Vivace (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Your guide to 30+ fancy pants date spots in Tucson


March 30, 2023
By Max Wingert
By Max Wingert

All dressed up with plenty of places to go — your official guide to the all cool spots to have that hot night out in the desert. For special occasions, fancy pants dates, or “treat-yo’-self” indulgences, check out these gorgeous Tucson restaurants.

Agustin Kitchen

100 S. Avenida del Convento, Ste. 150

The white walls and accents of marble and rustic woods create a refined charm that is only heightened by the location in the Old World-inspired Mercado San Agustin. The restaurant opens into a lovely little courtyard shared with other noteworthy foodie stops like Presta Coffee Roasters, La Estrella Bakery, and Seis Kitchen.

Enjoy the brasserie-style and inviting atmosphere for brunch, lunch, or dinner any day of the week. Clink your wine glasses together over an array of New American cuisines made with ingredients local to Southern Arizona. Renowned Tucson chef David Solorzano took over the role of executive chef of Agustin Kitchen just this last fall. Read more about his vision for top-tier yet down-to-earth cuisine here.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, or to make a reservation, head on over to AgustinKitchen.com

Arizona Inn

2200 E. Elm St.

Although their dining room is currently closed, Arizona Inn boasts a casually classy lounge and outdoor patio, both of which offer cocktails and southwestern classics. Stop by for a beautiful breakfast, lunch, or dinner and get what some are calling “some of the best un-snobbish and [most] approachable food around.”

…Okay, it was us. We called it that. Read more in our December 2022 feature on Arizona Inn here.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Sunday: 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, navigate over to the dining page of ArizonaInn.com

BATA

35 E. Toole Ave.
Tyler Fenton of BATA (Photo by Anna Smirnova)

BATA is the kind of place people who just moved to Tucson from LA or NYC are relieved to find exists. The warm, modern industrial aesthetic is modeled after the chef’s favorite restaurant in Copenhagen and the elevated seasonal menu features local ingredients sourced from within 400 miles (most from within 200).

Although BATA takes a whole-animal approach to its meat dishes, the menu is vegetable-forward. The martini is the best we’ve ever had (in the world). If you can snag a spot at the chef’s counter, do it and enjoy the show. BATA’s basement bar (Barbata) is also not to be missed, with a menu of shareable bites and unique cocktails making it the perfect location for date nights in Tucson.

Named one of the “Best New Restaurants of 2022” by Bon Appétit.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For reservations and more information, visit BataTucson.com

Bottega Michaelangelo

420 W. Magee Rd.
Credit: Jackie Tran

Bottega Michelangelo brings in a hip, contemporary breath of fresh air to date night. The menu options are solid — you can’t go wrong (but if you need some help, get the Burrata Salad and Porchetta). Happy hour offerings include Calamari Calabrese and Lamb Chop Lollipops with prickly pear reduction, lemon, and mint pesto.

Read our May 2019 article “10 fun facts to celebrate Bottega Michelangelo’s 30th anniversary.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, call (520) 297-5775 or visit BottegaMichelangelo.com.

Charro Steak & del Rey

188 E. Broadway Blvd.
Credit: Jackie Tran

Formerly two separate entities, Charro Steak & Charro del Ray joined forces, Captain Planet-style, to become one of the best in southern Arizona surf and turf.

The wooden tables and rusted metal provide a distinctively southwestern vibe to match Charro’s distinctively Tucson take on all things fresh fish and filling filets.  Locally sourced, ranch-to-table beef and seasonal seafood ensure that every bite is rich and juicy, and the happy hour deals will have you coming back for more.

Last year, Charro Steak & del Rey celebrated its 100th Anniversary! So if you’re in need of classy dinner date locations in Tucson, be sure to add this restaurant near the top of your list.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Sunday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For info and reservations, visit the combined website of charrosteak.com.

Churrasco de Brasil

150 W. Wetmore Rd.

Churrasco de Brasil certainly has more class than a typical all-you-can-eat buffet with its attentive table service. You don’t even have to leave your seat for more Picanha or Filet Mignon; just flip your nifty card and service will be right over to slice the beef tableside. Don’t forget to order the Brazilian cocktail, caipirinha.

Read our October 2019 article Brazilian steakhouse Churrasco de Brasil opens tonight at the Tucson Mall.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Thursday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday: 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

For more information, visit ChurrascodeBrasil.com

Cielos at Lodge on the Desert

306 N. Alvernon Way
Credit: Jackie Tran

Savory southwestern specialties served in a spacious, secluded Saltillo-tiled spot with “string lighting, local spirits, and shade sails.” Not only is the food delightful but it’s one of our top picks in terms of cool, cozy patio bars.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday  Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For reservations or more information, visit LodgeOnTheDesert.com.

Commoner & Co.

6960 E. Sunrise Dr.
Ragu Tagliatelle at Commoner & Co. (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Even though Commoner’s menu is filled with comfort food, it’s presented with grace and style to match the newly-renovated upscale environment and mountain view. The hearty and satisfying Ragu is made with house-made tagliatelle, while the Charred Fruit with Beets features a fresh bite of citrus, topped with candied walnuts, greens, and herb mousse.

Read our October 2019 article “Commoner & Co. to open Thursday with revamped interior & menu (PHOTOS).”

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For more information, visit CommonerTucson.com.

Contigo Latin Kitchen

3770 E. Sunrise Dr.
Paella at Contigo Latin Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For traditional recipes from South America and Spain, go to Contigo just south of the Westin La Paloma.

The Parrillada is a mixed grill for two including rib-eye steak, chorizo, morcilla, lamb chop, roast marrow, salsa verde, chimichurri, and seasonal vegetables. Paella for four is available when ordered a day in advance, made with your choice of shellfish, chicken, rabbit, or chorizo.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit EatAtContigo.com.

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar

15000 N. Secret Springs Dr.
Milk Chocolate Rocher at CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Even Freddie Mercury sang about “dining at the Ritz” due to their golden standard of quality. Make the drive to the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain to dine at CORE and experience some of the best luxury available around Tucson. The adjoining citrus grove provides outstandingly fresh oranges, grapefruits, and tangelos.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit Core Kitchen’s page on RitzCarlton.com

The Coronet

198 W. Cushing St.
Interior at the Coronet (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Coronet features delightful bistro fare and sophisticated cocktails to meld perfectly with the live music on the patio. Click here to read more about the culture, cuisine, and community ties of The Coronet.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday – Wednesday: Temporarily closed
  • Thursday – Saturday: 8 a.m. – midnight
  • Sunday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit CoronetTucson.com.

The Delta

135 S. Sixth Ave.
(Photo courtesy of The Delta)

If you’re familiar with The Parish, you’ll be excited to know that The Delta is rockin’ out similar southern-style dishes inspired by Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana. It makes for one of the cool, casual evening places to go in Tucson for a date.

  • Energetic vibes and eccentric designs? Check.
  • Quality cocktails and barrels of beer? Sizeable servings of soul food with some flair? Check and check.
  • “Dating in Tucson best restaurants” Google Search worthy? Very much check.
Hours of operation:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

To find their menus and events, or to make an online order/reservation, head to TheDeltaTucson.com.

Dominick’s Real Italian

8330 N. Thornydale Rd.

Over the years, the team at Dominick’s has really stepped up their menu and restaurant. Plus, there’s plenty of patio seating to set the romantic mood.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit dominicksrealitalian.com.

El Mezquite Grill & Taqueria

280 S. Church Ave.
Photo courtesy of El Mezquite Grill & Taqueria

Resting within the DoubleTree Convention Center downtown, El Mezquite Grill & Taqueria offers traditional Mexican flavors, unique drinks, and a fine selection of wines and beers — a majority of which are made with local ingredients combined in fresh and creative ways.

It’s such a nice spot it even earned a place on our 2023 list of best restaurants to eat during the Tucson Gem show.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Sunday: 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For more information, visit ElMezquiteTucson.com.

Feast

3719 E. Speedway Blvd.
Seared Sea Scallops at Feast (Credit: Jackie Tran)

One of the most creative restaurants in Tucson, Feast changes its menu every single month. Jazzy tunes and a well-curated wine list round out the experience. Read our June 2019 article “Wine Enthusiast’s 100 best wine restaurants in America features Tucson’s Feast.”

Hours of operation:
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

For more information, visit EatatFeast.com.

Flying V Bar & Grill

7000 N. Resort Dr.
Credit: Jackie Tran

The fireplace and warm woods provide a cozy vibe that complements the comforting yet sophisticated dishes. Get a hold of the guacamoliere for some fresh guacamole prepared tableside.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

For more information, visit LoewsHotels.com.

Ginza Sushi & Izakaya

5425 N. Kolb Rd, #115

By and large, the Japanese take a great deal of pride in their work, no matter what it is. Ginza is no exception, with menus that include both sushi-centric and izakaya-style food. Fresh fish, noodle bowls, sashimi, and special rolls. The service is impeccable. These folks are professionals.

It’s good for one. It’s great for two. It’s perfect for a date, a business lunch, or a rendezvous. Hey, by the way, if y’all are going later today……can I come too?

Hours of operation:
  • MondayClosed
  • Tuesday – Sunday: 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit GinzaTucson.com.

The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol

5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Rd.
Grilled Octopus at The Grill at Hacienda del Sol (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

A long-time seeker of local purveyors for their top-notch kitchen, the Grill also features over 700 labels and 6000 bottles of wine, earning them “The Award of Ultimate Distinction” by Wine Enthusiasts Magazine and “Best Of Award of Excellence” designation from Wine Spectator for 19 consecutive years. The brunch is also easily one of the most extravagant in town.

Read our December 2019 article “Feasts, Views & Mimosas: 6 Fancy Sunday Brunch Buffets to Indulge in.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit HaciendaDelSol.com

Harvest Restaurant

10355 N. La Cañada Dr.
Braised Short Rib at Harvest Oro Valley (Credit: Jackie Tran)

This Oro Valley spot features lovely scenic mountain views. Don’t miss out on the housemade pasta or Braised Short Rib.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit HarvestOV.com.

The Cork (formerly Jonathan’s Cork)

6320 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Shrimp Scampi Pasta at Jonathan’s Cork

For more than 40 years, chef Jonathan Landeen has delighted Tucson palates with his signature brand of culinary genius.  After a long successful career, they recently announced that Jonathan’s Cork has been sold and he and his wife and partner Colette are retiring — passing the cleaver to new owners Glenn and Sally Murphy.

Over time, The Cork has maintained its signature style with classic offerings like escargot, prime beef dishes, game meats like Bison, venison, and ostrich, outstanding seafood entrees, and classic dishes.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Monday – Saturday: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. [Bar Only]

For more information, visit JonathansCork.com.

Kingfisher

2564 E. Grant Rd.
Oysters and a martini at Kingfisher (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The bar is great for first dates but sit in the jazzy main dining room for the signature Kingfisher experience. Straightforward, well-executed American regional cuisine and seafood have maintained a loyal following since the restaurant’s opening in 1993.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Thursday11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Saturday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

For more information, visit KingfisherTucson.com.

Le Rendez-vous

3844 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Boeuf Wellington (Credit: Le Rendez-Vous)

For a classically French experience, order the Chateau Briand Bérnaise Sauce For 2 featuring roasted beef tenderloin with herbs de provence and béarnaise sauce.

Other French delicacies such as Escargots au Chablis and Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinéeare also available as starters. You might want to peek at the menu ahead of time so you get a chance to practice the pronunciation of most of the items.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday – Sunday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit RendezvousTucson.com.

Maynards

400 N. Toole Ave.
Maynards (Credit: Jackie Tran)

To enjoy a more contemporary approach to Old World cuisine, head into the dining room at Maynards. The SD Halibut, Ribeye, and others all highlight top-notch ingredients.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday – Sunday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit hotelcongress.com.

Penca Restaurante

50 E. Broadway Blvd.
Credit: Anna Smirnova

The cuisine of Central Mexico is different from the Sonoran style Tucsonans are used to, making Penca a breath of fresh air on a night out. Though tacos are available, take advantage of the intimate bar and dining room with a flight of mezcals and orders of stunning Robalo and Coles con Mole Chilhuacle. 

Read our 2022 article “A fresh take for a hot summer.”

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – TuesdayClosed
  • Wednesday – Sunday: 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

For more information, visit PencaRestaurante.com.

Persian Room

9290 N. Thornydale Rd.
Credit: Jackie Tran

You can truly feast like royalty at Persian Room.

Persian Room Fine Dining has been successfully serving traditional Persian food in an upscale restaurant in Scottsdale for over 30 years. To the delight of those who made the drive from Tucson to feast at the original location, Nasser Nikkhahmanesh and his sister Farideh Nikkhahmanesh brought Persian Room to the Old Pueblo.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

For more information, visit persianroom.com.

PY Steakhouse

5655 W. Valencia Rd.
Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin at PY Steakhouse (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Casino Del Sol Resort is a drive southwest, but it’s worth it to enjoy the talent of executive chef Ryan Clark, chef de cuisine Roderick LeDesma, and sous chef Buddy Hopkins. The culinary team has the talent to cook unexpected items (such as a pig face) into something glamorous. The basted 12 oz. Top Sirloin with Jumbo Diver Scallops is a marvel.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – MondayClosed
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.

For more information, visit CasinoDelSol.com.

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

101 E. Pennington St.
Tagliatelle at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Simple, expertly prepared Italian cuisine is on the menu at Reilly. With cozy plates of Brussels Sprouts, wheat berry salad, Rigatoni pasta, and their Margherita pizza, it’s difficult to choose just one—you’ll have to order family style so you can try them all.

Hours of operation:
  • MondayClosed
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Learn more and make a reservation at ReillyPizza.com.

Saffron Indian Bistro

7607 N. Oracle Rd.
Photo courtesy of Saffron Indian Bistro

With nifty decor, elegant views, and high-end service, this Oro Valley restaurant is perfect for date night. It has quickly become a go-to place for Indian food in Tucson.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Monday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

For more information, visit saffronindianbistro.net.

Tanque Verde Ranch

14301 E. Speedway Blvd.

For one of the most stunning Tucson views, visit the Tanque Verde Ranch nestled in the Rincon Mountains adjacent to Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest. The candle-lit private Chef Dinners feature six courses with wine pairings and are available with a reservation. The chefs are happy to chat about every course served, making it an interactive experience.

For more information, visit TanqueVerdeRanch.com.

Tavolino Ristorante Italiano

2890 E. Skyline Dr.
Tavolino Ristorante Italiano (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cuisine a la northern Italian grandmas stars at Tavolino. The fresh pastas and wood-fired pizzas are the main draws, but the Tuscan-style rotisserie meats are to die for. Tavolino is also proud to feature wine produced by Chef Tenino’s brother Paolo Tenino.

Hours of operation:
  • Tuesday – Wednesday: 3 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Thursday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit TavolinoRistorante.com.

Tito & Pep

4122 E. Speedway Blvd.
Credit: Jackie Tran

From the mid-century aesthetic to the exceptional plates and flawless service, this is one restaurant that will impress. In the fall of 2022, Tito & Pep was added to a list by the New York Times entitled “50 [restaurants] in America we’re most excited about right now.”

Reservations recommended!

Hours of operation:
  • Monday  Sunday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit TitoandPep.com.

Trattoria Pina

5541 N. Swan Rd.
Photo courtesy of Trattoria Pina

Trattoria Pina prides itself on its homemade pasta, its wood-fired pizzas, and its breathtaking views of the Catalina mountains from its comfortable foothills patio. The dining room is spacious and warm, with spotless white linens, tall granite pillars, and an open kitchen. The seafood is fresh, the drinks are delicious, and the meatballs are “a-spicy.”

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit TrattoriaPina.com.

Vivace

6440 N. Campbell Ave.
Credit: Taylor Noel Photography

Daniel Scordato’s flagship restaurant Vivace earned a spot on OpenTable’s 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America list, so it’s in good company. The panoramic mountain view is best during daylight, while the Tucson city lights twinkle at night. Do yourself a favor and make an advance reservation to ensure you get your favorite seat.

Read our August 2022 article “Vivace’s long-game formula for success.”

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed

For more information, visit VivaceTucson.com.

Wildflower

7037 N. Oracle Rd.

Fox Concepts’ original restaurant opened over two decades ago and still impresses locals with simple plates and fresh ingredients.

Hours of operation:
  • Sunday – Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit FoxRC.com.

Wild Garlic Grill

2870 E. Skyline Dr. #120
Credit: Jackie Tran

Wild Garlic Grill is still one of the busiest restaurants in town — don’t forget to make a reservation. Their seafood, steaks, cocktails, Happy Hour, and outdoor seating are just a few of the reasons why.

Hours of operation:
  • Monday – Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information, visit WildGarlicGrill.com.

Upcoming Events

View all events
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
Double-click this headline to edit the text.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.

Article By

Born in Texas and raised in Tokyo, Max Wingert was an actor in New York City until somebody messed with the wrong bat. Since then, his life has been a tale of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes,...

Related Stories