Tucson Foodie Travels: Eat Your Way Around Bisbee, Arizona (SLIDESHOWS)

Old Bisbee features dozens of local restaurants within walking distance of each other. Let's go!

While Bisbee, Arizona was founded as a mining town, it eventually transformed into a haven for hippies and artists.

This includes culinary artists as well. Old Bisbee, the hilly downtown area, features dozens of local food and drink stops within walking distance of each other.

Since these joints are all located so close to each other, I attempted to walk to as many places as I could in one day. Here are the highlights in (mostly) chronological order of my visits.

Operating hours change often, so we’ve included links to the website or social media for each business to keep you updated.

Additional side note: if you love beer, make sure to stop by Tombstone Brewing Company on the way to Bisbee.

Bathtub Coffee

31 Subway St., Bisbee, AZ 85603

Bathtub Coffee offers coffee from local Old Bisbee Roasters and Press Coffee Roasters along with inexpensive eats in a quirky environment. The bathtub among the tables is there for selfies, but be sure to keep your clothes on.

For a quick, affordable, and wholesome meal, order the R & B Bowl with chicken or mushrooms over rice and beans, smothered in your choice of salsa & sour cream, pineapple sauce, or cilantro lime sauce.

For the self-explanatory Pizzadilla, mozzarella and pizza sauce are stuffed in a huge folded tortilla with your choice from three of the following: pepperoni, bacon, chicken, pineapple, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheddar/jack cheese.

Keep up with Bathtub Coffee on Facebook.

High Desert Market and Cafe

203 Tombstone Canyon Rd., Bisbee, AZ 85603

High Desert is packed to the brim with wine, cheese, pastries, and more.

Whether you’re a resident or tourist, you’ll delight in the abundance of edible goodies and useful goods such as tote bags and aprons.

The smoothie, juice, and espresso bar is conveniently located so you can sip while you shop.

For a quick bite, don’t miss out on the Quiche du Jour or one of the countless scones, sweet or savory.

Lunch also features salads and sandwiches, while dinner features a changing menu daily. Seating is available on high tops, tables, or outside on the lovely patio.

For more information, visit highdesertmarket.net.

Ana’s Seasonal Kitchen

105 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603

Ana’s focuses on fresh, local, and healthy food made from scratch with influences from Spain, the Mediterranean, the Southwest, and Northern Mexico.

While the printed menu offers solid breakfast and lunch choices, adventurous eaters will love what’s on the chalkboard menu. Options are as colorful as the decor.

Our visit included the Crustless Quiche with spinach, roasted poblano peppers, and cotija cheese along with the Croissant French Toast served with strawberries and a balsamic glaze.

The restaurant also offers a small gourmet store with Spanish goods such as a paella pan and Bomba rice.

Keep up with Ana’s Seasonal Kitchen on Facebook.

POCO

15 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603

POCO is open for lunch Friday through Sunday.

Self-described as “vegan AF,” the menu includes a range of casual Mexican dishes such as Nachos with vegan chorizo, black beans, quinoa, salsa, pico de gallo, cashew cheese, and a vegan cheese sauce.

The hip patio features an abundance of succulent plants and colorful furniture. Customers can order from an outdoor window as well to enjoy their Mango Mimosas or bottles of Mexican beer outside.

If you’re not craving Mexican, POCO also occasionally offers a vegan Brat or Cheeseburger & Fries.

The attached grab-and-go market is open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily and offers a variety of vegan burritos, chocolate, ice cream, chips, salsa, kombucha, and more.

Keep up with POCO on Facebook.

Old Bisbee Roasters

7 Naco Rd., Bisbee, AZ 85603

Old Bisbee Roasters isn’t a cafe; they specialize in roasting and mailing exceptional small farm coffee beans.

Starting at “9ish” from Monday through Friday, you can visit to find them roasting. The still-warm coffee beans ship out at 2 p.m., while owner and operator Seth Appell stays until close to meet and greet.

From “10ish – 5 or 6ish” on Saturdays and Sundays, swing by Peddlers Alley at 15 Main St. in front of POCO for a free shot of espresso and buy some bags of coffee with beans from all over the world.

For more information, visit oldbisbeeroasters.com.

Santiago’s

1 Howell Ave., Bisbee, AZ 85603

Santiago’s serves Mexican food in a lively interior abundant with warm woods and exposed brick.

Menu items range from Short Rib Nachos to a bubbling Molcajete ancho-chipotle stew of prime steak and jumbo shrimp. If you can’t make up your mind, order the Zacatecas, which includes one Chicken Mole Enchilada, one Fried Rocky Point Fish Taco, and one Chilorio Taco.

To finish, get the house-made Mayan Chocolate Pudding with Peruvian dark cocoa, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne.

For more information, visit santiagosmexican.com.

St. Elmo Bar

36 Brewery Ave., Bisbee, AZ 85603

St. Elmo has everything you want in a dim dive bar: a jukebox, cheap stiff drinks, and a claw machine filled with adult toys and stuffed animals.

Once you experience the friendly service, it should be no surprise the bar is one of the oldest continuously run bars in the country.

It also opens bright and early at 10 a.m. daily.

Keep up with St. Elmo Bar on Facebook.

PussyCat Gelato

13 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603

I’m not sure how ’70s comic Josie and the Pussycats ended up with a gelato shop themed after it. But I’m not complaining. It’s quality gelato.

You might notice some of the gelato colors are muted but worry not; PussyCat proudly attributes this to a lack of artificial colors. The flavors still come through cleanly. The Foxberry Almond is their most distinctive flavor, tart and earthy.

While the brand now has locations in Scottsdale and Sedona, the Bisbee location is the first and original.

For more information, visit pussycatgelato.com.

Thuy’s Noodle Shop

9 Naco Rd., Bisbee, AZ 85603

When several folks told me that a trip to Bisbee is worth it just for Thuy’s, I was skeptical. Bisbee is such a small town and not known for its Vietnamese population.

First, I noticed how tiny the space is; it probably fits less than 20 seats. The bamboo green and pumpkin orange accents alluded to hole-in-the-walls you’d find in Vietnam. The blackboard menu featured a modest amount of options, which made it easy to choose a few dishes.

Next, I noticed a Caucasian man in the kitchen alongside Thuy speaking fluent Vietnamese. It turns out that was Tom, Thuy’s husband. After chatting with him, I learned that he spent considerable time in the same part of the Mekong Delta that my parents are from.

One sip was all it took

After one sniff and sip of pho, I fell in love with Thuy’s.

I definitely had nostalgic bias, but Thuy is easily a superior cook compared to my mom (sorry mom). The cute restaurant has no pretense; Thuy just serves the dishes how she’d eat them. The ingredients are fresh and the soups are well-balanced.

Must-try dishes

Whether you get the vegan Pho Chay or a hearty pot of Ca Kho (caramelized catfish), you’ll be elated.

I could go on and on even though I spent less than an hour there, but I’ll save the details for another article. Thuy’s is moving into a larger space late summer or early fall, so stay tuned.

Keep up with Thuy’s Noodle Shop on Facebook.

Cafe Roka

35 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603

Cafe Roka is the complete package; outstanding cuisine, seamless service, a swanky environment, generous portions… you name it.

The dimly-lit restaurant features an open rectangular bar in the center of the dining room with a bartender that exuded confidence from years of working there. The cream and maroon walls feature minimalist abstract paintings.

Each entrée includes a bowl of soup, salad, and sorbet palate cleanser.

On this particular visit, I ordered the Lamb Meatballs (Lambondigas), which ended up being the best meatballs I’ve ever had. They yielded easily to my fork without being too fall-apart, featured a complex seasoning, and arrived with a trio of sauces. The wild rice and local vegetables all played well in the background.

For more information on Cafe Roka, read our June 2017 article Road Trip to Bisbee’s “Café Roka” for Casual Fine Dining.

Screaming Banshee Pizza

200 Tombstone Canyon, Bisbee, AZ 85603

Screaming Banshee features a boisterous restaurant with a view of the pizza oven action and abundant seating.

Although they are popular for wood-fired pizza, they also offer other Italian dishes such as pastas and Mussels & Clams in a White Wine & Garlic Sauce.

The reputation has been earned; they make their fennel sausage in house and work magic with the pizza oven for beautifully roasted onions and other creations.

While they have a namesake pizza, go for the Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down Pizza, which features a sesame oil base with mango chutney, mozzarella, satay chicken, red onion, scallions, black sesame seeds, shredded carrots, and crushed peanuts.

For more information, visit screamingbansheepizza.net.

The Quarry Bisbee

40 Brewery Ave., Bisbee, AZ 85603

The Quarry has a badass rocker vibe with a skull on the wall and a stage for live music.

Many of their scratch-made classics proudly use a generous amount of cream and butter; think Hot Chocolate and Chicken Pot Pie.

The Zacatecas Special, grilled cheese with meatloaf and bacon, is one of the most satisfyingly indulgent sandwiches you’ll find in Arizona.

Keep up with The Quarry Bisbee on Facebook.

Food Gifts

Do you have a family member that would be salty if you didn’t bring them back a gift? Thankfully, food gift shopping in Bisbee is fun with free samples galore in a variety of eclectic local shops.

Bisbee Hot & Spicy, 8 Naco Rd., Bisbee, AZ 85603, features a spicy interior abundant with hot sauces, salsas, and phallic humor. The Carolina Reaper sauce will knock your socks off and unleash steam through your ears.

Bisbee Good Cakes, 44 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603, makes personal-sized, historically inspired cakes designed to be a healthy hiking snack. They also offer vegan and gluten-free cakes.

Bisbee Gourmet Foods, 30 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603, showcases a wide variety of oil, vinegar, salsa, honey, jelly, and more.

Killer Bee Guy, 20 Main St., Bisbee, AZ 85603, highlights honey in a variety of stellar products such as honey butter and honey mustard. I’m guilty of eating the jalapeño honey mustard out of the fridge from a spoon; don’t judge me too harshly, it’s more honey-forward.

Where are your favorite places to dine in Bisbee? Let us know in the comments.

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.

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