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“Excellent Food, excellent service, excellent ambiance!!”

El Charro Cafe - The Original
Ranked #15 of 1,991 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $25
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
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!"
Level Contributor
89 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellent Food, excellent service, excellent ambiance!!”
Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

Have been to the original El Charro many times! This time I was there with 4 friends! We all had very different menu items and everyone was pleased! The Carne Seca is one of my favorites, in any dish and as always was excellent! This is a great Tucson experience!

Thank MinniTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,924 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Over rated and over priced”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

The only thing this place has to boast about is their home made carne seca, which is only fair. I have been to El Charro about four times to meet with family or friends. The food is mediocre at best. The service is only fair. Twice I have encountered arrogant staff who act as though they are doing you a favor by taking your order. Each time I have gone I have tried something different. I found most of the selections to be insipid and way over priced for what you get. You can get much better Mexican food almost anywhere else in Tucson, spare yourself the expense.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1 Thank EA G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Eats! Great Price!”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We ate here on the recommendations of two other couples. They were spot on! This was a great dining experience in a quaint and colorful part of town which we explored before eating. My wife has a gluten allergy and had no trouble finding tasty items on the menu. The service was efficient and friendly. We'll eat here every time we visit Tucson.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Roderic K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“The oldest and the best Mexican Restauant!”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Super fun experience for families even with small kids. The food was tasty and reflective of the area. The staff attentive and made sure our noisy two year old had her needs met as well. The history and the interior of the restaurant make it a must to try. The food is great and priced not too high. Portions are big we all loved our varied choices-I loved the Mole con Pollo!

Visited May 2013
Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
121 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“The Big Charade”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Ordered their signature dish, The Carne Seca Platter. I have never had anything so tasteless at a restaurant in my entire life. The beans and rice, and side salad stuff were adequate and nothing to complain about. But the so-called Carne Seca was nothing more than a pile of finely shredded, dry and brittle, brown substance with zero flavor or taste. Nothing could have been added to it to make it any better. Sorry, El Charro, I will never come back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank JDM0225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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