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“Love this place! The food is great and the experience unique.”
Review of Desert Rain Cafe

Desert Rain Cafe
Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Sells
Cuisines: Southwestern
Restaurant details
Tucson
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Love this place! The food is great and the experience unique.”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

I love this restaurant - the food is great and the experience is unique. Also, by eating here you are helping to preserve a culture, so take the time to make the drive out to Sells and experience food you will never taste anywhere else on the planet. How often can you say that? The staff are polite, friendly and eager to share their cuisine with patrons. It appears that half the town eats here and the reason is the great food. Try the daily specials - regardless of what it is - it will be good. The chips and cholla blossom salsa is really good. The menu changes slightly seasonally, but the prickly pear chicken wrap is always a good choice as are the quesadillas. They serve breakfast and lunch. FYI, the location is remote, so allow plenty of time for travel.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank M E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    9
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Camas, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Hidden gem in Sells AZ”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

A wonderful lunch with really fresh and tasty ingredeints.The four of us (two couples) each had something different and everything was deliciuos. It's worth the trip from Tucson when visiting Kitts Peak or the Tohono musuem.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank NW_Gourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Excellent food, worth the trip”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

This was my second trip to Desert Rain. I ate there 3 years ago, enjoying the amazing tepary bean and cheese quesadillas. (When I asked where they found the quesadilla wrap, the waitress told us her mom made them from scratch.) The food drew me back on my recent trip to Tucson. It is at least an hour drive from western Tucson to this great cafe. Even though the menu is limited, you'll find great dishes for the adventuresome palate. All the dishes we tried, from the bean dip, the quesadillas, the lamb and bean stew to the chicken with pico de gallo and cholla buds were excellent. You leave full but not weighed down. The gift store next door has the small tepary beans for sale along with recipes. The traditional Tohono O'odham food has a modern twist. I highly recommend this cafe!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelLightandHappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Desert Rain cafe experience”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

The Mrs. and I made a special trip to Sells just to try out some genuine native cuisine. We'd read good things about the cafe here, and weren't disappointed.

We began the lunch with white tepary bean hummus, brown tepary bean dip, and cholla cactus salsa, all on tortilla chips. It was quite tasty, and a nice change from the standard salsa and chip combos.

The Mrs. had the quesadilla made with tepary beans, chicken and cheese, and the side salad with the prickly pear vinaigrette. She particularly enjoyed the homemade/local chile sauce for dipping.

I chose the tepary bean and short rib stew, and was initially somewhat disappointed with the flavor, finding it rather bland. However, a dose of the above-mentioned chile sauce was truly transformative, and led me to clean the bowl out thoroughly, sopping up the leftovers with the soft tortillas provided. Make sure you ask for some chile sauce on the side when selecting this item!

We rounded out the experience with a shared mesquite oatmeal cookie and mesquite agave saguaro parfait.

It's the first time we ever drove 60 miles just to check out a restaurant, but 'twas worth the trip!

Oh, and you may want to consider Beano. We had a LOT of tepary beans.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank QtM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, CA
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Amazing native food!”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

We had a wonderful lunch at Desert Rain. The pico de gallo with cholla buds was amazing. The prickly pear smoothie was great. All of the salads, stew and drinks were fantastic. Most of the menu items are made with local products that are very healthy. We highly recommend this wonderful cafe.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cruisefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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