There are many great things to do in Tucson, home to fantastic restaurants serving an array of mouthwatering delights. You will find a range of available options, from famous restaurants to undiscovered spots.
There are dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world, including American, Ethiopian, Mexican, Southwestern and European flavors, as well as incredible cakes, pies, and other desserts. Here are the best romantic restaurants in Tucson, Arizona.
1. El Charro Cafe
© El Charro Cafe
El Charro Café is the oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant in the United States. The eatery is equally famous for its carne asada and other Mexican delights. The restaurant, originally established in 1922 by Tia Monica Flin, is run by the grandniece of its founder. Carlotta Flores is El Charro Café’s chef and the artist behind of all those delectable specials. The menu showcases traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran cuisine with a twist, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
El Charro now has several locations in Tucson. You will find the original one in the heart of Tucson's historic El Presidio district. The restaurant is cozy and family oriented, where diners are surrounded by beautiful Mexican art and family memorabilia. The restaurant is very popular and can get crowded, but the food with its authentic flavors, make a visit to El Charro Café worth your time. Browse day trips from Tucson to explore nearby.
311 N. Court Ave. 520-622-1922; 6910 E. Sunrise, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-514-1922
2. Augustin Kitchen, Tucson, AZ
© Augustin Kitchen
Agustin Kitchen reopened its doors in December 2013 after undergoing extensive renovation and recruiting new management. It is quickly becoming a favorite in the popular downtown Tucson Mercado San Augustin neighborhood and is one of the best romantic restaurants in Tucson. The restaurant is spacious and well lit with an open kitchen and a mix of modern and industrial elements. An outdoor patio with charming, rustic tables overlooks the plaza.
The restaurant serves local produce, with a unique twist on modern Southwestern cuisine. The gluten-free takeout lunch sandwiches and burgers served on local brioche buns have proved to be a big hit. Browse our romantic weekend getaways in Arizona guide for more ideas.
100 South Avenida del Convento Suite #150, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-398-5382
3. The Coronet
© The Coronet
The Coronet restaurant is a charming brasserie-style eatery which received an award from the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation after being meticulously restored. Chef Erika Bostick-Esham and head bartender Jesse Van Rijn Shaefer have collaborated to produce a tempting and original menu of traditional European cuisine.
The Coronet serves only sustainable meats and Monterey Aquarium approved fish. Organic produce is used whenever possible. The restaurant even has its own beehive. The large shady patio is a delight; add a well-stocked bar and music playing quietly in the background, and you’ve got the perfect atmosphere. The menu includes great options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-sensitive customers as well.
198 W Cushing St, Tucson, AZ 85701, Phone: 520-222-9889
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Falora is a pizza lover’s delight located in Broadway Village. The restaurant has an enormous open wood-fired oven hand made by renowned Italian oven builder Stefano Ferrara. Measuring 1,000 square feet in size, the restaurant has been carefully and artfully restored around a beautiful, original brick wall. Another wall has been dedicated to storing pecan wood logs, the only wood used in the oven.
There is also a small outdoor patio for those who like to dine outside. Falora’s menu consists of Neapolitan pizzas and salads, with everything made to perfection. The pizza crust is thin, the toppings rich and flavorful, and all vegetables are locally grown. The old-fashioned record player plays music, setting the mood. Falora also has an excellent beer and wine selection.
3000 E Broadway Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-325-9988
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Vivace means lively or vivid in Italian, which is exactly what you can expect from the Northern Italian cuisine you will be enjoying in this beautiful and romantic restaurant. The restaurant is set in a beautiful Tuscan-style manor featuring a huge fireplace for cold winter nights and an elegant terrace for good-weather days. Memorable appetizers include their Escargot and Artichokes, Grilled Asparagus with Parma Ham and a mouth-watering antipasti platter for two. These are followed by a selection of pasta and risotto dishes before you get to the hearty entrees – you can try a traditional Osso Bucco, a Crab-filled breaded Chicken Breast or a gluten-free Eggplant Lasagna.
Vivace, 6440 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85718, 520 795 7221
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6. Cafe a la C'Art
© Cafe a la C'Art
Café a la C'Art is a family owned café and bakery located just off the patio at the Tucson Museum of Art. The glass display is filled with absolutely mouth-watering pies, cookies, layered cakes, and other delights. And that’s just the dessert!
The Café menu features hearty Southwestern fare that is imaginative, delicious, and surprisingly affordable. Café a la C’Art is open for breakfast and frequently offers live music concerts on the patio.
150 N Main Ave, Tucson, AZ, Phone: 520-628-8533, (website link)
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Zemam’s is an authentic Ethiopian restaurant serving exotic flavors. The restaurant was opened by Amanuel Gebremariam and his family in 1994 and was named after Amanuel’s mother who inspired the original Ethiopian recipes for the restaurant’s menu. The spices for the dishes are imported from Ethiopia and most of the produce is locally grown. Forks and knives are not required but are available on request.
Order a sampler to try a bit of everything and receive a true introduction to Ethiopian cuisine. You might also want to try Ethiopian spiced iced tea with your meal. Alternatively, you can bring in your own bottle of wine, and they will only charge a small uncorking fee. Zemam’s also has another new location on Speedway Blvd with a separate menu.
2731 E. Broadway Blvd, 520-323-9928; 119 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-882-4955
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8. 47 Scott
© 47 Scott
47 Scott is a neighborhood bistro serving great American comfort food, along with micro-brewed beers and a nice selection of wines and cocktails. The décor is modern and streamlined. You can sit in a booth, out on the large outdoor patio or at the bar. Order dishes like steak and fries, mac and cheese, and onion soup.
They have it all, and the dishes taste better than the ones your mom used to make. If grilled cheese is on your mind, you can get that too, with three different cheeses. The menu changes with the seasons.
47 N Scott Ave., Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-624-4747
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9. Flying-V Bar & Grill
© Flying-V Bar & Grill
The Flying-V Bar & Grill serves a fresh and exciting take on traditional Southwestern dishes as well as 70 different tequilas. This rustic but luxurious restaurant is located in the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Sit by the romantic fireplace or on the patio with a magnificent view of the gardens.
Executive Chef Ken Harvey prepares delicious classics, including Baby Back Ribs with Chili and Charred BBQ Sauce or Veal Porterhouse. His methods will turn your meal into a unique and memorable dining experience. The Flying-V Bar & Grill has their own guacamolierre, who uses the freshest ingredients to make the perfect tableside guacamole. In addition to Tequila, the extensive wine list provides numerous options for you to enjoy with your meal.
7000 N. Resort Drive, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-299-2020
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10. Azul Restaurant & Lounge
© Azul Restaurant & Lounge
Located in the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, Azul Restaurant & Lounge is an upscale eatery with spectacular views of the Catalina Mountains. The restaurant serves a fresh, modern take on traditional Southwestern cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Russell Michel who has 30 years of experience. The chef serves farm-to-fork dishes using only the freshest locally grown produce.
Azul’s Sunday brunches are a special treat and not to be missed if you are in the area. The lemon ricotta pancakes served at the Sunrise Buffet are fantastic. Bring the kids – children under 6 eat for free. Reservations are recommended.
The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, 3800 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-742-6000, (website link)
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Feast is a great option for a romantic dinner, particularly if you enjoy inventive dishes prepared from the freshest local ingredients. The atmosphere is fun and you can pair your delicious food with the perfect wine from their choice of over 20 labels served by the glass. The menu changes every month so that everything that makes its way to your plate has been picked and prepared at the height of its season for freshness and superlative flavor. There are always a few good vegetarian choices which have been thoughtfully created to appeal to vegetarian foodies. Current hero dishes include Miso-glazed Mackerel with Picked Ginger to start and a Red Curry Tart or Caramel-glazed Sablefish for your mains.
Feast, 3719 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85716, 520 326 9363
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12. The Tasteful Kitchen
© The Tasteful Kitchen
The Tasteful Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant serving fresh local produce, minimally prepared and cooked, allowing the natural flavors to really pop and combine. The restaurant is located in an old adobe building that has been transformed into a colorful art gallery for local artists.
Vivid colors are found everywhere, from the walls and the paintings to the food on the plates which will make your mouth water. Farm-to-table dishes are imaginative and wonderfully presented. In fact, many carnivores might forget that there is no meat involved! The restaurant offers cooking demos and once a week meal pickup service.
722 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-250-9600
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13. Renee's Organic Oven
© Renee's Organic Oven
Renee's Organic Oven is a very unique pizza place. Everything here is organic, from olive oil and beans to the flour and eggs. Even drinks like coffee and wine are organic. The beef is grain-fed and the chicken is free range. Unique pizza options include gluten-free and vegan.
For the more adventurous, there is a pizza with cashews and Thai sauce. Chef Renee Kreager offers a selection of tasty salads and desserts as well. The philosophy of the restaurant is summarized on the wall: “Eat well, feel good.” It is easy to feel good at Renee's Organic Oven, a cozy, cool place with adobe-colored walls and a lot of dark wood, where the most delicious smells of garlic, cheese, and tomatoes greet you when you walk in.
7065 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-886-0484
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14. Beyond Bread
© Beyond Bread
Beyond Bread is a must-try for bread lovers, offering 30 different types of artisanal breads, 30 kinds of pies, pastries and sandwiches. This popular bakery first opened its doors in 1998 and has three locations in Tucson. Everything is made from scratch using the freshest ingredients possible. In addition to great bread, they now also make sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries.
3026 N. Campbell Ave., 520-322-9965; 421 W. Ina Rd., 520-461-1111; 6260 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-747-7477
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Maynards Restaurant is set in the historic Tucson Train Depot, which lends it an authentic and romantic ambiance. The food changes with the seasons and you will always find interesting, contemporary dishes which perfectly combine global cooking techniques with great local produce. The menu could change from one day to the next, depending on what is fresh and delicious on the day. The current menu, at the start of summer, features the following tasty small plates – heirloom tomato salad with fresh cheese and olives, a salmon tostada with avocado and baked brie with desert honey. Entrees include chicken, pork, beef and fish options with imaginative sides. Vegetarians will always find something tasty
to feast on.
400 N. Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, P 520 545 0577
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16. Epazote Kitchen and Cocktails
Enjoying wonderful views of the Pusch Ridge from its location within the El Conquistador Resort, Epazote is a great choice for a romantic dinner either indoors or under the starry skies. The restaurant derives its name from a pungent fresh or dried leaf used to impart a distinctive flavor to Mexican dishes and serves a contemporary mix of Modern American and Southwestern flavors. Just a few of the innovative dishes you can look forwards to trying include their Charred Vegetable Quesadila, Avocado and Crab Stack or Chile Con Carne Fundido – just for starters. Entrees include Baby Back Ribs and Grilled Flat Iron Steak for meat lovers and Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Yucca Fries for vegetarians.
10000 N. Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85704,
520 544 1705, (website link)
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Inspired (but not enslaved) by cuisines from all over the world, Wildflower restaurant strives to be true to their American heritage, serving classic American favorites, sometimes with a twist. This is a light and bright eatery with a large terrace and a friendly atmosphere, perfect for date night dining. Delicious appetizers include Grilled Artichokes, Crispy Calamari or Hamachi with Charred Avo. These tasty morsels are followed by salads (there is plenty for vegetarian diners to enjoy here) and pasta dishes. Entrees include a grilled shrimp and avo bowl, lemongrass scallops, braised beef short rib and Oak Fired New York Strip Steak.
7037 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson, AX 85704, Ph. 520 219 4230
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18. Tohono Chul Garden Bistro
For something completely different, you can take your partner to enjoy a feast of gardens, art and food at the Tohono Chul Garden Bistro. Surrounded by the beauty of the Sonora Desert and 49 acres of themed gardens, Brunch at the Bistro has to be one of the most romantic outings you could plan. You can start by walking around the various themed gardens and visiting the gallery to see what art is currently exhibited before you settle in to enjoy a great brunch at the Bistro. The seasonal menu changes all the time but a few Sonorazona specialties that could tempt you include Blue Corn Vegan Tostadas, Confit Mole Duck, Mahi Mahi Tacos and Prickly Pear Chicken Salad Croissant.
7366 N. Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704, 520 742 6455, (website link)
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19. Tavolino Ristorante Italiano
© Tavolino Ristorante Italiano
Bringing the authentic flavors, aromas and wines of his native Italy to the heart of Tucson, Chef Massimo Tenino brings you honest Italian cuisine, (which he learnt from his Nonna), served in an elegant setting which is perfect for a romantic dinner. All the ingredients in his dishes have been locally sourced or imported from Italy and all the pasta is made in-house. There is a wide selection of appetizers and mains which are suitable for vegetarians and vegans so that everyone can find something delicious to enjoy. House specialties include Char-grilled Octopus, Carpaccio di Manzo, Parma Ham and Melon, Antipasti platters, Pasta with Squid Ink and Shrimp, Mixed Mushroom Pasta, filled raviolis, Veal Saltimbocca and Veal Milanese.
2890 East Skyline Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718, 520 531 1913
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20. LaCo, Tucson
© George Dolgikh/stock.adobe.com
LaCo is your go-to place for a romantic alfresco dinner with someone special. The restaurant is tucked into a beautiful courtyard inside the walls of Old Town Artisans in the heart of the historic Presidio District. If you visit on the weekend (Thursday to Sunday) you can also enjoy live music as you dine – check their website to see who will be entertaining you. You can start your evening with a nacho, quesadilla, soup or salad before moving on to the delicious Mexican-style entrees and sides. There are several choices for vegetarians and vegans but carnivores are also well catered for.
201 N. Court Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701,520 622 0351
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21. Contigo Latin Kitchen
© Luca Lorenzelli/stock.adobe.com
Located in the Catalina Foothills overlooking Tucson, Contigo Latin Kitchen will tantalize your taste buds with vintage Spanish and Latin dishes from the Old Country. The indoor terracotta-tiled dining area has large windows to let in the views and there is also a large outdoor terrace for alfresco dining and two bars where you can enjoy sangria, wine and other beverages. The menu starts off with delicious appetizers like Ceviche Lima, Patatas Bravas and Pulpo Feria (marinated sautéed octopus). The “small plates” are followed by soups and salads, 4 versions of Paella, steaks, Spanish stews, tacos and a fabulous mixed meat platter for dedicated carnivores.
3770 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718, 520 299 1540
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22. The Preserve at SaddleBrooke
© The Preserve at SaddleBrooke
Located at the heart of The Preserve at SaddleBrooke, a prestigious residential and golf estate which overlooks the Santa Catalina Mountains of north Tucson, this restaurant offers the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. Floor to ceiling glass panels invite the outdoors in and set the scene for your fine-dining experience. The menu changes regularly in order to feature whatever is fresh, seasonal and local. Lunch is a relaxed and casual affair featuring several salads, burgers and sandwiches. The dinner menu is more comprehensive and offers a choice of favorite American appetizers followed by beautifully prepared entrees including several meat and fish choices as well as pasta and an interesting vegetarian option.
66567 Catalina Hills Drive, Tucson, AZ 85739, 520 825 3028
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23. The Kingfisher Bar and Grill
© bernard van berg EyeEm/stock.adobe.com
Located in mid-town Tucson, the Kingfisher Bar and Grill has been a popular eatery since 1993. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming interior and has always been a great choice for a romantic night out. The menu features a good selection of regional American cuisine with a distinct Southwestern twist. You can rely on freshly-caught fish and sea food to play a leading role on the menu – their raw bar offers a selection of fresh oysters, gulf shrimp, scallops and Ahi Poke. Other hot and cold appetizers include steamed littleneck clams, fried calamari and New England Clam Chowder. If that sounds good, just wait until you see the entrees. There are a few delicious meat dishes from those who don’t enjoy sea food.
2564 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85716, P520 323 7729
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24. PY Steakhouse
Located at the Casino Del Sol, the PY Steakhouse is a good choice for romantic dining and a bit of entertainment. The restaurant is named for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and has won numerous awards for its excellent food and its staggering wine selection which includes more than 1000 labels from all over the world. You can enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail in the cozy bar before moving to the elegant dining area for dinner. Menu favorites include an outstanding Shellfish Sampler for 2 which features lobster, oysters, jumbo shrimp and snow-crab legs with various sauces and garnishes. Mains include a variety of prime beef cuts prepared to your preference and served with your choice of enhancements.
Casino Del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85757,
520 324 9350
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