Authentic cuisine set apart by originality
Barrio Café, owned and operated by Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza and her partner Wendy Gruber, has been one of the hottest and most original restaurants in Phoenix since opening its doors on 16th Street in Phoenix in 2002. It is more than a culinary destination; Esparza and Gruber pride themselves on offering a cultural experience by displaying the work of local artists and muralists, and showcasing local musicians at their café on Calle 16. For the menu, Esparza takes inspiration from the dishes of Oaxaca, the Yucatan and Ensenada, and creating them in a French technique. She has been nominated twice for a James Beard award, and has received countless accolades. The Guacamole del Barrio is a must, prepared tableside mixed with pomegranate seeds for a perfect touch of sweetness. While it’s difficult to pick a single, must-try signature dish, Barrio Café is probably most known for its Cochinita Pibil (pork marinated in achiote and sour orange, wrapped in banana leaf and slow roasted overnight), served in tacos, tortas or as an entree. But the chef’s favorite is Chiles en Nogada, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with chicken, apple, pear, dried apricot and pecans in an almond sauce, finished with cilantro, queso fresco and pomegranate seeds. Barrio Café is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with live entertainment on the weekends and during Sunday brunch. Barrio Café recently opened a second location at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, but for the full cultural experience, nothing beats the original .
- Enjoy the brightly-colored walls and funky vibe while your guacamole is made table-side
- Stop by on Fridays and Saturdays between 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for live entertainment
- Choose from more than 250 types of tequila