Tucson Restaurants

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Tucson Restaurant Reviews

Tucson boldly proclaims itself to be the "Mexican Food Capital of the United States" and most of the Mexican food in town is Sonoran style. It's the birthplace of the chimichanga (Spanish for "whatchamacallit"), a flour tortilla filled with meat or cheese, rolled, and deep-fried.

This means prolific use of cheese, mild peppers, corn tortillas, pinto beans, and beef or chicken. The best Mexican restaurants are concentrated in South Tucson and Downtown, although some favorites have additional locations around town. If Mexican's not your thing, there are plenty of other options: you won't have any trouble finding excellent sushi, Thai, Italian, and Ethiopian food at reasonable prices.

For sampling local flavors, there are several Southwestern restaurants in town. Up in the Foothills, upscale Southwestern cuisine flourishes at such restaurants as the Grill at Hacienda del Sol Resort. A recent trend in Tucson dining is combining hip restaurants with chic shopping locations. Choose from sushi, steak, Italian, or Mexican at La Encantada in the Foothills. Casas Adobes Plaza, in the Northwest, is home to upscale shops alongside Wildflower Grill, Bluefin Seafood, and trendy, thin-crust pizza at Sauce—and the gelato shop here is handy for dessert. At St. Philip's Plaza, in the lower Foothills, art galleries and boutiques surround Vivace, which has lovely patio dining.

Cheaper but no less tasty fare as varied as Indian, Guatemalan, and Middle Eastern can be enjoyed on the west side of U of A's campus, along University Boulevard and 4th Avenue, a great area for people-watching and barhopping as well as quelling hunger pangs.

On Friday and Saturday nights and during the Gem Show (first two weeks of February), reservations are usually a good idea at upscale and popular restaurants. Dress ranges from casual to casual dressy here—jackets for men aren't required at any restaurant, even at resorts. Although the city's selection of restaurants is impressive, Tucson doesn't have much in the way of late-night dining; many restaurants in town are shuttered by 9 pm.

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