Sir Veza’s Taco Garage (Photo courtesy of TIA)

Where to Eat & Drink at the Tucson International Airport

July 27, 2023
By Matt Sterner

“Why you goin’ to the airport? Flyin’ somewhere?”

– Lloyd Christmas
Tucson International Airport (Photo by Chris Mooney)

Tucson International Airport (TIA) isn’t the largest or busiest airport in the land, but you might as well eat something tasty if you’re going to spend a good amount of time there.

Therefore, drinking a beer at Thunder Canyon Brewery often leads to conversations with out-of-towners, and snacking on one of Beyond Bread’s sandwiches can be an easy way to avoid high-altitude stomach grumbles.

Here’s a list of what the airport has to offer (in alphabetical order) before you hit the skies. Some of these spots are before you hit TSA — perfect for those picking up travelers.

Arbuckle’s Coffee

Near Baggage Claim
Arbuckle’s Coffee (Photo courtesy of TIA)

You’ll find Arbuckle’s near the “A Concourse Welcome Lounge” serving coffee, other beverages, sandwiches, and snacks. It’s a great destination for those waiting for picking up friends and family (or any travelers in general) being that it’s before TSA.

Learn more.

Barrio Brewing Company

Ticketing Area
Barrio Brewing Company (Photo courtesy of TIA)

Barrio Brewing at the airport is found before the security check-in area, offering a local take on ice-cold beer and bites. Barrio is Arizona’s oldest brewery and is now the state’s very first 100% employee-owned brewing company. The beer menu often rotates and for food, they offer a handful of appetizers, salads, and handhelds like a Southwest Chicken Panini and the Reuben’s High on Rye.

Learn more.

Beyond Bread

A Gates • B Gates
a sandwich cut in half on a plate
Beyond Bread (Photo courtesy of TIA)

Beyond Bread, a local bakery and restaurant, takes pride in creating everything from scratch. Enjoy the flavors of their hand-crafted breads, sandwiches, warming soups, refreshing salads, and pastries.

Learn more: A Gate Location or B Gate Location

Bruegger’s Bagels

B Gates
a plate of food and a cup of coffee
Bruegger’s Bagels (Photo courtesy of TIA)

This national chain serves up New York-style bagels and sandwiches along with a selection of hot and cold coffee. It may be the perfect little pick-me-up if you’ve got an early flight.

Learn more.

BUILT Custom Burgers

B Gates
a close up of a sandwich and fries on a plate
(Photo courtesy of BUILT Custom Burgers)

Indulge in burger bliss with two options: build your own burger, or eat a chef-designed burger from the “Built for Me” selection. They also offer a burger bowl, chicken sandwiches, and some vegan options. Don’t forget the fries!

Learn more.

El Charro Café

B Gates
a dining room table in front of a store
El Charro Café (Photo courtesy of TIA)

El Charro Café has been delighting Tucsonans with Mexican cuisine for more than 100 years now. Whether you prefer to unwind in their cozy sit-down restaurant before your flight or opt for a scrumptious meal to go, they’ve got you covered. Plus, they’re open super early at 4 a.m. — the perfect time for a margarita if you’re pulling an all-nighter.

Learn more.

Empire Pizza

A Gates
Elote Pizza at Empire Pizza (Photo by Jackie Tran)

If you’re flying in from New York, you’ll feel right at home with Empire Pizza’s menu. Pizzas are prepared from scratch and hand tossed from dough that is prepared fresh daily. Try the Elote Pizza — a rich and tangy combination of roasted corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, and chipotle mayo on pizza with mozzarella.

Learn more.

The Maverick

A Gates
a group of people in a room
The Maverick (Photo courtesy of TIA)

If you’ve ever gotten your boot-scootin’ boogie on at the Tanque Verde Road location then you’re familiar with this spot. The Maverick at the airport is a scaled-down version of the country club and they’re serving nifty bar food, draft beer, and music to get your toes tapping.

Learn more.

Sir Veza’s Taco Garage

A Gates
Sir Veza’s Taco Garage (Photo courtesy of TIA)

Now the sole location in Tucson, Sir Veza’s is another tacos-and-beer combo at the Tucson International Airport. They’re also serving up hamburgers and fries — there are plenty of dishes to hopefully satisfy the entire family.

Learn more.

Thunder Canyon Brewery

B Gates
Thunder Canyon Brewery (Photo courtesy of TIA)

As mentioned earlier, sometimes the best conversations happen at an airport, on an airplane, or just while traveling. Thunder Canyon is a great spot to sip on a beer and meet someone new — likely someone you’ll never see again. Cherish the moments and enjoy your flight.

Here’s a map of the airport if you need extra guidance while walking around. Tucson International Airport also provides online ordering at select restaurants.

Where to Eat While Visiting

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