The 5 best restaurants in Tucson, according to our readers

Seared scallops at Le Rendez-Vous, one of the best restaurants in Tucson, Arizona

Photo courtesy of Le Rendez-Vous

By Copper Courier Staff

May 16, 2024

When it comes to dining out, Tucson has no shortage of fantastic restaurants to choose from. From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Our readers have spoken, and we’re excited to share the top Tucson restaurants, as chosen by them. Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor eager to explore the culinary scene, these recommendations are sure to delight your taste buds.

1. Baja Cafe

Baja Cafe, which also won Best Brunch in Tucson, steals the spotlight with its innovative breakfast creations and spirited environment. This gem has captured the hearts of our readers with its unforgettable Construction Burrito, pancakes that are a work of art with their decadent toppings and inventive flavors, and the famous mimosas that add a colorful burst of joy to any morning.

The genuine smiles and enthusiastic service from the staff create an atmosphere where every visitor feels like a local. Whether you’re craving the comfort of a traditional breakfast or looking to embark on a culinary adventure before noon, Baja Cafe welcomes you with open arms and a menu that promises to start your day in the most delightful way.

Dive into the heart of Tucson’s breakfast scene and let Baja Cafe turn your morning into a celebration of flavor and community. Our readers don’t think there’s a better way to start your day.

2. The Parish

Immerse yourself in the rich, comforting flavors of Southern cuisine at The Parish, a true Tucson gem. This beloved spot takes you on a delectable journey down South with its menu brimming with soulful dishes, enveloping you in a wave of culinary bliss that feels like a warm hug. Our avid readers can’t stop talking about the golden, crispy Chicken & Waffle that crackles with each bite, the creamy Shrimp & Grits that glide effortlessly on the palate, and the lush, sinful desserts that round off the dining experience with a sweet, satisfying finish.

But The Parish is about the experience. The rustic decor, combined with the twinkling lights and soft melodies, creates an ambiance that’s both enchanting and familiar, inviting you to linger longer than you planned.

This haven of Southern hospitality offers an escape to a place where the food is hearty, the smiles are wide, and the memories are waiting to be made. So, pull up a chair, let the melodies wash over you, and dive into a culinary experience that pays homage to the rich, vibrant spirit of the South right here at The Parish.

3. St. Mary’s Mexican Food

At St. Mary’s Mexican Food, authenticity isn’t just a word—it’s a promise. This cherished family-owned gem serves up a tapestry of flavors that transport you straight to the bustling streets and vibrant markets of Mexico. Every dish at St. Mary’s is a masterpiece of traditional recipes passed down through generations, meticulously prepared to ensure each bite is an authentic celebration of Mexican heritage.

Our enthusiastic readers cannot stop singing praises about the irresistible tacos, each bite bursting with the smoky, charred flavors of perfectly grilled meat. The Green Corn Tamales are delicately wrapped treasures that unfurl in your mouth, revealing layers of sweet, tender corn masa and rich, savory fillings.

St. Mary’s is a vibrant, welcoming space that captures the essence of Mexican hospitality. The lively décor, with its colorful motifs and warm, inviting atmosphere, pairs beautifully with the genuine smiles and attentive service of the staff, making every visit feel like a joyful reunion with dear friends. This Tucson staple invites you to savor the true flavors of Mexico, right here in the heart of the desert.

4. Les Rendez-vous

Step into the enchanting world of Les Rendez-vous, a quaint bistro where the spirit of France blooms amidst the desert landscapes of Tucson. This delightful establishment beckons with the promise of a culinary sojourn to the charming cafés and vibrant streets of Paris, offering a menu that sings the praises of French culinary tradition. Our readers cannot get enough of the meticulously crafted dishes that grace the tables here, from the savory delights of Escargot Au Chablis, nestled in a fragrant garlic butter, to the rich and comforting embrace of Coq Au Riesling, each dish is a love letter to the flavors of France.

But the journey doesn’t end with the entrées. Les Rendez-vous is celebrated for bringing a slice of French patisserie perfection to Tucson, with desserts that enchant and enthrall. The Crème Brûlée, with its delicate, crackling caramel crust giving way to a velvety custard below, is a masterpiece of dessert artistry that our readers urge you to try. And what could be more quintessentially French than ending your meal with a selection from their curated collection of fine wines? Each sip seems to transport you closer to the banks of the Seine, under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, without ever leaving the comfort of your seat.

The ambiance at Les Rendez-vous only adds to the immersive experience, with its cozy, inviting interiors that blend rustic charm with elegant sophistication. Here, the glow of soft lighting and the murmur of satisfied diners create a backdrop that’s both romantic and relaxed. It’s a place where time slows down, and the joy of dining is celebrated in true French fashion, with leisurely meals and lively conversation.

Engaging, passionate service makes every guest feel cherished, as if one is being ushered into a family home in the heart of France. The staff at Les Rendez-vous are ambassadors of French culture, eager to share the stories behind the dishes, the perfect wine pairings, and to ensure your dining experience is as authentic as it is unforgettable.

5. Tito and Pep

Tito and Pep is a vibrant beacon in the Tucson culinary landscape, masterfully blending the rich traditions of Southwestern cuisine with a refreshing, innovative approach. This contemporary eatery has captured the imaginations and taste buds of our readers, offering a dining experience that’s as delightfully unexpected as it is deeply satisfying.

The Steak Skewers, a standout dish, embody the essence of this culinary fusion, pairing the deep, smoky flavors of perfectly grilled beef with the bright, fresh accents of Southwestern spices and garnishes. It’s this kind of inventive pairing that makes every bite at Tito and Pep a discovery.

Similarly, the Queso Fundido delivers a dish that’s both familiar and thrilling. This spirit of culinary adventure is a thread that runs through the entire menu, promising an experience that’s rich with flavors, textures, and surprises.

The restaurant’s design is modern and inviting, with an energy that’s contagious. The moment you step inside, you’re enveloped in an ambiance that’s both chic and warm, making it the perfect backdrop for everything from a casual lunch to a memorable night out. And let’s not overlook the craft cocktails. These are not your average drinks; each one is a masterpiece, crafted with an eye for detail and a flair for flavor that complements the meal in a way that’s nothing short of artistry.




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