The 6 Tucson restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

The 6 Tucson restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

Guy Fieri poses for a portrait, on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

By Jill Schildhouse

June 12, 2024

Who’s ready for a trip to Flavortown? Guy Fieri sure was when he visited six mouth-watering Tucson restaurants while filming his hit Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2018.

These eateries, featuring global cuisine, are popular among locals and known for serving up killer dishes to foodies and families alike. We’re hoping Fieri makes his way back to Tucson again soon for another season of filming, but in the meantime, here are the hot spots he deemed Triple-D-worthy for your next meal:

 

Renee’s
Season 28, Episode 5 — March 2018

Formerly Renee’s Organic Oven, Renee’s has modified its name but kept the essence of what makes it such a great pizzeria. Owned and operated by Renee Kreager and her husband, Steve, since 2005, their commitment to organic and local ingredients remains unwavering. Fieri loved the spinach dip calzone, calling it a cross between the best jalapeno popper he’s ever had, a gigantic pierogi, and a chicken sandwich. Yelp reviews repeatedly call out the ravioli with pesto, house focaccia, and the Shroomy Goat pizza (goat cheese and mushrooms, sans sauce or mozzarella) as other must-order dishes.

Know before you go: Renee’s is closed on Mondays. Gluten-free pasta and pizza is available. Children under 12 are not permitted for dining room seating (but there is a patio).  

Location: 7065 E Tanque Verde Road

Zemam’s
Season 28, Episode 6 — March 2018

As the city’s first Ethiopian restaurant, Zemam’s has been taking Tucson’s tastebuds on a culinary journey since 1993. When founder Amanuel Gebremariam came to the United States as a refugee, he decided he wanted to share the flavors from his mother’s kitchen with his new city. During his visit, Fieri said, “Each one of the dishes is individually its own little song and what comes together is the Ethiopian musical.” If you’re new to the cuisine, choose the Mixed Veggie & Meat Sampler so you can try a little bit of everything—the Yedoro Alica (non-spicy chicken) and Yemisi Wat (brown lentil stew) receive high marks on Yelp. 

Know before you go: Zemam’s doesn’t accept reservations, is closed on Mondays, and can make a gluten-free teff version of injera for an upcharge. 

Location: 2731 E Broadway

Tumerico
Season 28, Episode 7 — March 2018

Calling all plant-based foodies: Tumerico is the spot in Tucson for vegetarian and vegan Latin American cuisine—and the hype is real, as it’s ranked No. 1 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2024. Owner Wendy Garcia, a 2023 and 2024 James Beard Award Best Chef semifinalist who grew up cooking on her family’s farm in Mexico, changes the menu daily and draws upon local and seasonal ingredients for inspiration. Her signature dish is jackfruit tacos, and Guy Fieri thought they were so amazing that he actually called his mom to tell her about them. Another don’t-miss dish if it happens to be on the menu is the cactus tacos, made with nopalitos (prickly pear cactus) cooked with cashew sauce and topped with pickled veggies and cashew cream. 

Know before you go: Tumerico is closed on Mondays and makes its dishes from scratch daily with heritage ingredients—so you won’t find a menu online. 

Location: 2526 E. Sixth Street 

Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine
Season 28, Episode 8 — April 2018

Yes, you can experience Peruvian food right in the heart of Tucson. Owner Fatima has been married to her Peruvian husband for more than 20 years and wanted the bring the flavors of his homeland to the desert. Want to order like Fieri? Get the Seco de Carne con Frijoles (beef braised in a cilantro and Peruvian sauce, served with canary beans and jasmine rice) and Lomo Saltado (beef marinated in Peruvian spices sauteed with onions, tomatoes, and parsley, served over a bed of potatoes). And no visit here would be complete without a Pisco Sour, a signature Peruvian cocktail made of distilled local grapes, fresh lime juice, raw egg white, simple syrup, and bitters.

Know before you go: According to Yelp reviews, there is live music on Friday nights for a festive atmosphere. 

Location: 6878 E. Sunrise Drive

Chef Alisah’s Restaurant
Season 28, Episode 9 — April 2018

If you haven’t tried Bosnian cuisine, now’s your chance to do so. Chef/owner Ahmet Alisah arrived in Arizona as a Red Cross refugee from war-torn Bosnia and opened his restaurant (run alongside his wife, Halida) in 2008, and it’s been known for high-quality and delicious food ever since. In fact, quality is so important to chef Alisah that his motto is, “The only way to have control over it, is to do everything yourself right on the premises.” Fieri ordered the Cevapi (Bosnian-style sausages served with tzatziki and homemade bread) and Gulas (Bosnian-style goulash served with cabbage salad and rice). 

Know before you go: Yelp reviewers rave about the large portion sizes and the incredible baklava. 

Location: 5931 N. Oracle Road 

Rocco’s Little Chicago
Season 28, Episode 10 — May 2018

“I’m usually a thin-crust guy, but I hear the deep-dish you do is pretty gangster,” Fieri told owner Rocco DiGrazia. Start with the award-winning chicken wings for your appetizer (the homemade barbecue sauce is delish). And when you’re ready for the main course, you can’t go wrong with Rocco’s favorites, including the Kitchen Sink pizza made with pepperoni sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, and red onion. But don’t make the mistake of overlooking the stromboli, which isn’t easy to find elsewhere in Tucson. 

Know before you go: Expect long waits on the weekends, but it’s worth it for a slice of authentic, Chicago-style pizza. 

Location: 2707 E. Broadway Boulevard

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.The 6 Tucson restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’The 6 Tucson restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

 

READ MORE: 8 Arizona restaurants that have been featured on Food Network

Author

  • Jill Schildhouse

    Jill Schildhouse is a native Phoenician and award-winning lifestyle writer and editor who regularly contributes to such publications as Reader’s Digest, AARP, U.S. News & World Report, Taste of Home, and Southern Living. Jill has visited 43 countries and is always planning her next adventure.

CATEGORIES: FOOD and DRINK
Related Stories
Share This