The United States is home to over 570 tribes, with 22 in Arizona.
Monday, Oct. 10, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and across Arizona, many schools, businesses, organizations, and individuals are choosing to commemorate this newly recognized holiday instead of Columbus Day, which traditionally has been observed on the second Monday of the month.
At these Arizona eateries owned and operated by Indigenous people you will find outstanding traditional food and drink that will have you coming back for more, all year long.
Native Coffee Co.
Location: 9256 W. Van Buren Street, Tolleson
The husband and wife who own this unique mobile coffee trailer source their coffee beans from local Indigenous roastery Quetzal Co-Op. Several menu items are infused with Xicana-Akimel O’odham heritage, including their delicious saguaro blossom and prickly pear teas. Phoenix New Times named the business “best mobile coffee” of 2021.
Fry Bread House
Location: 4545 N. Seventh Avenue, Phoenix
Cecilia Miller opened Fry Bread House in 1992, and it has recently been passed down to her daughter Sandra Miller. In 2012, the James Beard Foundation named this restaurant with Tohono O’odham Tribe origins one of “America’s Classics,” an award given to legendary family-owned restaurants nationwide.
Sana Sana is a plant-based food business started by Maria Parra Cano. The business has Indigenous Food Pantry items for sale in their online shop, including locally sourced beans, wheat berries, granola, and more.
Emerson Fry Bread
Location: Traveling food truck
Loren Emerson and Roxanne Wilson run Emerson Fry Bread, a food truck that travels across the Valley serving traditional Native American food. The menu includes beans and cheese fry bread, Navajo tacos, mutton sandwiches, and prickly pear lemonade. Emerson’s Facebook and Instagram pages list where they’ll be serving food next.
The REZ an urban eatery
Location: Pop-up food stand
The REZ food stand makes appearances at various businesses throughout the downtown Phoenix area and serves late night Native American cuisine, including vegan and gluten-free options. They use local ingredients and produce when possible. Check out their Facebook page to see where they’ll pop up next.
Location: 3996 N. Alma School Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
The Stand is just north of the Salt River and serves up food nearly every day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. There you can find fry bread, homemade chili, tacos, and menudo. The open-air kitchen offers up full meals for less than $10.
M&Ds Snack Stand
Location: Pop-up food stand
M&Ds Snack Stand specializes in pickle slushies. The owners operate under a tent and travel from place to place offering up their iced treats, as well as tacos. Their next location can be found on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
WILD Arizona Cuisine
Location: Pop-up events
WILD Arizona Cuisine, a collaboration between partners Brett Vibber and Jaren Bates, holds pop-up meals every few months. Their next events can be found on their Eventbrite page. WILD Arizona Cuisine has served food at Nook Kitchen Arcadia, North Mountain Brewing Company, and Crepe Bar in Tempe.
Red Feather Cafe
Location: Indian Route 24, Sacaton
The Red Feather Cafe sits along Indian Route 24 in Sacaton, just south of Chandler and to the east of the I-10. The chefs there prepare traditional Native American food made from scratch, including fry bread, beans, and menudo. Phoenix New Times named it the best food truck of 2021.