National Geographic Mentions Tucson City of Gastronomy


Well, well, well… All of us locals know that Tucson is known for its amazing Mexican food, but now there’s recognition from National Geographic! We, of course, have a great selection of Tucson accolades, here is a collection of our food-related ones. If you want to jump straight to restaurants we love, you are more than welcome to do so.

Back in 2015 Tucson was awarded the first US city with the Capital of Gastronomy designation and joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Naturally, we covered the decision here, and so did the Smithsonian Magazine. The Gastronomy award is not the only foodie mention we’ve got. Not by a long shot.

La Estrella Bakery Recognized by Washington Post for Pan De Muerto
La Estrella Bakery Recognized by Washington Post for Pan De Muerto

Not Just National Geographic

Just recently the Washington Post recognized La Estrella Bakery for their amazing pan de muerto and other traditional Mexican treats. Also, Forbes magazine mentioned local Carlotta Flores of El Charro as one of 50 over 50 to keep an eye on. She has several Charro restaurants, all with a slightly different spin and all delicious.

We also love Tucson Meet Yourself, colloquially known as “Tucson Eat Yourself.” Here you will find not only amazing Mexican food but food from all over the world. All brought to you by Tucson citizens sharing their cuisine, a melting pot if you will. A pot you can eat a lot of great food out of.

Pretty please don’t take our word for it. Come check us out, we are so much more than the food. There are dozens of reasons to visit Tucson whether it’s our spectacular sunsets or the hiking trails. Are you in town for a celebration? Be sure to pick up some local beer & wine for an intoxicating taste of the area. Thinking of retiring here? It’s a good choice, Tucson is rated one of the best for retirement living.

Whatever brings you here, we’re certain you’ll want to stay.

The New York Times Mentions Saguaro National Park

The New York Times recently released an online, interactive list of 52 places around the world where travelers can be a part of the solution, rather than a problem. Because you know us, you know that we are only bringing this to your attention because they mention Tucson! Yep, the good Old Pueblo is in the media yet again. Okay, okay, more specifically they mention the beautiful Saguaro National Park.

This national treasure can be found on both the east and west sides of Tucson. Nearly 2 million of the namesake cacti call these 2 parcels of land home and give our desert its distinctive look.

A plaque at the Saguaro National Park displays the cacti growth
A trail plaque from the Saguaro National Park.

As alluded to by the NYT article all 52 places on their list must have a problem to need a solution. In our case, the problem is that we have very few new saguaros, a species that is a notoriously slow grower. Think 75 years old to get its first arm, and not reaching its full height of 45 feet until 200 years old. So, a declining population of these stoic giants is a problem, not just for Tucson but for an entire ecosystem.

The article highlights a local conservation project where volunteers work year-round pulling buffalo grass. Why does 1 weed need so much attention you might ask? There are a couple of reasons. The first is because it’s a non-native species that takes much-needed nutrients to other native plants. And secondly because due to climate change, we’ve been experiencing hotter summers. These withering temperatures dry out the buffelgrass and provide ample kindling for wildfires.

Saguaro National Park volunteers put on backpacks
Saguaro National Park volunteers get ready to tackle buffalo grass. Emma Gibson/AZPM

You can help mitigate the buffalo grass by volunteering with the Saguaro National Park. They organize clear-ups year-round. If you don’t want to be outside but still help out, that’s ok too! Find all volunteer opportunities here.

Tucson Ranked the Coolest City in Arizona


According to Tucson ranks as the coolest city in Arizona! While we aren’t surprised let’s take a look at what they think makes u the coolest city in the state.

Tucson is the Coolest City in Arizona
Tucson is the Coolest City in Arizona

Winery & Vineyards

Hannah's Hill Vineyards
Hannah’s Hill Vineyards
  1. Hannah’s Hill Vineyards – Hannah’s specializes in small batch and estate wines. The owners are always around and happy to chat with you while enjoying views of a sprawling vista.
  2. Charron Winery– Charron’s is famous in the area for it’s white and dry merlots. With over 16 craft wines available you’re sure to find something that pleases your pallet.
  3. Old Pueblo Cellars– This boutique vineyard thrives amongst the desert heat and monsoon gales. Their tasting room is open by appointment, and we highly recommend.

Craft Breweries

  1. Pueblo Vida Brewing– This company not only has amazing beers but it’s focused on sustainability and doing their best to be great brewers and great people for Tucson.
  2. Borderlands Brewing– Located downtown this taproom & brewery boasts an amazing selection. Grab a drink then take in the sights of beautiful downtown Tucson.
  3. 1912 Brewing– This place has a relaxed atmosphere and creative beers to drink. They also partner with the delicious local Tucson Tamale Company and you don’t want to miss those pairings!

Southwestern Cuisine

El Charro Steakhouse
El Charro Steakhouse
  1. El Charro Café– this quaint restaurant is a converted house located in downtown, the food is so good it spawned El Charro Steakhouse and El Charro del Rey.
  2. Guadalajara Grill– this restaurant has atmosphere to spare, everything on the menu is delicious and you must try their table side mole and custom salsas.
  3. Boca Taco y Tequila– this place is a must try. Not only do they have a rare meats day (if feel like trying kangaroo,) the main chef and founder Maria Mazon competed on Top Chef season 18 so you know it’s got to be great!

The Arts Scene

  1. Mural Mania– Tucson boasts one of the best mural games in the country. There are always new beautiful pieces going up and many contain a message as well. Toole Shed Studios on 6th and Toole have their entire East wall painted in BLM, 1st American, and Mexicana culture.
  2. 1st Saturday Art Walks– You guessed it, every 1st Saturday from 5-9 downtown galleries open up their studios and art spaces to the public. See cool art and maybe take some home.

The 10 Cheapest Places for Millennials to Live

The Hub - Downtown Hot Spot for Millenials, Cheapest Places for Millennials to Live
The Hub - Downtown Hot Spot for Millenials

10 Cheapest Places for Millennials to Live published an article, The 10 Cheapest Places for Millennials to Live in the U.S. where they considered data about cheap housing, availability of jobs, and social + cultural advantages.

In the past, New York City and Silicon Valley were enticing millennials in groves with fast paced tech jobs and other business opportunities; unfortunately, housing prices were so high (and they still are!) that millennials had trouble finding affordable housing and those with dreams of home ownership had a difficult decision to make and the opportunity cost was high. But now people are saying that Tucson may be the next Silcon Valley.

On the flip side, Florida is known to have an abundant affordable rental housing market, but the retiree demographic and job availability makes it a less desirable long-term destination for millennials.

Young people today are being challenged to think-outside-the-box and find destinations that will offer a more complete package and Tucson definitely does.

Without further ado, The Cheapest Places for Millennials to Live:

10. Austin, TX

9. Dallas, TX

8. Louisville, KY

7. Columbus, OH

6. Dayton, OH

5. Wichita, KS


3. New Bedford, MA

2. Sioux Falls, SD

1. Cape Canaveral, FL

“With a median one bedroom apartment price of $540, it’s no wonder that Money rated Tucson number 4 of their best places for millennials. The article credits the city’s revitalized downtown area and ethnic restaurants as a draw for young renters. Tucson’s job growth is expected to rise 11% over the next five years.”
We’ve done the research and this isn’t an all-encompassing description of why Tucson is one the cheapest places for millennials to live. Did you know we have one the lowest point of entry housing markets in the country? Boasting many programs to help first time home buyers and some the lowest homeowners insurance prices making Tucson a great place for someone just starting out to start their life.
Tucson also has an abundance of art, culture, and a very fun and hip downtown. There’s an abundance of nature– to hike, climb, ski and explore and there are a lot of other amazing places that are a short road trip away like: Las Vegas — 4 hours, Phoenix– 1.5 hours, Rocky Point, Mexico (Where you can rent entire beach front houses for the weekend for a couple hundred dollars)– 4 hours, San Diego, CA– 6 hours, and Showlow, AZ (home of Arizona’s biggest ski & snowboard mountain)– 4 hours.
This is only the tip of the iceberg… If you have questions about art, culture, or housing in Tucson please contact me– I’d be happy to help you however I can.