If you haven’t dined at Cafe Botanica inside Tucson Botanical Gardens, August might be a good time to grab a bite under a mesquite tree among the flowering cacti. Open late for Twilight Thursdays until 8pm, the Botanical Gardens invites guests to bring their own bottle of wine to enjoy with a homemade meal from the cafe. Guests are also welcome to bring a picnic of their own if they prefer.
Botanica is run by long time Tucson caterer and Gallery of Food owner, Kristine Jensen, with a menu inspired by the culinary traditions of the Sonoran desert and high-desert of Northern New Mexico. Her team is committed to using local, sustainable ingredients, gleaning from the Gardens when possible. Local vendors include Sleeping Frog Farms, Double Check Ranch, Josh’s Wilcox Chicken, Chiva Risa Goat Farm, Arbuckle Coffee & Tea.
Typically, unless you’re a member of the gardens, you have to cough up the Tucson Botanical Gardens $8 entry fee just to step foot inside the restaurant. For Twilight Thursdays, however, the fee is waived if you made a reservation.
Cafe Botanica is located inside the Tucson Botanical Gardens at 2150 N Alvernon Way. For more information, visit them on the web at tucsonbotanical.org.