Tucson is part of the UNESCO gastronomy list, so it only makes sense to explore the city via food. Not only does Tucson boast a formidable culinary culture, but it also offers a unique historical heritage. Check out these must-try restaurants.
¡Vamos a El Charro!
Take a stroll down memory lane at this century-old café. Home of the original chimichanga, El Charro provides an array of authentic Mexican food. It’s also Arizona’s oldest Mexican restaurant operated by the same family. The original building is still intact and is adorned with colorful traditional Mexican decorations such as sombreros, flowers and family portraits. The chimichangas are an obvious choice, but other popular menu items include the Carne Seca platter, which features dried and shredded Angus beef, grilled with green chile, tomatoes and onions. Or try a Mexican classic, the red Pozole: a delectable hominy and meat stew garnished with onions and radishes.
311 N. Court Ave., Tucson, 520-622-1922, elcharrocafe.com
Grab a Scoop at The Hub
Keep cool and grab an ice cream cone at The Hub. This cute spot is in the heart of downtown Tucson and is known for its eye-catching ice cream cone statue and bright neon sign beckoning customers in from the window. With a pastel aesthetic, the ice cream parlor provides a modern-retro ’50s vibe and features a toy train that traverses around the shop. The Hub switches up its 30-plus handcrafted artisan ice cream and vegan sorbet flavors each week. Past concoctions have included lavender honey, coconut ash, oatmeal cookie dough, bourbon almond brittle, salted caramel and balsamic strawberry.
245 E. Congress St., Tucson, 520-622-0255, thehubicecream.com
Have an Egg-cellent Dish at Prep and Pastry
This renowned breakfast and brunch restaurant serves up classic dishes with an upscale twist. With two locations in Tucson, Prep and Pastry has a modern country-chic interior that almost always smells like freshly baked goodies. Prep and Pastry whips up dishes like cast-iron duck confit: braised duck, shallots, spinach, cabernet braised cherries and cherry goat cheese mousse topped with over-easy eggs. Or try the Beni: cured pork belly, asparagus, poached eggs, goat cheese hollandaise on an herbed cheddar biscuit. Once you’re done with your meal, you can take home freshly baked croissants, muffins and other pastries.
Two Tucson locations, prepandpastry.com