Amelia Grey’s / Yelp price range: $
Step into Amelia Grey’s and for a second you’ll think that you’re actually walking into a small French café, nestled in the vibrant city of Paris. Known for their la culture du café, the French see cafés as social hubs for conversation, places to enjoy coffee without any rush. Located just off Campbell Avenue, Amelia Grey’s offers chocolate scones fresh out of the oven and catering better than anything else Tucson has to offer, bar none.
Amelia Grey’s is every bit as gourmet as it is wallet-friendly. Prices are low, but the taste will have you believing you’re being served brunch at the Chateau Marmont.
Mi Nidito / $$
A Southside Tucson staple, Mi Nidito boasts a guest list that includes former president Bill Clinton, former UA basketball coach Lute Olson and singer Enrique Iglesias. While the idea of venturing to South Tucson might have you questioning the restaurant’s worth, the chile relleno will convince you it’s worth the trip.
Finding quality Mexican food in Tucson isn’t much of a challenge, but Mi Nidito is considered the best of the best. Make no mistake — if it’s good enough for a pop star and a former president, then it’s good enough for you.
BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs / $
BK is another staple in Tucson’s Mexican food community. Open in two locations, BK offers a variety of traditional Southwest cuisine in a spirited atmosphere filled with the kind of snarky signs you might expect to find in a biker bar.
The most notable item on BK’s menu is the Sonoran-style hot dog. Loaded with ingredients imported from heaven, BK’s Sonoran dog was named No. 1 in the state of Arizona by Travel Channel’s “Food Wars.” The best part about BK? You can pick up a whole sirloin steak — through its drive-thru. Yes, you read that correctly.
Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink / $$
Looking for a place to take your parents next time they’re in town? Owned and operated by UA alumni Tyler and Zack Fenton, Reilly Craft offers a unique experience. The look and feel of the restaurant’s decor helps separate it from the quintessential college bar. With chalkboard walls, cast-iron chairs and deep, rustic wood, Reilly Craft fits perfectly into the chic downtown atmosphere of Congress Street.
But it’s the homemade, wood-fired, brick oven pizzas that set Reilly Craft apart from its competitors. Each slice is savory and perfect for sharing, and won’t have you feeling guilty afterward like Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Reilly Craft’s prices range on the higher end of the spectrum, but are still reasonable enough for a dinner date or night out with your family.
PJ Subs / $
If you’re looking for an alternative to restaurants on University Boulevard or need a sobering meal after a day of tailgating, PJ Subs is the go-to spot for game watching. Located just off Tucson Boulevard and Sixth Street, it’s an accessible off-campus mainstay that offers true East Coast hoagies. Whether you hail from Philadelphia or you’ve never dined on a Philly cheese steak in your life, PJ Subs has something for you. Boasting a varied collection of tequila and Deschutes Brewery beers, PJ Subs is within stumbling distance but still a far cry from campus life.