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Three sauce-topped oysters on the half shell  surround half a charred lemon on a white plate. Dry ice “smoke” spills over the side.
The Delta’s “monsoon oysters” dish has a dramatic presentation, with three oysters topped with a various sauces.
The Delta

The 17 Hottest New Restaurants in Tucson Right Now

From Mexican seafood to nostalgic vegan options, here’s what’s hot in the Old Pueblo

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The Delta’s “monsoon oysters” dish has a dramatic presentation, with three oysters topped with a various sauces.
| The Delta

Mexican food may always be the darling of Tucson’s culinary scene, but the city is also embracing an increasingly diverse range of cuisines. Concepts that previously would have been considered too niche are now being embraced by the community.

Meanwhile, over the past couple of years local restaurateurs began to gravitate towards more grab-and-go and plant-based options. Additionally, some of the city’s most successful restaurants opened new outposts downtown.

From Mexican seafood to nostalgic vegan delis, here are some of the exciting new restaurants in Tucson.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

This oak wood-fueled, live fire kitchen features a menu with ingredients sourced within 400 miles of Tucson. With such a seasonal and local-minded approach, the menu changes regularly. If it’s available, try the dry-aged beef tartare with a house-made white Sonoran wheat tortilla. Gin martini lovers will adore the Bigelow, a martini variant with rosehip bitters and pickled nopal.

The Monica

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Flores Concepts and James Beard Award-winning baker Don Guerra teamed up for another restaurant, this time in downtown Tucson. The Monica features a fast-casual, to-go-focused, “pantry” line with salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, and pizzettas showcasing heritage Barrio Bread grains. The “plated” menu features contemporary Mexican dishes such as braised short rib with rosemary ancho jus.

CRUDA Mariscos & Oyster Bar

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Located just north of the main stretch of Congress Street downtown, Cruda offers an enticing variety of Mexican seafood dishes in a convivial space. Start the meal with a refreshing michelada and the ostiones preparados, which features fresh oysters adorned with octopus, shrimp, spicy serrano, and cooling avocado.

The Delta Bar & Grill

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The team behind The Parish brings a love of Southern food downtown with The Delta. The menu doesn’t play around with subtlety — the Big D sandwich features a massive mesquite-smoked, Dr. Pepper-braised, bone-in short rib topped with bone marrow, blueberry pickled onions, habanero pickles, and slaw. For an indulgent dessert, the doughnut features sweet foie gras cream, spiced mole glaze, and sesame-peanut crunch.

The Century Room at Hotel Congress

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The Century Room’s swanky lounge features live jazz and an impressive array of agave spirits. Sit back and enjoy the show with a cheese board and the “shadow caster” cocktail, which includes fig and chile-infused mezcal, aged rum, Nixta, chocolate, mole bitters, and applewood smoke.

Little Love Burger

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Contrary to the name, the fried chicken sandwich just might be the real star at Little Love Burger. Take a seat at the people-watching window and order the Southwest “hot chick” with hot fried chicken, pepper jack, spicy slaw, bread and butter pickle, and charred jalapeño mayo.

Thunder Bacon Burger Co

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Thunder Bacon’s wild burgers are worthy of the social media buzz — with toppings such as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. For an unorthodox harmony of flavors, try the “thunderkush” burger with roasted green chiles, smoked blue cheese, bacon, and raspberry preserves. A brunch collaboration with Sonoran Brunch Company pops up every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon.

Buendia Breakfast & Lunch Café

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Buendia provides a bright and colorful environment for a.m. eating. For breakfast, go for the chilaquiles divorciados for a duo of red and green salsas. For lunch, order the stuffed poblano with shrimp and a creamy green sauce.

Fullylove's

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Fullylove’s keeps its main menu simple with sandwiches and an assortment of fried appetizers. However, its dessert menu kicks up the indulgence with options such as the peanut butter “SmOreos”, which are deep fried Oreos that sandwich a Reese’s peanut butter cup, chocolate, and marshmallow.

Noodies

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Fresh house-made pasta and soft serve gelato star alongside fun, casual vibes at Noodies. For a hearty lunch, order the toothsome fettuccine topped with classic bolognese. Plus, the sauces and raw pasta are available for cooking at home.

Del Cielo Tamal

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Previously operating out of a farmers market stand, Del Cielo has expanded into a permanent space. From the breakfast plates to the vegan tacos dorados, dishes sport a home-cooked feel and comfort. The Navolato plate features Sinaloa-style machaca cooked with tomato, onions, and poblano alongside refried beans, queso fresco, eggs, and a green corn tamal. A vegan breakfast buffet lands from 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday.

Bubbe's Fine Bagels

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Though this popular bagel shop only debuted its first location in 2021, it has already expanded with a second location. While Bubbe’s offers unique options such as a Calabrian pepper schmear or whitefish salad, its quality shines the brightest when the kitchen highlights seasonal options such as heirloom tomatoes on a plain bagel and schmear.

Go Dim Sum

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Instead of carts, Go Dim Sum has a fast-casual vibe with orders taken at the counter. The menu keeps it traditional with items such as Portuguese egg tarts, char siu bao, and pork soup dumplings. Don’t miss out on the handmade sesame balls.

Bun Dock Vietnamese Noodle

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While Bun Dock started with a focus on fresh Vietnamese noodle bowls, the restaurant eventually caved into demand and expanded the menu with aromatic bowls of pho. Make sure to also order a side of fish sauce wings and a taro boba smoothie.

Midtown Vegan Deli and Market

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This dedicated vegan market and eatery features breakfast all day along with sandwiches, salads, and loaded potatoes. Nostalgia-hitting burgers riff on fast food icons, like the “Western Bacon Chi” with onion rings, barbecue sauce, and tempeh bacon.

Squared Up Pizza

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Tucked away in the Park Place food court, Squared Up offers pizza a few ways. However, the specialty is the square Sicilian slices. The flagship pepperoni slice piles a generous portion of pepperoni cups, plus fresh mozzarella and spicy fra diavolo sauce, on a thick and fluffy crust. 

Mariscos Culichi

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Don’t be fooled by the generic name. While Mariscos Culichi expectedly lives up to its name with fresh ceviche and lush camaron culichi, it also boasts warm, friendly service. The personable staff can also help guide you through the menu.

BATA

This oak wood-fueled, live fire kitchen features a menu with ingredients sourced within 400 miles of Tucson. With such a seasonal and local-minded approach, the menu changes regularly. If it’s available, try the dry-aged beef tartare with a house-made white Sonoran wheat tortilla. Gin martini lovers will adore the Bigelow, a martini variant with rosehip bitters and pickled nopal.

The Monica

Flores Concepts and James Beard Award-winning baker Don Guerra teamed up for another restaurant, this time in downtown Tucson. The Monica features a fast-casual, to-go-focused, “pantry” line with salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, and pizzettas showcasing heritage Barrio Bread grains. The “plated” menu features contemporary Mexican dishes such as braised short rib with rosemary ancho jus.

CRUDA Mariscos & Oyster Bar

Located just north of the main stretch of Congress Street downtown, Cruda offers an enticing variety of Mexican seafood dishes in a convivial space. Start the meal with a refreshing michelada and the ostiones preparados, which features fresh oysters adorned with octopus, shrimp, spicy serrano, and cooling avocado.

The Delta Bar & Grill

The team behind The Parish brings a love of Southern food downtown with The Delta. The menu doesn’t play around with subtlety — the Big D sandwich features a massive mesquite-smoked, Dr. Pepper-braised, bone-in short rib topped with bone marrow, blueberry pickled onions, habanero pickles, and slaw. For an indulgent dessert, the doughnut features sweet foie gras cream, spiced mole glaze, and sesame-peanut crunch.

The Century Room at Hotel Congress

The Century Room’s swanky lounge features live jazz and an impressive array of agave spirits. Sit back and enjoy the show with a cheese board and the “shadow caster” cocktail, which includes fig and chile-infused mezcal, aged rum, Nixta, chocolate, mole bitters, and applewood smoke.

Little Love Burger

Contrary to the name, the fried chicken sandwich just might be the real star at Little Love Burger. Take a seat at the people-watching window and order the Southwest “hot chick” with hot fried chicken, pepper jack, spicy slaw, bread and butter pickle, and charred jalapeño mayo.

Thunder Bacon Burger Co

Thunder Bacon’s wild burgers are worthy of the social media buzz — with toppings such as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. For an unorthodox harmony of flavors, try the “thunderkush” burger with roasted green chiles, smoked blue cheese, bacon, and raspberry preserves. A brunch collaboration with Sonoran Brunch Company pops up every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon.

Buendia Breakfast & Lunch Café

Buendia provides a bright and colorful environment for a.m. eating. For breakfast, go for the chilaquiles divorciados for a duo of red and green salsas. For lunch, order the stuffed poblano with shrimp and a creamy green sauce.

Fullylove's

Fullylove’s keeps its main menu simple with sandwiches and an assortment of fried appetizers. However, its dessert menu kicks up the indulgence with options such as the peanut butter “SmOreos”, which are deep fried Oreos that sandwich a Reese’s peanut butter cup, chocolate, and marshmallow.

Noodies

Fresh house-made pasta and soft serve gelato star alongside fun, casual vibes at Noodies. For a hearty lunch, order the toothsome fettuccine topped with classic bolognese. Plus, the sauces and raw pasta are available for cooking at home.

Del Cielo Tamal

Previously operating out of a farmers market stand, Del Cielo has expanded into a permanent space. From the breakfast plates to the vegan tacos dorados, dishes sport a home-cooked feel and comfort. The Navolato plate features Sinaloa-style machaca cooked with tomato, onions, and poblano alongside refried beans, queso fresco, eggs, and a green corn tamal. A vegan breakfast buffet lands from 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday.

Bubbe's Fine Bagels

Though this popular bagel shop only debuted its first location in 2021, it has already expanded with a second location. While Bubbe’s offers unique options such as a Calabrian pepper schmear or whitefish salad, its quality shines the brightest when the kitchen highlights seasonal options such as heirloom tomatoes on a plain bagel and schmear.

Go Dim Sum

Instead of carts, Go Dim Sum has a fast-casual vibe with orders taken at the counter. The menu keeps it traditional with items such as Portuguese egg tarts, char siu bao, and pork soup dumplings. Don’t miss out on the handmade sesame balls.

Bun Dock Vietnamese Noodle

While Bun Dock started with a focus on fresh Vietnamese noodle bowls, the restaurant eventually caved into demand and expanded the menu with aromatic bowls of pho. Make sure to also order a side of fish sauce wings and a taro boba smoothie.

Midtown Vegan Deli and Market

This dedicated vegan market and eatery features breakfast all day along with sandwiches, salads, and loaded potatoes. Nostalgia-hitting burgers riff on fast food icons, like the “Western Bacon Chi” with onion rings, barbecue sauce, and tempeh bacon.

Related Maps

Squared Up Pizza

Tucked away in the Park Place food court, Squared Up offers pizza a few ways. However, the specialty is the square Sicilian slices. The flagship pepperoni slice piles a generous portion of pepperoni cups, plus fresh mozzarella and spicy fra diavolo sauce, on a thick and fluffy crust. 

Mariscos Culichi

Don’t be fooled by the generic name. While Mariscos Culichi expectedly lives up to its name with fresh ceviche and lush camaron culichi, it also boasts warm, friendly service. The personable staff can also help guide you through the menu.

Related Maps