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Restaurants Modesto, CA

Updated on December 13, 2013

Best Restaurants in Modesto, CA

Welcome to our review page for restaurants in Modesto. My wife and I like to eat out once per week. We search the Internet for highly reviewed restaurants- not too expensive -and then we investigate the menu and eat there.

The following reviews and recommendations are my opinion and my wife's critique as well. My wife hails from Ukraine, "the bread basket of Europe". She is very critical of food quality. If it is not delicious, she says so!

I am less picky. I served in the Marines- I've eaten a lot of meals that were "balanced", not so delicious. However, I do not waste money on poor fare. The following reviews include both our thoughts on restaurants in the city, and how to get good values eating out in Modesto.

Map of Imperial Garden

A marker2045 w briggsmore ave -
2045 W Briggsmore Ave, Modesto, CA 95350, USA
get directions

Imperial Garden Chinese restaurant is inside the plaza, off the road, on the corner of a block of commercial suites. Entrance on the south side.

Imperial Garden

The best Chinese in Modesto is Imperial Garden restaurant at 2045 West Briggsmore Avenue. This is a family-owned business. The owners are very friendly and efficient. However, they do take time to chat a few sentences, and they laugh at my jokes- always a plus.

We found them when we saw they received the highest star rating on Yelp!, as rated by customers. My wife and I agree.

The best value is the Family Dinner. We order this for 2 people (the minimum at every Chinese restaurant in America, I believe). They are very liberal with substitutions without adding an extra charge. Except, on our last visit we upgraded the 3 dumplings to a full 12-piece order of shrimps for less than the cost of a half order!

We pay about $33 for two people. We take home boxes of food that make two or more meals for me (wife does not eat leftovers- hurray!) For this fee, we order hot tea, the family dinner A ($10.95 per person), and an appetizer. Servings are very generous.

Parking is always easy. Imperial Garden is located very close to Hometown Buffet, and is approximately behind the Winco on Sisk Road.

Here is their website: Imperial Garden

Marie Callender's map

A marker3500 Coffee Road, Modesto, CA -
3500 Coffee Rd, Modesto, CA 95355, USA
get directions

Marie Callender's is situated closer to the Sylvan Avenue side of the plaza with Walgreen's on the corner.

Best Sunday Brunch in Modesto- Marie Callendar's

There are only two Sunday brunches I know of, besides the half dozen "buffet" style restaurants in Modesto. These are the brunch at the Double Tree restaurant downtown, and Sunday brunch at Marie Callender's.

The brunch includes an omelet bar, a waffle bar, a salad bar, a dessert table, and several entrees in chafing dishes.

Omelet bar

The omelet bar includes a bevvy of fresh vegetables: mushrooms, green bell pepper, onion, green onion, olives, spinach, and others. The meat options are ham, bacon, sausage, and more.

Waffle bar

The waffles are prepared in front of you. A sous chef stands ready to drop batter onto grill and press out a fresh waffle as you wait. A stack of freshly made griddle cakes await immediate transfer to your plate as well. The toppings are plentiful: boysenberry and maple syrup, of course are available. The bar also holds pecan and walnut nuts, cinnamon, pie fruit fillings (apple and blueberry, I recall), and whipped cream to top your waffle creation.

The salad bar is the standard full-menu salad bar available every day at Marie Callender's. Every kind of dressing and topping you might find in a quality dining establishment are present.


Marie Callender's is famous for fresh fruit pies and pies from an array of recipes. These are available as dessert plates. The slices are thin, but if like me, you will be too full to care. And, you can always take two! Brownies, cookies and other desserts fill the table.

Best Mexican Food in Modesto, CA

El Rosal on Coffee Road near Floyd Avenue is actually "El Rosal No. 2". The managers of this small chain of restaurants do an excellent job of preparation and the menu is outstanding. All of my and my wife's favorites are available.

This restaurant is one of the highest rated of any food variety in Modesto. On Yelp!, 32 reviewers gave an average 4 stars to El Rosal No. 2. On, 4 reviewers all gave this restaurant 5 stars. Please remember, reviewers are very harsh online, and people with a negative experience are ten times more likely to comment than are customers who experienced a pleasurable meal and visit. Four stars on Yelp! is a must-visit stop.

2625 East Coffee Road

(209) 526-2048

Fuzio's Map

A marker1010 south 10th street, modesto, ca -
1010 10th St, Modesto, CA 95354, USA
get directions

Fuzio's is off the downtown walk, across from the Brendan theater.

Best Fusion Restaurant in Modesto, CA

The Best Fusion Restaurant in Modesto is Fuzio's, immediately across the walk from Brendan theater. Fuzio's offers an excellent range of international food, and favorite creations.

My personal favorite is Pad Thai noodles with tofu. My wife likes hers with shrimp. We both have a favorite, which we always order: herbed portobellos and tomato fire-roasted pizza. We have never even tried the other fire-roasted pizza options: sausage and peppers or cheese and tomato.

My second favorite is the bleu cheese hamburger. It does not appear on the franchise Fuzio's menu, but it is available in Modesto. Order it with onion strings or thyme French fries.

Get there during happy hour, and save up to 50% off some appetizers and menu items.

Fuzio's fire-roasted pizza
Fuzio's fire-roasted pizza

Ruby Thai

This is almost unheard of... BUT, a very good eat can be found at the Vintage Faire Mall food court. When you enter the area, listen for a female Asian accent calling out, "Sample Sample Sample!" Each time I stop here, the same two women are alternating sampling their Jalapeno chicken, bang bang chicken (spicy), and other specialties of Thailand.

My wife and I share a two-entrée combination plate (in to-go Styrofoam, it's not fancy) for just $7.08 after tax. My wife can be critical of food quality and presentation. But, she loves to eat at Ruby Thai. She even compliments the lo mein served. It is a smaller diameter than the standard Chinese lo mein noodle.

Part of the experience is the constantly positive and fun atmosphere the two ladies create.

"Sample! Sample! Sample!"


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