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Tucson in June

Hello Fellow Foodies! We're headed down to Tucson in June and would love to hear about non-chain places to check out. We will be staying near the Swan/Broadway area. Mexican/Italian/Southwest/Greek/American fare are favorites. We love to find bargains (great happy hours are always top on our list), but price is not the main concern...Looking for dinner recs primarily, but a good taco truck is always a possiblity for lunch - any locations of regular ones would be appreciated! Thanks in advance for your recs!

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  1. Maynards seems popular on this board.

    1. El Molonito, 22nd & craycroft, open around 10am, combo platter #8, best refried beans & salsa in Tucson.
      Lucky Wishbone, Swan & Broadway, all good, Steak finger dinner the best, Gotta take it to go.
      Mamma Louisa's, Italian, Just south of 29th & craycroft, Get Joe's special.
      Chacos Cafe, next to Mamma L's. Great mexican & american breakfast & lunch. open real early.
      Taco trucks, 4 or 5 on north side of 22nd between Craycroft & alvernon, all good but man it's gonna be hot to sit outside and eat in June!

      These are all very casual and inexpensive.

      1. An expensive option is Anthony's (3-course meal, $79 for 2). Other inexpensive good meals: Zinburger, Cup Cafe, Blue Willow, Feast. Sign up with Fox Restaurants for email specials. Also check previous Tucson threads. Have fun!

        4122 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712

        Blue Willow Restaurant
        2616 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719

        Cup Cafe
        311 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ

        Zin Burger
        1865 E River Rd # 101, Tucson, AZ

        Maynard's Market
        400 N Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ

        Anthony's In the Catalinas
        6440 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85718

        1. I lived in Tucson for 2 years, and whenever I go back, I have to go to El Charro. There's an El Charro Cafe location at Broadway and Wilmot, which is two major streets east of Swan. They have a pretty decent bar/cantina attached as well. I love carne seca and you can't get it outside of Tucson - not even in Phoenix. As far as I'm concerned, El Charro's is the best. Eat up and enjoy!

          El Charro Cafe - East
          6310 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710

          1 Reply
          1. re: Inertia

            I would only add that the El Charro downtown in the Praesidio neighborhood is the best of their bunch. Much nicer ambiance than the outlying versions.

          2. Gavi's is a good Italian place. Most entre's run about $20. They are a hidden gem in Tucson because most people are looking for the classic southwestern meal. The location I normally go to is at Pantano and Broadway.

            In terms of the Taco truck options, get a Sonoran Hotdog or two at BK's or Guero Canello on 12th street (I think Irvington is the cross street).



            1. You might want to check the Tucson Originals website for their $20.09 summer deals. They are independent, non-chain restaurants in town. http://tucsonoriginals.com/pages/home...

              2 Replies
              1. re: DriverPhil

                I was just looking at those (linked from Feasts weekly e-mail). Some of the Originals restaurants are offering some pretty fun deals!

              2. We stuck to the "Originals" list and had wonderful meals! First night was at Cafe Rio. Yummy appetizers (my favorite was their steak skewers with homemade chips and blue cheese). My husband had steak and bacon-wrapped shrimp for the main course. I had the seared scallops with pineapple-jalapeno chutney. Light and flavorful - a little more of a kick would have been to my liking, but nonetheless, very good. All the deserts sounded fantastic (including a chocolate one with ancho chili), but we were too full to try any :(! The next night was Zivaz. It was a little jarring when first walking in. Menus on the wall and you order in a line before getting a seat. Then they bring the food out to you. Fantastic food though! Light and really fresh. The salsa verde was fantastic as were the hot tortilla chips. I had salmon seared with Ancho and it was done just pefectly. The accompanying rice had peas and carrots and was the spot on with the texture. My husband had a spicy beef entree of some sort and it was really spicy and flavorful. The fresh tortillas alone were worth the cost of the meal. Margaritas were good. This is not a place for a quiet or romantic evening at ALL, but certainly a great place for light and flavorful food. We would certainly go again! Our last night was at Gavi. WOW. We were with a larger group - so I didn't see what everyone got, but every plate was cleared! I had the cheese manicotti and it was one of the best I've ever had. That marinara sauce - OH MY! My husband had chicken formaggio stuffed with cheese, spinach and artichokes and served with a delightfully spicy tomato cream sauce with peppers. Leccabafi!! Most of the diners with us actually split their meals (they weren't first timers like us) and we should have too as there was simply more than we could eat. Looking forward to our next trip to town to try others on the rec list and come back to some of these new favorites! Thanks again!

                2 Replies
                1. re: ButterflyWest


                  "Steak and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp"... Was that shrimp wrapped in steak and bacon (tiny surf & turf!!!) or steak, next to bacon wrapped shrimp? I'm just curious. Wrapping shrimp in steak sounds like a pretty clever idea.

                  1. re: Booklegger451

                    Hey Booklegger451. Sorry for the late reply! Steak....along with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. I sure do like how you think though - I might just have to try and whip something up like that at home! I'll let you know if it's successful! (I'm guessing it would pair well with a creamy horseradish with bits of tomato dipping sauce!) :) :) :)

                2. If you like New Mexico style food, there is a mom and pop type place called Poco and Mom's that serves very good New Mexico style food. I believe it on the west side of Wilmot just north of either Broadway or Speedway.