Guide to 16 Restaurants in Vail & Rita Ranch

Here's a list of local favorite Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants to try.

There was a time in Vail when residents were ecstatic that a Dairy Queen opened near the local church and post office. Within the last ten years, however, Vail and the Rita Ranch area has expanded.

Where there was once miles of raw desert now stands a vibrant community, including new and exciting Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants like Serial Grillers and Bowld.

Here’s a list of local favorite Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants to try.

Argenziano’s

16251 S. Houghton Rd.

While closer to Corona de Tucson, Argenziano’s was the first Italian restaurant all Vail citizens went to for birthdays and special occasions. They offer both pizzas both classic — like the margherita —and inventive — like the taco pizza.

The menu features Italian-American favorites, including meatballs and stuffed shells.

Keep up with Argenziano’s on Facebook.

Arizona Pizza Company

13190 E. Colossal Cave Rd., 160

Huge pizza slices, subs, and calzones… it’s comfort food that satisfies.

End your meal with a bite of sweetness in cannolo form and delight in the fact that they deliver to Vail residents.

Keep up with Arizona Pizza Company on Facebook.

Bowld

13160 E. COLOSSAL CAVE RD. STE. 100
Owner-chef Eston Stogner at Bowld (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Owner-chef Eston Stogner at Bowld (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Bowld restaurant and meal prep opened in March 2019.

The counter-service restaurant features a menu focused on a variety of bowls and “rowls,” which are items rolled in ham, breaded and fried or griddled.

Keep up with Bowld on Facebook.

Civano Coffee House

5278 S. Civano Blvd.

Tucked away in the Civano neighborhood, the Civano Coffee House is a hidden gem. Whether you’re stopping by for an espresso in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening, the cozy atmosphere invites you to stay and relax.

Or, take your coffee to go and walk around the beautiful Civano Nursery.

For more information, visit civano.com.

Hacienda Del Lago

14155 E. Via Rancho del Lago

It might be surprising to learn that there is a golf course and club in Vail, but soon you’ll be looking for reasons to go play a round or two.

The Hacienda del Lago is both the clubhouse and the restaurant. Sit on the patio and enjoy the Campfire, a comforting stack of hash browns, eggs, and gravy, or stop by for a pint of beer as a celebration after hitting a hole in one — the bar is open until 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, visit dellagogolf.net.

El Coronado Family Restaurant 

7385 S. Houghton Rd.

El Coronado Family Restaurant has been in operation since 1983. The staff is friendly and helpful and the servings, generous.

Standard Mexican fare is served, including enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and combination plates served with beans and rice. Try the Menudo and Shredded Beef Enchilada with green sauce.

Weekly specials take place on Tuesday for Taco Tuesday and Saturdays for Margarita Specials.

For more information, visit elcoronadotucson.com/menu.

Happy Wok

9040 E. Valencia Rd.

Tucked in a strip mall and labeled as a “dine in and carry out Asian Bistro,” Happy Wok offers Chinese and Asian-fusion appetizers; soups; noodle dishes; Chow- and Lo Mein; fried rice; meat, vegetable, and shrimp plates; and Egg Foo Young.

The Chef Specials feature Hot & Spicy Shrimp & Chicken, Hunan Triple Delight, Kung Pao Combo, and Coconut Shrimp, to name a few.

Try the Hunan Triple Delight, specific to the Hunan region of China, which features chicken, beef, shrimp with broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, water chestnut, bamboo, and onion in a spicy Hunan sauce.

For more information, visit happywoktucsonaz.com.

Luckie’s Thai Asian Cuisine

8110 S. Houghton Rd., Ste. 186

View this post on Instagram

??????????????????????????? ??????????? ???

A post shared by Cholnathee Chairit (@chotnathee) on

Luckie’s is the quintessential takeout spot, perfect for stopping by after doing your grocery run.

The menu includes Thai classics like papaya salad, pad Thai, and larb, and also includes other favorites like Vietnamese pho and Chinese egg foo young.

Whatever you’re in the mood for, Luckie’s will provide it both quickly and deliciously.

 For more information, visit luckiesthaifood.com.

Montgomery’s Grill & Saloon

13190 E. Colossal Cave Rd., Ste 190

A classic neighborhood bar, Montgomery’s offers staples like burgers, wings, and sandwiches, as well as a wide-ranging drink menu.

The atmosphere is welcoming and family-friendly, a perfect place to stop for lunch on the way to local landmarks like Colossal Cave.

Find menus and more at montgomerysvail.com.

Papa Locos Tacos & Burgers

8201 S. Rita Rd.
Green Enchiladas at Papa Locos Tacos & Burgers (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Green Enchiladas at Papa Locos Tacos & Burgers (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Despite the name, Papa Locos is known for more than just their tacos and burgers—though those alone are worth a visit.

The menu is full of creative dishes, like the breakfast enchiladas filled with eggs, or the Enchi-Locos Platter, featuring fresh corn masa filled with meat and fried.

They also feature both Sonoran and LA-style hot dogs to satisfy your cravings.

Keep up with Papa Locos Tacos & Burgers on Facebook.

Rancho Rustico

Ever had a molcajete?

Rancho Rustico specializes in the traditional Mexican dish, where sizzling hot meat and vegetables are served inside a stone bowl.

The menu also offers Tucson classics like chimichangas, and plenty of seafood to remind you of a trip to Rocky Point.

For more information, visit ranchorusticorestaurantaz.com.

Sa-Ing Thai Cuisine

9136 E Valencia Rd., Ste 100
Yellow Curry with Shrimp at Sa-ing Thai

Yellow Curry with Shrimp at Sa-ing Thai

Named one of Tucson’s most underrated restaurants by Maynards Market & Kitchen executive chef Brian Smith, Sa-Ing features a vibrant menu of classic and craveable Thai dishes.

Everything on the menu is sure to please, from curry to stir-fried noodles. Pair the spicy food with a creamy, smoky Thai tea, and you’ll be able to imagine you’re far away from the Tucson fast-approaching summer heat.

For more information, visit thaitucson.com.

Serial Grillers

7585 S. Houghton Rd.
The Bone Collector Pizza at Serial Grillers (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Bone Collector Pizza at Serial Grillers (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Serial Grillers expanded southeast with its third location.

This location seats 282 people — double what the second location can hold, and triple the size of the first location on Speedway Boulevard.

Although the local chain is known for its pizza and sandwiches, it also features 65 taps that include both beer and wine.

Get the signature Bone Collector pizza with mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, boneless wings, scallions, ranch, and buffalo sauce and wash it down with a beer from their extensive selection.

For more information, visit serialgrillersaz.com. Keep up with Serial Grillers on Facebook. 

Tay’s BBQ

16461 S. Houghton Rd.
Photo courtesy Tay's BBQ AZ

(Photo courtesy Tay’s BBQ AZ on Facebook)

Earlier this year, Tay’s Brew House expanded to include a barbecue restaurant (with a bar) on site.

The menu features Meat Plates (choice of one to three meats and two sides), Sandwiches, Kids Meals, Family Ranch Packs, or individual meat servings — brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken.

Be on the lookout for weekend drink specials and have fun outdoors with games, such as bowling and cornhole.

Keep up with Tay’s BBQ on Facebook.

Viva Coffeehouse

9136 E. Valencia Rd., Ste. 160.

This specialty coffee house has a family focus and is supplied by local company, Presta Coffee Roasters.

Viva features a variety of drinks and treats in addition to activities like story time, monthly book club, and family game night.

For more information, visit vivacoffeehouse.com.

Wings on Fire

9040 E. Valencia Rd.

View this post on Instagram

Alitas alitas alitas !!!!!!!

A post shared by Wings On Fire (@wingsonfirecr) on

This hot, new wings spot offers regular or boneless wings in a variety of flavors. There are 11 flavors, including their fiery house sauce, Buffalo Hot, Garlic Parmesan, Honey Mustard, and Chile Lime.

In addition to wings, you’ll find Appetizers, Chicken Tenders, Buffalo Shrimp, Combos, Fries and Sides, Hot Dogs, Salads, and Sandwiches on the menu.

They’re open daily with the option of take out.

Keep up with Wings on Fire on Facebook.

Have any suggestions for additional Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants to try? Let us know below.

[This article was originally written on June 20, 2018, and most recently updated on May 14, 2019. Kate Severino contributed to this article.]

Samantha Colaianni has family roots in Tucson that go back before the Gadsden Purchase. When she's not cooking Mexican food, she's baking Mexican pastries.

X