Globetrotting Gastronomy Finds a Home

Teresa Nguyen unites her past and present in a Tempe eatery that’s as much about community as it is about food.

Teresa Nguyen, owner of Tempe Eats, has a remarkable tale that begins with a daring escape from Vietnam. In March 1977, her parents fled the communist regime, braving a perilous sea journey. Rescued by a Russian ship, they feared deportation but were eventually released, continuing their quest for freedom.

Their odyssey led them to Japan, where Teresa's younger sister was born, before finding refuge in the United States with the support of a church. Settling in San Jose, California, the Nguyen family flourished. Teresa pursued higher education at Santa Clara University, later establishing herself in finance roles within prominent tech firms like Sisco Systems and First Solar.

During her tenure at First Solar, Teresa played a pivotal role in the company's financial operations, including guiding its transition to public status. Notably, she spearheaded initiatives to establish offices in Malaysia and Vietnam, expanding the company's global footprint.

Teresa's journey from a refugee escaping oppression to a successful professional embodies resilience and determination.

From corporate life to world traveler

In 2016, Nguyen left her job to embark on new adventures with her partner, John Miscevich. They wanted to explore the countries and corners of the globe, especially diving into the diverse cuisines of the world.

“I've always been fascinated with travel and I'm super adventurous when it comes to food,” explains Nguyen.

During their travels, Nguyen discovered the futuristic eateries of Japan, where diners ordered in high-tech ways; she admired the community-driven vibe of Germany's beer halls; and she appreciated the ample outdoor seating at European restaurants and was taken with the abundance of varied dining options overall.

Globetrotting Gastronomy Finds a Home

Manifesting a dream into reality

After exploring various locations, Nguyen and Miscevich chose Tempe as their settling spot, attracted by its vibrant community atmosphere. Inspired by their years of worldwide culinary adventures, they established Tempe Eats, a food hall-style restaurant aiming to recreate the diverse dining experiences they cherished. Nguyen emphasized their vision of inclusivity and enhancing the dining experience by eliminating common frustrations encountered while dining out.

The property itself boasts a diverse array of micro-restaurants, all housed under one roof, providing patrons with an extensive culinary selection. The venue features a beer-garden-style patio, outdoor seating, a full-service bar, and an impressive array of 50 televisions along with a video wall. Ordering is made convenient through servers or via a QR code, catering to both adventurous and simpler palates alike. The offerings span a range of cuisines, including teriyaki bowls and sushi from Yogi's Grill, tacos from Fork Off, gourmet burgers and wings from Wagyu and Wings, barbecue and Cajun specialties from Mardi-Q, pizza and pasta from Pastiazza, salads and sandwiches from Mixwich, and delectable desserts from Maison Bijon.

Beer and wine enthusiasts will appreciate Craft U, featuring a wall of self-pour taps, and Sobre Mesa, a wine bar offering small bites and charcuterie plates. Nguyen is also exploring entertainment options such as karaoke nights, with potential plans for live music and trivia in the future to enhance the dining experience at Tempe Eats.

Sharing and belonging

At Tempe Eats, Nguyen's personal journey converges with her passion for food and her hopes for creating shared spaces.

“From college kids, families, date nights; just a fun time out enjoying good food and community. We have something that everybody will enjoy.” Nguyen says.

It’s a place where every person gets a taste of what it means to belong and to savor the simple pleasures of life.

Globetrotting Gastronomy Finds a Home
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About the Author

Angel Fuchs

Angel Fuchs is a mom, wife, writer, photographer and social media maven. She is a third generation Arizonan and loves the heat and all that her home state has to offer. She enjoys writing about all things related to family, food, friends and fun! You can find her work in local publications such as North Peoria Lifestyle Magazine, Paradise Valley Lifestyle Magazine, Chandler Lifestyle Magazine and Arizona Green Living, as well as her own website, Yay Baby! blog. Angel is happily married and her real full-time job is private chauffeur/stage mom to her busy daughter, Jax.


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