We Tucsonans love our local food scene. It was a huge accomplishment back when the city was awarded an official UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy (there are only two U.S. cities with that title)(San Antonio, Texas is the other).
Recently, the publication Travel Awaits visited Tucson and spent time at eight local spots, chomping down on some delicious meals and soaking up the city’s culture.
Mentioning that Tucson is more than good food and is about “the history, culture, traditions, and flavors of the city,” Travel Awaits featured Cup Cafe, El Charro Café, Seis Kitchen, Tito & Pep, 5 Points Market & Restaurant, Penca, Zio Peppe, and Mission Garden.
They recommend the “Barrio toast made with Barrio Bread from James Beard award-winning baker and Tucson native Don Guerra.”
For more information, visit hotelcongress.com.
Recommended by Janos Wilder, they visited the downtown location on Court Avenue and said that the “salsa is in a class by itself” and the best they’ve “had anywhere.”
For more information, visit elcharrocafe.com.
“We especially liked the colorful and smooth Mexican Hibiscus Mimosa, and the bloody mary with a rim of chamoy. But the hands-down winner is the signature Seischata. A play on the traditional Mexican horchata drink, this rum-infused cocktail is way too smooth and could get you in trouble if you’re not paying attention.”
For more information, visit seiskitchen.com.
During their visit to the midtown spot, they admired the number of gluten-free options on the menu, the “mid-century vibe,” and their seafood and steak entrées.
For more information, visit titoandpep.com.
“The owners at 5 Points set out to prove that it’s possible to make a living in the restaurant business while practicing sustainability, sourcing locally, and offering employees fair pay. Try the signature Huevos Rancheros, they’re legendary.”
For more information, visit 5pointstucson.com.
Aside from the ambiance of Penca’s interior, the group loved the food, sharing “an array of tasty appetizers including, flavorful queso fundido, salsa verde, chipotle salsa, and an excellent sweet cashew salsa.”
For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com.
“Gourmet food at a pizza joint?” The Travel Awaits folks were pleased to “find a Sonoran-influenced menu of elevated pizza, pasta, and rich risotto dishes as well as inventive appetizers and salads” on the menu.
For more information, visit ziopeppeaz.com.
They had a great time exploring the heritage garden, calling it “an ode to Tucson’s gastronomic history” and a “fascinating look into Sonoran agricultural history.”
For more information, visit missiongarden.org.
In 2015, Tucson was designated as an official UNESCO City of Gastronomy, becoming the very first U.S. city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
In December 2022, Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG), which is a non-profit tasked with promoting and leveraging the designation, celebrated the anniversary by unveiling the video “Sonoran White Wheat: A Heritage Grain Revival.”
To read the full article, visit travelawaits.com.
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