EATING OUT IN TUCSON
TUCSON RESTAURANT AND DINING GUIDE

We say support local eateries while visiting Tucson!
The following list contains a multitude of options for local eateries we recommend if you are visiting or working at the Tucson gem and mineral shows. Unless noted, the listed restaurants are all within a five to ten minute drive from downtown, many within easy walking distance from main show locations. We have not been paid any promotional consideration to recommend any of these establishments. We are Tucson locals, and these are our favorite places.
 

Bien provecho! (Enjoy!)

ALL AROUND TOWN (RESTAURANTS WITH MULTIPLE LOCATIONS)

Eegee’s
Famous for their Italian Grinder sandwich and retro 70s green and yellow signs, Eegee’s is a Tucson institution. An “eegee” is a fruit and blended ice drink perfect on a sunny Tucson day; makes a great mixer, too.
(15 locations)

Food City
The only supermarket on our list. Great produce section, low prices, and an odd sensation of having just visited another country. The St. Mary’s and Grande location is convenient to the downtown shows, especially the InnSuites.
(10 locations)

Marisco’s Chihuahua
Fresh Mexican seafood. Enjoy a michelada (beer mixed with spicy tomato juice over ice) and a large order of shrimp ceviche after a long hot day.
(5 locations)

Sonoran Hotdog Carts
A hotdog wrapped in bacon, grilled until crispy, and served on a toasted bun with beans and avocado sauce. Look for them in side parking lots for a quick inexpensive meal on-the-go.

ASIAN AND INDIAN

Asian Sandwich Deli
Unusual combinations of sliced meats and veggies on fresh baked French subs. Grab a few steamed-stuffed dumplings for later, as well.
1710 E. Speedway
(520) 326-3354

Char Thai
Superior lunch specials. Worth the 15 minute drive from the shows. Fantastic soups for those infrequent cold & rainy Tucson afternoons.
5039 E. 5th St. (St. Mary’s Road turns into 5th as you head east)
(520) 795-1715

Dragon’s View Asian Cuisine
Excellent, affordable lunch buffet located just west of the Santa Cruz River, south of St. Mary’s Rd. walking distance from the Riverpark Inn.
400 N. Bonita
(520) 623-9855

Golden Dragon
There are four branches in town, but we favor the quiet locale on Oracle Road in northern Tucson. If you're on your way to or from the Westward Look show, or are staying in the northwest, this is a real treat, especially for a quick, tasty and very reasonable lunch. We recommend the vegetarian spring rolls and sizzling vegetables, served on a hot iron platter. Outstanding!
6433 N. Oracle Road
(520) 297-1862

Miss Saigon
Huge bowls of Pho soup, tasty appetizers, and boba drinks with tapioca pearls. Located in the University area
1072 N. Campbell Avenue
(520) 320-9511

On A Roll
Tucson’s newest sushi restaurant, located downtown. We haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but rumor has it the rolls are big and the burgers savory, and they are open late weekend nights.
63 E. Congress
(520) 622-7655

Sher-E Punjab Home-style Cuisine of India
A quick, satisfying lunch buffet convenient to the Fossil and Mineral District. Our friend Krista can’t say enough about the vegetarian spinach dish.
853 E. Grant Rd.
(520) 624-9393

Sushi Cho
Just outside of downtown, Sushi Cho’s earned its spot on our list due to the quality of food and amusing banter with the chefs at the sushi bar.
1830 E. Broadway
(520) 628-8800

BREAKFAST

Café Passé
A lovely little café on Fourth Avenue. Super coffee and breakfast bagel sandwiches.
415 N. 4th Avenue
(520) 624-4411

Chaffin’s Family Restaurant
Traditional American breakfasts with some twists. We like the homemade hollandaise so much; we get the Eggs Benedict every time.
902 E. Broadway
(520) 882-7707

Einstein Brothers
FYI, there’s a new location at the College Place at the North-west junction of Oracle/Main/Drachman for those shopping and selling in the Fossil and Mineral District. Right across the road from the Executive Inn.
1601 N. Oracle Road

Frank’s Restaurant
An authentic greasy spoon Tucson-style where the huevos rancheros are as good as the bacon and eggs. "Geoff's Special" breakfast burrito is highly recommended.
3843 E. Pima
(520) 881-2710

BURGERS AND PUB FARE

Barrio Brewing
A boho-hip converted warehouse next to the railroad tracks on east border of downtown. Local micro brewery, Gentle Ben’s, brews on-site.
800 E. 16th St.
(520) 791-2739

Bob Dobb’s Bar and Grill
An old-school University neighborhood pub. Plenty of beers on tap and you’ll remember the Bob Burger for days!
2501 E. 6th Street
(520) 325-3767

Thunder Canyon Brewery
Located on the far-North side, near the Westward Look Show, this is hands-down our favorite Tucson pub. There is something on the menu for everyone and the micro brews are the perfect complement to your meal. Great patio, too. Our local, and practically a home-away-from home for the TGMS.net staff.
7401 N. La Cholla
(520) 797-2652

CAFES

Epic Café
Totally a Tucson institution, Epic Café is a chic, downtown, boho, art and writing crowd, hippy-friendly establishment with free Wi-Fi, outdoor tables, homemade pastries and exotic sandwiches, with a selection of rare and unusual teas that will boggle the mind. As local as it gets — laid back and cool.
745 N. 4th Avenue (at University)
(520) 624-6844

Glass Onion Café
This veggie friendly and hippy friendly Beatles-themed café is a little off the beaten track, but if you're staying in midtown or the northwest it's definitely worth a visit. Home made sandwiches and desserts, free live performances in the evenings, great coffee, vintage rock 'n' rolly vinyl decor, and a comfortable 1960s vibe make this a natural choice for music lovers, existentialists and travelers. Try the Eggman Egg Salad.
1990 W. River Road, just east of La Cholla
(520) 293-6050

DOUGHNUTS

La Cave
The best doughnut ever, period. Puts Krispy Kreme to shame. Get an extra large box and share with your neighbors; you’ll make new life-long friends.
1219 S. 6th Avenue
(520) 624-2561

HIDDEN LOCAL FAVORITES (BRING YOUR HANDHELD GPS!)

African Art Village Food Tent
Magically appears every year in the African Art Village only to disappear at the end of the shows leaving us dreaming of fried plantains, super spicy chutney, and crispy chicken for the next eleven months. Sigh.
South of 22nd off the Frontage Road

El Torero Restaurant
Where locals go to eat authentic Sonoran Mexican food without waiting in line for two hours with tourists. The enchiladas a la Bandera are sublime and they stock a large selection of Mexican beers.
231 E. 26th Street
(520) 622-9534

Mary’s Lucky Dollar
A six table restaurant just south of 22nd Street with the best, cheapest Mexican breakfast in town. Everything on the menu is our favorite. If you find it, you’ll be in our debt forever.
1555 S. 10th Avenue
(520) 884-8720

Nimbus Brewing
A Local micro brew hidden within the Palo Verde warehouse district — a stone's throw from the Holidome. Live music most weekends. We dig Nimbus not just for their great beer and their super-cool logo of a chimp in a space helmet, but because they actively support local arts events such as the All Souls Parade.
3840 E. 44th Street
(520) 745-9175

HOLIDOME VICINITY

Ajo Café
A fast hearty breakfast to start the day. Bring a piece of handmade pie or a cinnamon roll with you to the booth/room for a late morning sugar rush.
3132 E. Ajo Way
(520) 294-1100

TTT Truck Stop — Omar’s Hiway Chef Restaurant
A quick drive east on I-10 to the Craycroft exit. The only thing better than the huge portions and deep-dish apple pie, is the people watching.
5451 E. Benson Highway
(520) 574-0961

LATE NIGHT

Kingfisher Bar & Grill
Jazz-club style cool restaurant with a good seafood menu, excellent wine list, superior service, and a chic relaxed atmosphere. We recommend late-night weekends at the bar if you can find an open space.
2564 E. Grant Road
(520) 323-7739

TUCSON'S HIPPEST

The Cup
Located in the historic Hotel Congress downtown. The great patio, an updated menu and the hotel’s nightclub frequently turns a quick happy-hour bite to eat into an all-night occasion. We have had the pleasure of dining at The Cup so many times we don't even need to see the menu anymore. Good wine list and a happening downtown scene. One of the best spots in town.
311 E. Congress Street
(520) 622-8848

MEAT-EATER FRIENDLY

Daisy Mae’s Steak House
Five minutes from downtown this classic western steakhouse is a great place to celebrate a job well done.
2735 W. Anklam (west on St. Mary’s Rd.)
(520) 219-6700

El Corral Restaurant
A favorite among steak eaters and worth the drive to the foothills for prime-rib enjoyed in a historic Tucson hacienda. Go during the week to avoid the weekend waiting list (no reservations taken).
2201 E. River Road
(520) 299-6092

PIZZA AND ITALIAN

Brooklyn Pizza Company
Tucson’s first solar powered restaurant! Free delivery to most downtown hotels means eating local is only a call away. Real New York style thin crust pizza. Beer and wine also served. Our favorite pizza pie in town. Open late on weekends.
534 N. 4th Avenue
(520) 622-6868

Caruso’s Restaurant
Classic American-style Italian family restaurant. The gorgeous outdoor dining patio is a favorite local spot for parties featuring antipasto salad and carafes of house wine.
434 N. 4th Avenue
(520) 624-5765

Enoteca Pizzeria Wine Bar
Downtown pizza and wine bar kitty-corner to the Tucson Community Center. The place really heats-up when Teddy is serving at the bar on weekend nights.
58 W. Congress
(520) 623-0744

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza
Whether thin-crust or deep-dish is your preference, Rocco’s excels at both. Order wings and the house salad with homemade blue cheese dressing for a magical feast.
2707 E. Broadway
(520) 321-1860

SONORAN-MEXICAN — NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH TEX-MEX

El Charro
Open since 1922, El Charro Café is the "Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family" in the US. With several branches in town, be sure to visit the original downtown location Court Street with its lovely outdoor patio, situated very close to the TCC. Try the Sonoran Enchiladas — our favorite Mexican dish in Tucson.
311 N. Court Avenue

La Indita
This charming Mexican eatery has a hidden back patio perfect for dining on warm Tucson nights.
622 N. 4th Avenue
(520) 792-0523

Taqueria Pico Del Gallo
Not to be missed. Stop in at lunchtime for amazing battered shrimp tacos on handmade corn tortillas with rice and beans. Located halfway between downtown and the Holidome if you plan your drive right.
2618 S. 6th Street
(520) 623-8775

UPSCALE DINING: TUCSON DRESSY-CASUAL

Arizona Inn
Do you want to impress that Brazilian tourmaline dealer? If so bring him to the Sunday Champagne Brunch at this historic Tucson landmark hotel. The landscaped grounds are some of the finest in town. Elegant, Old-World charm.
2200 E. Elm
(520) 325-1541

Café Poca Cosa
Great downtown location, ambrosial cuisine. Order the plato poca cosa (sample plate of three of that night's dishes) so you can gush when owner/chef Susana comes by to personally check on your meal.
110 E. Pennington Street
(520) 622-6400

VEGETARIAN

Lovin' Spoonfuls
Wide and varied 100% vegan menu with an international twist (Mexican, Mediterranean, and Italian accents) as well as gluten-free selections, and a full bar. A favorite among Tucson veggies.
2990 N. Campbell Avenue
(520) 325-7766