The Best of Tucson

30 Jul

Here are some of our  favorite of campus restaurants and local places to go visit in Tucson!

Time Market (Shuvonno approved!)
Address: 444 E. University Boulevard

Phone: (520) 622-0761
Hours: 7am-10pm

Time Market is a place like no other. Imagine a restaurant, deli, and market all in one place, with a great atmosphere and some delicious food. Conveniently located near the University of Arizona (on the southwest corner of University Blvd/3rd Ave), Time Market offers everything from amazing wood-fired pizza, subs, organic produce, freshly baked artisan bread (comes out of the oven around 10am daily), a wide selection of beverages, and also a few must-try breakfast items. One my personal favorites is the Merquez pizza, which is made with mozzarella, red sauce, fresh fennel, mint, lemon zest, and mouth-watering merguez sausage all the way from Ninam Ranch in Rio Vista, California. Open from 7am to 10pm daily, Time Market also offers a chill atmosphere that many fall in love with after their first visit, which makes it a great place for a simple lunch with family and friends, or even a date with someone special.

Check out their menu: facebook.com/TimeMarketTucson.

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Sparkroot Coffee Bar + Fare (Lupita approved!)
Address: 245 E. Congress Street
Phone: (520) 623-4477
Hours: Mon-Sat – 7am-10pm; Sun 8am-9pm (*Kitchen closes 1 hour prior)

One of my favorite off-campus places to eat, study, and relax is Sparkroot, which is located downtown, across the street from Hotel Congress. In the summer of 2013, a friend and I  found this treasure while walking around downtown. The cafe sparked my curiosity due to its layout and its atmosphere. There is often music playing in the background, the cashiers are friendly (especially to newcomers), and the food is amazing. From outside the café doesn’t appear to have much space, but just as a T.A.R.D.I.S., there is more than meets the eye. I have spent countless hours studying at the large table and stools downstairs. If you’d rather head to a coffee shop for relaxation over productivity, you will find couches on the second floor. If you’re looking for a place to hang out in your free time, then swing by Sparkroot café to enjoy a nice drink. 

Check out their website: www.sparkroot.com.

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Oregano’s Pizza Bistro (Brenda approved!)
Address: 4900 E. Speedway Boulevard
Phone: (520) 327-8955
Hours: 11am-10pm

One of my favorite Italian restaurants to go is Oregano’s. This is a great place to visit on the weekend with friends, family, or that special someone. Every dish that I have tried there so far has been delicious and for a great price ($). My personal favorites are the deep dish pizzas and the Italian flag lasagna. One of the must try desserts is a pizookie. A pizookie is basically a cookie baked on a 6-inch pizza pan topped with scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Yummm! I highly recommend this place to anyone!

Check out their website: www.oreganos.com/index_main.html.

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Cheesecake Factory (Vanessa approved!)
Address:60 W. Wetmore Road
Phone: (520) 408-0033
Hours: 11am-11pm

This place can get a little busy at times especially near the holidays, so calling ahead to make a reservation is always a good idea! The Cheesecake Factory does not deliver, but you can call in and order for pick up.  I definitely recommend it for special occasions such a date, birthday, graduation, or being a WILDCAT (which we think is always cause for celebration)! But most importantly this place is affordable as well! The Cheesecake Factory can be pleasing to all of your guests due to the fact that they have a variety of foods:  burgers, pasta, seafood, and steak! Oh and did I mention they have dessert too! After dinner, you and your guests can enjoy a walk inside the Tucson Mall with a pleasantly stuffed tummy – the mall is just steps from the restaurant!

Check out their menu and website: www.thechessecakefactory.com.

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Scented Leaf Tea House + Lounge (Codi approved!)
Address: 943 E. University Boulevard
Phone: (520) 624-2930
Hours: 10am-9pm

My favorite place to go after a long week of classes is Scented Leaf. Scented Leaf has every flavor of tea you could ever think of! Hot or cold, they got it. They have teas on tap, which they can mix with other flavors, such as lemonade, lemons, milk (coconut, soy, almond, skim, half & half, 2%), sweetener, punch, and honey, just to name a few. They offer 50 cent refills on medium drinks, and $1 refills on large drinks. The tea is amazing, and the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful if you need a place to unwind and study. If you are not looking for a place to study, it is still a great place to stop by and walk down University with your friends and family.

Check out their website: www.thescentedleaf.com.

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Wings and Rice (Nam approved!)
Address: 5502 E. Pima Street
Phone: (520) 731-3313
Hours: 11am-9pm

Whoa wings.. and rice, what a weird combination. Don’t reject the idea just yet. This place is one of my personal favorite spots in Tucson. It’s about 10 minutes off campus by car, at the corner of Pima and Craycroft. So what do they serve there, besides wings and rice? They serve a variety of foods, from chicken wraps, to pulled pork sandwiches, to different burgers, to cheese fries and many more. But personally my favorite is the katsu chicken on top of the fried rice (insert fire emoji). They have this sauce they put over their fried rice and katsu chicken that is immaculate. Kinda sweet, kinda tangy, kinda perfect. For their wings, they have a variety of flavors to choose from and of course they are bomb. I would definitely recommend checking this place out. It’s a must try if you are new to Tucson!

Check out their website: www.wingsandrice.com

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Azian Restaurant (Sushi & Korean BBQ) (Khadra approved!)
Address: 15 N. Alvernon Way
Phone: (520) 777-8311
Hours: 11:30am-10pm

I would have to say this restaurant is hands down the most delicious and cheap sushi restaurant in Tucson. Sushi isn’t the most economical meal out there, and being college students, we have a budget to keep in mind. This is a good mix of affordable and delicious! For instance, I ordered 9 different rolls and only paid $20.00. Having said this, I totally recommend this spot. There are dollar menus for sushi, happy hour specials, and so on. And the variety they offer is beyond ridiculous. Can you imagine ever having Green Tea Sushi? Sounds weird, right? Well, I can faithfully say Green Tea sushi is ahhhhmaaaaaaazinnggggg  (I order it everytime). So, if you are someone who loves sushi just as much as I do, please go try it out. I promise you will not regret it! I haven’t personally ordered the Korean barbecue, but all of my friends who have tried it have loved it. The Korean barbecue is a little on the pricey side, so I haven’t tried it. But if you’d like to, please do try it out and let me know!

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