Around the World in Arizona

By Kat Brown, ASU Nutrition Student

Arizona draws in people from all over the world who want to escape winters or find somewhere just as warm as their home. This has provided us with a variety of options for trying the foods of other cultures. Trying new foods is fun and can help you learn a lot about someone or where they are from. If you are looking to try something new check out some of these local spots


The Breadfruit and Rum Bar

Come for the cocktails and stay for the food. This restaurant offers modern Jamaican cuisine and amazing atmosphere. This cozy spot is nestled on the corner of 1st and Pierce streets in downtown Phoenix. They offer a variety of jerk options and have unique rum cocktails. Jerk is a style of cooking that involves rubbing a spice mix onto the meat, which is traditionally pork or chicken. These spices add flavor and can replace salt in your at home cooking. So try it at home or make a trip to Breadfruit and feel like you just stepped off a cruise ship and into a Caribbean paradise. This menu shares a lot of similarities to the Mediterranean diet, and has a wide variety of fish and vegetable options, as well.


Malee’s Thai Bistro

This Thai gem opened in August of 1987 but is located in a building that was built in 1921 on Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale. The owner of this restaurant found a love of Thai food and partnered with the previous owner to create an upscale Thai experience in the desert. Their menu items are cooked to order to allow guests to modify them to their preferences. They also offer a variety of vegetarian options. If you have never experienced Thai cuisine, check out this guideline for must try dishes and their descriptions.


Fogo De Chao

This Brazilian Steak House is not for the faint of heart, or vegetarians. While they do offer a market table and side dishes, the premise of this restaurant is meat, meat, and more meat. Different meat options are presented on a large sword like utensil and shaved to order at your table-side. They offer five different beef options, chicken, lamb, and pork. Make sure to come hungry because they keep them coming until you surrender. The founders of this restaurant grew up on a farm in Serra Gaucha and opened the very first Fogo De Chao in Porto Alegre Brazil in 1979.

Zur Kate

The Krause’s, Gunther and Irene, owned and operated the original Zur Kate in Hamburg Germany for 16 years. Then, like the rest of us were drawn to the beautiful Arizona weather. In 1983 they relocated to Mesa, Arizona. Zur Kate translated means ‘to the old smokehouse’ and Gunther is a master butcher. This is another menu heavily focused on proteins and potatoes. Germany’s mountainous terrain and limited growing season is what traditionally dictated their food choices. Drop into Zur Kate to grab a schnitzel and experience the gemutlichkeit (friendliness).

Abyssinia Restaurant and Cafe

Once you need a break from all the meat stop into Abyssinia Restaurant and Café! Abyssinia offers authentic Ethiopian cuisine that focuses on vegetables. They pride themselves on offering something for everyone. They have a variety of meat dishes and also serve a number of vegan and gluten-free options. Often time’s dishes are served in a family style manner for sharing. They offer traditional African dishes like injera which is a large sourdough flat bread that is often used in place of utensils.


Khyber Halal

This new addition to the valley offers a menu that mixes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indian cuisines. A unique blend of spices are used in many dishes and most dishes with protein are served over a bed of rice and accompanied by vegetables providing a well-balanced and colorful plate. Since rice is a predominant crop in Afghanistan is used in many dishes. Vegetable side dishes like sabzi, cooked spinach, and gulpi, seasoned cauliflower, are perfect for sharing.



So even if you can’t jet set across the world for some jerk chicken or pack up and go have a stein at Oktoberfest, you can still experience other cultures right here in Arizona. Let us know your favorite cuisine on Facebook or


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