Tucked away in the quiet Mercado district just west of I-10, the MSA Annex is an outdoor marketplace that’s home to a variety of locally owned and operated shops and restaurants, all with a uniquely Tucson point-of-view.
The Annex isn’t just any old shopping center, though. Designed by Tucson Architect Paul Weiner, the establishment was artfully constructed from modified shipping containers, giving the entire place a modern, industrial-meets-organic feel that’s all too worthy of the ‘gram.
Aside from its cool aesthetic, the MSA Annex—which happens to be an extension of the Mercado San Agustin plaza—is all about the local love, with 14 small businesses housed throughout the complex that range from restaurants, like plant-based Beaut Burger, to unique clothing shops, like fashion-forward Avenue.
Part destination, part experience, the Annex is one of those uniquely local finds that’s sure to delight native Tucsonans and out-of-town guests alike.
If you’re still not convinced, check out our guide to every shop, restaurant, and bar at the MSA Annex.
Vegan-friendly, yet down-to-earth, Beaut Burger specializes in house-made “burgers” comprised of grains, beans, vegetables, walnuts, and spices.
Popular menu items include the B2, which is Beaut’s take on the all-American classic and comes topped with cheddar cheeze, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, and pickles. The B8 also stands out with fried onions, pickled poblano, and smoked tomato aioli.
For dessert, try the Scotcheroos—an all-grown-up Rice Krispies treat topped with chocolate (you’ll want/need to share it).
For more information, visit beautburger.com.
Offering tasty sandwiches and freshly roasted coffee, Hermosa Cafe is a quiet yet inviting spot to relax and recharge. You can purchase Hermosa coffee online at hermosacoffee.com, or if you’re on the road, stop by their other location in Durango, CO.
If you’ve never had onigiri, you’re going to want to try it at Kukai, which opened at the Annex in February of 2019. The traditional Japanese dish is essentially a seaweed-wrapped rice ball that comes with assorted fillings like pork belly, salmon, or, for the adventurous eater, umeboshi (that’s pickled plum).
Other favorites at Kukai include the korokke (i.e. potato croquettes), hand rolls, and ramen made with Hakata-style pork broth.
For more information, visit eatkukai.com.
Tap & Bottle’s sister location Westbound is a bar and bottle shop that serves everything on tap—including the cocktails. Choose from an assortment of microbrews, local wines or creative concoctions like the Silverbell (a refreshing take on a Paloma) or the Caribeño (a tropical, rum-based pineapple drink).
Best of all, there’s ample seating so you can enjoy any of the Annex’s food while you sip on something cold and refreshing.
For more information, visit westboundtucson.com.
Featuring a luxe assortment of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home goods from independent designers and vintage finds, Avenue’s style is something we’d like to call desert chic: simple and effortless with a color palette of rich, warm neutrals.
The MSA Annex is Avenue’s second location; you can visit their other shop at 3050 E. Broadway Blvd.
For more information, visit avenuetucson.com.
Run by a husband and wife duo since 2007, Fletcher & Co’s minimalist studio functions as a blank canvas for creative projects, retail prints, photo sessions and more.
For more information, visit fletcherandco.photo.
At Mesa, you’ll discover unique finds to decorate your abode. Think furniture from Midtown Artisans, works by artist and photographer Stephen Yeakley, and other goodies from Tucson’s community of artisans.
For more information, visit mesamidtownartisans.com/mesa1.
If you love living in Tucson and supporting local brands, this shop is definitely worth stopping by. Why I Love Where I Live was built “to encourage others to love where they live and engage in the local community with a sense of pride and ownership.” You’ll find that mission reflected in the store’s AZ-themed tees, paper goods, accessories and more.
For more information, visit whyilovewhereilive.com.
MSA Annex is located at 267 S. Avenida del Convento. For more information, call (520) 461-1107 or visit mercadodistrict.com/annex.