Best Tucson Restaurants for Foodies (that won't break the bank!)
Tucson is a great destination for its yearly and special events like the Tucson Gem Show and the All Souls Procession, but eventually everyone has to eat! So the Event Oracle is here to turn you on to some fun, casual, and hip dining options. Next time you are out and about and wanting to try something different, check out one of the many eclectic food choices that Tucson has to offer. From street carts to fine dining, the Event Oracle's crystal ball will guide you to THE tastiest food options in town. A wide variety and an eclectic mix of food choices makes this a great list for any visitor or local alike.
This popular seafood restaurant (we are ONLY recommending the Grande Ave location) started life as a humble food stand back in the 70's. Since then this place has grown into a fully fledged seafood restaurant - and its legendary! This local owned family business offers a mouthwatering selection of oysters, spicy shrimp, and some not so traditional seafood fare. Try a marlin taco, or spiced octopus for something a bit different. Or try one of the fresh fish dishes, fresher than you can imagine and prepared to perfection in a variety of ways. The bacon wrapped shrimp and ceviche is not to be missed either, and this place does a decent margarita along with other selections from the bar to wet your whistle. However, our favorite is the filete culiche and the ceviche, both are absolutely outstanding and push this humble little place into the pantheon of mortal delights. If Mexican food is really your thing, check out the Oracle's suggestions for the best Mexican food in Tucson.
Tito and Pep
Light, bright, and contemporary are the words used to describe this urban eatery. Named after characters created by relatives of Chef John this restaurant provides Mexican food with a Tucson flair. This restaurant is a great place to hang with friends and have dinner, or indulge in a little day drinking at the bar. The bartenders are well known for taking good care of you and will keep bringing you their signature cocktails until it's time to go home.
A kick-back, laid back, hipster free shack that serves up some of the the best carne asada tacos in Tucson. More like a diner style or shack style eatery than a restaurant, this place is so laid back its almost horizontal. Treat yourself to one of the many taco selections, all perfectly prepared and topped with bacon, queso, green chili or whatever else you fancy. Menu varieties range from carnitas and barbacoa to chicken and roasted ribs. A fun and friendly eatery in the Mission View area.
With choices of seating either inside the handsomely appointed restaurant or out on the ample patio, you will be in the heart of downtown action at Maynards. They have both an early happy hour from 4pm to 6pm and a later reverse happy hour from 10pm until midnight. They use fresh seasonal and local ingredients for both brunch and dinner offerings. The Oracle happens to know that they also make a killer burger! And if you love trains, you will most certainly be serenaded by the occasional train passing by, as it is located in the historic old train depot downtown. Be sure to pop into the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum right next door.
Cafe Poca Cosa
If you like your Mexican food a little more high end then roll over to Cafe Poca Cosa and let Chef Suzanne serve you her ever changing selections. The menu at Cafe Poca Cosa changes twice a day and thereby creates a truly spontaneous dining experience. Menu creations are crafted from daily, hand picked and fresh ingredients to ensure you are getting the best quality and flavor. A wide selection of tequila is available at the front bar and drinks creations are best left to the bartender. Try the Chef's plate combined with a house margarita.
Ethiopian food in the middle of Arizona? That's different, and well worth a stop. The folks at Cafe Desta serve up traditional Ethiopian food and offer vegetarian, vegan and meat dishes. Give one of the lunch specials or combo plates a try. There is even a sharing plate for two if you want to visit with a friend. Or try 'The Works' which is basically a sample of everything available on the menu if you can't decide what to have. Some dishes are quite spicy so if you like your food to have a kick, then this is the place for you. Enjoy a cup of bold and flavorful Ethiopian coffee along with your meal.
5 Points Market and Restaurant
Situated right next door to Cafe Desta this super chill and urban eatery offers traditional American fare along with superb sandwiches, breakfast and brunches. There are plenty of natural and healthy food selections and some bad-ass baristas that will prepare you one of the many coffee choices available. There is also a good selection of teas and soft drinks for the non-coffee drinkers. Head here for creative cuisine served in a casual but hip atmosphere.
OK so we fibbed, this one might break the bank, but it's well worth it. Vivace offers fine Italian dining in an upscale, Italian farmhouse style location. Chef Daniel Scordato will prepare Northern Italian favorites along with some of his own creations. Fabulous pasta and perfect meat dishes, everything is made to perfection here. If you are budget conscious then choose from some of the lighter fares on the lunch menu which are well worth the money. Hit the bar and introduce yourself to 'Ray', he will take care of you with great wine suggestions and cocktail creations.
So next time you are driving through the great state of Arizona and find yourself near the city of Tucson, stop by any one of these restaurants for a great food experience. You will not be disappointed. The Oracle knows!