Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction

For this travel blog, we explore the dining scene as AJ is not just a place to explore the outdoors (although outdoor dining is included – lol). Let’s start with a local treasured restaurant on Phelps Drive, Los Gringos Locos Grill and Cantina.

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction


Take a Short Trip to Mexico


Just one block south of the hustle and bustle of Apache Trail, is a beautifully decorated restaurant at 280 S. Phelps Dr, Apache Junction, AZ 85120, Los Gringos Locos. This restaurant is at the starting point of the downtown Apache Junction area as guests driving to this location are greeted with a beautiful tree-line street. This area is also improved with a pleasant, pedestrian-friendly streetscape that encourages local residents and visitors to explore the area on foot as well as in their vehicle.

Once our party arrived in the parking lot, our eyes were welcomed by a vibrantly painted building that tells prospective diners that they are about to go on a culinary journey. And, if guests thought that the outside was bold, wait until you encounter the inside.

After being greeted by the friendly hostess, everyone’s attention is drawn to a humongous mural that blends the offerings of the restaurant with the Apache Junction surroundings. I knew that this was going to be a fun meal for both my eyes and taste buds!

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction


What’s On the Menu


Once seated, our waitress gave us menus that filled our minds with culinary temptations. It was so hard to figure out what our table wanted so we decided to order a series of a-la-carte items based on what everyone was desirous to explore.  As such, we ordered a tamale, tostadas, and individual tacos, yum!

On top of the delicious sounding menu items we ordered, chips and salsas were provided to us when we first sat down. And while we were waiting for the food, our eyes wondered throughout the rest of the restaurant noticing all the beautifully painted walls and a little retail section in case you were in the mood to purchase a themed t-shirt.

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction


Taste of Mexico


Once our food arrived, I felt that our tastebuds may need a passport as we were transported to Mexico as our table shared in all of the treasures. One of my favorite bites was the green corn tamale which is stuffed with green chilis and cheese and topped with their tasty green sauce. I also tried the steak tostada – this was probably once the freshest tostadas that I have had in some time. For those that cannot handle spicy food, like me, all of the items we selected were mild in spice level, but very flavorful.

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction


What to Expect at Los Gringos Locos


You can tell that the staff take their food and ambiance to heart as this was a very enjoyable meal. Also, on a nice cool day or a summer night, you can enjoy the warmth of this restaurant outside on their large outdoor patio. The patio abuts Phelps Drive, but the backdrop is the beautifully landscaped parkway that we saw when entering this area.


Now, Off to Chicago!


Did you know that you can try some of the legendary cuisine of Chicago right here in Apache Junction? The best part is you can try an iconic Chicago-style hot dog without having to get an airplane ticket! Chicago’s #1 Gyros, located at 850 S. Ironwood Drive Suite 124, Apache Junction, AZ 85120 is a modestly sized restaurant and will certainly please the folks that either lived in or traveled to the Windy City as authentic brands from the Land of Lincoln are brought back here in Arizona.


What’s Cooking in a Chicago Kitchen


Brands like Kronos Meats and Vienna Beef make up a large portion of their menu options, just like the famous hot dog stands of Chicago.  And when a hungry guest walks into the restaurant, they will be greeted with a great variety of Chicago staples such as Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, gyros, and more. For those that want to try this place and not sure on selecting a Chicago menu item, they also have an assortment of other items such as falafels, shish kebobs, salads, hummus dips, burgers and more.

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction

With much of the décor inside of the restaurant related to Illinois, one might feel like they are in a hot dog stand in one of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. References to Illinois US 66, the Chicago Blackhawks, signs of Vienna Beef Hot Dogs, and Chicago Cubs stickers help bring folks out of the Arizona heat and perhaps into the Illinois winters with the desire to enjoy a hot dog or a beef sandwich.

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction

For this particular visit, I had to go with a combination of items including the gyro sandwich with french fries and a small Greek salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. Like the photo shows below, this is a lot of food!

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction

Travel with Your Taste Buds in Apache Junction

The good news is that this was another meal for me as bringing the leftovers home means I get a lot for the money.  Essentially, if you are looking for a quick bite that feels like a quick trip to Chicago, then Chicago’s #1 Gyros is a place to consider!

It was so much fun to be transported to another part of the world without having to pack a suitcase! In case you want to explore these and all of the other dining options in Apache Junction, then please click here.


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