Tucson, Arizona, is rich in multicultural heritage, gorgeous views of the Sonoran desert, and plenty of incredible places to grab a bite to eat.
Whether you’re in town for a conference at the Tucson Convention Center, visiting friends and family, or traveling for pleasure, Tucson has something for everyone.
Hiking trails stretch out into the wide-open skies, leading to outdoor expeditions where you’ll find out just how diverse desert landscapes can be!
Tucson is known for its incredible cacti, which you will spot when you check out the Saguaro National Parks.
Exploring other natural attractions like Kartchner Caverns State Park and Colossal Cave Mountain Park is sure to help you work up an appetite.
About an hour from the Mexican border, you’ll find lots of Mexican cuisine inspiration infused in the dishes across this eclectic city.
- Tito and Pep
- Zemam’s Too
- Baja Cafe
- The Parish
- Cup Café
- Prep & Pastry
- Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink
- 5 Points Market & Restaurant
- The Coronet
- BOCA Tacos Y Tequila
- Bobo’s Restaurant
- Café à La C’Art
- Renee’s Tucson
- Eclectic Cafe
- The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol
Treat yourself to a full sit-down meal, or check out the local food truck game. This southwest food scene has a ton of dining options that are guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Check out the guide below to discover the best restaurants in Tucson!
4122 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712
Tito and Pep’s is an airy and mouth watering new-American-meets-southwestern bistro in Midtown.
Their menu boasts imaginative flavor combinations that meld together perfectly when they come off of the restaurant’s wood-fired grill.
Fans compare sitting down to a meal dreamed up by Chef John Martinez as similar to experiencing an episode of Top Chef.
The sea bass crudo is a different take on the raw fish trend, and the wine selection and cocktail menu are sure to make for a fun night on the town. Make sure you call ahead and make reservations because this local hit can fill up quickly!
119 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705
Go outside your comfort zone and wow yourself with a one-of-a-kind dining experience at Zemam’s Too, just a block from Anza Park.
You’ll be charmed the moment you walk up to this African eatery, nestled in an adorable converted house-turned-restaurant.
Inside, the scents of berbere seasoning will awaken your appetite with a blend of chile peppers, cinnamon, and fenugreek.
When you’re there, grab some tangy injera bread and pile it high with Doro Wat, a spicy, slow-cooked chicken dish that will melt in your mouth.
In addition to offering their customers a gluten-free option for the injera, Zemam’s Too meets diverse dietary preferences with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options.
267 South Avenida del Convento #11, Tucson, AZ 85701
Next time you’re in Menlo Park, check out this hot Japanese joint at the Mercado San Agustin annex. I love that Kukai has traditional Japanese drinks. If you’ve never had a bottle of ramune soda, make sure you give that a try.
The trick to open the bottle is to push the marble top down into the drink! If you’re craving something creamy and sweet, check out their milk teas.
The main dishes are where the real action is, though. If you’re after a unique dish, you have to get the takoyaki, traditional street food in Osaka.
These are battered and fried balls of octopus mixed with tempura scraps, green onion, and pickled ginger and drizzled with a decadent sweet and tangy sauce.
Whether you’re craving sushi, ramen, onigiri, or a steaming donburi rice bowl, they have a full menu that’s sure to impress.
Baja Cafe has an adorably creative menu, featuring flavors in unexpected combinations that make for a memorable breakfast, lunch, or brunch.
They have a few locations across town, and the menus can differ, so be sure to check ahead online to see which one you want to try! One of their primary locations is right next to the Campbell Plaza Shopping Center.
They have a ton of egg options, from omelets to huevos rancheros to benedicts. If you’re not in the mood for eggs, they also have tacos, burgers, pancakes, and more. Lots of their menu items have charming names that really add to the southwestern flair.
Take the Wyatt Earp Benedict, for example, with its grilled green chile tamale pie and seared pulled pork, smoked corn husk bacon, and all the fixings dressed in a tomatillo sauce.
6453 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704
If you thought you’d have to travel all the way to New Orleans to get high-quality southern creole food, think again!
The Parish is a gastropub experience with a fun, stylish-yet-relaxed environment that is just waiting to be explored by you and your friends. It’s right off N Oracle Road, across the highway from Hobby Lobby.
Impress your peers by ordering the pepper and horseradish rubbed frog legs, and indulge in your seafood cravings with the cajun favorite called the “Drunken Angel.”
It includes burgundy angel hair, crawfish, shrimp, lobster broth, and a creamy saffron red pepper sauce to top it off. Of course, their bar offers a dynamic cocktail menu, so come thirsty!
311 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Cup Café is in Hotel Congress, Downtown Tucson’s most unique hotel experience. It is famous for being the site of the capture of the renowned gangster and bank robber John Dillinger in 1934.
It’s also well known for its music and events venues where locals and travelers alike gather for nightlife.
Come to have a great time, grab a room, and the next morning, head down to the coffee shop Cup Café for a steaming hot cup of something delicious.
But don’t let the name fool you. Cup Café is known for more than just excellent coffee. It’s open all day, so come grab a bite to eat that will blow your mind.
Leaning into the southwestern style flavors, their chef puts together familiar dishes in uncommon ways.
Take the “Braveheart,” a breakfast dish that features smoked beef brisket on sourdough topped with grilled veggies, poached eggs, gruyère cheese, and sausage gravy.
This classy new American brunch destination wants to “make your heart feel at home again.” And they make that goal a reality with a tantalizing array of morning cocktails and flaky pastries.
Baked goods aren’t all that’s in store for you at Prep & Pastry locations off N Campbell Avenue or near the Trail Dust Town.
You can sip the mimosa of your choosing (after all, they have nine varieties to pick from!) paired alongside a mouthwatering hot plate, like their cast iron duck confit with cherry goat cheese mousse.
Personally, I can never decide between the tangy harissa shakshuka or the PB&J toast with its peanut butter ricotta fluff on August Rhodes’ Japanese milk bread. Yum!
101 E Pennington St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Craft pizza is an art form in its own right, and Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink really takes the art to the next level. Their artisanal pies elevate an average night out to an extraordinary experience.
They have a beer garden with 28 rotating beers on tap and a semi-secretive downstairs bar called the Tough Luck Club.
Come enjoy some great pizza and drinks here, just a couple of blocks from Jacome Plaza. No matter where you sit and grab a bite to eat here, you’re in for a treat.
I recommend the crimini mushroom pizza. Or, to impress your date, you can trust the chef to put together something unique for you if you just order the “crew’s whim.”
If what you want is pasta instead of pizza, no worries–all the pasta at Reilly’s is handcrafted in-house.
2564 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716
You’ll find Kingfisher right on the corner of E Grant Road and N Forgeus Avenue. With a rotating menu, this restaurant stays up-to-date with what’s in season, trending, and most importantly–tasty.
The atmosphere is both cozy and classy, making it the perfect place for a romantic anniversary or special birthday celebration.
Grab a plate of raw oysters on the half shell, or sink into a bowl of ceviche with scallops and shrimp bathed in charred tomatillos and jalapenos, lime, cucumber, red onion, and cilantro.
With such a wide selection of seafood choices, Kingfisher impresses with competitive prices on their unique dishes, making it easy to splurge. I can’t stop thinking about trying the macadamia nut-crusted Hawaiian fish.
756 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
Just like the name says, this eatery can be found at the 5 points intersection, right where 6th and Stone meet. The innovative menu focuses on locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Sit down to enjoy a full meal on the patio with a hot cortado and a frittata, or pick up a meal to-go and peruse their natural wines selection at their attached market.
Check out the forbidden rice chilled pudding made with coconut, ponzu cashews, and raw pistachios for an unexpected vegan dessert.
After your meal, you can check out the local shopping or walk over to the Philabaum Glass Gallery, only a block away.
3502 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716
If you’re a fan of authentic Chinese food, you’ll be singing the praises for Noodleholics in no time! They serve Guilin rice noodles and homemade wheat noodle dishes that pack a flavorful punch in each bite.
With two locations in Tucson, you can enjoy Noodleholics whether you’re north of town or in the heart of the Garden District.
Sip on one of their unique iced tea options while you look forward to sweet and sour soup with crispy pork.
Their spicy broth leaves a tingle on your tongue, so be sure to keep an eye on the three-pepper heat level chart to know what you’re in for when you’re ordering.
3719 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716
You’ll find Feast right on the main E Speedway Boulevard in the middle of Tuscon. The colorful interior at Feast matches its array of menu items.
They’re constantly updating their menu to keep things fresh and seasonal, with new menus on the first Tuesday of every month.
Next time I go, I want to start with the pork trifecta, which includes terrine and pistachios, braised belly, and fried pork tail drizzled in tangerine-persimmon sauce.
You can’t go wrong with braised short ribs of beef and their butterscotch pot de creme for dessert.
It’s a custard dessert made with Scotch whiskey and butter, topped with black tea whipped cream and a disk of walnut shortbread.
198 W Cushing St, Tucson, AZ 85701
If you’re in town for a conference or admiring the Museum of Contemporary Art, you’re only steps away from a memorable meal at The Coronet.
With a classical and refined interior and a menu of ethically sourced ingredients to match, you’re in for a delightful night of fine dining here.
The beet and halloumi salad is a crowd-pleaser and pairs nicely with an ensemble of leek fritters and lamb meatballs with tomato curry.
They encourage patrons to indulge in shared small and large plates, so be sure to taste something off their unusual tinned gourmet seafood section.
533 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
BOCA is a renowned local joint on the Historic Fourth Avenue featured on Food Network, New York Times, and Travel Channel.
That kind of recognition means they must be doing something right! Specializing in traditional Mexican fare with an inventive flair, BOCA offers 19 different styles of tacos.
I recommend trying the honey mustard grilled tofu and the taco dog–it’s got a bacon-wrapped hotdog!
If you’re in the mood for something more standard fare, their carne asada and chipotle barbeque come highly recommended.
2526 E 6th St, Tucson, AZ 85716
If you’ve been searching for Latin-inspired vegan and vegetarian food, look no further than Tumerico. The University of Arizona is only a few blocks away from this popular joint.
Try a prickly pear or mesquite latte on the way to class, or chow down on the savory tamale plate before a study session.
The staff lists the menu on a handwritten chalkboard, and the friendly staff is there to help you navigate the menu and decide what to order.
With just as many delicious beverage options as colorful food items, you’re going to walk away from a meal at Tumerico sated and smiling.
2938 E Grant Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716
Bobo’s is a classic breakfast diner experience. Grab a bite to eat here after spending a morning wandering the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens.
The apple pancake is a staple here, drizzled with pecans and decadent syrup, and is a strong competitor to the diner’s other breakfast favorite, the blueberry pancake.
If sweets aren’t your jam first thing in the morning, try their crispy or delicious biscuits and gravy.
The interior is tiny, but the service at Bobo’s is quick. So, be patient if you show up and all the tables are full. It’s worth the wait.
150 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
This bright and airy coffee shop will start your day off right. It’s a classy establishment with a remarkable menu.
Located on the grounds of the gorgeous Tucson Museum of Art in a building from 1865, the restaurant features a garden patio inspired by Monet’s works, making for a beautiful backdrop for a memorable breakfast.
They also have a new dinner menu and an impressive pastry display. The salmon cake benedict is a fan favorite, and I love the cafe skillet with rosemary potatoes and melted cheddar cheese the best.
7065 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, AZ 85715
Renee’s is the perfect Italian joint to take your sweetheart out on a date. Located just across from the Tucson Desert Art Museum and Four Corners Gallery, you can take a stroll and then settle into your booth for a full restaurant experience or take your favorite dishes to-go to enjoy at home.
I love the meatballs and jalapeno cream appetizer, the perfect start before diving into the lasagna or zucchini pasta with pesto.
But with 16 different pizza options and olive oil cake on the dessert menu, I think I’m going to have to go back again the next night for round two.
7053 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, AZ 85715
The name says it all! At Eclectic Cafe, you’re going to find fun Tex-Mex at its finest. The salad menu alone is something to write home about.
As if their options for crunchy, traditional salads weren’t enough, they also offer warm salad bowls made with curry mango chutney, cilantro chicken, and more. You can find them near the Morris K Udall Park and Recreation Center.
The menu is big, boasting American favorites like burgers and sandwiches along with all the Mexican staples you can imagine, like burritos, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and more.
They also have a unique to-go menu, including whole quiches, a rare find! Don’t forget an order of their authentic Mexican flan.
5501 N Hacienda Del Sol Rd, Tucson, AZ 85718
Whether you’re staying at the Hacienda Del Sol Resort in the Catalina Foothills or simply coming by for a bite to eat, you’ll be rewarded with a tasty meal when you eat at The Grill.
It’s a classy affair while still being approachable, and on occasion, you can find live music livening up the place. The rustic decor with historic photos of the site enhances the dining experience.
The menu is full of traditional American fare, and the restaurant often does special menus and buffet dining for holidays and events.
While the tab might be pricey, you’re paying for more than just a meal at The Grill–you’re indulging in a quintessential Arizona experience.
Now you know the secret–Tucson is a hidden gem of the restaurant world! Foodies will delight in what they find in this desert town, and there’s always something new to try and discover as the cuisine scene continues to evolve and grow.
With a variety of ethnic flavors, styles of dining, and experiences to partake in, you are bound for adventure when you set out to dine in Tucson, Arizona. If you’re in the mood for steak, check out this list for some stellar Tucson steakhouses.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!