Senae Thai Bistro closes its doors downtown after 5 years in business

"It's my passion and art"

After plenty of thought and discussions about retirement, downtown’s Senae Thai Bistro has decided to close its doors permanently at 63 E. Congress St.

Owner Dee Buizer opened Senae Thai Bistro in July 2016 with a mission to raise the bar for Thai cuisine in Tucson, while showcasing how Thailand “boasts a high level of authentic, beautiful cuisine.”

Senae Thai Bistro

Photo courtesy of Senae Thai Bistro on Facebook

She describes her hometown Bangkok as a true melting pot and as a city that continues to inspire her own cooking.

“I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do,” said Buizer, “which is to demonstrate to the people of Tucson — home to one of the only two UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy in the U.S. — that a more refined, genuine Thai cuisine in an upscale ambiance is possible.”

Dee Buizer, chef and owner of Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Dee Buizer, chef and owner of Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Buizer opened her first restaurant in Berkeley, California in 1987, and has since opened others throughout the years in each city she’s lived including San Francisco, Bethesda, and Scottsdale.

“Dee’s food is beautiful,” said Jim Buizer, her husband. “The enjoyment starts with the eyes, then the aroma, then the flavor. That’s what makes her cooking stand out. She designs every detail.”

Aside from what she’s done to help the Tucson community. Buizer is grateful for what the community has given back to her.

“I am deeply grateful for the Downtown Tucson Partnership,” said Buizer. “Everyone involved has been very supportive from day one. They especially stepped up during the pandemic by supporting local businesses. We benefitted greatly from the excellent work of this group.”

Senae Thai Bistro

Photo courtesy of Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital

“Senae Thai Bistro a destination for high-quality Thai cuisine,” said Zach Baker, deputy director of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. “We want to congratulate Dee on her well-deserved retirement, and we thank her for everything she’s done for our community.”

Buizer is planning to stay put in Tucson while figuring out what her next adventure will be — and getting plenty of rest, of course.

For more information about any future ventures, visit or follow Senae Thai Bistro on Facebook

At a very young age, Matt was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards.