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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Finding food beyond the University of Arizona’s campus

Madison Beveridge
Tumerico is home to vegan and vegetarian Latin American food.

With the 2023-24 school year starting, hundreds of students have moved back the University of Arizona’s campus and close by. While the university has its own market and cafeteria, Tucson offers a variety of places to eat near campus. Many are just a walk, Sun Link streetcar ride, or drive away.


Tumerico has two locations near campus and two food trucks. They specialize in vegan and vegetarian Mexican cuisine for those looking for alternatives. The sous chef, Bernardo Serna, went into more detail about the food since the menu is constantly changing. 

“One of the things I love about working here is coming in every morning, and we get to play and experiment with recipes, foods and textures. Pretty much what we dreamt last night or what comes in our head, we like to dance in the kitchen,” Serna said.

Julian Muñoz stands in front of the menu at Turmerico on August 10. Turmerico serves Mexican food and has locations on Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street. (Noor Haghighi)

The restaurant originally started as a farmer’s market stall where the owner, Wendy Garcia, would sell her vegan tamales and lemonade with ginger and turmeric. As Garcia’s items grew in popularity, she decided to open Tumerico.

To Serna, the community’s love and support is the most rewarding part of the business. They have regulars who have started to feel more like family from how often they come in. 

“We love [University of Arizona students] and take care of them all the time. We always have our usual students who come in and a lot of the athletes, too, decide to come have their lunch here since it’s a healthier option. It’s like coming to nana’s to see what she cooks every day, keeping it new, tasteful and delicious,” Serna said.

The Tumerico location Serna recommended for students is the Fourth Avenue location at 402 E. Fourth Ave. While the menu is a set menu, there is a Bring Your Own Beer/Wine. The prices are more affordable for the students, and this is the only location that sells vegan Sonoran Hot Dogs. The Fourth Avenue location is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Sixth Street location at 2526 E Sixth St. is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday.


Noodies is located on Speedway Boulevard close to campus. The pasta and gelato shop is open every day except Monday and Tuesday. (Noor Haghighi)

While fresh pasta can be challenging to find in Tucson, Noodies is one of the few places that offers it. Located on Speedway Boulevard, Noodies offers a little bite of Italian food from fresh pasta to gelato; there’s a little of everything. The owner, Carolyn O’Connor, has experience with what a good pasta dish needs.

“I try to, for the most part, say simplicity is key. A lot of people think the more that you do, the better it’s got to be, and often, I find the opposite,” O’Conner said. “They give you a better feeling when you’re done eating, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, I want that again; it made me feel good.’ But I also think it’s fun not totally being traditional because we get to do a lot of fusion stuff.”

O’Connor was inspired after learning from a friend in Tucson how to make fresh pasta. She fell in love with the craft and the reactions of people in Tucson trying fresh pasta as a lot have never had it. Coming from upstate New York, it was more common to O’Connor.

From there, she was given the opportunity to open a coffee shop in her hometown. She was able to gain confidence in running a business and was able to open up Noodies.

“Restaurants are notoriously challenging in general, and I’m so lucky because I have my husband, who is also in the restaurant industry, so he’s such a huge support for me. My managers and my team are so incredible, so luckily, I always feel like I have a core support team,” O’Connor said.

Noodies is located at 1730 E. Speedway Blvd. and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ATL Wings

Right on Fourth Avenue lies the first Tucson location of ATL Wings, and like the iconic Eegee’s, it’s an Arizona franchise. The location on Fourth Avenue is owned by Velveia Evans, who also owns Vivaldi Salon Suites in Glendale, Arizona, and is part owner of National Entertainment and Management. Evans is a seasoned entrepreneur. 

“I wanted a restaurant, and friends of mine had a franchise called ATL Wings. There were no ATL Wings here in Tucson, so I brought the first ATL Wings to Tucson,” Evans said.

Close to campus on Fourth Avenue is Tucson’s first ATL Wings location. ATL Wings is an Arizona franchise specializing in fresh wings and featuring Kool-Aid on tap. (Amanda Mourelatos)

The restaurant uses fresh chicken, salad, homemade ranch and blue cheese. Within the ATL Wings franchise is also a department that thinks of new dishes so the restaurants can constantly change dishes. There are also 21 sauces for customers to choose from for their wings, and it is one of few places to serve Kool-Aid on tap.

“We are ATL Wings, so our number one item on the menu is our wings. The great thing about our wings is our wings are flavored. They’re not oversauced or under-sauced, and they are crispy. We believe in a crispy wing. One that you can eat all the way to the bone, not that ooey, gooey skin. We cook that wing to perfection; that of course is our number one bestseller,” Evans said.

Evans is also starting First Fridays, where every first Friday of the month there will be music with the food served at ATL Wings. To Evans, it’ll just be a place to gather with friends for a good time. She is also partnering with Chef Brian’s Comfort Kitchen just down the street on Sept. 16 at her location. There will be a big buffet of her food and his food for $24.99.

The closest ATL Wings to campus is on 802 N. Fourth Ave. and is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. That location also accepts CatCash. 

The second location is at 5855 E. Broadway Blvd. and is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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