It was hard to pick, but here are the 10 best Mexican restaurants in Tucson. From late night tacos to gourmet entrees, these restaurants (not in any order) will satisfy your cravings, whatever your budget.
- Café Poca Cosa – Located in the heart of downtown, this upscale establishment delivers innovative interpretations of traditional Mexican food, rather than the Tex-Mex found at most Mexican restaurants in Tucson. The chalkboard menu changes daily and the full bar with extensive tequila collection will keep you coming back for more. 110 E. Pennington St., 85701
- El Charro Café – Regardless of the accuracy, El Charro claims to be the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family and also claims to be the inventor of the popular chimichanga (deep fried burrito). It is certainly one of the best Mexican restaurants in Tucson. Meat-lovers must try the famous carne seca (in any form) and everyone will enjoy the fresh chips and salsa. Four locations around town make getting here easy. 311 N.Court Ave., 85701
- El Parador – El Parador is about more than just great food. Diners leave the harsh Tucson desert and enter a jungle when they visit El Parador. Indoor plants and high ceilings give the restaurant a very open feeling. Live salsa dancing and music on Friday nights make it a great place to go out with friends or on a date. 2744 E. Broadway, 85716
- Miguel’s – Another swankier option is Miguel’s at La Posada Lodge. Enjoy outside dining with an excellent view of the Tucson valley and a nice selection of fresh seafood entrees. In addition to specialty margaritas and over 100 tequila varieties, Miguel’s offers an impressive bar menu with salads, tacos, sandwiches and more. Make sure to inquire about live flamenco and other musical acts. 5900 N. Oracle Rd., 85704
- Los Alazanes – Open 24 hours daily, you never have to worry about going to bed hungry. Los Alazanes is the best Mexican restaurant in Tucson if you’re looking to eat on the cheap. Tacos and burritos are the staples here and they keep the meat marinating all day. Make it a complete meal with a glass of horchata and some fried cinnamon sugar tortillas for dessert. 2553 N. Campbell Ave., 85719
- Guadalajara Grill – You are likely to notice the excellent service even before the servers have a chance to whip up a batch of excellent homemade salsa right before your eyes. Lunch specials are a great way to sample all the menu has to offer, but make sure to come back for dinner to get your daily dose of live mariachi music. The Huaraches (shaped just like the traditional Mexican footwear it is named after) should not be missed. 1220 E. Prince Rd., 85719
- El Güero Canelo – A trip to Tucson should include at least one Mexican hotdog. Numerous carts can be found around town selling these bacon-wrapped Sonora dogs, topped with cheese and whatever else you could want in the way of condiments. El Güero Canelo serves these Tucson favorites, as well as burritos and tacos, making it another one of the best Mexican restaurants in Tucson for people on a budget. 2480 N. Oracle Rd., 85705
- Micha’s – A local favorite, Micha’s excellent fare is complemented by outstanding service and very reasonable prices. Be sure to sample the machaca (spiced and shredded dried meat), a Sonoran specialty not found at all Mexican restaurants in Tucson. 2908 S. 4th Ave., 85713
- Blanco: Tacos + Tequila – Located in the chic La Encantada outdoor shopping mall, diners will enjoy beautiful city views and comfortable patio seating on nice days. Compared with many Mexican restaurants in Tucson, diners won’t leave feeling like they just consumed a ticking time bomb. The food is flavorful and seafood fans should take advantage of the ceviche and fish tacos. 2905 E Skyline Drive #246, 85718
- El Mezon Del Cobre – Specializing in seafood, this restaurant also pleases customers with live mariachi and its large drink menu. Finish off a wonderful meal with a mouthwatering dessert – flan, fried ice cream or sopapillas should do the trick. 2960 N. 1st Ave., 85719
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