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May 20, 2008 09:17 PM

tucson resto recs?

DW and I will be in Tucson for a week in July (Hell was too cold this time of year) and I'm looking for suggestions. anything from lunchwagons to high end, so long as it's real good. thanks in advance for your help

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  1. Absolutely head over to Cafe Poca Cosa. Delicious, high-end Mexican. Menu changes twice daily, nice atmosphere. I recommend the plato, which is three items off the menu ("chef's choice"), and all will likely be fantastic. Definitely some of the best food I've had in Tucson. She has a cheaper/more casual breakfast/lunch only location (Little Poca Cosa) down the street, but I've never been (although it seems to be the consensus that it's equally great). Do a search on this board (or on google), and you'll see this is an overwhelming favorite in the area.

    Maya Quetzal on 4th ave. features Guatemalan food, and is very good (from what I've tasted), and fairly cheap.

    The dining room at Arziona Inn is also great. Much more upscale than any of the options listed above, and the meal I've had there was great (their seabass, in particular, is really nice). Beautiful dining room, and the AZ Inn itself is equally beautiful and fun to spend some time at.

    There's a few recs, anyway. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to experience much of what Tucson has to offer, but a search on here will definitely give you an idea of a few of the favorites. You're likely to hear a lot about Feast, Janos, J Bar, Ventana Room, etc.

    1. Some of my favorites are Vivace (fine Italian, always very busy, so reservations are a must); North (very good Italian, reservations a good idea, but if you're 2 you can almost always get a table); The Grill at Hacienda del Sol (expensive, serious wine choices and great food in a beautiful setting); and Janos (also expensive, ditto everything else from The Grill, and the best special occasion place in town). I also like Poca Cosa and Little Poca Cosa very much.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Pastiche always closes for a week in July, and this year it's after July 4th, not before.

          My short list: Poca Cosa, Feast, Cup Cafe, Primo, Fleming's.

          Check the earlier threads - lots of good recs in them.

          1. Favorites:
            Cafe Poca Cosa (best of Tucson period)
            El Sur (best cheap Mexican)
            Vila Thai (University main gate Thai, wonderful!)
            El Guero Canelo (lunchwagon burros, yum! But if you see the white La Parilla Mexicana truck, be sure to flag them down.)
            Beyond Bread (breakfast sandwiches, baguette, egg, ham, etc. Really good)
            Sakura (fresh sushi)
            Gandhi (best Indian)
            Best steak and margaritas are at my house, but you can get a decent steak at Chad's. Don't go to Pinnacle Peak. DOGFOOD.
            Carls Jr. or In and Out have best burgers

            Drinks at Arizona Inn are a must;
            North at La Encantada Mall is supposed to offer wonderful Italian.
            Hear Ventana Room is off its game.
            Ate at Gold Room/Westward Look, with incomparable views and okay pricey food. Their room rates are really good in summer, but the food is nothing to write home about. But then you are perched over the city lights on the terrace and it's real nice.
            Ate Janos Wilder's food up in Phoenix -- yum! Haven't tried his Janos or J-Bar restos in Tucson yet, but will.
            The Sonoran hotdog stand at the Food City (22nd and Country Club) offers the best in that class.
            Poco and Mom is supposed to offer wonderful New Mexican style cuisine. Having tasted my way around NM, I can say the green chile enchiladas at El Sur come very close. The price is also right, and for the whole experience (casual, cheap prices, great food, cold drinks, friendly and attentive service), El Sur is hands down my favorite for cheap Tucson Mex (around $30 for 4). If you want to double the bill, Cafe Poca Cosa is your best bet for pricey Mex (around $60 for 2).

            Hope this helps,

            2 Replies
            1. re: jillita

              Second the rec on Vila Thai. You will need to make a reservation as they can be busy or closed for private parties.

              I'd skip El Charro. Overrated.

              1. re: jillita

                Hear Ventana Room is off its game

                What a shock, at those prices! Can anyone fill in some details? TIA.