Expand your horizons (upwards and outwards, NE).
When you think about places to eat at in the Catalina Foothills, popular destinations like La Encantada and St. Philip’s Plaza likely come to mind. However, a short drive east opens up a myriad of options, some brand new and some old favorites.
Within the boundaries of Sunrise Drive, Swan Road, and River Road, you will find a handful of Northeast Tucson restaurants and cafes offering a variety of cuisines and price ranges for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Arizona Pizza Company
4777 E. Sunrise Dr.
Bazil’s has been providing Tucson with Chicago-style Italian cuisine since 1979. If you are dining in, the menu ranges from classics like Lasagna and Ravioli to unexpected dishes like Escargot.
Many fans opt for the more casual to-go menu, which includes dozens of specialty pizzas and pastas.
For more information, visit bazilstucson.com.
Bear Canyon Pizza
8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Ste. 335
Bear Canyon is a child-friendly place with a simple ‘order and seat yourself’ policy. It’s a lively place with indoor and outdoor seating for you to claw at enormous slices of pizza and sip on a beer or glass of wine.
Bear with us as we drool over customer favorites, including Fried Cauliflower Nachos, garlic Knots, Caesar Salad and — of course — their pizza.
For more information, visit bearcanyonpizza.com.
4960 N. Sabino Canyon Rd. Ste. 160
Brewd — a coffee lounge — offers the ideal healthy breakfast or coffee stop for anyone in the Sabino Canyon area.
The breakfast and lunch options consist primarily of paninis, but it varies on the weekend.
Past favorites include the Pusch Ridge Panini, with egg whites, turkey bacon, veggie sausage, and cheese, and the Saddleback Ridge Panini with roasted turkey, brie cheese, and jalapeno jelly on rosemary artisan bread. The cafe even offers gluten-free options.
In keeping with their name, Brewd’s drink selection includes bottomless coffee (in-house) for only $3, blended drinks, espresso, tea, and lattes.
Keep up with Brewd on Facebook.
5605 E. River Rd. Ste. 121
Caffe Torino opened their original location in Oro Valley in 2000, a little over ten years after owner Daniela Borella moved to Tucson from Italy. Daniela’s mother, Edy, was the original chef, crafting a menu of traditional family recipes, including handmade pasta.
On Saturdays, guests can enjoy live jazz on the unique patio, which is shaped like Arizona state.
For more information, caffetorinotucson.com.
Commoner & Co.
6960 E. Sunrise Dr.
Commoner & Co. brings elevated American cuisine to Sunrise Drive. Building on the success of sister restaurant Prep & Pastry, Commoner offers decadent brunch dishes, a dinner menu filled with comfort classics, and a popular happy hour selection.
For more information, visit commonertucson.com.
El Charro Cafe
6910 E. Sunrise Dr.
If you haven’t been to one of El Charro’s three Tucson locations, can you really call yourself a Tucsonan? Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but the restaurant has been serving their classic Sonoran cuisine since 1922.
For more information, visit elcharrocafe.com.
4717 E. Sunrise Dr.
While El Cisne’s reviews are mixed, those that love the restaurant’s Mexican cuisine, really love it. According to their website, they specialize in “wonderfully prepared seafood and steaks” and cuisine from various regions across Mexico.
For more information, visit elcisnerestaurant.com.
5689 N. Swan Rd.
Fini’s Landing has made it their mission to bring the coastal cuisine of the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, Mexico, and California to land-locked Tucson. Guests appreciate the laid-back vibes, dog-friendly patio and seafood-centric Taco Tuesday deals.
For more information, visit finislanding.com.
5425 N. Kolb Rd.
A common complaint about Tucson’s food scene is the lack of high-quality, authentic sushi.
Enter Ginza Sushi. The Japanese restaurant and bar serves a sushi menu, sashimi, salads, and tempura tapas style, or as it is referred to in Japan, Izakaya style.
For more information, visit ginzatucson.com.
Ha Long Bay Restaurant
7245 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
A Vietnamese restaurant located in the Colonial Plaza, Ha Long offers traditional lunch and dinner items along with Pan-Stir Fried Do Xa0 chicken, beef, pork or tofu choices.
For more information, visit halongbaymenu.com.
Harvest On River
5605 E. River Rd. Ste. 201
Harvest offers a slew of specials each week, starting with half-price bottles of wine on Mondays and Tuesdays, and daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Top choices include the Brandy Burger with piles of house-made cumin-parsley fries and the Braised Short Rib Sandwich.
For more information, visit harvestov.com.
The Hidden Grill
4955 N. Sabino Canyon Rd. Ste.113
With a menu that changes weekly and a focus on paleo meal preparation, The Hidden Grill — recently opened in August 2018 — is dynamic and fresh.
With a focus on food that’s made to order, the meat and vegetable-focused dishes are prepared on demand. Past favorites include Blackened White Fish, Grilled Arizona Angus Beef Burger, and Tuna Dip & Grilled Vegetables. Prices range from $5 – $13 and meals can be ordered to go or eaten inside the cozy spot.
For more information or to place an order, visit thehiddengrill2go.com.
Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine
6878 E. Sunrise Dr.
Inca’s, one of the only Peruvian joints in town, celebrates the diverse cultures that contribute to Peruvian cuisine, which range from Spanish to African to Japanese to British.
The menu is full of authentic and delicious favorites like whole chicken for four served with Peruvian style fries, house rice, and salad, ceviche de pescado, and pulled chicken breast, cooked in aji amarillo and roasted walnuts, served over sliced boiled potatoes.
For more information, visit incascuisine.com.
Island Plate Lunch
5575 E. River Rd. Ste. 141
A Hawaiian restaurant that invites you in to be part of the family, Aloha!
Island Plate Lunch may or may not be strumming the sweet tunes of a ukelele as you enter but they will certainly provide wholesome poke bowls, plentiful sides, and house-made oxtail soup on Fridays and Saturdays.
The poke bowls are a generous portion and have returning customers struggle to order anything else. Other favorites include the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken with the Macaroni Salad, Chicken Katsu, and Crab Salad but any of your choices will certainly be onolicious.
For more information, visit islandplatelunch.com.
Jackson Bar + Eatery
8864 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Known for brunch, dinner, cocktails, and — lately — NFL Sundays, the moreish plates this casual upscale restaurant provides are a feast for the eyes and palate. You’ll likely clink glasses over their extended happy hour menu, half-price pasta on Tuesday nights, and mouth-watering sandwiches.
Located in Bear’s Path Shopping Center, Jackson’s is open for dinner and happy hour from Monday to Friday, and lunch, dinner, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, visit eatdrinkjackson.com.
Le Buzz Cafe
9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Le Buzz welcomes early birds at 6 a.m. every morning with coffee roasted in-house, fresh baked goods, omelets, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and more.
For the later crowd, they whip up homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, and specialty entrées.
Don’t forget to grab a freshly baked cookie to go.
For more information, visit lebuzzcaffe.com.
Lindy’s Off 4th
8995 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
The burger-lovers at Lindy’s on 4th spread to a second location in Bear Canyon Center. This family-owned restaurant pride themselves in creative burgers you’ll want to experience again and again.
Kickstart your night with The Big Bang for an “explosion in your mouth” or try the Dirty Sanchez if you can take the heat.
Keep a look out for their burger of the month and $5 weekend mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.
For more information, visit www.lo4th.com.
Poco & Mom’s Cantina
7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Why visit Poco & Mom’s Northeast spot over the popular 22nd and Kolb location?
A fully-stocked bar and ready to serve margaritas with your favorite New Mexican classics might convince you. Poco & Mom’s Restaurant was started in 1999 and has built up quite the fanbase ever since.
For more information, visit pocoandmoms.com.
Renee’s Organic Oven
7065 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Renee’s is a standout in Tucson’s pizza scene for their gluten-free and vegan varieties, consistent use of organic and locally-sourced ingredients, and creative approach to toppings and flavors. As an added bonus, they make great food.
For more information, visit reneesorganicoven.com.
5655 E River Rd. Ste. 151
Formerly Sushi Yukari, Sushi Zona has built a reputation for being one of the most authentic Japanese destinations in town. It is a well-deserved designation, considering the quality of the sushi and flavorful Tonkotsu Ramen, among other specialties.
For more information, visit sushizona.com.
The Canyon’s Crown Restaurant & Pub
6958 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
One of the only British-style sports bars in town, The Canyon’s Crown is an ideal location to settle in for comfort food and a sports game. Frequent guests love the Fish and Chips, Scotch Eggs, Irish Nachos, and wide selection of beers from the United Kingdom.
For more information, visit canyonscrown.com.
The Eclectic Cafe
7053 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Located at the east end of the Tanque Verde Shopping Center, The Eclectic Cafe certainly lives up to its name. Since 1980, the family-owned establishment has been serving a diverse range of fresh dishes, from Marc’s Chicken and Chorizo Pasta to Leo’s Special Chicken Chimis to Curry Mango Chutney Salad.
For more information, visit eclecticcafetucson.com.
The Flying V Bar & Grill
7000 N. Resort Dr.
If you’re looking for an upscale night out, The Flying V Bar & Grill is a go-to destination. From the exceptional views to Executive Chef Eric Sutter’s seasonal menus, you are sure to impress the lucky guests you decide to bring along.
For more information, visit loewshotels.com.
5541 N. Swan Rd.
Trattoria Pina pride themselves on offering “superb Italian food”, including fresh seafood, gourmet pizzas made in a wood-burning oven, and homemade gnocchi. The foothills location includes a comfortable patio with views of the Catalinas.
For more information, visit trattoriapina.com.
7159 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
There is a reason Tucson Tamale’s goods are shipped all over the country and have been featured in numerous national publications. Since opening in 2008, they have kept their menu simple and their tamales fresh.
For more information, visit tucsontamale.com.
7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Now their only location in town, Zona 78 is a favorite destination for happy hour, quality service and trattoria-style Italian cuisine. Popular items include calamari and pizza topped with cheese made in-house.
For more information, visit zona78.com.
This article was written with contributions from Kate Severino.