Bagels or Bread
1. Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry and Coffeehouse
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When you walk into Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry and Coffeehouse, you aren’t just a customer at this spot — you’re a friend.
See, while the name and caliber of its doughy delights have become a mainstay in Fresno’s popular culture since opening in 1995, it’s actually run as a mom-and-pop shop, focusing its efforts on producing a consistent, quality product and building personal relationships between its staff and clients.
“We’re local owners. We want them to feel like they’re family,” says co-owner, Rena Rutledge. “We know them by name, greet them, just overkill on customer service.
Still, when it comes down to it, it’s all about the goods.
The Bagelry has built a reputation on serving specialized flavored cream cheese and bagels, as well as its crowd-pleasing bagelwich sandwiches that are made up of scrambled eggs, American cheese and your choice of meat stuffed within two halves of your favorite toasted bagel.
A sampling of its diverse bagel selection includes Cinnamon Raisin, Pesto, Strawberry, French Maple Toast and Red Velvet, with Uncle Harry’s offering of cream cheese schmears upping the ante with flavors like honey butter, apricot and Lite Garlic Herb.
Like most breakfast-focused eateries, Uncle Harry’s provides a caffeine jolt to get customers’ mornings running, covering the gamut with espresso, coffee, blended and non-coffee beverages with Cappuccino, Cafe Mocha, Caramel Freeze, Caramel Apple Cider, Italian Cream Soda and more. And for people who stop in for lunch, Betty’s Original Toasted Sandwiches are available at every Uncle Harry’s location, excluding Fig Garden Village.
The menu offers seasonal bagels and can vary among the five locations.
“We are so thankful to our customers,” Rutledge says. “We wouldn’t be here without them, and we love hearing the feedback because it’s the only way we really know.”
2. La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe
730 W. Shaw Ave.
3. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe
7089 N. Cedar Ave.
1. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe
7089 N. Cedar Ave.
After 78 years of business, to say Eddie’s Bakery Cafe has solidified its place in the lives of Fresno residents is a bit of an understatement. We’re talking generations here, folks.
“It’s an incredible feeling to know that we’ve continued to do the same things for people and they want us doing the same things for them year after year, occasion after occasion,” says manager Sophia Myers.
But to earn that type of reputation, Eddie’s Bakery Cafe has successfully created a line of customized, diverse and fresh products — a recipe that current owners Marc and Rachelle Wickliffe have only continued to put out into the community since taking over in 2007.
From biscotti, cinnamon rolls and deluxe croissants to Nicoise tortes, sugar cookies and fresh strawberry pies, the variety of baked goods is both expansive and seasonal to keep things tasty and fresh.
“Most of the things we can get fresh, we always try to do. It really does make a difference, so you have your cake and not feel too badly about it,” Myers says. “There are new diets and we try to make something that can accommodate everyone. There are things we’re still working on, but we want to make sure they’re perfect before bringing them out onto the floor.”
Some specialty items include Eddie’s Bakery Cafe’s wheat and flourless, as well as low-sugar products. And while it’s gearing up for Saint Patrick’s Day-themed goodies to put on display, Myers notes the Nicoise and champagne cake are easily the fan-favorites of the bakery any time of the year.
“They’re both so, so light. No matter what you had for dinner, they’re going to fit into your occasion.”
2. La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe
730 W. Shaw Ave.
3. Le Parisien Cafe
1. Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co.
8042 N. Blackstone Ave.
If your hands weren’t covered with barbecue sauce during your last visit to Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co., you’re overdue for a redo.
In December 2013, the barbecue joint opened on the corner of Nees and Blackstone avenues by Dave Fansler of Fansler Restaurant Group. It doesn’t look as fancy as Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House and Pismo’s Coastal Grill, but as the Fresno native says — that’s the point.
“The inspiration was to do a contemporary-style barbecue,” Fansler says.
The interior looks like an upscale industrial warehouse with a full-service bar that features handcrafted cocktails and local craft drafts like the 99 Golden Ale from Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. and the Oaktown Brown from South Gate Brewing Company.
“We have 24 taps of handcrafted beers,” Fansler says.
Fansler and his team studied the different styles of barbecue around the country, asking themselves, “what would the Fresno palate like?”
The menu is the result of their research. The barbecue restaurant serves high-quality meat from Nebraska and areas surrounding the Midwest, Fansler says.
With chef Porfirio Aldape at the helm, tender and juicy creations are smoked on almond firewood. Fansler says the top seller is the Kansas City-style brisket burnt ends, which spend half a day in the smoker.
The menu isn’t complete without tri-tip, pastrami and pulled-pork sandwiches, fried chicken, cheeseburgers, wood-grilled chicken breast, jalapeño cornbread and beer-battered onion rings.
2. Dog House Grill
2789 E. Shaw Ave.
3. Famous Dave’s
7063 N. Blackstone Ave.
1. Batter Up Pancakes
8029 N. Cedar Ave.
One never knows when or how a life-changing idea will present itself. For Becci Colla, it came to her in a dream.
The local business owner and her husband and partner, Jeff, were in Arizona attending a baseball tournament for their son, and the concept of developing a restaurant that featured quality ingredients and healthy helpings struck her — its sports-inspired name functioning as the perfect double entendre.
The Collas already owned Great Harvest Bread Company at the time, and leaned on the experiences they gained running that business to create a family-oriented and customer-service-focused environment for its customers to enjoy. Nine years later, and the busy breakfast place is still serving Jeff’s special pancake recipes, outstanding omelets and tasty sides, steadily adding to its menu as the customer’s needs evolve.
“We listen to what people have to say,” Becci explains. “We don’t skimp on quality. We don’t want to compromise. It’s easy to figure out ways to save, but we don’t want to. We also aren’t going to decrease our portions, which is substantiated by the amount of to-go containers we buy.”
Batter Up Pancakes’ expansive menu includes gluten-free and protein-packed pancake recipes, as well as new favorites such as its cinnamon roll french toast made with real yeast dough and the chile verde omelet.
For those looking for a bit of a gut-busting challenge, the restaurant’s Grand Slam Challenge consists of a 10-egg scramble, 2 cups of country potatoes and 1 cup of cheddar and jack cheese piled high on an old-fashioned buttermilk pancake, and tests locals’ stomach capacity by giving them 45 minutes to complete it. Only 11 of the 300-plus participants have been successful.
Younger customers can get in on some of the action at Batter Up Pancakes, too, with the eatery’s dry-erase board that welcomes tiny artists to express themselves during their visit.
“Kids get so bored at tables. I’d rather see them up and creating something than sitting at a table on their iPhone,” Becci says. “Adults get down there and play, too. It helps give that feeling of community.”
And at the end of the day, with the Collas’ interest in being hands-on owners and establishing a similar team to help make the restaurant hum, community is really what it’s all about.
“We’re grateful people come and choose us,” Becci says. “We try to bring our best game and give everybody what they deserve: good food in a friendly environment. Hopefully it makes a difference.”
3015 W. Bullard Ave.
1083 E. Champlain Drive
222 E. Bullard Ave.
1. Sweet Tomatoes
7114 N. Fresno St.
The story of Sweet Tomatoes dates back nearly 40 years and more than 300 miles south.
See, the concept of basing a restaurant’s foundation on healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables and a menu filled with from-scratch breads, soups and dressings was novel, inspiring a couple of surfers to take the the farm-to-table philosophy to the everyday, fast-paced consumer.
Now, with more than 124 restaurants, the Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation eatery has sprouted from its San Diego roots to operate under Sweet Tomatoes in other regions. But the original ideology behind the buffet remains intact.
Sweet Tomatoes partners with family farms to rush their locally raised produce to its kitchens within hours of harvest, according to Souplantation’s website, with its chefs working to saute, mix and bake the restaurant’s seasonal spread of soups, dressings, focaccia bread, muffins and more. And its farm-fresh salads are chopped by hand, while the sweet treats are baked to delight for those looking for a sugary baked good to close their visit.
Customers don’t have to frequent the buffet to get a helping of Sweet Tomatoes goodness with its catering packages, and offers special platters to accommodate any special event, birthday party or celebration.
Sweet Tomatoes’ Club Veg also provides frequent guests with special discounts and offers, exclusive deals and news about the latest farm fresh foods.
2. California Market Buffet at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
711 Lucky Lane, Coarsegold
3. Lin’s Fusion
5155 N. Blackstone Ave.
1. Pardini’s Catering
2257 W. Shaw Ave.
Nearing its 60th year, Pardini’s Catering and Banquets is moving into the milestone year with a few updates to its banquet facility and company signage, proving that the successful, family-owned business has one foot securely grounded in the future.
President Jim Pardini notes that the banquet facility provides every amenity one would need for a successful event or meeting, including on-site video and sound equipment, bar service, dance floors and special rooms that can function as a reception hall or cocktail area. “It’s a complete event center,” he says.
New carpet, lighting fixtures and bathroom improvements are on the agenda this year to keep the facility updated and polished, as well as a newly minted logo for two of the company’s entities.
A concessionaire for the Fresno Fairgrounds, Fresno Convention Center and more, the banquet facility has created a more modern, clean logo to highlight this side of the business, as well as new signage to adorn the trucks and other properties on the catering side.
“The Annex Kitchen already has a new logo, and that got the ball rolling in deciding to update the other two,” Pardini explains, referring to the Italian-inspired restaurant headed by one of his sons, Jimmy, that took the space of the former Pardini’s Cafe.
But when it comes to the type of customer service and high-quality product, Pardini’s Catering and Banquets is sticking to what it knows — and that’s customization.
The catering facility’s set menus run the gamut of breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, featuring edible delights such as Mediterranean and Pan-Asian items and burger and taco bars. Still, those are just a starting point for most customers.
“The thing that makes us quite unique in a lot of ways is 80 percent of what we do is custom,” Pardini says. “Menus are a base menu and we love it, but we take a lot of personal attention to go into the planning of a big event, like weddings and fundraisers. We’re extremely flexible and that’s been a huge part of our success.”
2. The Painted Table
1211 N. Wishon Ave.
3. Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods
1. Shanghai Chinese Cuisine
4011 N. Blackstone Ave.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A cliché, yes, but the token phrase holds more than a bit of truth when it comes to Shanghai Chinese Cuisine.
The 37-year-old restaurant has stayed true to its authentic and traditional roots, preparing the same recipes from its diverse menu for customers over the past three-plus decades.
Shanghai Chinese Cuisine’s secrets to success: consistency and large portions.
“Our prices are reasonable, we’ve got big portions, a comfortable atmosphere and friendly service,” says LLC member, Pauline Dunn. “It’s very family-oriented. Our service [staff] is very personable with the customers and we cater to families.”
Dubbed as an “amazing Chinese food adventure,” the eatery’s expansive offerings take a stop through appetizers and soups, passes along seafood entrées like its Sizzling Garlic Shrimp Delight, rounds the corner with traditional beef and chicken dishes and even touches on light and vegetarian specialties with Shanghai Chinese Cuisine’s Vegetable Foo Young and Braised Green Beans.
Dunn notes that some of the restaurant’s most popular requests, however, include its famed orange chicken, chow mein and chicken salad, which is made up of lettuce, chicken, dry rice noodles and simple house dressing that only consists of sugar, water and vinegar.
Many diners turn to Shanghai Chinese Cuisine for catering services, as well. It can cater parties from small, intimate gatherings to events of 400 people.
Dunn and the rest of the team are grateful to area customers for yet another win.
“Thanks for your support,” she says. “We’ll continue to look forward to seeing you.”
2. Dai Bai Dang
165 E. Paseo Del Centro
3. PF Chang’s
7894 N. Blackstone Ave.
1. Dutch Bros Coffee
At Dutch Bros. Coffee, it’s not only the coffee that jumpstarts your morning or gives you a midday boost — energy and good juju just pour from the windows.
“It’s a different vibe,” says Brent Wilson, who owns the four Fresno/Clovis locations with his wife, Genesis Wilson. “It’s not quiet and mellow; it’s loud, fun and a get-your-energy-up-type setting.”
The baristas, or rather, bro-istas, connect with customers, memorizing the drink preferences of regulars and taking time to have a friendly chat with everyone they meet. There are three drive-thru locations in the area and one sit-down coffee house that opened in April 2016 at Shaw and West avenues.
“It was the first coffee house in the state of California for Dutch Bros.,” Wilson said. “It’s been amazing; there’s only so much of a connection you can make through a drive-thru window, but in the coffee house we really get to chat with and get to know our customers.”
Another coffee house is set to open early next year at Palm and Herndon avenues, Wilson says.
The Grants Pass, Oregon-based chain serves coffee, tea, Blue Rebel energy drinks and specialty espresso drinks.
“Corporate is great about reaching out to customers and finding out what they like,” Wilson says. “Our Dutch Freeze, which is frozen coffee — we don’t blend it, we have a machine that freezes it up really fine — is popular and tasty. We add any flavor to it. Our Annihilator, a chocolate macadamia nut breve, and our Caramelizer, a caramel mocha, are our most popular espresso drinks.”
Dutch Bros. also releases four drinks each month off of its expansive secret menu. “That gets pretty wild and crazy,” Wilson says. Try delicious blends like the S’more Breve Latte, Molten Lava Frost or the Unicorn Blood Rebel.
More and more local residents have become customers, AKA members of the Dutch Mafia, because of Dutch Bros.’ engagement through social media, special deals and fundraising events for local causes, Wilson says.
“We donate to schools and nonprofits and, in turn, the support from the community has been more than amazing,” he says. “We’re excited to be able to grow that in the Fresno area.”
3. Kuppa Joy Coffee House
1900 N. Echo Ave.
518 Clovis Ave., Clovis
1. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe
7089 N. Cedar Ave.
When it comes to cupcakes, Eddie’s Bakery Cafe has stuck to its tried and true method: simplicity. It just works.
The shop’s three offered flavors of chocolate, white and red velvet are made fresh for customers to purchase every day — giving a burst of rich flavor and fine ingredients with each bite.
Manager Sophia Myers notes that Eddie’s Bakery Cafe is also known for its decorative cupcakes designed throughout the year, as well as some of its seasonal creations.
Come March, the bakery’s artisan baking skills are on full display with the well-received Irish potato cake, which just so happens to be available in cupcake form.
“March is our only month that we carry Irish potato cake, which is the most popular of the month,” Myers says. “We do cupcakes of that same cake and it’s something that is asked for year-round. It’s a spiced cake, and we do a cream cheese icing and filling. The flavors of that are just perfect together.
For local brides and grooms, the cupcake has become a go-to dessert item for its guests to enjoy — allowing couples to create a beautiful spread of bite-sized treats rather than commit to the traditional wedding cake to deliver a sweet ending to the start of their happily ever after.
Because at Eddie’s Bakery Cafe, customer service and its commitment to producing personal experiences for guests is top priority.
“We take that time to make sure that what you’re envisioning is something we can create for you,” Myers explains. “To have it come out is one of the biggest joys to watch.”
2. Frosted Cakery
1292 N. Wishon Ave.
3. Cupcakes Bakery
7062 N. Cedar Ave.
1. Sam’s Italian Deli
2415 N. First St.
Sam’s Italian Deli is one of the Valley mainstays where residents take out-of-towners; you haven’t experienced Fresno unless you’ve eaten a handcrafted sandwich or sampled meats and cheeses from the longstanding gem.
The full-service Italian delicatessen and market opened by Sam and Angela Marziliano has been in the same location for 36 years.
Everything served in the deli is created in-house from scratch, from salads and sauces to pastas, meatballs and sausage, says Nick Marziliano, who now co-owns the deli with his mother, Angela.
“They’re family recipes and recipes we have developed over the years,” he says. “It’s all done right here from scratch, we have a huge kitchen. We employ more than 30 people now, so when people think it’s just a deli serving meats and cheeses — it’s so much more than that.”
At lunchtime, the line of customers usually extends out of the door thanks to the popularity of the deli’s sandwiches. Customers also take home entrées to go, where they can heat up homemade pasta dishes in the oven. The catering department is busy, as well, offering a selection of Italian entrées and salads.
Employees at the counter slice a selection of 250 meats and cheeses to order.
“We have a variety of 40 different salamis alone,” Marziliano says.
The Italian market side of the store offers a huge selection of ingredients from a diverse choice of brands for customers creating their own Italian meals at home. Sam’s Italian Deli carries more than a dozen brands of San Marzano tomatoes, which have been popular among famous chefs and cooking shows for making sauces, Marziliano says.
The wide selection of products — and especially their quality — sets Sam’s Italian Deli apart from other delicatessens in the area, Marziliano says.
“If I would not serve it to my friends and family, I will not sell it,” he says. “That has been the way we’ve run the business from the beginning.”
2. Deli Delicious
3. Piemonte’s Italian Delicatessen
616 E. Olive Ave.
1. Ampersand Ice Cream
1940 N. Echo Ave.
Husband and wife Jeff and Amelia Bennett decided an old-fashioned ice cream shop would fill the void in the Fresno food scene and set to work, concocting original recipes in their home kitchen.
On Memorial Day 2015, Ampersand Ice Cream opened its doors, offering tastes of the Valley’s agriculture through authentic handcrafted ice cream.
“We are one of the few ice cream shops in all of California that make our ice cream completely from scratch,” Amelia says. “We use Top O’ The Morn Farms (in Tulare) for all of our dairy and our ingredients are locally sourced, including Lanna Coffee, Enzo Olive Oil and in-season produce from Food Commons Fresno.”
The shop is unique because it is a small batch creamery and state-licensed dairy plant, which means the Bennetts pasteurize their product on-site, Jeff says.
“Our fully unique flavors are built from the ground up,” he explains. “Other ice creams use a base that has already been pasteurized, but we get to create different bases by varying the amount of sugar depending on what will be mixed in. For our Lanna Coffee flavor, we put the coffee grounds in before it’s pasteurized to give it that caffeine and flavor boost.”
Customers can watch the process through a window. It takes about four hours for Amelia to make a batch of ice cream, from pouring the milk to freezing the final product.
Ten employees serve up Ampersand’s 16 flavors, which rotate monthly. A few tried-and-true favorites remain in the case year round, including Whiskey Caramel Swirl and Honeycomb. Another popular flavor among customers is Bordeaux, modeled after the See’s candy of the same name.
“It’s a brown sugar espresso base with house-made fudge rippled in and chocolate sprinkles,” Jeff says. “My favorite is the Grizzly Jack, which we made last year when the Fresno Grizzlies made the championship. It’s inspired by Cracker Jack and is a butter popcorn ice cream with molasses caramel and candied almonds mixed in.”
As if the tantalizing flavors of fresh ice cream weren’t enough, Ampersand also bakes enormous cookies in-house, which can be turned into ice cream sandwiches, along with milkshakes, root beer and Coke floats and a new cold-brew affogato, which is cold-brewed coffee poured over the top of a scoop of ice cream.
The shop serves up all of these desserts from noon to 11 p.m. daily.
2. La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe
730 W. Shaw Ave.
3. Cheesecake Factory
639 E. Shaw Ave.
1. Pismo’s Coastal Grill
7937 N. Blackstone Ave.
For Dave Fansler, creating a family-friendly atmosphere is the foundation of his three restaurants: Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House, Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. and Pismo’s Coastal Grill.
Although Pismo’s Coastal Grill is less than 150 miles away from the Central Coast, the seafood restaurant resembles a beachfront eatery with delicious appetizers and entrées.
The Pismo’s Platter is a crowd-pleasing appetizer for families to enjoy. It includes marinated crab, oysters, shrimp and ahi tuna poke.
“Adults like introducing their children to seafood,” Fansler says.
The kid’s menu includes your choice of grilled salmon or mahi, fried snapper, chicken strips, popcorn shrimp, cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich or buttered noodles.
Although the menu is mainly comprised of seafood, there are a few vegetarian-friendly appetizers like roasted edumane and grilled artichokes and specialty salads like the Bistro Salad with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and champagne vinaigrette.
In a nutshell, the seafood restaurant doesn’t disappoint. There are tasty bites for children and handcrafted cocktails mixed at a full-service bar for adults.
“It’s a win-win for children and adults,” Fansler says.
2. Red Robin
3. DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant
1. Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House
1520 E. Champlain Drive
Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House provides an intimate and cozy atmosphere — ideal for fine dining. Owned by Dave Fansler, the menu features appetizers that are perfect to share between couples and samplers for sharing among friends.
“We have a lot of offerings that customers like for dinner,” Fansler says.
The chefs go to great lengths to develop and perfect dishes that are unique to the steakhouse. Meals are cooked on a coastal red oak fire — an important fact that sets the steakhouse apart from competitors.
“No gas flavor — it’s a real natural, seasoned flavor,” Fansler says.
Prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients, Fansler says the most popular meals include baby back ribs, the combination plate of ranch steak and lobster tail, and seafood delights like shrimp, calamari and salmon.
“Salmon is spectacular, served a variety of ways,” Fansler says.
You can enhance your dinner with cracked pepper and blue cheese, sautéed portobello mushrooms, firecracker prawns or pan-roasted scampi. The wine list includes varietals from Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma, Monterey and Russian River.
Complete your dinner with dessert: the Ranch Kitchen Crème Brulee Cheesecake, the Yosemite Rangers “Contest Winning” Chocolate Cake or the Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Bourbon Sauce.
2. Cracked Pepper Bistro
6737 N. Palm Ave.
3. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
7844 N. Blackstone Ave.
1. In-N-Out Burger
California wouldn’t be the top destination on the West Coast without In-N-Out Burger. For nearly 70 years, the burger joint has served fresh ingredients, including patties free of additives, fillers and preservatives.
The menu is simple. First, choose your burger: hamburger, cheeseburger or the Double-Double — two patties and two slices of American cheese. Toppings include crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes and signature spread.
And, of course, a burger shouldn’t be without a tray of fresh-cut french fries. If you’d prefer to skip a soda, order a vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshake.
The “not-so-secret” menu, a favorite among customers, includes the “Animal-Style” burger. It includes pickles, grilled onions and an extra heaping of signature spread. You can also order the 4x4 — four patties and four slices of American cheese between a fresh-baked bun.
Now, if you’re cutting carbohydrates from your diet, you can order your burger wrapped in crispy lettuce instead of a toasty bun.
But no matter what your taste buds are craving, In-N-Out Burger is ready to serve you.
2. The Habit Burger Grill
3. House of JuJu
453 Pollasky Ave., Clovis
If you’re like us, you associate Costco with bargains, buying in bulk and the treasure trove known as the food court.
At Costco, $1.50 goes a long way. You can buy a hot dog and 20-ounce drink for six quarters — a steal of a deal. You can add toppings like relish, onions, ketchup and mustard.
In 1985, Costco started selling the combination from a cart in front of the warehouse club. Today, customers continue to head to the food court for large portions of treats at low prices.
For example, you can order a hand-dipped ice cream bar or three scoops of gelato in a waffle cone for $1.50.
The best part? A membership isn’t required to visit the food court. There are three locations in the Clovis-Fresno area, with a handful of warehouses extending to Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County.
The meat plant, which produces the all-beef, quarter-pound hot dogs, is located in Tracy — about 130 miles from Fresno in San Joaquin County. It supplies hot dogs to thousands of locations throughout the United States, but buns are made in local bakeries.
2. Rocket Dog Gourmet Brats & Brew
88 E. Shaw Ave.
1. Superior Dairy
325 N. Douty St., Hanford
On Facebook: SuperiorDairy
In case you didn’t know, Superior Dairy turns your dreams into reality. At the old-fashioned diner, you’ll find a mountain of ice cream — topped with fudge, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry — waiting for you.
Superior Dairy has been a family-owned jewel in the heart of downtown Hanford for nearly 90 years. It serves tri-tip sandwiches, soups and salads, but most notably, large portions of ice cream.
In 2013, Yahoo! Travel ranked Superior Dairy among the top shops for ice cream in the United States. It was a pleasant, but warranted surprise.
The S-O-S (Superior Oversized Sundae) is seven scoops of ice cream and sherbet, drizzled with hot fudge, strawberry and marshmallow sauces, and completed with a banana, whipped cream and chopped nuts.
The Banana Split is big enough to split among four people: three scoops of ice cream wedged between two slices of banana and topped with strawberry and pineapple sauces, whipped cream, walnuts and a maraschino cherry.
The Superior Special is two scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped with a banana, hot fudge, whipped cream and chopped nuts.
Sundaes can be ordered as a single scoop, double scoop or four scoops of ice cream. Flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, maple nut, lemon, banana, rocky road and cookies. Beyond hot fudge, toppings include caramel and peanut butter.
Superior Dairy also serves thick and creamy milkshakes and malts.
2. Ampersand Ice Cream
1940 N. Echo Ave.
3. Cold Stone Creamery
1. Elephant Lounge Indian Cuisine
80 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis
In 2014, Ranjit “Junior” Dosanjh made his mark in the Clovis-Fresno area by opening Elephant Lounge Indian Bistro — a family-owned Indian restaurant with a fusion of flavors.
The executive chef was born in Punjab, India, but moved to the United States at age 10. He was raised in Silicon Valley, learning the essentials of cooking Indian cuisine from his mother.
“I’ve been in the food industry for 15 years,” Dosanjh said.
In 2004, he returned to his native country to embark on a six-month culinary journey. Afterward, he opened India 4 U and Xenia Bistro with his wife, Brinda, in the Bay Area.
Dosanjh and his wife made their final move to the Central Valley 10 years later, planting roots in Clovis. He opened Elephant Lounge Indian Bistro in the space formerly occupied by North India Bar and Grill.
He spent about eight month renovating the space, adorning the interior ceiling with a chandelier imported from Europe.
“It has a gorgeous, gorgeous [full-service] bar,” he said.
Oftentimes, you’ll find Dosanjh, his wife and children mingling with customers. Cooking alongside Dosanjh is Elias Fernandez.
“He’s a dear of friend of mine,” Dosanjh says.
The menu includes seafood specialties, dishes made with chicken, beef, lamb and goat, vegetarian-friendly options and tandoor-cooked dishes.
“It’s very healthy cooking,” Dosanjh says about tandoor-cooked dishes. “Very lean, meats are cooked to order.”
The butter chicken is the most popular dish, he said.
“It has a tomato-based sauce, simmered for 5 1/2 hours to perfection,” he adds.
Elephant Lounge Indian Bistro can also accompany private parties in a large banquet room.
“It’s very different from other Indian restaurants that you know,” Dosanjh says.
2. Tandoori Night
6751 N. Blackstone Ave.
3. Brahma Bull
3050 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 108
1. DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant
We can’t talk about culinary creations of Italy without mentioning DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant — the local Italian eatery that has satisfied our taste buds for more than six decades.
There are dozens of locations throughout the Central Valley — expanding to neighboring cities like Sanger, Kingsburg, Madera and Oakhurst. The original location sits on Blackstone Avenue near Divisadero Street in downtown Fresno.
Each location is owned and operated by various members of the DiCicco family. For example, Joanna Vitucci Lopez is co-owner of four locations, including the original location: Clovis and Kings Canyon avenues, Shaw and Van Ness avenues and Shaw Avenue and First Street.
“I feel like we have a lot of name recognition because we’ve have been around for 60 years,” she says.
Although each location is unique, tried-and-true dishes and signature plates remain the same. After all, Vitucci Lopez says, dining at the Italian eatery has grown to be a tradition for a lot of local families.
Whether you’re craving spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine Alfredo, cheese or meat ravioli, tortellini or made-to-order pizza, the Italian eatery has your back.
Vitucci Lopez says recipes were passed down from their grandmother, Maria DiCicco, to her four sons: Nicola, Alberto, Frank and Roberto — also known as the “Four Sons of Italy.”
“It’s hard to find a local restaurant that has stayed open for so long,” she says.
Vitucci Lopez says the most popular dishes include lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, the four types of calzones and the Scarface Pasta. The menu also caters to customers with dietary restrictions. There are lighter-fare option and gluten-free pasta available.
But no matter what you order, your taste buds will thank you.
2. Luna Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant
349 Pollasky Ave., Clovis
3. Olive Garden
389 Shaw Ave., Clovis
6725 N. Riverside Drive (coming soon)
1. Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine
690 E. Nees Ave.
Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine has been an international delight for a decade. Located at Nees Avenue and First Street, the Japanese restaurant serves a mix of traditional dishes and award-winning sushi rolls.
“We have a large variety of items of available,” says David Wong, general manager at the Japanese restaurant.
You can dine at the teppanyaki grill, watching as your meal is prepared before your eyes, order from the traditional dining menu or pick signature rolls from the sushi menu.
Let’s start with the teppanyaki grill, which is popular with large groups because there are numerous seats wrapped around the iron plate. You can order teriyaki, hibachi or sukiyaki-style chicken, beef, New York steak, filet mignon, shrimp, calamari, scallops, salmon or cod.
Lunch is served with miso soup and salad, grilled vegetables and fried or steamed rice. Wong says the Terrific Teppan Trio is popular as a lunch special for $11.99.
“It comes with chicken, beef and shrimp,” Wong says. It also comes with miso soup and salad, grilled vegetables and fried rice.
Dinner is served with a shrimp appetizer, miso soup and salad, grilled vegetables, fried or steamed rice and frozen yogurt.
Chefs are known to entertain customers by juggling eggs, telling jokes and making onion volcanoes and heart-shaped piles of fried rice. Wong says they bring years of experience and dedication to the Japanese restaurant.
Chefs go through an in-house training process that takes about six months, Wong says.
“Lots of them have been with us for a long time,” he adds.
The traditional dining menu includes teriyaki chicken, shogayaki chicken, pork, beef or seafood, yakizakana cod, salmon or mackerel, seafood tempura, katsu oysters and tempura udon. The combinations are endless.
The sushi menu features signature rolls with eccentric names like Drunk Cousin Roll, Yo Mama Roll, 9-1-1 Roll, Godzilla Roll, R&B Roll and Crab Lover Roll.
He says the secret to success is simple: “The key is consistency, low turnover and loyal, long-term chefs.”
2. Japanese Kitchen
711 Shaw Ave., Clovis
3. Edo-ya Tokyo Cuisine Restaurant
3050 W. Shaw Ave, Suite 112
1. Mediterranean Grill and Cafe
1031 U St.
Mediterranean Grill and Cafe is a landmark in downtown Fresno. For 24 years, the restaurant has filled the hearts — and stomachs — of customers who are treated like family.
Heiam Elaawar owns and operates the restaurant with her mother and brother. She says her mother, known as “Mama,” is “the backbone of the restaurant.”
The menu features a variety of hearty and flavorful traditional Mediterranean dishes made with high-quality ingredients. For starters, you can order falafel balls, hummus, grape leaves or baba ghanoush.
“We’re known for quality, consistency,” she says. “We know customers by name.”
The most popular dishes are the fattoush chicken salad — made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread — and the Lebanese chicken served with rice and garlic sauce.
She also notes the beef or chicken shawarma as a top item. Entrées include the Tabbouleh salad, the Greek chicken salad, lamb, beef or chicken kebabs and gyros. Finish your meal with homemade baklava, thin layers of phyllo stacked with honey, butter, cinnamon and nuts.
“We want to thank our customers,” Elaawar says. “We have wonderful, beautiful customers.”
The restaurant is open for lunchtime on weekdays, but offers full-service catering for special events and private parties.
2. Phoenician Garden Restaurant
1025 E. Herndon Ave., Suite 106
3. The Broilers
1. Casa Corona
7044 N. Cedar Ave.
1724 W. Bullard Ave.
Three owners, two restaurants, one goal: Serve tasty, authentic Mexican cuisine to the Central Valley. Casa Corona is more than a local hot spot for tempting taste buds, the Mexican restaurant is also your home away from home.
Owned by Armando Rodriguez, Elsa Rodriguez Killion and Melina Rodriguez, the siblings started working in the restaurant industry at a young age. Today, nearly 20 years later, they remain as active as they were on their first day.
“We love people, our customers are fantastic and our two restaurants are like extensions of our own homes,” Armando says.
“It’s like coming back to a very familiar place — like a second home,” Elsa adds.
The menu includes a variety of traditional and specialty items like nacho fries — french fries topped with ground beef, chile verde and melted cheese — and the La Ultima, a chimichanga smothered with enchilada sauce, melted cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
Staying consistent with their approach on providing a home away from home for customers, the Fresno natives remain true to their roots with items on the menu. Two dishes were created by local fitness trainers, Bookie and Tanner Munro.
The Bookalicious Burrito is a wheat tortilla filled with grilled chicken or prawns, boiled beans, brown rice, tomatoes and salsa.
The Tanner Tostada features a wheat tortilla loaded with grilled chicken, black beans, lettuce, corn, cottage cheese and salsa.
Each sibling has their own area of expertise, but they stick together when making major decisions.
“We’ve always been close,” Melina says, “so working together was natural for us.”
“Our parents taught us the value of working hard,” Armando adds.
A few months ago, shortly before the holidays, the siblings added a handful of to-go items to the on-site freezers so customers can enjoy popular dishes at home. Choose from chile relleno, chile verde, enchiladas, tamales and the Burrito Royale.
“We understand our customers can choose from a wide variety of Mexican restaurants in Fresno and the Valley,” Armando explains, “so it’s important to offer quality, great-tasting food that’s consistent from location to location.”
2. Sal’s Mexican Restaurant
3. Castillo’s Mexican Restaurant
3659 E. Ventura Ave.
1. The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co.
3085 E. Campus Pointe Drive
The Mad Duck Neighborhood Grill & Taphouse
765 W. Herndon Ave., Suite 200, Clovis
In March 2010, Alex Costa and Mark Bagdasarian opened The Mad Duck Neighborhood Grill & Taphouse at Herndon and Willow avenues.
Five years later, with the success of the first location, they opened The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. near Fresno State in The Square at Campus Pointe.
As an alumnus of Fresno State, Costa says choosing to build the second location in The Square at Campus Pointe was simple.
“Fresno State, for a lot of us, is home,” he says.
Costa defines the brewery as a “chef-driven pub that focuses on the whole plate — great cocktails, great craft beer and great food.”
But without a doubt, the craft beers — handmade in small batches — bring customers in droves to the microbrewery.
“It’s the level of care, we have a very specific vision on the craft beers that we want to create,” Costa says.
The craft beers, Costa says, complement the flavors of California. Incorporating notes of citrus is an example. The Honey Pot Blonde, the Classic California-style IPA and the Citra, referred to “the baby IPA,” bring tropical flavors of citrus to your palate.
The Pub Ale and the Almond Brown Ale are brewed with flavors of caramel. The Opulence Oatmeal Stout is a creamy concoction of coffee and chocolate.
Bagdasarian serves as the brewmaster of Mad Duck Craft. They have been friends since elementary school, Costa says.
“His perfection is something to behold,“ Costa says. “He’s highly critical of himself.”
And Costa doesn’t let by-products from the microbrewery go to waste. He donates spent grains, which are used to feed cattle, to three local ranchers and Fresno State.
2. Sequoia Brewing Co.
777 E. Olive Ave.
1188 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 107
3. Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.
745 Fulton St.
Patio and Outdoor Dining
1. The Elbow Room
731 W. San Jose Ave.
The Elbow Room Bar & Grill is considered a landmark in north Fresno. As an anchor of Fig Garden Village, the restaurant has been open since 1955.
It underwent renovation a few years ago, but continues to take an artisan approach to serving comfort food like sautéed portobello mushrooms, deviled eggs and French dip sandwiches.
You can enjoy a plate of New York steak with a bottle of zinfandel, syrah or chardonnay. In fact, the restaurant was honored with the 2016 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
The award-winning wine list features vintages from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Lucia Highlands and Russian River.
The restaurant has two indoor banquet rooms: The Banquet Room and The Cellar Room, which provide an intimate, cozy atmosphere for guests. But the showstopper of the restaurant is the Vineyard Patio Room.
The temperature-controlled patio gives a view of the bustling shopping center. It also features a fireplace and heaters for the winter, and multiple fans for the summer. A full-service bar is located on the patio for customers to order handcrafted beverages while enjoying the fresh air.
The weekend brunch and lunch menu is perfect to enjoy on the patio. Tempt your taste buds with a plate of the Crème Brûlée French Toast, the Riley’s Beer Battered Fish & Chips or the Mediterranean Quiche with sautéed vegetables.
2. Starving Artists Bistro
9447 N. Fort Washington Road
3. Veni Vidi Vici
1116 N. Fulton St.
1. Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria
Do you know what perfection tastes like? If not, you should head to Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria. Since 1958, when the original location opened, the pizzeria has expanded to include dozens of locations throughout the Central Valley.
The secret to success starts with staying true to traditional recipes and techniques. For starters, the pizzeria is known for using firebrick ovens to create crispy crust. You can choose between thin or thick crust and red tomato or white garlic Alfredo sauces.
It also offers an array of hearty meats for toppings: pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, salami, ground beef, seasoned chicken, Italian sausage and linguiça.
Toppings extend to include fresh vegetables like artichoke hearts, chopped garlic, mushrooms, black olives, pineapple, jalapeños, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli florets, roasted red peppers, bell peppers, red onions and green onions.
Signature combinations include The Italiano, Valley Veggie, Tuscan Harvest and Hot Hawaiian.
“We’re very fortunate to have dedicated team members, which makes our flavors consistent,” says Thomas Ferdinandi, executive vice president and chief operations office of Milano Restaurants International.
In addition to the pizzeria, Milano Restaurants International operates Blast 825° Pizza — a quick alternative to Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria. There are two local locations: inside Fashion Fair Mall and outside Sierra Vista Mall next to Jamba Juice.
But where would Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria be without the love and support of the community? As a way of returning the appreciation, the pizzeria established a philanthropic organization called the Me-n-Ed’s Do-Nation.
Recently, Ferdinandi says, $60,000 was distributed among three local charities: Poverello House, Catholic Charities and Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County.
2. BC’s Pizza & Beer
1315 Shaw Ave., Clovis
1. Deli Delicious
Deli Delicious isn’t a stranger to mouth-watering, made-to-order sandwiches. Your taste buds will tingle while choosing your sandwich from a variety of more than 30 hot, cold and specialty subs.
“Deli Delicious exists today because of the hard work and dedication of our beloved founders, fans and friends,” says Nate Gilbert, sales and marketing spokesperson for Deli Delicious.
In 1995, the Hobab family opened a sandwich shop in the Fresno area. It eventually grew into Deli Delicious Franchising. Today, there are more than 20 locations in the Central Valley — from Bakersfield to the Bay Area.
“Our brand has really matured over the years — stylish, fast-casual restaurants that serve sandwiches, salads, soups and french fries among other items,” Gilbert says. “Superior products, service and décor make Deli Delicious unique.”
You can customize your sandwich with your choice of fresh bread: white, whole wheat or sourdough. Hot subs include roast beef, mushrooms and Jack cheese (No. 33), hot pastrami and provolone cheese (No. 37) and turkey, bacon and Jack cheese (No. 39).
According to Gilbert, the most popular hot subs include hot pastrami, pepperoni salami and provolone cheese (No. 38), chipotle chicken and Jack cheese (No. 44) and barbecue tri-tip and provolone cheese (No. 45).
Cold subs include traditional favorites like ham and Swiss cheese, pepperoni and provolone cheese and triple threats like ham, salami and Swiss cheese.
As for cold subs, Gilbert says two sandwiches are top contenders: turkey, avocado, sprouts and cream cream (No. 21) and albacore tuna, avocado, sprouts and cream cheese (No. 29).
Specialty subs include delicious additions like cream cheese, avocado, sprouts and cucumber. The vegetarian-friendly sub has avocado, sprouts, cucumber, cream cheese and provolone cheese.
Customize your sandwich with hearty toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, black olives, wax peppers and red onion. Add mayonnaise, mustard, black pepper, oil and vinegar for completion.
Deli Delicious also serves half-pound burgers, salads, soups and sides like beer-battered fries, sweet potato fries and curly fries. As for the future of Deli Delicious, Gilbert says a new hot sandwich will be added to the menu in the summer.
If you’d prefer to bring Deli Delicious to your home, consider ordering a tray of 14 customizable 4-inch subs. You can also order online by visiting www.deli-delicious.com.
2. Sam’s Italian Deli
2415 N. First St.
3. Piemonte’s Italian Delicatessen
616 E. Olive Ave.
1. Pismo’s Coastal Grill
7937 N. Blackstone Ave.
Forget driving to the Central Coast to grub on fresh seafood, Pismo’s Coastal Grill has been bringing the beach to your table since 2009. Located in the Villaggio shopping center, Pismo’s is across the street from River Park Shopping Center. It’s owned by Dave Fansler.
“The main thing is we wanted to build a truly legitimately coastal restaurant — like it’s right on the beach,” Fansler says.
Mission accomplished. Deliveries are made on a daily basis to uphold the seafood restaurant’s commitment to serving fresh, high-quality products.
Weekly specials change due to seasonality and availability, but the menu features an array of items like Pistachio-Crusted Calamari, crab cakes, Wood-Grilled Oysters, grilled prawns and pasta topped with shrimp.
Fansler says cioppino, a fish stew served in an iron pot, is a popular item on the menu. It comes with sourdough bread to dip.
“It’s like a seafood feast,” Fansler says.
The seafood restaurant also serves three kinds of clam chowder: Classic White, Spicy Red and Rhode Island Clear. You can order a cup, bowl, mug, sourdough bread bowl or sampler.
Attached to the seafood restaurant is the Pismo’s Fish Market. You can purchase halibut, mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, snapper, trout, swordfish, Chilean seabass and farmed salmon.
“We have Californian fish come directly from fisherman,” he said. Hawaiian fish like mahi-mahi is delivered from Honolulu.
2. Red Lobster
1460 E. Shaw Ave.
1545 S. Mooney Boulevard, Visalia
3. Central Fish Company
1535 Kern St.
1. Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House
1520 E. Champlain Drive
Dave Fansler has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, starting with Steak & Anchor Restaurant & Lounge and Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse in the Fresno area.
In July 2006, Fansler opened the first restaurant as part of the Fansler Restaurant Group: Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House.
The inspiration behind the steakhouse is Yosemite National Park — hence the name. In the early 1990s, Shepherd Avenue provided the route for lumber being transported from the areas surrounding Yosemite to the Sugar Pine Lumber Co. in Pinedale. The steakhouse is on the northeast corner of Champlain Drive and Shepherd Avenue — preserving a bit of a historical link.
The interior is decorated like an old-fashioned lodge with a full-service bar, anchored in the middle of the steakhouse, illuminated by twinkling lights.
“We have real comfortable atmosphere,” Fansler says.
The menu features appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and melts, burgers and entrées like bacon-wrapped filet mignon, slow-roasted sirloin and New York strip — cooked on a coastal red oak fire for optimal flavor.
And thanks to Pismo’s Coastal Grill, the steakhouse receives fresh seafood on a daily basis. You can choose from Butter-Braised Salmon, Australian Lobster Tail, pan-Roasted Scampi, Nut-Crusted Calamari and Alaskan king crab.
2. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
7844 N. Blackstone Ave.
3. Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
639 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 149
1. Fresno Breakfast House
2085 W. Bullard Ave.
For nearly 18 years, Fresno Breakfast House has spoiled customers with scrumptious dishes for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Tellawi family.
The original location was nestled at First Street and Ashlan Avenue, but closed when business was booming at the second location on Bullard and West avenues.
Symone Tellawi says her father, Sam, is the patriarch behind Fresno Breakfast House. She considers her father a role model, she says. The menu is comprised of breakfast basics and lunch specials.
“We have great omelets. One of our specialty omelets is the House Special,” she says. “We also have great eggs Benedict.”
She recommends the Crepes Florentine with hollandaise sauce and the Southwest Breakfast Enchiladas — topped with homemade enchilada sauce. FBH also serves cranberry and mango mimosas for brunch.
As for lunch, Tellawi says there are burgers, sandwiches, melts, soups and salads. If you’re indecisive on ordering breakfast or lunch, try the FBH Brunch Burger — complete with bacon, hash browns and a fried egg.
The interior of FBH is adorned with murals, tea pots and an indoor garden with a skylight.
“It’s pretty eclectic,” Tellawi says. “A lot of customers say they feel like they’re on vacation.”
FBH features a banquet facility for wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, fundraisers and meetings. It also offers a catering company called Paradise Catering.
“We put a lot of focus on service and making our customers happy,” she says. “We try to strive for consistency.”
1185 E. Champlain Drive
3. Mimi’s Cafe
7660 Blackstone Ave.
752 W. Shaw Ave.
2920 E. Nees Ave.
Escape reality and enter a world with more than 40 different sushi rolls. Without a doubt, Wassabi hooks customers with the eclectic atmosphere, enthusiastic employees and to-die-for rolls.
With the original location on Herndon Avenue closed, Wassabi has moved to the northwest corner of Willow and Nees avenues. The name: Wassabi on Fire. The second location, Wassabi Off The Hook, still stands in Fig Garden Village.
The most popular rolls on the menu include the OMG, the Booty Booty and 3M. The three rolls feature crab and spicy tuna. If you don’t have a palate for sushi, try the Nemo or the Yoda.
Wassabi also plays tribute to its hometown by featuring the Fresno: salmon, yellowtail, shrimp and green onions wrapped with soy paper and spicy tuna.
If you want to be bold, order the Smells Like My EX, the Climax, the Fore Play, the Orgasmic or the Pimp Daddy.
The menu also features vegetarian-friendly rolls with avocado, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms or cucumber. But if you want to skip sushi, Wassabi has you covered with teriyaki chicken, Chilean sea bass, crab cakes, salted or garlic edamame, fried rice, deep-fried green beans, miso soup and salads.
2. I Love Sushi
465 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis
3. Roll One For Mi
1512 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 103
1. Teazer World Tea Market
Teazer World Tea Market takes your taste buds on a tropical adventure. The tea shop has locations throughout Fresno area, starting with the original location in the Tower District. Now, there are locations in the Galleria in Civic Center Square, River Park Shopping Center and on West Shaw Avenue.
The tea shop was founded by Ann Liao in 2003. She started with house specials and then, after chatting with customers, boasts more than 100 types of tea that can be customized. Needless to say, the options are endless.
Employees, called Tea Tenders, help customers navigate through the menu. You can order tea with fresh fruit, cream or soy milk.
The tea shop is known for featuring seasonal blends like Cherry Blossom Green Tea, The Royal Blue, Peachy Lichee, Shanghai Lichee Jasmine and Nerola Orange Oolong. Tango Mango, Vanilla Sky, Green Lantern, Brazilian Coconut, Lavender Lemonade and Pomegranate Hibiscus are top picks in the summer.
The best part about tea? It provides a number of health benefits. There are a number of caffeine-free herbal teas — infused with flavors like peppermint, ginger, spearmint, lavender, lemongrass and rose petals — with medicine properties to relax and soothe your mind and body.
The tea shop also offers unfermented green tea, which contain powerful antioxidants.
Rooibos, meaning “red bush,” is a caffeine-free herbal tea native to South Africa. It boasts beneficial properties like zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, fluoride and polyphenols. And, of course, the tea shop has several flavors of rooibos.
2. Little Leaf Tea
6011 N. Palm Ave.
1. The Thai House
1069 E. Shaw Ave.
Located near Fashion Fair Mall, The Thai House has been a staple in the community since the early 1980s with its mouth-watering dishes crafted with fresh, high-quality ingredients. It was voted as the best Asian restaurant by the California Restaurant Association for three years.
“It was the first Thai restaurant in the Central Valley,” says K.P. Phimmasone, general manager at The Thai House.
His sister-in-law, Konny Phimmasone, is the mastermind behind the menu. The menu includes authentic delicacies of Thailand, including fried won tons, steamed mussels, Kung Pao Chicken, pad see ew (stir-fry noodles) and garlic chicken, beef and pork.
“We try to be as authentic as possible,” Phimmasone says.
He says the most popular plate is garlic pork ribs, marinated with yellow curry and served with homemade chili sauce. If you’re new to Thai cuisine, Phimmasone recommends ordering from the No. 4 from the Thai House Plate Specials. It includes pad thai, garlic chicken and steamed rice.
Pad thai, he says, is a well-known dish in Thailand. It consists of small rice noodles, egg, shrimp, green onions, bean sprouts and ground peanuts.
Phimmasone also suggests trying spicy beef, which is cooked with red curry and coconut milk. There isn’t a full-service bar, but wine and beer are served to pair with the wide variety of dishes.
The Thai House is open seven days a week, closing at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
2. Pad Thai Restaurant
198 Shaw Ave., Clovis
3. Thai Country Restaurant
151 W. Bullard Ave., Clovis
1. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe
7089 N. Cedar Ave.
Eddie’s Bakery Cafe has developed a reputation for serving an array of bakery and cafe menu items — it was only a matter of time before the local spot became a magnet for the affianced, as well.
After fielding an influx of wedding cake requests over the years, the business recently designated a special department to the important occasion, providing couples with expert care and direction when it comes to creating custom wedding cakes that are perfect for each specific client.
“We take at least an hour with each customer to discuss their ideas,” says manager Sophia Myers. “We try to figure out when and where they’re having it — that has an impact on the cake — guest counts and the theme and feel they’re going for that day. We have our wedding consultation room that we redid here and there last year; it’s more spacious and has an easier flow so you can better see the cakes we have on display in the room.”
Just last year, Eddie’s Bakery Cafe averaged about 10 wedding orders a weekend, stretching the staff’s talents with a selection of its cake flavors, fillings, icings and other special touches for couples to choose from.
Myers points to its champagne custard and pink champagne cake as a popular combination because of its signature soft, moist texture and delicate sweetness. But also notes that the world of Pinterest has broadened the possibilities for modern brides and grooms.
Eddie’s Bakery Cafe is more than up for the challenge.
Last year’s rustic, back-to-basics creations have been swapped out for more feminine masterpieces: ruffles, soft colors and demure cakes with striking floral or broach-like accents.
“Our brides are also downsizing cakes and going for dessert tables,” Myers says. “Most of the mini dessert items we don’t carry on a daily basis. We have tea-sized sweets so it’s nice when you see them arranged — it’s absolutely beautiful.”
Common sought-after items are its mini eclairs and mini fruit tarts, as well as mini cannolis and cream puffs to keep things light and fun.
2. Frosted Cakery
1292 N. Wishon Ave.
3. La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe
730 W. Shaw Ave.