19 January, 2022, 02:55

Urban Pita: Fast, House-Made Mediterranean Cuisine

Located on the ground floor of the parking garage-meets-student housing structure that’s also home to HiFi Kitchen & Cocktails, the unassuming facade of Urban Pita is easy to miss. But you might want to make it a point to find it.

With a wide range of options in a fast-casual environment, Urban Pita — which began as an idea between the two owner-friends — has blossomed into a late night and lunchtime hit.

Community-style seating, flanked by high-top tables and a mural depicting downtown Tucson make up the inner ambience, which is also great for people watching out the street-facing window. Additionally, the warm light of the low-hanging Edison bulbs contrasts with the cobalt blue walls.

Service is fast enough for a quick work-week lunch. After ordering, a self-serve bar of sauces, veggies, and other fresh toppings is available. Grab a side of the lemony garlic sauce — the savory tartness is crave-worthy enough to be bottled.

Falafel appetizer at Urban Pita (Credit: Ari Alexander)

Falafel appetizer at Urban Pita (Credit: Ari Alexander)

Menu options include appetizers, pockets and puffs, Mediterranean salads such as fattoush and tabouli, sandwiches such as gyros and shawarma, and a variety of combo plates.

Share an order of the falafel appetizer ($5.50), a must-try for vegan and gluten-free eaters. Four crisp yet fluffy falafel balls easily soak up the accompanying tahini sauce.

To try out both of Urban Pita’s meat options, check out the meat plate ($12.50), which features gyro meat, chicken shawarma meat, tzatziki, hummus, a pita, and a small Greek side salad.

While the house-made sauces can pair with all components of the plate, they have their strengths highlighting different flavors.

Tzatziki, made with yogurt, garlic, cucumber, salt, and olive oil, is a house favorite that pairs particularly well with the gyro meat with cool cucumber and a kick from fresh garlic. The hummus is velvety smooth and surprisingly elegant for a take-out container with the drizzle of olive oil, chickpea, parsley, and sumac garnish.

Baklava and meat plate at Urban Pita (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Baklava and meat plate at Urban Pita (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Dessert is also a crucial component when it comes to eating at Urban Pita. The house-made baklava’s ($2.50) thinly-layered, flaky pastry melds with honey for a sticky bottom, while walnuts provide a slightly salty-savory balance. Self-serve frozen yogurt and lassi ($3.50) are also available in strawberry and mango.

Urban Pita is located at 345 E. Congress St. #135 and is open 11 a.m. – midnight Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. Thursday and Friday, noon – 3 a.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. – midnight Sunday. For more information, call (520) 332-2294 or visit urbanpitaaz.com.

Ari is a University of Arizona student and a food connoisseur who loves to find hole-in-the-wall joints and cook as well. To keep up with her food adventures, visit vinoncheeseplz on Instagram.