8 Great Guacamoles in Metro Phoenix

Gallo Blanco --guaca & chips.jpg
Gallo Blanco guacamole
Some snooty conquistador way back when once noted that in Mexico, avocados and guacamole were "butter for the poor." My, how times have changed! Guacamole -- a literal and linguistic mash-up of the Nahuatl (Aztec) words ahuacatl (avocado) and mole (mixture) has gone so upscale, customers now routinely shell out big bucks to watch its oh-so-Continental table-side preparation. Montezuma must be rolling over in his grave.

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Those of us Arizonans weaned on guacamole often take the Will Rogers approach, meaning we've seldom met one we didn't like: runny varieties and industrial-strength tubs of the pre-made grocery store variety excluded. Super-simple, insanely complicated . . . it's all good because it's guac (sorry, Minerva) -- a rich but ultra-fresh-tasting snack that's just right with warm chips and a cold beer or salt-rimmed margarita. Here are eight outstanding takes on guacamole, some traditional, some trendy.

Otro -- guac.jpg
Otro's Mexico City-style guacamole

Gallo Blanco and Otro Café

Chef-owner Doug Robson may be a gallo blanco, but this white dude, who lived near Mexico City as a kid, turns out some of the best Mexican food in the city. He offers two slightly different guacamoles at Gallo Blanco and its brand new little sister, Otro, both so delicious you'll want to lick the bowls clean. Gallo's version (Guacamole Classico) combines organic avocado, jalapeños, lime juice, white onion, charred tomato and citrus wedges for a chunky-creamy, slightly sweet guacamole. Meanwhile Otro's guac switches out jalapeños for hotter serranos and replaces the tomatoes with tomatillos to make a tarter, spicier mixture Robson calls Mexico City-style. Both come with fabulous corn chips from La Sonorense and both are offered at remarkably reasonable prices: $3 single, $5 share.

Sierra Bonita --guac with 3 salsas.jpg
Sierra Bonita's guacamole with three salsas

Sierra Bonita Grill

There's nothing particularly fancy about Sierra Bonita's guacamole, but it hits the spot when you're sipping an excellent La Paloma or margarita here. It's a faintly chunky, mostly creamy rendition bolstered with white onion, a bit of jalapeño and lots of cilantro. Diced tomatoes come sprinkled over the top so that the guac doesn't get too watery. Although plenty tasty enough to stand on its own, it's served with three salsas -- pico de gallo, tomatillo and chipotle, all fun for mixing and matching. Stop in for happy hour, when the $9 price is reduced to $6.

Location Info

Gallo Blanco Cafe

401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Otro Cafe

6035 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sierra Bonita Grill

6933 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Milagro Grill

4280 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Barrio Queen Tequileria

7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Mission

3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Los Sombreros

2534 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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I've had the offerings at Barrio Queen and Los Sombreros. Los Sombreros wasn't bad, but Barrio Queen was outrageously good.

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