13 December, 2019, 23:41

Guide to 39 local spots around University of Arizona to grab a bite

AZ Wildcats (or fans) get in on the U of A dining action (a few beverage spots were thrown in the mix, too).

If you’re hungry and hanging around the University of Arizona, you’re in luck.

Don’t worry about chain restaurants at the food court – venture around the perimeter of campus for a variety of eats from around the world.

From Broadway and Euclid to Speedway and Campbell (with a few exceptions), here’s our dining guide to 39 local spots around the University of Arizona.

1702

1702 E. Speedway Blvd.
Pizza and salad at 1702 (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pizza and salad at 1702 (Credit: Jackie Tran)

With 30 rotating drafts and bottles in the fridge, 1702 has one of the largest tap selections of craft beer in town. Come to relax at the bar with a beer or eat a giant slice of pizza.

Menu Highlights
  • Mexicali Pizza – chorizo, black olive, garlic, green chile, tomato
  • Buffalo Chicken – Buffalo-tossed chicken, red onion, bacon, provolone, Gorgonzola

For more information, visit 1702az.com.

Brooklyn Rolls

1628 E. Sixth St.
Jack Ryan and black & white cookies at Brooklyn Rolls

Jack Ryan and black & white cookies at Brooklyn Rolls (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Brooklyn-style sandwich shop and Italian restaurant serves bagels shipped from Brooklyn, espresso, pastas, knishes, rolls (sandwiches), and sweet treats such as black and white cookies.

Menu Highlights
  • Buttered Bagel – plain, everything, cinnamon raisin, sesame, onion, garlic, rye, salt, or poppy
  • Chicken Parmesan Hero – ragu, mozzarella, Parmesan, fresh basil, 12-inch baguette; served with homemade slaw, kosher pickle spear
  • Hot Roast Beef Roll – house-made roast beef, caramelized onion, mushrooms, provolone, baguette; served with homemade slaw, kosher pickle spear

For more information, visit brooklynrolls.com.

Americano Mexicano

800 E. University Blvd., Ste. 104

American Mexicano at Main Gate Square focuses on Mexican eats and treats. The raspados and other sweets stand out with quality fruits. Their chips and salsa are actually great, too.

Menu Highlights
  • Ammex Bean & Cheese Burro – sour cream, picante salsa, rice and chilaquiles
  • Piña Loca – served as raspada, pico de gallo, or piña colada

For more information, visit americanomexicano.com.

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Bacio Italiano

943 E. University Blvd.
(Photo courtesy of Bacio Italiano on Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Bacio Italiano on Facebook)

The Italian restaurant at Main Gate Square has been open for less than a week. Stay tuned for menu highlights and a full feature.

Keep up with Bacio Italiano on Facebook.

Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea

1730 E. Speedway Blvd.
Willow Scramble at Bentley's House of Coffee & Tea (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Willow Scramble at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea (Credit: Jackie Tran)

This quiet coffee shop is a popular study spot. The sandwiches and daily quiche also make it worth the walk.

Menu Highlights
  • Willow Scramble – green corn tamale scrambled with two eggs, cheese, black beans; side of potatoes and salsa
  • Veggie Burger – toasted poppy seed bun with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, mayo, mustard, Russian dressing, and choice of cheese or garlic tofu spread

For more information, visit bentleyscoffeehouse.com.

Caffe Luce

943 E. University Blvd.

Caffe Luce is one of the best coffee roasters to visit in the campus area. Their shaded patio is perfect for studying and light people-watching.

Keep up with Caffe Luce on Facebook.

Campus Candy & Yogurt

910 E. University Blvd.

If you’re looking for something sweet, look no further. With over 400 candies and toppings to choose from, you’ll even find obscure options such as Turkish Taffy to Piko Ollita.

For more information, visit campuscandyandyogurt.com.

China Pasta House

430 N. Park Ave.
Shrimp Dumplings and Pork Steamed Buns at China Pasta House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Shrimp Dumplings and Pork Steamed Buns (soup dumplings) at China Pasta House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Many of China Pasta House’s meals hover around $7.99, but some don’t even break a dollar. You can even order a variety of appetizers à la carte without reaching $8. It’s dumpling and noodle heaven for a broke college student.

Menu Highlights
  • A4 Pork Steamed Buns – 10 house-made pork and cabbage soup dumplings
  • F2 Braised Pork Rice – cubes of pork braised in a star anise-spiced sweet soy sauce, served with white rice

For more information, visit chinapastahousetucson.com.

Dirtbag’s

1800 E. Speedway Blvd.

While Dirtbag’s is wildly successful as a bar for sororities and fraternities, it’s easy to forget they have food. Their secret spice blend for their burgers and fries is the key.

Menu Highlights
  • Famous “Dirtburger” – half-pound Angus patty
  • French Dip – medium-rare roast beef with house-made jus on a French roll

For more information, visit dirtbagsbar.com.

The Dutch Eatery & Refuge

943 E. University Blvd.
Bleu Cheese Brunch Burger at the Dutch Eatery & Refuge (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Bleu Cheese Brunch Burger at the Dutch Eatery & Refuge (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While “Dutch” is the name, the restaurant offers plenty of non-Dutch options as well. Come for brunch, comfort food or an elegant dinner.

Menu Highlights
  • Breakfast Flatbread – avocado, smoked salmon, fried egg, herbed cheese
  • Kibbeling – Dutch fish & chips

For more information, visit thedutchtucson.com.

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East Coast Super Subs

187 N. Park Ave.

Hidden in the neighborhood south of Sixth Street, East Coast Super Subs provides a genuine East Coast bar feel — hate for the Dallas Cowboys and all.

Menu Highlights
  • Schreiner Wings – fried chicken wings in a blend of barbecue and hot sauce
  • The Greasy Italian Sub – chicken parm melted on garlic bread

For more information, visit tucsoneastcoastsupersubs.com.

Espresso Art Cafe

942 E. University Blvd.

Espresso Art is a cozy place to study with a cup of coffee. They also offer hookah and a little speakeasy in the back for cocktails.

Menu Highlights
  • Muay Thai – Pussers Navy Rum, house-made Swedish Punch
  • Barbarossa – Sotol Siempre Mezcal, St. George Raspberry, Ancho Reyes

For more information, visit espressoartcafe.com.

The Blind Pig

943 E. University Blvd.
The Blind Pig

(Photo courtesy of The Blind Pig)

We haven’t swung by to chat with anyone or eat yet, but we will eventually; stay tuned for updates.

Menu Highlights
  • Fried Cauliflower – with Sriracha mayo, gluten-free
  • Fried Shishito Peppers – sweet and spicy barbecue sauce
  • Half/Full Rack Pork Ribs – St. Louis style pork ribs, dry-rubbed and slow-braised

 For more information, visit blindpigtucson.com.

Frog & Firkin

874 E. University Blvd.
Assorted food at Frog & Firkin (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Assorted food at Frog & Firkin (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Frog’s patio makes it one of the best places to people-watch on University Boulevard.

If you’re here with a crowd, share one of their not-technically-deep-dish-but-still-really-thick pizzas. They also feature a beer club with prizes and almost 200 beers to choose from.

Menu Highlights
  • Green Skins – potato skins with tomato, artichoke hearts, pesto, brie
  • The Falcon Firkin Pizza – red sauce, grilled chicken, blue cheese crumbles, jalapeños, wing sauce

For more information, visit frogandfirkin.com.

Fusion’z Cafe

1245 E. Second St.

Hidden in plain sight, Fusion’z offers modern, nutritious cuisine with flavor; everything on the menu is under $10.

Menu Highlights
  • Savory Bowl – creamy basil polenta, roasted garlic black beans, avocado, roasted peppers, and a fried egg
  • Panco Crusted Salmon – sesame steamed brown rice, stir-fried baby bok choy, brown sugar and pineapple soy glaze

For more information, visit fusionzcafe.com.

Gentle Ben’s

865 E. University Blvd.

Gentle Ben’s features beer from Barrio Brewing Co. and a large bar food menu with Southwestern influences. The upstairs patio picks up on the weekends with nightlife.

Menu Highlights
  • Reuben on Rye – Barrio Rojo braised corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, marble rye
  • Pub Fried Fish Tacos – fried pollock, cabbage, pico de gallo, habanero cream; served with charro beans and Spanish rice

For more information, visit gentlebens.com.

Greek House

1710 E. Speedway Blvd.
Feta Fries at Greek House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Feta Fries at Greek House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

This hidden hole-in-the-wall features a range of traditional Greek dishes with modern American takes as well, such as a Greek burger and fries served with gyro meat. Anything they serve with their signature lemon sauce is highly addictive.

Menu Highlights
  • Dolmathes – ground beef and lamb and rice wrapped in grape leaves; served with rice, Greek salad
  • Feta Fries – lemon sauce, feta crumbles, oregano

For more information, visit azgreekhouse.com.

Jimmy’s Pita & Poke

845 E. University Blvd., Ste. 175
Poke bowl from Jimmy's Pita & Poke (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Poke bowl from Jimmy’s Pita & Poke (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Pita and poke are an unintuitive combo, but Jimmy’s manages to do a good job at both. Choose from a wide variety of proteins and sauces for the custom pita or poke bowl of your dreams.

For more information, visit jimmyspitaandpoke.com.

Kababeque Indian Grill

845 E. University Blvd. Ste. 185

If you’re craving some afternoon curry
Between classes and in a hurry
Or you want to take time
With a wrap that’s sublime
Eat Kababeque and don’t worry I’m so proud of myself

Menu Highlights
  • Chicken Tikka Roll – chicken kabab wrapped in fresh bread with lettuce and chef’s sauce
  • Matar Paneer – homemade cheese in onion sauce, peas; served with basmati rice

For more information, visit kababeque.net.

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Mama Carey’s Kitchen & Catering

501 N. Park Ave.

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Cheat day, catfish and fried okra very tasty!

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The soul food kitchen, located inside the Metro Wildcat convenience store on campus, offers a variety of weekly specialties in addition to a catering menu.

The menu, largely under $10, features chicken dishes, burritos, burgers, and Southern specialties such as the Catfish Dinner, Fish and Grits, and Chicken and Waffles.

Keep a lookout for the weekly special and stay tuned for an article.

Fore more information, visit mamaccatering.com.

Miss Saigon

1072 N. Campbell Ave.
Bun Tom Nuong at Miss Saigon in Tucson (Credit: Mark Navarro)

Bun Tom Nuong at Miss Saigon in Tucson (Credit: Mark Navarro)

Perhaps Tucson’s most popular Vietnamese restaurant, Miss Saigon, has saved countless hangovers one bowl of pho at a time. But don’t forget about their spring rolls and other noodle dishes.

Menu Highlights
  • 24. Miss Saigon Special Beef Noodle Soup – pho with rare beef, broiled beef slices, tendon, tripe, beef meatballs
  • 59. Jasmin Rice with Grilled Pork Chops Combo – charbroiled pork chop, shrimp paste, shredded pork, jasmine rice

For more information, visit misssaigontucson.com.

Momo’s Mexican Food

1838 E. Sixth St.
Tacos at Momo's Mexican Food

Tacos at Momo’s (Photo courtesy of Momo’s Mexican Food on Facebook)

The food truck recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Stay tuned for an article.

Keep up with Momo’s Mexican Food on Facebook.

No Anchovies

870 E. University Blvd.
Buff Loaded Tots at No Anchovies (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Buff Loaded Tots at No Anchovies (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Another joint for prime people-watching along University Boulevard, grab a quick slice at No Anchovies. The patio has more TVs than you can shake your fist at. The menu also offers loaded tots, sandwiches, and more.

Menu Highlights
  • O.G. Loaded Tots – topped with cheddar, bacon, green onions
  • Mac & Cheese Pizza – mozzarella, macaroni noodles, cheddar, bacon, bread crumbs, creme

For more information, visit noanchoviesaz.com.

Oriental Express

982 E. University Blvd.

Hidden out of sight upstairs at Main Gate Square, Oriental Express offers cheap Chinese food in a divey setting.

Menu Highlights
  • Singapore Noodles
  • Shrimp Lo Mein

For more information, call (520) 624-5798.

Panda House

1118 E. Sixth St.
Sichuan Cold Noodles at Panda House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Sichuan Cold Noodles at Panda House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

When it comes to Sichuan cuisine, Panda House is the best option around the university. If you’re not adventurous enough for the Sichuan menu, even their lo mein stands out with house-made noodles. They also opened up a coffee and tea house next door.

Menu Highlights
  • Szechuan Cold Noodles
  • Beggar’s Chicken (off the Sichuan menu)

For more information, visit pandahousetogotucson.com.

Pelio Grill Greek Taverna & Catering

994 E. University Blvd.

While Pelio Grill offers a wide variety of Greek dishes, try one of their basmati rice bowls with proteins ranging from halloumi to lamb chops or calamari.

Menu Highlights
  • Lamb Chops Platter (seasonal) – marinated chops in olive oil, fresh garlic, oregano & Greek spices served with a lemon wedge and side of tzatziki sauce
  • Haloumi Cheese – imported Cypriot goat/sheep milk cheese slice grilled; served with lemon, tomatoes, pita

Keep up with Pelio Grill Greek Taverna & Catering on Facebook.

Saigon Pho

943 E. University Blvd.

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Saigon Pho earned a following for its expansive vegetarian and vegan menu. Banh mi also makes for a satisfying, affordable on-the-go snack.

Menu Highlights
  • Vegetarian Pho
  • Fried Banana

Keep up with Saigon Pho on Facebook.

Scented Leaf Tea House & Lounge

943 E. University Blvd., Ste. 165

Scented Tea offers a laid back environment to enjoy tea. They offer fine loose-leaf tea for enthusiasts and also fun, unorthodox combinations such as Banana Chocolate Cake Rooibos.

For more information, visit thescentedleaf.com.

Sinbad’s Restaurant

810 E. University Blvd.

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"God bless the chickpea" — George Clooney

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Sinbad’s focuses on Mediterranean and halal cuisine. Their patio and vegetarian options are lovely; order the Foule Muddamas, a delectable combination of garlicky baked fava and garbanzo beans with lemon and olive oil.

Menu Highlights
  • Arabic Shawarma – top sirloin, onions; served with hummus, rice, pita, Arabic tahini sauce
  • Veggie Aarayes – mushroom, tomato, onion, green pepper, garlic paste stuffed in pita and grilled until crisp; served with hummus and pita

Keep up with Sinbad’s Restaurant on Facebook.

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Sushi Cho

1830 E. Broadway Blvd.

Sushi Cho isn’t for sushi snobs, but the portions for the price make it worth the trip south of campus.

Menu Highlights
  • Tempura Donburi – shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura on a bowl of rice
  • Citrus Quinoa & Salmon Salad

Keep up with Sushi Cho on Facebook.

Taco Shop Co.

1350 E. Broadway Blvd.

Taco Shop is one of Tucson’s few 24-hour joints, so it might be busier at 3 a.m. than it is at lunch. Regardless, they make exceptional breakfast burritos.

Menu Highlights
  • Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
  • Carne Asada Burrito

Keep up with Taco Shop Co. on Instagram. For more information, call (520) 622-1899.

TEAholic

1031 N. Park Ave., Ste. 165
Boba tea at Teaholic (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Boba tea at Teaholic (Credit: Jackie Tran)

TEAholic features tea (with boba options) in a plush environment with Prince levels of purple. They also offer a small selection of rice bowls: Mongolian BeefHouse Fried Rice (shrimp, chicken, & beef), and Braised Beef.

For more information, visit TEAholic.

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Time Market

444 E. University Blvd.
Pizza from Time Market (Credit Melissa Stihl)

Pizza from Time Market (Credit Melissa Stihl)

Time Market is technically beyond the boundaries specified at the beginning of the article, but it’s still an easy walk.

It would be a sin to omit this foodie’s paradise — cheap large slices of pizza, a market with quality ingredients, a solid coffee, tea and pastry program, a diverse happy hour… the lists goes on and on.

Last but not least, they bake some of the best loaves of artisanal bread in Tucson.

Menu Highlights
  • Merguez Pizza – house-made merguez sausage, mozzarella, red sauce, fresh fennel, mint, lemon zest
  • Caprese Sandwich – baguette, arugula pesto, tomato, house-made mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil

For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.

Trident Grill

2033 E. Speedway Blvd.

Trident Grill offers consistently solid bar food and seafood in a sports bar environment just east of campus. It’s a fun place to meet up with friends for wings or oysters.

Menu Highlights
  • Maryland Style Crab Cakes – Old Bay, mustard, cracker crumb, parsley, remoulade
  • Paleo Bowl – grilled chicken, avocado, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, egg, mixed greens, olive oil

For more information, visit tridentgrill.com.

Trident Pizza Pub

446 N. Campbell Ave.
Trident Pizza Pub (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Trident Pizza Pub (Credit: Jackie Tran)

A sister restaurant to Trident Grill, Trident Pizza Pub features brick-oven pizza in a sports bar environment. The pizza chef is also trained in pizza acrobatics, so don’t miss out on the show.

Menu Highlights
  • Crispy Cauliflower – drizzled with buffalo sauce, ranch
  • Centurion Pizza – sausage, pepperoni, ham, soppressata, red sauce, house cheese

For more information, visit tridentgrill.com.

Welcome Diner

902 E. Broadway Blvd.
Summer cocktails at Welcome Diner (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Summer cocktails at Welcome Diner (Credit: Jackie Tran)

A hip renovated diner, Welcome Diner is a place you can take your parents to in the morning for brunch and then come back at night with a date for some of the best cocktails in town. They also have some of the best mac and cheese in town.

Menu Highlights
  • Mac and Cheese – topped with bread crumbs, fresh chives; add Andouille sausage and Brussels sprouts (+$3.50 each) if you’re smart
  • Pink Haus – vodka, aquavit, rose liqueur, lemon, seasonal shrub, Regans orange bitters

For more information, visit welcomediner.net.

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Wok Fire & Grill

1135 N. Park Ave.
Grilled Bowl with vermicelli noodles and steak, Spring Rolls with BBQ pork at Wok Fire & Grill (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Grilled Bowl with vermicelli noodles and steak, Spring Rolls with BBQ pork at Wok Fire & Grill (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Perfectly located for Eller students, Wok Fire & Grill offers a wide range of customizable Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. Service can slow down when it’s packed, so consider ordering online.

For more information, visit wokfire.com.

Woops! BakeShop

845 E. University Blvd.

Although the colorful macarons will grab your eye first, don’t neglect the fabulous croissants or rugelach.

Menu Highlights
  • Brie & Apple Croissant – honey, apple, arugula
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich – prosciutto, manchego, and tomato on ciabatta

For more information, visit bywoops.com.

Zing Zing’s

1122 E. Sixth St.
Xiangxi Stir-Fried Beef at Zing Zing's (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Xiangxi Stir-Fried Beef at Zing Zing’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)

A heat lamp buffet lunch combo isn’t usually executed well but Zing Zing’s nails it with unique non-bastardized dishes such as braised pork belly. They also feature various Sichuan and Hunan dishes.

This restaurant is for the adventurous eater.

Menu Highlights
  • Xiangxi Stir-Fried Beef
  • Red Oil Pig Ears

For more information, visit zingzings.com.

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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