Chandler’s Best for 2017 Include Local Favorites, Loyal Fixtures and Exciting Newcomers

We’re pleased to bring you the inaugural Readers’ Choice Awards for 2017! In the following pages, you’ll read about 41 of the best businesses and services in Chandler—chosen by you, our readers. This wasn’t an easy task. We had 1,703 nominees, 226 finalists and over 4,400 ballots with more than 176,000 votes. It’s clear that the people of Chandler love their local businesses and wanted to show them some love! 

For some of the categories, it was a tight race. In 11 categories, the winner was chosen by 10 or less votes. And for others the choice was clear, with seven winners bringing in more than 40 percent of the votes in their category. 

We appreciate everyone who took the time to nominate and vote for their favorite local businesses. And without further ado, we bring you the winners of the Readers’ Choice Awards 2017! 

best Breakfast/Brunch

First Watch

4955 S. Alma School Road, Chandler


First Watch specializes in delicious and award winning, made-to-order breakfasts, brunches and lunches. A proud recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Lunch” accolades, First Watch serves up a number of traditional faves, including omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads. For diners looking for something a bit different, First Watch offers unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was also named the 2016 Top Family Dining Restaurant by Consumer Reports. – AS

Best Casual Dining

SanTan Brewing Company

8 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler


Open since 2007 under the leadership of founder and brewmaster Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing Company has established a strong and well-deserved reputation as one of the state’s favorite craft breweries. In 2009, SanTan Brewing began distributing their Southwestern style ales throughout the state, operating with a belief that great craft beer and craft food can be the inspiration for conversations that can change the world. – AS

Fine Dining

DC Steak House

98 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler


Located in historic Downtown Chandler, diners will find plenty of delicious food and a cozy atmosphere at DC Steak House. Dean and Lorie La Plant are proud to continue their family’s longstanding tradition of owning steakhouses (the family, which is from the Midwest, has been in the steakhouse business since the 1940s). DC Steak House specializes in steaks, chops, and a wide selection of seafood, including lobster tails and crab legs. The certified Angus beef is always grilled to perfection, and those who also hail from the Midwest will find some familiar culinary choices, such as Walleye fish and fried cheese curds. – AS

best Happy Hour           

The Living Room    

2475 W. Queen Creek Road, Chandler


For those looking for a great happy hour in a welcoming atmosphere, The Living Room is definitely the place to go. From the $5 glasses of wine and the $3 well drinks or drafts to the $5 skinny cocktails, The Living Room offers happy hour specials from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Guests can also find plenty of delicious food, including meals featuring New York strip steaks cut in-house, produce grown right here in Arizona, house-made potato chips made daily with sea salt and herbs, and hand-pulled mozzarella. – AS

best Sports Bar

Ginger Monkey

135 W. Ocotillo Road, Chandler


Ginger Monkey is the place to be for happy hour, sports action, live music and fun! This neighborhood tavern has 30 beers on tap and large TVs throughout the restaurant that show every sporting event. Home of the “gourmet TV dinner,” they pride themselves on encompassing fresh homestyle comfort food. So bring your family, kids and dogs (they even boast a pup menu) for a dining experience worth repeating. – MH

best Coffee House

Black Rock Coffee Bar

4050 S. Alma School Road, Suite 1, Chandler



At Black Rock, the goal is to be much more than a mere place to get a cup of coffee, but to offer a place where true connections are made. From the friendly baristas to the customers and vendors, everyone is busy crafting their story, one day and one connection at a time. The crafted drinks are how Black Rock shows their appreciation and respect for their valued customers, as well as themselves. – AS

best Pizza 

Barro’s Pizza

1880 S. Alma School Road, Chandler


950 E. Riggs Road, Chandler


The Barro’s recipe comes from Grandma Angelina Barro, who came to the U.S. from Italy in the 1930s. While people may disagree on whether the thick crust—with its light, flaky texture that almost melts in your mouth, or the wonderfully spiced sauce that is both tangy and sweet, is what makes the pizza stand apart from the rest—everyone agrees that they serve up one of the best pies in the state. Barro’s Pizza also serves a variety of wings, salads, sandwiches, pastas, gluten-free pizza options, dessert, beer and wine. – AS


best Ethnic Cuisine        

Pho Chandler                      

4055 S. Arizona Ave., Suite 8, Chandler



For over 10 years, Pho Chandler has served the Chandler area with delicious food at affordable prices. The local family-owned and operated restaurant gets their ingredients in fresh daily, and their dishes are made to order. The main dish at Pho Chandler is the signature pho noodle soup, which they take great pride in preparing. Diners can also find a variety of other dishes including spring rolls, stir-fry noodles, grilled rice plates, rice vermicelli bowls and much more. The family friendly restaurant offers dine-in and carry out options. – AS

best Seafood/Sushi      

Rock Lobster           

2475 W. Queen Creek Road, Chandler


Rock Lobster is The Sushi Room, reinvented. Promising fun, energy and the authentic creativity of teppanyaki, Rock Lobster has 25 menu items and many of the original Sushi Room favorites. In addition, a lineup of Asian beers, sake and spirits add to any occasion, and the teppanyaki room is perfect for special events and celebrations. Rock Lobster also offers happy hour on some of their food from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily; these include a selection of salads, nigiri for $2 a piece, and $5 hand rolls. – AS

best Dentist         

Stephanie Walker, DDS

3070 S. Dobson Road, Chandler


Dr. Stephanie Walker is a second-generation dentist and native Arizonan who grew up in South Tempe. Throughout her 14-year career, 10 years of which have been in Downtown Ocotillo, Dr. Walker is proud to carry on the traditions of quality and personal dental care for her patients. Dr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from University of Arizona before attending dental school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The mother of two children, Dr. Walker resides in Chandler with her family and is closely tied to the community in which she was raised. – AS