Top restaurants and bars in Pac-10: Arizona

Arizona folks love their restaurants and bars.

I just spent two hours working through the hundreds of nominations. (Is it Happy Hour yet?). It's possible that I may be using this list for personal use sooner rather than later.

Away we go.

(*Means I've been there).



Trident Grill (also was noted as a good over 30 bar)

Dom from Tucson writes: Arrive early, park there, short walk to the Mall for tailgating, and another short trip to Arizona Stadium. Too many TVs to count, lots of red (naturally) and nice co-eds ready to fill your beer from one of the over 20 on tap. There's usually great game day specials on food and drinks.


Patrick from Tucson writes: Great bar, amazing sandwiches, awesome nachos. Line is usually out the door, and it's best for a pre-game meal. It's on 4th ave., so I'd say it falls into the under 30 range, being in a college area. But to be honest you may see a random 90 year old.

El Guero Canelo

Joseph from Tucson writes: you've never had a hot dog until you've had their Sammy Dog Mexican hot dog

Dave from Tucson writes: Just imagine: A hot dog. Wrapped in bacon. Smothered in mayonnaise, Ketchup, mustard, pico de gallo, onions, and hot sauce... true Mexican food. Top it off with 4 carne asada tacos - the best in the country.

Cafe Poca Cosa*

Mark from Tucson writes: It will change you life. A foodie friend in Boston raved about it to me years ago. If it's too expensive then Little Poca Cosa is great also, a bit more authentic but somewhat less life changing.

El Charro Cafe Downtown*

Ken from Pebble Beach, Calif., writes: Truly awesome Mexican food - El Charro great food and local flair. Be sure to try the carne seca.

Jaye from Tucson writes: That place has thee best Mexican food ever!! Carne Asada tacos and enchilada platters. The place is basically an old two story house with an outside patio and a small outside bar. The meat is dried out on the roof and they have over I believe 40 different kinds of tequila. Very 5 star with a little kick to it. I suggest you go there unless you haven't already.

Zacharys Pizza

Kevin from Houston writes: It's a stones throw from Arizona stadium. they serve super thick deep dish pizza, and have some great beers on tap.

Bruce from Scottsdale, Ariz., writes: An absolute dump but the best Chicago-style pizza you will ever have, including in Chicago and exotic beers on tap before that was de rigeur. It's been there at least since the late 80's, though not always in its current building. Also walking distance down 6th street from the stadium makes it convenient on game days, yet it is rarely packed. Plan on spending 2 hrs there, service is horrible and ambiance nonexistent, but the pie rocks


A "UA Student" writes: has some pretty amazing burgers on 4th avenue. it was featured on man vs food!!

Brooklyn Pizza Co

Cody from Tucson writes: They make amazing pizza and the whole place is powered by solar energy from the sun!

Sausage Deli

Ryan from Tucson writes: Great local sandwich shop on Euclid, less than a mile from campus. They serve amazing hot and cold sandwiches, and are generally slammed during lunch hours every day. Get the Black Dog or the Omar (or the Susie Sorority if you're so inclined)

La Parrilla Suiza



Mosaic Cafe

Guadalajara Grill

Kevin from Houston writes: This off campus eatery was the best Mexican food I had in Tucson, and that's saying a lot. they have a huge selection, and a salsa and guacamole lady that will make it to your liking and spice level. try the guadala-rita.

Nimbus Brewing Company

1702 Pizza and Craft Brew

Larry from Tucson writes: Beers you didn't think existed or didn't think you could get here in the States. It is right off of campus and the name is the address in case people get confused

Ra Sushi

Michael from Tucson writes: This whole area is packed with 3 or 4 good places to eat, so you can't go wrong heading up to the hills here, about 15 minutes away from campus. It's Tucson's nicest area for shopping/dining. The menu is standard sushi items you would see at any place, with a few twists. The ambiance is great and the place is always buzzing with college kids and adults looking for a place to unwind.


Travis from Carrollton, Texas, writes: Great ribs.



El Minuto

Barrio Brewing Company

Seth from Santa Barbara, Calif., writes: Barrio Brewing Co. in the historic warehouse section on 16th avenue. It can be a little tricky to find, but the beers and food are well worth it.



Nite life

Frog and Firkin (under 30)*

Rishi from Los Angeles writes: the best place to grab dinner and drinks that's on campus is Frog & Firkin hands down! Great place to eat, drink, people watch, and get a feel of Wildcat fans on University Blvd right in the heart of the University of Arizona!

Will from Norfolk, Va., writes: Your best bet for burgers is Frog & Firkin on University Ave. Perfectly seasoned and come with a good portion of beer battered fries. Also have a good draft beer selection. You can get a burger and two pints for under $15.

Steve from Bakersfield, Calif., writes: Surprised you didn't include a category for best day-drinking spot, a favorite past time of every Pac-10 school (except maybe Stanford). At any rate, Frog & Firkin in Tucson can probably outright win the cocktails/nightlife category based solely on daytime hours. There are few better days than those spent on the patio watching the foot traffic on University Blvd with a few cold pitchers and a couple dollars in the jukebox. Gamedays, and Homecoming especially, are standing room only, with the latter crowded as early as 6am. Definitely an "under-30" bar but occasionally sprinkled with faculty for lunch sans cocktails.

Jason from Los Angeles writes: They have great beers, burgers and pizza and there's nothing better than sitting out on the patio on a Friday enjoying the scenery. Also, you can't beat Beyond Bread for sandwiches in Tucson.

Dirtbags (under 30)

Andrew from Sacramento, Calif., writes: Generally under-30 crowd, but older alumni always seem to stop by has been an Arizona institution since 1983, and the decor of this dive lives up to the name. A short walk from Arizona Stadium, it is THE place around to campus to grab a beer or one of their specialty shooters like the 911 Turbo. I'm terrified to think about how much money I spent here during my undergrad years, but like the sign says, "it's a part of growing up."

Michael from Tucson writes: It's apart of growing up. Classic fraternity/sorority scene, right on campus near the end of Greek Row. Suggust the "Rubber Duckey"

Kevin from Santa Monica, Calif., writes: TUCSON=DIRTBAGS!!!

Gentle Ben's Brewing Company*

Matt from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., writes: The beer selection is phenomenal and the menu is wide-ranging and very good brewery food.Gentle Ben's also attracts a wide variety of friendly patrons, although the later it gets the younger the crowd will be on the outdoor patio upstairs.Take it from this displaced Arizona graduate: when you visit Tucson make a trip to Gentle Ben's Brewery


Texas Roadhouse (over 30)

Ken from Pebble Beach, Calif., writes: 30+ age group, lively atmosphere and great food and service.

The Shanty (under 30)

O'Malley's (over 30)

Michael from Tucson writes: Great place for the slightly older crowd, good bartenders and good drinks.

Sky Bar (under 30)

North (over 30)

Risky Business (over 30)*

Hotel Congress

Dan from San Francisco writes. Best Random Historic Bar: It's where John Dillinger was captured the first time.

Comments: Seems like everyone has a favorite Mexican place in Tucson. El Charro, El Guerro Canelo, Cafe Poca Cosa and Guadalajara Grill got a lot of support, but I'm sure just by typing that we'll have some piping in with other ideas (including the folks who work sports information at Arizona). One problem with Cafe Poca Cosa is the last time I went there they wouldn't let me eat at the bar. The name for that policy is "Really Freaking Stupid." For cheap eats, lots of support for Bisonwitch, Zachary's Pizza and Lindy's. No two places in our entire survey of Pac-10 schools, however, generated as much enthusiasm as the Frog and Firkin and Dirtbags. Both were mentioned perhaps 50 times.