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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

New Healthy Food Options Abound in Downtown Phoenix: New organic, natural restaurants deliver more nutritious foods to Phoenix residents

May 03, 2015 08:40AM ● By By Eric Sells

When Fàme Caffe recently opened its doors, the farm-to-table establishment joined a growing list of new healthy food options serving downtown Phoenix that includes DeSoto Central Market and Vegan House.

Husband and wife Fàme owners Ivan and Maria O’Farrill provide organic breakfast and lunch fare. Ivan, who is also the chef, says “Our made-from-scratch menu is based on the Mediterranean diet. We believe that we are what we eat, and based on that, we are trying to offer healthy food without sacrificing the flavors.”

Ivan studied at the Culinary Institute of America and the couple has lived and traveled all over the world            to Italy, Mexico, California and New York. In each location, they spent time learning the local culture, cuisine and food preparation techniques, bringing this combined knowledge to Fàme’s menu.

The O’Farrills have incorporated many repurposed and recycled building materials into the modern, 2,400-square-foot space, such as reclaimed pallet wood for the walls, reclaimed barn wood for the larger tables and reclaimed steel in the ceiling.

The breakfast offering features omelets, eggs any style, breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit, a coffee bar and cold-pressed juices. Lunch includes sandwiches and salad options. A top seller has been the Farmers’ Market Salad, in which the ingredients constantly change based on whatever produce is in season, along with feta goat cheese, dried fruit and nuts.

“The best-tasting dishes come out of respect,” says Ivan. “Respect for the products, the ingredients, the flavors and for the local farmers, such as Maya’s Farm, who grow produce organically.”

Housed in the historic 1928 DeSoto Building at Central and Roosevelt Avenue, the new DeSoto Central Market combines seven diverse restaurant choices, an organic produce market, an art deco coffee house and meeting mezzanine in one stylish and easily accessible location.

Shawn Connelly, creator of DeSoto, is a 16-year veteran in the food industry. He comments, “Downtown Phoenix has seen tremendous growth recently in all sectors, from housing to business, the Roosevelt Row arts scene to ASU, but it still lacks a central food hub to get the basic grocery goods.”

A soon-to-open grocery will bring much-needed fresh produce to downtown Phoenix from McClendon Select Farm and other local farmers and growers, and will eventually include artisanal vendors like a butcher, bakery and cheese monger. The market will also feature artisanal products and pantry items such as spices, local flour and grains, hot sauce, pickles, paper goods and more.

One of the new restaurants is Radish, a farm-to-table, fast-casual restaurant serving delicious salads and cold-pressed juices. The focus is to be environmentally conscious and supportive of healthy lifestyles,

As with Fame and DeSoto, Vegan House recently debuted, providing vegetarian and vegan-friendly cuisine with a focus on using only produce that is selected each day from local farmers’ markets and co-ops to ensure the highest quality and freshness.

DeSoto Central Market is located at 915 N. Central Ave. For more information, call 602-680-7747 or visit

Fàme Caffe is located at 4700 N. Central Ave. For more information, call 602-314-4660 or visit

Vegan House is located at 20 W. Adams St. For more information, call 602-258-3426 or visit

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