11 Tucson Restaurants to BYOB & Suggested Wine Pairings

Last modified on September 14th, 2017 at 11:44 am

TK Sushi Roll at the Tasteful Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Tucson folk like to drink without spending a fortune. (Who doesn’t?) Thankfully, Tucson’s BYOB (bring your own bottle) options aren’t particularly formal — this means you don’t have to fuss over etiquette and can also save a fortune.

Since you’re bringing a whole bottle however, pairing with food can be trickier. The key is to not overthink it and enjoy yourself.

If you’re a wine newbie and don’t even know where to start, we’ve provided a few suggested pairings below. Cheers!

Cafe Desta

758 S. Stone Ave.
(Credit: Café Desta on Facebook)

(Credit: Cafe Desta on Facebook)

If you can get your hands on the Ethiopian honey wine tej, bring it. Mead makes a suitable substitution. High-acid whites like Chenin Blanc pair well with the spice.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 370-7000 or visit cafedesta.com.

Chef Alisah’s Restaurant

5931 N. Oracle Rd. # 117
Cevapi and Cockta at Chef Alisah's Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Cevapi and Cockta at Chef Alisah’s Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

With such a beefy menu, bring a red wine such as Zinfandel or Barbaresco.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 887-5305 or visit alisahrestaurant.com.

Cuban Blaze Restaurant

10110 N. Oracle Rd.
Cuban Sandwich at Cuban Blaze (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cuban Sandwich at Cuban Blaze (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Acidic Barbera pairs well with the tomato-y Ropa Vieja. Amusingly enough, Pinot Noir is a classic pairing with the Authentic Cuban Sandwich.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 395-1297 or visit cubanblaze.com.

Fiamme Pizza

4706 E. Sunrise Dr.
Pizza Bianca, Pizza Margherita, and Insalata Arugula from Fiamme Pizza Napoletana (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pizza Bianca, Pizza Margherita, and Insalata Arugula from Fiamme Pizza Napoletana (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pizza is one of the easiest foods to pair with wine. With so many types of pizza, you’re sure to find a perfect fit for whatever bottle you bring. For the classic margherita pizza, bring Vernaccia, rosé, or Garnacha.

Corkage fee: $5

For more information, call (520) 529-5777 or visit fiammepizzatucson.com.

Frank’s / Francisco’s de Noche

3843 E. Pima St.
Combination #2 (Enchiladas, Sope, & Flauta) at Frank's/Francisco's

Combination #2 (Enchiladas, Sope, & Flauta) at Frank’s/Francisco’s (Credit: Megan Black)

If you’re coming in the morning, bring sparkling wine for mimosas. If you’re coming for dinner, bring a dry Sauvignon Blanc to pair with carne asada and birria.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 881-2710 or visit franksrestaurant.com.

Martin’s Comida Chingona

557 N. 4th Ave.
Chicken mole burro at Martin’s Comida Chingona (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chicken mole burro at Martin’s Comida Chingona (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Martin’s Chicken Mole pairs with partially oaked, dry Chardonnay.

Corkage fee: NO (but you have to be seated indoors).

For more information, call (520) 884-7909 or keep up with Martin’s Comida Chingona on Facebook.

Mutts Premium Hot Dogs & Sausages

806 E. University Blvd.
Mac the Dog at Mutts Premium Hot Dogs & Sausages (Credit: Adilene Ibarra)

Mac the Dog at Mutts Premium Hot Dogs & Sausages (Credit: Adilene Ibarra)

Believe it or not, champagne is fantastic with hot dogs. The acidity and bubbles help cut through the rich dogs and sausages. Mutts also sells orange juice if you’d like to make mimosas.

Corkage fee: NO (but you have to be seated indoors).

For more information, call (520) 529-7277 or keep up with Mutts on Facebook.

Sushi Nara

8650 E. Speedway Blvd.
Assorted sushi, edamame, and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at Sushi Nara (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Assorted sushi, edamame, and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at Sushi Nara (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with the spicy rolls, while Pinot Gris works with more delicate nigiri sushi.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 296-3333 or visit sushinara.wordpress.com.

Taqueria Pico de Gallo

2618 S. 6th Ave.
Tacos at Taqueria Pico de Gallo (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Tacos at Taqueria Pico de Gallo (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

A light Mexican lager naturally goes well with tacos, but try stepping it up a notch with a bottle of cava. The bubbles work magic with the rich meats and pickled veggies.

Corkage fee: NO

For more information, call (520) 623-8775 or keep up with Taqueria Pico de Gallo on Facebook.

The Tasteful Kitchen

722 N. Stone Ave.
Miso Eggplant at the Tasteful Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Miso Eggplant at the Tasteful Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Even though the Tasteful Kitchen is vegetarian, they know how to use ingredients such as miso to create deeply savory dishes. A rosé will pair nicely with most of the menu, but the robust Miso Eggplant can handle a Merlot.

Corkage fee: $7

For more information, call (520) 250-9600 or visit thetastefulkitchen.com.

Zemam’s (only the Broadway location)

2731 E. Broadway Blvd.
Doro Wat with Hard Boiled Egg at Zemam's (Credit: Mark Navarro)

Doro Wat with Hard Boiled Egg at Zemam’s (Credit: Mark Navarro)

For the Doro Wat, an oaked chardonnay pairs marvelously. The heavily-spiced dishes go well with hoppy lagers and IPAs.

Corkage fee: $3

For more information, call (520) 323-9928 or visit zemams.com.

Do you have a favorite BYOB restaurant to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He eats Flamin' Hot Cheetos with chopsticks and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.