Penca Restaurante: A fresh take for a hot summer (PHOTOS)

It’s hot outside — really hot — but Penca’s new summer dishes and signature cocktails are sure to please and cool you down. Whether sitting at one of the breezy terrace tables or in the calm of the character-rich interior, the seasonal dishes are a perfect escape from this weather… you might even think you’re in the vibrant streets of Roma Norte right here in Tucson for a moment.

Penca is known for its elevated Mexican cuisine taking classic, even simple staples, to the next level with their very own Penca twist. The combination of flavors and textures is something that puts Penca at the top of dining choices in Southern Arizona and brings a sense of sophistication through a changing seasonal menu.

Right now, Penca is presenting its selection of summer dishes and cocktails.

Summer Dishes

The main thing to highlight about the new summer offerings is the seasonality of the ingredients. Drawing on regional Mexican staples, Penca achieves in bringing the season to the top of the palette with brilliant fresh additions such as pickled peaches and squash blossoms.

The fresh and gently grilled Striped Bass is enthroned on a bed of hominy and peppered with a perky and fresh salsa that evokes the senses and takes you back to the Mexican seaside.

Penca Restaurante

Striped Bass

The Simple Salad brings summer freshness via juicy pickled peaches contrasted with a spicy Chile Morita. It’s nothing but simple and works well shared or indulged in all by yourself.

Penca Restaurante

Simple Salad

The striking Huarache is vibrant and beautifully presented, as is everything at Penca, and offers a purely plant-based dish for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy. The squash blossoms add a unique touch to an already beautifully conceived dish.

Penca Restaurante


Summer Cocktails

The cocktails are also on point for the season and are definitely not an afterthought. The crafted and proprietary mixes are unique to the restaurant’s vision, infusing new tastes into well-loved classic drinks.

For example, the visually stunning Jicara, is a mezcal-based drink infused with burned elote and orange bitters.

Penca Restaurante

Jicara cocktail

The Cantarito blends zesty highlights against a spicy liqueur base of Ancho Reyes Verde, a handcrafted Mexican spirit made with Ancho and Poblano chilies.

Cantarito cocktail at Penca

Cantarito cocktail

The Sangria Roja adds Mexican brandy, amontillado sherry, cinnamon, and lemon to this classic summer beverage.

Penca Restaurante

Sangria Roja

Ambiance and Service

Last but not least, it’s important to mention the welcoming and cool atmosphere at Penca. From the interior design to the wonderful staff who are helpful, knowledgeable, and eager for you to have a great experience.

Penca Restaurante

Bar at Penca Restaurante

Patio at Penca

Patio at Penca Restaurante

Penca Restaurante is located at 50 E. Broadway Blvd. For more information, visit or call (520) 203-7681. 

Anna Smirnova is a photographer and creative director from London with a focus on gastronomy and hospitality currently embracing desert living in Tucson.