Tucson Foodie's Best of 2023

Tucson Foodie’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2023

January 4, 2024
By Tucson Foodie

From in-depth explorations of local restaurants, food trucks, and markets to immersive profiles of local chefs pushing the boundaries of gastronomy, our features can be considered written journeys through Tucson’s ever-evolving food scene.

Keep scrolling to revisit the most-read stories of 2023.

45 Years Later, Sausage Deli is Still Serving Some of the Best Sandwiches in Town 

Published April 6, 2023
Sausage Deli (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Opening in 1957, on the corner of First Avenue and Grant Road, stood a small stand owned and operated by a German couple who sold sausages and other delights from their European home turf. It was in 1978 that a young enterprising man by the name of Steven Kleinsmith bought the business, but instead of selling whole sausages he chopped them up and put them between slices of bread.  Read more…

Beer & Coffee: Screwbean Brewing Opens on Park Avenue

Published May 8, 2023
Matthew Taylor of Screwbean Brewing Company (Photos by Taylor Noel Photography)

The home of Screwbean Brewing Company is a nearly 100-year-old building situated a few blocks south of the University of Arizona campus on Park Avenue. The space was originally a Chinese market in the 1930s, then housed an electrical supply wholesaler, then became the original offices of Tucson Foodie, and most recently was the storefront for Good Eye Living home decor. Read more…

Blue Willow: 45 Years of Deliciousness With a Fresh Twist

Published on June 7, 2023
a bowl of food on a plate
Blackened Shrimp and Grits at Blue Willow (Photo courtesy of Blue Willow)

The food has always been one aspect of Blue Willow, with a big draw being the gift shop. As you step through the front door you are met with a beautiful, if not sometimes bawdy, bundle of games, cards, and books. Back in the ‘80s, the shop was almost exclusively stocked with ceramic art and swirly posters featuring odes to earthy cultures from the Age of Aquarius. Read more…

Cafe Francais: Local French Bakery on Tucson’s East Side

Published August 30, 2023
Kouign-amann at Cafe Francais (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

When one door closes, another door eventually opens. Now, whether it be something you push or pull, that door may very well be something that you’ve somewhat kneaded in life. That’s exactly how the scenario unfolded for husband-and-wife duo Noelle and Daniel Martinez of the locally-owned, from-scratch French bakery Cafe Francais. Read more…

Chef Carlos Anthony: A Tucson Native Making it Big in the Culinary World

Published April 18, 2023
(Photo courtesy of Chef Carlos Anthony on Instagram)

If you tuned into “Cutthroat Kitchen” in February 2015, you would have seen Anthony competing on the show hosted by Alton Brown. He and three other chefs had to endure pretty challenging challenges, such as making gnocchi while wearing a potato masher on their hands. Anthony came out on top, barely in his 20s, and was invited to return for a subsequent episode. Read more…

Desert Pearl Mushrooms: Local Fungi in Tucson’s Urban Farm Scene

Published June 14, 2023
Desert Pearl Mushrooms (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

When Kris Savage and John De Lorenzo, along with a couple of other college friends, first began their agroponics business in their backyard, growing mushrooms wasn’t part of the plan. “We were trying to find a better way to get CO2 into the greenhouse,” said De Lorenzo. “So, we built a mushroom chamber off to the side to see if we could do it naturally,” Savage added. Read more…

Nine on the Line: Patrick McColley of Squared Up Pizza

Published March 15, 2023
Patrick McColley of Squared Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Patrick McColley is the man behind the amazing logo of a square piece of pizza with his dukes up seen in the Park Place Mall food court. Squared Up Pizza is more than a cool logo, though. McColley’s vision of bringing delicious Sicilian/New York pizza to Tucson coincided with Park Place’s vision of bringing local flare to their dining options. Read more…

Take Time to Sip & Dine at Yellow Brick Coffee’s New Cafe

Published March 20, 2023
Yellow Brick Coffee (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

“The Modbar is essentially an under-counter espresso machine that creates a very limited obstruction. There’s basically no obstruction between you and the barista, and therefore, you’re involved and immersed in the experience if you want to be,” said David Perreira. “You can watch them pull the shot. You can watch them create their latte art. There’s nothing between you and them.” Read more…

What’s Old Is New at The Cork Tucson

Published July 13, 2023
a plate of food on a table
The Cork (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

It was a match made in culinary heaven. Sally Shamrell-Murphy and Glenn Murphy, the new owners of The Cork Tucson, first met at Backstage, a bar and live music venue next door to what was then Jonathan’s Cork. Glenn, a native of Perth, Australia, owned Backstage. Sally, a University of Arizona alum, was covering live music outlets as a reporter for KVOA TV. Read more…

Omni Tucson National Resort Unveils New Dining Concepts & Renovations

Published April 26, 2023
Bob’s Steak & Chop House (Photo credit: Natalie Moe)

Nestled away in the rolling foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains is the newly-refreshed Omni Tucson National Resort. At the completion of the multi-million dollar renovation, the interior, full-service spa, guest rooms, suites, and most importantly, the onsite culinary options on the property were updated. Read more…

More “Best of 2023” Roundups:

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