When you feel like breaking up the monotony of your regular food shopping routine, support one of your local independent grocers. These markets have a range of foods found in traditional grocery stores, but also locally-sourced produce, fresh seafood, and homemade recipes. At Arizona’s best markets, you’ll find all of this along with authentic international markets that can satisfy your craving for some diverse cuisine. Here are the 10 best markets in the state.
Rincon Market has everything you’d want out of a local market—a storied history, fresh local food, and even a café. This family-owned market has been a Tucson staple since 1926. It’s a purveyor of some of the finest deli meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables in the area. You can also purchase grass fed beef or their fresh fish that’s delivered multiple times per day. Rincon’s known for having that friendly neighborhood vibe that makes local markets so coveted. Their café is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some quality food and beverages.
You don’t have to dine out to enjoy authentic Mexican food. Instead, take a trip to Mama Mia Panaderia and Market. This small family run market provides locals with everything they need to host their own fiesta. Mama Mia has fresh meats, homemade salsa and guacamole, authentic tortillas, rice, beans and chips. They’re also renowned for their tasty carne asada. It’s marbled and tender meat that’s marinated in Mama Mia’s own special blend.
You can support local businesses and find healthy foods at traditional farmer’s markets. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tempe Farmers Market, a locally owned indoor market in Tempe. What separates them from the competition, however, is just how much local food they have available. Tempe Farmers Market has over 100 locally made products ranging from dairy products to pasta, artisan breads, and coffee. They’re also open daily, a huge advantage over most farmers’ markets. Locals can also enjoy their extensive list of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options that encourage healthy eating.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. At least that’s the case at Time Market. This long-standing neighborhood market has been providing healthy organic foods to the Tucson community since 1919. All of their items are meticulously crafted to ensure maximum freshness—organic produce, artisan breads, and their rotating menu of coffee. You can also enjoy their specialty goods including fine olive oils, chocolates, spices, wine, and craft beers. They also have a full-scale restaurant on site.
Baiz Market Place has redefined the term “international market.” That’s because they are one of the most diverse markets in the Southwest, offering foods from the Mediterranean, Africa, Persia, India and Pakistan. This family-owned market provides farm-fresh food that caters to a variety of cultures. You’ll find aisles filled with Middle Eastern spices, olives and oils, and fresh baked pita, naan and tannour bread. Baiz also has an onsite halal butcher, bakery, and Al Hana—an on-site restaurant.
Stepping inside El Rancho Market feels like stepping into a market in Mexico. It’s bustling with people, filled with tasty Mexican food, and even has an aroma of street tacos made at their onsite restaurant. El Rancho Market is a family-owned store that’s a one-stop shop for all your everyday essentials. In addition to their grocery fare, they have renowned cakes, pastries, and tortillas. They’re also known for homemade salsa, menudo, carne asada, and fresh roasted chilies.
Food needs no translation. That’s the motto at Lee Lee’s, an international market with foods imported from over 30 countries. Cambodian immigrant Meng Truong, who noticed a lack of ethnic markets in Arizona, started the market by taking weekly trips to California for food pickup. It’s since grown to encompass three locations with 15 truckloads of food imported per week. Lee Lee has over 50,000 international grocery items including sauces, spices and noodles. They also have a wide range of meats, seafood and produce from around the world.
Craving Asian food? There’s no greater place to get your Asian food fix than Mekong Supermarket. Mekong has all the items you need from an Asian market—basic groceries, fresh produce, meat, seafood and frozen specialties. Mekong is actually located inside of Mekong Plaza—a full-scale Asian plaza with all sorts of dining options. You can grab dim sum, pho, or take out after a shopping excursion. Mekong is also home to interesting meats and seafood that are hard to find at other markets.
Babylon Market is a Middle Eastern market through and through. They carry Halal beef, lamb, and goat meat. They have an extensive collection of pita and Arabic white and wheat bread. They even carry Arabic, Bosnian and Turkish coffee and tea. This family-owned Middle Eastern market is also known for their fresh hot food. They have a small kitchen with items like kebabs, shawerma and falafel made to order. This is the market for you if you’re seeking tasty and inexpensive Middle Eastern food.
Super L Ranch Market is an authentic Chinese market—with an emphasis on “authentic.” It’s located at the Chinese Cultural Center in a building modeled after a Chinese temple. It also has a huge selection of imported Asian food items. You can find all of your Asian food needs—bok choy, bean sprouts, wonton wrappers, and even baby octopus. The market has fresh meats, seafood, and even an onsite bakery. Word to the wise: try the sesame balls on Saturdays.