Favorite Ethnic Markets: BenChris African Market

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

This is the time of year when folks in Phoenix head for cooler pastures, and it's time to travel the world if you can. But, if your vacation this summer is a staycation, you can still feed your inner globetrotter by heading to India, Africa, and Russia -- via several of the Valley's interesting ethnic grocers.

Today's Favorite Ethnic Market: BenChris African Market

BenChris African Market 5532 N 43rd Avenue Glendale, AZ 85301 602-915-1045

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it strip mall on 43rd Avenue sits an undiscovered gem of a grocery store - BenChris African Market. This impossibly tiny and impeccably clean store is run by Christian, who greets every visitor with a smile and hearty welcome. Camera-shy perhaps (none allowed), but friendly none the less.

BenChris has an interesting mix of flavors, brands, and products that you just won't find anywhere else. Like Vita-malt. This grainy, sweet and sour carbonated beverage goes down slow and easy, just like summer. Or Melegueta pepper (a West African spice that's been compared to cardamom), or pilau mix (a sort of West African Rice-a-roni). Jars of a ground red pepper labeled 'Grinded Pepper' line the shelves, and for about $5, it's worth a shot to try them out. There are familiar spices, too, like small bags of whole nutmeg for just a buck.

Check out the basket full of 18-inch-long knobby yams, which are true yams. (The kind you might find at Thanksgiving are actually a type of sweet potato.) These are the real deal, worth a try for a couple of dollars.

There's a frozen meat case with delectable looking oxtails, cut so they look more like short ribs. You'll find stacks of whole dried fish, too, as well as chopped spinach packaged in several sized boxed. In the back, there's plenty of universal starch - rice. Stacked high and in 50 pound bags imported from around the globe, fifty dollars' worth will keep you stocked for a long, long time.

Until the weather drops from blazing to bearable, grab a Vita-Malt, and make a friend. Could there be a better way to spend a staycation?

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.