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10 Best Restaurants in Tucson's Midtown: Delicious Eats in Central Tucson



Tucson's sprawling midtown is home to several excellent eateries, including one of our favorites, Feast. This relaxed bistro is always full of surprises, with menus that change often to reflect what's fresh at the market. No matter what time of year you dine here, prepare to be surprised and enchanted with unexpected and tasty food pairings. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list. 

For a traditional fine dining experience, try Kingfisher, a seafood restaurant with a late-night menu of lighter fare. Come for the fresh Gulf of Mexico shrimp and oysters, stay for the lively atmosphere and impressive wine list. 

Speaking of fish, when you're craving great sushi in midtown Tucson, check out Kazoku. The restaurant delivers a sushi menu full of classic and unique rolls, all hand-rolled fresh. Kazoku also offers great lunch specials daily until 2:30 pm, including vegetarian bento boxes. 

For those days that you're craving made-from-scratch comfort food, try BoBo's, a long-time Tucson diner known for its greasy spoon grub. Don't miss the freshly-made buttermilk biscuits!

Another good option for breakfast or lunch is Frank's, a true Tucson original diner that is open early for breakfast and closes at 2 pm after the lunch rush. For breakfast, you'll find Mexican specialties like huevos rancheros, egg sandwiches and French toast topped with powdered sugar. You simply can't beat the combination of fast service, great value and savory flavors that you find here. 


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"Quirky" is the word that comes to mind when describing Pastiche Food/Drink. As its name implies, this midtown restaurant brings together an eclectic palette of flavors, textures and culinary traditions. You'll find a large selection of gourmet small plates, making this a good destination for foodies who want to sample different flavors and ingredients. Stand-outs include Cajun corn dogs, smoked heirloom tomato & golden beet caprese, and the popular fried avocado, which is panko-crusted and served with a chipotle aioli. For your main, choose from sandwiches, pastas, tacos, salads and the menu of Pastiche specialties. The common denominator is the kitchen's passion for artful, fresh fare that surprises and delights.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Eclectic flavors and casually upscale ambiance make Pastiche a solid option for midtown dining.

Patricia's expert tip: Soup lover? Try Father's Rick Mushroom Soup.

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"Outstanding vegetarian options" is not just a slogan here--Lovin' Spoonfuls offers an array of delicious, freshly-prepared vegetarian dishes that even die-hard meat-eaters can love. Whether you're an omnivore or vegan, almost everyone will find something to love on the eclectic, which features meatless takes on American comfort food classic, along with Southwestern, Asian, and Greek-inspired dishes. If you're idea of vegetarian cuisine consists of bland salads and rice dishes, it's time to pay a visit to Lovin' Spoonfuls. Don't leave without picking out a freshly baked treat from the dessert counter. For those with dietary restrictions, there are also gluten-free options.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Lovin' Spoonfuls is a good midtown dining option when you're looking for lighter or healthier fare that is still quite delicious.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the Route 66 BLT burger.

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Frank's & Francisco's


You won't find elegant dining rooms at Frank's, but that alone is part of this mid-century diner's charm. A long-time Tucson staple and one of the oldest diners in town, Frank's Restaurant is famous for its fast, friendly take on breakfast and lunch. The French toast, eggs, bacon and coffee are consistently good. Even better, Frank's is proof that the early bird really does get the worm: if you arrive before 9 am on a weekday morning, you can order The Early Bird Special, two eggs prepared in any style, served with home fries or hash browns and your choice of biscuit, toast or tortilla--all for less than two dollars. Not a bad way to get the day started.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Frank's, one of the oldest diners in Tucson, specializes in delicious diner grub served up fast and hot in midtown.

Patricia's expert tip: If you're an early riser, stop by for the Early Morning Special, two Eggs any style, home Fries or Hash Browns, and a biscuit, toast or a tortilla for less than two bucks. Served Monday through Friday before 9 am.

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Bobo's Restaurant in Tucson offers home style and country breakfasts in a friendly neighborhood dining environment. This local greasy spoon is a favorite with breakfast-lovers looking for hot, tasty breakfast platters. You'll find the usual suspects of pancakes, omelets and sides, as well as an assortment of house specialties. Sweet tooths will want to try the banana pancakes, french toast or chocolate chip pancakes, enormous, fluffy and sweet. For an out-of-this-world breakfast plate, try the Flying Saucer pancake. Of course, no matter what you order, you'll want to try Bobo's famous fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits. A great place to rub elbows with locals.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: BoBo's is a midtown diner gem dishing out great breakfast specials seven days a week.

Patricia's expert tip: Early bird special available Monday to Friday before 8 am.

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Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and Silver Dollar Saloon


The number one rule for dining at Pinnacle Peak is "No Ties Allowed." Should you arrive sporting one, it will be promptly chopped off and added to the ever-growing collection hanging from the ceiling. Folks love the fun Old West ambiance here, and they love the food just as much. Most order mesquite-grilled steaks (this is the home of the Cowboy Steak, after all), but seafood is well-prepared, too. Dinners come with salad, beans and bread, but you can also order sides of corn-on-the-cob and mashed potatoes. Polish off your meal with a bowl of warm apple or cherry cobbler dessert.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Looking for a great steak, with a side of Old West ambiance? Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse in midtown is sure to deliver.

Patricia's expert tip: Stop by the Silver Dollar Saloon for your favorite beer or cocktail.

Read more about Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and Silver Dollar Saloon →


5
North Tucson


Tucked away in an old house, Blue Willow is renowned for its comfortable, home-style cooking and its charming patio. Shaded in the summer and heated in the winter, it's the perfect spot for a fun weekday lunch with friends or a relaxing weekend breakfast. The menu is chock full of omelettes and other filling morning meal favorites, all accompanied by fresh fruit and potatoes or rice. Lunch and dinner options range from soups and salads to delicate crepes and vegetarian dishes. The place is equally famous for its desserts, particularly the chocolate confection of the day, which never fails to impress and satisfy.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: A pleasant dining room and plates that don't shy away from fresh, regional flavors make Blue Willow a midtown must.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the pancakes or French toast with a side of fresh fruit.

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"Kazoku" means family in Japanese, so it's no wonder that this midtown Tucson gem is a family-run enterprise. Co-owners Chef Youn and Uni Vawser, nephew and aunt respectively, are the talent behind this popular midtown sushi restaurant, which also features some Korean dishes. The atmosphere is friendly, service is attentive, and the expansive menu has something for everyone. Whether you're a sushi novice or expert, the sushi list includes classic rolls, as well as a smattering of more inventive treats (try the Maui and Passion rolls). The appetizer menu is worth exploring here, including grilled squid, salmon skin salad and a tasty shrimp tempura.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Kazoku brings fresh and flavorful sushi, and great lunch specials, to midtown Tucson.

Patricia's expert tip: The lunch specials are a great deal here, with several bento box specials available daily until 2:30 pm.

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This quirky seafood favorite serves up a great menu of fresh fish in a stylishly eccentric environment. The food says upscale but the vibe is fun and upbeat. Excellent wines, juicy rotisserie meats, hip martinis, hand-bottled bourbons and live jazz make this a great choice for a lingering evening. Oysters and chilled Gulf shrimp by the dozen, cornmeal-crusted pan-fried catfish are a few seafaring options. After 10 pm, a light menu is served until midnight. Reservations recommended. Wine aficionados gather here regularly, too. The restaurant has one of the most comprehensive menus of fine wines in Tucson, making this prime territory for oenophiles.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Kingfisher is a lively seafood restaurant known for its fresh clams and shrimp, as well as an excellent wine list.

Patricia's expert tip: Wine lover's rejoice: Kingfisher has one of the most extensive wine lists in town.

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Chef Steven Schultz and Maudi Gourdin share their passion for organic, high quality food with the Wild Garlic Grill. Chef Schultz, a former chef at Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort, has created a restaurant that specializes in "California French" cuisine inspired by the flavor and freshness of Gilroy garlic. Guests can watch their meals being prepared from the granite-topped bar. The menu features steaks, hamburgers, seafood and specialty salads, made with quality ingredients and served with characteristic flair. The gorgeous dining room features ocotillo ribbed ceilings, and there is also a spacious outdoor patio. Thirsty? The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of hand-crafted cocktails.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: An ambitious menu of California-French cuisine make for inspiring dishes at the Wild Garlic Grill in Tucson.

Patricia's expert tip: Start with the luscious Gilroy garlic Swiss fondue, served with fresh sourdough bread.

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1
Northeast


People don't simply talk about Feast, they enthuse. The concept seems simple enough: excellent gourmet food (but nothing too experimental), reasonable prices, and the option to dine in or take out. The menu changes every month – call ahead or check their website to see what's available – but virtually every dish is a knockout. You might encounter a savory cheesecake with artichoke hearts, zesty sweet potato chilaquiles, perfect parmesan risotto, a fennel and garlic-rubbed pork chop, or chicken masala over basmati rice and fresh sauteed spinach. Desserts are all exceptional and prepared in-house, including the ice cream, but the chocolate truffle cookies are sublime. If you're going for take out, you can also select a bottle of wine to go.

Recommended for Best of Tucson's Midtown Restaurants because: Feast is a perennial favorite in midtown Tucson for good reason: the seasonal fare is inspired, seasonally fresh and always compelling.

Patricia's expert tip: Feast offers vegetarian dishes and a number of gluten-free options as well as diabetic-friendly choices.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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