Phoenix and Scottsdale restaurants and resorts tend to get most of the local and national praise. However, other parts of Maricopa County also deserve merits of its own. To be more specific, the Mesa Fresh Foodie Trail. Even if you’re closer to Phoenix Sky Harbor, you might want to take a closer look at Mesa.
3000 E. Ray Road
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Agritopia is a fascinating, mixed-use community with a special particular emphasis on urban farming. Spread across 166 glorious acres in Gilbert, Agritopia’s land has a long history of farming dating back to 1927. Back then, Gilbert was affectionately known as the “Hay Capital of the World”. Several several decades later, the Johnson family led the development of the property. This combines a close knit residential community with commercial properties.
Today At Agritopia
Today, Mesa foodie’s will undoubtedly be in culinary heaven. For instance, they can explore the Farm at Agritopia, enjoy gourmet food at Joe’s Farm Grill, located inside the Johnston family’s original home. Additionally, they can sample some of the delectable treats inside Barnone, a collection of highly skilled craftsmen representing intriguing retail stores like Lettercraft and Prickly Pear Paper. Moreover are restaurants, like the Fire & Brimstone and Uprooted Kitchen, then capped off with a premium glass of wine at Garage East.
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Hayden Flour Mills At Sossaman Farm
22100 S. Sossaman Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Hayden Flours Mills is an extraordinary family owned business that produces some of the world’s oldest varieties of wheat (and most flavorful) known as ancient or heritage grains. Located just south of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in the Town of Queen Creek, the flour mills who name was inspired by a historic mill in nearby Tempe, are an integral part of a sprawling 1,000-acre, family-owned property that is in the midst of celebrating its 100th anniversary in business.
Flour Mill Tours
Although a tour of the flour mills is by appointment only, that visit is highly recommended. The retail store features hand cultivated heritage grains like Stone Ground Oatmeal and White Sonora Wheat Berries and more. Led by the father-daughter team of Jeff and Emma Zimmerman, Hayden Flour Mills was selected as one of the food winners from Martha Stewart’s Third Annual American Made Program in 2014. A year later, the business was featured in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine.
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3434 N. Val Vista Drive
Mesa, AZ 85213
The Greater Phoenix Area isn’t necessarily well known for its barbecue brisket as compared to other American cities like Austin, Kansas City and Memphis. But the Valley of the Sun really does deserve a much closer look at its many outstanding BBQ joints, including one that may just serve the very best smoked meats in the entire state – Jalapeño Bucks, along the Fresh Foodie Trail in Mesa. Located adjacent to the oldest orange grove in Arizona, Jalapeño Bucks is a wildly entertaining BBQ shack known for serving fabulous “New Wave Mexican Soul Food & Buzzsaw Brand BBQ”.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S. Meridian Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Also recommended in the Town of Queen Creek is the Queen Creek Olive Mill, yet another world-class, locally owned family business that harvests from 7,000 olive trees across 100 acres and produces extra virgin olive oil right on site. Founded by the very personable Detroit native Perry Rea and his wife Brenda, Queen Creek Olive Mill has been in operation for more than 20 years and also features a large gourmet Marketplace, multiple daily tours and ongoing special events.
Olive Mill Tours
Daily tours of this popular business along the Mesa Fresh Foodie Trail showcases Perry Rea’s extra virgin olive oils are approximately 45 minutes long and are first come, first served and cost just $7, with reservations not required for groups of eight or less. The Marketplace offers what seems to be everything that is extra virgin olive oil, stuffed olives and olive tapenades. There are also a unique Olive spa featuring home and spa products, balsamic vinegar and their award winning extra virgin olive oils.
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Superstition Dairy Farm
3440 S. Hawes Road
Mesa, AZ 85212
For families with children visiting the Fresh Foodie Trail, Superstition Dairy Farm should be at or near the top of their list. Located just north of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Superstition Dairy Farm is far more than its name suggests. For starters, there are twice-daily tours of the 27-acre farm, featuring a guided hayride where guests can see hundreds of curious cows, a petting zoo with several rescue animals, like goats and sheep, a Moo-University to learn more about life on a dairy farm and Milk Bar, where guests can taste the farm’s milk.
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC and Radio.com.