Where can you buy the best homemade longaniza and chorizo? Which store has the biggest selection of fresh fruit from Mexico? Locals know where you can find fresh and fluffy bolillo rolls, pillowy conchas, creamy tres leches cake, and some of the best fruit-stuffed empanadas in the city. Here are our choices for the best places to shop for native Mexican goods.
Best Carniceria: Carniceria Los Amigos
4705 East Southern Avenue
This friendly south Phoenix carnicería offers an excellent selection of high-quality meats. The meat case is packed tightly with a neatly labeled assortment of Mexican sausages (including homemade longaniza and chorizo), beef, chicken, various steak cuts, pork, tripe, and pretty much everything else you need to make carne asada, menudo, pozole, or whatever happens to be on the menu. Carniceria Los Amigos also carries harder-to-find meats, including godorniz (quail) and buche (pig stomach).
Best Mexican Grocery Store: Los Altos Ranch Market
1602 East Roosevelt Street
There are seven locations of Los Altos Ranch Market in metro Phoenix, including the flagship market on south Central Avenue. In terms of selection and quality, Los Altos Ranch Market's inventory of Mexican and Latin American products and produce is unbeatable. This location features an in-house cremería (creamery) where you can shop for an assortment of fresh cheeses; a tortilleria and panadería where you can pick up fresh tortillas, breads, and pastries; and a sprawling food court where you can dine in or carry out Mexican entrees like pollo asado, chiles rellenos, burritos, and taco meats.
Best Mexican Food Court: El Mercado de Los Cielos
7611 West Thomas Road
Serious fans of Mexican cooking will want to make a pilgrimage to El Mercado de Los Cielos, a lively food court located inside Desert Sky Mall in west Phoenix. The sprawling boutique marketplace is home to more than a dozen Mexican food stalls, selling everything from thick, sturdy Mexico City-style machete quesadillas to Sinaloan-style Mexican sushi. Enjoy whipped fruit licuados from La Carreta de Lily; carne asada tacos from La Cosinita; and the enormous seafood platters at Mariscos La Phoenikera.
Best Panadería: Panadería y Pastelería La Mejor
5819 South 16th Street
This tiny, unassuming south-side panadería is well-stocked with a fresh assortment of baked goods, including Mexican breads, cakes, and pastries. Stop by for notably fresh and fluffy bolillo rolls, pillowy conchas, creamy tres leches cake, and some of the best fruit-stuffed empanadas in the city. Looking for a quick birthday cake? Panadería y Pastelería La Mejor carries an assortment of grab-and-go cakes and cupcakes. On the weekends, the kitchen makes a terrific white corn menudo, which you can enjoy in the shop's small dining area.
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Best Mexican Candy Shop: Dulceria La Bonita
2311 North 35th Avenue
No matter what kind of Mexican candy you're on the hunt for, chances are you'll find it at Dulceria La Bonita, a wholesale candy retailer that is open to the public. Behind its nondescript exterior, this candy warehouse is stocked with a vast assortment of Mexican candies, snacks, toys, and party decorations. Among the bulk items, you'll find iconic Mexican brand candies like Tres Reyes, La Imperial, De La Rosa, and Lucas.
Best Spanish-Language Bookstore: Palabras Bilingual Bookstore
1738 East McDowell Road
Palabras is a unique gathering place in central Phoenix, a bright, energetic space that caters to the community while providing an invaluable resource for the city's large Spanish-speaking population. The book selection veers toward titles in Spanish and English that promote diversity and social and cultural awareness. There's other merchandise for sale, too, including shirts, home goods, and work by local artists. The space is also home to programming like POC (people of color) open mics, language classes, and writing nights for both Spanish and English writers.
Best Mexican Imports: Mercado Mexico
8212 South Avenida Del Yaqui, Tempe
We love accenting our home with beautiful Mexican handicrafts; what we don't love is when those "Mexican handicrafts" are actually mass-produced in a factory overseas. Fortunately, we have stores like Mercado Mexico in the southeast Valley, where the real thing is available (and at great prices, to boot). There's a little bit of everything here, from piñatas, colorful blankets, and Dia de los Muertos figurines to vibrant dishware, rustic pottery, and outdoor decor.