The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

72° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Where to wine before graduation and dine with the parents after

    Let’s be honest. The big university-wide commencement on Saturday will be boring, arduous and tedious for most involved. The reasons for going are usually limited to parents wanting photo ops and professors who encourage taking advantage of these moments before they are gone. But in order to spice it up, here are a few options for an ice-cold beverage or two before the ceremony and a bite to eat (read: an excuse for more beverages) after it all within walking distance of McKale Center and without fighting the crowds on University Boulevard.

    Before

    Gentle Ben’s

    Gentle Ben’s asked on Facebook whether they should open at 6 a.m. to help graduating seniors start their last day as UA students off right. With a resoundng “yes” to the Facebook poll, Ben’s is now offering what is billed as the “new graduation tradition” that will allow graduates to party without the wait at more established pre-commencement watering holes around campus.

    Gentle Ben’s
    865 E. University Blvd.
    624-4177

    The Buffet

    Open at 6 a.m. every day, The Buffet always gets hordes of seniors wearing tassels and gowns to eat a little and drink a lot before commencement. A lot of the patrons who usually frequent this institution in the morning are those just coming off the night shift, but plenty of soon-to-be UA alumni will get their hands on the bar’s signature Fun Dip shot or the cheap beers.

    The Buffet
    538 E. Ninth St.
    623-6811

    Dirtbag’s

    The lines outside of Dirtbag’s on Graduation Day are memorable. In fact, on the bar’s Facebook page, there’s valuable timeline real estate dedicated to showing crowds of people trying to get a couple last drinks at Dirtbag’s before becoming graduates. If you go, know there will be a ridiculously long line. But it’s all tradition.

    Dirtbag’s
    1800 E. Speedway Blvd.
    326-2600

    After

    Grimaldi’s

    University Boulevard will be packed because everyone is too lazy to move much farther than the couple streets that jump out as hotspots for post-grad eats. But this pizza joint right off Sixth Street and Campbell Avenue is just as close to McKale and serves upscale pizza done right. Plus, if the line is too long, Sam Hughes Championship Dining and Rosati’s make good backup plans and are seconds from the front door.

    Grimaldi’s
    446 N. Campbell Ave. Suite #100
    882-6100

    Miss Saigon

    Curried catfish, pho and drinks served in coconuts — mix up the graduation celebration with this little eatery on Speedway Boulevard and Campbell Avenue. Hearty servings and nothing like the chain restaurants, Miss Saigon provides hearty portions at a decent price with an intimate setting in which to share stories and reminisce with the people buying the meal.

    Miss Saigon
    1072 N. Campbell Ave.
    320-9511

    Zachary’s Pizza

    Typified by extraordinary deep dish pizza that takes a fair amount of time to cook, Zachary’s is an oft-overlooked destination off of Park Avenue and Sixth Street. If there’s no problems with a little waiting and having beers instead of a nice glass of Chardonnay, Zachary’s can be a perfect place to de-stress after a hectic graduation weekend.

    Zachary’s Pizza
    1028 E. Sixth St.
    623-6323

    More to Discover
    Activate Search