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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


OPINION: Check out five of Tucson’s best restaurants

Em Cuevas
Wilbur and Wilma at a food-truck illustrated by Em Cuevas.

With the start of a new school year, there are lots of opportunities to check out new restaurants around Tucson! All of these places opened not too long ago, and lots of them are different from foods and vibes you might be used to. They’re a great sampling of what Tucson has to offer.

5. The Monica

The Monica has become so synonymous with Congress Street to me that it feels weird to list it as a restaurant that opened in 2022. Yet, it absolutely did! Last spring, The Monica opened in March, delivering a cool take on downtown breakfast: You can choose to order cafeteria style or off a menu. That convenience means a lot. Combined with the ultra-modern aesthetic, The Monica is a must-stop downtown.

Go to for more info on hours and menu items at The Monica.

4. Bubbe’s Fine Bagels

Bubbe’s Bagels now has two locations, one out east on Wilmot Road and the other location, the new one, up north near the Foothills. I’ll admit my own biases are what got me so excited for Bubbe’s. Specifically, I’m Jewish, and I remember driving by with my mom shouting, “A real bagel place!” The important part of Bubbe’s is that the bagels are really good and honestly worth the trip away from campus.

Go to for more info on hours and menu items at Bubbe’s Fine Bagels.

3. Tran’s Fats

Local art-showcasing hotel Hotel McCoy houses a new permanent food truck. I was there for a friend’s birthday party, and I just needed something to eat, but I was blown away by chef Jackie Tran’s bao! Since Tran’s Fats focuses on bao, it’s also a cool opportunity to try something that might be new to you. I had only really had bao with dim sum, so it was nice to have bao as the main course rather than just part of the dim sum.

Go to for more info on hours and menu items at Tran’s Fats.

2. Ni Hao Tea

Local boba spot Ni Hao Tea has very cool flavors of boba that you might not be used to, and that’s what keeps me going back there. Look at the menu! Personally, I can say Ni Hao introduced me to cream cheese boba, which was something I’d never even heard of, and I loved it. These exciting varieties of boba you’re not used to are still drinks you’ll love. Check it out.

Go to for more info on hours and menu items at Ni Hao Tea.

1. The Blacktop Grill

The Blacktop Grill has my favorite quesadillas in Tucson, and, for a city with so many quesadillas to choose from, that’s a high bar. They’re just so good. I’d call them “hipster greasy” if that makes sense. They’ve just opened up their Fourth Avenue location, and the flavor is so quintessentially Fourth Avenue: fancy, cool ingredients that taste like something you still would have loved when you were 9 years old. They’re also known for their hot dogs and they have wonderful vegan options (I always opt for their delicious soyrizo), so give Blacktop a shot.

Go to for more info on hours and menu items at the Blacktop Grill.

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Kate is a student at the University of Arizona. She loves improv comedy and comic books.

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