Group-Friendly Restaurants in Tucson: Best Places to Share a Meal with Friends

One of the best places to indulge in Tucson's legendary Mexican food scene with a group is El Charro Cafe. The local restaurant has several satellite eateries, but the original cafe is located in downtown Tucson. The spacious, family-friendly dining room can accommodate large groups. You can even take home the house salsa, which is sold next door at La Tiendita, the restaurant's gift shop.

In downtown, there's the hip Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails, which is ideal for dinner with a large group of friends.The eclectic menu features unique offerings that marry traditional Continental classics with Southwestern ingredients.

For a charming group lunch or dinner in downtown Tucson, stop by the Cafe a la C'Art, situated next to the Tucson Art Museum. The sprawling cafe features lots of indoor dining rooms, as well as a lovely outdoor patio. Even picky diners will enjoy perusing the pastry counter at this perennial downtown favorite. 

For a truly communal dining experience, check out Cafe Desta, a charming Ethiopian restaurant situated just south of downtown Tucson. If your group is new to Ethiopian cuisne, gather around a platter of spongey injera bread covered with heaps of savory, delicious veggies and meats, and prepare for a fun, delicious group-friendly dinner. 

Maynards Kitchen, a sophisticated French-inspired bistro in downtown Tucson, is Tucson's latest critical darling. Chef Addam Buzzalini and his kitchen team make almost everything on the menu from scratch. From house-cured meats to freshly baked...  Read More


This stylish cafe, full of sleek furnishings and modern art, has a reputation for understated elegance and great food. Take in breathtaking mountain scenery from the attractive patio while enjoying dishes that range from trendy to traditional....  Read More

Prep and Pastry opened in 2013, announcing itself as a "craft" breakfast, lunch and brunch destination in central Tucson. Essentially, this means dishes are made from scratch and crafted from locally sourced ingredients. The breakfast menu is...  Read More

HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery has quickly become a popular downtown Tucson dining destination. The menu is eclectic, fun and always fresh. Starters include a fresh calamari, jumbo lump crab cakes, and pei mussels. The Mac & Cheese is a...  Read More

Chef/owner Susana Davila creates her own unique spin on Mexican cuisine, featuring techniques and ingredients borrowed from several regions. Poca Cosa began a few blocks away from this location, and the tiny original is still open for breakfast...  Read More

Salsas made fresh at your table, live mariachis seven nights a week, and some of the best margaritas in town make Guadalajara Grill one of the liveliest Mexican food spots in town. The Guadalajara Grill makes their tortillas fresh daily, as well...  Read More

The original El Charro, founded in 1922, is the oldest Mexican restaurant in Tucson; the original owner, Monica Flin, is said to have invented the chimichanga. The restaurant also claims the impressive title of oldest Mexican food restaurant in...  Read More

This charming downtown cafe, located at the historic Stevens House at the Museum of Art, offers an assortment of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Fine art hangs on the walls, providing the perfect ambiance for enjoying the down-home...  Read More

Is there any more better way to spend a night with friends than gathered around a platter of injera bread covered with colorful heaps of stewed veggies and fiery wot? You'll find that and more at Cafe Desta, a charming Ethiopian restaurant...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia