Metro Phoenix's markets and bakeries have range. Farmers markets — in season right now — can be found all across the Valley. And if you're looking for Thai fish sauce, Korean Gochujang, or Russian kefir, you don't have to hit the internet and pay for shipping. An international market can meet your needs.
Bakeries are on another level here in the Valley. We have classics in spades. But we also have great options for people who eat vegan or gluten-free. And in the realm of baked goods, too, you can find specialties from all over the world.
Here are Phoenix's best markets and bakeries.
Best Farmers Market: Uptown Farmers Market
Looking to take your grocery shopping to the next level? Look no further than the Uptown Farmers Market. Every week, more than 60 vendors set up shop in the North Phoenix Baptist Church parking lot selling everything from organic greens and grass-fed beef to artisan soaps and ceramics. The community pop-up also puts together live music, food trucks, and a fair amount of outdoor seating so stroller-pushing, dog-walking visitors can turn their shopping into an all-morning affair.
Best Market: New Wave
Country Velador (she's the pastry chef for Cowboy Ciao) and her super-sweet husband, Sergio, had already made a mark with Super Chunk, their adorable candy shop, but now they've opened an adjacent market with house-made bagels and bread, sandwiches, salads, housewares, and party supplies. Stop by New Wave for a coffee drink and stay for any and all of the above. We can't wait to see what these two overachievers cook up next.
Best International Market: Lee Lee International Supermarkets
Lee Lee International Supermarkets circles the globe. There is an entire row dedicated to the shrimp pastes, lemongrasses, and pickled vegetables of Thailand. Middle Eastern ingredients strangely share an aisle with imports from the Netherlands; nevertheless, you'll find everything from zaatar to Persian sugar candy stuffed on the shelves. Walk down India's row and you'll taste the curry leaves and masala blends, and in the produce aisle, feast your eyes on Sri Lankan banana flowers, the infamous durian fruits, and Filipino plantains.
Best Russian Market: Yasha From Russia
A visit to Yasha From Russia is an immersive experience, beginning with the oversize Russian nesting dolls that adorn the exterior of the building. Inside, there is a vast selection of Russian wines and beers, which are worth buying for the amazing bottles alone. There is a small section of picked, canned, jarred, and dry goods, a deli counter slinging the likes of head cheese, as well as prepared foods like a very decent borscht. There is no place in Phoenix quite like this East European shop.
Best Korean Market: Asiana Market
Asiana Market is in a class of its own. The sprawling grocery store is in a Mesa strip mall, but once you pass through the doors, you will feel like you're in a supermarket in Seoul. From kalbi potato chips to fresh rice cakes for dubboki and specialty cuts of meat like crosscut cow's foot, this market has every Korean staple imaginable.
Best Vegan Bakery: Treehouse Bakery
Any misconceptions you may be carrying about vegan desserts being less tasty than "regular" ones can now be left at the door. Step inside Treehouse Bakery, a cheerful pink-and-white storefront near Roosevelt Street and Grand Avenue, and you'll see a small but enticing selection of pastries, cookies, brownies, scones, and more. We love the light, moist lemon cupcakes, the rich brownies, and the flaky house-made toaster pastries.
Best Bakery: Ruze Cake House
Everything about Ruze Cake House is beautiful: the decor, the baked goods, even the drinks are lovely and colorful and supremely Instagrammable. But the appeal of the Old Town Scottsdale bakery goes far beyond its aesthetics. The goods here are delicious and made with the utmost care; the selection is constantly changing but can include macarons, cookies, cupcakes, sweet and savory croissants, marshmallows, pies, sweet rolls, and more.
Best Persian Bakery: Caspian Food Market
Housed in a small strip mall on North Scottsdale Road, this shop is easy to miss. Once inside, you'll find ramshackle shelves stuffed with Persian, Middle Eastern, and Indian ingredients, canned goods, dried beans, and sweets. But the real reason to visit Caspian Food Market is the stone-oven bakery tucked in the back, just behind the register. There, a team of bakers make thin, chewy, sesame-encrusted sangak bread; delicate rounds of lavash; and thick, pillowy ovals of barberi bread.
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Best Gluten-Free Bakery: Jewel's Bakery
Jewel's has long been a favorite for gluten-free fans in Phoenix, and they continue to be the best place around for fresh-baked loaves of flaxseed bread, burger buns, brownies, muffins, and all manner of typically "off-limits" carb-laden goodness. Even those who aren't gluten-free can appreciate the indulgent, super-moist salted-caramel brownies, cranberry scones, and chocolate-white chocolate-chip cookies.
Best Panaderia: Pan y Pasteleria San Sebastian
Located in a Sunnyslope strip mall, Pan y Pasteleria San Sebastian is a small, bright Mexican bakery with a terrific selection of traditional Mexican pastries. For a small shop, the selection here is pretty astounding, running the gamut from staples like conchas, empanadas, and cuernitos, to harder-to-find pan dulce, such as cacahuates (creamy, peanut-shaped pastries).