Tucson has signature dishes that friends will casually recommend; Eegee’s fries or Sonoran hot dogs, for example.
But what about other dishes found elsewhere that are straight-up delicious? Or the ones off the beaten path? You should order these anyway because they need love, too.
Here are five of the best dishes you’ve probably never tried in Tucson.
Although American breakfast is popular at 4 Seasons, don’t neglect the Thai menu.
If you love lettuce wraps, dive into a plate of Beef Larb. The cool leaves of iceberg lettuce pair marvelously with the combination of minced beef, chili, onion, cilantro, and other Thai aromatics.
For more information, visit 4seasonsaz.com.
Like its also-awesome neighbor the Little One, Bombolé Eatery operates downtown Monday through Friday with limited daytime hours. While it’s most convenient for folks that work downtown, make the effort to find parking for a bite from this gem.
You can’t go wrong with any of the options here, but here’s a recommendation to start: a Matar Paneer empanada ($3.85) with a side of cilantro sauce. Indian cheese and peas mingle in a spicy tomato sauce for a comforting, hearty bite, augmented by the cilantro sauce’s zesty garlic kick.
For more information, visit eatbombole.com.
While a classic Belgian-style fry is true beauty in a simple form, fries can dress up well.
At Humble Pie, their fries are dressed with parsley, garlic, lemon zest, pecorino, and chili flakes for a bright-savory-spicy kick. Pair them with a side of garlic aioli to temporarily forget about ketchup.
For more information, visit humblepieusa.com.
Available only on Friday and Saturday for a limited time, the hearty Oxtail Soup features a combination of oxtails, peanuts, ginger, baby bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms, served with rice and ginger soy sauce.
The oxtails, mushrooms, and peanut provide a rich body, while the ginger and bok choy balance it with a rejuvenating lightness. This soup is also a fantastic option if you have a cold or flu.
With so many salads out there, why are we focusing on a Caesar? This Radicchio Caesar is no joke. For about half of the Tucson Foodie office, it’s the favorite salad—the other half haven’t tried it yet.
Pizza Luna blends mildly bitter radicchio with a zingy garlic anchovy dressing, delicate grated Grana Padano, and house-made croutons for a balanced-yet-bold bite that we can’t get enough of.
For more information, visit pizza-luna.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...