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Feb 8, 2001 12:36 PM

Visiting Tucson - please help!

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I grew up in Tucson, but have not been back in several years and am out of touch with the current restaurant scene. I was hoping to get some recommendations from knowledgeable locals. I'm living in New England now, so Mexican/Southwestern recommendations would be particularly appreciated, as I have yet to meet a respectable tortilla up north. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Welcome back. I'm not one to recommend Mexican food here,but I will tell you this: we have some really wonderful new restaurants here, probably the only real benefit of an expanding population. Cafe Terra Cotta has new digs (has been around a while), Vivace moved into the old Terra Cotta location at St. Phillip's Plaza. Wildflower is a wonderful bistro. Linen just opened anad got rave reviews. (both restaurants located at the Casas Adobes Shopping Center at Ina and Oracle. There are more than these even. You will find that eating out has really improved a lot even in the few years you've been gone. Enjoy!

    3 Replies
    1. re: roberta

      I am a native Tucsonan, I am also Mexican American. I will recommend places that seem to serve the more authentic food. I recommend Mi Nidito on South Fourth Avenue. It is a family owned restaurant that has been around for many years. President Clinton, Madeline Albright, Linda Ronstadt, etc. have visited this colorful, yet modest looking restaurant. The food is delicious and fresh. It is authentic Sonoran Mexican Cuisine. They have a presidential plate for about $12 which has everything President Clinton ate and it is a good combination of everything that is good about Mexican Cooking. There is usually a 30-60 minute wait any day of the week to get seated, even longer on the weekends, but as other repeat customers will tell you, it is well worth the wait. Micha's restaurant on 4th avenue also, features delicious Mexican breakfasts and is a favorite on Sundays. El Mariachi on Drachman features live Mariachi music every weekend. The food is pretty good. I hope this helps. Welcome to Tucson.

      1. re: Lina

        With all due respect (and a big admission that one single meal isn't enough experience on which to base a full assessment), chowhound co-founder Bob(TM) and I had very bad luck with Mi Nidito. See link below for the report.


        1. re: Jim Leff

          Think about what you said: "TEX-MEX". Well, "TEX-MEX" is not "AZ-MEX". Give me the former anytime. I have nothing much good to say about Mexican food in Tucson. I've said it before and I'll say it again: What good can one say about a tortilla of any shape smothered by shredded lettuce, some chopped tomato and some shredded cheese-oh, yeah, maybe a little ground beef? or chopped chicken? FEH! says I. Give me TEX-MEX anytime.