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Ultimate Guide to Tucson Food Tours

Tucson Food Tours

Tucson Food Tours is a walking tour with stops at interesting and delicious restaurants (or breweries) in some of the hippest spots in Tucson.

You can choose to book a spot on any or all of the following three tours:

  • Downtown Tucson Food Tour: Eat, drink, and explore Downtown Tucson and our cuisine, culture, and history. On this food tour, you visit a restaurant that used to be a taxi cab hub, another that was funeral parlor, and the longest continuously ran family-owned Mexican restaurant in the United States. Your local guide points out architectural highlights, cultural sites, and great local shops along the way.
  • 4th Ave/Main Gate Food Tour: This is an informative tour through the University’s Main Gate Square and the historic 4th Avenue district. Visit restaurants featured on various Food Network shows and see what all the hype is about as you are treated to quality food samples. Learn about how Tucson became the first city in the United States to be recognized as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy.
  • Brewstillery Tour: On this Tucson beer tour, you get behind-the-scenes knowledge and history of some of the best craft breweries in Tucson and learn about their unique style. Visit downtown breweries and distilleries, enjoy a flight at each stop, and sample locally made spirits. This is not a food tour, so please make sure to have lunch prior to this tour. Ages 21+. 

We recommend that you go on all three of the above tours to experience the myriad flavors and marvelous sights of our city. If you can only do one, however, choose the Downtown Tour.

Established in 2012 by a firefighter and his wife, the tours feature local lore, lots of history, and insider foodie tips. It's a fantastic introduction to the downtown or 4th avenue area and will clue you in on where you might want to return with family + friends.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Where do you meet for the tour?

The meeting place of the tour varies, but you can expect to receive complete details upon registration.

What time are the tours?

Tours are available on most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between September and May. Wednesdays are sometimes available as well. Check the tour schedule for your preferred date.

How long do the tours last?

Tours last approximately four hours, 11:00am to 3:00pm.

How much walking is there?

The "Downtown" tour is approximately 2 miles walking and the "4th Ave/Main Gate Square" tour is 1.5 miles.

Guests on the 4th Ave tour will receive a street car pass good for 24 hours. Participants can expect to be standing or walking for a majority of the time.

What restaurants will we visit?

The line-up sometimes changes, but all of the picks are worthy ones.

On a given tour, you might visit some (but not all) of the following Tucson Food Tours partners.

  • Maynard's Market
  • Cafe Passe
  • The Hub
  • Drunken Chicken
  • TallBoys
  • El Charro
  • Reilly
  • La Cocina
  • Empire
  • Scented Leaf
  • Batch
  • Percheron Mexican Grill
  • Playground
  • Lindy's
  • The Dutch

How much does it cost?

$59 per person.

What is the parking situation?

There are various parking lots and garages located near the meeting point that will be provided prior to your tour date. Parking in the downtown Tucson area falls in the $3-$8 range.

What should I wear?

Dress is casual, but be aware that you'll be walking ~2 miles. No stilettos! Comfortable shoes and layers are advised. Don't forget sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen.

What should I bring with me?

  • Cash for ordering soda, tea, coffee, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Cash for tipping your food guide. 
  • Your camera and/or phone! So many photo opps in Downtown Tucson and 4th Ave/Main Gate Square!

Are bathrooms available?

Yes. There are several stops along the route where you will be able to use restrooms.

How much food is there?

You will receive a sample at each restaurant - plus unlimited water at each stop. It is the equivalent of a full (but not huge) lunch...with the bonus that you get to experience the ambiance of different restaurants.

Should I tip the tour guide?

If you enjoy the experience, gratuities are gratefully accepted (but not required). If you do decide to tip, 20% is a good rule of thumb - but feel free to give more or less based on your experience on the tour.

BABIES & KIDS

What ages would be best suited for Tucson Food Tours? Can I bring my kids?

Tucson Food Tours caters to adults, but feel free to check with the owners with special requests or questions. Note that there are no discounts for children.

EVENTS

Can I arrange a private tour for my business or for a party?

Absolutely! Tucson Food Tours is happy to work with groups (large + small).

Maria Lawrence, co-founder of Tucson Food Tours, explains: "We love to cater to groups who are looking for a more intimate experience. Our Private & Custom Group Tours are the perfect way to get a taste of Tucson while enjoying the company of friends, family, or co-workers. We are happy to tailor a unique culinary experience to your group's needs. We can arrange for cocktails to be included, we can arrange for live music, and we can help with transportation, just to name a few of the customizable add-ons. Whether it’s a corporate team building event or a fun social gathering, we create an enjoyable and unique bonding experiences for your group while you relax and enjoy the tastes and sights Tucsonans love. We’ve worked with companies big and small from around the world, and with groups ranging from 12 to 100 people. Please contact us directly for more information, so that we can customize the tour to suit your needs."

Private tours are perfect for:

  • Birthdays
  • Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
  • Bridal or Baby Showers
  • Corporate Team Building
  • Conference add-ons
  • Networking Groups
  • Work Anniversaries

MISCELLANY

Is Tucson Food Tours active on social media?

Yes! FOLLOW Tucson Food Tours on Facebook and Instagram.

What else do I need to know before I go on a tour with Tucson Food Tours?

  • Tickets must be purchased 48 hours in advance and tours often sell out. Book in advance to ensure a spot on your preferred date.
  • You can "gift a tour" to a friend or family member! Gift certificates are available for purchase.
  • Call 520-477-7YUM for more information.

PHOTOS FROM THE DOWNTOWN TOUR

Downtown Tucson is getting more and more gorgeous with each passing year. Upscale dining, great outdoor patios, fantastic night life. 

PHOTOS FROM THE 4TH AVE/MAIN GATE TOUR

Main Gate Square is right next to the University of Arizona and, as a result, is a hub for UA students, professors, and staff.

In contrast, 4th avenue has a strong "mom & pop" vibe with hippie appeal.

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