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Food Finds: Native American cuisine in Phoenix

Desert Rain Cafe focuses its menu on health and items often prepared in traditional Tohono O’odham ways with traditional products, some of which can be purchased in the Desert Rain Gallery shop.
Desert Rain Cafe focuses its menu on health and items often prepared in traditional Tohono O’odham ways with traditional products, some of which can be purchased in the Desert Rain Gallery shop.oooooooooooooo

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It’s no surprise that Arizona’s capital is a hot spot for Native American cuisine. The city is home to 22 recognized Native American tribes — more than any other state. Talented chefs are returning to local, old-fashioned ingredients (think tepary beans, Saguaro cactus seeds, sumac and Chollo buds) and adding creative twists to the traditional dishes of indigenous peoples, spurring a hot, new culinary trend.

We set out to explore the area’s unique Native American restaurants, and learned that they are as diverse and rich as the varied Southwest cultures they represent. Here are three of our favorites.

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