Barrio Café

1205, 2814 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA

There are a handful of chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s Barrio restaurants around Greater Phoenix, including an outpost at the airport, but the original Barrio Café location on 16th Street (Calle 16) is the one you can’t miss. Since 2002, Esparza has been serving up elevated versions of classic Mexican dishes, including signatures like cochinita pibil (citrus-marinated and slow-roasted pork), chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles in a walnut-based cream sauce), and, of course, a killer tableside guacamole (topped with sweet pomegranate seeds). Make time to view the bold street murals on Barrio Café's exterior and all around Calle 16—many of them are the masterworks of an ad hoc group of activists, artists, and small-business owners called Calle 16, co-founded by Esparza.

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