Ultimately, you’ll be the judge, but several dynamics warrant a closer look at this historic, Old Pueblo-turned-culinary destination, including Tucson’s recent award by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as a City of Gastronomy, the first US city to attain the designation.
Tucson lies 107 miles, as the crow flies, southeast of Phoenix. The population of the Tucson area is about a quarter of the size of the Phoenix area. Some say Tucson has always lived in the shadow of the more modern metropolis.
But a funny thing happened while Phoenix was busy sprawling from one parched square mile to the next: It began attracting mega-chains in droves, like Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden, and, most recently, Shake Shack. Meanwhile, Tucson was busy rediscovering its historical roots in farming and ranching -- and a dining and cocktail renaissance wasn’t far behind.