5 Bars and Restaurants You Can’t Miss in Tucson – JCK

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The dining scene in Tucson has come a long way over the past decade. Every year, new restaurants and lounges (like the first three places highlighted below) enliven the city’s hospitality sector and keep owners of more established places (like the last two places on our list) on their proverbial toes. . For gem-lovers, the contest created a lively dinner atmosphere marked by fresh, local cuisine and fun, delicious drinks. We’ll raise a glass to that!

Taqueria La Esquina

What started as a successful taco truck serving Sonoran street food has turned into a festive corner restaurant featuring Mexican-inspired artwork and authentic Mexican street food. Located across from the historic rodeo grounds at the corner of 6th and Irvington, Taqueria La Esquina serves traditional truck food such as carne asada and achiote pollo tacos, Sonoran hot dogs, queso fundido, and pork belly bites. But there’s also a bar stocked with classics from south of the border. 4876 S.6th AI., 520-373-5207

Flora Market Race

As a dual market/restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner, Flora Market Race has you covered no matter when you want to escape the gem shows. From sandwiches to hearty bowls of cereals and salads during the day, to charcuterie, pasta, wood-fired pizzas, oysters and cocktails in the evening, the menu is fresh, inventive and very appealing! 2513 E. 6th St., 520-771-9141

The Jackrabbit Lounge

Located at the historic south end of Oracle Road, The Jackrabbit Lounge offers both food and drink with a surprising twist. Whether it’s the Polynesian chicken skewers or the roasted vegetable sammies, the frozen date shake (bourbon, date syrup, homemade ice cream) or the signature Rabbit Hole cocktail (mescal, butterscotch, Borghetti, dry curaçao and Guinness), the offerings in this retro-inspired lounge are designed with late-night revelry in mind (closing time is 2 a.m.). Plus, there’s plenty of free parking! 2000 N. Oracle Rd., 520-372-2032

The Jackrabbit Paloma Lounge
Paloma cocktail at Jackrabbit Lounge (photo courtesy of Jackrabbit Lounge)

Augustine Food

Within walking distance of the Tucson Convention Center, just west of the Santa Cruz River is Mercado San Agustin, a charming open-air courtyard lined with shops and restaurants with an upscale artisanal vibe. In his heart sits Augustine Kitchen, a brewery focused on sustainable ingredients made and grown in Southern Arizona, including local and organic produce, olive oils, breads, flour, beef and cheeses paired with local wines, craft beers and cocktails. 100 South Avenue Del Convento, Ste. 150, 520-3985382

Owl Club

Don’t let the gruesome setting deter you from enjoying a cocktail or five at Owl Club, a former funeral home turned groovy cocktail bar in downtown Tucson’s historic Armory Park neighborhood. With its beautiful stained glass windows and chandeliers, the 1920s building that houses the bar is the perfect place to enjoy a drink from the menu’s extensive whiskey selection, old world wine list, well curated spirits collection and the modest beer program. 236 S. Scott Avenue., 520-207-5678

Top: The iconic figurine that decorates the drinks at Jackrabbit Lounge in Tucson (photo courtesy of Jackrabbit Lounge)

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