Unlike many months recognizing communities within the US (Black History Month, Pride Month, etc.), Hispanic Heritage Month is not actually recognized within a single calendar month. Originally introduced in 1968 as Hispanic Week, legislation expanding it to a month-long recognition was passed in 1988. Now, Hispanic Heritage Month lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
If you’re looking to celebrate, consider eating at a restaurant that serves traditional Spanish food. We’ve rounded up five such places in Maricopa and Pima counties. From three resort restaurants that serve fine Spanish cuisine to a churro-centric spot in Tucson, here are some amazing eateries where you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a diverse selection of menu items—paella and tapas aplenty.
7114 E. Stetson Drive, Ste. 210, Scottsdale
Located on the waterfront in Old Town Scottsdale, Spanish cuisine is all that you find on the menu at Tapas Papa Frita. As you probably guessed from the name, there are many traditional Spanish tapas items including queso manchego, potato tortilla, jamon serrano, gazpacho, and a variety of paellas topped with your choice of vegetables, chicken, lobster, shrimp, or crab, among other toppings.
Pro tip: Looking for some lively flair to accompany your meal? Consider heading to TPF on a Friday or Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m., when guests can watch live flamenco dancing.
10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale
If you want to splurge on stellar Spanish food, consider dining at Talavera at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Talavera—named for a style of Spanish pottery—serves elevated Spanish fare in a dining room that includes expansive windows showcasing views of the surrounding desert. Keep it simple with dishes like pan con tomate, classic octopus, and patatas bravas. Guests can choose from two types of paella: the Talavera, made with chorizo, chicken, pork belly, lobster, prawns, mussels, and clams; or the vegan, which is topped with baby eggplant, harissa, forest mushroom, squash, plant-based chorizo, and saffron.
For dessert, consider a traditional Spanish dessert like the cinnamon churro, served with warm chocolate dipping sauce; or the mocha chocoflan with cajeta caramel, orange-scented cream, and espresso candied cocoa nibs.
Pro tip: When the weather’s good, be sure to snag a seat outside on the patio. The desert views are stunning.
4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale
Prado Restaurant at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia serves up wood-fired tapas, traditional Spanish food and views of Camelback Mountain—fitting since the resort’s architecture is inspired by the Andalusian region of southern Spain. Prado serves breakfast, weekend brunch, and dinner. Brunch options include a freshly baked Magdalena loaf served with all entrees, smoked salmon and bagel, chicken and waffles, and huevos rancheros.
On the dinner menu, find a plethora of small plates like gambas al ajillo, calamari, pan de manchego, and a cheese plate. For heartier options, consider branzino, diver scallops, or one of three paella options. The menus also include gluten-friendly, vegetarian, and nut-free options.
Need to know: Dinner reservations are required.
3770 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson
Since 2010, Tucson’s family-owned Contigo Latin Kitchen has served Spanish-fusion fare in a light-filled space with expansive windows at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. Find dates stuffed with Spanish chorizo wrapped in smoked pork, elote, and ceviche on the appetizer menu.
The clasicos portion of the menu features Latin-inspired fare like braised short-rib tacos, lemon-and-parsley grilled lamb chops, and a ground-beef-and-chorizo burger. Contigo offers four different types of paella and is also only open for dinner.
What to try: Contigo is well-known for its sangria—a chilled red wine-centric beverage that’s typically infused with fruit.
4280 N. Oracle Road, Ste. 120, Tucson
It doesn’t get more Spanish than churros, and Just Churros in Tucson serves them up in lots of creative ways. Enjoy these treats made of fried dough wrapped in sugar and cinnamon in a bag of three, eight or nine. Have them plain, served with ice cream, made like an ice cream sandwich between two churro “cookies,” or a churro s’mores. Dunk your churro in dipping sauces including chocolate, caramel, strawberry, and cajeta.
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