Great Local Places to Eat in Apache Junction

Great Local Places to Eat in Apache Junction

Backpack Pat here – exploring local places to eat! Even though I am nicknamed Backpack Pat, I don’t take my backpack with me everywhere. Shocking, I know! In fact, I probably have my work bag with me more than my backpack.

But there is umph behind the name, this backpack has been on countless trips with me for over 20 years and I feel like I am just getting started. And yes, enough about the backpack already, I am hungry, let’s talk about food! Specifically, mom-and-pop places to eat in Apache Junction.

A burger with fries at Dirtwater Springs, a top place to eat in Apache Junction, AZ.


Local Places to Eat in Apache Junction

Apache Junction, also known as AJ, should be unofficially dubbed the mom-and-pop restaurant capital of Arizona based on the robust choices of places to eat that local residents, workers, hikers, winter residents, families and friends can choose from.

For this particular blog, I am going to write about two restaurants that I patronized. One was breakfast at Toast Gio’s Breakfast and Lunch and the dinner was a Dirtwater Springs. I did have a fellow diner come along to enjoy the experiences, as it’s always better to share meals at Apache Junction’s local dining establishments!


Great Local Brunch Spot: Toast Gio’s Breakfast & Lunch (Toast)

We pulled up in the parking lot to Toast on a Sunday morning and the parking lot was packed, and for good reason, Toast is a popular local spot for brunch. With its simple but pleasant décor, variety of seating options and two pages of mouth-watering food items, the inside dining area was just as packed as the parking lot was packed with vehicles.

Even though we arrived in the morning, it was warm enough to sit outside and that is just what we did. The wait to be seated was a respectful 5-10 minutes, which was well worth the wait for this popular mom-and-pop restaurant!.

We sat at a table on the front porch and it was like having breakfast at home. The warm sun was on my back, and I saw the action of all the staff bringing trays of food and drinks to nearby customers. What I particularly love about this local place to eat is the ambiance, as it adds a layer of comfort while enjoying a glass of orange juice or a hot coffee.

Eggs and steak on toast, a popular menu item on local places to eat in Apache Junction.


What to Order at Toast

As one of the local spots to brunch in Apache Junction, it was no surprise Toast had a lot to offer. After looking at the wide selection of breakfast and lunch items, I ordered the traditional eggs benedict. I am not sure what is it about my taste buds, but a good hollandaise sauce kicks off a great weekend meal for me, and their sauce did just that. The portion size was great, I took home leftovers, and the food came out fast.

Despite not choosing such an item Toast is known for, guess what, their specialty toast, they have three selections to choose from: signature toast with a bacon jam, goat cheese and a balsamic glaze drizzle, avocado toast and the steak and eggs toast. Next time, when I go back to this local favorite brunch spot, I truly want to try the steak and eggs toast as what says breakfast more than that!

Truly, this is one of the best-kept secret restaurants on the far east side of Apache Junction. Toast Gio’s Breakfast and Lunch is also known as Toast to the locals and it’s located at 1422 E Broad Avenue Apache Junction, AZ 85119.

A traditional benedict at Toast, a popular place to eat in Apache Juntion.


What’s For Dinner at Dirtwater Springs

Hungry for more local places to eat, my dining companion and I went to Dirtwater Springs on a weekend night, so it was certainly a lively crowd with the staff pacing along the dining floor with trays of super tasty libations and plenty of plates.

Being that it was a Saturday night, I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and do not be fooled by the eclectic mix of glasses as your table will be served drinks that are well mixed and full of flavor.


What to order at Dirtwater Springs

The food menu offered at this local restaurant, Dirtwater Springs, includes classic American fare such as burgers and salads, but I was feeling a little adventurous that night and I got the meatloaf. Now meatloaf can be a hard item to appreciate because every recipe might be a little different and it might not be grandma’s meatloaf, but I was willing to give this dish a chance.

I do recommend giving it a try because the portion was gracious. Like Toast, I had leftovers to take home for the next day. The actual meatloaf was tender and the brown gravy was thick and had a savory and salty effect that was a great complement to the meatloaf.

As for the sides, of course I had to go with the fries as there is nothing like a little gravy dipping action – this could be the start of a new little delicious side dish, poutine! There is something about a crispy fry being paired with a juicy section of meatloaf that just makes a hardy meal that much more satisfying.

You know what the best part was about this night, everything! Here you get great service, good drinks, generously portioned meals and all at a fair price. This restaurant was a refreshing local place to stop at and all of the rustic, western-themed décor just added another layer of hominess. The décor works well for this area as it is only a few miles away from Goldfield Ghost Town, Lost Dutchman State Park and the breathtaking Superstition Mountains. I am an equal opportunity eater, so there will be many other blogs about the wide array of food offerings that the Apache Junction area offers. I will admit, I may need to do a lot more hiking to work off these future calories!


  • February 8, 2023
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  • Travel
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