Last modified on August 31st, 2017 at 2:24 pm
Ever wonder if you’re missing out on a hot new restaurant or just aren’t aware of a cool, hidden spot?
Below is a list of various restaurants located around downtown Tucson. From authentic Mexican cuisine to local cafés and coffee shops, each restaurant offers a unique atmosphere with diverse menus and experiences.
Whether you just want to pop into a café for a hot drink or enjoy a sit-down dinner with your significant other, downtown has a lot to offer.
What does 47 Scott bring to the table? Quintessential American comfort foods combined with high quality ingredients and a cozy, brick decor make for the perfect night out. Mac & Cheese and Steak Frites are just two dishes easy to find in many restaurants, but not the way 47 Scott does them. Pair their menu with an extensive drink list and you’ve got yourself quite the get together spot with family and friends.
For more information, visit 47 Scott.
Take the streetcar to its final stop and you will arrive at Agustin Kitchen, a modern American restaurant with classic french techniques. Relish over a menu of Brûléed Local Goat Cheese, Oysters, and homemade Gelato in their bright and open dining space. After your meal walk around the Mercado San Agustin courtyard and enjoy the nearby shops.
For more information, visit Agustin Kitchen.
Alejandro’s Cafe offers classic Mexican fare in the heart of downtown and promises to give the best bang for your buck. Menu items include Enchiladas and Pozole Soup, made with pork shoulder, chiles and hominy corn. Make sure to come in for the lunch time specials costing less than six dollars on most days of the week.
For more information, visit Alejandro’s Cafe.
Baggin’s has been bringing sandwiches with a kick of southwestern flavor since 1984, and continues to provide lunchtime favorites for on-the-go customers. While you’re downtown don’t forget to try one of their specialty sandwiches like the Unforgettable Baggin’s or indulge in a grilled creation like the Southwestern Tuna.
For more information, visit Baggin’s.
Barrio Brewing Co. offers a range of house-made microbrews, including Taylor Jayne’s Raspberry Ale and the well known Barrio Blonde. Enjoy your favorite beer with classic pub food, including their Beer Sponges, two soft pretzels served with beer mustard. Make sure to try the Barrio Blanco IPA, while you nosh on a warm pretzel.
For more information, visit Barrio Brewing.
Batch certainly isn’t your typical craft cocktail bar. Opened in January 2016, Batch is known for its whiskey and doughnuts. They have no fancy mixers, but instead, just whiskey and bourbon. For their doughnuts, their creativity is key. They have unusual doughnuts, such as Pink Blueberry with Fruity Pebbles.
For more information, visit Batch Cafe & Bar.
Located in Tucson’s art district, Cafe 54 is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite for lunch. It also serves as more than just a restaurant by offering “a unique employment training program for adults recovering from mental illnesses.” Menu items include salads, veggie burgers, Gyros, and Flat Breads. Make sure to try the desert of the day!
Highlighted Lunch Items:
The Hero’s Gyro – Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, tzatziki sauce wrapped in a toasted pita. Choice of gyro beef, all natural grilled chicken breast or marinated baked tofu
For more information, visit Cafe 54.
Café à la C’Art provides a memorable experience for its customers with a close attention to detail and Southwest Cuisine menu items. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this café provides specialties like Green Eggs and Ham and Parmesan Crusted Turkey Croissant. You’ll feel like you’re at home in this quaint, country-style café surrounded by a patio covered in mosaic.
For more information, visit Café à la C’Art.
Looking to take a trip to a quaint cafe in the heart of Italy? Caffe Milano will transport you in time with the help of chef Fulvia Steffenone. After establishing her own school of haute cuisine in Italy, Fulvia brought her art of cooking to Tucson. Sample from a range of Italian dishes including, Veal Scaloppine, homemade Tiramisu, and tomato, basil and mozzarella Bruschetta.
For more information, visit Caffe Milano.
Cafe Poca Cosa offers “imaginative” cuisine highlighting different regions in Mexico. The menu changes twice throughout the day, providing customers with a unique experience each time they come in. Look out for a portable chalkboard menu that is brought to every table highlighting what chef and owner Suzana Davila is featuring for the night.
For more information, visit Cafe Poca Cosa.
Another tapas spot makes it on our list. Casa Vicente’s Spanish-style dinners, wine and live music will leave you feeling like you are in Madrid. The menu feature small plates of Spanish chorizo, pork scallopini, lamb chops, mussels, jumbo shrimp, and Paella, a traditional rice dish with various meats, seafood, or vegetables. Don’t forget to bring your friends and your dancing shoes!
Favorite Tapas Items:
For more information, visit Casa Vicente.
If Charro Steak sounds familiar to you, it is.
Ran by the famous Flores family of El Charro restaurants, Charro Steak is the family’s take on a Sonoran steakhouse. Don’t expect Charro Steak to be anything like Fleming’s, Outback Steakhouse, or Pinnacle Peak. The ranch-to-table meats provide an outstanding local experience.
For more information, visit Charro Steak.
Cup Cafe offers a full bar and dining room with features like a, Build Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar and Omelet Bar. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Cup Café’s menu offers items from their Tofu Scramble to Pan Seared Ruby Trout. Enjoy brunch after a long night dancing and enjoying live entertainment at Club Congress.
For more information, visit Cup Cafe.
Cushing Street dates back to 1860’s, with historic furnishings and original walls made of mud and straw. Their menu items include flavorful fare such as the Sueño Burger with fresh roasted green chiles, bacon, and Swiss cheese. Every Saturday a Cool Jazz Band fills the restaurant with vibrant music and brings back memories of early Tucson.
For more information, visit Cushing Street.
Diablo Burger offers burgers that are made from “100% local, grass-fed, open-range raised, antibiotic-free, and growth-hormone-free beef”. Not only are these burger good on the conscious, but good for the appetite as well. Burgers such as the Monk and Big Daddy Kane, Diablo Burger are standouts on the menu. Don’t pass up on a side of their fries with a variety of delicious sauces!
For more information, visit Diablo Burger.
Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails delivers an especially unique dining experience. Menu items change seasonally and are inspired by flavors ranging from Asia to Latin America. Tantalize your senses with Bacon and Cabbage Stuffed Rainbow Trout and a Dark Chocolate and Jalapeño Ice Cream Sundae. Great for group gatherings to enjoy specialty cuisine and drinks!
For more information, visit Downtown Kitchen.
El Charro is the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant, featuring award-winning recipes like their Banderas Enchiladas and Hand-Made Chicken Tomatillos Tamales. The colorful and historic atmosphere provides an authentic Mexican experience; just order their special ¡Cerveza-Rita! and you’ll be dancing on the tables in no time!
El Minuto Cafe has been serving Fine Mexican Food since 1939 in the original Barrio Viejo. This local, authentic restaurant offers items like Shredded Beef Chimichangas and their Combination Plate with a beef taco, tamale, cheese enchilada and beans. After your meal, take a walk around the historic neighborhood and take in the colorful homes and scenery.
For more information, visit El Minuto.
Elliott’s is an American restaurant that provides a relaxing ambience and great food to match. The eatery features a fully stocked bar with house-infused specialty vodkas, sporting flavors from basil to key lime. There is even Chocolate Covered Bacon, and fried PB&J’s. It is safe to say Elliot’s is nothing short of an experience.
For more information, visit Elliot’s.
The up-scale Mexican restaurant Elvira’s expanded from their Tubac location and opened their second location in Tucson. The beautiful space features contemporary interpretations of Latin cuisine. Expect to see complex moles, Caribbean and Thai fusions, and tequila, lots of tequila.
Highlighted Tubac Menu Items:
For more information, visit Elvira’s.
Empire is a pizza joint with TV’s, a jukebox and the atmosphere of a classic style bar. They serve Authentic NY Style Pizza, Salad, wings and dessert. If you spend your weekends dancing into the wee hours of the night, don’t worry they are open until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Empire is the perfect place to enjoy a late night slice of pizza downtown!
For more information, visit Empire Pizza.
If you want a customized pizza or are just eating on-the-go, come to Fired Pie and build your own original pizza and salad creation. Choose from a list of ingredients including, steak, capicola, fresh basil and oregano. If you have room for dessert make sure to try their warm chocolate chip pizookie with vanilla ice cream.
For more information, visit Fired Pie.
Loungey restaurant and nightclub Funky Monk is all about having fun. Get funky on the dance floor with booming music and psychedelic vibes.
Highlighted Lunch Items:
For more information, visit funkymonktucson.com.
Club by night, restaurant by day, Hi Fi Kitchen and Cocktails provides an open atmosphere and huge patio in a highly stylized setting. You’ll want to get there semi-early if the club scene isn’t your cup of tea. But it is definitely a great place to sit and people watch while enjoying elevated pub food such as adult milkshakes and burgers.
Highlighted Lunch Items:
For more information, visit Hi Fi Kitchen and Cocktails.
Hub offers brunch, lunch, dinner, but most importantly, homemade ice cream. This loft-feel surrounded with brick walls and unique décor offers a dark, intimate ambiance in the evening. They serve menu items such as Corned Beef Hash and Chicken Pot Pie. End your meal with creamy, homemade ice-cream in unique flavors like Oatmeal Cookie Dough and Spiced Cider.
For more information, visit Hub.
Johnny Gibson’s Market provides customers with an affordable breadth of items from tasty sandwiches to local cheese to a forgotten toothbrush. With an emphasis on locally sourcing produce, make sure to sample their variety of baked goods, deli offerings, fresh seafood, ice cream, and a wide selection of craft beer.
For more information, visit Johnny Gibson’s Market.
La Cocina is known as “Tucson’s Venue with a Menu”. Dig into one of their fresh, healthy dishes like the Quinoa Bowl with Braised Spinach and Roasted Vegetables. With a courtyard surrounded by plants, string lights, and candles, you’ll be sure to enjoy a refreshing experience for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Standout Dinner Items:
For more information, visit La Cocina.
Little Cafe Poca Cosa (The Little One) is considered “the tiny restaurant with a big heart”. Sister to the big Café Poca Cosa, this casual setting offers an experience you’ll never forget. The best part about this one is that you won’t leave without a hug and a kiss! But make sure to bring cash, as cards are not accepted.
For more information, visit Little Cafe Poca Cosa.
Maynards is a light, airy market where you can buy a variety of food, drinks, and other goods. This intimate area features a deli, coffee bar, bakery, and provides food such as Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins and Truffled Egg Salad. Maynards also features a small retail section where you can purchase items from vendors around the Tucson area.
Lunch Time Favorites:
For more information, visit Maynards.
Nook promises a kick in the morning with their menu of Cinnamon Roll Griddle Cakes, Maple Belly Benedict and Avocado Toast. Tucson’s vibrant personality is translated into their urban interpretations of home cooked food. If you are in a rush, don’t forget about their Grab and Go Delivery service, which will bring you your favorite items in 30 minutes or less in the downtown area.
Tasty Brunch Bites:
For more information, visit Nook.
Whether you are coming in for a quick bite during a night out, dinner with friends, or stopping by for lunch, OBON is a must-try. Named after the vibrant Japanese celebration of family and life, Brandon Katz hopes to bring a taste of Japan to Tucson. The menu offers everything from small plates of Soft Shell Crab with hafu sauce to Bulgogi Ribeye Steak, bento box lunch specials, an extensive sushi menu, ramen, and steam buns.
For more information, visit Obon Sushi.
Penca offers upscale Mexico City Cuisine and an extensive bar with international cocktails. Enjoy a variety of tasty bites within their modern and cozy space with old wood and brick surrounded walls. Menu items include Ceviche and Tacos and a Guacamole Board, with queso fresco, pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa.
For more information, visit Penca.
Pie Bird Bakery and Cafe will transport you into your grandmother’s kitchen with a delectable menu of freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit, Pitaya Bowls and homemade Quiche. Decorated like a kitchen from the 1950’s, enjoy a quick breakfast before work, or a weekend brunch with friends. Located in the Transamerica Building, don’t forget to check out this quaint dining experience.
For more information, visit Pie Bird.
Reilly is a modern Italian restaurant and artisan pizzeria with a casual setting. It has an urban feel with its vaulted ceilings and original chalk art on the walls. Menu items include delicious Stuffed Mushrooms in Lemon Broth and Fennel Sausage and Roasted Pepper Brick-Oven Pizza. Great for a relaxing meal paired with a glass of red wine!
For more information, visit Reilly Pizza.
For a blend of authentic and contemporary Thai dishes with hyperlocal ingredients, visit Senae.
For more information, visit senaethai.com.
Sparkroot offers coffee and tea, along with simple made dishes such as House-Made Walnut Granola and Artisanal Pressed Sandwiches on Ciabatta. The construction of this coffee bar has a busy, urban-feel, using reclaimed barn wood and stainless steel accents, where customers can enjoy high quality coffee. Relax during the day or later in the evening where you can enjoy a selection of beer and wine.
Favorites to Enjoy With Coffee:
For more information, visit Sparkroot.
Street Taco and Beer Co. is bringing the heat with a menu chock full of delicious Tacos, Ceviche, and Warm Churros. Enjoy two or maybe five tacos at only 3 bucks a pop with a refreshing Agua Fresca. After an evening at the nearby Fox Theaters, sit along the outdoor bar and enjoy fresh tacos while watching the vibrant scene downtown.
For more information, visit Street Taco and Beer Co..
Since opening in 1997, Thunder Canyon Brewery has become an ample part of the brewing community. The brewery continues to celebrate their love of craft beer with a menu of pub favorites and classic comfort food. Enjoy a selection of local brews with a menu of Chicken pot pie, Wings and Fish and Chips. Happy hour is everyday from 3-7 p.m.
For more information, visit Thunder Canyon Brewery.
Urban Fresh is known as a “Vegucational Experience” due to its fresh, natural ingredients and health and wellness education. This plant-based restaurant offers quick and easy lunch options such as Nourishing Smoothies and abundent Green Salads. With its intimate, café-feel, Urban Fresh offers a unique and healthy experience.
For more information, visit Urban Fresh.
Just a few minutes from downtown, 5 Points Market & Restaurant offers a menu of fresh and delicious samplings. 5 Points is the perfect place for Sunday brunch, or a quick breakfast or lunch throughout the workday. Make sure to sample the Smoked Salmon Benedict, the Giant Pancake and the freshly squeezed juices.
For more information, visit 5 Points.
Looking for something off the beaten path? Try Cafe Desta, one of only two locations in Tucson (three if you count both Zemam’s) for authentic Ethiopian cuisine. Each menu item includes a complex and rich variety of spices highlighting the flavors of Ethiopia. Menu items include a variety of meat, vegetarian, and vegan stews. Mix and match dishes to create a truly unique experience.
Items to Try:
For more information, visit Cafe Desta.
The Coronet is nestled between downtown and 4th avenue in what was originally the Coronado Hotel. Filled with historic undertones, the Coronet doesn’t disappoint in offering a memorable dining experience. The menu is whimsical and seasonally inspired, offering an afternoon trio of salads, Fruit Tartines, and Sparkling Lemonade.
Highlighted Dinner Items:
For more information, visit Cafe Coronet.
Come to Ermano’s and enjoy your favorite local beer or wine over gourmet gastropub fare. Beers range from Dragoon, Iron John’s, Pueblo Vida to New York’s Ommegang and the well-known Tecaté. Bring your friends and share a few plates of Ceviche with avocado and Hawaiian black sea salt, Corn Bread, and Kabobs. Happy hour is from 2-6 p.m.
For more information, visit Ermano’s.
Let us know in the comments if we missed your go-to Downtown spot!