Good eats on campus not hard to find

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Frozen yogurt from Campus Candy located on University Avenue. Campus Candy offers a variety of flavors and toppings for students to choose from.

*Editor's Note: This article appeared in the Daily Wildcat's 2017 Orientation Guide.

As the school year ends, current UA students head back to their home towns and incoming freshman will be exploring campus all throughout the summer.

Freshman orientation can be a fun time for students and family, but after the fun, what is there to eat around campus? Thankfully, just minutes from the center of campus, University Boulevard holds some of Tucson’s best places to eat. 

Campus Candy is a candy and frozen yogurt shop located on University Boulevard known for its wide assortment of hard candies, including retro candies that can date back to the 1920s.

Nathan McKelvey, an employee at Campus Candy, recalled the best part about the candy shop and ways current and incoming students can get free candy:

“People like our frozen yogurt and sour-belts the most here. Anything in our store is a topping for our froyo,” he said. “To save some money, our loyalty program offers people deals like free bags of candy on your 10th visit and on your birthday, which is tracked in our system through a cell-phone number.”

McKelvey went on to assure customers they aren’t limited to certain frozen yogurt favors and can try whichever flavor they like when visiting the shop. 

“The store is fun and is always playing cheerful music,” he said. “You can always try the frozen yogurt with sample cups before you commit to a flavor.”

Courtney Talak | The Daily Wildcat

Pizza from Frog & Firkin, a restaurant located on University Avenue. A favorite amongst students, the pub features classic bar food and a wide variety of beer. 

The restaurant Frog and Firkin has also been on the university campus for years and is particularly known for their Chicago-style pizza. 

Brittany Gregory, a long-time waitress from Frog and Firkin, suggested some lunch deals for the summer:

“Our pizza is what we are most known for because the dough is hand-rolled twice a day and it’s made like Chicago deep dish-style pizza,” she said. “During the summer, we will still have our lunch menu at a discounted price, like pizza slices and a side salad, and of course, the happy hour for parents.”

Ashley Avalos, a graduating criminal justice senior who also works at Frog and Firkin, said that the restaurant has a lot of traditions for incoming freshman families to partake in.

“It’s a familiar, friendly place to come since the restaurant has been around for years on the UA campus,” Avalos said. “It’s a great place for freshman to come visit with their families.” 

Frog and Firkin is a popular hangout spot for UA students, which is why the restaurant is a perfect location for incoming freshman and their families to enjoy the original campus atmosphere. 

RELATED: Explore campus, fitness with UA-FIT

The restaurant Illegal Pete’s, right next-door to Frog and Firkin, is always seen with UA students waiting in line to order delicious Mexican food. 

Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Fish tacos from Illegal Pete's located on University Avenue. The Mexican food restaurant is known for their burrito bowls and queso.

Chance Vance, a server and physiology sophomore, gave insight into the most popular items for college students.

“The most popular thing here is our queso, which can be put on anything on the menu,” he said. “We also have awesome taquitos and quesadillas that everyone enjoys during our happy hour.”

Joey Kaley, the general manager at Illegal Pete’s, said the happy hour and the $4 margaritas deal is happening throughout the summer from 3-8 p.m. 

Although incoming freshmen may not be able to participate in happy hours, perhaps parents could use an alcoholic beverage after a long day of touring the UA campus. 

Red’s Smokehouse & Taproom is also a great spot for incoming freshmen and their families to visit for a savory lunch. 

The newly built restaurant/bar serves all types of barbecue and grilled meats like briskets, steaks, wings and pulled pork sandwiches. 

Tamara Untiveros, a psychology sophomore and server at Red’s Smokehouse, explained the general vibe of the restaurant and what menu item has become a big hit. 

“Every item in our menu probably includes some type of meat,” she said. “Our most popular appetizer is possibly our jalapeno torpedo with burnt ends which tastes like a jalapeno popper.”

Trevor Colvin, an assistant manager for Red’s Smokehouse, said both restaurants would be perfect for incoming families. 

“During orientation, we always see dads come in for a beer while the moms and daughters go shopping at the boutiques,” he said. “Some events that we’ve done in the past was when we grilled alligator and offered free pints of beer. Stuff like that happens usually once a year, but we like to keep the friendly, cheerful vibe.”

Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Smoked pork and brisket from Red's Smokehouse located on University Avenue. Almost everything on the Red's menu is wood-smoked.

Untiveros said Red’s Smokehouse and Pasco, another UA eatery owned by the same person as Red’s, are perfect for any type of family.

“Pasco is more fine dinning and can be a great spot for lunch with mom, whereas Red’s Smokehouse is a great bar grill area for freshmen’s dads to visit with their kids,” she said.

There are numerous restaurants located all around the UA campus, but sometimes its hard knowing what to choose from such a wide selection. Luckily, University Boulevard harbors some of the best and tastiest restaurants you’ll find in Tucson for the perfect student orientation day.

RELATED: Taste test the Wildcat experience during orientation


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