in the food court at San Tan Village Shopping Center at 2268 E. Williams Field Road in August. Shoppers and movie-goers can enjoy more than a dozen flavors of gourmet shaved ice, as well as handcrafted beverages, nonalcoholic jello shots, cereal bars and more. Signature ices include Mangonada, Lemonhead, Acai and Creamy Coconut. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. thecaspiancup.com

 4. El Taco Santo

This Sonoran-style Mexican restaurant that got its start as a food truck, opened its second Valley brick-and-mortar location at 835 S. Gilbert Road. Specialties include grilled tacos and quesadillas, as well as homemade salsas. Steak fries, borracho beans, Mexican rice, and refreshing Mexican soda and horchata, round out the menu. Hours: Monday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 480-597-3155

 5. eegee’s

Iconic Tucson-based fast food chain eegee’s, beloved for its signature frozen fruit-flavored drinks and ranch fries, opened its first Valley location in July. Located at 3535 E. Baseline Road, the restaurant features dine-in and takeout, drive-thru service and contactless pick-up. eegee’s plans to open a second location in Gilbert by the end of 2021. Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.; drive-thru closes at 10:00 p.m. eegees.com

 6. Vero Chicago Pizza

The newly renamed Buddyz pizzeria opened its first franchise location at 1431 E. Williams Field Road in late July. As always, pizza — thin crust, butter crust and deep dish — dominates the menu, which also includes salads, wings, pasta and an array of starters. The dining room boasts a full bar, community table and 12 TVs. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 3:30-9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 3:30-10:30 p.m.; Sunday 12-8 p.m. verochicagopizza.com

 7. Frenchie Pizza

The new fast-casual concept opened on July 9 at 3765 S. Gilbert Road in the Crossroads Towne Center. It specializes in thin-crust American pizzas as well as European flatbreads called flammekueche, or “flammes,” which traditionally have a tangy white sauce, smoked bacon and onions. Beer, wine and margaritas are also available. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. frenchiepizza.com

8. Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen

The Arizona-based family-owned and –operated restaurant opened at 884 E. Williams Field Road in May. Picazzo’s offers a fusion approach to modern Italian cuisine that sprinkles the bold flavors of Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients into its menu of salads, entrees, pasta and pizza. Picazzo’s also offers a wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and allergy-friendly items. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 12-8 p.m. picazzos.com

9. Ono Hawaiian BBQ

This family-owned fast-casual Hawaiian-style eatery brought its Aloha spirit to 3135 S. Val Vista Drive in March. Don't miss the plate lunches that include steamed rice, macaroni salad and a delicious protein, such as Hawaiian BBQ beef or chicken, island white fish, kalua pork or grilled Spam. Wash it down with juice from a fresh-cracked coconut. Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; drive-thru 11 a.m.-10 p.m. onohawaiianbbq.com

10. Wicked Rain

Coming soon to 1817 Baseline Road, this craft beer bar will feature a selection of more than 30 draft brews from the Pacific Northwest and Arizona. Complementing the drink selection is a menu filled with shareable appetizers and hearty entrees straight from the northwestern coast, including Dungeness crab salad, Tillamook grilled cheese sandwiches, Seattle dogs and Beecher’s mac & cheese. wickedrain.com

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