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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus Guide: Tucson offers smorgasbord of food choices

    Jessica Schrecker

    Jonah Horn, a pre-pharmacy senior studying psychology, makes a pizza at Magpies Gourmet Pizza on Oracle Road. Magpies is just one of many places to eat on and around campus.

    Editor’s note: This article is part of the Arizona Summer Wildcat’s 2014 Campus Guide. The Campus Guide is a special issue that runs every year to help introduce incoming students to the UA and campus life.

    Tucson, the Old Pueblo, the Dirty T, whatever you call this crazy little desert town, one thing you cannot call it is tasteless. With the grand opening of the Tucson Sun Link Modern Streetcar, it is a great time to take a culinary adventure down the streetcar line. So let’s hop on the streetcar and explore the delicious eateries of Tucson.

    The first station on the streetcar line is located on the north side of campus at Warren Avenue and Helen Street. Surrounded by the University of Arizona Medical Center, Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and many of the university’s world-renowned research labs, the north side of campus has no shortage of great food.

    Greek House on Speedway Boulevard and Warren Avenue serves authentic Greek food at lightning fast speeds that Zeus would envy. Right next door to Greek House is the quirky and comfortable Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea. Bentley’s is the perfect place to write and study with a fantastic beverage within arm’s reach.

    Another local favorite that is just a short walk away is Miss Saigon. Located on the corner of Speedway Boulevard and Campbell Avenue, Miss Saigon serves incredible Vietnamese entrees at great prices. Make sure to order a refreshing boba tea. Every Friday, the area plays host to another wonderful culinary extravaganza: the UAMC Farmers’ Market. The market is located in the College of Medicine courtyard. Here you can find tasty food or fresh raw ingredients from local vendors.

    “I think [the market] is a great way to discover the local food scene that Tucson has to offer,” said Clayton Kammerer, co-founder of FoodInRoot and the UAMC Farmers’ Market. “If you are new to Tucson, there is not a better way to be able to savor what the southwest and the Old Pueblo has to offer, and you can do that with the people who make and grow that food.”

    As we board the streetcar to continue our wonderful culinary journey, we find that the next three stops take us through the UA campus. Most students are already aware of the diverse array of foods offered at the Student Union Memorial Center and Park Student Union, but the UA has some other fantastic eating options on campus. If you’re looking for a quick bite between classes, the Hot Dog Food Stops by the Harvill building and the Old Chemistry building are convenient options that don’t get the love they deserve.

    Some of the UA’s most memorable food is best enjoyed when the stars come out. The Cellar Bistro, located in the basement of the student union, offers incredible milkshakes and burgers and is open until 1 a.m. Highland Market, the UA’s favorite convenience store and restaurant, is well-known for its late night-burritos that it begins serving at 10 p.m.

    As the streetcar whizzes by, we find ourselves on University Boulevard. Known for its impressive line-up of shops, restaurants and bars, it’s always easy to find great food on this street. Whether it’s macaroni and cheese from The Fix or frozen yogurt from Campus Candy & Yogurt, there is always something open on University. For students who prefer the bright atmosphere of a cafe to study, University Boulevard features Scented Leaf Tea House & Lounge and Caffe Luce when you need to get down and focus.

    Many students prefer the less expensive options that University provides, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill or Jimmy John’s. Night owls might prefer the restaurants with later hours, such as Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue, located three blocks north of University Boulevard on Speedway Boulevard.

    “My favorite on University is probably Chipotle,” said Stefanie Nguyen a pre-physiology junior. “Even though it’s not local, it’s good for poor college students. I also like Frog & Firkin because it’s firkin good.”

    As we climb aboard the car again, we see the glistening lights of Fourth Avenue approach. Known for its lively night life and great restaurants, Fourth Avenue also hosts the Fourth Avenue Food Fest, a lively farmers’ market that takes place every Friday.

    The other nights of the week, Fourth Avenue doesn’t have any shortage of good food. Lindy’s Diner on 4th is an artery-clogging diner that features some of the best burgers in Tucson. La Indita is a Mexican and Native American restaurant that features cuisine that will both surprise and delight. Caruso’s Italian Restaurant is a Tucson relic that has been serving fantastic Italian food since 1938 and is a great place to impress a casual date.

    “Incoming freshmen should come eat at Magpie’s because college is about experiences,” said Jonah Horn, a pre-pharmacy senior studying psychology and a manager at Magpie’s Gourmet Pizza. “As a freshman here, it is easy to shelter yourself in a world of full of Highland burritos and Papa John’s while gourmet pizza and fine dining awaits.”

    Finally, the streetcar brings us downtown to the end of our culinary adventure. Downtown is the seat of power in Tucson, and there is some powerfully good food for you to enjoy. Saint House Island Bistro & Rum Bar features tropical dishes from the Caribbean that will leave you refreshed and satisfied.

    Shot in the Dark Cafe is the perfect place for some late night cramming, as it’s open 24/7 and features great drinks and comfort food. Every night downtown should end with some wonderful ice cream from the Hub Restaurant and Ice Creamery. Its dazzling variety of homemade flavors is sure to leave you dying for more.

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