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Feb 7, 2010 06:46 PM

Can anyone recommend new markets and restaurants in Phoenix

Have been visiting my folks for 2 weeks every winter and have seen the food scene in Phoenix change immensely in 30 years.I'm in the food service industry in Toronto and am curious about all food trends. I love to source spices and local ingredients at markets when I travel around the world. Is the farmer's market at Central and McKinley worth checking out?
As far as new restos go it seems every post here deifies Noca so I'll have to see what all the fuss is about. My past faves have been Barrio, Cowboy Ciao (for the Stetson Chop) Pizza Bianco, Lola Tapas,My Florist and Grande Orange for lunch, Zinc @ Kierlands,Lon's for brunch...
Any hot new suggestions? I'll be there next week.

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  1. There is a new Farmers market in Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday's. The Phoenix mkt is also well worth going to. I also try to hit the market at Vincent's on Saturday morning. I usually start with Scottsdale, then on to Phoenix mkt and catch Vincent's last. Usually have lunch at Vincent's.

    1. I've been critical of the Downtown Phoenix market in the past, but ever since its new indoor portion, the Urban Market & Wine Bar, opened, it has really grown on me. The usual twice-a-week vendors are outside, and the inside market features a mix of Arizona products, including unexpectedly good AZ wines, along with selected items brought in from out of state to fill in the shelves. Standout products include Sweet Republic ice cream and Simply Bread.

      The even newer Old Town market over in Scottsdale is also good, although I don't get there nearly as often due to a personal preference for Central Phoenix over Scottsdale. Highlights of that market include McClendon Select for produce, Sweet Republic's ice cream truck, and Pillsbury wines.

      You've mentioned spices. Are you familiar with Penzeys? It's a chain with stores throughout the U.S., although none in Canada to my knowledge. Great selection of spices with good service. The Phoenix Metro Area Penzeys store is located in southern Scottsdale.

      A few other interesting markets that have opened or improved in the last few years:

      Pro's Ranch Market -- several located throughout the Metro Area, but the one at 16th St. & Roosevelt gets the most buzz. All sorts of ingredients for Mexican and Central American cooking, along with bustling food court.

      Mekong Market -- anchor store at the new Mekong Plaze shopping center at Dobson & Main in west Mesa. Everything you need for southeast Asian cooking

      Lee Lee -- supermarket for Chinese and other east Asian populations. I've enjoyed shopping at the Chandler location. There's now a second in Peoria.

      Some new restaurants getting a lot of attention in the year that I have tried and liked:

      St. Francis
      Petite Maison
      Gallo Blanco
      Nine 05
      Caffe Boa (not new per se, but energized with a new chef)

      1 Reply
      1. re: silverbear

        Could not have said it any better. Really feel the downtown market is getting there. Went Saturday and it was the best variety (and the biggest crowd) I've seen. Only one addition to this list would be MJ Bread inside Tammy Coe cakes on Roosevelt just a few blocks from the market. I think his bread is superior to the many bread vendors at the market although they are all very good.

      2. Thanks so much everyone and in particular Silverbear..I was hoping you'd respond as I've found your previous posts on other Phoenix food topics most comprehensive and I've yet to disagree with your recommendations and criticisms. I'll look into Prenzey's when I'm there and will also check out the markets. I've found Vincent's to be a little limited and pricey in the past..perhaps it's grown... Look forward to the Ranch Market but Toronto has a huge Asian population so I won't bother with Mekong and LeeLee.
        I 'm anxious to try out your restaurant suggestions as I like your taste.
        Thanks again and if you think of any additions please continue to post as I'll be checking in periodically.