13 September, 2021, 20:47

What to eat & drink at the MSA Annex Summer Night Market

Eat, drink, and shop under the stars

One of the best ways Tucsonans handle the summer heat is to go out when the sun is going down, and MSA Annex celebrates the cooler evening temperatures with its monthly Summer Night Market.

Shops stay open late, over 40 local vendors set up booths, and a DJ keeps things lively on the last Friday of the month — May through September. The next event is Friday, July 30 from 6 – 10 p.m.

You’re probably thinking that all sounds great, but what is there to eat? 

Whether you’re looking for dinner, drinks, snacks, or sweets, this is your guide to food and beverages found at July’s Summer Night Market. While some of these spots are permanent food fixtures, others are rollin’ in just for the occasion.

Beaut Burger

Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Beaut is a vegan burger joint featuring plant-based patties and buns made from scratch. Earlier this year, they added their own brand of soft-serve oat milk ice cream.

Also on the menu:
  • Fooled Pork – jackfruit, spicy prickly pear bbq sauce, coleslaw, fried pickle chips, on a potato bun
  • Bedeviled – tofu “eggsalad,” tomato, dijon mustard, on marble rye
  • Beer-Battered Cauli Bites – in a boat with Buffalo sauce and Ranch or on a bun with pickles and mayo
  • Additional menu items include Scotcheroos, sweet potato fries, coleslaw, dill pickles, homemade limeade, Blue Sky sodas, beer, wine, and the Santa Rita Sunrise – a tequila, prickly pear, and limeade cocktail.

Beaut Burger is open 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily with occasional late afternoon specials.

Through the end of July, you can get a free cup of soft serve with meal orders from 3 – 5 p.m. on weekdays. While that’s earlier than the Market starts on Friday, you can beat the crowds and check out the shops until the rest of the fun starts at 6 p.m.

Check out our June 2019 article 10 Facts About Beaut Burger.

For more information, visit beautburger.com.

Decibel Coffee Works

Decibel Coffee Works

Photo courtesy of Decibel Coffee Works

The coffee roasting rock stars of Decibel Coffee Works recently introduced a full menu with sandwiches, pastries, and brunch items. However, they’ve already begun to fine-tune their food offerings and expect to debut a new menu.

When it comes to drinks, order a Lavender Latte or one of the surprisingly spicy Spiced Mochas, which is a mocha latte made with ancho and chipotle spice chocolate. They also sell bags of single-origin coffee beans, often sourced from family farms or farming cooperatives.

Decibel Coffee Works is open 7 a.m. –  2 p.m. daily and 5 – 9 p.m. on Thursday – Sunday.

Check out our May 2021 article Decibel Coffee Works: Breakfast bowls, sandwiches & pastries to brighten your day.

For more information, visit decibelcoffeeworks.com.

Kettlelicious Kettle Corn

Kettlelicious Kettle Corn

Photo courtesy of Kettlelicious Kettle Corn on Facebook

Kettlelicious Kettle Corn is one of the food trucks you’ll find parked outside the MSA Annex. Right away, you’ll notice that their popcorn comes in a range of flavors and rainbow hues that bring new meaning to the phrase “pops of color.”

Popular picks include Original, Sweet and Salty, Cheddar, Caramel, and Pepper Hot. For a limited time, consider taking a bite out of their seasonal flavor Summer Breeze — a wild combo of strawberry, orange, and blue raspberry.

For more information, visit deliciouskettlelicious.com.

Kukai

Assorted food at Kukai (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Assorted food at Kukai (Credit: Jackie Tran)

If you’ve ever been wandering around the Annex when things are cooking at Kukai, chances are the delicious aromas stopped you in your tracks. The Japanese kitchen serves a variety of dishes that include donburi, onigiri, and sushi rolls.

Also on the menu:
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Shrimp Tempura
  • Takoyaki – fried pancake ball with octopus
  • Hokkaido Miso Ramen – red miso paste base with fish broth, served with chashu pork, seaweed, egg, and green onion
  • Vegan Ramen – soy and kombu shitake mushroom broth with spicy miso, served with fried shitake, kombu, ginger, and green onion

Kukai is open 11:30 a.m. –  2:30 p.m. and then 5 – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday – Sunday.

Check out our February 2019 article “Kukai” at MSA Annex to Highlight Onigiri, Donburi, Ramen & More.

For more information, visit eatkukai.com.

Maui Wowi of Tucson

Maui Wowi of Tucson

Maui Wowi makes smoothies with their own secret-recipe fruit blends and low-fat yogurt. The Scottsdale-based company mixes it up, pouring drinks from food trucks, stands, and even brick and mortar stops in dozens of locations.

If you’re not in the mood for a smoothie, they’ve got other offerings including island-inspired cocktails and Kona Coffee.

For more information, visit mauiwowi.com.

Moxie and Sassafras

Moxie and Sassafras

Photo courtesy of Moxie and Sassafras on Instagram

Moxie and Sassafras frequents Tucson markets, bringing boozy jams and baked goods in unorthodox flavor combinations. Grapefruit, wasabi, and pistachio macarons, anyone?

This month, items are tarot-themed, so be sure to check them out during the market.

Tarot-themed bites include:
  • The Lovers – mochi donuts flavored with red bean, sweet corn, and matcha
  • The Fool – beet, green apple, and blood orange macarons
  • The Devil – pomegranate, lavender, macadamia, nut, and fig buns

For more information, visit moxieandsassafras.com.

Ricuras de Venezuela

(Credit: Ricuras de Venezuela)

(Credit: Ricuras de Venezuela)

The Ricuras de Venezuela truck brings its taste of South America to Tucson with cuisine adapted from the owner’s mother’s hometown recipes.

One of their specialty plates comes with carne mechada — shredded beef with bell peppers and spices — and sides of plantains, black beans, and rice.

Also on the menu:
  • Arepas
  • Cachapas
  • Empanadas – chicken or beef
  • Papelón con Limón – Venezuelan lemonade

For more information, visit ricurastucson.com.

Westbound

Punch Drunk Love and Margarita at Westbound (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Punch Drunk Love and Margarita at Westbound (Credit: Jackie Tran)

It’s the official and the only bar of the MSA Annex. Westbound’s regular menu includes unique cocktails, wine on tap, rare bourbons, agave-based spirits, and draft beers that range from “light and crisp” to “dark and roasty.”

However, on event nights, Westbound sets up a pop-up bar on the opposite side of the Annex with a streamlined selection. They offer both a kid’s menu — water, soda, Otter Pops, and snacks — along with the big kid’s menu featuring alcohol.

Westbound is open noon – 10 p.m. on Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday, and the bottleshop is open noon – 7 p.m. daily.

Check out our May 2018 article Tap & Bottle sister bar, bottle shop ‘Westbound’ grand opening at MSA Annex.

For more information, visit westboundtucson.com.

MSA Annex is located at 267 S. Avenida del Convento. For more information, call (520) 461-1107 or visit mercadodistrict.com.

Stephanie Liebold is happy to be living, writing, and eating in Tucson. You can find her sipping coffee at an outdoor table or on her site, Travelcraft Journal.

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