How to Support Latino-Owned Businesses in Phoenix Right Now
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
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 & Culture
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 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: Stop in to find your newest read or browse the bookstore online.
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: Shop the virtual market, or learn more about upcoming events here.
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 or at Lacuna Kava Bar. 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.
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.
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 at various Valley locations or online and give ‘em a follow on the ‘Gram.
Food & Beverage
Known as Phoenix’s top Puerto Rican food truck—Phoenix Coqui was founded by partners Juan Ayala and Alexis Carbajal, each bringing their own distinct cultural backgrounds together for unforgettable, hearty Puerto Rican-inspired dishes. Ayala is from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico and grew up inspired by his parents' and grandparents' recipes. Alexis Carbajal was raised by immigrant parents from Chihuahua, Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2013, he fell in love with Puerto Rico and its cuisine when he and Juan moved there before bringing their creations back to Phoenix.
How to support: Check out the day’s menu here and upgrade your weekend with an empanada.
Someburros, founded by the beloved Vasquez foodie family, has been a staple in the Valley since 1986. The fast-casual, Sonoran-style Mexican food concept now boasts 12 locations across Arizona with a loyal base of devotees thanks to the restaurant’s crispy tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, and famous burros or burritos that can be made enchilada, chimichanga, or fundido style.
How to support: Make Someburros your next Taco Tuesday destination for $2.50 beef, chicken, or potato tacos.
Comicx blends the fun of your favorite comic characters with out of this world, decadent food. Think beef brisket fries, a double stacked patty melt with bacon and caramelized onion, and a churro bowl topped with brownie bites and vanilla ice cream. The concept has already gained traction in Mexico with 36 locations opened since 2010, however; this is the first location in the United States and opened its doors less than two years ago.
How to support: Shop comic book memorabilia or grab a bite to eat.
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: Stop by and grab a coffee. 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.
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.
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: Stop in for lunch or dinner.
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: Sample one of their more than two dozen empanadas at the restaurant.
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 now open for in-restaurant dining, so come by for brunch.
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.
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 turned brick and mortar eatery 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.
How to support: Check out the newly opened Pachamama restaurant for an unforgettable vegan taco.
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: Grab a specialty latte and pastry from the “shack.”
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.
Specialty 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 or shop the Peixoto online store.