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The Daily Wildcat


Saffron Bites is first Tucson restaurant to open in the University of Arizona’s Student Union

Jaylin White from El Inde Arizona

The University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center welcomed the new addition of Saffron Bites, a Tucson-based restaurant. 

For the first time in the University of Arizona’s history, a local Tucson restaurant is operating in the Student Union Memorial Center. 

The university, looking to expand its horizons and bring some diversity to the food court, decided to partner with Oro Valley’s Saffron Indian Bistro, which also owns Kebabeque Indian Grill at 845 E University Blvd.

The Student Union also opened two concepts developed by the Student Union’s dining team, according to  Associate Director of Marketing, Contracts and Business Development Marites John.

“Cactus Grill and [the salad concept] Radicchio are local, home-grown concepts, meaning their menus and identities were developed by our dining team right here in the Student Unions,” John said. 

Sushi with Gusto also joins the national chains Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Papa John’s, which have long-operated outposts in the Student Union. 

This will be the second campus location for Saffron Bites, which debuted in February at the Global Center. 

The restaurant offers a mix of vegan and traditional Indian dishes, mainly using ingredients like chicken, peas, chilies, shrimp and fish prepared with classic Indian spices. A few appetizers include Vegetable Samosas and Dahi Kababs, and entrées like Tikka Masala and Saag with Basmati Rice can be served with vegan and meat options. 

Most meals cost between $9.95-$20.

“Arizona dining listens to feedback from the university community and considers current trends for any new dining location on campus,” John said. “We strive to provide a variety of fast, healthy, affordable and diverse dining options on campus.” 

Saffron Bites is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 

*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.  

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