Diners in Apache Junction

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Black bears love strawberries. The bears of Northern California could often be seen wandering through the berry patches surrounding Mt. Shasta, an area favored by travelers since the 19th century because of the charmingly hospitable inns and restaurants found there. Bob and Laurie Manley were inspired to recreate the area’s post–Gold Rush hospitality, and they opened their first restaurant, Black Bear Diner, near those same strawberry patches. Nearly 20 years later, their brand has grown to encompass 50 different locations, each of which retains the founders’ principles of small-town charm and generosity. The menus also preserve the mom-and-pop vibe, with dishes such as secret-recipe sweet-cream pancakes, old-fashioned burgers wrapped in wax paper, and, of course, homemade bear claws. Each location is adorned with a trademark bear sculpture that has been hand-carved by Washington chainsaw artist Ray Schulz, who often grants his works with regional characteristics such as cowboy hats or taxi-hailing skills.

1809 East Baseline Road
Gilbert,
AZ
US

5 and Diner is a 24-hour, casual diner that serves up traditional comfort food. Dieters beware — 5 and Diner does not offer low-fat cuisine. Bring the whole clan to 5 and Diner — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here. Ideal for birthday parties or other large get-togethers, 5 and Diner has all the room you'll need to be comfortable. During the summer months, don't miss out on 5 and Diner's outdoor patio seating.

Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy 5 and Diner's cooking from the comfort of their own home.

Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.

Expect to spend less than $15 per person at 5 and Diner. 5 and Diner has menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — just pick your favorite meal and head over.

6353 E Southern Ave
Mesa,
AZ
US

Family Cafe's artful chefs dish up home-style Midwestern eats for breakfast, lunch, and Friday dinner from within a newly opened feeding hub. Morning meals commence with the cracking of eggshells, which fuel the savory Meatlover's omelet ($8–$9.99), packed with bacon, ham, and sausage, and experimental, yolk-powered automobiles. The spicy Baja breakfast burrito ($8.99) lines a tortilla shell with tasteful scrambled egg, chorizo, and green chili wallpaper splashed with a dash of salsa and cheddar jack cheese. Lunch sandwiches ensconce fixings with more layers than an philosophy-studying onion, featuring the meatloaf sandwich made from a generational recipe and precariously piled with mashed potatoes and gravy ($7.50).

2740 S Alma School Rd
Mesa,
AZ
US

Chow down on ribs, slaw and more at Waldo's BBQ, a down-home barbecue joint in Mesa. The menu doesn't include any low-fat items, so set aside some extra calories for your visit. Enjoy a drink with your dinner — Waldo's BBQ has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more. Tots and tykes will be right at home at Waldo's BBQ with its kid-approved food and ambience.

Can't get enough of Waldo's BBQ's tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events. For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.

If you're driving, be sure to take advantage of the nearby lot.

Tabs at Waldo's BBQ almost never exceed $15, so it's a great low-cost option for any time. All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Waldo's BBQ has menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — just pick your favorite meal and head over.

4500 E Main St
Mesa,
AZ
US

Denny's offers a wide variety of classic American dishes. No need to miss out on Denny's just because you are avoiding fat or gluten. The restaurant has loads of options that can accommodate your dietary needs. Got the whole gang with you? Denny's is a great pick for large parties. Between the music and the crowds, Denny's' noise levels can be intense.

Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Denny's in jeans and a hoodie. Or, take your grub to-go.

Parking is available at an adjacent lot.

You can fill up on Denny's' delicious fare without spending an arm and a leg — in fact, typical meals there run under $15. The restaurant is known for its showstopper brunch, but they also offer lunch and dinner. Nigh owls and early risers alike will appreciate that the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.

1150 S Country Club Dr
Mesa,
AZ
US

Waffle House offers a wide variety of classic American dishes. Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu as well. Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at Waffle House.

Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Waffle House — casually-dressed diners are the norm here. A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the visitors at your next shindig. Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.

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With prices generally staying under $15, you can easily afford to treat a pal or a data at Waffle House. The breakfast menu at the restaurant draws rave reviews, though you can also stop by for lunch or dinner. Whether you're a party animal or an early riser, the restaurant will be open to serve you 24 hours a day.

1831 S Country Club Dr
Mesa,
AZ
US