21 Best Tucson Restaurants in 2024

Published on July 4, 2024 | 0 Comments
There are many excellent Tucson restaurants to dine at

The city of Tucson is vibrant and ever-changing and so is its food scene that’s filled with an array of must-try Tucson restaurants. From casual spots to intimate hidden gems and places with stunning views, there’s something for everyone.

Ready to discover everything that Tucson restaurants have to offer? Excited to see what this city’s food scene has in store? Then keep reading for our curated list of the best spots to grab a bite to eat, whether you’re after a quick lunch during the day or a longer meal at dinnertime.


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The 21 Best Restaurants in Tucson, AZ 

1. Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink 

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink is the Tucson restaurant to visit if you’re craving traditional pizza and pasta. Along with a modern menu of artisanal pizza and house-made pasta, there’s an extensive drink menu to explore, which includes craft beers and house cocktails. 

The Vibe

This spot is modern and industrial, with exposed brick and a central bar decorated with vintage posters, giving this Tucson restaurant an intriguing personality. It’s the perfect place for a fun date night or catching up with friends.

What to Order

Go for the roasted crimini mushroom pizza, complete with truffle cheese and mozzarella. The Yukon Gold potato and pecorino pizza is also popular at this Tucson restaurant.   

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink | 101 E. Pennington St., Tucson, AZ 85701 | $$

A pizza and other dishes on a table with cocktails
via Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

2. BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon

Tucson restaurants like BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon capture the best of what this city has to offer. Chef Mazon artfully combines the flavors of her birthplace in Tucson with the ones found where she was raised, in Sonora, Mexico. The result is a stunningly unique and creative menu. 

The Vibe

This Tucson restaurant achieves a relaxed air with its spacious sleek metal seating, fully-stocked bar and rustic wooden rafters. There’s also an outdoor patio, allowing you to enjoy great food and the Arizona sunshine. 

What to Order

Try the Macho Tacos, featuring chopped steak inside an Anaheim chile, all topped with melted cheese. For the adventurous, the pulpo asado, or octopus taco, is another great option. 

BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon | 533 N. Fourth Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705 | $$ 

3. The Parish 

If you’re looking for Tucson restaurants that will impress your guests at any meal, stroll into The Parish. With an atmosphere that offers a trademark Southern charm and a menu to match, one visit to this Southern fusion gastropub will have you ready to plan your next one. 

The Vibe

The Parish is lively, warm and slightly eccentric, with rustic wooden seating, pink striped walls and retro chandeliers. You and your loved ones will feel at home as you enjoy this delectable meal. 

What to Order

When it comes to unique Tucson cuisine, try the Hot Legs Le’ Jean, a signature dish of bacon-wrapped frog legs with Creole remoulade. The award-winning Parish Burger is a must-try for your main. 

The Parish | 6453 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704 | $$

The Parish is a laid-back Tucson restaurant
via The Parish

4. Alejandro “Serious Mexican, Mariscos, & Fusion Food” 

Alejandro “Serious Mexican, Mariscos, & Fusion Food” is one of the most popular Tucson restaurants to try. As the name suggests, this establishment is serious about serving the most delicious Mexican dishes out there, all heartwarmingly dedicated to the family and friends of the owner himself, Alejandro. 

The Vibe

This restaurant is both welcoming and laidback, with booth seats and warm string lights overhead. 

What to Order

Order the Primo Gabriel’s Shrimp Mojo de Ajo, a Mexican garlic butter shrimp scampi with sides of rice and corn or flour tortillas. The Hijo Robbie’s Carne Asada Street Tacos are also delicious and feature seasoned steak, cabbage and a creamy guacamole drizzle.  

Alejandro “Serious Mexican, Mariscos, & Fusion Food” | 7850 N. Silverbell Road, Ste. 156, Tucson, AZ 85743 | $$


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5. Le Rendez-vous 

For delicious French dishes after work, hit up Le Rendez-vous. This Tucson restaurant and bistro is the best of its kind in the city, with a history of awards and loyal customers to show for it.

The Vibe

Providing a French bistro vibe, this upscale restaurant is intimate and romantic, with a beautiful arched crimson ceiling and fully dressed tables complete with sophisticated white tablecloths. If you and your partner are looking for elegant date ideas in Tucson, planning a dinner at Le Rendez-vous is an excellent choice.

What to Order

The menu is seasonal and changes regularly but be sure to go for the French onion soup topped with cheese if it’s available. The sea bass and mussels with a white wine and cream broth are popular as well. 

Le Rendez-vous | 3844 E. Fort Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85716 | $$$ 

French onion soup next to bread on a table
via Le Rendez-vous

6. Zemam’s 

Searching for Ethiopian fare? Then this next Tucson restaurant is perfect for you. Since 1993, Zemam’s has been serving up traditional Ethiopian cuisine that’s loved by locals. The colorful family-style platters are meant to be shared together, inspiring a comforting sense of community. 

The Vibe

The warmth of this family-owned Tucson restaurant is captured in its bright yellow walls and swooping archways with Ethiopian décor found all around. 

What to Order

Ordering the shiro, a dish of puréed chickpeas that are blended with traditional spices is a must. The mincheta bish is also delicious; it’s a fragrant dish of finely chopped beef cooked in mild spices. 

 Zemam’s | 2731 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716 | $$ 

7. Penca 

Penca is up next on our list of the best Tucson restaurants around. Found in an antique Downtown building, owners Patricia and Ron Schwabe serve up a menu of classic cuisine inspired by Mexico City with international influences. For mezcal connoisseurs, make sure to check out the small-batch mezcal bar. 

The Vibe

Dig into the best of the Tucson food scene at this chic yet refined eatery, which features industrial accents, such as exposed brick walls and a concrete bar. The addition of greenery and a wall of mezcal and jars of ingredients adds a softness and warmth to the space.

What to Order

Start with the ceviche, then try the braised pork chile relleno or the carnitas tacos, which come with confit pork and salsa verde.  

Penca | 50 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85701 | $$ 

A selection of Mexican-style dishes and drinks on an outdoor table
via Penca

8. Maynards

Try Maynards in the Hotel Congress if you’re looking for one of the best Tucson restaurants when it comes to New American cuisine. Led by the combined expertise of a number of top chefs, Maynards is the place to be for a refreshing dining experience. 

The Vibe

Stepping into this Tucson restaurant is definitely a fun experience, especially with its retro mint-green walls, floor-to-ceiling wine racks and classy seating. The large windows let natural light spill through and there’s also a charming patio area for al fresco dining. 

What to Order

The seasonal menu rotates often, with dishes featuring an array of local ingredients. Try the butternut cream pasta, if available, or the hiyashi chūka steak with chilled ramen. 

Maynards | 400 N. Toole Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701 | $$ 

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9. Anello 

Sit back and relax with a slice of wood-fired sourdough pizza at Anello. This Tucson restaurant is one of the coziest pizza places in town, offering a menu of perfectly savory pizzas made with fresh ingredients.

The Vibe

Anello achieves a laid-back and minimalist atmosphere, with neutral white walls and rustic natural wooden seating. This casual place is perfect for grabbing a bite with a friend or unwinding with your partner after a long day. 

What to Order

Ordering the Verde Pizza, made with smoked mozzarella, parsley salsa verde and pistachios, won’t disappoint. The Bianca and Margarita, which you can get with pepperoni, are also delicious classic pizzas that won't disappoint. Try the blue corn lemon tart for dessert for a unique way to end your meal. 

Anello | 222 E. Sixth St., Tucson, AZ 85705 | $$ 

A pizza with mozzarella, basil and pepperoni
via Anello

10. The Jackrabbit Lounge 

Tucson restaurants like The Jackrabbit Lounge don’t play around when it comes to good food and good times. This 21+ establishment features a retro-style lounge and plenty of rotating live music entertainment for customers, ensuring a fantastic night out every time you visit. 

The Vibe

If you're searching for the best Tucson restaurants and nightlife, this lounge hits the nail on the head. Enjoy a fun experience with neon lighting, great music and a bustling energy to delight the senses. 

What to Order

Try the herbed goat cheese toast, rolled in sliced almonds and topped with red wine gastric and garlic confit. The Polynesian chicken skewers are also great for sharing.  

The Jackrabbit Lounge | 2000 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85705 | $$ 

11. Vivace 

Another high-end spot on this list of the best Tucson restaurants is none other than Vivace. The eatery specializes in Northern Italian cuisine and is led by restaurateur and Chef Daniel Scordato. 

The Vibe

This Tucson restaurant is upscale, gorgeously elegant and unmistakable Italian in style. With sweeping views from the indoor dining area and a spacious outdoor patio to enjoy the warm weather, this establishment is undoubtedly one of the most scenic in the city. 

What to Order

Order the seafood lasagnette for your main. This hand-made pasta dish with seafood and spinach filling sits atop a fresh tomato and basil broth. For dessert, go for a decadent bowl of gelato or the classic tiramisu.

Vivace | 6440 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85718 | $$$

A bowl of gelato with fruit next to a cup of coffee
via Vivace

12. Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge 

Ready for a Hawaiian experience without leaving the city? If so, a visit to Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge is sure to please. Founded in the 1960s, this Tucson restaurant has won many accolades, like being voted one of the 150 Best Bars in America by The Daily Meal. Dining here is sure to feel like a vacation! 

The Vibe

This Tucson restaurant is the place to be if you’re looking for a festive and fun energy. Reminiscent of luaus, the traditional Hawaiian décor and tiki hut-like ceiling creates an exciting space. 

What to Order

The seasonal menu changes regularly, but past highlights include the wiki wiki steak and the butterfly fried shrimp. Be sure to get a few tiki cocktails to complement your meal as well. 

Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge | 4625 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711 | $$ 

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13. 5 Points Market & Restaurant 

Up next on our list of the best Tucson restaurants is 5 Points Market & Restaurant. First opened in 2014, the inspiring mission of 5 Points is to prove that it’s possible to be profitable and serve great food without exploiting workers or resources.

The Vibe

As implied from the name, this Tucson restaurant and market offers the best of both worlds. As a restaurant, you can take a seat at a casual wooden table and admire the modern art hanging on exposed brick walls. Before you leave, stop by the farm shop-style market to pick up some local products. 

What to Order

While the menu rotates regularly, try the huevos rancheros if it’s available for a deliciously layered brunch option. The smoked salmon Benedict also popular. For dinner, the whole roasted cauliflower is the item to beat.  

5 Points Market & Restaurant | 756 S. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701 | $$

5 Points Market & Restaurant is one of the best Tucson restaurants for brunch
via 5 Points Market & Restaurant

14. Reforma Modern Mexican 

Found in St. Philips Plaza is Reforma Modern Mexican, a cantina that serves up mouthwatering Mexican fare and an extensive collection of tequila to pair with it. Make sure to build in some waiting time when you visit as this Tucson restaurant doesn’t take reservations.

The Vibe 

Featuring wooden seating, a focal point bar and a patterned floor, this Tucson restaurant is bright yet rustic and welcoming. Like any of the best Tucson restaurants, Reforma offers both spacious seating indoors and an outdoor patio.

What to Order

Order the sweet potato taquitos for the table, featuring sweet potato, plus lime crema, cotija and house salsa rolled in a corn tortilla. Any of the enchiladas or the calabaza rellena are excellent main dish choices. This Tucson restaurant also has vegan and gluten-free menus and a brunch menu, meaning there’s something for all dietary needs at any time of the day. 

Reforma Modern Mexican | 4340 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 101, Tucson, AZ 85718 | $$ 

15. Kukai 

When it comes to the best Tucson restaurants that offer Japanese fare, Kukai is the place to visit. This spot serves up a myriad of dishes, from curry bowls and ramen to onigiri and sushi rolls. 

The Vibe

As far as Tucson restaurants go, Kukai is definitely one of the coziest with its minimal wooden seating, intimate lighting and outdoor patio with charming picnic tables. 

What to Order

Start with the takoyaki or the chicken karaage to share. For mains, go for the kukai don with seaweed or the crispy katsu curry. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options are also available.  

Kukai | 267 S. Avenida Del Convento, Ste. 11, Tucson, AZ 85745 | $$ 

A bowl of ramen
via Kukai

16. Mi Nidito Restaurant 

Another of the best Tucson restaurants that’s a local favorite is Mi Nidito Restaurant. With a menu of fresh and authentic Mexican fare, it’s no wonder that Mi Nidito has been the restaurant of choice for famous guests like Bill Clinton, Enrique Iglesias and more. 

The Vibe

The cozy yet bustling atmosphere certainly captures the sentiment of the name, which means “my little nest.” With colorful wall art and booth seats to match, this is one of many warm and cozy restaurants in the city that’s ideal for all occasions, from a birthday dinner with family to a cute date night.  

What to Order

The President’s Plate is undoubtedly a must-try, featuring birria tacos, a bean toastada, chicken enchiladas, chile relleño and a beef tamale. The infamous margaritas are a must if looking for drink options. 

Mi Nidito Restaurant | 1813 S. Fourth Ave., Tucson, AZ 85713 | $$ 

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17. Dante’s Fire 

Up next on our list of the best Tucson restaurants to try is Dante’s Fire, an elevated gastropub, serving American cuisine with a global twist. 

The Vibe 

This Tucson restaurant has a casual, slightly industrial vibe to it, with comfy seating and TVs to catch the game while enjoying your meal. 

What to Order 

Try the chorizo sliders to start, which come with smoked Swiss cheese on a house-made Cajun butter roll. For your main, a popular option is the Pappardelle Diablo, featuring fresh pasta, chorizo, lump crab and roasted red peppers in a vodka Cajun cream sauce. Alternatively, the filling Stolen Burger is a must if you skip an appetizer. Don’t leave without trying the Adult S’more, which includes the classic ingredients, plus a hard caramel sauce, rum flambé and whipped vodka meringue. 

Dante’s Fire | 2526 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85716 | $$ 

Dante's Fire is a popular Tucson restaurant
via Dante's Fire

18. Falora 

Falora, a local pizza spot in Broadway Village, is the best restaurant in Tucson for a casual weeknight dinner. The menu features artisanal pizzas and delicious salads and house-made pasta, plus Italian wines to pair with your meal.

The Vibe

The best Tucson food pairs perfectly with an equally great atmosphere, and Falora achieves that with its comfortable seating, warm exposed brick walls and rustic wall of wooden logs. They even have an outdoor patio to enjoy when the weather is warm. 

What to Order

The Margarita pizza is a popular choice that features San Marzano tomatoes, plus creamy mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. The hazelnut gnocchi with shiitake mushrooms and ginger glaze is a must-try if you’re after a pasta dish. For dessert, go for the panna cotta. 

Falora | 3000 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85716 | $$

19. Tumerico

Step inside Tumerico for a Latin American dining experience you won’t soon forget. This infamous Tucson restaurant, led by award-winning Chef Wendy Garcia, offers delectable made-from-scratch Mexican fare with only the best local ingredients. Notably, all dishes are vegetarian or vegan. 

The Vibe

This Tucson restaurant is relaxed and cheery, with bright white walls and tile flooring along with an exposed brick archway that greets you when you enter. Modern art adorns the walls. 

What to Order

As a scratch kitchen, Tumerico’s menu changes daily. Past highlights include the savory Cuban tacos and the Al Pastor tacos, all made with plant-based ingredients. The vegan tamales are also highly coveted. 

Tumerico | 2526 E. Sixth St., Tucson, AZ 85716 | $$  

Tumerico is one of the plant-based Tucson restaurants
via Tumerico

20. Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen 

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall is Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen, a true gem when it comes to Tucson restaurants. Specializing in Chinese fare, this is a spot beloved by locals for its tasty menu and ambient atmosphere. 

The Vibe

Jewel’s is classically simple and modest, with tiled floors and wooden seating. Natural light filters through the curtains, creating a relaxing atmosphere for a scrumptious meal. If you’d prefer an evening at home, this is a great place to pick up take-out. 

What to Order

Try the classic beef noodle soup for a flavorful and warming meal. The dumplings are also delicious, especially with fillings like pork and leek or beef and scallion. 

Jewel's Noodle Kitchen | 5683 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85712 | $

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21. Wildflower 

Wildflower is one of the most stunning Tucson restaurants you can visit. With a seasonal menu that serves creative new American fare inspired by international flavors, there’s always something new and exciting to try at this fine dining restaurant. 

The Vibe

The inside of this Tucson restaurant is modern, sophisticated and full of greenery. The spacious seating extends out to an open-air patio lined with rustic columns and breathtaking mountain views. 

What to Order

As a restaurant with some of the best Tucson food around, no matter what you order, you’ll be impressed. If you can’t decide, start with a charcuterie board and then go for the short rib ravioli. It comes with truffle cream, Swiss chard and roasted mushrooms, sprinkled with red chile. The lobster and artichoke salad is also a favorite at this elegant Tucson restaurant. 

Wildflower | 7037 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704 | $$ 

Wildflower is one of the high-end Tucson restaurants
via Wildflower

Try Cooking Tucson Foods 

Exploring Tucson restaurants offers so much in the way of unforgettable dining experiences. While exploring the food scene in this city allows you to try an array of local and internationally-inspired dishes, learning how to cook some of these things at one of the many cooking classes in Tucson takes the experience to a new level. Each class offers expert tips and instruction that allows you to upgrade your cooking skills and impress your friends, family and loved ones at your next gathering. 

With so many great Tucson restaurants to choose from, finding a new and delicious meal to enjoy with your favorite people is easy. Whether you like laid-back places with no frills or more upscale, elevated options, this Arizona city has you covered. 

For even more ways to explore Tucson and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.