10 Best Places to Enjoy Southwestern Food in Tucson

Tucson is no doubt one of the best places in the country to enjoy traditional Southwestern food. 

La Cocina, tucked away in downtown Tucson's historic Old Town Artisan's center, represents some of the best flavors in the rich and eclectic Southwestern culinary tradition. The cafe blends American and Mexican flavors to create a fun, fresh and hearty menu of tacos, burritos, sandwiches and salads. The historic downtown ambiance is great too.

Cafe Poca Cosa, another downtown foodie institution, is an award-winning cafe that blends the best in Mexican and Southwestern flavors. The menu, which changes daily, is consistently delicious.

Lovers of Southwestern food will also want to make a pit-stop at Fire + Spice: An Arizona Kitchen. The restaurant, located at the Sheraton hotel in midtown Tucson, uses traditional Native American, Mexican and American ingredients and flavors and transforms them into contemporary Southwestern fare.

Feast, a local favorite, brings together Southwestern and global flavors with true foodie flair. On Tucson's eastside, the Eclectic Cafe dishes out fun, Southwestern-infused dishes filled featuring lots of fresh veggies.

Finally, the Baja Cafe in east Tucson is a can't miss foodie destination. This mom and pop restaurant blends American comfort food with Latin American and Southwestern flavors, with very tasty results. Swing by for breakfast or lunch and try the made-from-scratch pancakes, or the mouth-watering Wildcat Benedict. 




Tucson Tamale Company's slogan is "unwrap happiness." Well said. With more than 30 different types of tamales, from meaty and spicy to hearty vegan treats, Tucson Tamale Company is your source for authentic and creative tamales in the Old...  Read More



The slogan at the Eclectic Cafe in east Tucson is "Where quiche meets enchilada." The menu pulls from a variety of cuisines and styles with winning results. The common thread running through the menu is a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and...  Read More



This casually upscale restaurant, located inside the Sheraton Tucson Hotel & Suites, is the perfect place to go if you're craving Arizona-inspired cuisine. The menu blends traditional Mexican, Native American and American cuisine made with...  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



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...  Read More



Inspired by the colorful streets of Tepatitlan, Jalisco in Mexico, Calle Tepa is Tucson's latest and greatest Mexican cafe. In a city full of great Mexican food, Calle Tepa manages to stand out from the pack for its great take on Jalisco street...  Read More



Located at the La Posada Lodge in scenic north Tucson, Gringo Cantina and Grill is the place to enjoy authentic southwestern flavors. The restaurant boasts one of Tucson's largest selection of tequilas. The lunch and dinner menu feature house...  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



The Grill is the celebrated fine dining spot located at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, one of Tucson's most historic and unique inns. The restaurant features a menu of farm-to-table cuisine. Most dishes are crafted using local meats,...  Read More



Baja Cafe is a hidden gem in midtown Tucson. The small cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, but it's well worth seeking out when you're craving an authentic southwestern meal. The colorful cafe has indoor seating and a shaded patio with...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.