The second stop in The Great Food Truck Race brought the rookies to Tucson. Many of the trucks thought that going from Southern California to the Southwest meant it would be an easy transition, but that wasn’t the case for everyone. Those who took the opportunity to adapt to local tastes found the best customer response, resulting in top sales. And Tyler’s Truck Stop challenge had the teams all selling a Sonoran hot dog, which proved to be one of the best ways of testing the teams’ marketing abilities. In the end, the team from SoCal came in first place, proving that they could make a comeback from last week.
Whether you’re looking for Southwestern favorites like burgers, Sonoran hot dogs or modern Mexican cuisine, we’ve narrowed down the restaurant offerings to the top 10 from the area, which include a few surprises like Jamaican stew and a Philly favorite.
Cafe Poca Cosa
If you’re looking for a modern take on Mexican cuisine, Cafe Poca Cosa is the place to be. Its sleek design will set the tone for your visit.
At Zinburger you’ll find gourmet burgers, fine wine and their extravagant Double-Truffle Fries.
Lindy’s on 4th
Lindy’s on 4th serves a spectacular stacked burger, a double cheeseburger on grilled cheese sandwiches.
CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen
Try the authentic Jamaican cuisine at CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen. Their oxtail stew is a customer favorite.
The B Line
Located near the university on bustling 4th Avenue, The B Line is a casual eatery serving food made with quality ingredients — and it somehow remains affordable. Try the restaurant’s Burro Burrito, or if you’re craving something sweet, have one of their freshly baked pies.
The Dish Bistro & Wine Bar
A departure from Tucson’s vast array of Mexican restaurants, The Dish is an intimate American bistro that owns and operates The RumRunner liquor store next door. As a result, it packs an impressive wine list.
El Guero Canelo
The star of the menu at all three El Guero Canelo locations is the Sonoran Style Hot Dog. Served in a traditional Mexican roll, this flavorful frank comes wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, mustard, mayo and jalapeno sauce. The mouthwatering beef tacos are also a treat.
Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteak
On Outrageous Food, Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteak attempted the impossible: to make the longest Philly cheese steak. Although they came short a few hundred feet, their shorter restaurant versions don’t fault on flavor, with ingredients like broccoli rabe, Italian provolone and, yes, Cheez Whiz.
Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress
Located in Tucson’s historic Hotel Congress, the Cup Cafe draws hotel guests and locals for three meals a day. The Cup’s known for stellar breakfast in a charming setting. Dig into the omelet bar or filling dishes like the Gunpowder — eggs, potatoes, turkey chorizo and Mexican asadero cheese.
Taqueria Pico de Gallo
Swing by Taqueria Pico de Gallo for mouthwatering tacos, complete with handmade corn tortillas. The fish taco served with pickled carrots, onions and jalapenos is a standout. Pair it with a refreshing side of fresh mango, jicama, coconut and pineapple doused with lime juice, salt and chili powder.
And if you’re looking for just Tucson’s best Mexican-Inspired Dishes, check out Food Network’s Top 10 List.