We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

El Charro Cafe - The Original

#15 of 1,696 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Mexican, Spanish
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
15206221922
Website
Improve this listing
Today
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children
Description: Established in 1922, El Charro Cafe of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation's...
Established in 1922, El Charro Cafe of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Cafe is truly as Gourmet Magazine wrote: "A Taste Explosion".

We are innovators and originators and have proven this with our efforts in maintaining old world quality with new found concepts such as recipes lower in trans fat or designing dishes for those who need to dine gluten free!

Whatever your needs, El Charro Cafe and family are prepared to show you that; "We are not the best because we are the oldest, We are the oldest because WE ARE THE BEST!"
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,284 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 567
    Excellent
  • 392
    Very good
  • 177
    Average
  • 96
    Poor
  • 52
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Better

We have been going to this restaurant for years. Pretty much the same every year. Rarely impressed, but good. This year I noticed some changes, local ingredients, gluten free choices/alternatives, and vegetarian. My dinner was fabulous!

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Christine D
,
Chico, California, United States
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

1,284 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Pultneyville, New York
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Great dishes with an extensive menu and fantastic atmosphere! It's a long wait to get in but worth it. There is much to see and do while waiting as you visit the shops after you get your name on the list or you can just enjoy a drink at the bar. The best we're had here in Tucson!

Helpful?
Thank zdrwho
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I wanted to like this place and raved highly of what I had heard when bringing my parents who were visiting from out of town. We came for a late lunch and were seated inside. Let me jump ahead to the #1 reason why I am giving this a 'terrible' rating (outside of the very less than mediocre food). After... More 

Helpful?
Thank JAN_sd760
Chico, California, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We have been going to this restaurant for years. Pretty much the same every year. Rarely impressed, but good. This year I noticed some changes, local ingredients, gluten free choices/alternatives, and vegetarian. My dinner was fabulous!

Helpful?
Thank Christine D
Tucson
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The original "el Charro" restaurant & ambiance.. Who would want for more? All the food choices are excellent but you may want to try their specialty "beef"

Helpful?
Thank Veronica S
Langley City, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Very busy place, reserve or be prepared to wait in the great bar area. Wait was 20-30 mins although they told us 45. Just enough time for a marg and some chips and salsa. We split the platter, shredded beef, corn tortilla and all the fixins.

Helpful?
Thank mauisunset28
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

El Charro has been around since 1926 with the original location in downtown Tucson. The restaurant my husband and I go to is on the Northwest side of town. I love the atmosphere, food, customer service and great selection at the bar. Deb, Sandy and their crew make your experience at El Charro one that you will continue to come... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank N4894PJpatriciaw
Laramie, Wyoming
Level Contributor
90 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We went to dinner with a group of 10. They do not take reservations on the day of a meal nor will they seat you until more than half your group shows up. While some of us arrived a half hour early to get on their list that was a total bust. By the time our half+ showed up we... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rangemgr
Bristol, WI
Level Contributor
179 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We went to El Charro for the authentic atmosphere and weren't disappointed. El Charro is located in at least two buildings, connected by a quaint courtyard. There was a 45 minute wait, but since we weren't picky as to where we sat we got right in. The service was friendly and attentive, with beverages and appetizers delivered right on time.... More 

Helpful?
Thank sloomis31
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

The food we had brought memories of childhood...i started my meal with Sopa de queso, it was like stepping back in time, this soup was my childhood favorite, and El Charro got it right. Our main course Carne Seca and it was awesome! We will return.

Helpful?
Thank Amuze2u
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I have never had a bad meal here. The service is consistently good, and the atmosphere is awesome. The place is like a Mexican museum, I'm pretty sure it's a historic landmark. I take my family here to show them authentic Mexican when they visit tucson. Try the carne seca platter, so much flavor!

Helpful?
Thank Bobby B

Travelers who viewed El Charro Cafe - The Original also viewed

 

Been to El Charro Cafe - The Original? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
  • Location: United States  >  Arizona (AZ)  >  Tucson
  • Phone Number: 15206221922

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 35
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children

Description

Established in 1922, El Charro Cafe of Tucson, Arizona is The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. Featuring traditional Northern Mexico-Sonoran style and innovative Tucson-style Mexican Food, El Charro Cafe is truly as Gourmet Magazine wrote: "A Taste Explosion".

We are innovators and originators and have proven this with our efforts in maintaining old world quality with new found concepts such as recipes lower in trans fat or designing dishes for those who need to dine gluten free!

Whatever your needs, El Charro Cafe and family are prepared to show you that; "We are not the best because we are the oldest, We are the oldest because WE ARE THE BEST!"
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of El Charro Cafe - The Original and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
1 day ago
Tucson, Arizona
1 month ago

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from El Charro Cafe - The Original staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?