Restaurant Guides online can locate current eateries more quickly than guide books! Here are great tips to find those AZ hot spots the locals frequent.
They know where to go for great food & deals. Get that insider knowledge! We'll add more homegrown hot spots as we discover them. We like to visit different areas & we get feedback from those we know.
We even have local fast food eateries. They're suitable at certain times! The restaurant guides often ignore them.
Where are you? We'll help you out with our Arizona locals' restaurant guides and tips for best eats for you...
There are 2 spots on the Northwest side of town. Each is right off of the I-10 Freeway. My favorite is...
Chuy's - 6741 N Thornydale Rd., Marana, AZ - (520) 579-3395 - Tex-Mex grilled food. Use the Orange Grove Road Exit 250 East off the I-10 Freeway. Once on Orange Grove - get over to the far left lane. Make a left at the light. Stay in the left lane. After passing Costco Dr. you'll see it in the strip mall on the left.
Varied menu, even burger sliders. We'd be there fairly regularly when we lived in the area. Most people rate it well on review sites. I like them because it's the only place I typically drink a margarita - not too sweet, and definitely not expensive. The tequila is surely in it! Their happy hour is terrific! A good assortment of beers also - Bill gets his IPA that he loves!
I love the mahi fajitas. Sometimes the tortillas are overly warmed & dried out - but they'll replace them if you ask. The prices are good. There's a help-yourself chips & salsa bar. It's not a deluxe restaurant. Guide yourself to it for a fun atmosphere! You'll definitely get a good meal for a decent price.
The Stadium Grill & Bar - 3682 W. Orange Grove Rd., Marana, AZ - (520) 877-8100 - Take Exit 250 off the I-10 Freeway, and keep to the left lanes. When you get to the 1st traffic light, it's in the shopping center on that NE corner.
Regular bar type food and drinks at reasonable prices. Nice selection of happy hour appetizers start at 3 pm til 6 pm, Monday to Friday. We stopped in there occasionally. It's a nice place. The food is good. Bill prefers their food to Chuy's. If I'm choosing, usually I'd rather go to Chuy's. It's a good place - it's fine. Most of the online restaurant guides' reviews are good. Especially for their staff - whom I've always thought were really helpful.
Thunder Canyon Brewery - Now here's a spot a little more upscale than the other 2 above. The restaurant guides list it in the same pricing category as those previous, but actually it's a little more pricey. But not much - It's reasonable. So if you're looking for a better restaurant experience, try this!
This restaurant/brewery is on the Northwest side of town. But it's off the Freeway farther. Into Tucson now, not Marana.
It's in the Foothills Mall - Corner of Ina Rd. & La Cholla. Off the I-10 Freeway, Exit 250 go East on Orange Grove until LaCholla - make a left.
7401 N. LaCholla Blvd., Tucson - if your GPS needs an address. You'll find the mall on the NW corner of LaCholla when you reach that intersection, about 3 miles or so off the Freeway. (520) 797-2652.
Many house brews are on tap. A wide variation of food choices are on the menu. Some beers are really good, others not so much. They also have pizza. Nice restaurant atmosphere. Online restaurant guide reviews are generally good. The problems mostly come when they're busy. Then their service goes downhill.
It's generally a really popular local place. You'll have a wait on Friday evenings. We've almost always had a good experience here. I can only think of one time where there was a slow problem when they were very busy. The waitress, in being rushed, just didn't explain my choice very well - so I didn't end up with quite what I expected.
There is another Thunder Canyon downtown also. It's on Broadway.
Barrio Brewing Co. - Here's a choice that's a little South of downtown. It's in a warehouse area. And what a great choice it is!
It has its own selection of craft beers and IPAs - all of them very popular.
Their menu is really varied. They have super appetizers, salads, paninis, burgers, Tex-Mex choices, and some great veggie selections.
The topper is the prices are a bargain... You won't leave hungry!
It's a very popular pub/restaurant. Even when it seems packed, you can find a spot to get seated. It attracts a lot of the University of Arizona college fans during their games. Be prepared for that!
It's been one of our favorites.
I love the Veg Head sandwich - called the "You Asked For It Veg Heads" !! It is on a panini, and includes eggplant, red bell peppers, sweet onions - fried, braised spinach, havarti cheese (yumm!), with a basil pesto aioli. I think there's probably some other things in there - but it's delish!!
Bill loves their Philly Cheese Steak...
Get there: 800 East 16th Street, corner of Toole St. It's a little difficult to access this one, without knowing the area. Use your GPS - or here's a map:
Noble Hops Bar & Gasto-Pub - Might be a little difficult to find if you aren't familiar with the area. It can't be beat for its eclectic menu, craft beer menu and its location! Restaurant guides give it high ratings for sure...
1335 West Lambert Lane, Oro Valley, AZ - (520) 797-4677 - Oro Valley is on the far Northwest side of Tucson.
Two brothers founded this restaurant. They take much pride in their presentation. It's a bit more pricey than previous choices, but you won't regret anything here!
The views of the Santa Catalina Mountains from various seating areas are spectacular. There's a large outdoor patio with a bar. The food is sensational! Bill has many IPAs to choose from!
To help you locate it, as we don't think you should miss out on trying it at least once - here is a map...
When you're in a rush, sometimes a Fast Food restaurant is an essential. Often people shudder at the thought of the lack of nutrition or food quality. What are the true ingredients in this stuff!?
True... so what can you do?
Well, if you must eat in a fast food restaurant, guides often don't let you in on the best ones to choose. But we will - for there are some area choices that are a little better:
(#1) In-N-Out Burger - Found on the West Coast and in Southwest states. They advertise they make quality food: 100% beef burgers - no additives, no fillers, no preservatives, never frozen, ingredients not pre-packaged.
They have their own burger pattie-making facilities, so they have control over the process. They specialize only in burgers, fries & beverages - so as to focus on their quality. Everything is freshly made - just like you would be doing it at home, essentially. They bake their own buns. They don't have freezers or microwaves.
Your food is cooked to order. Potatoes for fries, tomatoes, lettuce all come fresh from a farm. Shakes are made with ice cream. True quality is what they're known for.
Restaurant guides' reviews are great for their food. Main complaint is how busy they always are! And they are!!
(#2) Whataburger - Serves breakfast through dinner, open 24 hours. Originated in Corpus Christi Texas, started as 1 family-owned restaurant. It expanded through many Southern & Western states & is still family owned.
Their burgers are 100% beef - they're known for their quality burgers, made to order when you order it. Other food choices abound, all made with quality ingredients. Not all are health-conscious. You can find healthy items on their menu, and can be assured of quality.
(#3) Carl's Jr. - Located in states essentially West of the Mississippi. They advertise their burgers as "charbroiled" - which must be better than fried on the grill. They also have burgers that are advertised as "all natural" - so watch for that on what you order: not all of them are. That means the cow was grass-fed.
The buns are also freshly baked, and the cheese is not processed. Much of their menu is oversized. Yet they do provide easily accessed nutritional information on their website: www.carlsjr.com.
Many of their restaurants also incorporate "The Green Burrito" - which have some choices such as the California Burrito and Machaca Burrito. Most people on restaurant guides rate it good, sometimes just not for service - but most times for great service.
When you're vacationing, you're bound to need to eat out. That's part of the deal! There are some ways to avoid doing that too much. Think about what they may be...
A lot of our recommendations prepare scrumptious meals - but will they pile on excess calories? Will some ingredients not be in our best interest? Likely so. Most restaurant guides won't even worry about any of that!
If you're an Arizona local yourself, it could be you're eating out more than you would like. When life gets very busy - this seems to be inevitable.
We recommend tracking your dining out habits to build awareness. They always say making a journal of anything you do, makes you more aware of it. Our online Restaurant Guide has a journal you can use. Download it and print it out to track your eating out days. Then be aware of needed adjustments in your eating habits! Get it by clicking here>