The majority of the restaurants are casual local restaurants, but you can find one or two high-end places. Ethnic places seem to dominate with a full assortment of Mexican, Italian and Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai) offerings. Throw in Greek, Indian, Jamaican and several New American and you’ve got a world of eats. Pizzas choices include a couple of bland chain pies to “gourmet” style pizzas with not-so-traditional toppings.
Some of the city’s best and favorite breakfast places are located within blocks of one another. Local sandwich places are busy all day long. And if diners want a cocktail or a glass of wine with your meal, no problem. Not surprisingly, many national chains also line the street.
I live just off of Campbell Avenue so I’ve eaten at most of these places; some we do on a regular basis.
When I crave pub fare, we go to Union Public House.
And when the sandwich craving hits the choices are so many to choose from (Frankie’s Philly Cheesesteak, Baggin’s, and Beyond Bread to name a few). The photo is Frankie’s roast pork sandwich also very good.
Asian options are heavy on the Japanese with long time fave, Yoshimatsu in its new digs and K Sushi that offers not just great sushi but some nice ramen choices. I can honestly say I’ve never been to the very popular Miss Saigon nor the new Chinese place called Sky Dragon (it’s on my future list.) There’s a new ‘island’ restaurant too, that I’d like to try. The name changes often; at the moment I think it is called Vapor Kitchen.
We seldom eat steak anymore and to be honest the two steakhouses – Fleming’s and Sullivan’s – are both chains and quite pricey. On the other end of the spectrum is Lovin’Spoonfuls, Tucson’s go-to for great vegetarian fare.
For Mexican the choices range from high-end Reforma Cocina & Cantina to drive-thru Nico’s. Weirdly, Mexican isn’t my first or second or third choice these days.
Recently, Baja Café moved into a spot that has been a dozen different restaurants over the years. This popular diner has a loyal following, but I prefer Prep & Pastry, mainly because their menu is more eclectic and I like the vibe there. Plenty of people like The Blue Willow and Ghini’s Caffe. Both these places have been around – and on Campbell Avenue – for ages. But as I’ve said in the past, I’m not much of a breakfast eater, even though I’ve enjoyed eating at both.
Brushfire BBQ is fab, especially because they deliver. I ate at India Oven for the first time recently. I had the lunch buffet (not a real test of how good a restaurant is) and want to go back for dinner.
Another place I should frequent more often is long-timer, Pastiche. Again, here’s a great wine program.
And the list goes on….who knows? Maybe I’ll do a Part 2.
One final place must be noted although some will scoff – Lucky Wishbone. The Bone has been in Tucson since the ‘50’s and although their food won’t win any prizes for gourmet flavors or healthfulness, when the craving for fried shrimp or fried chicken calls, there’s nothing like it.