When it comes to eating in Tucson, you know we have you covered. But if this is your first time on the website, it can take a bit of digging to find exactly what you want. After all, we have over 3,000 articles on Tucson food.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled our most comprehensive lists and guides into one tidy article: our Ultimate Tucson Visitor’s Guide. Have fun and bon appétit.
*Click the title of the article that you want to read, it’s highlighted in red.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these lists are all helpful reference points.
While the focus is on food, we certainly highlight other realms; check out this guide for activities and destinations such as hikes, parks, museums, and local entertainment.
These aren’t the hidden gems; these are the dishes that have made a lasting impression across Tucson. Some have even inspired copycats and spin-offs.
The various downtown Tucson restaurants span the gamut. From authentic Mexican to Thai to local cafés and coffee shops, each spot offers a unique atmosphere.
Tucson goes to sleep early, so not too many eateries stay open late. We’ve compiled the options for you so you know exactly where to eat after a late night partying, studying, working, or whatever.
If you don’t want to overthink it and eat somewhere fun, check out this list.
Both your significant other and your mom would appreciate it if you treated them to something a little nicer.
For adventurous little eaters, read this guide.
Eating Al Fresco
What better way to take advantage of Tucson’s beautiful weather than by dining outside in the fresh air?
For gorgeous natural views and cozy courtyard vibes, check out this list.
If you have a canine companion, refer to this comprehensive guide.
Those who don’t want to stray too far from the city can still enjoy a picnic at these locations.
For those on the move
Enjoy a post-workout indulgence or a leisurely picnic with these guides. The hikes include out-and-back options, loops, longer versions and shorter walks with views.
For a cute date, impress and BYOCB: bring your own cheese board.
Brews & Booze
From coffee to cocktails, check out Tucson’s wide array of beverage options.
To impress your coworkers with your knowledge of where to eat after a day shift, keep this article bookmarked.
Savor Tucson’s warm community of beer enthusiasts and check out all the breweries on this list.
Tucson’s craft cocktail scene has evolved marvelously in the past decade; embrace it at one of these bars.
Tucson might not be a coffee-growing region, but the coffee-roasting scene is excellent.
Tucson loves its breakfast, whether it be a greasy spoon or posh mimosa brunch.
Whether you need a hangover cure or simply want a hearty breakfast, Tucson has an impressive selection of breakfast diners scattered throughout town.
For morning eats, it’s hard to beat the restaurants on this list.
To indulge in brunch with a view, check out these options.
This ain’t hard shell country.
If you can’t tell your birria from your chicharrones, take a few moments to learn with this article. While it’s easy to pick carne asada tacos every time you visit a taqueria, take advantage of Tucson’s diverse options and you’ll probably find a new favorite.
If you just need to figure out where to eat tacos, check out our handy map with tantalizing tacos all around Tucson.
For a one stop-shop for a variety of exceptional tacos, check out the Tohono O’odham Swap Meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Just don’t forget to bring cash.
Burritos & Burros
If you’ve never had Tucson burritos, prepare yourself.
Tucson burritos are a breed of their own. Read up about Sonoran flour tortillas and why you will love them more than the travesty of national mass-produced flour tortillas.
Although a drive-thru burrito is a lifesaver when you’re not feeling social, you should take the time to enjoy an exceptional burrito. Especially the ones with pillowy fresh tortillas.
If you don’t feel like sitting down at a diner, the breakfast burrito might be for you. Hint: stuff one in your hiking backpack for an indulgent post-hike reward.
Send a piece of Tucson far away, or just indulge at home in your sweatpants. We won’t tell.
Whether you want to treat someone special or just indulge yourself, check out our variety of locally created gifts, simplified in one massive guide.
Spice up your life with one of Tucson’s locally made hot sauces and salsas.
Mexican food is more than tacos and burritos. Check out the other facets that make it so unique.
Learn about the chimichanga’s history, along with where to eat them, directly from the person who wrote the book, Rita Connelly.
For a true taste of Tucson, look out for indigenous ingredients and regional techniques listed in this article.
For a primer on where to find Tucson’s best Sonoran hot dogs, read our guide.
Mole sauce is famous for its use of chocolate, but doesn’t always include it; here is the varied list of flavorful spiced mole options.
This particular street intersection captures various facets of Tucson Mexican food quite well; stay tuned for additional guides on other notable corners.
This small western stretch in Tucson features fabulous Mexican food and an iconic chili dog stand.
Although Sonoran is our specialty, don’t miss out on the other Mexican specialties Tucson has to offer.
While Mexican food is one of the main tourist reasons to visit Tucson, we also feature cuisine from countries around the world. From Bosnia to Venezuela, you can count on finding something to tickle your cultural fancy.
Cooking at Home
Don’t let your kitchen go to waste.
Whether you want something spicy, grassy, fruity, or even chocolaty, read this article to figure out the right pepper for the job.
If you’re a local foodie who wants to create something exciting at home, check out our list of various ethnic markets.
If you simply don’t want to drive more than a couple of miles for good food, check out one of our handy area maps and guides.
- Interactive Guide to 152 Central Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
- Interactive Guide to 49 West Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
- Interactive Guide to 67 Northwest Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
- Interactive Guide to 36 Foothills Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
- Interactive Guide to 66 East Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
- Guide to 16 Restaurants in Vail & Rita Ranch (MAP)
- Interactive Guide to 25 Southwest Tucson Restaurants, Bars & Cafes (MAP)
Even more specific
- Your guide to 33 bars & restaurants on Fourth Avenue
- Guide to 38 local spots around University of Arizona to grab a bite
- Guide to 9 stops along the Sun Link for exceptional food & drink (MAP)
- Guide to Mt. Lemmon: Day Trip Eats & Drinks for the Family
- A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring the Mexican Food of South Tucson: 15 Spots to Try Now
If you’re a Tucson local and want to explore more of what the state has to offer, check out our other city guides. More are on the way!
- 12 spots to dine at while exploring Southern Arizona wine country
- Tucson Foodie Travels: Eat Your Way Around Bisbee, Arizona (SLIDESHOWS)
- Tucson Foodie Travels: Where to eat in Prescott, Arizona
- Get thee to Flagstaff: 17 must-visit spots to eat & drink
The guides linked within this article are updated periodically—keep referring back to stay in the know.