How to Support Latino-Owned Businesses in Phoenix
Show some love, Phoenix.
Supporting Latino-owned businesses should be a year-round initiative for those of us living in Phoenix. Latin American culture influences so much of the Phoenix experience, through obvious representations in restaurants and bars, but also in so many more businesses. Arizona’s Latino-owned businesses, an estimation of nearly 125,000, contribute roughly $14 billion to the state economy, according to data from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. From bakeries to bookstores, Phoenix’s Latino community is not only robust but thriving, too. Here's where you should be spending your time and money.
Arts & CultureLas Calakas
Phoenix-based Las Calakas is keeping the Cumbria sound alive. A fusion influenced by Panama and Columbia, Cumbia has a salsa-like sound that’s impossible not to dance to when you hear it. Las Calakas self-titled EP is available on all digital music platforms.
How to support: Shop Las Calakas’ merch online and keep an eye out for upcoming shows.
Palabras Bilingual Bookstore
Palabras is Arizona’s only bilingual bookstore. Here you’ll find libros of all kinds, from cookbooks and indie titles to best sellers and collectibles. Not just a bookstore, Palabras serves as an inter-cultural and community space that regularly provides the community with workshops and events. Palabras even has its own gallery that features works from local artists.
How to support: Make an appointment to shop in-person or browse the bookstore online.
Cultivo Mercado Colectivo
This innovative and inclusive market was designed to showcase Latinx small businesses that call the Phoenix Metro area home. The pop-up market features locally made goodies, clothing items, food and drinks, as well as arts and crafts made by artists from your community.
How to support: Wear a mask and shop the market on September 12, from 6-10pm. Find more info and a full list of participating vendors here.
Artist Ashley Macias
There’s a good chance that you’ve come across Ashley Macias’ artwork around Downtown Phoenix. Her colorful, large-scale fantastical-style works can be spotted at the rooftop deck of the Cambria Hotel, wrap around the walls of PAZ Cantina, and decorate The Rebel Lounge. Discover the murals around your city -- you might just spot some of her work along your journey.
How to support: Shop Ashley Macias’ collection of prints and originals here.
The Sagrado Galleria
Established in 2016, The Sagrado Galleria is an arts space that supports the South Phoenix community. Since its founding, the art space has hosted workshops, youth art shows, and has nabbed awards and nominations for its work in the community.
How to support: Support local artists and shop merch online or make a donation directly to The Sagrado.
Mariachi Rubor is an all-female mariachi ensemble that brings a modern sound to traditional mariachi-style music. The group is composed of women from varying musical and cultural backgrounds, from finance and criminal justice to human resources and nursing. Despite their different backgrounds, these talented ladies all share the same love for mariachi music.
How to support: Book Mariachi Rubor for an event and peep their upcoming performance schedule.
Roots in Spanish and Roots to Flowers
Brothers Armando and Ramon Soto are the green-thumbs behind both the retail garden center Roots in Spanish and the event floral design company From Roots to Flowers. A collection of their tiny potted succulents and ornate terrariums can be found at farmers markets around town. And, the Soto brothers want to help you cultivate your own green thumb. Join a floral design workshop or, you know, just pre-order a bouquet.
How to support: Shop their flowers at a farmers market near you and keep up with them on social.
Imagine Threads is a streetwear clothing company created by Cesar Rodriguez. What started as a business development project in college is now a clothing line that churns out imaginative designs inspired by, and designed for, the local community.
How to support: Shop Imagine Threads online and give ‘em a follow on the ‘gram.
Mucho Más Gallery & Gifts
This Chicano and Latinx gallery and community space is a collaboration brought to life by Emily Costello, Kathy Cano-Murillo, and Patrick Murillo. The art space features works from local artists and creators that range from colorful paintings to vibrant handmade goods including masks, earrings, bags, and home decor. Currently under a remodel, Mucho Más Gallery & Gifts plans to re-open mid-September.
How to support: Visit Mucho Más for the grand re-opening and follow the gallery on Instagram for updates.
Food & Beverage
La Bohemia is a Mexico City-inspired cafe that recently took up residence next to Palabras Bilingual Bookstore. The minimalist space is decorated with artifacts collected from trips to Mexico. And overall the space reflects a contemporary side of Mexico’s culture, something owners Alejandro Larios and Carla Chavarría felt was underrepresented in Phoenix. The cafe has a small menu that features specialty coffees, espresso, cafe de olla (a traditional Mexican coffee drink), agua frescas, conchas, and Mexican mocha.
How to support: La Bohemia is currently open for to-go only orders. Peep the full menu here.
Phoenix, Chandler, Downtown Mesa
Husband-and-wife team Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin’s Chihuahuan-style restaurant’s original location off the 51 is deceptively simple from the outside, but the food is pretty damn delicious. The award-winning Tacos Chiwas, now with three locations, offers a straightforward menu stacked with tacos, burritos, and gorditas. All of which are solid reasons why this casual taqueria is one of the best places to eat right now.
How to support: Order via Uber Eats or Postmates.
Women-owned Cantaguas specializes in refreshing aguas frescas. Based on traditional family recipes, these craveable handcrafted fruit drinks are made from a simple combination of fresh fruit blends, some herbs, and water. Cantaguas is typically a mainstay at Valley farmers markets, however, they have paused all operations due to the coronavirus.
How to support: Buy a gift card and save it for later.
Nogales Hot Dogs
Who needs ketchup and mustard when you can have your hot dog wrapped in bacon and piled-high with a smattering of toppings like salsa, beans, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, a drizzle of mayo and tucked inside of a fresh bolillo-style bun? Snag one from the dogueros at one of the Nogales Hot Dogs’ food carts. Your tastebuds will be forever grateful.
How to support: Order a dog here.
The Mexican state of Michoacan is famous for its paleterías, or popsicle stores. And co-owners Alvin Hong and Betty Alatorre, who grew up in Michoacan, brought the signature handmade popsicles, or paletas, to The Valley. Many of the pops are versions of Alatorre’s family recipes. And they are incredibly delicious, too.
How to support: Order some paletas via Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Seamless.
Our city has quite the street food scene. And when talking street food we just have to give Elote Man props. Whether you take your elote on the cob or in a cup, this Mexican food truck delivers with its lineup of seasoned elotes that range from traditional options to snackified treats like elotes topped with Takis or Hot Cheetos. En fuego.
How to support: Follow Elote Man on Instagram to find out where the truck will be this week.
Comfort food is standard at Downtown Mesa’s República Empanada. With more than a dozen savory empanada options to choose from including slow roasted pork and black bean options and a shortlist of sweet empanadas stuffed with guava and mozzarella or plantain and cream cheese, there’s never a bad choice, really. The menu is rounded out with tortas, platters, and appetizers like tostones and yuca frita.
How to support: Order some empanadas on Grubhub, Doordash, or Seamless.
El Chullo Peruvian Restaurant
This family-owned restaurant cranks out a parade of Peruvian dishes, including the smoky, and craveable, flame-kissed pollo a la brasa (Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken), refreshing ceviches, and popular Peruvian dishes such as lomo saltado, to name a few. And don’t get us started on the desserts. Confections like alfajor cookies, Peruvian donuts, and milk custards make for a pretty sweet way to end your meal.
How to support: Place your order right here.
Mexican pastries baked from scratch? Pan Carla’s delicious treats are available at a handful of cafes and coffee shops around The Valley. So snag a colorful concha or two or better yet, place your custom order online.
How to support: Treat that sweet tooth, order your treats right here.
Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
If you think gluten-free food is boring, Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe is here to change your mind. Make brunch plans, order a round of Tajín-rim mexi-mosas, and treat your tastebuds to their incredible gluten-free fried chicken and waffles or opt for something sweet like their sugar dusted fries or heavyweight cinnamon rolls. Seriously, these things are huge and pack a knockout punch of flavor.
How to support: Jewel’s is open at a limited capacity and currently offers curbside; order delivery on Uber Eats or Postmates.
Seydis Pupuseria & Grill
This family-owned Salvadorian restaurant takes Central American cuisine seriously. The menu includes apps and mains like golden-fried yucca served with pork and combos that include steak and Salvadoran sausage with just the right amount of avocado, rice, beans, cheese, and plantains. But the real stunners are the fluffy stuffed pupusas packed-full of goodies like pork, beans, shrimp, green pepper, spinach or even wildflowers, with each always accompanied by a gooey cheese.
How to support: Dine-in or place your takeout order on Doordash.
Tres Leches Café
Owner ET Rivera’s Tres Leches Café had a humble start. In 2014 Rivera was selling gourmet Mexcan coffee from his home on the weekends. Over six years, and two locations later, Tres Leches Café is a go-to for Mexican coffee drinks, smoothies, teas, agua frescas, and colorful pastries.
How to support: Hit the Tres Leches drive-up window or purchase a gift card online.
This farmers market favorite deals in completely plant-based cuisines. Husband and wife duo Maria and Kevin’s Pachamama offers a drool-worthy menu that features crispy tacos filled with a tasty chile garlic mash, the mexiyaki, a tribute to the savory okonomiyaki with a latin twist, and ceviche de mi corazon comprised of hearts of palm and fragrant citrus. And, we’ve got good news for those of you who can’t get enough of the plant-based pop-up’s eats. They are currently working towards opening a permanent restaurant this year.
How to support: Find Pachamama at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market or order online or by phone.
If you’re looking for a way to stay caffeinated, look no further than Deseo Coffee. Decorated in hues of pink and realistic murals, this self-dubbed “coffee shack” is more chic than shack. And with a menu that features a lineup of caffeinated drinks including traditional cafe de olla lattes and Canelitas cookie-inspired drinks, Deseo Coffee is sure to have you buzzing all morning long.
How to support: Place your coffee order via Seamless or Grubhub.
She has a place in Arizona’s Culinary Hall of Fame. And she’s won dozens of awards including a handful of semi-finalist noms for a James Beard. Our Phoenix Chef of the Year, Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, whose favorite ingredient to cook with is “anything Mexican,” has been redefining Mexican food here in Phoenix since the early 2000s when she opened the doors to Barrio Café on 16th Street. If you’re a first timer, chiles en nogada is the perfect way to get acquainted with Chef Silvana’s cooking. And you absolutely do not want to skip the guacamole del barrio.
How to support: Barrio Café is open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. Order online here.
Speciality coffee is the name of the game at Downtown Chandler’s Peixoto Coffee. Not only does this coffee joint serve up a selection of delicious coffee drinks, they use coffee beans grown on the Peixoto family coffee farm in Brazil, making a trip to Peixoto one that truly offers a crop-to-cup experience. Cold brew growlers, espresso drinks, pour-over selections, matcha lattes, and seasonal drinks like banana chai and piña colada cold brew are just some of the satisfying sippers that make up the menu here.
How to support: Order your go-to drink and pick it up curbside or shop the Peixoto online store.
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