10 Great Restaurants for Group-Friendly Dining in Tucson

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.

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 cuisine, 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. 

Family-style dining doesn't disappoint at Jun Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, a midtown Tucson favorite that specializes in vibrant Sichuan-style dishes. 



Reilly Pizza and Craft serves modern Italian food in a stylish downtown Tucson setting. The menu features artisan-style pizza made from scratch in the kitchen using Italian import meats and cheeses. There are also fresh baked sandwiches and...  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



Casa Molina has been family owned and operated since 1947, and it's a special place. The furniture was made by Gilberto Molina Sr. from mesquite and pine, and the backlit glass plates ringing the room are direct from Mexico. Albondigas soup and...  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



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



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



Sichuan-style Chinese cooking is the focus at Jun Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, a midtown Tucson restaurant that brings the vibrant hallmark flavors of Sichuan to the city. Come for specialties like water-boiled beef, chicken or fish; fragrant hot...  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 works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.