Restaurant of the Week: CRUjiente Tacos

Located in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood is CRUjiente Tacos—a Latin-inspired modern taqueria that features an expansive menu, with dishes intended to revolutionize how we see modern Mexican fare. 

The restaurant serves redefined renditions of the classic Mexican street taco—or as Chef Hinojosa defines it: “The rebirth of latin cuisine.”

Chef Rich Hinojosa is the co-founder and executive chef of CRUjiente, which he opened alongside his friend in the fall of 2016. Hinojosa has extensive experience working within the food industry, and he’s maintained roles at distinguished luxury hotel restaurants like Loews Coronado Bay Resort, The Phoenician, The Westin Maui Resort and Spa, and most recently, The Wigwam Resort. 

In his words, he’s simply utilizing food to tell stories.

CRUjiente Tacos Bar Phoenix Arizona Restaurants

Chef Hinojosa’s passion and experience is eminent in each of his dishes—the tastes are bold and balanced, and they’re visually stunning. Each day, the team at CRUjiente consistently manages to pull off the feat of creating photogenic dishes without sacrificing the brand’s incomparable flavors.

Some of the most obvious examples of this are in the beloved—and undeniably unique—taco creations. The Korean fried chicken taco (a personal favorite) features an ingredient list with compressed cabbage, pickled jalapeno, gochujang and mojo de cebollin. The dish is savory, sweet and offers a hint of spice.

Korean fried chicken taco CRUjiente Tacos Phoenix Arizona

Another customer favorite is the garlic-roasted mushroom taco, which consists of Cow’s Dairy chevre, along with cilantro and jalapeno lime aioli. The only way to describe the culmination of flavors that you taste within even a single bite of this taco, is to say that the dish is truly special. But that’s also relative to the entire experience that Chef Hinojosa creates for each visitor at CRUjiente.

With a juxtaposition of “crujiente” or crunchy and street-style tacos, and a menu that features soulful guacamoles, aguachiles, ceviches, seasonal soups and salads, CRUjiente has mastered the art of blending Latin fare staples with refreshingly innovative flavors. It’s the same culinary creativity that inspired Chef Hinojosa to start this business venture years ago, and it’s the same quality that has made loyal fans out of regular customers.

As locals and travelers alike will tell you, Arizona has a reputation for authentic Mexican cuisine that can’t quite be replicated—even by southwest standards, our state sets the bar pretty high. While the Phoenix food scene continues to expand, CRUjiente still manages to be miles ahead of other restaurants and bars in creativity, authenticity and experience. 

CRUjiente isn’t just an Arcadia staple—it’s a must visit restaurant for those looking to get a taste of Arizona’s diverse culinary scene.

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