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Best Mexican Restaurant

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san francisco
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Best Mexican Restaurant

I will be staying near Sabino Canyon in early March and would like suggestions on the best Mexican restaurant in that area. Thanks!

Marina, California
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1. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

That's not really an objective question. The fact is, there are so many great Mexican restaurants in Tucson, that singling one as "the best" is really difficult because it's more a matter of opinion than a clear-cut evaluation of criteria.

One thing is sure though: none of the best Mexican restaurants are near Sabino Canyon.

These are a few of my favorites for various reasons: Crossroads Cafe, San Carlos Grill, Mosaic Cafe (also Mosaic Cafe Dos on La Cholla), Rosa's, Little Poca Cosa, and, if you want something sit-down and somewhat fancy, La Poca Cosa. I also think the food at Mi Nidito is very, very good, but it's always so packed that I don't like to recommend it for people. If you go, plan on an hour wait. They don't take reservations or call-aheads. I'll also push people to El Charro because the service tends to be good, the Downtown one has a good atmosphere, and I consider the food acceptable. You can certainly get better food elsewhere, but some people like it and it may be just right for you.

vcv
Tennessee
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2. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Last month I ate at Crossroads (at Colinaz's recommendation), where food and service were excellent. My first night in Tucson I ate at the Broadway El Charro because it was right next to our motel; considering the top reviews it gets, I was disappointed and consider Colin's adjective "acceptable" to be an accurate description of what I ordered. (A Tucson resident later said that he considered the Broadway location not so good as the others, though.) Crossroads has very good prices too, though the decor lacks the bells and whistles of some expensive Mexican restaurants.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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3. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Mexican restaurants are a matter of personal taste. My favorites are Lerua's on Broadway, El Minuto just south of the downtown area and La Parilla Suiza on Speedway. Unfortunately as you see, none are close to Sabino Canyon.

Lerua's does wonderful green corn tamales. Be aware, it is strictly service at the counter. You order and pick up at the counter. Might check on hours because it is not open too late.

El Minuto has been satisfying craving appetites for carne asada for more than 50 years. I knew people who would come from far to the north for a meal at El Minuto.

La Parilla Suiza is a chain out of Mexico City. The one on Speedway was the first in the U.S. It serves a cheese fondue appetizer with fresh tortillas that is a meal by itself.

You also might like the Blue Willow on Campbell Ave. Not Mexican but a good place to eat.

san francisco
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4. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Thanks for your suggestions. i will be going to the Center of Creative Photography on the UA campus. Are any of the restaurants you mentioned nearby. Also, are there any other kind of great restaurants near Sabino Canyon?

Marina, California
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5. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

> Are any of the restaurants you mentioned nearby.

The ones Downtown, like La Poca Cosa, Little Poca Cosa (only open weekday lunches, btw) and El Charro, are relatively close to the CCP. But Rosa's and the ones on the southside like Crossroads are not very far either. Nothing within walking distance though, unfortunately. There are only a couple of pretty terrible Mexican restaurants right by UA.

> Also, are there any other kind of great restaurants near Sabino Canyon?

I like Eclectic Cafe. There's also a pretty good sushi place on Tanque Verde east of Sabino Canyon (can't recall the name now). Then there's Gavi's just west of there. Also Zona 78 on Tanque Verde east of Sabino Canyon. Don's Bayou is also close to there, at Tanque Verde & Catalina Highway. He does a pretty good job, although the shrimp and crawfish we get in Tucson are terrible all around (at least from my Louisiana and Gulf Coast upbringing).

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Lerua's is fairly close to the UofA, about a half mile or so south of the campus. Not easy walking distance. The Blue Willow is about a mile to the north of the campus.

Edited: 11:11 am, February 28, 2011
tucson az
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7. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Near the Sabino Canyon area at Kolb and Sunrise is Piazza Gavi. I have eaten there and at other restaurants by the same people in the past and have never been disappointed. The one at Kolb and Sunrise is their only one now. There are several other restaurants in the same area but none are "great." One of the El Charro locations is there but they are not on the top of my list.

The other suggestions here are good ones. The best Mexican restaurants of the traditional Sonoran style are located in South Tucson along 4th Ave and nearby.

tucson az
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8. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

I would add that these are my favorite "best Mexican restaurants" in Tucson:

Crossroads on S 4th Ave at 36th St for traditional Sonoran cuisine.

Zivaz near Swan and Broadway for eclectic Mexican-inspired food of a modern style.

Poca Cosa on Pennington in downtown Tucson for upscale bistro-style Mexican-inspired food, and for more casual breakfast and lunch fare, Little Poca Cosa at Stone and Alameda in downtown. The owners/chefs at both are sisters.

But there are probably a dozen "best Mexican restaurants" here! This was part of Mexico from the late 1600s until 1853, the period of Spanish settlement, and Tucson has a strong Mexican heritage.

Edited: 12:08 pm, March 01, 2011
san francisco
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9. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! Wish I could try them all.

Tucson, Arizona
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10. Re: Best Mexican Restaurant

My favorite is El Charro. Of course, all I ever order is their signature dish, the carne seca. I prefer the original, downtown, location, but usually go to the Broadway location. I have never had any service or food problems there.

If you go down to San Xavier del bac Mission, there is a good Mexican restaurant right on Mission Road,on the west side of the road, called Karichimaka.

I would warn you away from Guadalajara Grill -- at least the eastside location. I haven't eaten at the other one. The food was absolutely horrible -- the refried beans were more like bean paste, the masa in the tamale was dry dense and hard, and the tiny bit of meat that was in the tamale was unseasoned. The machaca had been cooked to mush and was, likewise, completely bland. I don't think I have ever been so disappointed in a Tucson Mexican restaurant.