Guide to 9 stops along the Sun Link for exceptional food & drink (MAP)

By Jackie Tran
February 5, 2020

Tucson's street car is handy way to travel sans driving.

If you want to explore outstanding food and drink without driving, take advantage of the Sun Link, Tucson's streetcar.

The Sun Link travels through the Mercado District, Downtown Tucson, Fourth Avenue, Main Gate Square, and the University of Arizona.

While you can walk a few blocks from each stop for a massive array of restaurants and bars, we've narrowed the choices down to locations within crawling distance of nine stops. In this case, crawling distance means half a block at most.

In order to ride the Sun Link, you need to get a SunGO ticket, SunGO card, or can download the GoTucson Transit Mobile App. Read more about fares here.

Avenida del Convento & Congress Street

(Credit: Presta Coffee Roasters on Facebook)
(Photo courtesy of Presta Coffee Roasters on Facebook)

The westernmost stop of the Sun Link is at Mercado San Agustin, home to edibly delightful destinations including Agustin Kitchen, Dolce Pastello Cakes, Seis Kitchen, La Estrella Bakery Inc., Presta Coffee Roasters, and Sonoran Sno-Cones.

Sit inside at one of the sleek bar tops or enjoy the weather outside in the Spanish colonial-inspired courtyard.

Bonus perk: from 4 - 7 p.m. on Thursdays, the Santa Cruz Farmers Market is hosted there.

Read our January 2019 article 10 Edible Reasons to Visit the Mercado District.

For more information, visit mercadodistrict.com.

Cushing Street & Avenida del Convento

A cousin establishment to Mercado San Agustin, MSA Annex also offers an exceptional outdoor experience. However, the businesses here are based out of shipping containers. Edible destinations include Beaut Burger, Hermosa Cafe, Decibel Coffee Works, Kukai, and Westbound.

While the space is best enjoyed during the cool evenings, some of the businesses offer shaded, air-conditioned units.

Read our October 2019 article If you haven’t visited MSA Annex yet, here’s what you’re missing.

For more information, visit mercadodistrict.com/annex.

Broadway Boulevard & Stone Avenue

Chamorro en Pipian Rojo at Penca
Chamorro en Pipian Rojo at Penca (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Penca showcases the cuisine of Central Mexico in an elegant environment, respecting traditional ingredients while incorporating modern techniques.

For stand-out winter entrees, get the Coles con Mole Chilhuacle, which features seasonal veg, mint, quinoa, and mole or Robalo, a pan-seared white fish with lentils, parsley, pumpkin, and mint.

The curated agave spirit selection and cocktail program are among the best in town as well.

For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com.

Broadway Boulevard & Sixth Avenue

Nacho Stadt Bier Pilsner infusion at Pueblo Vida Brewing Co. (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Nacho Stadt Bier Pilsner infusion at Pueblo Vida Brewing Co. (Credit: Jackie Tran)

One of Tucson's brewery gems, Pueblo Vida has earned a reputation for their collectible, stylish cans.

While their flagship Hef is an outstanding Bavarian-style hefeweizen, their IPAs have gained a cult following statewide.

Visit on Sundays for beer yoga at 10:30 a.m. or on Tuesdays for their weekly beer infusions.

For more information, visit pueblovidabrewing.com.

Plaza Centro

Tucked at the eastern entrance of downtown, the Plaza Centro stop features two Tucson Foodie lunch favorites: Urban Pita and OBON Sushi Bar Ramen.

Urban Pita offers fast and delectable Mediterranean food. The smell of their chicken shawarma will easily lure you in whether its noon or midnight.

OBON features sushi and crave-inducing modern takes on Asian dishes. They also take the cake for having the most fun cocktail menu in Tucson.

For more information, visit urbanpitaaz.com and fukushuconcepts.com.

Fourth Avenue & Ninth Street

Bar at BoxYard on Fourth Avenue (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Bar at BoxYard on Fourth Avenue (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Alcohol and ice cream greet you at the southern entrance to Fourth Avenue.

Desert Dream Ice Creamery offers a wide variety of house-made ice creams with fresh flavors.

REVEL, Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, and The Boxyard all offer various ways to imbibe and snack in distinctly unique and fun environments.

For more information, visit:

University Boulevard & Third Avenue

Interior at Time Market (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Interior at Time Market (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Time Market is near and dear to the hearts of the entire Tucson Foodie team thanks to their outstanding house-baked bread and artisanal sandwiches.

Additionally, Time Market features quality curated goods of all sorts, ranging from groceries and chocolate to wine, beer, and more.

For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.

University Boulevard & Tyndall Avenue

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

Located on the western outskirts of the University of Arizona, Main Gate Square is naturally dense with dining options.

The closest local restaurants to the stop are Frog & Firkin, Gentle Ben's, Jimmy's Pita & Poke, Kababeque Indian Grill, and No Anchovies, all of which are casual and perfect for people-watching.

For more information, visit:

Congress Street & Stone Avenue

Blueberry Cupcake outside of HeeMee Coffee + Bakery
Blueberry Cupcake outside of HeeMee Coffee + Bakery (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For a modern breakfast, hop off the stop at Congress Street & Stone Avenue.

HeeMee Coffee + Bakery features Korean, Japanese, and French-influenced baked treats in a modern minimalist environment.

Nook features full-service brunch with cocktails, egg dishes, salads, sandwiches, and more. While the inside is cozy, don't miss out on the lovely courtyard patio.

For more information, visit heemeebakery.com and nookdowntown.com.

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Article By

Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...

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