Dining out in Tucson (First, let’s eat!)
Some of these spots are well known and are on the usual visitor’s itinerary. There are also some local gems we enjoy and the typical visitor is not likely to find on tripadvisor.com or in Frommer’s. Hope you enjoy some great meals and a toast to your new home!
Special Occasion and Romantic Dinners
Arizona Inn Dining Room-Modern elegant dining in an historic setting.
Core Kitchen-Fine dining at the Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton; start with a drink at Ignite for a romantic evening.
Five Palms Steak and Seafood-The “new kid on the block,” very upscale steak and seafood accompanied by a serenade.
Fleming’s-Old-fashioned steakhouse in a sophisticated setting.
The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol-Delightful setting, Sonoran-influenced menu, excellent wine list, classical guitar in the evening.
Vivace-Upscale Italian, long-time Tucson favorite for a special meal, in a new setting near La Encantada Mall.
Casual and Easy Dining
47 Scott-Modern versions of “comfort food.”
Acacia-Casual, upscale contemporary meals.
Augustin Kitchen-A new farm-to-kitchen downtown Tucson restaurant that’s getting great reviews.
Baggins Gourmet Sandwiches-Not your typical brown bag lunch, Baggins serves delicious gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, bread bowls and sinful desserts. Several locations in Tucson.
Beyond Bread-Breakfast & lunch; fresh bread and treats; several locations.
Café 54-Lunch only, fresh and innovative.
Café A La C’art -Artistic cuisine in the Tucson Art Museum.
Café Poca Cosa-A lively and tasty spot in downtown Tucson serving creative Mexican cuisine in a bistro setting, with menus changing daily and always fresh.
Cup Café at the Hotel Congress-Eclectic American fare, a great bar scene and a very tempting bakery with old-fashioned cakes and pies.
Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails-Eclectic global fare and creative cocktails.
Fleming’s Happy Hour-Great burger and other light meals at really good prices.
Frog & Firkin – Located in the university area, this restaurant offers a festive atmosphere with a variety of delicious beers and pub foods including fresh, zesty salads, great appetizers such as melted brie with roasted garlic, and the Frog’s famous pizza.
Harvest-Locally owned, offering fresh seasonal local meals and house-baked, gluten-free breads. A good choice in Oro Valley for a casual dinner.
Keg Steakhouse and Bar-Good steaks and a lively bar scene in the Oro Valley Marketplace.
LaBaguette Bakery-Fresh baked goods offered daily on Prince Road from breads and fancy pastries to savories and tarts. Also offers a wide variety of cookies, cakes and other desserts as well as croissants and sandwiches.
Magpies Gourmet Pizza-A locally owned and operated specialty pizzeria with 20 years in Tucson, this little jewel serves lite specialty pizzas, gluten-free pizzas, and uses fresh ingredients every day from diced vegetables and dough to grated cheeses. Several Tucson locations.
Maynard’s Market and Kitchen-French inspired American and seasonal dining, deli and bakery.
Neo of Malaca-Off the beaten path, contemporary Malaysian food and sushi.
Five Palms Steak and Seafood-Great for a light bite at lunch or Happy Hour.
North Italia-Relaxed and tasty Italian, great thin-crust pizzas.
Pastiche-A great standby with lots of small plate choices for those who prefer smaller portions.
Kingfisher Bar and Grill-Fish, seafood and oysters, and a great selection of martinis and other interesting adult beverages.
Wild Garlic Grill-Not all garlic, but all tasty and creative.
Wildflower-Contemporary American, relaxed and a locals’ favorite gathering place where the ladies who lunch do lunch.
In-N-Out Burger-OK, it’s a chain, but it’s Al’s favorite burger in the world so it has to be included at the top of the list! Several locations in Tucson.
Lindy’s on 4th–Tucson Weekly’s 2013 Winner for Best Burger, this place elevates the burger to an art form.
Zinburger–Tucson Weekly’s winner for four years before being dislodged by Lindy’s and a long-time favorite for great burgers; several locations.
Fuddrucker’s-A longtime popular place near the U of A campus, 1/3 pounders and up, and the only free-range buffalo, elk and wild boar burgers in town.
Blanco Taco and Tequila-Located in the La Encantada Mall, a popular spot for good reasons. Interesting takes on Mexican style dining and fabulous margaritas, on a mister-cooled terrace overlooking Tucson.
Café Poca Cosa-A lively and tasty spot in downtown Tucson serving creative Mexican cuisine in a bistro setting with menus changing daily and always fresh.
El Charro-Local family-owned chain with several locations and consistently good Mexican food. Ask us about the Long Realty 10% discount.
El Minuto Cafe-Popular Mexican cuisine including spicy and tangy Mexican delicacies, many of which are roasted on an open grill.
La Hacienda-Located in Oro Valley at the intersection of Tangerine with Rancho Vistoso and First Street, this little restaurant is a local favorite serving authentic Mexican cuisine that has earned five stars on TripAdvisor.
Macayo’s-Traditional Mexican food at great prices, generous portions, great margaritas, a lively bar scene and two locations in Tucson with others throughout Arizona.
Mi Tierra-Good, traditional Mexican in a little joint that’s been there forever, up north of Oro Valley in Catalina. Great Huevos Rancheros not often found on Tucson menus. Not fancy, just down-home and good.
La Fuente-Long-time favorite for traditional Mexican food in a lively and colorful setting, live Mariachi band adds to the fun atmosphere. Seniors and military, ask for your 15% discount!
Rubio’s-Can you believe it? Healthy Mexican food? A focus on grilled fish and sustainability, also chicken and steak, all served Baja-style on fresh tortillas. Fairly close to the Long Realty office on North Oracle.
Falora-For a special taste of Italiano, visit this restaurant for wood-baked Napoli pizza mixed with artisan and hearty greens, wine, beer and vinyl. On Broadway near Country Club, Falora offers a great neighborhood Trattoria with thin crust pizza par excellence.
North Italia-Located within the La Encantada shopping plaza, this is a great place to grab brunch, lunch or dinner with a new menu and a new chef. This eatery serves homemade pasta and excellent roasted rosemary chicken and other Italian delectibles.
Tavolino-Buon giorno! Upscale chic Italian in Northwest Tucson. Homemade pasta reminds us of dinner in Florence, great wood-fired pizzas.
Trattoria Pina-Family-owned, this is a little treasure in the Catalina Foothills. An enjoyable, relaxed and romantic setting with fabulous homemade desserts from family recipes.
Vivace-Upscale Italian and a long-time Tucson favorite for a special meal in a new setting near La Encantada Mall.
Beyond Bread-Breakfast & lunch; fresh bread and treats; several locations.
Blue Banana-Yummy gelato and serve-yourself frozen yogurt with all possible toppings, in the Oro Valley Marketplace next to the movie theatres.
Frost Gelato-Fabulous gelato that’s also (relatively) healthy? Yes, in every imaginable flavor! Three Tucson locations and the perfect summer night treat.
La Baguette Bakery-This is the perfect place for those in search of perfect French pastries from croissants and tarts to fancy cakes. Also serves a variety of fresh breads including gluten-free.
Village Bakehouse-At the south end of Oro Valley, serving breakfast and homemade muffins, Danish and croissants in all the right flavors.
Acacia-Serving a beautiful and sophisticated brunch menu on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Augustine Kitchen-Serving a sophisticated brunch and homemade doughnuts with jam coulis on Saturdays and Sundays.
Beyond Bread-Open only until 11a.m. on weekends, but really good Challah French toast, omelettes and pastries.
Café A la C’art-Located at the Tucson Museum of Art, serving a hearty breakfast starting at 8a.m. for the early risers every day except Mondays.
Café Sahuaro-Offers a great brunch in the shopping center at Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso. This is a popular neighborhood spot serving homemade cinnamon rolls and a good selection of breakfast items all day.
Cup Café at Hotel Congress-Located downtown, this is one of the best breakfasts in town. Expect a wait on weekends as no reservations are taken for breakfast.
Ghini’s Cafe-Try the Eggs Provencal, café au lait with croissants or tartines and house-made jam and much more. Served weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to noon and all day weekends.
La Baguette Bakery-This is the perfect place for those in search of authentic French pastries from croissants and tarts to fancy cakes and muffins. Also serves a variety of savories for breakfast and fresh breads including gluten-free.
Maynard’s Kitchen-A fabulously sophisticated brunch menu is served on Sundays. Breakfast, with such tasties as a house-made cheddar biscuit sandwich, is served at the counter daily starting at 8 a.m.
The Good Egg-A locally owned group of restaurants serving really fresh and generous meals. Breakfast and lunch are served all day. Great eggs and omelets, heart-healthy options, pancakes including Bananas Presley and Pineapple Upside Down. Need I say more?
The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol-Serves a brunch on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. that has won the Gold Culinary Award.
47 Scott– Amazing brunch cocktails and interesting egg “hashes” among other offerings on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.