Tucson, AZ

New African, Brazilian, Caribbean Restaurant Opening Soon

Greyson F

New African restaurant is set to open.Photo byKeesha's KitchenonUnsplash

When it comes to a taste of Africa, there aren’t many options available around greater Tucson. Outside of a handful of Ethiopian restaurants and the occasional Moroccan offering, there isn’t all that much in terms of variety. And yet, the African continent has provided some of the most pronounced and influential flavors around. Its flavors have impacted culinary styles throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, which means in order to enjoy the flavors outside of North Africa, your best option was often to visit one of the Caribbean restaurants found in the Valley. That, however, is set to change this month, as a new restaurant, dedicated to the diverse flavors of Africa, is set to open. 

Latha Restaurant and Bar has plans of opening sometime in March (although an exact date has not yet been announced). It is positioning itself to be the go-to destination for African flavors. However, it won’t simply be a dedication to African cuisines. You will also find many of the tastes the continent has impacted as well, with a number of dishes on the menu hailing from Brazil, the Caribbean, and even from the Southern United States. 

The majority of the food and ingredients will come from local farms. For the spices and other foods that are not available locally, they will be obtained from fair trade sources. Evelia Davis is the brainchild behind the new Latha restaurant, which will be just part of a larger business plan. With a passion for Africa, which she says began to blossom back in her undergraduate days at the University of California at Berkeley while enrolled in an African American Studies class. In the time since, she has spent ample time exploring Africa, which only fueled her passion to share her passion further. This has led her to create The Diaspora Collective. 

The Latha restaurant is part of the Diaspora Collective, as is The Soko, which is a market of goods designed by Black artisans that come from Africa and the African diaspora. The market includes everything from clothing all the way to bath bombs, home decor, and jewelry. 

While the restaurant is currently in its final stages of being set up, you can visit the online Soko market now. A physical shop will be open alongside the restaurant when it is ready for business later in the month. Located at 628 East Adams Street in Phoenix, make sure to follow The Diaspora Collective on Facebook for updates on the restaurant’s opening. 

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