Northeast Tucson has a solid option for pizza and local craft beer at Bear Canyon Pizza, located at 8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Owner Devin Santos has created a fun, contemporary feel that offers something for everyone, including families.
The location features an open patio and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that flood the restaurant with an abundance of natural light. Additionally, art by local artist Lisa Kanouse is displayed, a number of televisions play sports games, and a kids’ corner filled with toys and books help keep children entertained.
The restaurant features innovative, as well as gluten-free takes on pizza, pasta, and salads but has still made room for the ageless menu items we all know and love.
“We could’ve just done a standard pizza joint, but we wanted something for everyone,” said Santos. "Since we’re in an area where there aren’t a ton of restaurants, we wanted to appeal to a larger crowd. We want to make sure everyone can come in and have a good meal."
Pizza is hard to mess up but difficult to do right. If you’re looking for a contemporary version of the timeless classic, look no further.
The Baja pizza merges classic ingredients with unexpected welcome additions. Topped with savory chorizo, black olives, cilantro, green chilies, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese, this pie is finished with cilantro crema. Hot tip: a slice is enough to fill you up, so don't overdo it.
Cooked to a delicate, crisp, and golden perfection, Fried Cauliflower Nachos pair beer-battered cauliflower with the southwestern zest of green chilies, fresh Roma tomatoes, and a hint of garlic. They're served with a side of thick cilantro crema and might, just might, steal the pizza’s spotlight.
Bear Canyon has taken steps to accommodate food allergies and intolerances — nut-based vegan cheese is available as well as gluten-free options.
When it comes to beverages, locally owned Bear Canyon Pizza is a strong supporter of local independent businesses and offers 30 beers on tap and 10 wines.
If one of your favorites is not offered, employees can suggest a similar style and slide over a sample. But don’t get too attached — the menu is constantly changing.
“Having thirty beers allows us to offer half the list in local options. It’s pretty cool to be able to support the local breweries in Arizona,” said General Manager Justin Kent. “This side of town has never had a big craft beer spot, so the education of the people, [on the east side], I think would only help the craft beer community and people who want to expand their palates.”
Monday evenings are dedicated to fundraising, with a portion of the sales donated to local charities and organizations — schools in the area and nature conservation of Tucson.
Bear Canyon Pizza is located at 8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd. and can be reached at (520) 749-8227. For more information, visit bearcanyonpizza.com.