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Tucson - Flagstaff - Las Vegas Road Trip

Hello! I will be in town next month for a wedding. After spending a couple of days in Tucson, we will be driving up to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, spending a couple of nights in Flagstaff, and then heading over to Las Vegas. One member of the group is on a serious budget and is a vegetarian so I would like to find some places to stop along the road or in any of these cities that fits these requirements. My boyfriend and I can probably sneak out for a more expensive and meat based meals if there are any really great places you all recommend. I REALLY don't know the area and feel a little overwhelmed so any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

I definately would like to focus on South West specialities - I can get all types of cuisines where I live but we have trouble finding great Mexican here. Great gourmet shops where we can pick up food for the cooler would also be appreciated.

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  1. A good place to pick up in Tucson for the road is Feast, on Speedway; really excellent selection of salads, sandwiches, etc., and very nice folks work there. There are many recs for LV on the Board, so it would help to know what generally you like; if your vegetarian friend is up for a slight splurge, you might think about Origin India in LV,.
    For Mexican food, Tucson has an embarrasment of riches, and enjoy it there, b/c the pickings are much slimmer in Vegas for that although Vegas is generally a much more diverse food city than Tucson. But for high quality Mexican food, Tucson is the best....a few places we liked were Cafe Poca Cosa, Teresa's Mosaic (especially for b/f), Guerro Canalo, El Charro....and there are many more.

    6 Replies
    1. re: lvnvflyer

      What is b/f? I am drawing a blank!

      1. re: Keramel

        b/f = breakfast. BTW: the beef sampler at El Charro is terrific, as is their dessert sampler.

        1. re: Claudette

          OMG how embarrassing... I should have known that! Thanks for clarifying.

          1. re: Keramel

            I assumed it was 'boyfriend,' don't feel bad.

      2. re: lvnvflyer

        I second Feast. Wonderful restaurant, reasonably priced and Doug the owner is terrific too. He answers the restaurant email himself! This is a must stop for anyone visiting Tucson...nothing fancy, just good food at a good value. The only down side is they can't accommodate special events because we tried to reserve for a group event and they couldn't do it unfortunately.

        I really haven't been that impressed with Tucson's Mexican food. For being so close to the border and having such a high Mexican American population, I would think we had better choices. El Charro I don't like at all and while most people love Cafe Poca Cosa, I would rate it only as average. Most restaurants that claim to be "authentic" are greasy, tasteless, border type selections and the restaurants tend to be dirty and show up and the health inspector lists more often than other types of restaurants. I love Mexican food so maybe I am pickier than most, but I still find I have to make my own rather than go out or have dinner at one of my friends' homes to get really good Mexican food. I am still looking for a restaurant that makes a really good mole.

        The same goes for good Greek or Lebanese food. Most places do not know how to make hummus to save their lives! It is either too thin and runny, or too much tahini, garlic or olive oil. Rarely do they get the right consistency and balance of flavors. There used to be a small cafe that did it right but then they got new owners and haven't been able to make the hummus right since.

        1. re: cherylaz

          Easy to negate others' suggestion. How about adding some of your own?

      3. OK. I said this on another thread, and I'll say it again. If you are going through Flagstaff, you cannot miss the Canyon de Chelly. It is a remarkably beautiful place about 1.5 hours away from the Grand Canyon. Each canyon has a very different feel. You can hit both in the same day, and then drive to Flagstaff and stay the night. Or spend the night and hit the canyons the next day. It is worth the trip and will be the most interesting thing you see along the way. http://www.nps.gov/cach/

        In Flagstaff, there's a local brewery called Beaver Street Brewery that has good pizzas and sandwiches (and beer fondue) and good to great beers. Not pricey at all. http://www.beaverstreetbrewery.com/me...

        2 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater

          I second the rec for Beaver Street, and I will add that Macy's European Coffee House across the street is a wonderful place for vegetarians/vegans.

          1. re: dustchick

            Thanks all for the recommendations! I will definitely try to check them out!

        2. Pardon the interruption, folks, but we want to ask that you keep your responses to Keramel focused on the food and where to find it in all its deliciousness.

          While we understand there are many beautiful things to see on the trip, posting tips on them is not what Chowhound.com is about and such responses are considered off-topic.

          Thanks for your assistance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            The extra recommendations were very appreciated actually. I hope that this tread can get a few more hits with food-related info despite the interruption!

          2. In Las Vegas, try Viva Mercados for Mexican. In addition, they have a vegitarian section on the menu.
            http://www.usmenuguide.com/vivamercad...

            1. Inexpensive, vegetarian food in Tucson... Hmmm. Let me lead with a warning:

              There is a great deal of apparently vegeterian, inexpensive Mexican food in town. Be sure to ask if they use lard in the tortillas and / or beans. If they don't, some great meals can be had for a very few dollars at any of the dozens of little Mexican places, taco-trucks, and taqueirias in town. If you know which part of town you'll be in, I'd be glad to try make a few calls and see if there's a good local place with vegetarian tortillas and beans nearby.

              Other good reccy's to meet those requirements:

              Laverna's: A breakfast and lunch place in the south-central part of town. Delicious, big breakfasts including knock-your-socks-off pancakes. 220 S Plumer Ave 85719 (520) 623-1389

              Govindas ( http://www.govindasoftucson.com/ ) may be THE vegetarian restaurant in Tucson.

              Shish Kebab House offers traditional middle eastern and Lebanese food, quite good. 5855 E. Broadway Blvd., No. 118. (520) 745-5308

              Garland Bistro offers an eclectic combination of foods, including a number of tasty vegetarian options. 119 E Speedway Blvd 85705 (520) 882-3999