Restaurant of the Week: Belly Gilbert

After finding success at its Melrose location in Downtown Phoenix for the last two years, Belly Kitchen & Bar has opened a second outpost at Epicenter at Agritopia in Gilbert. The stylish spot serves up Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, alongside picture-worthy cocktails.

Belly Gilbert, from Instrumental Hospitality Group, marks the first restaurant to open at Epicenter at Agritopia, which joins drink-focused outlets like Beer Barn, Peixoto Coffee and UnderTow. Guests are welcomed with a spacious patio at the front of the eatery, and a hip-yet-welcoming atmosphere (including a sleek bar area and an exhibition-style kitchen) once the doors open. The interior is dimly lit with elements of gray and light wood, with color being brought in via the quirky-cool mismatched tableware. The ambience lends itself well to date nights or lingering over cocktails and appetizers with friends.

The restaurant spotlights a wine list of entirely of organic and biodynamic bottles, alongside a few beer offerings and soju. Next-level libations fill Belly Gilbert’s cocktail menu; the mezcal-based Soot & Thai and tropical-inspired Burn a Debt (topped with a burning stick of cinnamon, ripe for the ‘gram!) are table-pleasers. And the flavored (zero-proof) horchatas are not to be missed.

Diners are encouraged to order a variety of dishes–which range from smaller snack plates to satisfying specialties–for sharing with the table. Though some dishes “carry with them deep traditions and techniques,” others are twists on classics–and there are a few that are something entirely their own. The wok-fried green beans with bonito (which can be made vegan upon request) and the Vietnamese elote (messy but delicious) are star starters. The PEI mussels, in lemongrass and coconut broth, are among the tastiest in the Valley (add a side a bread!) For heartier appetites, the braised short ribs–a comforting, warming dish with lemongrass, star anise, roasted purple daikon, carrots, Thai basil and pea shoots–can easily feed two.

And if the restaurant happens to be serving tres leches cake for dessert during your visit–do not miss it.

Belly Gilbert is open for lunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner, 4 to 10 p.m., daily. The bar is open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit

3150 E. Ray Rd. Ste. 180
Gilbert, AZ 85296

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