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New restaurants and cafes in Tucson

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Caitlin Claypool | The Daily Wildcat

Cafe Maggie was originally called Epic Cafe, but was reopened as Cafe Maggie in September 2020. The cafe offers breakfast, coffee and lunch. 

Here are some restaurants and cafes that took on the challenge of opening their doors during the pandemic. 

Locale Neighborhood Italian:

The Italian restaurant had its grand opening in late December of last year. Located on Broadway and Alvernon, the restaurant has a huge patio out front to enjoy anything from cappuccinos to pasta to tiramisu. 

Cafe Maggie:

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The new cafe opened on Fourth Avenue in September of 2020. It was previously Epic Cafe and has now reopened as Cafe Maggie in late September of last year. The cafe offers breakfast and lunch options in addition to coffee. According to the website, It was renamed after the longest current tenant, a Dieffenbachia plant named Maggie. 

Transit Tea:

Although not a restaurant or necessarily a cafe, Transit Tea, the sister company of Maya Tea, opened in February 2021 along Speedway Boulevard. Before, the company was operated through a tea truck. The place offers any kind of iced tea along with tea sodas or tea snow cones. 

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La Chingada Cocina Mexicana:

The Mexican restaurant opened in December of 2020. It is located in Downtown Tucson and offers traditional Mexican food like different kinds of street tacos including, Camaron Capeado, Birria de Res, Avocado Chickpea and Chicken Tinga.

Flora’s Market run (restaurant and cafe opening):

Flora’s Market Run is the latest addition from Ares Collective, the company that owns Prep and Pastry. Located on Sixth Street, Flora’s is a restaurant, cafe and a market. The market side opened in April 2021 with the cafe and restaurant coming later this year. 

Barrio Charro:

Barrio Charro opened in January of this year as a fast-casual combination of Barrio Bread and El Charro Café. Each owned by Don Guerra and Carlotta Flores respectively. The restaurant specializes in Mexican-styled sandwiches called Tortamanos. 

Tuk Tuk Thai:

Opened in September of last year this new Thai restaurant is located at 2990 N. Campbell Ave. According to This is Tucson, the restaurant is owned by Bud Sayso who is from Laos and Thailand. His wife, Noy, does the cooking for the restaurant. 

Lemongrass:

Opened in Tucson in October last year. The restaurant was started by Tank Ojha, a geologist. His study of geology took him to the Himalayas. After getting sick from local food, Ojha used his knowledge of geology and chemistry to develop healthy curries. These curries are on display at Lemongrass located on Fourth Avenue. 

Opa’s Grill:

The Greek restaurant opened in November of last year on Fourth Avenue. Opa’s Grill is owned by Qais Papoutsis who cooks the food alongside his brother, Nawid Esar. 

Kiwami Ramen

The new Japanese ramen restaurant opened in November 2020 and is located on Speedway Boulevard. Chef Tani has operated successful ramen restaurants in Japan, New York and Houston and can add Tucson to the list. 


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (5/18)
378 3 0.8%
Total (8/4)
270,694 4,359 1.6%
Includes tests since August 4, 2020
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated May 18, 2021