While undoubtedly the hub of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine in Arizona, Tucson offers delectable dining options that don’t end at local specialties. Whether your preferred fare is of the Mexican, Italian, Indian, Asian, Mediterranean, French, American or Steakhouse variety, this UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy has you covered.
This Mediterranean street food spot serves up some appetizing options such as spinach and meat pockets, cheese and veggie puffs to pair with gyro, falafel and chicken Shawarma sandwiches, plates, combos and salads. Try the baklava with layered filo dough and rose water filled with walnuts or custard. Open until midnight M-W and Su, until 3 am on Th-Sa. 345 E. Congress St., 520.332.2294
As an upscale, award-winning French restaurant that presents exquisite dishes paired with an extensive wine list, Le Rendez-vous is the perfect place for a romantic evening or for anyone craving a fine-dining experience. Menu items range from house specialties such as crab and vegetable stuffed shrimp with beurre blanc, fish of the day, beef Wellington as well as small plates and salads to go along with appetizers and soups on the side. 3844 E. Fort Lowell Road, 520.323.7373
El Güero Canelo
El Güero Canelo is a recipient of the James Beard Award and featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food,” and has some of the best Sonoran hot dogs in the city, including a bacon-wrapped frank topped with beans, grilled onion, tomato, mayo, mustard and jalapeño sauce. The Mexican eatery also serves burritos, tacos, quesadillas and tortas. 2480 N. Oracle Road, 520.882.8977; check the website for additional locations.
Maynard’s Market & Kitchen
Half wine shop, half restaurant, Maynard’s Market & Kitchen in downtown Tucson provides first-class American dining with indoor and outdoor seating, a bar, gourmet shop and a takeaway counter. Try the Sunday brunch from 9 am-2 pm, or stop by for happy hour Monday through Saturday from 4-6 pm. 400 N. Toole Ave., 520.545.0577
Travel back in time to the Old West and grab an authentic grilled steak in a real cowboy setting at this steakhouse, located inside Trail Dust Town. It even has a section on the menu labeled “Cowboy Steaks” with options ranging from The Cowboy, The Cowgirl and The Big Cowboy. Find barbecue baby back ribs, chicken and different kinds of beef and non-beef items on the menu as well. 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, 520.296.0911
Govinda’s Natural Foods Buffet
The Old Pueblo has plenty of options for those who would rather keep their meal meat-free, and one of the best in the city is Govinda’s Natural Foods Buffet. The authentic restaurant provides an Indian-centric vegetarian buffet, including a 19-item salad bar. Enjoy pasta dishes, lentil soup, curried vegetables, homemade bread and desserts out by the fountain in Govinda’s grand courtyard. 711 E. Blacklidge Drive, 520.792.0630
If Italian cuisine is what you crave along with an elegant setting for your meal, then Vivace is where you want to end up. Pair any of the pastas, main plates or salads with seasonal wine and a chocolate-layered dessert. Try the Seafood Lasagnette, with handmade pasta filled with both seafood and spinach, covered in a fresh tomato-basil broth. 440 N. Campbell Ave., 520.795.7221
Feel free to eat off of your friend’s plate at Ginza as the menu gravitates toward shareable plates rather than individual ones. With an extensive sushi list including maki rolls, shooters, sushi boats and sashimi, just to name a few—along with tempura and a variety of meats that are begging to be paired with a tasty beer or sake—you’ll leave Ginza feeling full and fulfilled. 5425 N. Kolb Road, Suite 115, 520.529.8877