About BARRIO URBANO
One of the country’s foremost authorities on bold, regional Mexican cooking, James Beard nominated chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has earned a gilded reputation since first opening her original Barrio Cafe on 16th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix in 2002.
Known for her elevated cooking approach as much as her colorful bravado and fiery point-of-view, Barrio Urbano is chef Esparza’s latest vision, taking aim at a wider stage of her notable cooking style, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, a serious agave cocktail program.
Barrio Urbano picks up where Esparza’s Barrio Cafe left off, pushing and blending the boundaries of what authentic Mexican cooking can be, with personality. From housemade everything, to incorporating exotic varieties of imported Mexican chile, Esparza continues to deliver bold flavors.
One of the country’s foremost authorities on regional Mexican cooking, chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has earned a gilded reputation since first opening the original Barrio Cafe on 16th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix, 2002. Barrio Urbano continues to push the boundaries of bold Mexican cuisine paired with chef Silvana’s touch in a casual dining environment. From the housemade syrups in the bar to the to incorporating exotic varieties of imported Mexican chile, Salcido Esparza continues to deliver a bold palate.
Known for her elevated approach to cooking as much as her colorful bravado and fiery point-of-view, Chef Silvana takes aim at a wider stage for her award-winning food: Barrio Urbano offers breakfast ‘till 3pm and a casual dining experience into the evenings, seven days a week. A serious cocktail program and small collection of excellent tequilas rounds out the Barrio Urbano experience.
Chef Silvana comes from a long line of bakers. The Salcido family has a rich heritage that dates back to medieval Spain where they were the official pastry chefs for King Ferdinand. They immigrated to the New World, to Mexico, in the 1600s and reached Los Angeles shortly after World War II. Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza was born in L.A. and raised in Merced, CA, surrounded by some of the richest land in the world - the San Joaquin Valley. She was brought up in a three-generation household and her time was spent working alongside family in their bakeries, delivering bread to the campesinos and minding her parents small store.
Chef Silvana’s family frequently crossed the border to procure hard-to-find Mexican staples, which they offered for re-sale in their retail bakery. Handmade baked goods and homemade tortillas sat alongside novellas, prayer candles and medicinas. Her parents’ customers included everyone in the area – their American neighbors next door, and the waves of Mexican workers who migrated through the Valley seasonally.
Chef Silvana moved to Arizona and continued the legacy of her entrepreneurial family, but she did it her way and became a chef. She opened the celebrated Barrio Café in 2002 and has offered award-winning Mexican food ever since. Serving elevated Mexican cuisine with a flair all her own, she is now considered one of the best Mexican chefs in the city country.
Since 2002, Salcido-Esparza has been nominated four times for the James Beard Foundation's prestigious award for Best Chef Southwest. She was inducted into Arizona’s Culinary Hall of Fame in 2004 and, ten years later was named Dynamic Women in Business by the Business Journal.Dynamic Women in Business 2014.