Food & Drink

The Most Essential Restaurants in Tucson

Published On 09/18/2015 Published On 09/18/2015
El Charro Cafe
Dirtbag's Bar
Agustin Kitchen
Guero Canelo Restaurante Mexicano
Courtesy of Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse & Saloon
Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails
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1. Monkey Burger 5350 E Broadway Blvd Ste 128, Tucson, AZ 85711

Burgers at this casual joint are piled high, just the way God intended.

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2. El Charro Cafe 311 N Court Ave, Tuscon, AZ 85701

No other Mexican restaurant can boast as much historical excellence as El Charro Cafe, which was opened back in 1922. They're known for their carne seca (dried beef),but you can’t go wrong with any of their enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas.

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3. Eegee's 2510 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

Frozen fruit drinks are this well-known fast-food chain's claim to fame. With flavors of the month—think red licorice, peaches 'n' berry, jungle juice, and cherry cider—Eegee's slushie craze has been going strong since 1971.

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4. Dirtbag's 1800 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85719

College students far and wide have their go-to, slightly sleazy—but nonetheless enjoyable—bar. For UA Wildcats, Dirtbag's has been the watering hole of choice since the '80s. If a night on the town isn't your style, this hotspot also serves typical bar fare and weekly specials.

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5. Magpies Gourmet Pizza 605 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

Although this Tuscon-based chain is known for their speciality pies (like the Juan Carlos Pesto, which is made with spicy tomato pesto sauce and topped with piñon nuts), Magpie's also supplies wings, toasted subs, calzones, and gluten-free options.

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6. Agustin Kitchen 100 S Avenida del Convento Ste 150, Tucson, AZ 85745

This elegant, farm-to-table restaurant serves French cuisine and artisanal cocktails under the leadership of former Lodge on the Desert Executive Chef Ryan Clark. Menu items include braised Colorado lamb curry, summer Berkshire pork and beans, and poached chicken breasted with housemade butter.

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7. Tucson Tamale Company 2545 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

Despite the fact that the tamale is native to Mexico/South America, this place has a globally-inspired menu that includes tamale options like the New Delhi (veggie medley with curry) and St. Valentine (chocolate chips and cherries in cocoa masa).

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8. Beyond Bread 3026 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719

This bakery and cafe offers delicious servings of warm, buttery bread, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Just a whiff will make you forget about your carb diet.

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9. El Guero Canelo 5131 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85035

This Mexican restaurant has locations all throughout the city, serving Tusconites their world-famous Sonora (bacon-wrapped) hot dogs.

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10. The B Line 621 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

The B Line is a casual restaurant known for their hearty breakfast entrees, stuffed burritos, and decent vegetarian options. With nothing on the menu exceeding $15 (except a bottle of wine), it's no wonder that this eatery is a favorite among college students.

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11. Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse 6541 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, AZ 85715

Since 1962, this Old West-themed restaurant has been serving hearty steaks and other beef variations (pit beef, baby-back ribs) along with Grand Canyon State favorites: loaded baked potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, and, naturally, Sarsaparilla.

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12. Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails 135 S 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

"DTK+C" has a menu that covers all the bases: The States, Europe, The Middle East, Indo-China, and Latin America. This restaurant also has a separate, ever-changing menu that highlights the cuisine of cities across the globe. In the past, Moscow, Kington, Istanbul, and Chengdu have been featured.

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