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17 Must-try Fresno Restaurants

Fresno, at the crossroads of California’s abundant Central Valley, serves as a gastronomic gem where cultures, traditions, and flavors converge.

delicious serving of steak and mashed potatoes at a restaurant in Fresno

Beyond its agricultural fame, this sun-drenched city is emerging as a culinary hotspot, with a myriad of eateries offering both time-honored and avant-garde dishes.

From the fragrances wafting through bustling markets to the innovative menus of chic bistros, Fresno’s restaurant scene paints a vibrant palate of the city’s rich tapestry.

Embark on a culinary journey with us as we explore the crème de la crème of Fresno’s dining establishments.

Pismo’s Coastal Grill

7937 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: 559-439-9463
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On North Blackstone Avenue near the River Park Shopping Plaza is Prismo’s Coastal Grill. When you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you’re at a lodge in a resort town.

The walls and floor are made with wood, there’s ample seating, and there’s a separate seafood counter where you can purchase some to take home. 

Pismo’s has an extensive menu featuring salads, sandwiches, and plenty of seafood plates. One of the best things about Pismo’s is that it has several chowder options.

They have classic white, red spicy, Rhode Island clear, and Dave’s Lite. I went with a cup of traditional chowder and their Hawaiian ahi burger.  

The Annex Kitchen

2257 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: 559-248-8512
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You’ll find The Annex Kitchen on West Shaw Avenue across the street from the Hotel Piccadilly.

The Annex Kitchen is a modern and casual Italian restaurant that has an inviting atmosphere.

The interior is modern with concrete floors, white and wood walls, and an open kitchen concept. 

This Italian restaurant draws inspiration from classic dishes and cooking methods while still using California-grown ingredients and basing dishes off local and seasonal ingredients.

Their menu has plenty of pasta, antipasti starters, and dishes cooked on their wood-burning grill. Their lasagna and truffle fries were my favorite. Plus, their wine selection is excellent. 

Dog House Grill

2789 E Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93710
Phone: 559-294-9920
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On East Shaw Avenue, across the street from California State University Fresno, is Dog House Grill. It’s a classic American restaurant that’s casual and features sports memorabilia on the walls.

Several TVs are located throughout, so you can pop in for any game when they’re on. On game days, you can expect this restaurant to get lively. 

Dog House Grill’s menu boasts sandwiches, burgers, barbeque, and other delicious side dishes. I saw many people eating burgers, so I decided to give the monster burger a try.

It’s double patties with cheddar and jack cheeses. I noticed they had fried shrimp on the menu, and I couldn’t resist an order as my side dish.   

Yosemite Ranch

1520 E Champlain Dr, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-434-4403
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Yosemite Ranch is on East Champlain Drive in the Fort Washington neighborhood of Fresno. It’s one of the tastiest steakhouses in town, and they’re only open for dinner service.

The atmosphere is intimate, and the lighting is dim to reflect that better. Notwithstanding, it never loses its casual approach.

Even though they’re considered a steakhouse, they have plenty of other meat-oriented menu items. Whatever you do, you have to start your meal off with their stuffed bread.

It’s bread stuffed with garlic white wine butter. They have steak, seafood, plates of pasta, and much more. The grilled lamb and swordfish dinners are often ordered. 

Phoenician Garden Mediterranean Bar and Grill

1025 E Herndon Ave #106, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-261-2747
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The Phoenician Garden Mediterranean Bar and Grill is eight miles north of downtown Fresno.

This family-owned and operated restaurant is beautiful and the perfect place to treat yourself to a great meal or impress a date.

The interior is beautifully decorated with white and cream accents to brighten the place up. 

As you may have guessed by the name, the cuisine here is Mediterranean-inspired. They feature various Mediterranean appetizers, salads, soups, and entrees.

A popular appetizer is their spicy hummus, and it didn’t disappoint. As for entrees, I had to order their lamb shank. It was a hefty portion, and it came topped with tomato sauce and grilled veggies. 

Parma Restaurant

6729 N Palm Ave # 101, Fresno, CA 93704
Phone: 559-432-3389
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You’ll find Parma Restaurant in North Fresno, on North Palm Avenue. This casual and authentic Italian restaurant is the perfect way to feel like you’re eating at a restaurant in Italy without ever leaving the United States. Parma opened in 1999 and has become a staple in the Fresno community over the years. 

Parma features dozens of traditional Italian dishes. They make their pasta from scratch daily, and patrons are encouraged to start with an appetizer and wine before ordering your entree.

Of course, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Everything sounded wonderful, so I went with their Tris di Pasta, where you can get a sample of three different kinds of pasta. 

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

639 E Shaw Ave #149, Fresno, CA 93710
Phone: 559-222-5823
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Located right outside the Fresno Fashion Fair shopping center is Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.

If you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate any occasion or simply have a nice dinner, Fleming’s is the place.

The atmosphere is welcoming and posh but not in an intimidating way. They line the tables with white linen tablecloths, and the service is exceptional. 

Fleming’s offers plenty of steak, other meat dishes, salads, and sandwiches for you to choose from. They’re your typical American steakhouse.

My favorite is their petit filet mignon topped with truffle roasted lobster. Regardless of what you order for dinner, you’ll want to check out their wine and beer selection. Your server can help you pick the best wine to pair with what you order. 

Sal’s Mexican Restaurant

7476 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-438-3030
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Three miles away from California State University Fresno is Sal’s Mexican Restaurant. When in California, you know you can find excellent Mexican food, and Sal’s is one of the best in Fresno.

They serve food based on tradition in a welcoming and homey spot as a family-owned joint. You’ll feel immediately welcome when you arrive. 

Sal’s has everything you could want in a Mexican restaurant. They have quesadillas, taquitos, tacos, burritos, and more. It can be challenging to choose what to order with so many delicious options.

I went with Sal’s Favorite combo plate. It included an enchilada, chili relleno, and taco served with rice and beans. People rave about their tamales too.  

Mediterranean Grill & Cafe

1031 U St, Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: 559-441-7050
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Mediterranean Grill and Cafe is a great spot if you’re looking for an incredibly casual place to grab a bite to eat. You’ll find this restaurant in downtown Fresno, near the Mural District.

They’ve been serving locals and visitors delicious food for 26 years. The best part about this restaurant is that it’s a super casual and inviting atmosphere. 

Their menu features Mediterranean dishes like hummus, gyros, and plenty of vegetarian options.

Some of their most popular menu items are their grape leaves, falafel, and greek chicken salad. I opted for the falafel, and then I tried their Greek burger, which came with French fries. 

Red Apple Cafe

488 W Herndon Ave, Fresno, CA 93650
Phone: 559-261-1505
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Red Apple Cafe is in the Pinewood neighborhood of Fresno and the perfect place to grab breakfast or brunch.

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see a deep red building with a bright open sign in the window.

The interior is a classic American breakfast joint with wood tables and older decor that adds charm to the atmosphere. 

They serve almost all your favorite breakfast dishes here. They have pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, eggs benedict, and more.

The first thing I noticed on their menu is their famous potato dishes. It’s their famous potatoes with additional toppings like bacon and onions or another recipe of theirs. I went with the bacon and onion, and it was perfect. 

House of JuJu

565 Pollasky Ave #101, Clovis, CA 93612
Phone: 559-298-3090
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Near the Sierra Centennial Park on Pollasky Avenue is the House of Juju. This restaurant was started by a family who has a passion for food, and they have since expanded their restaurant to other California cities.

This modern burger joint is casual and great to gather with friends and family for a great meal and cold drink. 

House of Juju serves burgers, wraps, other sandwiches, and salads. It’s the perfect lunch or dinner spot when you’re craving a fantastic burger.

They have classic burgers and some signature gourmet ones. I love that you can order any burger with a veggie patty, turkey, chicken, or bison. I went with their three signature sliders so I could try three recipes. 

Max’s Bistro & Bar

1784 W Bullard Ave, Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: 559-439-6900
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Seven miles north of downtown Fresno is Max’s Bistro and Bar. This modern bistro and bar is a great place to eat while in town.

The lighting is dim, creating an intimate atmosphere. The atmosphere at Max’s is welcoming and warm. The floors are stained concrete with artwork from Max lining the walls. 

The menu at Max’s is American and California fare. If you love fries, you’ll love any of their signature fry recipes.

They have plenty of beef, chicken, and seafood dishes, so everyone can find something they’ll love here. I decided to try their scallops and started my meal off with a glass of their house white wine. 

Sakura Chaya

690 E Nees Ave, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-438-9378
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For dinner and a show, Sakura Chaya is the best. This Japanese restaurant features hibachi chefs who will cook your food in front of you.

It’s entertaining and fun even if you’ve been to a hibachi restaurant before. The restaurant features traditional Japanese decor and warm mood lighting. 

I’m a huge fan of hibachi, so that’s what I ordered when I went to Sakura Chaya. The chef who prepared my meal was friendly and very skilled.

I went with chicken and shrimp hibachi. Even though I usually fill myself up with hibachi, I decided to try their popcorn lobster tail sushi as well. 

Batter Up Pancakes

8029 N Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-440-1221
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Batter Up Pancakes is on North Cedar Avenue, just down the road from the Cedar Bluffs neighborhood. This is a casual and kid-friendly restaurant that even adults can enjoy.

It’s your typical breakfast joint with casual seating and decor. The floors are black and white checkered, and the walls feature a collection of Fresno memorabilia. 

This restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily, but the star of the show at this spot is their pancake selection. They also have traditional pancakes, pumpkin, cookie dough, and fruity recipes.

I was very intrigued by the eggless cookie dough on pancakes, so I had to try it. I can say it was well worth it. They also have plenty of omelets and other egg dishes if you don’t want something sweet. 

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

7844 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-490-0358
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Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is in the River Park Shopping Center. It’s a great place to pop into after a day of shopping or when you want to celebrate something special.

This elegant and upscale restaurant features red velvet chairs, white linen tablecloths, and beautiful chandeliers throughout. 

As a steakhouse, you can expect to find all your traditional dishes on the menu. There are steaks, seafood, delicious side dishes, salads, and other entrees.

If you’re on a date or dining with another person, the porterhouse steak for two is perfect. If you want seafood, the garlic-crusted sea bass is divine. 

Westwoods BBQ and Spice Co

8042 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-449-9227
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The River Park Shopping Center is a great place to eat local barbeque. Westwoods BBQ is a casual eatery with great food, drinks, and atmosphere.

The restaurant is lively, and it’s a fun place to be whether you’re eating a full meal or if you’re just stopping in for a quick drink before heading off. 

Westwoods BBQ features steaks, burgers, and other barbeque sandwiches. You have to try their jalapeno cornbread with honey butter regardless of what you order.

Their menu said they have the world’s best tri-tip sandwich, so I had to give it a try. It’s a simple sandwich with slow-roasted tri-tip and house-made barbeque sauce. 

Yard House

90 El Camino, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-261-2165
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Every city needs a high-quality sports bar, and Yard House is one of the best in Fresno. It’s one of the several restaurants in the River Park Shopping Center.

This sports bar is casual and has several TVs throughout so everyone can watch whatever game they want to without bothering other patrons. 

Yard House’s menu features everything you could want in a sports bar. There are nachos, chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and plenty of delicious craft beer. They even have pizza.

The Korean barbeque cheesesteak sounded fabulous, and it was. I paired that with a local beer, and it was a great meal.  

The Fresno food scene has a little bit of everything. You can find excellent steakhouses, Mexican cuisine, Italian cuisine, Asian cuisine, and everything in between here.

Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong with any of these great restaurants. 

If you’re heading over towards the bay area from Fresno, check out some awesome private dining rooms in San Francisco!

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.