Five Guacamoles We'd Eat Straight From the Bowl

All guac is not created equal. And if you've ever dipped a chip into the offerings at our five favorite spots for the best use of avocado, you know what we're talking about.
1. Barrio Cafe. Really, here in Phoenix, Silvana Salcido Esparza sets the standard with her tableside guacamole. Learn all about it -- including how to make it yourself -- in the video the helpful folks at Barrio have so graciously prepared.

2. La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop. Just down 16th Street from Barrio Cafe, La Condesa is a noisy little spot with the most creative twists on salas in town (try the peanut!). Their guac is more than worthy as well. It's a smaller side than most, which is fine since that leaves room for carne asada tacos and mole burros. The mango fights the avocado for centerstage, so go ahead and pretend it's healthy to consume a basket of chips along with it.

get the rest of our list after the jump

3. The Mission. Toasted pumpkin seeds are the highlight of this tableside mix, which had enough of a kick we slurped up our pear/basil margarita before you could say, "More chips, please!"
4. Gallo Blanco. The citrus mixed in with chunky avocado makes us repeat customers for the guacamole at the Clarendon Hotel cafe.
5. Mel Mecinas at The Four Seasons. This guac is so good, guests ask for it by name -- the chef's name, that is. Last year, Mecinas was kind enough to share his recipe (which includes cumin) with the local blog Foodies Like Us. Here you go.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at