Date Night in Tucson: 34 Places to Take Someone Special

For a special occasion or fancy pants date with your significant other, check out these restaurants.

Last modified on February 6th, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Elvira's dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Elvira’s dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Planning on a wedding proposal with the good ol’ engagement ring in a frosty mug of Bud Light? No?

Champagne and wine might be more romantic. You probably want candlelight and a nice ambiance, too.

While Tucson no longer has heaps of jacket-required classy restaurants, it’s bursting with romantic restaurants where you wouldn’t be out of place if you dressed to the nines.

For a special occasion or fancy pants date with your significant other, check out these restaurants.

47 Scott • Scott & Co.

47 N. Scott Ave.
Bacon-Wrapped Dates at 47 Scott (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Bacon-Wrapped Dates at 47 Scott (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Downtown’s original neighborhood bistro, 47 Scott features an intimate dining room with fresh flowers at every table.

The small-but-sophisticated menu includes approachable items such as the Stack of Grilled Cheese and elegant options such as the Phyllo-Wrapped Chicken. Head next door to the speakeasy Scott & Co., one of Tucson’s pioneers of modern craft cocktails.

For more information, visit 47scott.com.

Agustin Kitchen

100 S. Avenida del Convento, Ste. 150
Baked Oysters at Agustin Kitchen (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Baked Oysters at Agustin Kitchen (Photo by Jackie Tran)

The white walls and accents of marble and rustic woods create a refined charm that is only heightened by the location in the Old World-inspired Mercado San Agustin.

Start the evening with some oysters and transition to any of the brasserie fare proudly showcasing ingredients from a hefty list of local purveyors.

For more information, visit agustinkitchen.com.

Arizona Inn

2200 E. Elm St.
Old Fashioned at Arizona Inn (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Old Fashioned at Arizona Inn (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

One of the fancier dining rooms in Tucson, Arizona Inn features cuisine with southwestern and Mediterranean inspiration.

For more information, visit arizonainn.com.

Bottega Michaelangelo

420 W. Magee Rd.
Interior at Bottega Michelangelo (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Interior at Bottega Michelangelo (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Bottega Michelangelo brings in a hip, contemporary breath of fresh air to date night.

The menu options are solid — you can’t go wrong (but if you need some help, get the Burrata Salad and Porchetta). Happy hour offerings include Calamari Calabrese and Lamb Chop Lollipops with prickly pear reduction, lemon, and mint pesto.

For more information, call (520) 297-5775 or visit bottegamichelangelo.com.

Lady And The Tramp Date GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cafe a la C’Art

150 N. Main Ave.

Whatever your preference, brunch, lunch or dinner at Cafe a la C’Art are elegant date options. The Chili Braised Lamb Shank and La Marca Prosecco are calling my name.

For more information, visit cafealacarttucson.com.

Cafe Poca Cosa

110 E. Pennington St.
Plato Poca Cosa at Cafe Poca Cosa owner (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Plato Poca Cosa at Cafe Poca Cosa owner (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The sleek interior provides the backdrop for owner and chef Suzana Davila’s signature cuisine and legendary mole.

The Plato Poca Cosa offers a trio of entrées on one plate, making it ideal for adventurous eaters. If each person orders a Plato Poca Cosa, no two entrées will be repeated.

For more information, visit cafepocacosatucson.com.

Charro del Rey

178 E. Broadway Blvd.
Branzino Veracruz at Charro del Rey (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Branzino Veracruz at Charro del Rey (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Newly opened Charro del Rey (sister restaurant to Charro Steak) is a seafood-lovers heaven.

Opt for the Asparagustos and Branzino Veracruz — or step it up with the Tower del Rey — and a glass of Frenchero ’75.

For more information, visit charrodelrey.com.

Charro Steak

188 E. Broadway Blvd.
New York Strip Steak en Estillo Charro at Charro Steak (Credit: Jackie Tran)

New York Strip Steak en Estilo Charro at Charro Steak (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The wooden tables and rusted metal provide a distinctively Tucson vibe to match Charro Steak’s distinctively Tucson take on steakhouse cuisine. The kitchen cooks the hand-cut steaks as requested with remarkable consistency. Though the ranch-to-table beef is the star, the shareable side dishes are addictive and the desserts are creative.

For more information, visit charrosteak.com.

Commoner & Co.

6960 E. Sunrise Dr.

View this post on Instagram

“Shaken, not stirred” – Bond… James Bond

A post shared by Commoner & Co (@commonerandco) on

Even though Commoner’s menu is filled with comfort food, it’s presented with grace and style to match the posh environment and mountain view. The elegant Airline Chicken is cooked sous vide for unrivaled juiciness, while the Salmon with creamy mushroom risotto is perfection.

For more information, visit commonertucson.com.

Contigo Latin Kitchen

3770 E. Sunrise Dr.
Paella at Contigo Latin Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Paella at Contigo Latin Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For traditional recipes from South America and Spain, go to Contigo just south of the Westin La Paloma.

The Parrillada is a mixed grill for two including rib eye steak, chorizo, morcilla, lamb chop, roast marrow, salsa verde, chimichurri, and seasonal vegetables. Paella for four is available when ordered a day in advance, made with your choice of shellfish, chicken, rabbit, or chorizo.

For more information, visit eatatcontigo.com.

Single Parks And Recreation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar

15000 N. Secret Springs Dr.

Even Freddie Mercury sang about “dining at the Ritz” due to their golden standard of quality. Make the drive to the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain to dine at CORE and experience some of the best luxury available around Tucson. The adjoining citrus grove provides outstandingly fresh oranges, grapefruits, and tangelos.

For more information, visit ritzcarlton.com.

The Coronet

402 E. Ninth St.
The Coronet (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Coronet patio (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Agustin Kitchen’s sister restaurant The Coronet features Old World cuisine with a patio reminiscent of a Paris sidewalk. The custom Mission tiles inside provide a vintage, worldly touch.

The delightful bistro fare and sophisticated cocktails meld perfectly with the live music on the patio.

For more information, visit cafecoronet.com.

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails

135 S. Sixth Ave.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Papas Bravas + Romesco Sauce at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Papas Bravas + Romesco Sauce at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

James Beard award-winning chef Janos Wilder serves up refined dishes from around the globe at DOWNTOWN.

Admire the local art adorning the walls as you dine on Calamari and Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Papas Bravas + Romesco Sauce, and finish with the signature Dark Chocolate Jalapeño Ice Cream Sundae.

For more information, visit downtownkitchen.com.

Feast

3719 E. Speedway Blvd.
Seared Sea Scallops with kabocha puree, roasted cashews, shallots, Swiss chard, crispy summer and winter squashes, and dried apricot at Feast (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Seared Sea Scallops with kabocha puree, roasted cashews, shallots, Swiss chard, crispy summer and winter squashes, and dried apricot at Feast (Credit: Jackie Tran)

One of the most creative restaurants in Tucson, Feast changes its menu every single month. Jazzy tunes and a well-curated wine list round out the experience.

For more information, visit eatatfeast.com.

The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol

5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Rd.
Grilled Octopus at The Grill at Hacienda del Sol (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Grilled Octopus at The Grill at Hacienda del Sol (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

A long-time seeker of local purveyors for their top-notch kitchen, the Grill also features over 700 labels and 6000 bottles of wine, earning them “The Award of Ultimate Distinction” by Wine Enthusiasts Magazine and “Best Of Award of Excellence” designation from Wine Spectator for 19 consecutive years. The brunch is also easily one of the most extravagant in town.

For more information, visit haciendadelsol.com.

Elvira’s Restaurant Tequila Cocina Vino

256 E. Congress St.
Elvira's dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Elvira’s dining room a few days before the grand opening (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The tall glass windows show off the gorgeous ceiling lanterns and lights, but they also seal in the aroma of the complex moles. Come inside to try the traditional mole poblano, guajillo-spiced mole pipian rojo, and anise-scented mole xiqueño. Don’t miss the Chile Poblano “Frida Kahlo” when it’s in season.

Keep up with Elvira’s on Facebook.

Flying V Bar & Grill

7000 N. Resort Dr.
Chili Rubbed Ahi Tuna at Flying V Bar & Grill (Credit: Jennifer Stash)

Chili Rubbed Ahi Tuna at Flying V Bar & Grill (Credit: Jennifer Stash)

The fireplace and warm woods provide a cozy vibe that complements the comforting yet sophisticated dishes. Get a hold of the guacamoliere for some fresh guacamole prepared tableside.

For more information, visit loewshotels.com.

Harvest Restaurant

10355 N. La Cañada Dr. • 5605 E. River Rd. Ste. 201
Braised Short Rib at at Harvest Oro Valley (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Braised Short Rib at Harvest Oro Valley (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Both locations feature lovely scenic mountain views. Don’t miss out on the house-made Saffron-Turmeric Pasta or Braised Short Rib.

For more information, visit harvestov.com or harvestonriver.com.

Kingfisher

2564 E. Grant Rd.
Oysters and a martini at Kingfisher (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Oysters and a martini at Kingfisher (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The bar is great for first dates but sit in the jazzy main dining room for the signature Kingfisher experience. Straightforward, well-executed American regional cuisine and seafood has maintained a loyal following since the restaurant’s opening in 1993.

Chef Jim Murphy’s no-fuss old-school talent has made him an icon among other local chefs.

For more information, visit kingfishertucson.com.

Emily Blunt Interview GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Le Rendez-vous

3844 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Boeuf Wellington (Credit: Le Rendez-Vous)

Boeuf Wellington (Credit: Le Rendez-Vous)

For a classically French experience, order the Chateaubriand Béarnaise Sauce For 2 (roasted beef tenderloin with herbs de provence & béarnaise sauce).

Other French delicacies such as Escargots au Chablis and Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée are also available. You might want to peek at the menu ahead of time so you get a chance to practice the pronunciation on most of the items.

For more information, visit rendezvoustucson.com.

Maynards Market & Kitchen

400 N. Toole Ave.
Prince Edward Island Mussels at Maynards Market & Kitchen (Photo courtesy of Maynards Market & Kitchen)

Prince Edward Island Mussels at Maynards Market & Kitchen (Photo courtesy of Maynards Market & Kitchen)

To enjoy a more contemporary approach on Old World cuisine, head into the dining room at Maynards. The Fresh Oysters, Steak Tartare, and Hudson Valley Foie Gras all highlight top-notch ingredients.

The dessert menu also offers twists on classic desserts such as the Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecake and Cherry & Pear Bread Pudding.

For more information, visit maynardstucson.com.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

5000 E. Vía Estancia Miraval
Tableside cocktails with programming chef Gabe Nabor at Miraval Arizona (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Tableside cocktails with programming chef Gabe Nabor at Miraval Arizona (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The resort is more New Age than fancy pants, but the Chef’s Table dinner (known as Just Cook For Me Chef!) is one of the most sublime experiences you can treat someone to in Tucson. You’re greeted with a pour of champagne as you arrive and the courses are divine. The experience requires advance reservations and three to four guests, so make it a double date.

For more information, visit miravalresorts.com.

The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Rd.

The Parish is open today until 3 p.m. We are serving up all your southern favorites, so join us for lunch!

Posted by The Parish on Monday, December 24, 2018

This southern-style fusion gastropub offers elevated favorites and comforting plates. The Parish balances comfort and sophistication (with a side of live music) effortlessly. The Baked Oysters Bleu, addictive Bacon Popcorn, and Crawfish Hushpuppies are just the beginning.

For more information, visit theparishtucson.com.

Penca

50 E. Broadway Blvd.

The cuisine of Central Mexico is different from the Sonoran style Tucsonans are used to, making Penca a breath of fresh air on a night out.

Though tacos are available, take advantage of the intimate bar and dining room with a flight of mezcals and orders of stunning Chile en Nogada and Costillas en Pibil.

For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com.

Primo

3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.

The outstanding 100%-scratch Italian kitchen and stunning views of the Tucson Mountains are enough to charm any food lover and Tucson lover.

For more information, visit marriott.com.

PY Steakhouse

5655 W. Valencia Rd.
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin at PY Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin at PY Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Casino Del Sol Resort is a drive southwest, but it’s worth it to enjoy the talent of executive chef Ryan Clark, chef de cuisine Roderick LeDesma, and sous chef Buddy Hopkins. The culinary team has the talent to cook unexpected items (such as a pig face) into something glamorous. The basted 12 oz. Top Sirloin with Jumbo Diver Scallops is a marvel.

DeFeo’s French Cowboy cocktail features pear-infused VSOP cognac, black truffle, Rancio Sec, lemon, and honey absinthe.

For more information, visit casinodelsol.com.

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

101 E. Pennington St.
Vodka Rigatona at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink (Credit: Chelsey Wade)

Vodka Rigatona at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink (Credit: Chelsey Wade)

Simple, expertly prepared Italian cuisine is on the menu at Reilly.

With cozy plates of Brussels Sprouts, wheat berry salad, Rigatoni pasta, and their Margherita pizza, it’s difficult to choose just one — you’ll have to order family style so you can try them all.

For more information, call (520) 882-5550 or visit reillypizza.com.

Senae Thai Bistro

63 E. Congress St.
Som Thum at Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Som Thum at Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Although Tucson has its fair share of Thai restaurants, chef Dee Buizer steps up the game at Senae Thai with hyperlocal ingredients and a well-curated wine list. Many of the ingredients are grown walking distance from the restaurant. The upstairs mezzanine offers seating with additional privacy.

For more information, visit senaethai.com.

Tanque Verde Ranch

14301 E. Speedway Blvd.
Brunch at Tanque Verde Ranch (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Brunch at Tanque Verde Ranch (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For one of the most stunning Tucson views, visit the Tanque Verde Ranch nestled in the Rincon Mountains adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest.

The candle-lit private Chef Dinners feature six courses with wine pairings and are available with a reservation. The chefs are happy to chat about every course served, making it an interactive experience.

For more information, visit tanqueverderanch.com.

New Girl GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Tito & Pep

4122 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tito & Pep interior (Photo courtesy of Nikki Berger-Martinez)

Tito & Pep interior (Photo courtesy of Nikki Berger-Martinez)

Tito & Pep was ranked Tucson Foodie’s ‘Best Restaurant of 2018′ for good reason. From the mid-century aesthetic to the exceptional plates and flawless service, this is one restaurant that will impress.

Start with the creamy, well-seasoned Queso Fundito and Grilled Octopus, go for the Striped Bass or Grilled Lamp Chops next, and end with a silky Buttermilk Panna Cotta.

For more information, call (520) 207-0116 or visit titoandpep.com.

Tavolino Ristorante Italiano

2890 E. Skyline Dr.
Gamberoni alla Griglia at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Gamberoni alla Griglia at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cuisine a la northern Italian grandmas stars at Tavolino. The fresh pastas and wood-fired pizzas are the main draws, but the Tuscan-style rotisserie meats are to die for.

Tavolino is also proud to feature wine produced from Chef Tenino’s brother Paolo Tenino.

For more information, visit tavolinoristorante.com.

Vivace

6440 N. Campbell Ave.
(Credit: Vivace Restaurant)

(Credit: Vivace Restaurant)

Daniel Scordato’s flagship restaurant Vivace earned a spot on OpenTable’s 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America list, so it’s in good company. The panoramic mountain view is best during daylight, while the Tucson city lights twinkle at night. Do yourself a favor and make an advance reservation to ensure you get your favorite seat.

For more information, visit vivacetucson.com.

Wildflower

7037 N. Oracle Rd.

Fox Concepts’ original restaurant opened over two decades ago and still impresses locals with simple plates and fresh ingredients.

For more information, visit foxrc.com/restaurants/wildflower-american-cuisine.

Singlesawarenessday GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Wild Garlic Grill

2870 E. Skyline Dr. Ste 120
New Zealand Rack of Lamb at Wild Garlic Grill (Credit: Jackie Tran)

New Zealand Rack of Lamb at Wild Garlic Grill (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Wild Garlic Grill is still one of the busiest restaurants in town — don’t forget to make a reservation.

For more information, visit wildgarlicgrill.com.

Where’s your favorite romantic date spot in Tucson? Let us know in the comments.

[This article was originally written on October 28, 2016 and most recently updated on February 6, 2019. Kate Severino Contributed to this article]

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
X