Arizona's Unexpected Flavors
Collected by Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
By all means, when in Arizona, eat your fill of Mexican and Southwest flavors, but be open to other cuisines. Whether you're seeking them out or stumbling upon them, savor Arizona's unexpected flavors. You may well be surprised by the international possibilities that dining in Arizona offers. Buen Provecho and Bon Appétit!
375 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Casa Vicente is an institution in this desert city—Tucson's outpost for tapas a la española. Just south of the downtown core, a couple of blocks from the neo-Baroque façade of the Cathedral of San Agustín, this restaurant also features live music...
5039 East 5th Street, Tucson, AZ 85711, USA
In mid-town Tucson, along with the best Tom Kha Gai soup in town, this mural awaits you in Char's Thai Restaurant. The juxtaposition of mythical Southeast Asian creatures and Monument Valley desert scenery makes for some very unlikely, but...
1859 W Grant Rd #103, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
A husband-and-wife team have brought Canada's national junk-food, born in Québec in the 1950s, to Tucson—finally, you can eat "poutine" in southern Arizona! And it's even "local"...the "Zany Beaver" food-truck gets its cheese curds from local...
15 Main St, Bisbee, AZ 85603, USA
In the old mining town of Bisbee, a mile high in the mountains near the Mexican border, we found a place for lunch just as it began to snow. Not all of southern Arizona is hot desert... The patio of "Poco's" restaurant is tucked into a shady alley...
5425 N Kolb Rd #115, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
A little over a mile from where the deer roam in the saguaro-studded foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, sit down for some izakaya-style dining. Japanese "tapas" might not be a completely accurate description for this genre of shareable...
1805 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, USA
People come to the SE corner of Arizona for its Wild West vibe: the saloons of Tombstone, the mining town of Bisbee, the Apache stronghold in the Chiricahua mountains...But German food? Unexpected--but deliciously present! On a nondescript side...
119 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Mexican-Korean fusion has arrived in the desert! Every few weeks, all the food trucks in Tucson converge in different neighborhoods for a 'food truck roundup' fiesta, and now, Mafooco (the Mexican Asian Food Company) is among them. Folks in ...
446 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
In Tucson, gelato is, understandably, becoming part of the cityscape. A handful of Italian gelato-masters have settled here, educating desert palates with tempting desserts. Here, just a few blocks from the University of Arizona, Allegro rotates...
50 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Chile en nogada is a poblano chile pepper, stuffed with peccadillo (shredded meat, aromatic diced dried fruit and spices), topped with a walnut-cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. This dish from Puebla is not often found on menus of Mexican...
699 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Every January, Tempe, Arizona, serves as the finish line for the thousands upon thousands of runners participating in the Arizona Rock'n'Roll marathon and half-marathon. And so, the question: "Where to eat after the race?" Mill Avenue is the main...
2081 West Hardy Rd, Willcox, AZ 85643, USA
"Orchards" is not the word that comes to mind when most think of southern Arizona...but less than 2 hours east of Tucson, up in the high desert, Apple Annie's is a family farm destination for fresh summer fruit. At an elevation of 4400 ft (1300m),...
6260 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
For a decade and a half now, Tucsonans have been coming here for fresh-baked bread...and much much more. Get some challah French toast in the morning...or a chicken-green-chile omelette...and no shortage of croissants and scones... Mid-day, if you...
17715 US-93, Wikieup, AZ 85360, USA
Dazzo's Desert Oasis is just that, an oasis. Rising from the brown, dusty earth of a very barren part of Arizona off Highway 93 around Mile Marker 123, it's a much needed refreshment for weary travelers. It's also, the best cheesesteak I've ever...
5532 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
If you've been to Jalisco in central Mexico, you've probably heard of "birria," the spicy stew made with roasted peppers and goat. Well, this is Arizona, and Takamatsu is a Japanese/Korean restaurant...so what's "birria coreana?" Its real name is...
1901 W Warner Rd #8, Chandler, AZ 85224, USA
An eye-popping-green honeydew drink and a fresh báhn mì make for an unexpected quick meal in the southeastern suburbs of Phoenix, AZ... If you're in the area and want a change of pace from enchiladas and burgers, check out Lee's Sandwiches in...
1221 E Fry Blvd, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, USA
Unless you are a soldier or an avid bird-watcher, you have probably not heard of Sierra Vista. At the base of the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona, this unprepossessing town, attached to Fort Huachuca, is not exactly a tourist magnet...But...
16 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
College-town hiking aficionados usually know where to eat, so when the guys up the street at Babbitts Backcountry Outfitters told me this was one of the best places in town for weekend brunch, I went. A lunch-and-dinner place during the week,...
621 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705, USA
Just north of downtown Tucson off the Fourth Avenue streetcar line, the B Line is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But more importantly, it's one of the city's favorite dessert spots. When you enter the converted bungalow, check out the...
120 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
I hate wimpy hamburger buns--you know the kind: pickle juice and grill marks bleed through the sad white carbs...Downtown Flagstaff's Diablo Burger rejects mushy bread in favor of hearty "db"-branded English muffins. Their beef patties are from...
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