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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Show your family the hidden taste of Tucson at these eateries

    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
    Sustainable built environments and American Indian studies senior Soukay Keovoranouth studies at a Shot in the Dark Cafe located at 121 E. Broadway Blvd. in downtown Tucson on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. In addition to coffee, the cafe serves a full menu and is open 24/7.

    Spending quality time with your family while showing off your Wildcat pride serves as one of the many great things to do during family weekend at the UA.

    But after showing them your favorite study spots or spending a long, hot day at the football game, venture outside of campus and take the family to refuel at these spots around the Old Pueblo.

    Vero Amore

    On the northeast corner of Swan Road and Fort Lowell Road sits an Italian oasis that cultivates an atmosphere and cuisine true to an authentic Naples experience.

    Vero Amore, meaning “true love” in Italian, became a certified Authentic Neapolitan Pizzeria by Italy’s world-renowned Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana Academy.

    This culinary encounter includes not only wood-fired pies, but also a speakeasy-style bar behind the kitchen for those 21 and older.

    This prohibition-style bar, only open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., requires reservations via text.

    “I’ve worked there for a year and a half and it is so much fun, and the pizza is amazing,” said Bayleigh Preston, psychology senior and server/hostess. “We also change the drink menu every two weeks, so you never see the same things twice. There is always something new, and everyone gets a taste of what they want, so everyone will be satisfied.”

    RELATED: UA students talk proper Family Weekend etiquette 

    Shot in the Dark Cafe

    A 24-hour coffee stop complete with free Wi-Fi and live music, this quaint cafe finds its home in downtown Tucson on the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Arizona Avenue. This café serves a variety of coffee creations and caters to not only vegans and vegetarians, but also families, offering fun specials and open mic nights.

    “We always get a lot of local artists, musicians—people who are up late at night being creative,” said Marymar Boyer, Shot in the Dark co-owner. “People are really attracted to our smoking patio and our monthly art shows, but we specialize in a lot of different things. Working here I’ve met the most open-minded group of individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

    Boyer said she loves how the customers interact with the employees because it truly feels like a second home—people just keep coming back.

    Wings Over Broadway

    Red brick and spicy aromas welcome hungry locals into this bustling restaurant and bar on the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Niven Avenue.

    Known for its variety of wing flavors, Wings Over Broadway also offers a full menu complete with domestic specialty draft beer and specials such as 50-cent wing Tuesdays.

    “It’s really a neighborhood restaurant—we like to be involved in the community,” said JJ Esquibel, the owner of Wings Over Broadway for nearly 10 years. “I’ve always liked the fact that we have a lot of customers who come here for special occasions, family gatherings and birthdays. I like that a lot of people enjoy having us be a part of what they do.”

    El Sur

    It’s hard to miss this red-and-yellow monolith situated on the intersection of 22nd Street and Jefferson Avenue.

    Known for its homestyle Mexican food and excellent service, El Sur specializes in fajitas and pan-fry tacos.

    “It’s basically homestyle,” said Isela Mejia, El Sur owner. “Everything is made fresh daily—we don’t even keep freezers here. We are home to the $5.99 fajitas, which you really don’t find anywhere else. We make a number of unique items that a lot of other Mexican restaurants don’t do, such as the flat enchiladas—a lot of people know them as Sonoran enchiladas—as well as calabacitas and posole.”

    Meija said the customers are her favorite part of the restaurant because they make working fun for her. El Sur also offers all of its customers grilled onions and jalapeños, which no other restaurant does, according to Meija.

    RELATED: How international students deal with the Family Weekend blues

    Poco & Mom’s Diner

    Established in Tucson in 1999, Poco & Mom’s Diner prides itself in serving Authentic New Mexican and American-style food.

    On the intersection of Kolb Road and 22nd Street, this restaurant is the perfect place to get your hatch green chile fix, either in authentic flat-style enchiladas or with a green chile-infused bloody Marys.

    “We’ve been in town 18 years [and] we’ve grown a lot through word of mouth and through UA students,” said Barbara Sullivan, waitress and part-time manager. “I love the family atmosphere. We get to know our customers, the regulars and their families. We get to watch their kids grow up, and it really builds with Tucson. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere in a family-friendly town.”

    Follow Lindsey Otto on Twitter 

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