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Jackie Mercandetti

La Barquita Restaurant

Natalie Miranda
This small, unassuming central Phoenix restaurant has developed a reputation as a neighborhood hangout. Its mostly Mexican clientele appreciate the affordable, authentic food of southern Mexico – more richly seasoned than flat-out spicy – plus a few good ol’ American classics. First-timers should save themselves the trouble of navigating its vast menu and order up house specialties like the unique Molcajete a la Mexicana (the equivalent of a Mexican stew on steroids), a hearty plato de carnitas, chiles rellenos stuffed with queso fresco, or the savory and mildly spicy Mexican goat stew, bírria.

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