Econo Lodge University
1136 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Phone: (520) 622-6714
Fax: (520) 617-0505
Easy to reach from either downtown or the University of Arizona area, this family-style steakhouse has been packing them in for more than 30 years. The menu at Pack-Em-Inn Steakhouse focuses on steaks and seafood in a casual, western-themed atmosphere. The "famous steerburger" is big, juicy and made from choice beef. Chicken and ribs are also popular meal options. Prime rib is a house specialty on weekends. Wednesdays and Saturdays are karaoke nights.
This deli/market is hugely popular with students from the nearby University of Arizona, as well as the art crowd from the surrounding warehouse art district. The grocery section here is extensive, featuring a variety of health foods, as well as more than 150 beers and 100 wines. Delivery can be arranged. Woodfire pizzas with a large choice of toppings are sold at $7-$17 depending on size. Pay special attention to the sandwich and sub creations ($4-$5), featuring items such as Endless Summer or the Grecian Erika, served on 12 choices of bread, plus all kinds of extras.
Pull up a cushion under the Bedouin tent and experience this somewhat off-the-wall vegetarian eatery. It's an exotic experience in terms of both the atmosphere and the edibles. Burritos (often veggie), quiches, pastas and soups are featured on the daily changing menu. A few examples of the fare—Shepherd's Pie of mashed potatoes, corn, peas and tofu in a cashew gravy; Middle Eastern Plate of Hummus, Dolmas, feta cheese, Greek olives; mocha brownies; vegan banana nut bread. Chai tea is usually the beverage of choice.
This is the real barbecue experience. While you're waiting at the counter, watch your meal being prepared right in front of you with mouth-watering sauces made from scratch. Consume right there at the counter, or take your dish outside on to the front patio. Wanting to make you feel at home, the owner has decorated the walls with family heritage items. Try the pork rib dinner with hickory smoke sauce, or the sliced beef sandwich. The peach cobbler is highly recommended for dessert. Soft drinks or iced teas are available, but no coffee or alcohol.
If you're a fan of New York-style pizza, this is the place in Tucson to find it. A small and simple spot, it serves up some of the area's best thin crust, hand-tossed pies. From a basic tomato basil to more adventurous options, each comes hot and crisp from the oven. A few Calzones and hero sandwiches are also on the menu. Soft drinks and beer are available.
This fourth avenue find could easily skate by on its innovative edibles, but it also offers a comfortable, casual ambiance in a convenient, contemporary space. Taking its cues from California cuisine and French bistro fare, this place gets raves from its guests for both its aesthetics and its edibles. The parade of pastries just inside the door is a pleasing portent of things to come. The colorful art acts as an appetizer stimulant and, from the appetizers on, so do the pretty presentations. A few items to try: Baked Pesto Camembert in Puff Pastry; Asparagus and Leek Crepes; Orange roughly in Potato Crust.
You won't get much closer to a Greek gastronomic experience without a passport! Simply decorated with stark white walls and wooden floors, this Greek cafe is one of Tucson's top choices for Mediterranean meals. The Fourth Avenue shopping and arts district is home to this tavern-type restaurant that offers all of the classic Greek specialties, plus some interesting additions. Among these are the Thalasina Sardorinis seafood platter and Mezethakia (a combination platter of sausage, sweetbreads and pork tenderloin). Dinner entrees are priced from about USD8 to USD20. An interesting list of Greek wines can be had for about USD4-6 a glass. Many bottles are priced below USD20. The cocktail bar is open 5pm to 11pm Monday through Thursday, 5pm to midnight Friday and Saturday.
If you are looking for a great place where art and music combine then head to Solar Culture. With a fantastic art gallery, enriched in history, the Gallery is a great place to check out some fantastic Artwork. The general public are allowed to showcase their art for free at the premises. Solar Culture is also a venue where local bands perform live and enthrall the audience.
For more than half a century, the Zagona family (three generations of them) has been serving up some of Tucson's favorite home-style Italian cuisine. The patio, with fountain and flowers, is a favorite choice with diners. Inside dining is comfortable and casual with a family-friendly staff. Hefty portions of pastas dishes are the popular choice here. Accompany your dinner with a glass of Italian chianti. Buon Appetito!
It's chile rellenos, tamales, tostadas and burritos here! Except, this is Guatemalan instead of Mexican, meaning that most dishes are a little milder and served in a cream sauce with black beans and rice on the side. It's also very casual, nestled between bookstores and student cafes on funky Fourth Avenue. Outside seating is available on the shaded patio surrounded by statuettes spouting cool water, which makes dining at the Maya Quetzal a very pleasurable experience on hot Tucson summer nights. Central American imagery with images of volcanoes and Indian gods adorn the walls in bright colors. Try the chile relleno with walnuts and spinach and consider the rice-based horchata as a soft drink refreshment.
Located just outside the University of Arizona main gate, this popular cafe features southwestern cuisine with European accents in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. The place is open and airy, and there is a small patio for outdoor dining. The menu changes monthly, but usually features a good selection of salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas and a few hot entrees. Full bar service is available.
This legendary eatery is the foundation on which Tucson's dining scene was built, and El Charro is a must-visit when you come to the Old Pueblo. All areas are decked out in brightly colored furnishings and authentic Mexican accessories. A festive, lively atmosphere pervades, and the huge menu features dishes that have been served here since it opened in 1922. Some specialties have been updated by Chef Carlotta Flores to appeal to modern tastes by lowering the fat content. Full bar service features more than 80 types of tequilas. Try them straight up, or in one of many margarita mixtures.