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El Charro Cafe - The Original

#14 of 1,559 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701-1016
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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1,598 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,577: English reviews
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Perhaps many moons ago this place deserved the glory of "best Mexican food". I found it to be at best - bland, plain, lacking color! I love Mexican food. Could eat it every day and never tire of it. But this place turned out to be a dud. There is no Mexican ambiance. A house that had been converted, and... More 

Thank joedebosco2
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This restaurant has been on this location for 90 years and serves Mexican food in a traditional way. The carne seca is really good and home dried on the roof. Dishes are presented nicely and taste delicious. Really good

Thank dokkers9
Spokane WA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We had a late lunch here as it is my guy's favorite from when he lived here a long time ago. He had been dying to eat "hometown" Mexican food. The cheese crisp was a new thing I had never had before and it was good. Simple but satisfying. The enchiladas were quite tasty- served piping hot with the usual... More 

Thank SpoRedPrincess
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We expected more from all of the reviews. Salsa is good. Margaritas weren't that great. Food wasn't bad but wasn't great. Atmosphere was nice and service was good.

Thank Sarah M
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We hadn't been there in probably well over a year. We remembered it as a rather dark experience where you had to be sure you had to have all your senses not to accidentally poke your fork in your eyes. But lo! New owners apparently had given it a make-over and the place looks cozy and inviting. The food was... More 

Thank John K
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Twice when I have been here, I've had one of their enchiladas with the works. So tasty! However, the few times I've brought out of town guests here, I've ordered other menu items and they were very mediocre and the wait time for a seat isn't that long but the service was sooo slow. And there was one time our... More 

Thank TravelAneml
Alto, New Mexico
Level Contributor
112 reviews
108 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

This is a very nice location with interesting decor. We started with happy hour margaritas that were average at best. Our guacamole appetizer was quite good. The enchilada and taco entrees were very good. The carne asada enchilada was excellent.

Thank Philip B
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We enjoyed this little gem for lunch. Started off with a green chile cheese crisp and an order of guacamole, tasted great combined! I had the numero dos, my mother had the numero tres and my sister had the burrito lunch special. Everything was delicious. I particularly loved the tamale. Would definitely return and recommend.

Thank Katie P
Abilene, Kansas
Level Contributor
96 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Eat lunch every time we are in Tucson. Always great service, great menu and authentic Mexican, depending upon with Mexican state style you are familiar with. And set inside for a real experience and enjoy the old house.

Thank Dan H
Santa Fe
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Go early to avoid the rush. Like most cafes, it is loud when it is in full swing. We (party of 5) enjoyed the margaritas and a variety of dishes; we returned a second night.

Thank Marlene J

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish, Gluten Free Options
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover
Good for
Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Families with children, Kids
Open Hours
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701-1016
  • Location: United States  >  Arizona (AZ)  >  Tucson
  • Phone Number: 15206221922
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!"

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of El Charro Cafe - The Original and other visitors
4 questions
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Atlanta, Georgia
1 day ago
1 month ago
8 months ago
Tucson, Arizona
10 months ago

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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?