One of the most important factors behind metro Tucson’s thriving and distinctive culinary scene is that two-thirds of our more than 1,200 restaurants and bars are locally owned rather than national chains—a much higher portion than the national average of around 40 percent. We also have 12 times the number of locally owned food trucks and carts per capita than New York City. New craft breweries open every year, and tasting rooms for southern Arizona wines are starting to appear. These local, independent businesses serve up authentic tastes of Tucson.
The restaurant cuisine is diverse, reflecting the many food cultures in our community. You can find traditional and contemporary Arizona-Sonora Mexican, farm-to-table, fine dining, gastropub, diner, Native American and many other ethnic traditions, BBQ, and local fast food, among many other categories.
Our street food includes a wide variety of moveable feasts, serving traditional Mexican, gourmet Mexican, French crepes, mesquite-smoked barbecue, hand-made pizza, and many other foods. “Food truck roundups” gather in changing locations and at annual street fairs.
On popular national websites you can find the latest opinions of food writers and rankings by visitors. But to eat like a local, check out the options most highly recommended by Tucsonans here…