Southern Arizona Restaurants

In southern Arizona, cowboy fare is more common than haute cuisine. There are exceptions, though, especially in the wine region of Sonoita and in the trendy town of Bisbee, both popular for weekend outings from Tucson. And, as one would expect, Mexican food dominates menus.

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  • 1. Café Roka

    $$$

    This is the deserved darling of both the hip Bisbee crowd and foodies from all over. The constantly changing, locally sourced evening menu is not...

    This is the deserved darling of both the hip Bisbee crowd and foodies from all over. The constantly changing, locally sourced evening menu is not extensive, but whatever you order—wild yellow fin tuna, roasted duck, rack of lamb—will be wonderful. Portions are generous, and all entrées come with salad and sorbet. Exposed-brick walls and soft lighting form the backdrop for original artwork, and the 1875 bar harks back to Bisbee's glory days. Reservations are strongly advised.

    35 Main St., Bisbee, Arizona, 85603, USA
    520-432–5153

    Known For

    • Best dining in the region
    • Excellent wine list
    • Sophisticated yet relaxed vibe

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed. No lunch, Credit cards accepted
  • 2. Lutes Casino

    $

    Packed with locals at lunchtime, this large, funky restaurant and bar claims to be the oldest pool hall and domino parlor in Arizona. It's a...

    Packed with locals at lunchtime, this large, funky restaurant and bar claims to be the oldest pool hall and domino parlor in Arizona. It's a great place for a burger or tacos and a brew. The "Especial" combines a cheeseburger and a hot dog and adds a generous dollop of Lutes's "special sauce." For dinner, dine early on weeknights: Monday through Thursday it shutters at 8; Sunday, at 6.

    221 S. Main St., Yuma, Arizona, 85365, USA
    928-782–2192

    Known For

    • The "Especial" cheeseburger--hot dog combo
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Great bar

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 3. Patisserie Jacqui

    $

    What's a nice little Parisian bakery doing in southeastern Arizona? Churning out perfect sweet and savory croissants, eclairs, tarts, and cookies every Friday and Saturday...

    What's a nice little Parisian bakery doing in southeastern Arizona? Churning out perfect sweet and savory croissants, eclairs, tarts, and cookies every Friday and Saturday for the lucky folks who know about the petite pink shop at the upper end of Main Street. With so many choices, like Death by Nutella cookies, broccoli-cheddar hand pies, and salted caramel eclairs, it can be hard to decide. Order online if you like, so they'll be sure to make enough of your favorites.

    91 Main St., Bisbee, Arizona, 85603, USA
    612-770-4247

    Known For

    • Fancy French pastries
    • Flaky croissants
    • Quick stop for breakfast, picnics, and dessert

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.--Thurs.
  • 4. Bashas' Deli & Bakery

    $

    At the Sells Shopping Center, this good-size chain market with a deli section can supply all the makings for a picnic....

    At the Sells Shopping Center, this good-size chain market with a deli section can supply all the makings for a picnic.

    AZ 86, Sells, Arizona, 85634, USA
    520-383–2546
  • 5. Bisbee's Table

    $$

    You might not expect diversity at a place with a reputation for having the best burger in town, but this restaurant delivers with salads, sandwiches,...

    You might not expect diversity at a place with a reputation for having the best burger in town, but this restaurant delivers with salads, sandwiches, pasta, salmon, steaks, and ribs. The dining room, built to resemble an old train depot, fills up fast on weekends. Its location directly across the street from the Mining Museum makes for a convenient meal.

    2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee, Arizona, 85603, USA
    520-432–6788

    Known For

    • Healthy comfort food
    • Gluten-free options
    • Vibrant atmosphere

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Copper Brothel Brewery

    $$

    If you're looking for a lively place to grab a bite when touring the wineries---or if you prefer sampling craft beers to wines---you can find...

    If you're looking for a lively place to grab a bite when touring the wineries---or if you prefer sampling craft beers to wines---you can find it at the Copper Brothel. The bar fare, such as fish-and-chips, tacos, and pulled pork sandwiches (smoked on-site), is way above average; enjoy it as you watch sports on TV or sit on the patio and drink in the scenery.

    3112 AZ 83, Sonoita, Arizona, 85637, USA
    520-405-6721

    Known For

    • Craft beers
    • Excellent barbecue
    • Friendly pub atmosphere
  • 7. Crystal Palace Saloon

    $$

    If you're looking to wet your whistle or fill up on satisfying portions of steak, salmon, or pizza, stop by the Crystal Palace, where a...

    If you're looking to wet your whistle or fill up on satisfying portions of steak, salmon, or pizza, stop by the Crystal Palace, where a beautiful mirrored mahogany bar, wrought-iron chandeliers, and tinwork ceilings date back to Tombstone's heyday. Locals come here on weekends to dance to live country-and-western music.

    436 E. Allen St., Tombstone, Arizona, 85638, USA
    520-457–3611

    Known For

    • Historic building
    • Somewhat bawdy saloon atmosphere
    • Burgers and milkshakes
  • 8. Gathering Grounds

    $ | Coffee

    This colorful café and espresso bar, which also doubles as an art gallery featuring local artists, serves healthful breakfasts and soups, salads, and sandwiches through...

    This colorful café and espresso bar, which also doubles as an art gallery featuring local artists, serves healthful breakfasts and soups, salads, and sandwiches through the late afternoon. Vegetarian options, like vegan burritos and spinach pesto wraps, are plentiful. Beverages include organic fair-trade coffees; ice cream, cakes, and cookies draw the local younger set.

    319 McKeown Ave., Patagonia, Arizona, 85624, USA
    520-394–2009

    Known For

    • Good coffee
    • Veggie and gluten-free items
    • Ice cream

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner, Credit cards accepted
  • 9. La Fonda

    $

    A Yuma institution, La Fonda opened as a tortilla factory in 1940, then added a colorful restaurant onto the original building in 1982; locals have...

    A Yuma institution, La Fonda opened as a tortilla factory in 1940, then added a colorful restaurant onto the original building in 1982; locals have been enjoying the carne asada, pollo asado, and chiles rellenos here ever since. Only canola oil is used (not lard), and all the sauces and marinades are made fresh, as are the corn tortillas, which many say are the best in town. Save room for the homemade desserts—the flan and fried ice cream are fabulous. Open for breakfast (served all day), lunch, and early dinner, La Fonda closes at 8 (7:30 on weekdays) so the employees can go home to their families.

    1095 S. 3rd Ave., Yuma, Arizona, 85364, USA
    928-783–6902

    Known For

    • Classic Mexican
    • Chipotle corn tortillas
    • Best place to buy fresh tortillas

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 10. La Unica

    $

    With reasonably priced Mexican favorites from morning 'til night, this humble eatery is a welcome surprise for anyone passing through. Don't let the weather-beaten exterior...

    With reasonably priced Mexican favorites from morning 'til night, this humble eatery is a welcome surprise for anyone passing through. Don't let the weather-beaten exterior keep you from sampling tacos, burritos, tamales, and "shrimp cocktail" (served in a gazpacho-like soup)—they are all winners.

    142 N. Haskell Ave., Willcox, Arizona, 85643, USA
    520-384–0010

    Known For

    • Inexpensive Mexican classics
    • Generous portions
    • House-made tortillas
  • 11. Longhorn Restaurant

    $$

    You won't find anything fancy at this friendly eatery just down the street from Big Nose Kate's Saloon, but you will find generous helpings of...

    You won't find anything fancy at this friendly eatery just down the street from Big Nose Kate's Saloon, but you will find generous helpings of basic American and Mexican food at decent prices. The menu covers everything from breakfast to dinner with such entrées as omelets, burgers, steaks, tacos, and enchiladas. The food is a little bland, but the rustic environment and easy accessibility keep this longtime establishment in the running.

    501 E. Allen St., Tombstone, Arizona, 85638, USA
    520-457–3405

    Known For

    • American and Mexican favorites
    • Kid-friendly menu
    • Hearty breakfasts

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 12. Papago Café

    $

    For traditional Indian food like fry bread, tacos, and chili, or a hearty traditional breakfast, try the Papago Café, the only restaurant on a long...

    For traditional Indian food like fry bread, tacos, and chili, or a hearty traditional breakfast, try the Papago Café, the only restaurant on a long stretch of highway. Bring cash—they don't take anything else.

    AZ 86, Sells, Arizona, 85634, USA
    520-383–3510

    Known For

    • Good fry bread and tacos
    • Fresh tortillas
    • Burgers and fries

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No dinner Sat
  • 13. River City Grill

    $$$

    This hip downtown restaurant is a favorite dining spot for locals and visitors, and though it gets a bit loud on weekend nights, the camaraderie...

    This hip downtown restaurant is a favorite dining spot for locals and visitors, and though it gets a bit loud on weekend nights, the camaraderie of diners is well worth it. Owners Nan and Tony Bain dish out a medley of flavors drawing on Mediterranean, Pacific Rim, Indian, and Caribbean influences. For starters you can sample everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to curried mussels. Entrées include pistachio-crusted salmon, rack of lamb, and a sizeable selection of vegetarian dishes like ricotta-and-spinach ravioli and coconut curry veggies.

    600 W. 3rd St., Yuma, Arizona, 85364, USA
    928-782–7988

    Known For

    • Best upscale dining in Yuma
    • Large, eclectic menu
    • Vegan and gluten-free selections

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch Sun., Credit cards accepted
  • 14. Steak Out Restaurant & Saloon

    $$

    A frontier-style design and a weathered-wood exterior help to create the mood at this Western restaurant and bar known for its tasty margaritas and live...

    A frontier-style design and a weathered-wood exterior help to create the mood at this Western restaurant and bar known for its tasty margaritas and live country music played on weekend evenings. Built and owned by the family that operates the Sonoita Inn next door, the restaurant serves mesquite-grilled steaks, ribs, chicken, and fish.

    3235 AZ 82, Sonoita, Arizona, 85637, USA
    520-455–5205

    Known For

    • Good-quality cowboy fare
    • The only nightlife in town (pool tables and live music some nights)

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays, Credit cards accepted
  • 15. Tandem

    $$$

    Locals and visitors head to this unpretentious yet sophisticated bistro, where Chef Patrick serves French-inspired comfort food for the American palette at lunch, dinner, and...

    Locals and visitors head to this unpretentious yet sophisticated bistro, where Chef Patrick serves French-inspired comfort food for the American palette at lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The lunch menu, featuring lower-priced soups, salads, burgers, and fried chicken with waffles, and the dinner menu, featuring steak and seafood, are both served all day. Whatever your selection, it's a welcome alternative to the many chain restaurants in the area.

    2047 S. AZ 92, Sierra Vista, Arizona, 85635, USA
    520-685–9061

    Known For

    • Upscale but casual dining
    • Best restaurant in these parts
    • Sunday brunch

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.; No dinner Sun.
  • 16. The Garden Café

    $

    Before or after a visit to the Sanguinetti House Museum, this adjoining café is a good place to stop for breakfast or lunch. The charming...

    Before or after a visit to the Sanguinetti House Museum, this adjoining café is a good place to stop for breakfast or lunch. The charming dining spot features lush gardens and aviaries on the outdoor patio, historical photos on the walls, and a menu of homemade salads, soups, and sandwiches. Favorites include the quiche, served with homemade fruit bread, and the tortilla soup. Breakfasts are top-notch, too. One of the best times to visit is Sunday brunch—complete with carne asada, tortillas, potatoes, scrambled eggs, a layered ham-and-egg strata, breakfast meats, fruit, and dessert.

    250 S. Madison Ave., Yuma, Arizona, 85364, USA
    928-783–1491

    Known For

    • Tortilla soup
    • Fresh-baked bread and pastries
    • Brunch spot

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. Closed June–Sept. No dinner, Reservations not accepted, Credit cards accepted
  • 17. Velvet Elvis Pizza Company

    $$

    There aren't too many places where you can enjoy a pizza heaped with organic veggies; a crisp salad of organic greens tossed with homemade dressing;...

    There aren't too many places where you can enjoy a pizza heaped with organic veggies; a crisp salad of organic greens tossed with homemade dressing; freshly pressed juice (try the beet-, apple-, and lime-juice concoction); and creative cocktails while surrounded by images of Elvis and the Virgin Mary. The owner uses a 1930s dough recipe for the pizza's delightful whole wheat crust; a gluten-free, almond-based pizza crust and bountiful salads entice those who may seek a low-carb alternative.

    292 Naugle Ave., Patagonia, Arizona, 85624, USA
    520-394–0069

    Known For

    • Excellent pizzas
    • Lively atmosphere
    • Best dinner in town

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed., Credit cards accepted
  • 18. 100 Estrella

    $
    Closed Permanently

    It can be hard to decide which burger to order from the dozen or so on the menu here, including the popular bacon and avocado,...

    It can be hard to decide which burger to order from the dozen or so on the menu here, including the popular bacon and avocado, the "bleu cheese," and the free-range bison. If you're brave enough for something spicier, try "Summer in Ajo"—a beef patty with jalapeños, green chiles, onions, and pepperjack cheese. Herbivores can find veggie burgers, organic veggie pizzas, and salads with tepary beans, a Native American legume loaded with protein, fiber, and flavor. The bar at this colorful eatery offers 10 beers on draft and a good selection of bottled brews.

    100 Estrella Ave., Ajo, Arizona, 85321, USA
    520-387–3110

    Known For

    • Good burgers and fries
    • Great beer selection

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed June–Sept. Closed weekends Oct.–Dec
  • 19. Canela Bistro

    $$
    Closed Permanently

    A cozy brick house in the center of Sonoita's tiny business district is the setting for this deceptively sophisticated restaurant with small-town charm. The dinner...

    A cozy brick house in the center of Sonoita's tiny business district is the setting for this deceptively sophisticated restaurant with small-town charm. The dinner menu, which changes with the seasons, creatively incorporates locally grown produce and—of course—showcases local wines. Sunday brunch tends towards Southwestern and Mexican egg dishes, such as chilequiles (a tortilla-cheese casserole), huevos rancheros, and roasted-red-pepper–and-leek quiche. Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday only and reservations are suggested.

    3252 AZ 82, Sonoita, Arizona, 85637, USA
    520-455–5873

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Closed Mon.–Wed. No dinner Sun
  • 20. Nellie Cashman's

    $
    Closed Permanently

    In 1882 a generous Tombstone pioneer opened a boardinghouse and restaurant catering to hard-rock miners. Named the "Angel of the Mining Camp," this kind-hearted entrepreneur...

    In 1882 a generous Tombstone pioneer opened a boardinghouse and restaurant catering to hard-rock miners. Named the "Angel of the Mining Camp," this kind-hearted entrepreneur was as well known for her hearty meals as for her good deeds. Today her spirit lives on at Nellie Cashman's—an 1880s-style restaurant decked out in cheery mismatched tablecloths and historical photographs. This homey favorite serves basic American food, including biscuits and gravy, chicken-fried steak, and hefty hamburgers. The strawberry-rhubarb pie alone is worth the trip.

    131 S. 5th St., Tombstone, Arizona, 85638, USA
    520-457–2212

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

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