For those interested in culinary exploration, Tucson is a great place to try new flavors. The city is 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 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.

311 N. Court Ave. 520-622-1922; 6910 E. Sunrise, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-514-1922

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2.Augustin Kitchen

Augustin Kitchen
© 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.

100 South Avenida del Convento Suite #150, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-398-5382

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3.The Coronet

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.

402 E 9th St, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-222-9889

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© Falora

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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5.Downtown Kitchen

Downtown Kitchen
© Downtown Kitchen

At Tucson’s Downtown Kitchen, you will see visitors of all ages enjoying the quirky décor and vivid colors of this modern restaurant, located in an imaginatively renovated 1907 building. The exposed brick wall is covered with original art, several tables are communal, and the bar takes up an entire wall.

Chef and owner Janos Wilder treats his guests to an eclectic mix of superbly prepared dishes from around the globe and freely mixes ingredients from different cuisines to come up with unique results. You cannot get more international than duck tagine with cauliflower, lemon, castelveltrano olives, Israeli couscous, dried apricots, sultanas, and mint. The beer and wine list is equally international, and daily happy hour always makes Downtown Kitchen to buzz with activity.

135 S 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-623-7700

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6.Cafe a la C'Art

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.

140 N. Main Ave., Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-628-8533

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© Zemam's

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.Tucson Tamale

Tucson Tamale
© Tucson Tamale

After you have your first experience Tucson Tamale, you will get to know tamales in a completely new light. Owner Todd Martin started his Tucson Tamale Company in 2008 and introduced Tucsonans to tamales that burst with a mix of vibrant flavors, some of which are traditional and others invented by him. Everything is made from scratch and the produce is picked up on the day it is cooked.

The chef uses organic corn to make the masa (dough), which is prepared fresh daily. Most of the ingredients used in the filling are organic. Tucson Tamale now has three locations. You can also buy their frozen tamales in many fine food stores.

7159 E Tanque Verde Rd., 520-298-8404; 2545 E Broadway Blvd., 520-305-4760; 7286 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-403-1888

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9.47 Scott

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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10.Flying-V Bar & Grill

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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11.Azul Restaurant & Lounge

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

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12.Cafe Poca Cosas

Cafe Poca Cosas
© Cafe Poca Cosas

Café Poca Cosas is a chic yet casual locale serving tasty Mexican cuisine. This attractive urban bistro has a very modern feel with a refined interior design. Chef Susana Davila prepared delicious Mexican food, taking traditional flavors to the next level with handpicked fresh ingredients cooked with passion and flair. The menu changes two times a day, and you never know what delightful surprise awaits you when a waiter presents you with the handwritten chalk board. The Café is very popular and reservations are highly recommended.

110 East Pennington, Tucson, Arizona, Phone: 520-622-6400

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13.The Tasteful Kitchen

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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14.Renee's Organic Oven

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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15.Beyond Bread

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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15 Perfect Romantic Restaurants in Tucson, AZ