Here are the best things the Tucson Foodie team tasted in February 2023

March 1, 2023
By Tucson Foodie

What's cookin', Tucson?

Wow, the month of February flew by faster than the strong winds that ripped through Fourth Avenue the other day. Like a storm, the Tucson Foodie team visited plenty of local restaurants, bars, pop-ups, and events throughout the month, and now we’re excited to share what we devoured.

Dutch Babies (Photos by Anna Smirnova)

Here’s a look back at what the Tucson Foodie team enjoyed the most in February. Also, not only are these reminders of the dishes we ate, but they can also be a guide for your own decisions on what to eat here in Tucson.

Addie Ibarra

Five Points Market & Restaurant

You have not lived until you’ve had the Kale Caesar Salad from 5 Points. I’ve gone back three times in the span of two weeks for the salad. If you can, add the chicken. That dinner menu is simple perfection and wonderfully executed.


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If Anello needed my kidney, they’d absolutely get it. The seasonal salad and veggies were sublime. I didn’t know mandarins could slap so hard. Onions? They had no business being that good.

(Photos by Addie Ibarra)
Contigo Latin Kitchen

I’ve always loved their dinner, but I decided to try them out for brunch and wow, why have I not gone sooner?
Their chilaquiles were a perfect mix of red and green sauce — you can choose one or both. There’s no runny egg yolk here, which I very much appreciated, but you do you, boo.

(Photos by Addie Ibarra)

Da’Lice Shepard


Good vibes start with your homies and a few Gin Fizz Cocktails from Westbound.

Gin Fizz Cocktails from Westbound (Photo by Da’Lice Shepard)
Martin’s Comida Chingona

Who needs friends with tacos like these? There is no question the best fish tacos come from Martin’s Comida Chingona.

Martin’s Comida Chingona (Photo by Da’Lice Shepard)

Edie Jarolim

Zio Peppe

The Figgy Stardust pizza at Zio Peppe– including fresh figs, bacon, mozzarella, goat cheese, and honey — skillfully blends sweet and savory flavors on perfectly chewy pizza dough. What I didn’t know: Zio Peppe also has one of the best steak salads in town, with gorgonzola, artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, and a delicate artichoke vinaigrette making the perfect complement to the generous cuts of strip loin.

(Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Feng-Feng Yeh

Black Vibez Catering

Black Vibez Catering’s perfectly cooked and seasoned shrimp boil (and collard greens not pictured) served at the African American Legacy Fund mixer pushed me off the edge with the most addictive buttery garlic and spicy sauce. Now I don’t know how I can go on eating without that sauce. Do yourself a favor: follow Black Vibez Catering and hire them for your next event.

Black Vibez Catering (Photo by Feng-Feng Yeh)
Me & Ms. Jones’ Kitchen

I’ve never experienced the nourishment that soul food provides until I had the food plate from Me & Ms. Jones’ Kitchen at the Splinter Collective’s All Black Everything celebration for Black History Month. The fried oyster mushrooms dipped in hot sauce tapped me into a higher dimension. The Mac & Cheese, sweet potatoes, collard greens, perfectly moist cornbread, and butter cake felt like a loving embrace. Feeding the soul of our community seems to go hand in hand with the meaningful work that Chef Monica Jones continues to achieve in her mission to provide safe transitional housing in the Outlaw Project. For more information go to

Me & Ms. Jones’ Kitchen (Photo by Feng-Feng Yeh)
Time Market

Tucson or Tuscan? Italy is a far trek but Tucson’s vast variety of excellent pizza and pasta options shortens the longing for Italian cuisine: The pizza slices at Time Market are like having a little slice of NYC in Tucson. The thin yet chewy and crispy crust made this hybrid NYCer/Tucsonan feel right at home. Whole pies are available along with a rotating seasonal specialty pie. I of course got a cheese slice and the special fig, arugula, and ricotta. Pro-tip: use the chili flake and Parmesan packets and eat the slices folded like a real New Yorker.

Pizza at Time Market (Photo by Feng-Feng Yeh)

Renee’s is a little hidden gem tucked away on the east side featuring a menu with more than just pizza to offer, including Chef Renee hustling behind the counter! I was so happy pizza (and this indulgently fresh avocado salad) was my calling because experiencing the bouncy and thick herb and olive oil cornmeal crust was a textural delight. The Shroomy Goat sounds like a trip one might take on 4th Avenue but the harmony of goat cheese, balsamic onion, mushroom, arugula, and spinach greens on this pizza is enough to keep me coming back to this dimly lit romantic setting on Tanque Verde.

Renee’s (Photo by Feng-Feng Yeh)

Hannah Hernandez

Houlden’s Rise Above

The key to my heart: Cherry cheesecake. If you feel the same, run to Houlden’s vegan bakery this weekend and try a slice.

Cherry cheesecake at Houlden’s Rise Above (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

You can find veggie rolls alllll around town, but this is one of the special ones. Simple and beautiful. The semisweet daikon radish and sweet and spicy sauces on the side are excellent.

Obon (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Local vegan pop-up, Nopalinda finds the juiciest limes in town. Her vegan pho made for a great dinner and day-after breakfast. Follow her around for the most comforting dishes!

Nopalinda (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Jackie Tran

Good Pierogi

Good Pierogi sells frozen pierogi to prepare at home. Their potato pierogi was easily the best I’ve had. Tender, savory, and rich. I boiled them and pan-fried them for breakfast with random ingredients I had in my fridge.

Good Pierogi (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Kim Johnston

The Coronet

Mildly sweet, puffy, and custardy, a Dutch Baby is what you get when a pancake, crepe, and soufflé birth a love child. The Coronet makes a lovely rendition full of height and filled with a light citrus cream, making brunch a little fancier for every visitor of this downtown gem.

Dutch Babies at The Coronet (Photo by Kim Johnston)

Mark Whittaker

La Botana Tacos

Valentines Day sometimes rests a bit weary with a lot of us. My wife is the GM of a popular restaurant and she had to work all day/night that day and night. How did I reward her efforts and sort of acknowledge a made up holiday? Well, I got plenty of goodies from La Botana, including their Percheron Burrito. What did my wife order? No clue. Me? The Percheron Burrito. That thing is packed with so much perfectly cooked and seasoned amazingness that I let her know how much she means to me by moments of clarity, meaning slight gestures of silence between bites. Marriage is a passage of moments. The Percheron Burrito is one of those passionate passages. Wow, is it good.

Percheron grilled burrito at La Botana Tacos + Patios + Amigos (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Percheron grilled burrito at La Botana Tacos + Patios + Amigos (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Mafia Kitchen

When it comes to desserts, I usually pass. Not so much into the sweet bits after a meal. Honestly, I’d rather have seconds than a morsel boasting sacchariferous nonsense. The cannoli from Mafia Kitchen are so yummy, not too sweet, and an absolute joy to eat. Get the Oreo cannoli and the peanut butter one as well. You’ll love it and you know the kids will love it. Plus, they use a secret ricotta cheese from a secret source and I didn’t want to ask but I think they keep it in the “family” if you know what I mean. This is by far my favorite tube shaped treat in Tucson. Its right there in Mafia Kitchen’s slogan: “Leave the guilt, keep the cannoli”. No guilt here you honor. Just a bit of gluttony maybe. But that’s okay because everyday with Mafia Kitchen is a cheat day.

Mafia Kitchen (Photo by Mark Whittaker)
Whiskey Del Bac

Growing up watching rock and metal bands swig Jack Daniels on stage made me think that whiskey was something that was made for guzzling. All I really know is that after a few chugs, the band started to warble and sometimes the drummer would get naked and forget to play. When I first sipped whiskey I wondered how they could do that. Years later, I developed a palate for the stuff and now I can’t even look at a mass market whiskey without thinking how it ruined the encore to a concert. Del Bac’s whiskey is not even close to being in that silly arena as they are a venue all their own. As a member of their Cask Club I eagerly await a new seasonal bliss. The Spring Release this year is outstanding. Smooth, leathery, just the right amount of smoke with a hard candy sweetness at the end. A sweetness that I enjoy. In fact that’s how this and all Del Bac whiskeys should be — enjoyed. Get a proper glass, serve neat or with a hint of ice to open it up, sit back, relax and, yes, enjoy. Leave the swill dumping to Dr. Feelgood up there. Although this distillers cut will definitely kickstart your heart. But in
an enjoyable way.

Whiskey Del Bac Spring Distiller’s Cut (Photo by Mark Whittaker)

Matt Sterner

Time Market

The Breakfast Sandwich at Time Market is a humdinger of a great way to start your day. Like in a good way.

Breakfast Sandwich at Time Market (Photo by Matt Sterner)

Rita Connelly

El Minuto Cafe

A little bit of this. A little bit of that. The cheese crisp at El Minuto.

The cheese crisp at El Minuto Cafe (Photo by Rita Connelly)
Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches

The Unforgettable sandwich and the Chinese Sesame Noodle at Baggins.

Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches (Photo by Rita Connelly)

Sam Jump

Tooley’s Cafe

The corn cakes at Tooley’s Cafe, a perfect hybrid of cornbread and flapjack, never disappoint. Especially when topped with some o’ their housemade butter, a few drops of perfectly spicy syrup, and a few slices of fresh fruit on the side, I swear they’ve got medicine-for-the-soul griddled in.

Corn cakes at Tooley’s Cafe (Photo by Sam Jump)

Sariya Jarasviroj

The Dutch – DAM Good Food

Ticked a ’23 bucket list meal at The Dutch! Super impressed that the fish was beautifully cooked and flaky. Tarter sauce was also on point and caramelized lemon was a zesty touch.

The Dutch – DAM Good Food (Photo by Sariya Jarasviroj)
Sushi on Oracle

Really stunning chef’s table-style lunch at Sushi on Oracle. I’m still speechless about the quality of the food and the synergy of the flavors.

Sushi on Oracle (Photos by Sariya Jarasviroj)

Shane Reiser


The Cinnamon Roll Griddlecakes at Nook are better than any cinnamon roll I’ve been able to find in this great country of ours and I’m a bit of a cinnamon roll hunter. Also in the photo, is the Nourish Bowl (v) — falafel, avocado, hard-boiled egg, 24-hour tomato, cucumber, goat cheese, buttermilk dressing, and house everything seeds. Photo-bombing is Toshi the dog.

(Photo by Shane Reiser)
Fentonelli’s Pizzeria & Bar

The new house-made mozzarella sticks at Fentonelli’s.

Fentonelli’s Pizzeria & Bar (Photos by Shane Reiser)
Turkish Grill House

Pumpkin Desert at Turkish Grill House!

Pumpkin Dessert at Turkish Grill House (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)
Donut Bar / Thunder Bacon Burger Co.

The Shroom at Thunder Bacon Burger Co. (now inside Donut Bar). Thunder sauce, with Huitlacoche mushrooms, provolone, cheese, lettuce, and pickle. If you opt for the house-made veggie patty you won’t be sad about it. It’s maybe the best I’ve had.

Bolita Bakery

Bolita Bakery’s Cowboy Cookie.

Bolita Bakery’s Cowboy Cookie (Photo by Shane Reiser)
Buendia Breakfast & Lunch Café

Breakfast Stuffed Poblano Pepper from Buendia (stuffed with corn tamale and cheese, covered with creamy green sauce and served with rice and beans).

Breakfast Stuffed Poblano Pepper from Buendia (Photo by Shane Reiser)

Xochitl Gracia

Samurai Sombrero

Spicy Vegatun Roll at Samurai Sombrero, the first of its kind in Tucson!

Spicy Vegatun Roll at Samurai Sombrero (Photos by Xochitl Gracia)
Charro Vida

The Barrio Melt at Charro Vida

The Barrio Melt at Charro Vida (Photos by Xochitl Gracia)

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