Tucson Weekly, Oct. 21, 2021

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Legends o f the West !

Best ® Tucson OF




so c u T e r ! Whe s FUN ha

Tucson Games & Gadgets

Thank you for Making us One of the BEST!

Enter the realm at Park Place or Tucson Mall

And don’t forget to visit the Short Rest Tavern now located inside TGG Tucson Mall



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OCTOBER 21, 2021 | VOL. 36, NO. 42

The Tucson Weekly is available free of charge in Pima County, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of the Tucson Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable at the Tucson Weekly office in advance. To find out where you can pick up a free copy of the Tucson Weekly, please visit TucsonWeekly.com





Best of Tucson! Tom remembers the (very) old days



Events around town this week: sculpture shows, Halloween in the wild, and music in the garden



Ballet Tucson happily returns to the stage with a Balanchine dance and more


ADMINISTRATION Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher Michael Hiatt, Vice President


Jaime Hood, General Manager, jaime@tucsonlocalmedia.com

Cowboy Up!

Tyler Vondrak, Associate Publisher, tyler@tucsonlocalmedia.com Claudine Sowards, Accounting, claudine@tucsonlocalmedia.com

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN: We’re bringing you Best of Tucson®: Legends of the West! As always, huge thanks to all you who voted in our reader poll this summer to lay the groundwork for our most anticipated issue of the year and congratulations to all the winners! Muchas gracias to everyone who helped bring this issue together. It’s no easy thing to assemble a spectacle like this, but it’s a humbling opportunity to celebrate so many people, places and things that make Tucson such a great place to live. BOT is taking up so much space this week that we only have a few of our regulars in this issue. Columnist Tom Danehy looks back at Tucson Weekly’s first Best of edition, published so long ago it almost seems like the 1880s; longtime arts writer Margaret Regan previews this weekend’s concert by Ballet Tucson; movie critic Bob Grimm says the

Muppets Haunted Mansion is scary good; calendar editor Emily Dieckman has found a lot of fun things to do this week; Xavier Omar Otero tells you where to rock this week in XOXO; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at how the Harvest chain of cannabis shops has now merged with Trulieve to form the largest marijuana company in the United States; and our local cartoonists are scattered throughout the book. We hope you enjoy Best of Tucson®. Now I’m gonna go catch some shut-eye! Jim Nintzel Executive Editor Hear Nintz talk about where to howl in this burg at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays during the World Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson


The Muppets get ghosted in a Halloween spooktacular

Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, sheryl@tucsonlocalmedia.com EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com Jeff Gardner, Managing Editor, jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, mike@tucsonlocalmedia.com Alexandra Pere, Staff Reporter, apere@timespublications.com Contributors: David Abbott, Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones, Dan Savage PRODUCTION Courtney Oldham, Production Manager, tucsonproduction@timespublications.com Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, ryand@tucsonlocalmedia.com Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, emilyf@tucsonlocalmedia.com CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, alexc@tucsonlocalmedia.com ADVERTISING TLMSales@TucsonLocalMedia.com Kristin Chester, Account Executive, kristin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Candace Murray, Account Executive, candace@tucsonlocalmedia.com Lisa Hopper, Account Executive, lisa@tucsonlocalmedia.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING Zac Reynolds Director of National Advertising Zac@TimesPublications.com Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by Times Media Group at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona. Address all editorial, business and production correspondence to: Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona 85741. Phone: (520) 797-4384, FAX (520) 575-8891. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of Times Media Group. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.



Trulieve deal to acquire Harvest finalized, creating nationwide cannabis empire

Cover illustration by Hector Jaime Acuña

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright Times Media Group No portion may be reproduced in whole or part by any means without the express written permission of the Publisher, Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, AZ 85741.


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I REALLY CAN’T BELIEVE THAT I’M still doing this. It’s been years since we did the first Best of Tucson issue and now we’re doing it by electric light. What’s next? Moving pictures? It was supposed to be a one-time deal, a way to settle a few arguments that had been bubbling up among the newspaper staff. Instead, it started more arguments than it settled and it was funner’n chasin’ a jackrabbit through a corn maze. (That was actually the first winner of the Best Fun Thing To Do On a Sunday Afternoon category.) Josephus T. Biggers, the first publisher of this fine publication, thought that we should celebrate all the good things about Tucson, other than the delightful year-round temperate weather. He wanted to point out the many great things


that have helped Tucson’s population explode past the 2,000 mark. At this rate, we could hit 10,000 by the middle of the 20th Century. But that’s a long way off. We’ve still got almost a full decade left in this century. I remember the first Best of Tucson meeting. We actually held it in a barn because The Grange meeting house was being used by the Ladies’ Auxiliary. It was me, Howard Allen (who quit the newspaper business to go join up with a traveling minstrel show), Josephus, Sharpshooter Jeff Smith, and, just to add a lady’s touch, we invited Barbara Kingsolver, the schoolmarm who fancied herself a bookwriter. Man, how she would go on and on about that Antigone book store! And now look, she’s got a book in the window

of that place. (I ain’t read it yet. I think it’s a nature book about Trees or Beans or something. I told her I’d get to it after I finish with Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne.) I’ll tell ya, that book makes you glad you’re sittin’ in the middle of the desert when you’re reading it. The scene with the giant octopus ’bout gave me the vapors. It reminded me of the time I found a few gold nuggets out by Benson and I made the mistake of telling the dance hall girls about my good fortune. That became my short-lived fortune. I’m pretty sure I had a good time that night, though. Anyway, we met to talk about what we would call the Best of Tucson. There were some spirited discussions about who was the best blacksmith and who was the second-best blacksmith. Then there was the battle between the two ice cream shoppes. One served delicious vanilla ice cream, but the other one had two flavors: vanilla and not-vanilla. The not-vanilla was probably just vanilla with something dark thrown in to make it, you know, dark. By far the closest vote by the staff that night concerned the question as to where

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one might trade in his livestock. By one vote, Buffalo Exchange edged out Bison Switches. When the edition came out, there was an uproar. Folks got downright contentious about some of our choices, which was exactly what wise old Josephus wanted and expected. Heated talkin’ leads to fervent readin’. (Our circulation almost doubled overnight, from 75 to 143.) I still have that first issue and I treasure it. We, of course, covered the news that week, as well. There was this item: The new Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, is thinking about posting young boys at the corner of Stone and Congress to report on which riders and buckboard drivers are ignoring the standard right-of-way protocols. There have been several incidents involving people trying to cross that intersection on foot and there was the big shoot-out last month between the stagecoach and a big wagon from Mr. Diamond’s ranch. The Sheriff thinks that if he fines enough people for failing to yield the CONTINUED ON PAGE 10




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right-of-way, it will bring some law and order to that intersection. But some people think that he’ll just be trying to line his pockets with the money collected. The head of the Cattleman’s Association calls the idea “downright stupid.” He adds, “Whoever has the biggest wagon gets to go first. We shouldn’t have to slow down or stop. That’s always been the law of the West. I suppose we could do our civic duty and give out a shotgun blast to let people know we’re comin’ through.” Then he added, “Knowing the Sheriff, he’ll probably hire foreign boys to be the lookouts.” We all know how that turned out. Them power-grabbin’ varmints at the Territorial Capital up in Prescott made it illegal for towns to pass any laws involving traffics on city streets. So watch your step, and not just to avoid steppin’ in the horse hockey. Some of the other headlines from that issue included: Crazy Idea Floated at Territorial Legislature: Should People Have To Pay For

CLAYTOONZ by Clay Jones

Water? New Eye-talian Eatin’ Place Opens Out Past The Chinese Wall. Will Anybody Ever Go To a Place Called Caruso’s? Neon Prophet Set To Play Chicago Bar on Thursday Night Two Donkey-Drawn Carts Collide Downtown. Whose Ass Is At Fault? Horse and Owner Get Swept Away In Rillito After Summer Storm; Council Contemplates Warnings for “Stupid Riders” We Get The University, Phoenix Gets Insane Asylum; Sounds About Right Is It “Tucsonans” or “Tucsonians?” Territorial Legislature Says Only It Can Decide Question Wyatt Earp Visits Tucson; In Unrelated Matter, Body of Frank Stillwell Found At Train Depot

Velocipede Riders Request Special Lane For Riding; Hod Carriers Ask “Why Are They Special?” Phoenix Claims Population of 1,000. Rest of State Skeptical. “Who Would Ever Want To Live There?” The first Best of Tucson thing I wrote was about Wee Anthony’s Eatery that had just opened out east of town. I wrote: Wee Anthony’s Eatery just opened up out east of town. It’s run by Wee Anthony Foreman and his big brother, Grand Anthony Foreman. They’re both the sons of Big Daddy Foreman. Big Daddy said that things are “getting’ too modern” so he wanted his eatery to remind folks of the good ol’ days of the 1850s. People are able to carve their own steak off the carcass of a cow. “The only rule we have is don’t cut off more’n you’ll be able to chew,” Big Daddy warns. “We also cook up their taters the way they want.” On Saturdays, they line up all the buckboards and decide which one is the best looking. And, as a special treat, they have people dressed up as Queen Victoria and


Millard Fillmore so folks can stand next to them and have an artist draw a picture of ’em with the famous person. The Best of Tucson has become a local institution. I’m honored to have been a part of it over the years. Right around the time when it gets too cold at night to bed down on the sleeping porches, we get the Harvest Moon, the Best of Tucson, and that day when our Mexican neighbors paint their faces and try to scare their dead kin. (We’re not sure what that is about. We get different explanations from different people.) Over the years, we’ve gotten rid of some categories (Best Lookin’ Dance Hall Gal, Best Spitoon, and Best Barber/ Dentist), but we’ve also added some new categories, like Best Quick Draw Artist (Still Alive) and Best Town Marshal (Also Still Alive). As we close out the 19th century, we will continue to celebrate the great things that help make Tucson so wonderful. And for our readers (and those who went to charter little red schoolhouses and thus have to have it read to them), the Best of Tucson® will endeavor to always remain the Best…of…Tucson®. ■

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your local alternative to

The Tucson Weekly is available free of charge in Pima County, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of the Tucson Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable at the Tucson Weekly office in advance. To find out where you can pick up a free copy of the Tucson Weekly, please visit TucsonWeekly.com

STAFF ADMINISTRATION Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher Michael Hiatt, Vice President Jaime Hood, General Manager, jaime@tucsonlocalmedia.com


big city abydocomist news



October 21

Weekly Newspaper



Best of Tucson® 2021: Legends of the West!


Tyler Vondrak, Associate Publisher, tyler@tucsonlocalmedia.com Claudine Sowards, Accounting, claudine@tucsonlocalmedia.com Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, sheryl@tucsonlocalmedia.com EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com Jeff Gardner, Managing Editor, jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, mike@tucsonlocalmedia.com Alexandra Pere, Staff Reporter, apere@timespublications.com


Contributors: David Abbott, Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones, Dan Savage


PRODUCTION Courtney Oldham, Production Manager, tucsonproduction@timespublications.com Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, ryand@tucsonlocalmedia.com Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, emilyf@tucsonlocalmedia.com CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, alexc@tucsonlocalmedia.com ADVERTISING TLMSales@TucsonLocalMedia.com Kristin Chester, Account Executive, kristin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Candace Murray, Account Executive, candace@tucsonlocalmedia.com Lisa Hopper, Account Executive, lisa@tucsonlocalmedia.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING Zac Reynolds Director of National Advertising Zac@TimesPublications.com Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by Times Media Group at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona. Address all editorial, business and production correspondence to: Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona 85741. Phone: (520) 797-4384, FAX (520) 575-8891. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of Times Media Group. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright Times Media Group No portion may be reproduced in whole or part by any means without the express written permission of the Publisher, Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, AZ 85741.


mighty big welcome to Best of Tucson®: Legends of the West! We started plottin’ this here fandango months ago, so we’re as happy as a weasel in a hen house to sew it all up. It takes a whole posse to bring this rodeo together. First of all, muchas gracias to our readers. Nearly 12,000 of you let us know about this burg’s finest watering holes, Arbuckle joints, chuckwagons, mercantile establishments and such. A fine crew of scalawags by the names of Jeff Gardner, Emily Dieckman, Alexandra Pere, Tom Danehy and Margaret Regan scribbled the dang thing, Sheryl Kocher slapped on her spectacles to make sure the words were all spelt right, and Ryan Dyson and Emily Filener made the pages look pretty. Muchas gracias to longtime TW amigo Hector Acuña for his bang-up cover, which I reckon we’ll all agree is as purty as a picture.

Another thank you to all the advertisers who were rounded up by the sales gang, led by Tyler “Two-Gun” Vondrak and backed up by Kristin “Crazy Horse” Chester, Candace “Candy Cane” Murray and Lisa “The Fence” Hopper. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jaime Hood and Claudine Sowards kept all the iron horses running on time, while circulation manager Alex Carrasco made sure the issues got loaded onto the wagons and dropped off all over this dusty cow town. Special thanks to TW publisher Steve Strickbine and all the rest of the city slickers up north for all the help. There’s no one we’d rather ride the river with! Now the whole kit and caboodle is in your paws, so I might as well quit all my yappin’ so you can get to readin’ it and have yourself a hog-killin’ time.

Cover Art by Hector Jaime Acuña

Jim Nintzel Executive Editor


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Best Gallery DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun 6300 N. Swan Road

The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, built by Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia himself, isn’t just a massive adobe museum exhibiting many of the prolific artist’s works. It’s also 10 acres of desert that includes DeGrazia’s original home—built back in the 1950s, when the end of Swan Road was the middle of nowhere—as well as a chapel and the “Little Gallery” where DeGrazia first exhibited his work. The museum and grounds both offer a gorgeous insight into the vision of one of the world’s best known artists. We’re lucky to have it.


Madaras Gallery Solar Culture

Best Art Museum Tucson Museum of Art 140 N. Main Ave.

The Tucson Museum of Art has worked mightily to do its job exhibiting art while trying to ward off COVID-19 from its visitors. The year’s two big

exhibitions were carefully designed to be pleasantly yin-and-yang. First off was a crowd pleaser, a look at the popular narrative paintings of three generations of Wyeths: NC, the delightful illustrator, the famous Andrew and his lesser known sister, Henriette, and Jamie, son of Andrew. This conservative show was cleverly followed by 4x4, a very contemporary suite of work by four artists with ties to Tucson. One of TMA’s best shows, it featured three young artists examining their different cultures, and grand elder Willie Bonner, whose bright semi-abstract paintings illuminated Black life.


UA Museum of Art UA Center for Creative Photography

Best Visual Artist Jessica Gonzales

You can’t explore Tucson without seeing a Gonzales original. Jessica Gonzales’ art can be seen on public and residential walls through surrealist portraits, high-contrast landscapes, and botanical whimsy. Her legendary balance of color fits with Tucson’s bright cultural heritage. Gonzales regularly paints iconic artist murals for Tucson’s own Rialto Theatre and her latest creation is an otherworldly Gila monster dragon on Amazing Discoveries (238

Thank you for voting us among Tucson’s Best Art Classes!


(520) 620-0947


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S. Tucson Blvd). There’s no question that Gonzales’ imaginative designs are unmatched in Tucson’s realm of visual artistry.


Diana Madaras Joe Pagac

Best Movie Theater Loft Cinema

3233 E. Speedway Blvd. The Loft Cinema was hit hard by the pandemic, but the can-do team persevered with creative solutions such as concession sales, streaming films and private theater rentals. (There was something magical about having an entire movie theater to yourself.) The Loft is getting back on its feet thanks to the support of the community, with regular screenings of everything from art-house films to Essential Cinema screenings to other special events, such as a weekly focus on Frankenstein films in the month of October. Best of all, the Loft Film Fest is back next month, from Nov. 10-16. We can’t wait! Haven’t you missed going to the movies?


Roadhouse Cinemas Harkins

Best Art Classes

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 2021 N. Kinney Road

We’ve always said the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum sells themselves a bit short by calling themselves a museum, and here’s another reason: they have a whole art institute dedicated to promoting conservation through art education. These adult art classes range from photography to painting and printmaking, and all center around the beautiful desert we call home.


Tipsy Picassos Drawing Studio

Best Musical Instrument Store Chicago Music Store 45 S. Sixth Ave.

5646 E. Speedway Blvd. Surprise surprise! This Southern Arizona staple, which has been around for nearly a hundred years and is currently in its third generation of fam-

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ily ownership, is a frequent winner in this category. And no wonder. They can get you anything from an instrument to a rental to repairs to lessons. If you saw other people learning to play an instrument during COVID-19 lockdown and are feeling like you missed the boat, this is your sign: Head over to Chicago Music Store and pick up that guitar, drum set, clarinet or whatever instrument has been sending you its siren call.

employees are your friends who love their jobs, but with an off-the-charts production quality. You could go into the Gaslight Theatre in a bad mood, watch one of the company’s silly musicals, and walk out ready to face the week and laugh in the face of your problems. So head on over to a show, where your ears will be filled with music, your mouth will be filled alternately with laughter and handfuls of popcorn, and your heart will be filled with joy.



Bookmans Instrumental Music Center

Arizona Theatre Company Unscrewed Theater

Best Music School

Best Author

UA Fred Fox School of Music 1017 N. Olive Road #109

The Fred Fox School of Music is not messing around. With plenty of performance spaces, a focus on outreach, and internationally recognized faculty members, the school sets university music students up for success. They’ve also got tons of student-performing ensembles, from the classic Arizona Symphony Orchestra to the internationally acclaimed Arizona Choir, from Mariachi Arizona to groups with names like “Harpfusion” and “Flutefinity.” They’ve even got a singer-songwriter ensemble requiring no prior experience, for those newer to music.


Tucson Jazz Institute Allegro

Best Theater Company Gaslight Theatre Company 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

There’s nothing like the Gaslight Theatre. It’s got the feel of a cozy, down-home restaurant where all of the

Lydia Millet

It ain’t easy ranking as the best author in a place like Tucson. Lydia Millet’s latest book, A Children’s Bible, tackles generational disconnects, climate change and the power of story, and is filled with plenty of Biblical allusions to boot. For this kind of poetic and transgressive writing, Millet’s name has appeared alongside many of the greatest honors in writing: the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and many more. She’s a perfect fit for our literary town.


A.J. Flick Adam Rex

Best Dance Studio BreakOut Studios 5811 E. Speedway Blvd.

Movers and shakers love to express themselves at BreakOut Studios. This dance studio provides dance education to all technique levels and age groups. BreakOut produces well-rounded dancers by offering traditional dance classes alongside strength-building exercise classes. Go from hip-hop to yoga flow for a nice stretch or build core strength at the BootyBelly WorkOut class.




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BreakOut coordinates new workshops every month and schedules All-Day Dance days for even cheaper class prices!


Viva Performing Arts Dancing in the Streets

Best Dance Company UA School of Dance 1737 E. University Blvd. #121

The University of Arizona School of Dance is known to attract some of the most talented artists across the country as teachers and students. Their unique dancers have a range of technical skills in classical ballet, modern, and jazz, but their skills don’t stop there. To be the best dance company, your dancers need more than physical capabilities. The audience needs to feel the emotion from their chairs! UA School of Dance trains its dancers to connect with the choreog-


Best Place to Donate Your Time or Money

raphy and flawlessly exude emotions to tell a story. After a hiatus due to COVID, the School of Dance is back with fall performances. Catch “Premium Blend” from Nov. 10 to Nov. 11 and Nov. 16 to Nov. 21. There will also be a student spotlight performance fittingly named “Comeback” from Dec. 1 to Dec. 5.

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona


3003 S. Country Club Road

Ballet Tucson Zuzi

Best Outdoor Art Installation Joe Pagac’s Murals

You can’t swing a used paint bucket without hitting one of Joe Pagac’s murals around this town. (Not that we’re recommending you swing a paint bucket at one of his works.) Pagac’s works are imaginative, colorful celebrations of desert flora and fauna. Just the kind of things we’d want adorning Tucson’s buildings and walls. Our favorite has


Brushing up: Joe Pagac working on a mural.

to be his flying whales on the corner of Campbell and Grant.


Ben’s Bells Rattlesnake Bridge

The pandemic has brought all-new demands on the Community Food Bank, but CEO Michael McDonald’s team met the moment, teaming up with Pima County and National Guard to set up drive-thru pickup of food boxes at Kino Stadium. The food bank works with hundreds of other local agencies to alleviate hunger, with projects ranging from community gardens to nutritional education. Like all of us, the food bank gets by with a little help from its friends, so lend a hand if you can.


Humane Society of Southern Arizona Pima Animal Care Center



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CIty Life BEST OF TUCSON ® 2021

Best Quarantine Activity

recommends their chai blends for fall (apple pie and chocolate chai).


AZ Baking Company Alpine Goat Girl

Hiking Hiking is a big step up from last year’s winner, which was “watching NetFlix.” Tucson is filled with trails both easy and challenging and getting into the outdoors is definitely better than watching the tube. Let’s hope we can retire this category next year.

Best Gym Desert Sports and Fitness 3030 W. Valencia Road 2480 N. Pantano Road


TV/Movies Reading

Best Farmers Market Rillito Park Heirloom Farmers Market


It’s pumpkin season at the Rillito Park Heirloom Farmers Market

and more. Plus, it’s right up against The Loop so you can stroll or ride your bike. It’s a party every weekend! And after a visit here, you can do farm-to-table at your own home.


4502 N. First Ave.

Food in Root St. Philip’s Plaza

We’ve got plenty of terrific farmers markets throughout the valley, but our readers put Rillito Park’s gathering atop the rest. You’ll find all manner of craft food, locally grown fruits and veggies, cooking demonstrations, live music

Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market at Mercado San Agustin


Best Farmers Market Vendor Tucson Tea Company

Every Saturday, Tucson Tea Company sets up their booth at the St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers Market. Not only do they offer fragrant teas at bargain prices, they also set up tap iced teas for purchase. Start your farmer’s market stroll with a Tucson iced tea and return for a $1 refill before you leave! Or get a free iced tea when you buy two bags of loose leaf tea. Their most popular drink is the purple berry dream, but this writer

First of all, a big congratulations to any gym that survived the COVID-19 pandemic, but an especially big congratulations to this local business, which has been serving the community for more than three decades. If living through a pandemic has got you thinking more seriously about managing your health, a membership might be a good idea. If you’re like us, and don’t know where to start when you enter a public gym, you’ll love their personal training and small group training offerings. They even have a special, low-impact fitness program for seniors.


Undisputed Let’s Sweat



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Sales, Repairs, Service, Parts, Accessories & More!

Bicycles in stock!

Get them ballies rolling at Lucky Strike

Best Crossfit Old Pueblo Crossfit 7225 E. Broadway Blvd. #170

If you’re into crossfit, you’ve surely already heard of this eastside place. If you’re not into crossfit, you might be afraid of it, but (and we say this honestly): Watching a little video that this gym made about the sport, all about the sense of community and personal accomplishment that the group fosters, made us feel a little more willing to try it. These one-hour workouts are intense and dynamic (you’ll definitely never get bored), but doing it in an environment where you feel supported and not alone really makes all the difference.


F45 Training CrossFit Fixx

Best Yoga Studio Yoga Oasis

Multiple locations It goes without saying that Yoga Oasis yoga studios are the most versatile locations to practice yoga in Tucson. All three locations provide a multitude of classes to meditate on the last year of chaos. Balance your yin and yang with sunset yoga or start working on your summer 2022 body goals with vinyasa flow. Still worried about exercising in a room full of strangers? Yoga Oasis offers online classes to yogis who prefer to practice alone. All three of the studios offer rotating workshops meant to develop your knowledge of body alignment and protect you from injury. With so many options for growth, it’s no surprise local yogis voted this studio #1.


Fourth Avenue Yoga Session Yoga

Thank you Tucson for all the votes! Come Get Your Bike!


Best Bowling Alley Lucky Strike Bowl 4015 E. Speedway Blvd.

Of all the joyful activities taken away by the pandemic, some of the most heartbreaking were wonderfully human times where masses of total strangers would gather in one place to engage in a shared experience. We all miss sitting in a crowded movie theater, eating a good meal in a slightly noisy restaurant, or screaming our lungs out at a ballgame. And then there is the sublime excitement of bowling—the clacking of pins, the wince-inducing thud of a poorly thrown ball landing 15 feet down the lane, the shrieks of glee and the moans of anguish, all induced by a system of physics almost as complex as that which goes into the workings of a thermonuclear device. Plus, those French fries. Bowling is back at Lucky Strike and it comes in all kinds of cool forms. They have leagues, open play, family activities, birthday parties, special events and even lasers. Best of all, it’s completely smoke-free. Gutter ball or three-strike turkey—it’s all the same now that bowling heaven is back.


Fiesta Lanes Cactus Bowl

Best Auto Repair Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Multiple locations

Locally owned since 1960, Jack Furrier remains the hometown favorite when it comes to getting your car fixed. Whether you need new tires, an oil

Arizona’s Largest Recumbent Dealer!

Tue - Fri 10am - 6pm • Sat 9am - 5pm 1301 E. Ajo Way, Suite 117 (NE Corner of Ajo @ Benson Hwy.)




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change or a new catalytic converter because some meth-head tore yours out, one of Jack’s 14 locations is near you and will take care of your repair needs with dependable work and at a reasonable price.


Buck’s Automotive Dan’s Toy Shop

Best Car Wash Mister Car Wash Multiple locations

If John Keats had lived in Tucson, he would have said that a clean car is a joy forever (or at least until it rains or there’s a dust storm or you get too busy to throw away the hamburger wrappers). Fortunately, there’s a Mister Car Wash not too far from you. The best way to describe Mister Car Wash is that it’s the geometric mean between those do-it-yourself places with the weird spray gun and the foaming brush and the high-priced “full-service” places that never quite get the inside of your windshield right. The monsoons are over. Mister Car Wash is calling your name.


Octopus Car Wash Clean Freak


There’s plenty of cactus. Interested in growing your own citrus, vegetables or herbs? They’ll set you up. Need flowers or houseplants? You’ll find it here. They’ve even got a team that will teach you the ins and outs of growing your cannabis. No wonder they’re held in high regard!


Mesquite Valley Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery

Best Animal Supply Store OK Feed & Supply 3701 E. Fort Lowell Road

When you walk into OK Feed and Supply, it’s almost like slipping back into the Old West. Whether you’re looking for hay for the horses or gear for the next cattle drive, you’ll find it here. It’s where the real cowboys shop.


Arizona Feeds Tropical Kingdom

Best Computer Repair SWS Electronics & Computers 3731 E. Speedway Blvd.


Plants a’plenty at Green Things Nursery

Best Plant Nursery Green Things Nursery 3384 E. River Road

Located in the horse country alongside the Rillito River, Green Things is a lovely place to visit. Want to go xeriscape?

Thank God for the electronics and computers that keep our lives running, and also thank God for the fact that there are people who know how the dang things work. Laptop making a funny noise and need an in-store or on-site repair? Dealing with a slow computer and needing a remote desktop report? Or just want to buy an entirely new computer? Whatever your needs are, the knowledgeable, friendly folks over at SWS will get you set up.


Arizona Computer Guru Tucson Computer Repair




Oct. 21, 2021


Hotel Congress is a true legend of the West

Best Place to Get Your Pet Groomed Bark Avenue Dog Wash 1011 N. Pantano Road

When your dog gets to smelling worse than Doc Holliday after a week-long bender, you know it’s time to take that hound to the professionals at Bark Avenue Dog Wash. They will get your best friend smelling sweet, provide a manicure and otherwise ensure that she’s properly pampered.


Velvet Bow Canine Territory

Best Veterinary Clinic University Pet Clinic 1506 N. Tucson Blvd.

Our pets bring us so much joy that the least we can do when we take them/ force them/drag them to the vet is choose a place that we know is loved by the community. That’s University Pet Clinic, where you can get everything from allergy tests to pet dentistry to


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Oct. 21, 2021


microchipping to spaying and neutering. They’re coming up on 30 years of serving Tucson’s very good-est boys and girls, and their veterinarians really love working with your furry friends. They strive to keep prices affordable, but also offer a military discount!


Pet Doctor Catalina Pet Hospital

Best Hotel Hotel Congress 311 E. Congress St.

Talk about legends of the Old West! Hotel Congress has been welcoming guests for more than a century—and you can feel the history the moment you walk through those big wooden doors. But this joint is no museum. While it pays homage to its roots in many ways, it’s also home to a dynamite restaurant that celebrates local food, a lobby filled with rotating art shows and, of course, Club Congress and the Plaza Stage, which offer some of the best live music in town. Here’s to another 100 years, HoCo!


Arizona Inn Hacienda del Sol

TUCSON’S MOST EXPERIENCED SENSORY DEPRIVATION TANK CENTER Ask about the Tucson Weekly Special when making your appointment. We Offer Gift Cards!

FloatTucson.com | 520.668.4017 | 2118 S Avenida Planeta



Best Alternative Health Center

Best CBD Store

Tumbleweeds Health Center

7710 S. Wilmot Road

4826 E. Broadway Blvd.

For a decade, business partners Kim Williams and Dana Rae Zygmunt have not only helped people acquire their medical marijuana certification, but have also offered workshops to help people understand the use of cannabis and CBD. They also produce a podcast, Weedsday Wednesday, where they interview cannabis experts from around the world. Just this month, they opened The Good Leaf, a hemp and CDB marketplace. Let’s hear it for tumbling tumbleweeds!


Cloud Nine Flotation Rooted Integrative Wellness

Best Marijuana Dispensary






Slobby’s Sneak Peek

Tucson’s vintage resale guru is back with a new shop for local sneakerheads PATERNITY PROBLEMS: LAWSUIT CLAIMS FERTILITY DOC FATHERED HIS PATIENTS’ KIDS

One Sick Year 1


By Leo W. Banks


DANEHY: The Year in TV

78 W. River Road

ARTS: TMA Celebrates Black History Month

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Looking back at the lunacy of 2020

Earth’s Healing 2075 E. Benson Hwy.


CURRENTS: State Rep. Mark Finchem’s Awesome Insurrection Adventure

CANNABIS 520: The Year in Weed

Reflections and Remembrance

10 years ago, a mass shooting at Gabby Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner rocked the nation By Ron Barber

Why I’m Still in the Fight By Gabby Giffords

Your 2021 Transportation Roundup • Fourth Avenue Restaurant Shuffle • Growing Your Own Pot

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Oct. 21, 2021

With recreational marijuana now available in Arizona, our dispensaries are doing a lot of business. Thanks to the pandemic, Earth’s Healing has made it easy to shop online and pick up your order, but you’re also welcome to come inside the stores if you want to browse in person. They carry a wide range of strains, in-house Earthvape cartridges, craft concentrates, CBD options and plenty of edibles. It’s little wonder they are held in high regard by our readers.


Prime Leaf Downtown Dispensary

Green Halo

Green Halo, the home base of Halo Infusions and Extractions (which creates edible brands such Cannabliss, Canna Confections and Aunt Ellie’s edibles, as well Pure & Simple’s dynamite infused hot sauce, coffees, teas and juices ), does a terrific line of CBD tinctures, ointments, lotions and lip balms. They’ll have a cure for what ails you.


Earth’s Healing Tumbleweeds

Best Photographer Jade Beall

There are few artists who can splendidly capture the beauty in raw human intimacy like Jade Beall. This self-made photographer built her business on the tenet of body positivity. Her current portfolio is filled with portraits including mothers, breastfeeding children, and elder subjects. This is the photographer people have been asking for! Her photographs seem effortless but don’t let that fool you, this type of photography takes years of practice. Check out her expansive portfolio at jadebeall.com or her Instagram @jadebeallphotography, which has over 139,000 followers.


Sean Parker Jackie Sterna

Best Thrift Store Buffalo Exchange 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.

Buffalo Exchange is a local treasure established in the 70s. Kerstin Block spearheaded the idea of a thrift store with handpicked clothing and it really paid off. Buffalo Exchange has locations all over the country today! This store has


Oct. 21, 2021

Best Cigar/ Tobacco Shop

created a market for recycled clothing by encouraging customers to buy, sell, and trade used clothing. Fight fast fashion and pollution by swapping future fashion purchases with lightly-used or vintage clothing! Vintage is always in style, which is why Buffalo Exchange has blossomed over the last six decades.

Anthony’s Cigar Emporium Multiple locations


Anthony’s may not carry the kind of nickel cigars that were popular in the Old West, but with everything from Macanudos to Partagas, they sure have a wider selection than you’d find in the territorial days. Whether you’re looking to spend a couple of bucks or a couple hundred bucks on your cigars, this place will have something for you. You’ll also find plenty of accessories, from humidors to lighters and cutters. With four locations in Tucson (and one in Phoenix), Anthony’s knows what a cigar aficionado really needs.

Humane Society of Southern Arizona Speedway Outlet

Best Place to Get a Massage Gadabout

Multiple locations


Yeah, it’s nice to have your partner rub your shoulders at the end of a long work day, but there’s nothing like a full-on massage by a professional to reduce anxiety and improve your blood circulation. And at Gadabout, the part of your massage experience that requires the most effort on your part is making the tough decision between the lotion scents “Geranium Clarity,” “Bergamot Calming” and “Eucalyptus Well-Being.” You’ll love their signature massage lotion and oil blend, and the way it makes you feel afterward too. Get ready to hear a bunch of people tell you your skin is glowing.

Moon Smoke Shop Chico’s Smoke Shop

Best Smoke Shop Moon Smoke Shop Multiple locations

Whether you’re looking for a sneaka-toke or a five-foot bong for your now-legal recreational weed, longtime hometown favorite Moon Smoke Shop has got you covered. And if that’s not your jam, you’ll find plenty of premium tobacco to stick in your pipe or roll into a cigarette, along with e-juice if you’re more of a vape guy. Flame on!


Tucson Massage Company Rooted Integrative Wellness






5754 EAST SPEEDWAY (520) 790-1550

Chico’s Smoke Shop Sticky’s Smoke Shop

Best Place to Buy a Car Jim Click

Multiple locations Jim Click, which has been around for more than 50 years now, is a community staple for a few different reasons. They carry and service Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Jeep, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Genesis vehicles, which makes up 11 of the reasons. The company is also big on giving back to the community, whether it’s through Millions For Tucson or Wheels For Kids. ‘Ole Jim Click keeps this town running in more ways than one.


Chapman Royal

Best Summer Staycation JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.

With all the travel restrictions of the last year, I think more of us than ever appreciate the concept of a good staycation. Lucky for us, we Tucsonans have Starr Pass. Golf courses, a spa, a multilevel pool and a lazy river are just the beginning. The view overlooking the city is (and we say this knowing that this


word is overused, but this warrants it) breathtaking. Food is inspired by Native American, Mexican and Mediterranean influences. They even have a nightly tequila toast on the terrace. Book that staycation ASAP!


The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa Loews Ventana Canyon

Best Handyman Ronnie’s Handyman and Home Service Somewhere out there, we like to imagine an alternate version of The Shining in which Jack Nicholson hacks through the bathroom door with an axe to announce, “Heeeere’s Ronnie!” And then he introduces his wife to the helpful folks over at Ronnie’s Handyman and Home Service. Need help with electrical, plumbing or furniture assembly? How about, much like Shelley Duvall would have needed after the bathroom door incident, help with carpentry or painting? Drywall, irrigation, even holiday decorating. They do all this and more! Give them a call to see what home problems they can fix for you.


A Plus Handyman Service 350 Days of Sunshine


We are a one stop adult shop! It’s our goal to give you the best price in Tucson and the largest selection. We guarantee that we carry products no other store in the state have. Some of our customers have been quoted to say “You’re like a miniature adult Costco!” “Your store is more fascinating than the other adult stores and completely meets our adult expectations, I had no idea they made so many cool items.” Stop in and try some of our x-rated shaped cookies or a free DVD. If we don’t have it we’ll order it in for you! Stop in and try some of our x-rated shaped cookies (while supplies last) or a free DVD.



Media Mix Best TV Newscast

Best Local Twitter Feed

KOLD Tucson News Now


The formula for success in local TV news is really not that complicated. Give people the news, weather and sports and try not to give the viewers a reason to yell at the TV screen (as in “Why is THAT the top story?! That’s not news!”). KOLD mostly gets it right. From the smooth delivery of anchors Dan Marries and Brooke Wagner to the three-headed weatherwoman to the matter-of-fact sports reporting, it’s a complete package. A special shout-out to Damien Alameda, who survived the Pandemic Downsizing by making a smooth transition from Sports Guy to weekend anchor.

We <3 Ken Carr’s up-to-the-minute delivery of traffic conditions, sports tidibits and the odd news of the region. The photos are worth a visit alone, as are the quick insights around town that you can’t find anywhere else. But what makes whatsuptucson special is how it really manages to capture the spirit of Tucson: gorgeous, strange, humorous and all. READER RECOMMENDED @tmztucson @totallytucson


Oct. 21, 2021

Best Game Store Tucson Games and Gadgets 4500 N. Oracle Road #253

5870 E. Broadway Blvd. #500 Whether you want to play a game that makes you an Old West cowboy or a space patrol cadet in a galaxy far, far away, Tucson Games and Gadgets will have some kind of game for you. They’ve got board games, tabletop games and LARP accessories. (That’s Live Action Role Play for those of you who don’t reenact the gunfight at the OK Corral in your spare time.) You’re welcome to join the community of people who set up to play right there in the shop and the Park Place location has opened a small saloon with cold beer. Ah, yes, a pint of lager is fine respite whilst on a quest!

READER RECOMMENDED Heroes and Villains Isle of Games

Best Radio Station for Music KXCI (91.3 FM)

Matt Brode

Best Radio Host Hannah Levin (91.3 KXCI)

Thank goodness the team at KXCI managed to adapt to the pandemic and are still going strong. The optimistic and always-on Hannah Levin is known around town for her show “The Home Stretch,” an upbeat mix of rock, pop and soul that gets us through those last few hours of the work day. As if that show wasn’t enough, Levin also spreads her love of music and story across the station as Director of Content. And some content it is.

READER RECOMMENDED Brett “Porkchop” Miller (99.5 KIIM) Ken Carr (101.7 KDRI)

Best Bookstore Bookmans

Multiple locations

Tucson’s scrappy independent nonprofit radio’s only format limitations seem to be the imagination of the DJs, which means you’ll hear music and news on KXCI that you won’t hear on other stations—and maybe have never heard before! With shows hosted by the likes of Hannah Levin, Jim Blackwood, Bridgitte Thum, Marty Kool, Kidd Squidd and Al Perry, KXCI remains a local treasure.

What can be said about the beloved Bookmans that hasn’t been said already? How about that it might be solely responsible for keeping our sanity over the past year and a half. Any time we needed a book to escape into, a funny movie, an addicting video game, or even a life-size cutout of The Dude, we knew where to go. Any city would be lucky enough to have one of these used media meccas, but Tucson is awesome enough to have three.

Best Local Weatherperson •Photo Booth •Party Bus


220 S. Fourth Ave.


(520) 260-5085 •Djs www.TucsonDeeJay.com •Weddings/Events Classy Entertainment

That’s clever and all, but it’s also from her stint at another station from about 10 years ago. For her to build a following, go Back East for several years, and then come back to pick up where she left off is impressive.

Erin Christiansen

What makes this such an easy pick is that people are STILL using the catchphrase “Erin said it would (be like this).”


Antigone Books Mostly Books

Best Video Store Casa Video

2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Longtime midtown favorite Casa Video


Oct. 21, 2021

isn’t just a box outside a convenience store. It’s a community gathering spot for people who like movies or craft beer or both. You can pop into Casa to watch a screening at the bar, get dinner at the food truck outside and take home the sequel to. Where else are you going to find a video store with sections dedicated to Oscar winners, obscure Russian films, and horror B-movies?


Best Comic Store Heroes and Villains 4533 E. Broadway Blvd.

I’ve been in this town so long I can remember when the word comic meant a vibrant-if-silly book you held in your hands, not the latest billion-dollar blockbuster. Luckily, Heroes and Villains is dedicated to keeping the artform alive with new releases, classics, role-playing games, manga and much more. They mean it when they say they are Southern Arizona’s destination for comics, toys and games. Heroes and Villains

will always have a place in our hearts and on our shelves.

READER RECOMMENDED Bookmans Fantasy Comics

Best Blog Tucson Foodie

Hey, if you’re going to dedicate a blog to one thing in Tucson, it might as well be food. But Tucson Foodie goes above simply telling you how good the local dishes are. They interview local chefs, stay abreast of all the restaurant news in town, and their events directory always has the latest scoop on a good deal. But even if they didn’t have all that, their gorgeous photos are enough to get us running to the nearest grill.


The Classy Alcoholic Arizona Families

KXCI would like to thank our listeners who continue to elevate 91.3 FM KXCI! Thank you for choosing independent media!

Best Local TV News Anchor

Dan Marries (KOLD)

Smooth as silk in his delivery, knowledgeable, unthreatening, and happy to be a Tucsonan—Marries checks all the boxes. His on-air banter with co-anchor Brooke Wagner is informative without being chatty and his news delivery is professional without being pedantic. He knows what he’s about.


Priscilla Casper (KVOA) Sean Mooney

Best Local Sportscaster

Paul Cicala (KVOA)

We’re definitely biased, but we believe journalists who care about the work they do make communities better. Cicala is a prime example of this. The bilingual Tucson native, and proud product of the Sunnyside Unified School District,


reports on sports ranging from high school football to UA softball with unparalleled enthusiasm. He’s spent time working as a reporter in other states, and we’re so glad to have him and his skills back in the Old Pueblo.

READER RECOMMENDED Damien Alameda (KOLD) Brian Jeffries (UA Athletics)

Best Instagram Visit Tucson

We know Visit Tucson is dedicated to inspiring folks to travel to our corner of the world, but their photos are so vibrant they make us want to get out into the world as well. Updated multiple times a day, Visit Tucson covers everything from our famous sunsets to local arts and culture to stunning landscapes. If it’s worth gawking at in Tucson, chances are it’s on Visit Tucson. What more could you want out of an Instagram?


Tucson Foodie This Is Tucson



Oct. 21, 2021

Fashion & Style

Best Clothing

immediately step back in time. Vintage clothing, furniture, accessories, and decor from every era are equally represented at the 22nd Street Antique Mall. Prices range from lavish to bargain. We recommend this spot for homeowners in search of unique items to impress guests (everybody has IKEA furniture, don’t be a sheep). Plus, antique shopping contributes to the reuse, reduce, and recycle market!

Creations Boutique Multiple locations

During the pandemic we got used to being comfy. Our houses aren’t exactly a runway (unless you do that, then more power to ya!), but with the newest transition into a post-pandemic world we need clothing that toes the line of classy and comfy. Creations Boutique is the perfect place to find your comfy-cute clothes. Their clothes resemble Free People styles without the eye-gouging price tag and clothes for all occasions are available. Go back into the world stylish and comfortable with Creations clothing.


Buffalo Exchange Razor’s Edge

Best Resale Clothing Buffalo Exchange 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.

Buffalo Exchange is now well-loved in states across the U.S. But, even if you’ve visited other locations, you probably know that walking into Buffalo Exchange always feels like Tucson. It’s

READER RECOMMENDED Get a dandy outfit at Buffalo Exchange


all the fun of thrifting, but with less work sorting through to find the cute stuff, because the store already sorted through and found the cute stuff for you. Whether you’re looking for a formal wedding outfit, a Halloween costume, some sharp digs for work or something to wear out on the town, Buffalo Exchange will have you looking cute as heck, guaranteed.

supreme, there is nothing like walking around an enormous furniture store. Face it: It’s hard to know exactly how high that dining room table will be, or how comfy that couch will be, without interacting with it yourself. Sam Levitz is a delight to wander around. Their friendly associates and competitive prices make it a pleasure to purchase from as well.



Plato’s Closet Twice as Nice

Copenhagen Ashley Home Store

Best Home Furnishings

Best Vintage Shopping

Sam Levitz

22nd Street Antique Mall

3750 W. Orange Grove Road In an era where online shopping reigns

5302 E. 22nd St.

Once you pass the threshold you

How Sweet It Was Buffalo Exchange

Best Jewelry Silver Sea Jewelry 330 N. Fourth Ave.

Tucson is brimming with cute cactus and succulent themed items, from decor to jewelry to… well, literal cacti and succulents. That’s part of what makes Silver Sea, a mermaidy oasis full of seashells and turquoise, feel so special. They carry lovely original pieces to tie together any outfit, and it’s the type of tiny shop where you feel like you could spend hours looking at the gadgets and gizmos aplenty.


Cheyenne Cannon Jewelry Christina Holland Designs

WAXING • TANNING • LASHES Follow us @beachbunnie_az


Oct. 21, 2021

Best Hair Salon

get there to live out your vividly colored dreams.



Gadabout Hush

Multiple locations Gadabout takes your hair seriously. They strive to hire only the best, and then to use the best process when it comes to your experience. Before your cut or color, you get a personalized consultation where you talk about everything from your face shape to your lifestyle. (eg: do you put effort into your hair or not?) Possibly the best part is that they also provide a home care recommendation, so you can recreate the style at home—and hopefully avoid the feeling that your hair will never, ever look as good as it did when the wizard of a salon lady did it.


Circa 79 Salon Salon

Best Day Spa Greentoes

529 N. Sixth Ave.

how completely, stunningly luminous your eyes are? And how hot you are in general? Well, if you haven’t, go do it right now. LALA Lash is top tier, and they’ve even got a cool new membership program so you can keep your lovely lashes retouched as needed without any hassle. After all, who has time for a hassle when they’re walking around looking like a long-lashed god or goddess?


Lash Lab Amazing Lash

615 W. Roller Coaster Road You can only do so many at-home facemasks before they start to lose their luster, you know? If you’re looking to really treat yourself, spend a day at Greentoes. You can enjoy massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing and more, all done with natural and organic oils and cleansers. Relaxation in overdrive, because you deserve it.


Gadabout English Salon Spa

Best Place to get Great Hair Color Look Within Studios

Best Lash Boutique

2103 S. Sixth Ave.

One look at the Facebook page for this business and you’ll know. Owner Melissa Subia specializes in creative colors and ombres, and you can see some of her gorgeous color work on the page. Do you want to look like a mermaid whose locks are flowing in the tide? Or maybe like some sort of hot goddess of fire? How about an earth-toned wood nymph? Whatever your follicular fantasy, Look Within Studios will help you



2605 E. Speedway Blvd. 7090 N. Oracle Road, Suite 80 Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Like, have you ever felt down on your appearance and then gone in for a lash lift? And then realized


Best Nail Salon Bella Spa

1070 E. Tucson Marketplace Blvd. #120 Bella Spa is renowned for stunning nail art. Browse their social media to see incredible examples of acrylic masterpieces and dip powder designs. Keep on trend with colorful french tips or ask for something seasonal like hand-painted skulls for Halloween. Every artist at the

salon has their own flare to meet design requests. The interior design of the salon is also exquisite. The interior provides ambiance and their heavyduty massage chairs leave you feeling refreshed.


Greentoes Classy Nails by Le

Best Tanning Salon Heavenly Glow

7846 E. Wrightstown Road Both because skin health is super important and because you don’t want to look like an orange muppet, it’s important to select a tanning salon carefully. Look no farther than Heavenly Glow, which offers the finest tanning beds, booths, spray tanning and lotions. Their Versa Spa is a UV-free tanning system that will transform your skin in minutes, for example. They even now offer teeth whitening, if you’re looking



Oct. 21, 2021

Thank you Tucson!

Your luxury destination for beautiful lash extensions in Tucson.

Speedway (520)284-9586 2605 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716


(520)284-9586 7090 N. Oracle Rd. Suite 80, Studio 4 Tucson Az. 85704



Oct. 21, 2021

to feel even more confident.


Beach Bunnie Kist by Mist

tion sunglasses, safety glasses, or even dive masks or swim goggles? They do that too! You’re going to see so well you’ll be able to actually see the cicada sounds next summer.


Arizona Primary Eye Care Lesco Optical

Best Tattoo Parlor Sacred Art

Multiple locations COURTESY PHOTO

Inglis Florists has Tucson’s best flowers

Best Florist Inglis Florists Multiple locations

Local flower shops are always so charming. But Inglis takes the cake for its wide range of options and sheer longevity. They’ve been serving Tucson for 80 years, and will help you find the perfect birthday, anniversary, get well, welcome baby, sympathy, apology, congratulations, obligatory business, or make-agood-impression-on-your-girlfriend’sparents flowers. They also do weddings and special events!


Mayfield Florist Bloom Maven

Best Eyeglass/ Optical Retailer Alvernon Optical Multiple locations

Alvernon Optical has been providing Tucsonans with quality vision care for 60 years. There’s a lot to see here in the Old Pueblo, and they’re here to help make sure you don’t miss any of it! They provide eye exams, sell eyeglasses and even offer repairs. Looking for prescrip-

Since 1997, this parlor has housed some of the most talented tattoo artists in Tucson. This is a huge accomplishment because Tucson is increasingly attracting Ink Masters to establish shops. The competition is stiff but Sacred Art has a reliable group of artists at all locations. These artists are well-known for their black, white, and grayscale tattoos that last a lifetime. Looking for color? The versatility of artist abilities will get you to your dream work of art. Make a safe decision by trusting your permanent art to Sacred Art.


Black Rose Tattoo Artistry

Best Tattoo Artist Lisa Cardenas (Haunted Hands) She’s done it again! For the past four years, Lisa Cardenas has dominated this category. She can now add another year to her winning streak. Cardenas owns her own tattoo studio called Haunted Hands which should be noted as a bohemian hodgepodge of excellent vintage decor and mid-century furniture. HH is one of the more relaxing tattoo studios in Tucson. Cardenas’s tattoos are highly demanded so she won’t resume booking until Spring 2022. Her tattoos are based




on southwestern motifs with natural elements and she skillfully incorporates modern design aesthetics.

for more than 30 years, making them the most experienced laser center in Southern Arizona. Bye-bye, bad tattoos!



Anthony Michaels (Metro Tattoo) Ed Slocum (Tattoo Artistry)

Oops Laser Removal Look Within Studios

Best Tattoo Removal/ Alteration Pima Dermatology 5150 E. Glenn St.

Sometimes you get a tattoo related to a (now) ex-lover, or something you now think is ugly, or something that just doesn’t reflect your beliefs anymore. We know a guy who got his own name tattooed on his arm when he was 18, just because he didn’t know what else to get tattooed. He later decided that was dumb. If you’ve changed your mind, Pima Dermatology can help. They’ve been performing laser tattoo removal

Best Place to Get Pierced Straight to the Point 1927 E. Grant Road

Body piercings are best done at the only studio in Tucson exclusively dedicated to skin ornamentation. STTP reports it can pierce anything and is willing to customize your piercing experience. From designing a custom piece of jewelry to mapping out your end look, they excel in providing the most comfortable experience for new pokes. Studio owner Lisa Marie Mytych personally trains every piercer at STTP so you can rest assured that your appointment will be handled by a professional.

Oct. 21, 2021



Sacred Art Tattoo Studio Enchanted Dragon

Gentleman Jack’s Barber Lounge Good Fellas

Best Barber Shop

Best Local Clothing Designer


Multiple locations If you want your hair to look good, and especially if you want something cool shaved onto the side of your head, you need to go to Headliners. They will literally shave a detailed monkey face or an intricate mandala pattern onto the back of your head if you ask them. And it will look cool as hell. They’ve even shaved a Despicable Me minion onto more than one person’s head. Because of the sheer artistry involved in the creation, even those looked pretty awesome. It’s basically impossible to leave a Headliners appointment without feeling like you are cooler than everyone else.

Ruby Jane

10A Tubac Road, Tubac Since launching her business in 2011, Ruby Jane has aimed to design clothing that’s modern and timeless while drawing inspiration from fabrics of South Africa, where she was born. She aims to flatter women no matter what their shape or size. The result is a collection of elegant and sophisticated dresses, tunics, shirts, pants, jewelry and more.


Black Broccoli Laura Tanzer


Oct. 21, 2021



Best Public Garden

bike and take a tour through Tucson that brings you by parks, washes, trails, and plenty of the all-important drinking fountains.

Tucson Botanical Gardens 2150 N. Alvernon Way

If you’ve never been to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, trust us, it’s far more than a showcase of desert plants. The Botanical Gardens are an escape right in the middle of town, showing off plants from across the world, a greenhouse with butterflies, gorgeous mosaics, sculptures and miniatures. It’s easy to spend multiple hours wandering around the lush premises, and then a whole additional hour checking out the gift shop.


Tohono Chul Park Reid Park Rose Garden

Best Bike Riding The Loop

There are many reasons Tucson is a famously bike-friendly city, but the crown jewel might just be the famous Loop (which is only sort of a loop.) Even better, it’s a network of shared-use paths that stretch for more than 100 miles throughout town, bringing recreation to residents in every corner. Hop on your


Mount Lemmon Sabino Canyon

Best Biking Group/ Community Tuesday Night Bike Ride

This group is especially great for people who don’t like joining official organizations. They’re just a gathering of unaffiliated, independent cyclists who like to go riding on Tuesday nights. Sometimes it’s nice to be surrounded by people doing the same thing you love to do, without the pressure of it being so strictly organized. They meet at the UA flagpole and leave around 8:30 p.m., and usually ride about 10 to 15 miles. Join the group of about 100 people next time!


BICAS El Groupo

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Sabino Canyon has offered Tucson’s best hiking since territorial days

Best Hike Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon is far more than a trail winding through the mountains (not that you’d need much more). It’s like multiple hikes in one. This eastside destination begins with a flat, easy hike through the desert before descending into shaded canyons that eventually leads to some beloved waterfalls. Additional trails sprawl throughout the adjacent mountains. But if doing all that sounds like a little much, the tram service can zip you around with ease. Sabino Canyon: for the indecisive adventurer.


Tumamoc Hill Catalina State Park

Best Backpacking Trail Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime

experience, in that hiking it gets you enough of a leg workout for a lifetime. This famous trail stretches all the way from Mexico to Utah, more than 800 miles in total! And guess what, the trail is lucky enough to pass by Tucson. Hiking the nearby portion will take you through Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Saguaro National Park and the Santa Catalina Mountains. It’s a quick and easy stroll through some of the most beautiful landscapes Pima County has to offer.


Sabino Canyon Aravaipa Canyon

Best Campground Patagonia Lake State Park

Patagonia and its campgrounds are overlooked in Arizona because of tourist locations like the Grand Canyon or the Sedona red rocks. However, Patagonia Lake State Park is a lush environment known to attract many species of animals. In 90 minutes, you can set up camp at a location fit for birdwatching, boating, fishing, and hiking. The Park hosts fun family events like Halloween Fun on Oct. 30. Park rangers will give a free campsite to whoever decorates their site most festive and kids can do a trick-or-treat walk at 6 p.m.


Madera Canyon Catalina State Park



Oct. 21, 2021

Best Park Reid Park

900 S. Randolph Way Of course it’s the best park, it’s Reid Park for crying out loud! Tucson central park has something for everyone: a playground, a waterfront, a rose garden, a dog park, an amphitheater, and even an entire zoo. Although there’s been some contention lately about the zoo expanding, there’s still plenty of room throughout Reid Park’s 130 acres for all the recreation and fresh air you could hope for.


Agua Caliente Himmel Park

Best Sporting Goods Store Summit Hut





We have finally started to receive our New Gulfstream RV’s! Come check them out! Of course we still carry Jayco’s that come with “the Best in the Industry 2 YEAR Warranty! NEW!


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5251 E. Speedway Blvd. 7745 N. Oracle Road For reasons that are outside our ability to understand, some people enjoy being outdoors in the Sonoran Desert! As long as those people exist, the Summit Hut will be there to serve their wants and needs. This place has it all—tents, lighting, cooking gear, backpacks, hydration needs, footwear, and sleeping bags. Both locations feature a friendly and knowledgeable staff of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Where do these people come from?!


Play It Again Sports

Best Bike Shop Ajo Bikes

1301 E. Ajo Way Ajo Bikes south of Tucson offers a wide variety of bikes for our cycling-centric city. Since 1991, they’ve been selling mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, BMX bikes,

and even recumbent bikes. But if you’re not looking for a new set of wheels, they also repair and sell parts. In a town like this, it’s no small feat to win Best Bike Shop.


Sabino Cycles Roadrunner Bicycles

Best Day Trip Mount Lemmon

There’s a good reason the town atop Mount Lemmon is called Summerhaven. For decades, the 25-mile drive has served as THE day trip for Tucsonans. We all marvel as the air cools as we ascend from the desert floor to grasslands to pine forest. There are numerous vistas, campgrounds, cabins and even a ski slope up there. A drive up Mount Lemmon has never failed to better our day, that’s for sure.


Bisbee Sonoita

Best Golf Course La Paloma

3660 E. Sunrise Drive Got Golf? La Paloma sure does. Their 27-hole course has features including mini-Verde Bermuda greens, dense fairways and seven sets of tee boxes per hole. Not to mention the gorgeous views the course offers of the Santa Catalinas. They’ve also got plenty of resources to help you improve your game, including a short game practice area, two putting practice areas and a driving range. You can even sign up for private lessons, group clinics, or family or couples golf events.


Sewailo Arizona National

Oct. 21, 2021

Kids’ Stuff

Best Children’s Entertainer Mr. Nature

Mr. Nature is the man, myth and legend behind absolute bops such as The Waggle Dance, Pollinator Rock, and Go Go Go Stop. Kids love him, and also we all love him. He uses music and fun and virtual playgroups to teach kids about topics like kindness, mindfulness and positive social interaction. He even started a podcast for lil ones, or, as he calls them, “Little Leafs” during the pandemic. He also started a music streaming series on YouTube to keep people company at home. He’s silliness and positivity and sunshine.


Tucson Children’s Museum Board & Brush

Best Daycare YMCA of Southern Arizona Multiple locations

We all know that it’s fun to stay at the YYYYYYY MCA, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But there are all sorts of new reasons to love their daycare program, including a focus on letting kids learn by exploring their own interests. Through their WatchMeGrow streaming option, you can check in on your child throughout the day as well. For older kids, the YMCA’s before- and afterschool programs provide great opportunities for students to learn about how asking a question and imagining possibilities can lead to big things. And there’s a summer camp, too!



Tucson Jewish Community Center Brichta Infant and Early Learning Childcare


Twice As Nice Sweet Repeats

Best Fun for the Whole Family

Get Air Wild Katz

2021 N. Kinney Road

Best Public Pool/ Splashpad TUCSON WEEKLY FILE PHOTO

Your kid will be the star at a Tucson Children’s Museum birthday party.


Reid Park Zoo Golf N’ Stuff

Best Kids’ Clothing Store Little Bird Nesting Company 4508 E. Broadway Blvd.

Whether you’re looking for a cowboy hat or a pair of boots, Little Bird Nesting Company has a wide assortment of quality second-hand clothes, shoes, toys and other child-raising necessities. (And you’d have to be plumb crackers to buy this kind of stuff new, especially when they’ll outgrow it in a matter of months-or maybe even weeks!) Plus, you can take your kid’s stuff in for trade, making it an ideal way to keep this whole having-kids thing affordable.

to have a good time, but their birthday parties take it to the next level. Whether you have a group of 10 or a group of 50, the Children’s Museum has a fiesta package for you that includes an activity led by a discovery guide. And if it’s a Very Important Birthday, you can get the whole museum to yourself in the evening hours. It’s a birthday they won’t soon forget!


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum There’s plenty to do at the Desert Museum: Kids can go wild with the desert creatures, adults can learn about our local environment. They have summer camps, art classes and even a great restaurant. The Desert Museum will delight young and old alike.


Best Place for a Children’s Party Children’s Museum Tucson 200 S. Sixth Ave.

Downtown’s Children’s Museum is already one of the best places for kids

Brandi Fenton Memorial Park 3482 E. River Road

Brandi Fenton’s splashpad has all you need: Fountains that spray up, buckets that pour down and giant squirt cannons so you can take aim at the other kids who are splashing around. Plus, kids are way less likely to drown so it’s easier than taking them to the pool. Put ’em in their swimsuits and let them loose!




Oro Valley Aquatic Center Manzanita Park

up an appetite.


eegee’s Pita Jungle

Best Restaurant With a Kids Menu


Brandi Fenton Memorial Park Reid Park

Little Anthony’s Diner 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

There’s something irresistible about a diner for a lot of kids. Everything is shiny and feels just old fashioned enough to be interesting. But what takes a place like Little Anthony’s to the next level for kids is their menu offerings: classic, simple and completely irresistible. A burger, macaroni and cheese, a corn dog, or chicken strips, yes. A PB&J for picky eaters. Grilled cheese strips for those looking to branch out on presentation. And even pasgetti and meatballs, spelled kid-style. If you’re lucky, they’ll be having a car show in the parking lot, complete with a bounce house to work

proved bonds. There are a couple of great forts for them to clamber all over (and soft, spongy material underneath to soften the inevitable falls), swings and a Very Tall Slide. If you get bored, you can always visit the library. And there’s a splashpark on the way! This is kid heaven.


Swinging around Himmel Park, Tucson’s best playground.

Best Playground Himmel Park

1000 N. Tucson Blvd. Himmel Park’s playground has had quite a makeover thanks to voter-ap-

Pima County Library

While COVID has put the kibosh on story time at the county libraries (and just about everywhere else), we’re told that the program will be back just as soon as it can be done safely. A lot of kids around town will be happy when it happens!


Bookmans Mildred & Dildred

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Best Summer Camp Reid Park Zoo 3400 E. Zoo Ct.

Wanna know what’s new with the zoo? What’s up with the giraffes? How bearable are the grizzlies? You otter sign up for a summer camp where the kids get up close and personal with all creatures great and small. Zoo camp lets kids learn about animals, habitats and compassion. Be sure to claw your way in early: This one sells out faster than a speeding cheetah.


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Tucson Jewish Community Center

Oct. 21, 2021


Great food for kids at Little Anthony’s.


Best Toy Store Mildred & Dildred 1725 N. Swan Road

Mildred & Dildred have a new home in the old Kids Center store on Swan Road near Pima Street. But the store has lost none of its charm in its move from La Encantada. They still carry all manner of dolls, stuffed animals, dinosaurs, puppets, books and everything else that kids love. While you can shop in the store, they offer private shopping appointments, curbside pickup and even delivery for orders over $30, as long as you live in one of several magic ZIP codes. Let’s hope we get back to in-person storytime soon!

Best Way to Entertain Kids During the Summer Swimming

When the triple digits hit, the best way to keep the kids cool is to take them swimming. Just be sure to keep an eye on them until they show they know how to stay afloat!


Children’s Museum Reid Park Zoo

Let our hungry readers know you are there! Out door dining, Take-out, or Delivery!

Call Today: 520-797-4284





CASUAL DINING Best Curbside Pickup Beyond Bread Multiple locations

Curbside pickup sure became a thing over the last 18 months, didn’t it? There are a lot of eateries that will bring your food right to your car, but Beyond Bread rose to the top in the eyes of our readers. Bring us a simple brown paper bag filled with a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner? Yum!


Zinburger Brooklyn Pizza Company

Best Delivery

door to sister business Sky Bar and have a cold craft brew while you’re at it.

Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches


Multiple locations

Delivery became a lot more important to our lives after the pandemic arrived in Tucson—and Baggin’s definitely, well, delivered. The local chain has enough locations around town that they probably even deliver those delicious sandwiches to your place.


Brooklyn Pizza Fresco

Best Place to Grab a Slice Brooklyn Pizza Company 534 N. Fourth Ave.

Brooklyn Pizza Company calls itself “fresh-baked, hand-tossed, solar-powered pizza,” but they left off one key description: Absolutely delicious! These massive cheese slices will only set you back $3.22, making it one of the best bargains in town. Take your slice next

Empire Pizza Time Market

Best Caterer El Molinito

Multiple locations It’s hard to go wrong by catering an event with authentic Mexican cuisine. And El Molinito, which caters to gatherings of every size, is really the best. You can customize your own menu, or go with one of their suggested combination plates, like the chile con carne plate, the fajita dinner, the El Molinito Special, and even the El Molinito Vegetarian Special. Just writing this is making us want to plan a large event so we can get it catered, stuff our faces, and then keep all the leftovers.


Feast Brushfire BBQ

Best Diner Little Anthony’s

7010 E. Broadway Blvd. It is the nature of the industry that diners come and go. Some arrive with a splash and become the hot new place, but almost all of them that came eventually reach that “go” stage of their existence. But, every now and then, there is the outlier, the diner that came… and stayed around…for decades! Little Anthony’s bills itself as “Tucson’s 50s Diner” and then more than lives up to it. The menu is unashamedly designed for the person who shows up really hungry

Oct. 21, 2021

and leaves really satisfied. In the Eatie Gourmet section of the menu, they have the Hunk-a-Hunk of Burning Love Burger, the La Bamba Burger, and the Be Bop Bacon Burger. There’s Grandma Tony’s Pizza and a wide variety of chicken offerings including the Love Me Tender Strips. They have French Fries and Chili Fries and Cheese Fries. And we’re not even going to talk about the desserts. At Little Anthony’s they aim to please and they always hit their target.


Baja Café Bisbee Breakfast Club

Best Specialty Food Store Lee Lee International Supermarket 1990 W. Orange Grove Road

Lee Lee is so fun! They’ve got tens of thousands of international grocery items, representing more than 30 countries or geographic regions. It’s the perfect place to go to try all kinds of new foods you’ve never heard of or thought to try. Frog, chicken feet grace the meat section, and you’ll find things like kabucha, daikon and chayote in the produce section. Their deli department has pretty much every kind of tofu you could ever think of, and many, many kinds you can’t. There are kids in candy stores, and then there are adventurous culinary enthusiasts in Lee Lee.


AJ’s Fine Foods Roma Imports


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Dickman’s Meat and Deli has exotic meat options.

Best Delicatessen Dickman’s Meat & Deli 6472 N. Oracle Road

7955 E. Broadway Blvd. We’ll put it this way: Where else are you going to pick up enough pastrami, honey ham, mesquite-smoked turkey, sirloin steaks, alligator sausage and crab for the whole family? Sure that’s a lot, but there’s a reason Dickman’s refers to themselves as a “full service” deli. For more than a decade, Dickman’s has been filling Tucson bellies, especially with those beloved “ugly steaks” that taste anything but.


Roma Imports 4th Ave. Deli

Best Desserts Nadine’s

4553 E. Broadway Blvd. Nadine’s all kosher bakery is the perfect place to satisfy any craving. A singular dessert has multiple varieties at Nadine’s and you aren’t limited to traditional croissants and scones. Nadine’s has excellent cakes, brownies, and breads with delicious flavor combinations. They are well-known for their wedding cakes but we venture to say

Nadine’s exceeds in offering the most interesting baked goods in Tucson.


Beyond Bread/Back Dough Cup Café

Best Ice Cream The Screamery Multiple locations

The Screamery ice cream will literally make you scream, pun intended. The current offerings include Whiskey Way, Sweet Sonoran Dessert, and Cowboy Cookie. As we head into fall, pumpkin lovers will certainly love their Pumpkin Roll ice cream. Real pumpkin, sweet cream, spices, and whole cinnamon rolls are mixed together for the perfect fall treat. Their more adventurous flavors make them unique and their basic flavors are world-class. Traditional chocolate is easily one of the best flavors on the menu and one of the best chocolate ice creams in Tucson.


HUB Ice Creamery Frost Gelato

Best Bagel The Bagel Joint 7315 N. Oracle Road

Bagels are a gift to human kind, and the Bagel Joint is a gift to bagels. They’ve




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Lindy’s on 4th Graze/Truland

got breakfast sandwiches including Bagels & Lox, the Arizona Strongman and the Tucson Sunrise that will make your mouth water. Plus, tons of originals, like the Roast Beef & Cheddah, the Hummus Veggie Bagel, and the BBLT. Head over for breakfast, or pick up a Boston Dozen (that’s 14!) to bring home to the family. Or pick up a Boston Dozen and a tub of their El Diablo cream cheese all for yourself. We’re not judging.

Best Veggie Burger Graze Premium Burgers


Prep and Pastry Café Passe

Best Barbecue BrushFire BBQ Co.


BrushFire BBQ’s fine sauce options.

to smokey chipotle. If you’re looking for BBQ that’s fall-off-the-bone good, BrushFire is the place to go.


2745 N. Campbell Ave.

Holy Smokin’ Butts Smokey Mo

7080 E. 22nd St. Since opening in 2007, BrushFire has become a Tucson institution thanks to its flavorful meats slow-roasted over mesquite and pecan and its phenomenal sauces, ranging from sweet molasses

Best Burger Zinburger

6390 E. Grant Road 1865 E. River Road Zinburger offers such a dazzling array of burgers that it’s hard to pick when you take a look at the menu. Do you want the classic diner burger with lettuce and tomato? Maybe a burger with a fried egg and bacon? How about a burger in a bowl with all sorts of yummy veggies? Or a veggie burger? Zinburger has all this and more to satisfy your beefy appetite.


2721 E. Speedway Blvd. 5635 E. Broadway Blvd. Veggie burgers have come a long way over the past few decades, and even over the past few years. While some restaurants serve patties meant to recreate the taste of meat, Graze serves up something uniquely delicious. A tepary bean patty with smoky flavor is topped with lettuce, red onion, cucumber and a grilled bun, all of which has our staff vegetarians very excited.


Zinburger Beaut Burger

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Lindy’s Killer Burgers

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Lindy’s Killer Burgers, Family Owned 500 N 4TH AV THE CORNER OF 4TH AVENUE AND 6TH STREET

Artwork by Donovan White

as seen on MAN v FOOD the Food Channel GINORMOUS FOODS the Food Channel MEAT and POTATOES the Travel Channel BEST PLACES TO PIG OUT the Travel Channel and in their Hall of Fame

Oct. 21, 2021



Best Place to Get a Sandwich

Best Pizzeria Rocco’s Little Chicago

Beyond Bread

2707 E. Broadway Blvd.

Multiple locations

It doesn’t matter what Beyond Bread location you choose, the outcome will be the same: a huge sandwich, quality bread, plenty of side options, and a significant setback on your carb counting. Yes, their diverse sandwiches are the stars of the show. But Beyond Bread’s partnership with local breweries, inventive flavor combinations, and whole pies make them a well-rounded dining destination. Good luck finding a Tucsonan who hasn’t eaten too much at Beyond Bread and enjoyed every second of it.


Bison Witches Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Don Guerra uses heritage grains to bake his loaves at Barrio Bread.

Best FreshBaked Bread Barrio Bread

18 S. Eastbourne Ave. Barrio Bread owner and baker Don Guerra used to work in bakeries before spending seven years in K-12 education. When he returned to baking again, it was in his garage, and his neighbors


were the lucky consumers of his first Tucson loaves. It was such a success that it expanded beyond the barrio (neighborhood, in Spanish), and into collaborations with local farmers and chefs. These days, Barrio Bread is a local staple, and Guerra was even named one of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Top Ten Bakers in America a few years back.


Beyond Bread La Baquette

The Broadway widening project has made it a challenge to get to Rocco’s, but with the reward that waits once you get past all those detours, you’ll be glad you did. Whether you want your pie the deep-dish Chicago way or an East Coast thin crust, you’ll walk away with one of the best pies in town. Big thanks to Rocco DiGrazia for making it through the one-two punch of COVID and construction. The town would a be poorer place without his pie.


Brooklyn Pizza Company Empire Pizza & Pub



Oct. 21, 2021


16 On Tap Thank you for all the nominations for Best Pool Hall, Best Neighborhood Bar, Best Sports Bar & Best Bar Menu!

Thank You Tucson For Supporting Local!

HUGE Smoking Patio with HD Flat Screens, 8 Pool Tables, Darts and More!


Full Service Kitchen OPEN LATE Daily Drink Specials Free Wi-fi $2.50 Pints of PBR Every Day & Night

100" HD Projector • 14 HD Flat Screen TVs • Catch Every Game in HD! Sunday Ticket & MLB Extra Inning Packages

Visit us at both locations Best in n Tucso 3 0 2 1 Since

Plaza Palomino 2930 N Swan Rd Swan & Ft Lowell (520) 849-7774 6am-2pm Daily

Tanque Verde 9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd Tanque Verde & Catalina Hwy (520) 749-3903 6am-2pm Daily

3143 E. Speedway Blvd.

(Speedway & Country Club)

(520) 325-0483 • www.redgartertucson.com

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Wings • Burgers • Drinks Wings over Broadway would like to thank Tucson and the WOB community for supporting us and other local restaurants and businesses through what has been very difficult times. We, along with all local businesses appreciate the continued support and want to encourage our community to continue to Eat Local, Drink Local and Shop Local.

8838 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710 520-207-5883

Thank You for Voting us One of the Best (520) 882-8977 elguerocanelo.com

2480 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705


Oct. 21, 2021

Best Wings


stand (though happily, none of those ingredients are in the excellent smoothies they blend up fresh alongside the brewing coffee). It hasn’t been easy to weather the pandemic, but these guys have figured it out—and we know they’ll figure out how to handle the big Dunkin’ moving in next door. Break your chains and support the local guys!

Wings Over Broadway 8838 E. Broadway Blvd.

Wings Over Broadway puts it bluntly on their website: beer, wings and sports. If any or all three of these sound good to you, Wings Over Broadway is up your alley. It doesn’t hurt that they’re a BOT regular, dishing out favorites like lemon pepper, honey gold and garlic Parmesan wings. Pair these with some beer or burgers, and you’ve definitely got a happy hour.


2458 N. Campbell Ave.


Best Smoothies/ Juice Bar Coffee Times

3401 E. Speedway Blvd.

Barista Shannon Stephens hands a drink through Coffee Times’ drive-thru window

Owners Dave Mannell and Michael Cripps have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in their midtown drive-thru

You Sly Dog Curry Pot

Raging Sage

Best Food Truck

Rocco’s Little Chicago ATL Wings


Best Coffee

Pure Love Juice Goodness Fresh Food and Juice Bar


fruit burros. Don’t wait for the supper bell—seek these guys out whenever you see them!

What is a food truck if not a modern chuckwagon? Tucson is blessed with so many of these meals on wheels that it’s hard to choose just one, but this year, Taco Stop outraced the others. You’ll not only find traditional tacos here, but also hot dogs and veggie options like jack-

Located along the bustling Campbell Avenue corridor, Raging Sage has been around long enough to figure out how to brew a great cup of coffee, espresso, latte or whatever your poison happens to be. With its great patio, this cozy joint is a great stop when you want to treat yo’self.


Coffee Times Exo Roast Co

Thank you Tucson for making us one of the Best! BEST COFFEE BEST SMOOTHIES/JUICE BAR BEST DRIVE THRU


3401 E Speedway Blvd.




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They didn’t have donuts like this in the Old West

Best Donuts Amy’s Donuts

101 E. Fort Lowell Road Have you seen these donuts? Almond banana caramel? Chocolate cookie butter? Butterfinger glaze? Chips ahoy? And, of course, you have plenty of traditional, frosted and filled donuts outside the gourmet category if you want to do a little less damage to your blood-sugar levels. These are the donuts you’ve dreamed of all your life.

A “must do” tradition on University blvd.


Donut Wheel La Estrella

Best Café Hangout

y, Thirst e Got th ? hies munc

Cup Café

311 E. Congress St.

Great Beer & Delicious Food!

There are plenty of reasons why Cup Café is such a favorite with our readers: The charming interior, the expansive patio, the friendly and professional servers, the delicious food with local accents on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the dessert case, the historic atmosphere of Hotel Congress—you’ll find it all there and all done well.

READER RECOMMENDED 874 East University Blvd 520 623 7507 FROGANDFIRKIN.COM Sunday-Thursday 11:00am - 1:00am, Friday-Saturday 11:00am - 2:00am

Café Passe Le Buzz


Best Tea The Scented Leaf

943 E. University Blvd., Suite 165 308 E. Congress St. If you’re new to the world of tea (or even if you aren’t), the number of options can be overwhelming. Just what is rooibos or matcha anyhow? That’s why Tucson’s favorite tea house makes it easy with their sales: samplers, classic flavors, seasonal collections and more. Just look at their website or menu. They’ve curated flavors from around the world that are sure to please both newbie and snob.


Tucson Tea Company Seven Cups

Best Drive Thru eegee’s

Multiple locations You don’t really appreciate drive-thrus until you become a parent of a toddler and realize that entering a restaurant for takeout involves unlocking all sorts of straps and buckles. (And let’s face it, there are times when you’re really happy to have a legal reason to tie the kids down.) So if you’re hitting a drive-thru, why not hit the one that features stuff that kids love, from French fries to chicken nuggets? The only challenge is having a conversation through a speaker box when the kids are screeching at each other in a back seat. Don’t worry, they’ll decide on a flavor soon enough.


Oct. 21, 2021


Oh, Bison Witches. We love you. We love your chili cheese nachos and your tortilla chicken salad, your cream of broccoli soup and your veggie sandwich. But most of all, we love your Wildcat Sandwich. We love it so much we wrote it this haiku:


Coffee Times Los Betos

Best eegee’s Flavor

Roast beef and turkey You’ll find Tucson’s best drive-thru service at eegee’s.

Watermelon It’s great that eegee’s brings us a new flavor every month alongside the traditional lemon, strawberry, piña colada and skinny berry, but is the category even a contest? We all know watermelon, available in July as a relief for those triple digits, was gonna run away with this one.


Orange Dream Piña Colada

Best Family Dining Pinnacle Peak

6541 E. Tanque Verde Road Trail Dust Town is as close to a Western legend as you’re gonna find in the city limits, so it’s appropriate that an oldschool steakhouse—complete with the swinging saloon doors—is at the top of this category. It’s perfect for family dining because the kids can ride the train, take a spin on the carousel, see a magic show and shop for candy while (most of) the rest of your party can enjoy a little adult conversation (and maybe adult beverages). If you’re taking someone for


Gouda cheese, Russian mustard Let us eat you. Now.

the first time, be sure to tell them that a tie is required, just so you can watch the staff snip it off and add it to the collection.


Little Anthony’s Brooklyn Pizza Company

Best Specialty Sandwich Wildcat (Bison Witches)


Unforgettable (Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches) Bart’s Bag (Beyond Bread)

Best Place to Get a Salad Choice Greens

2829 E. Speedway Blvd. Sure, you can guarantee that cowboys enjoy a salad now and then—and Choice Greens is legendary for its healthy mixes of veggies, fruit and meat. You

Thanks for voting us one of the Best!

Keeping Tucson Glazed!

Open everyday 5am- midnight

101 E Fort Lowell Rd

(520) 647-2481



can pick one of their specialty salads or just make your own with an easy-tofill-out form. The ingredients are always fresh, there’s a wide range of dressings to choose from and you’ll feel better after eating here, guaranteed.

(we’re going to need a few minutes), let’s raise a toast to Serial Grillers.


eegee’s Zinburger


Sauce Beyond Bread

Best French Fries Serial Grillers

5975 E. Speedway Blvd. There are many types of fries in this world, and they are each beautiful in their own way. But some rise a cut above the rest. At Serial Grillers, their secret is simplicity: quarter-inch cut, seasoned with sea salt and completely wonderful. We like it when there’s not too many flavors getting between us and the glorious potatoes and their best friend, sea salt. So, once you can stop eating their fries long enough to take a breather

Oct. 21, 2021

Best Hot Dog El Güero Canelo Multiple locations

It should come as no surprise, right? If you’re talking about the best ‘dogs in Tucson, you have to go with the Sonoran style. And if you’re talking Sonoran style ‘dogs, why not go with the business that has been dishing out the overflowing specialties all over the state? A great hotdog should always involve you saying, “Wow, what all is on this thing?”


BK Carne Asada and Hot Dogs Pat’s Chili Dogs


The Coyote, featuring Hatch green chilies and jalapeño bacon, is one spicy version of eggs benedict at Baja Café

Best Eggs Benedict Baja Cafe

Multiple locations There’s a reason you should often call ahead when eating at Baja Café: Tucson is crazy about the place! But if you’re waiting, you’ll have plenty of reading to do, because Baja Café devotes an entire menu page just to eggs benedict. Want your eggs benedict topped with sweet potatoes, Hatch green chiles, mac and cheese, pulled pork or chorizo? Look no

further. They even have a “monsoon” eggs Benedict with avocado, smoked bacon and grilled tomatoes. Now that’s Tucson.


Blue Willow Prep and Pastry

Thank you to those that supported us all year long!

You know who you are!

Draft beers and cool drinks

Dine in, takeout, and delivery


Oct. 21, 2021


Best Breakfast Bisbee Breakfast Club

to give up quality food in place of photo ops. Prep & Pastry walks both lanes, with a cozy, modern atmosphere, and plenty of awesome food. The biscuits and gravy and “everything” croissant are some of our favorites, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic avocado toast or French toast. And it’s not truly brunch unless you try every one of their mimosas!


Blue Willow Baja Cafe

Multiple locations

Sure, they do have Bisbee in the name. But Bisbee Breakfast Club has earned their place on Best of Tucson with their phenomenal breakfast choices and multiple locations across town. If you’ve enjoyed one of their huge omelets, decadent pancake specials, or huevos rancheros, you know why Bisbee Breakfast Club rose to the top of the breakfast ladder. Hey, it takes a lot to get a Tucsonan to admit we’re not the only great place in Southern Arizona.


Baja Cafe Prep & Pastry

Best Brunch Prep & Pastry 6450 E. Grant Road

2660 N. Campbell Ave. These days, it seems brunch is only getting trendier. But it’s important not


Best Chinese Golden Dragon 6433 N. Oracle Road

Golden Dragon takes the Best Chinese award again, and it’s no surprise why. After three decades, they’ve stuck to their winning formula of fresh meats and veggies for all the classics of Chinese cuisine. It’s hard to miss on dishes like lo mein or fried rice, but Golden Dragon’s specialty dishes like Khan’s spicy beef and the “Golden Dragon’’ itself put them a step above the rest. And with locations in the Foothills and midtown, you won’t have to wait long for delivery, or go far to enjoy a meal.


Jun Dynasty Guilin Chinese Restaurant


Curry up and visit Saffron for Tucson’s best Indian food

Best Greek Opa’s Best

4590 E. Broadway Blvd. When they said this was Opa’s best, they weren’t pulling your toga. Opa’s Best has served Tucson for years with their combination of Greek and American food, with classics like their house-made baklava, slow-roasted lamb, and grilled burgers. We personally recommend their falafel platter with a Greek salad, but you really can’t go wrong. And if you can’t get enough of Opa’s, they even offer catering.


Is a motto like “Frenchness Guaranteed” something you’re looking for? Well when that motto is alongside decades of serving Tucson and multiple BOT placements, it certainly seems appealing. We know Ghini’s won in the Best French category, but we also happen to think France and brunch go handin-hand. So look no further than their brunch menu with dishes like ham and swiss omelettes and strawberry French toast as a proper introduction to Ghini’s greatness.


Wild Garlic Grill Le Rendezvous

Pappoule’s Zayna Mediterranean

Best Indian

Best French

7607 N. Oracle Road

Ghini’s French Caffe 1803 E. Prince Road


Yes, there are the classics of Indian cuisine like curry or tikka masala, but we enjoy diving into the obscurities of Saffron’s extensive menu. Who knew



Oct. 21, 2021


Little Tokyo in Tucson: Yoshimatsu serves the best Japanase food in town.

It is our pleasure to serve you

“The Spice of Life” (520) 323-6555 bangkokcafe.net

2511 E Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716

! n a i l Ita ONLINE

s ’ ER D t OR a R h





that butter chicken or vegetable biryani could be so good? But that’s only the beginning, a true outing at Saffron isn’t complete without tasting their homemade samosas, naan and even ice creams.

Best Japanese


With how much Tucson adores Yoshimatsu, it’s likely there will be a wait on a weekend night if you’re looking to dine in. But that’s fine, because there’s plenty to look at on the walls. And really, that sums up Yoshimatsu. It’s a restaurant, but it’s also a window to Japan. Whether you’re enjoying their noodles, bento or their wide variety of sushi, you’re getting the best taste of Japan in town.

Sher-E-Punjab India Oven

Best Italian Caruso’s Italian Restaurant 434 N. Fourth Ave.

It’s basically a rule that any storefront on Fourth Ave. becomes a part of Tucson culture, regardless of how long they’ve been open. But Caruso’s has been dishing up fine Italian food for more than 70 years, and that makes them more than just a part of Old Pueblo culture. Generations of Tucsonans have enjoyed Caruso’s family cuisine, ranging from pizza to homemade meatballs to seafood pasta. It’s no wonder that after all this time, Caruso’s remains il capo.


carusoitalian.com 520.624.5765 6000+ sq. ft. Outdoor Dining Room

Vivace Locale


2741 N. Campbell Ave.


Obon Sushi Ikkyu

Best Ramen Raijin Ramen

2955 E. Speedway Blvd. This tiny restaurant in Tucson produces the most comforting ramen flavors accompanied by excellent service. Raijin is always teeming with customers for good reason. Their menu has multiple ramen options that accommodate vegheads, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Another fabulous feature is their lightning fast service! Stop by Raijin during this fall/winter season to try their red spicy chili Tonkotsu ramen bowl. This bowl of ramen is packed with the perfect balance of fats, nutrients, and spices to overcome the sniffles.


Oct. 21, 2021


Noodleholics Obon

Best Middle Eastern Zayna Mediterranean 1138 N. Belvedere Ave.

Zayna Mediterranean has jumped from second place last year to a shiny Best of Tucson for 2021. Zayna focuses on serving healthy Mediterranean food, so there’s plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. But they still have all the beef, lamb and chicken to maintain that Mediterranean cred. Zayna is actually an Arabic name meaning “grace.” A look at their dishes will show you why.


Persian Room Istanbul Mediterranean


Best Contemporary/ Fusion Restaurant Wildflower

7037 N. Oracle Road A general rule around town is if it’s part of Fox Restaurant Concepts, you’re probably in for a delicious meal. And Wildflower is no exception, offering dishes inspired from food all over the world. (That’s what makes it true “American” cuisine, right?) Their artisanal salads and pasta are great, but their appetizers like grilled artichoke and Lebanese hummus are perfect for meeting with some friends and enjoying the ambience of Casas Adobes Plaza.


Tito & Pep Feast


Kingfisher remains king of the seas.

Best Seafood Kingfisher

2564 E. Grant Road Yes, there are plenty of choices when it comes to seafood. I mean, it’s the sea after all. But what sets Kingfisher apart is their rotating specialty menus that balance Mexican, Hawaiian, British and Southern styles in innovative ways. Oh,

to choose between the shrimp and jalapeno ceviche, the pan-seared Atlantic salmon, or the sriracha black mussels. And we’re not even getting started on their specialty cocktail and “dessert drink” menu.


Mariscos Chihuahua Wild Garlic Grill

Thank you Tucson for 12 years

533 N 4th Ave 520-777-8134 BocaTacos.com



Best Steakhouse Silver Saddle

310 E. Benson Hwy. When a restaurant brands themselves as “Tucson’s Best Steakhouse,” they better be ready to prove it. And Silver Saddle does that with their wide variety of steaks, ranging from the classic 10 oz. New York Strip, up to the 16 oz. T-Bone, and finally to the 24 oz. Porter House with plenty of options in between. And all their steaks are influenced by the “golden era of cowboy cookery” with mesquite smoke flavor and large portion sizes. We wouldn’t want a steakhouse any other way.


Pinnacle Peak El Corral

Best Sushi Sushi Garden Multiple locations

We think “garden” is a great way to describe this place, considering all its options. Enjoy sushi how you want it: lunch, dinner, takeout, curbside pickup or delivery. Want sushi, sashimi, seafood, tempura, teriyaki or vegetarian options? They have all that and plenty more. Their beloved buffets and “all you can eat” sushi are on hold because of that damn COVID, but we eagerly await the day we can march in and eat far too much.


Sushi on Oracle Sachiko Sushi

Best Thai Tuk Tuk Thai

2990 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 130 12125 N. Oracle Road, Unit 169 Tuk Tuk Thai embraces the traditions of Thai street food, but doesn’t forego qual-

Oct. 21, 2021

ity. It’s a little bit about the atmosphere, a little bit about the friendly staff, a little bit about the fast service, and a lot about the food that “celebrates the beautiful tastes and culture of Thailand.” Their spicy basil chicken with a fried egg and jasmine rice makes for a fantastic lunch.


Bangkok Café Bai Thong

Best Vietnamese Miss Saigon Multiple locations

Congratulations again to a Best of Tucson regular! Miss Saigon is determined to remain the name in Vietnamese food around Tucson, and has been for more than a decade. Miss Saigon puts authenticity, fresh ingredients, and excellent service at the top of their priorities — and it shows. Hey, there’s a reason so many of their dishes end with the word “delight.”


Ha Long Bay Saigon Pho

Best Vegetarian/ Vegan Tumerico

2526 E. Sixth St. Is there another restaurant in town that so effortlessly embodies the word artisanal? Their menus are all in chalk and updated daily, for crying out loud. But the best part about Tumerico is that they can walk the walk and talk the talk. With choices like “carnitas” jackfruit and Cuban tacos, their vegan dishes rival their meat counterparts any day of the week. Guy Fieri likes the place, isn’t that enough?


Charro Vida Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Oct. 21, 2021

Best Upscale Restaurant Vivace

6440 N. Campbell Ave. A perpetual name in this category, Vivace Italian restaurant takes the cannoli again thanks to their gorgeous foothills location, quality dishes and extensive drink menu. Restaurateur Daniel Scordato carries on his family tradition in dishes like the seafood stuffed portabella mushrooms, chicken and asparagus risotto and osso buco. Since 1993, Vivace has served as one of the best destinations for Tucson fine dining.


Wild Garlic Grill Hacienda del Sol

Best African Zemam’s

2731 E. Broadway Blvd.



119 E. Speedway Blvd.

Founded by refugee Amanuel Gegremariam, Zemam’s really is THE place in Tucson to enjoy Ethiopian classics like beef strips simmered in spicy berbere sauce, seasoned lamb, and mountains of veggies and lentils atop that wonderful spongy bread. Zemam’s is an inspiring story for Tucson’s first Ethiopian restaurant, and one we’re happy to prolong with every visit.


BBQ and mole de pollo. Earlier this year, Mazon even brought her skills to the culinary coliseum known as Top Chef. As Mazon says, “Being a chef for me is a way to scream who I am as a person.”


Travis Peters (The Parish) Mateo Otero (Rollies Mexican Patio)

Best Place to Eat Lunch Downtown

Cafe Desta Queen Sheba

Street Taco

Best Chef

58 W. Congress St.

Maria Mazon (BOCA Tacos y Tequila)

Is it just us, or does Tucson have more acclaimed chefs per capita than most other cities? Maria Mazon is certainly one of them thanks to her goal of making “the best taco.” And it’s hard to disagree with choices like chipotle


Multiple elements come together to make Street Taco our readers’ favorite place to grab lunch downtown. Quick and scrumptious street tacos, a full salsa bar, and a good amount of local beer options; these all would make a restaurant worth your time. But as we all know: location, location, location. Street Taco is conveniently nestled right at the corner of Congress and Church down-

Thank You for the Love Tucson Family! “Best Vegan/Vegetarian” “Best Place to Eat Gluten Free”

town, making their patio seating one of the best places to grab some food and people-watch in all of Tucson.


BOCA Tacos y Tequila The Little One

Best Downtown Restaurant HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery 266 E. Congress St.

We’ve got to applaud the guts it takes to make a restaurant and ice creamery combo. It’s one thing to imagine it, but another to actually build it. Luckily, that wild idea has worked out for HUB. And it’s much more than a gimmick. HUB puts a delicious and artisanal twist on many of their dishes, such as the smoked gouda, avocado mayo and bacon California burger, and the elote


Three locations Tumerico on 4th Ave. 4th Ave Location 402 E 4thst. Corner of 4th Avenue & 4th Street 520-392-0224

Tumerico Cafe 6th St location 2526 E. 6th Street 520-240-6947

La Chaiteria 1002 W Congress St Open Daily for Takeout or Delivery 520-400-7127

www.tumerico.com www.lachaiteria.com



Oct. 21, 2021

pasta. And after filling up on craft food, you can enjoy some of their unique ice cream flavors like honey lavender, pomegranate cherry and olive oil pistachio.

the show. Mi Nidito won best Southside restaurant last year, this year, and we get the feeling we’ll see their name again in the future.


Rollies Mexican Patio Little Mexico


Cup Café The Little One

Best Foothills Restaurant

Best Northwest Restaurant The Parish


6453 N. Oracle Road Fun fact: Louisiana is the only state with parishes instead of counties. But that’s not the only thing this beloved northside restaurant brought from the south. Self-described as a “Southernfusion gastropub,” The Parish takes guests on a tasty tour throughout the Gulf states with authentic gumbo, BBQ pork, shrimp and grits, bleu cheese and bacon burgers, and of course cornmeal crusted catfish. Congratulations on the BOT win again, fellas!

Blue Willow is one of the best spots to grab some food and chat this side of the Mississippi.

Southwestern classics for breakfast through dinner, but what really sets them apart is the setting. It’s an unsuspecting storefront on Campbell, but once you go inside, the overflowing gift shop and shaded central patio prove this is a perfect setting to grab a bite with friends.


Kingfisher Tito & Pep


Wildflower Charro Vida

Best Eastside Restaurant

Best Central Restaurant Blue Willow

2616 N. Campbell Ave. Blue Willow offers up many delicious

Saguaro Corners 3750 S. Old Spanish Trail

Saguaro Corners is about as eastside as you can get without stumbling into a national park. Their surroundings inspire multiple dishes on their menu, like their mini Sonoran dogs, carne

To our loyal foodies and friends. Thank you for choosing Us & supporting our locally owned family restaurant. —XOXO.

asada fries, and green and red chicken enchiladas. With plenty of margaritas, 16 beer taps, and entire taco platters, Saguaro Corners means it when they say they’re a comfort food destination.


Jonathan’s Cork Zona 78

Best Southside Restaurant Mi Nidito

1813 S. Fourth Ave. We’d certainly take South Tucson’s word on what constitutes great Mexican food, but we don’t have to. We know Mi Nidito’s food is fantastic. You don’t last for more than 50 years by cooking up anything less than the best. Yes, the tacos and burros are classics. But in our opinion, Mi Nidito’s chimichangas steal

Wild Garlic Grill 2870 E. Skyline Drive

Another regular among the BOT elites, Wild Garlic Grill takes the Best Foothills Restaurant title again. When you base your restaurant around the all-powerful garlic, it’s hard not to please. Chef Steven Schultz combines culinary lessons from Paris to California, ensuring that dishes like their braised lamb shank, caprese salad, pork loin and ceviche are all world-class.


Vivace North Italia Restaurant

Best Westside Restaurant Seis Kitchen and Catering

130 S. Avenida Del Convento 1675 E. River Road

India Oven Specializing in Punjabi & Northern Indian Cuisines

Tucson’s Favorite Indian Food for over 28 years 520-206-0017 • 2870 E. Skyline Dr. Tucson Az. 85718 • WildGarlicGrill.com (520) 326-8635

2727 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719



Oct. 21, 2021

Seis Kitchen gathers the tastes and traditions of six different regions of Mexican food, selects the best, and serves it to you on a plate. The stars of the show are their tacos with specialties like achiote-marinated grilled chicken, green chile pork, beer-battered avocado and red chile-braised beef. But don’t let these distract you from Seis’ extensive drink menu with Mexican classics ranging from margaritas to agua frescas to plenty of cerveza.


Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe Augustin Kitchen

Best Place to Eat Gluten Free Tumerico

2526 E. Sixth Street

Best Jamaican CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen 5305 E. Speedway Blvd.

What makes CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen Tucson’s favorite spot for Jamaican food? Aside from covering many of the island’s signature dishes like oxtail, jerk chicken and goat curry, they also serve as cultural ambassadors with their events and music. Their specialty beverages and desserts make this a quick trip to the Caribbean without getting wet.

Best Korean 5532 E. Speedway Blvd.

Oh, Tumerico, what can’t you do? Despite almost any dietary restrictions, this Tucson favorite will still dish up some delicious Mexican food. Most of the food at Tumerico is gluten free, including their imaginative spiced veggies in place of meat, as well as their side “powers” (beans, rice, salad). While some of the additions do have gluten, you can eat at Tumerico plenty of times without coming across the pesky proteins.

Takamatsu has grown to become a kind of one-stop-shop for all things Asian food in Tucson: sushi, bento boxes, noodles, soup, rice bowls and more. But get this, they even have multiple menu pages dedicated exclusively to Korean dishes, whether that be marinated beef, spicy pork, kimchee, cold noodles or the classic Korean BBQ. Stop by for their happy hour and get your reading glasses out.

Thank you Tucson for all the Votes! We Love You Too!

Voted Best Chinese 8 Years Running! 4704 E. Sunrise • 299-8088 6433 N. Oracle Rd. • 297-1862


Breakfast, brunch or lunch... as long as it’s Baja ! Art by: Emma


Kimchi Time Korea House

www.BajaCafeTucson.com Vegetarian & Vegan Entrees * A Sanctuary in the City

OUR “ALL YOU CAN EAT” BUFFET IS BACK! 11:30am to 2:30pm for Lunch Wed -Sat 5pm to 8pm for Dinner, Tues - Sat 11am to 2:30pm for Sunday Brunch Closed Mondays / Tuesday is “India Night” Lunch is $9.95, Dinner & Brunch $11.95 for a delicious 14-course meal w/ salad bar Student & Senior discounts apply

New compostable carry-out containers & soup/salad bowls available 711 E. Blacklidge Dr. • 520-792-0630 E. of 1st Ave., 2 Blocks S. of Ft. Lowell

Thank you for your votes and making us one of the Best of Tucson

D’s Island Grill

402 E. Fourth Ave.

Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro Charro Vida

Chinese Restaurant







7002 E Broadway | 2970 N Campbell | 3930 W Ina 6am-2pm 7am-2pm 6:30am-2pm

Thank you Tucson! Thank you to everyone who nominated us and supported us no matter what! And a huge thank you to the Baja staff who continue to stick by us...you are the best. YOU Tucson, deserve the Best WE have to Give!



Celebrating 10 Nominations & 10 Honorable Mentions in Tucson Weekly Best of Tucson 2021 Mention Promocode #SusanLucci for 10% Off Any Appetizer

Open 7 Days a Week, 11AM-9PM (520)888-4242 ziopeppeaz.com 6502 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Tucson, AZ 85715

Oct. 21, 2021


El Charro’s carne seca is a must on the Tucson Bucket List.

Best New Restaurant Barrio Charro

3699 N. Campbell Ave. Few words get Tucson mouths watering as quickly as “Charro.” The latest addition to the beloved family of restaurants is Barrio Charro, which brings together Don Guerra of Barrio Bread and Chef Carlotta Flores of the Charro restaurants. Mexican food in a beloved bun? Count us in. Sandwiches like the Pueblo Quesabirria, which has queso oaxaca, beans, pico salsa and consommé dip on barrio pan azteca, show off the best of both worlds.


Locale The Barnyard

ZEMAMS Ethiopian Restaurants

Best Signature Dish Carne Seca at El Charro

Can you even call yourself a Tucsonan if you don’t know the story of El Charro’s famous and rare carne seca? Sun-dried strips of spicy beef are prepared in cages above their restaurant, giving the meat a kick like only the Sonoran skies can deliver. This beloved meat is a good filling for burritos, enchiladas, tacos and more. And it’s good they put it on so much, because El Charro is one of the only restaurants in the nation where you can enjoy this specialty.


Drunken Angel (The Parish) The Plato (The Little One)

Celebrating 28 Years Of Business

Not just food but a dining experience, bring your appetite! Come visit us at both restaurants! Zemam’s 2731 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716


Zemam’s Too 119 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85705


Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11-2:30, 4:30-9:30 Closed Monday

Oct. 21, 2021

Best Outdoor Dining LaCo

201 N. Court Ave. Anyone who’s eaten at this downtown eatery should know exactly why they won Best Outdoor Dining. LaCo is a restaurant, sure, but it’s also a kind of gallery with plenty of adjacent shops, streaming lights, cozy atmosphere, and there’s usually a local band taking the stage as well. Although LaCo rode the ups and downs of COVID like the rest of us, they are now “back in action” every day of the week.


Cup Cafe Saguaro Corners

Best Dining with a View Hacienda del Sol

5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road Hacienda del Sol takes the gorgeous-view award once again thanks to their perfect position in the Catalina Foothills. If you think those mountains are pretty to look at, just imagine the


view from up on them. Well, you probably already know what it looks like considering Hacienda Del Sol’s reputation as a beautiful getaway without actually having to get away. Pick from their multiple restaurants or private dining options, and enjoy the surroundings.


Vivace Saguaro Corners

Best Restaurant to Dazzle Out-ofTown Visitors The Little One 151 N. Stone Ave.

The Davila Family is something of Tucson royalty, filling Tucson bellies for more than three decades from multiple acclaimed restaurants. The Little One caught our readers’ attention thanks to their authentic, homemade style and convenient downtown location. Dazzle out-of-towners by feeding them some true Sonoran specialties like Little Ones’ tender pork poblano, spicy chile relleno, shredded sirloin tip or chicken ranchero.



Thank You for voting us one of the

Best of Tucson! 4 Locations To Serve You!

• • • •

58 W Congress St 10785 N Oracle Suite #135 Park Place Food Court Tucson Mall Food Court

Eastside location coming soon!


El Charro Hacienda del Sol


2995 E Skyline Drive Tucson, AZ 85718 (520) 299.1600 Located at La Encantada



Oct. 21, 2021


6348 S Nogales Hwy Tucson, AZ

Thank you Tucson For Voting Us One of Your Favorite Carnecerias!

Los Amigos Meat Market

3929 S. 12th Ave



Oct. 21, 2021


Best Dulceria La Estrella Bakery Multiple locations

La Estrella, which opened a third location this year, cooks up some of the best Mexican pastries in Tucson. Head down to their storefront to get all sorts of fresh baked sweets like pan de muerto, rosca de reyes or pan fino. More than their traditional sweets, La Estrella offers Mexican bread and tamales as well. If you stop by in person, don’t forget to pick up a dozen tortillas.


Beyond Bread Raspaderia Funland

Best Menudo Tanias 33

614 N. Grande Ave. It’s a kind of paradox: why is this spicy red soup so good when it’s blazing hot out? (And how is it an apparent hangover cure?) But here’s what’s not up for speculation: Tanias offers menudo in classic style, pozole style or extra spicy, and they’re all great.


El Minuto Mosaic Cafe

Best Panaderia Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory 5330 S. 12th Ave.

Mexican food sure has a soft spot for grains and breads, so you better go to a panaderia that can juggle all those baked treats with style. Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory serves up everything from the classic corn and flour tortillas to buns, bread, chips and sweets. To win best panaderia in Tucson, you know they’re baking with class.


La Estrella El Triunfo

Best Carnicería El Herradero Supermarket

1310 W. Prince Road Southwestern cooking uses a variety of meats and spices thanks to its diverse influences. So Tucson’s best carniceria better be pretty spectacular, and El Herradero rises to the occasion. Whether you’re looking for rib eye, diezmillo, short rib or arrachera, they have you covered. And if you don’t want to cook, El Herradero even grills the meat for you on weekends. Beyond their large selection of meats, El Herradero also features a grocery section and produce.

Guadalajara Grill El Charro

Best Tortillas Anita Street Market 849 N. Anita Ave.

Anita Street Market is back, once again winning Best Tortillas. It’s no wonder why our readers love Anita’s tortillas, considering the family-owned company dedicates themselves to handmade tortillas, both flour and corn. Do yourselves a favor and get one of these legendary tortillas while they’re still hot.


La Estrella Bakery Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory

Best Burrito Nico’s Mexican Food

Multiple locations

Ah, Nico’s, we’re not sure if we see you more often atop Best of Tucson or in our dreams. You’ve won the Best Burrito category for more than five years straight, thanks to your combination of flavor, low cost, speed and sheer size. (We really appreciate that their burritos can often serve as two meals.) You can’t go wrong with a carne asada or breakfast burrito, but we all know they’re almost endlessly customizable. With almost a dozen locations across town, just follow your nose to the nearest award-winning burrito.


Tanias 33 Seis Kitchen and Catering

Best Place to Buy a Piñata Piñata Factory 640 N. Stone Ave.

There are few joys as great as gathering

Thank you for making us one of the Best of Tucson!


Los Amigos Meat Market La Noria

Best Salsa BOCA Tacos y Tequila 533 N. Fourth Ave.

BOCA’s salsas are the perfect addition to their award-winning Mexican food. It certainly shows they stand by their salsas when they offer entire flights of their various sauces, such as smoked jalapeno, spicy honey and even mint. It’s no wonder BOCA chef Mario Mazon stands by the phrase, “Come for the tacos, stay for the salsa.” And if you just can’t get enough of their salsa, they even sell to-go jars.



4573 S. 12th Avenue 520-300-6289 • 520-500-4221



around a work of art with friends and family, and then bludgeoning it until candy comes out. So why not buy one from a place that has piñata right there in the name? Whether the piñata is a familiar character, an abstract shape, filled with candy or alcohol, it’s sure to be the centerpiece of the party for young and old.

Guadalajara Grill


Seis Kitchen Birrieria Guadalajara

Best Michelada BK Tacos


2680 N. First Ave.

Food City Funland

Okay, BK, is it not enough that you make great tacos? Taking top honors for Best Michelada once again, BK is sticking to their guns: It’s the classic combination of tomato and clam juice, lime, celery and your choice of beer. But BK beats that competition thanks to their unique and secret spicy sauce.

Best Birria Rollies Mexican Patio 4573 S. 12th Ave.

This traditional stew and beef from the Mexican state of Jalisco has seen something of a boom recently. But Rollies Mexican Patio didn’t need to update anything, because their birria has been winning awards for years. Chef Mateo Otero’s birria tacos are a bit of a legend in these parts, but they’re also serving up the beloved beef on burgers and even in ramen.


The Neighborhood Che’s Lounge

Oct. 21, 2021

Multiple locations

It’s hard to beat guacamole that is made right there at your table, and Guadalajara Grill knows it. The perfect topping to their food is a custom-made guacamole exactly how you want it. We have to give a real shoutout to the employees who craft that guacamole in record time before carting off to the next table, but still manage to make it great each visit.


El Charro Seis Kitchen

Best Tamales Tucson Tamale Company

7159 E. Tanque Verde Road

Best Guacamole


Three locations to satisfy your cravings 5266 S. 12th Ave. 520-741-0656

100 S. Avenida Del Convento 520-393-3320

901 N. Grande Ave. (520) 792-6372

7286 N. Oracle Road Tucson Tamale Company’s continual growth shows just how effective a great product is. Since 2008, they’ve opened two restaurants and started shipping their tamales nationwide. Just this year, they’ve bought a new building to create a tamale factory where they plan to make 20 million tamales a year. Yes, we said 20 million! You know there’s something going right when tamales get that popular. Whether you want traditional green corn and red chile or the more exotic curry or vegan options, they have a wide range of options. They even wrap up a Thanksgiving dinner in a tamale during the holidays. Let’s all be happy

Thank You Tucson For Voting Us One Of The Best Best Birria Best Menudo Birrieria Guadalajara

304 E 22nd St

(520) 624-8020

knowing there’s a little bit of Tucson excellence in stores all over the country.


El Charro The Little One

Best Torta Tacos Apson 3501 N. 12th Ave

6741 N. Thornydale Road #121 A bit of a sandwich, a bit of a burrito, maybe even a bit of a cake, the torta is like a blank slate. Tacos Apson gives you plenty of options for yours, from carne asada to cabeza, all with their signature smoky style. Add to this some avocado, cheese and lettuce and you’ve got yourself a winner.


Seis Kitchen Barrio Charro

Best Margarita Reforma

4340 N. Campbell Ave. There’s no need to describe the wonders of a margarita, so let’s get right into how Reforma excels at the concept: variety. Yes, there’s ice and the all-important tequila, but how about mango and habanero? What about blood orange or blueberry basil? But if we had to choose one favorite, it would probably be their


Oct. 21, 2021

strawberry jalapeno margarita. Sweet yet spicy, just like a Tucson evening.


Guadalajara Grill El Charro

Best Elote Ermanos

220 N. Fourth Ave. While Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar is obviously known for their drinks, they serve up a wide variety of grub as well. Ermanos cooks and dishes their elote classic-style, with fire-roasted corn, cotija and lime, but they also add on house-made hot sauces for extra kick. Try it with tortilla chips and chicken to turn their elote into a full meal.


BOCA Tacos y Tequila Blacktop Grill

Best Empanadas Le Cave’s

3950 E. 22nd St. Le Cave’s Bakery has been carbing up Tucson since 1935, and in all that time they’ve learned some important lessons. Like why have two options when you can have four? Almost every pastry at Le Cave’s comes in a variety of flavors, and that is true for their big, beautiful empanadas. There are familiar flavors like cherry and chocolate, but they also get more creative with options like pumpkin and mango.


La Estrella Anita Street Market

Best Tacos Seis Kitchen and Catering Multiple locations


Now this is a big win: Best Tacos in Tucson. After coming in second or third for a number of years, Seis Kitchen is finally the champ thanks to tacos grandes platters like smoky chipotle chicken, calabacitas, marinated pork and Arizona-grown steak. It’s more than Mexican inspiration, it’s Mexican veneration.


BOCA Tacos y Tequila Rollies Mexican Patio

Best Raspados Raspados Paraiso 5917 E. 22nd St.

The world has a special way of righting itself. Yes, we live in a desert that regularly sees 100+ temperatures. But we’re also home to places like Raspados El Paraiso, perfect for beating the heat with their variety of frozen fruits, ice cream, escamochas and more. To help them celebrate their win, be sure to check out their new location, just opened on Golf Links.


Oasis Sonoran Delights


Best Mariachi Band Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School

Officially known as Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School, these musicians and students have traveled all over Arizona and even to other states to perform their art. Individual performers of Mariachi Aztlán have even ranked in mariachi festivals. We’re glad to see “Tucson’s hardest working youth mariachi” back on top.


Desert View High School Mariachi Band Luz de Luna

2965 N Campbell Ave (520) 327-3190



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Oct. 21, 2021

Spirits & Nightlife

Best Neighborhood Bar

top—or, in brewery parlance, the foam on top.


Dragoon Brewing Company Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.

The Shelter

4155 E. Grant Road The Shelter Cocktail Lounge is a little escape to the ’60s right in the middle of town. But it’s more than a retro atmosphere (as if we needed more than some killer ’60s decor). The Shelter is beloved for its good service, music and movies, as well as their ability to craft every cocktail you’ve heard of, and plenty you haven’t. Let’s hope they stay “proudly the grooviest” bar in Tucson for a few more decades.


Sidecar Red Garter

Best Pool Hall Pockets Pool & Pub 1062 S. Wilmot Road

With a name like that, how could Pockets not win Best Pool Hall? Sure, there are many places to whack a cue, but Pockets is dedicated to the sport, even hosting a pool league. Despite this, there’s still a welcoming atmosphere for billiards babies. Their great pub food, music, chess and backgammon don’t hurt, either.


Red Garter Sky Bar

Best Cocktail Menu Sidecar

139 S. Eastbourne Ave. We really appreciate how Sidecar differ-



Barb Trujillo is back to slinging drinks at Club Congress.

entiates the cocktails on their menu. In addition to listing all the ingredients, they divide their drinks into groups like “dark and stirred” and “herbal and on the rocks” and “frothy and shaken” and more. It doesn’t hurt that all their drinks are fantastic, and their location is cozy as well. Our Sidecar pick goes to the Garden Song: London Dry Gin, Cocchi Americano, Cucumber Shrub, Celery Salt and Peychaud’s. Don’t mind if we do!


Sky Bar Portal

Best Signature Cocktail The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Road The Parish’s signature cocktail, the Parishioner, is a little taste of Louisiana with a twist. Fresh lemon juice, grapefruit bitters and orange flower water get things started with a delicious citrus base, but it’s their specialty house-infused basil vodka that pushes this drink to the next level. Though to be fair, almost every house cocktail at The Parish is a winner.


Owl’s Club Highwire Lounge

Best Beer Selection Tap & Bottle 403 N. Sixth Ave.

7254 N. Oracle Road While Tap & Bottle doesn’t brew their own beer, they are a relentless supporter of Tucson’s and Arizona’s craft beer scenes. Pilsers, porters, IPAs and whatever else those mad alchemists are brewing up is sure to be found in Tap & Bottle’s extensive selection. But our favorite isn’t just one style of beer, it’s Tap & Bottle’s build-your-own six-pack, for the indecisive—and thirsty!


Arizona Beer House Tucson Hop Shop

Best Brewery Barrio Brewing Co. 800 E. 16th St.

There are more great breweries in Tucson than you can count on both hands, but we’ve got to give it up to Arizona’s longest-running and employee-owned brewery. Their beloved beers like the Barrio Blonde and Rojo speak for themselves, but their delicious food, happy hour and games are the cherry on

Barrio Blonde

Barrio Brewing Company, 800 E. 16th St. Back when many of the kids now running breweries in town were still in their diapers, Barrio Brewing was already cooking up classics. It’s one thing for a local beer to be distributed nationally, but it’s another thing for a beer to so perfectly compliment a Tucson afternoon. Lucky for us and Barrio, the beloved Blonde is both.


Dragoon IPA (Dragoon Brewing Company) Barrio Rojo (Barrio Brewing)

Best Place to Get a Glass of Wine North Italia

2995 E. Skyline Drive North Italia delivers some modern takes on classic Italian fare. While their food is enough to warrant a stop by, it’s their extensive wine menu that puts them above: white, red and rose, from all over the world (and even in our own backyard).


Arizona Wine Collective Revel


Best Happy Hour Trident Grill

Multiple locations Discounting your food and drinks for happy hour only goes so far if the grub is so-so. Luckily, Trident Grill happens to have delicious food and drinks, making the happy hours at all their locations all the more tantalizing. Every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m., 16 oz. craft beer, well cocktails and draft wine are discounted, as is great bar fare like truffle tots and bruschetta.


Ermanos Sky Bar

Best Sports Bar Putney’s

6090 N. Oracle Road Congratulations to Putney’s for winning best sports bar on the very same year


they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary. We appreciate their wide variety of pub fare, hearty burgers and sandwiches, and plenty of drinks. But they rise above the rest in this category of course due to their commitment to sports, and it’s about more than their walls being covered in memorabilia. Their happy hours often coincide with the games they’re showing, whether that be a UA team, national football, basketball, boxing or whatever they might be showing on ESPN 2 these days.


Trident Red Garter

Best Gay Bar IBT’s

616 N. Fourth Ave. IBT’s has been THE Tucson gay bar for more than three decades, taking top honors in this category for as long as we can remember. And it’s clear why: continual community events, drink specials and a positive atmosphere. Want to see

Oct. 21, 2021

a drag show? How about karaoke, dance parties and DJing? IBT’s is probably responsible for half of all the partying that Fourth Avenue sees.


Surly Wench Pub Venture-N

Best Dive Bar Buffet Bar & Crock Pot 538 E. Ninth St.

Though it might seem paradoxical calling a place the “best” dive bar, The Buffet certainly fits the bill. For more than 80 years (as in almost a century!), The Buffet has held a special place in Tucson’s heart. Other bars around town might try to change with the trends, but The Buffet gives credence to the phrase slow and steady wins the race.


The Shelter Cocktail Lounge Che’s Lounge

Best Bartender Barb Trujillo

Barb Trujillo should be a familiar name to you if you’re a regular Tucson Weekly reader, or if you frequent Club Congress. She’s won Best Bartender multiple times in the past, and has been serving up drinks at Club Congress and the Tap Room for more than two decades. She wins for her personality, her Tucson knowledge and her ability to get those drinks out fast! If we were private eyes, she’d be the first person we’d ask for a scoop.


Olivia Reardon Chrystal Fiero

Best Shot Mexican Candy Shot (Elliott’s) 135 E. Congress St.

It goes to show how much Tucsonans enjoy their Mexican Candy shot, because Elliott’s beat out another bar’s Mexican Candy shot for first place. But what makes Elliott’s number one? It’s their sweet yet daring blend of strawberry and habanero vodkas, watermelon liqueur, and sour mix. Plus, what Mexican shot would be complete without some tajin on the rim? It’s a flavor combination that must be tasted to be believed.


Mexican Candy Shot (Highwire) Puerto Peñasco (Portal)

Best Bloody Mary Hotel Congress 311 E. Congress St.

Although Hotel Congress’ famous “bloody Mary bar” has been a bit reworked due to the pandemic, they still allow you to customize your drinks how you’d like—you just have to ask the bartender to do it for you. But hey, we’ll take it. A bloody Mary and a breakfast at the Cup Cafe is one of the best ways we’ve found to kick off a weekend downtown.


Prep & Pastry Che’s Lounge

Best Old Fashioned 47 Scott

47 N. Scott Ave. Alright, so 47 Scott actually has two old fashions, but they’re both winners in our book! Of course, there is their savory Brick House Old Fashioned with bacon-washed rye, demerara sugar and Angostura bitters. But they also have a “new and revived” version of the classic: the Oaxacan Old Fashioned with mezcal, tequila, agave nectar and chocolate bitters. A true celebration of border-


Oct. 21, 2021

lands flavors.


Sidecar Batch

Best Bar Menu Kingfisher

2564 E. Grant Road It’s not one single drink that sets Kingfisher Bar & Grill above the rest, but their sheer variety. They offer dozens of wines from merlot to zinfandel to Arizona specialties, plus bottles and draught beer both local and international. And you thought their lunch and dinner menus were tough to pick from!


Sidecar Sky Bar

Best Country Western Bar The Maverick

6622 E. Tanque Verde Road Anyone who’s taken a late-night trip down Tanque Verde should know why The Maverick won in this category. And it’s only partially because of the great musicians they’re always hosting. There’s a real atmosphere to The Maverick, from their punny marquee to their warm lighting and dedicated fanbase. Beyond the classic drinks and music, The Maverick also hosts dance lessons to help you really get into the culture. Let’s hope this longtime favorite stays around for even longer.


Whiskey Roads Cowpony

Best College Bar Gentle Ben’s

865 E. University Blvd.

Gentle Ben’s really is set up for success as a college bar. Not only are they a short jaunt from campus, but their munchy food and extensive drink menu means you can stop by a dozen times and still have a new experience. We especially appreciate that they carry plenty of local craft beer, but have a large menu for custom house drinks as well. University Boulevard simply wouldn’t be the same without this longtime institution.


Frog & Firkin The Hut

Best Nightclub Club Congress 311 E. Congress St.

All roads lead to Rome, and all late-night merrymaking leads to Club Congress, it seems. It’s partially the central location, partially the numerous drink options, and partially the awesome atmosphere of the historic Hotel Congress. But as far as nightclubs go, Club Congress’ victory can always be chalked up to their great selection of performers. Indie bands, rock veterans, folk singers, electro DJs, rappers, comedians and even magicians have graced their stage. We’re sure the whole town is happy to see them reopen, because they really have something for everyone.


IBT’s Playground Bar & Lounge

Best Comedian Chris Seidman

A familiar face around the Tucson comedy scene, Chris Seidman wears multiple hats. He’s the executive director of Unscrewed Theater, a regular around improv, and has been interested in entertainment all his life. It’s one thing to do comedy, but it’s entirely another thing to foster and support a local comedy scene. He’s a little slice of Whose Line Is It Anyway? right here in Tucson.




Allana Erickson-Lopez Matt Beaudry

Best Comedy Night Laffs Comedy Caffe 2900 E. Broadway Blvd.

After the past 18 months, we could all use a good laugh. And luckily, Tucson has a surprisingly robust comedy scene. Tucson’s “first and finest” comedy club hosts local favorites, national acts and open mics for the soon-to-be-greats. With two shows every Friday and Saturday night, there’s plenty of comedy to go around. Hell, you might even be inspired to hop on stage. We all have something to riff on, right?


Unscrewed Theater Tucson Improv Movement

Best Jukebox Che’s Lounge 350 N. Fourth Ave.

What makes the best jukebox in town, anyhow? Is it a sheer variety of songs? A healthy combination of obscure bangers along with the classics? We think Che’s Lounge wins this year’s Best Jukebox award because of how theirs perfectly compliments the boisterous spirit of this Fourth Ave standby, both inside and on their patio. Pick a drink, pick a song and get the party started.


Danny’s Baboquivari Surly Wench

Best Place to Sing Karaoke Bumsted’s

1003 N. Stone Ave.


The great thing about karaoke is it’s fun regardless of talent. Are you a good singer? Then you can impress your friends. Are you a bad singer? Then everyone will have a good laugh. Either way, you’ll get out of your comfort zone and get a little more familiar with a classic song. Not only does Bumstead’s host casual karaoke, they also host contests. That way there’s room for everyone: barroom divas to first-timers.


IBT’s Surly Wench

Best DJ Mother Tierra

You probably recognize Mother Tierra’s name from the many event listings or posters she’s appeared on. Tierra has performed all across town, from clubs to breweries to salons. How does her work fit into these disparate venues? A quick listen to her music and mixes shows she can jump from techno to hip-hop to downtempo. Let’s hope as more events pick up, we’ll hear more of Mother Tierra around Tucson.


DJ Herm DJ Jahmar

Best Drag Queen Tempest DuJour

Is there a bigger name (or hair) in the world of Tucson drag? A perennial winner in this category, DuJour is much more than a colorful outfit with sequins. DuJour is known across town for headlining multiple drag shows and pride events, but off-stage also teaches costume design at UA. Tempest DuJour is also a name known outside of Tucson, for her presence on THE drag show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. All these combine to make a pretty fabulous personality.


Lucinda Holliday Janee Starr

Oct. 21, 2021

Best Burlesque Surly Wench First Fridays Burlesque 424 N. 4th Ave.

The Surly Wench Pub has hosted burlesque for more than a decade, making Fourth Avenue just a little more raucous than it already is. Their monthly First Fridays Burlesque features a different producer and show each time, so you never get the same experience twice. It’s only a special kind of entertainment that gets you winning Best Burlesque three years in a row.


Don’t Blink Burlesque Troupe Libertine League

Best Venue for Live Music The Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St.

For all intents and purposes, the Rialto is THE stage for big concerts downtown. Their history is almost as diverse as the international artists who’ve performed on the stage. And while they’ve kept busy during COVID downtime with a gallery show celebrating their most photogenic concerts of the past, we’re very happy to see them back in business. Whether it’s a local band, a rock star on a world tour, or a New Year’s dance party, catching a show at the Rialto is near the top of the Tucson bucket list.


Hotel Congress

AVA Amphitheater Casino del Sol

Best Musical Act Miss Olivia & the Interlopers

Miss Olivia & the Interlopers win the top ranking among Tucson music for a number of reasons this year. They’re

a local favorite who’ve played on stages all over town, they’ve graced BOT listings plenty of times in the past and their style makes them difficult to group into a specific genre category. They’re a band that knows how to play it mellow, or get rambunctious when they need to. Either way, singer Olivia Reardon will be sure to belt out soulful vocals to get the whole room moving. Their latest single, “Red Chevrolet,” is a summer groove perfect for Tucson.


Birds and Arrows XIXA

Best Jazz Crystal Stark

Built on improvisation, there’s almost a countless number of styles and subgenres in the jazz world. But Tucson’s Crystal Stark has a voice to compliment all of them. Even if you don’t know Crystal Stark by name, you’ll probably recognize one of her many side projects, working with the Tucson Pops Orchestra, UA’s Studio Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the cover band ’80s and Gentlemen or the vocal trio Triple Threat. She’s even made it a few rounds into American Idol. A woman of multiple talents, Crystal’s powerful voice can accompany any jazz band in Tucson.


Connie Brannock and the Little House of Funk Chateau Chateau

Best Folk Leila Lopez

Congratulations to Leila Lopez for winning Best Folk musician once again, showing that the genre is all about the poet and the stories they sing. A song like “The Sea and the Mountainside,” with its pastoral lyrics, introspective style and passionate delivery, shows what modern folk should be. Tucson is lucky to have you. We’ll welcome your “folksy dream crooning” any chance we get.


Oct. 21, 2021


Ryanhood Natalie Pohanik

Best Reggae Neon Prophet

Neon Prophet has been jammin’ on Tucson stages for more than three decades, and still has the energy and passion to get the crowd moving. At their core, they are a reggae band (with indispensable singer David Dean), but explore grooves from funk to hip-hop to soul. Neon Prophet and Chicago Bar go together just as well as reggae and good vibes.


Jahmar International ZeeCeeKeely

Best Cover Band The Dirt

You can only hear the ’60s and ’70s hits so many times before you want something with a little more kick. The Dirt certainly delivers, dedicating themselves to the wild, groovy and ridiculous world of ’80s hair metal. We’re talking about everything from Mötley Crüe to Guns N’ Roses to Def Leppard. Although they only started in 2019, The Dirt has quickly made a name for themselves with their raucous shows, loud outfits and great stage presence—exactly how they should be.


Drop D 80s and Gentlemen

of the great femme punk bands, their music is the sound of friends rocking out and getting real tired of society’s BS. Or, as Mudpuppy themselves describe it, they’re a “couple’a pals making jams about feminism, capitalism, tater tots and ’80s horror movies.”


Pork Torta The Endless Pursuit

Best Rock Birds and Arrows

Andrea and Pete Connolly of Birds and Arrows have been making music together for more than 15 years, and this familiarity and cohesion certainly shows. Their sound and art direction make them seem much larger than a duo, churning out rock music that can jump from personal ballads to massive jams that threaten to swallow the performers up. Contemplative and a little psychedelic, just like the desert itself.


Drop D The Dirt

Best Hip-Hop Act Marley B

We’ve got to hand it to Marley B for not boxing himself into a single sound. Listening through a few of his songs will show a delivery ranging from mellow to humorous to angry, with diverse instrumentals to match. And like other rappers to look out for, Marley B’s pen game is relatable yet clever at the same time. It takes real self-awareness to release a song like “Maybe It’s Me.”


Best Punk Mudpuppy

Mudpuppy is exactly the kind of punk band you’d expect (and hope) to catch at a sweaty house show: noisy instrumentals, cheeky if relatable lyrics, and a healthy dose of attitude. Like many

Cash Lansky Big520

Best Country Act


Hank Topless

Country music can be unfortunately formulaic. That’s why Tucson should feel grateful to have a musician like Hank Topless. Sure, he sings of the blues and honky tonkin’, but can jump between whiskey-desolation and outlaw-rocking on a dime. He’s been a staple of Tucson country for years, and if you’ve seen him grace the stage, you certainly know why.


Mark Miller Drew Cooper

Best R&B Connie Brannock and the Little House of Funk

Even if they hadn’t performed on stages all over town, Connie Brannock and the Little House of Funk would still be unabashedly Tucson, delivering ballads to specific locations and views in the Old Pueblo. If you see a local marquee announcing Brannock and the large family of performers that is the “Little House of Funk,” be sure to check in. Whether they’re playing original material or covers, their special blend of “Sonoran soul” music is sure to get the dance floor moving.


Miss Olivia & the Interlopers Funky Bonz

Best Liquor Store Plaza Liquor & Fine Wines 2642 N. Campbell Ave.

This past year and a half has been all about pivoting. And we’re happy Plaza Liquors is still serving Tucson thanks to a pretty fun pivot: opening their drive-through window after 20 years for social distancing. But Plaza Liquors is about more than convenience. They’re a Tucson institution thanks to their commitment to carrying local, obscure and international beer, wine and spirits. A

visit to Plaza is definitely on the Tucson bucket list.


Rum Runner Midtown Liquors

Best Casino Casino del Sol

5655 W. Valencia Road Casino del Sol continues their reign atop the Best Casino category. Even if their expansive grounds with restaurants and recreation isn’t enough, there’s a new reason to get to Casino del Sol this year: updated Arizona laws mean Vegas-style table games like roulette, craps and mini-baccarat are now in business locally. Get out there and shoot your shot.


Desert Diamond

Best Strip Club Curves Cabaret 2130 N. Oracle Road

Congratulations to Curves for taking top honors in this category for more than five years running! As the pandemic slowly wanes, businesses are picking back up where they left off. And for Curves, that means a full food and drink menu, plus plenty of specials. But the stars on stage mean folks can get back and enjoy some of the finest shows in town.


Ten’s Showclub Raiders Reef



Oct. 21, 2021

Honorable Mentions Arts and Culture Best Gallery

Etherton Gallery

Best Museum

MOCA Tucson Arizona State Museum

Best Visual Artist Danny Martin Pete Connolly

Best Movie Theater Galaxy Foothills

Best Art Classes Arte Bella Board and Brush

Best Musical Instrument Store Folk Shop

Best Music School

Kids Unlimited Instrumental Music Center

Best Theater Company Rogue Theater Live Theatre Workshop

Best Author Byrd Bailor Brian Smith

Best Dance Studio Floor Polish ZUZI!

Best Dance Company Tucson Regional Ballet Hawkinsdance

Best Outdoor Art Installation

Jewish Community Center Sculpture Garden “Monuments” by Arizona Arts Live

Best Place to Donate Your Time and/or Money Ben’s Bells


City Life

Best Quarantine Activity Drinking Cycling

Best Farmers Market

Heirloom Farmers Market Picture Rocks Farmers Market

Best Farmers Market Vendor Adventure Coffee Bosn’s Buch Kombucha

Best Gym

VASA Tucson Strength

Best Crossfit Gym 244 Crossfit 646

Best Yoga Studio Drishti Yoga Yoga Pod

Best Bowling Alley Tucson Bowl Bowlero

Best Auto Repair Primarily Japanese Sooters

Best Car Wash

Del Campo Detailing Aesthetic Auto Spa

Best Plant Nursery Civano Harlow Gardens

Best Animal Supply Store Desert Pet Ever Evolving Exotics

Best Computer Repair Simutek NOS Computers

Best Place to Get Your Pet Groomed Karabu Pet Grooming Jackie’s K9 Corral

Best Veterinary Clinic Acacia Animal Hospital

Best Hotel

Casino del Sol Hotel McCoy

Best Alternative Health Center

Media Mix

Best Home Furnishings

@azfilmfest @AlexKack

Best Vintage Shopping

Bookmans Amazing Discoveries

When + Where Co.

Best Local Twitter Feed Best Game Store

Blue Oak Clinic Moroso Medical Center

Best Radio Station for Music

Botanica Green Halo

Best Local Weatherperson

Best Marijuana Dispensary

KIIM (99.5 FM) KDRI (101.7 FM)

Home Style Galleries HomeGoods

Midtown Merchantile Merchants

Best Jewelry Heliotrope Sigfus

Best Hair Salon

English Salon and Spa Look Within

Best Radio Host

Best Place to get Great Hair Color

Best Bookstore

Best Day Spa

Golden Goose Casa de los Niños (RIP)

Best Comic Store

Best Lash Boutique

Hiapsi Spa English Salon and Spa

Ethel Lee Miller Happily Pink

Best CBD Store NatureMed

Best Photographer Casey James Andrew Brown

Best Thrift Store

Best Place to Get a Massage

Shea Sorenson Cuyler Diggs

Frank Brinsley (96.1 FM) Bill Buckmaster (1030 AM) Barrio Books Revolutionary Grounds R-Galaxy Amazing Discoveries

Best Blog

Best Cigar/Tobacco Shop

Best Local TV News Anchor

Best Smoke Shop

Best Local Sportscaster

Best Place to Buy a Car

Best Instagram

Tobacco Barn Sticky’s Smoke Shop Green Halo Head West

Royal Larry H. Miller

Best Summer Staycation Casino del Sol Hotel McCoy

Best Handyman

Richard Painting Cartis Parks Complete Home Maintenance

Pat Parris John Overall David Kelly Jason Barr

Tucson Guide Magazine Brunch Babes

English Salon and Spa Salon Kiro Hiapsi Justin Nail & Spa

English Salon Spa Blink Beauty

Best Nail Salon

Pink and White Nails Concept Nails

Best Tanning Salon Planet Beach Endless Summer Tans

Best Florist

Evergreen Flowers Thistle

Best Eyeglass/Optical Retailer Clear Vision Express Accent on Vision

Fashion and Style

Best Tattoo Parlor

Swindlers The Hystle Brand

Aaron Slachter Oscar Subia

Haunted Hands Look Within Studios

Best Clothing

Best Tattoo Artist

Best Resale Clothing

Best Tattoo Removal/ Alteration

Humane Society of Southern Arizona How Sweet It Was

Allure Aaron Slachter

Oct. 21, 2021

Best Place to Get Pierced

Black Rose Old Towne Tattoo Parlor

Best Barber Shop

Landmark Barber Shop Fashion and Style section

Best Local Clothing Designer Tierra Owens Desert Camo Apparel


Best Bike Riding

Fantasy Island 50-Year Trail Best Biking Group/Community GABA

Best Hike Finger Rock

Wasson Peak

Best Backpacking Trail Douglas Springs

Best Campground Rose Canyon

Spencer Canyon

Best Park

Brandi Fenton Park Udall Park

Best Dog Park

Smiling Dog Ranch McDonald Park

Best Bike Shop Ben’s Bikes

Tucson Bicycle Service

Best Day Trip Tubac Madera Canyon

Best Golf Course Fred Enke Crooked Tree

Kid’s Stuff Best Children’s Entertainer

Kids Country Tucson

Best Daycare Sandbox Strauss ECE

Best Fun for the Whole Family Funtasticks

Unscrewed Theater

Best Place for a Children’s Party Defy Unscrewed Theater

Best Playground McDonald Park Naranja Park

Best Public Pool/ Splashpad Gadden Farms Clements Center

Best Restaurant With a Kids Menu

Barnyard Crafthouse and Eatery

Best Story Time

Drag Queen Story Hour


Time Market Caravan

Best eegee’s Flavor

Best Desserts

Best Family Dining

Sausage Deli Sausage Shop Frost Sweetscape

Best Ice Cream

Time Market August Rhodes

Best Place to Get a Salad

Best Fresh-Baked Bread Best Barbecue Kiss of Smoke Salted Pig

Best Burger Divine Bovine Monkey Burger

Best Place to Get a Sandwich

Lovin’ Spoonfuls Divine Bovine

Sausage Deli Sausage Shop

Gaslight Theatre Unscrewed Theater

Best Pizzeria

Casual Dining

Best Wings

Zio Peppe Eclectic Café

Best Delivery Rosati’s Guilin

Best Place to Grab a Slice

Upper Crust New York Pizza Department (NYPD)

Best Caterer First We Eat Gallery of Food

Best Diner

Bobo’s Welcome Diner

Best Specialty Food Store

Eclectic Cafe Zio Peppe

Best Specialty Sandwich


Best Curbside Pickup

Lemon Strawberry

Cashew Cow Bella’s Gelato Shoppe

Best Veggie Burger

Best Way to Entertain Kids During the Summer

Salsa Verde

Best Delicatessen

Best Summer Camp Arts for All

Best Drive Thru

Falora Zio Peppe

Buffalo Bell

Best Smoothies/Juice Bar Fruit Shack Urban Fresh

Best Food Truck Ciao Down Substance Diner

Best Coffee Presta Savaya

Best Donuts Donut Bar Batch

Cubano (Cup Café) Susie Sorority

Serial Grillers Eclectic Café

Best French Fries

Kukai Ginza

Best Ramen Ikkyu Kuhai

Best Middle Eastern Shish Kebab House Caravan Mideastern Foods

Best Contemporary/ Fusion Restaurant Zio Peppe Asian Sofrito

Best Seafood

El Berraco Charro Steak & Del Rey

Best Steakhouse

Charro Steak & Del Rey

You Sly Dog Blacktop Grill

Obon Ginza

Best Hot Dog

Best Sushi

BK Carne Asada and Hot Dogs

Best Thai

Pat’s Chili Dogs

Best Eggs Benedict Cup Café Ghini’s

Restaurants Best Breakfast Blue Willow Cup Café

Best Brunch

Karuna’s Senae Thai (RIP)

Best Vietnamese Bahdicted Pho No. 1

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Govinda’s Beaut Burger

Best Upscale Restaurant PY Steakhouse Feast

Best African

Cup Café Teaspoon

Alafia West African Cuisine

Bamboo Terrace Old Peking

Ryan Clark Devon Sander

Best Chinese Best Greek

Greek House Fronimo’s (RIP)

Best French Coronet

Best Indian

Best Tea

Flavor of India

Transit Tea Korean Rose

Best Japanese

Graze Kingfisher

Best Café Hangout Cartel Le Buzz


Zio Peppe

Indian Twist

Best Italian Tavalino

Best Chef

Best Place to Eat Lunch Downtown Cup Café HUB

Best Downtown Restaurant 47 Scott Penca

Best Northwest CONTINUED ON PAGE 84



Oct. 21, 2021

Honorable Mentions


Restaurant Harvest Noble Hops

Best Central Restaurant Feast


Best Eastside Restaurant The Barnyard Zio Peppe

Best Southside Restaurant El Torero Crossroads

Best Foothills Restaurant Blanco Tavolino

Best Westside Restaurant Barista Del Barrio Kukai

Best Place to Eat Gluten Free Dedicated Zeal Patisserie


The Parish PY Steakhouse

¡Comida! Best Dulceria Dolce Pastello BK’s

Best Signature Dish

Baked Eggs (Cup Café) Figgy Stardust (Zio Peppe)

Best Dining with a View Blanco Contigo

Best Restaurant to Dazzle Out-of-Town

Best Empanadas Bombole

El Novilla

Cardenas Ranch Market

Best Salsa El Molinito

The Little One

Best Tortillas

St. Mary’s Mexican Food La Mesa

Best Burrito El Charro

Barista Del Barrio

Best Place to Buy a Piñata El Super


Best Birria El Rustico

Best Michelada

Best Torta Taco Stop

Calle Tepa

Best Margarita

BOCA Tacos y Tequila

Best Drag Queen Dvia Venus


Cowpony Surly Wench

Best Musical Act

Best Raspados Mangos


Best Mariachi Band

John B. Wright Elementary School Mariachi Band Mariachi Innovacion

Best Gay Bar

Best Dive Bar Best Bartender Ryne Hoffman Dan Peel

Monterrey Court Whiskey Roads Mamma Coal

Chateau Chateau

Best Jazz

Best Bloody Mary

Pete Swan Quartet Andaluz

Spirits and Nightlife

Best Old Fashioned

The Tusonics Pelican Museum

Bob Dobbs Caps and Corks

Red Garter Batch

Best Neighborhood Bar Best Pool Hall

Danny’s Baboquivari Lounge Clicks

Best Cocktail Menu PY Steakhouse Vero Amore

Best Signature Cocktail Swamp Thing (Portal)

The Still (Vero Amore)

Best Brewery

El Torero

Best Sports Bar

DJ DU Big Brother Beats

Tacos Apson



Casino del Sol Batch

Best DJ

Best Venue for Live Music

Best Beer Selection

Best Tamales

Best Happy Hour

Music Box

El Triunfo

Best Guacamole Reforma

PY Steakhouse Sky Bar

Monsoons Ojo Locos Sports Cantina

Best Carnicería

Best New Restaurant

Locale Noble Hops


El Rustico

Birrio Guadalajara El Sur

La Botana Button Brew House

Best Outdoor Dining

Zio Peppe

Best Tacos

Ensenada Street Food

Zio Peppe Blacktop Grill

Best Elote

Best Menudo

Best Korean

Hee Mee Coffee and Bakery Taegukgi Korean BBQ House

La Botana

Caps & Corks Ermanos Borderlands Pueblo Vida

Best Locally Brewed Beer Cirtrazona (Barrio) Refraction (Dragoon)

Best Place to Get a Glass of Wine

Baja Café Oink Café Sky Bar

Vero Amore

Best Bar Menu Best Country Western Bar Outlaw Saloon

Best College Bar Sky Bar No Anchovies

Best Nightclub Whiskey Roads Funky Monk

Best Comedian Nancy Stanley Mo Urban

Best Comedy Night Catalina Craft Pizza Keep Tucson Sketchy

Best Jukebox

Saint Charles Tavern Buffet

Best Place to Sing Karaoke Shooters

Best Folk

Best Reggae Baja Caravan

Best Cover Band Top Dead Center Znora

Best Punk Closet Goth Stripes

Best Rock

Shell Shock Chateau Chateau

Best Hip-Hop Act

Aske Black Diamond DBMG

Best Country Act Backroads

Mamma Coal

Best R&B Bryan Dean Mattea

Best Liquor Store

Westbound Charlie’s Drive-In Liquors

Best Strip Club Eden Christie’s Cabaret

Editor’s Note: While we are delighted to see Tucsonans once again gathering for fun events, we are also aware that the Delta variant is in widespread circulation. Please consider getting vaccinated against COVID if you haven’t yet and following CDC guidance, which includes wearing masks at crowded indoor events. Keep yourself and others safe—the pandemic isn’t over yet. From Darkness to Light. As Southern Arizona’s only professional chamber choir and orchestra, True Concord really wanted to deliver a fantastic 18th season, especially after the last year and a half or so. So, they’ve named their season “A New Day,” and are performing pieces about shared human conditions, challenges and responsibilities. The first program in the series, “Darkness to Light,” starts this weekend, but coming up are also performances like “From Silenced to Singing” and “From Conflict to Peace.” This show contains music by Copland, Bach, Randall and more. 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 at Valley Presbyterian Church, 2800 S. Camino Del Sol in Green Valley. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, both at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Dr. $22 to $52. Halloween in the Wild. When you’re a kid, pretty much everything feels more fun if it’s out in the wild, right? So combine the potent coolness and unadulterated fun of Halloween with the adventurous spirit of being out in the wild, and you’ve got a real hit. The International Wildlife Museum is hosting an evening of crafts, games, treats and even a haunted house (for the daring). This is a good chance to wear your costume and get a little extra use out of it than just Halloween night. This is a great event for all ages. 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road. $10 GA, $7 military/ senior, $5 kids 4 to 12. Sizzling Saturday Sculpture Show. There’s plenty to see this month over at the Wilde Meyer Gallery. They’re partnering with Jane Hamilton Fine Art to display art both in the galleries and throughout the lovely Plaza Colonial Grounds. Looking to purchase a new piece for your home? Or to walk around and pretend like you can afford a new “piece” for your “home?” Come take a stroll through this fantastic work, which comes in many sizes and price


A Celebration of Sculpture. Back in 2009, The Tucson Jewish Community Center established a sculpture garden to promote education, art appreciation and general tranquility. And thank goodness they did! This lovely landscaped garden is full of beautiful art. This week, they are debuting nine new sculptures as part of their juried annual outdoor exhibition. Come look at the beautiful work by artists from all over, and enjoy plenty of other activities. There will be live music, gelato (with vegan options available), art demos, paneled artist talks and plenty of celebrating. Really makes for a Sunday well spent. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. Tucson J, 3800 E. River Road. Free.

by Emily Dieckman Sundays in the Garden: Borderlands Ensemble. As the weather cools down. Tohono Chul has resumed this weekend concert series, and what a pleasure. The Borderland Ensemble is a chamber group that includes horns and strings and plays music ranging from new compositions to folk arrangements, from classical to crossover styles. They’ve played throughout the state, but catch them this weekend at Tohono Chul. If you’re so inclined, visit the cash bar and sip on a prickly pear lemonade or margarita while you soak in the tunes. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. Free with admission, which is $15 general, $13 military/senior/ student, $6 for kids 5 to 12. Fiber Arts Tucson. Happy cozy season! Come celebrate with thousands of locally handmade items to decorate your home, wear or give as gifts. From spinning to weaving, from tapestry to knitting, from dyeing to felting, the world of fiber arts is truly a vast one. At this festival, you can learn about the history of fiber arts, purchase beautiful pieces, and help raise money for the Community Foodbank and indigenous weaving communities. You’ll also be supporting the Tucson Handweavers & Spinners Guild, one of the oldest arts guilds in Tucson. 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road. Free.

OCTOBER 21, 2021


ranges. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Dr., Ste. 170.

Kids Country and Pancake Breakfast. What better way to spend a Saturday morning than with a pancake breakfast? MSA Annex and Decibel Coffee Works are partnering on this family event, featuring kid-flavored music by Mamma Coal and Miss Lana Rebel. You can order a full pancake breakfast and coffee from Decibel Coffee, or something from their regular breakfast menu. Westbound will be serving up adult beverages like Bloody Marys and mimosas. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. MSA Annex, 267 S. Avenida del Convento. Free admission. Holiday Village Sale. If you’ve ever been to the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, you know how completely charming it is. Have you ever loved one of their displays so much that you just wanted to scoop it up and take it home? Now is your chance! All year, the museum accepts miniatures donations, and right now they have such a good stock of holiday village buildings and accessories that they’re getting their own sale. Come buy a teeny tiny Christmas village, or a sweet and spooky Halloween space. All at thrifting prices, with proceeds benefitting the museum. Cash or check only, and museum admission is not included. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 23. Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr. Mujeres Nourishing Fronterizx Bodies: Resistance in the Time of COVID-19. Have you seen this exhibit over at the Museum of Contemporary Art yet? This multiyear project, in the artists’ words, “explores food security, self-representation, and self-determination through a series of new works that examine what it means to nourish brown bodies alongside the U.S./ Mexico border during a global pandemic.” It documents the work of a collective of women who tend to a communal garden, make clothing, raise livestock and even construct adobe bricks. See their story through photography, prints and film in this exhibit, on display through Jan. 30. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. $7 adults, $4 students and seniors.




OCTOBER 21, 2021



Ballet Tucson happily returns to the stage with a Balanchine dance and more By Margaret Regan tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com THIS WEEKEND, BALANCHINE aficionados will finally see Ballet Tucson perform his cherished Concerto Barocco. The 1941 dance, a lovely piece for 10 women and one man, was all set to run three times during the weekend of March 13 –15, 2020. The dancers did perform it once, that Friday night—and I can confirm that it was beautiful. But the next day, just before the show was to go on, University of Arizona security shut the theater down. You know why. But Ballet Tucson has soldiered on. Concerto Barocco will be the first dance in the first concert performed since that aborted event a year and a half ago. This time the show will definitely go on,

Oct. 22 to Oct. 24, at Leo Rich Theater downtown. Last week, I saw the dancers— young, strong and ready to soar—rehearsing the dance to Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins. The movements of the two lead ballerinas cleverly echo Bach’s two violins, reflecting Balanchine’s oft-quoted saying, “See the music, hear the dance.” Margaret Mullin, a former student at Ballet Tucson, had a storied career at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She’s now back at the company, working as associate artistic director, and on this day giving instructions to the dancers. Some had learned the piece last year, but some new dancers had to start from scratch. She was pleased with their progress. “This is much better,” she smiles encouragingly. During the pandemic, when there was scarcely any dance to be done, a number


Shannon Quirk and Charles Clark dancing in Balachine’s Concerto Barocco.

of the dancers quit, a phenomenon in Tucson and across the country, Mullin said. But Ballet Tucson is back up to 28 dancers, thanks to the hiring of six new dancers and six apprentices. The concert includes three more dances. A Piece in P_I_E_C_E_S, choreographed by Kiyon C. Ross of Pacific Northwest Ballet, is a lively—and fast— work for 10. Sleeping Beauty Grand Pas de Deux, choreographed after Petipa by Chieko Imada, also an associate artistic director, is a classical pas de deux drawn from the third act of the Sleeping Beauty. The beauty, of course, is Jenna Johnson, the company’s beloved prima ballerina, who partners with Vacily Boldin, another longtime dancer, as the prince. For the finale, Masquerade, a light-hearted work by artistic director Mary Beth Cabana and Imada, welcomes dance back to its rightful place. Ballet Tucson has the best COVID protocols I’ve heard of in Tucson. Concert goers are required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test

reNEW Fall Concert 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22; 2 p.m. SaturdaySunday, Oct. 23-24. Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. $50 general; $45 seniors, students, military; $40 groups Tickets at TCC box office at 260 S. Church Ave., in-person or online at leorichtheater.com Or at TicketMaster with fees at ballettucson.org Proof of Vaccination or negative COVID test required; masks required.

taken within 72 hours and supported by a valid photo ID. Every dancer, staff member and usher must be fully vaccinated. All parties must wear a mask throughout the concert, except for the dancers when they are on stage. And a compliance officer will be at every performance. “I know it’s a lot,” Muller says, “but we don’t want anyone to get sick.” ■






The Muppets get ghosted in a Halloween spooktacular By Bob Grimm tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com DISNEY AND MUPPET FANS WILL get a true, continuous fangasm with every second of Muppets Haunted Mansion, another fine usage of the beloved Henson creations as well as a terrific homage to one of the greatest rides ever made. The Great Gonzo (shout out to Dave Goelz who has been voicing him since the ’70s) and his buddy Pepe the Prawn decide not to attend the annual Halloween costume soiree with their Muppet cohorts like Kermit and Piggy in favor of a fun night at a mysterious place that may or may not be haunted. Upon arrival, they witness an outrageous musical number in a graveyard and then step into an elevator…that stretches.

These are just the first of many authentic nods to The Haunted Mansion, one of Walt Disney’s great original creations. You’ll see the graveyard dog, you’ll see the floating candelabra, you’ll even see a wonderful (and not so surprising) riff on Madame Leota, the infamous head in the crystal ball. There’s a nostalgia rush two times with this movie, but it’s not a film that skates by on that vibe (and, OK, it’s more of a “special” than a film). Writers Kirk R. Thatcher (who also directs), Bill Barretta (also the hilarious voice of Pepe) and Kelly Younger, who all have recent and past Muppet chops, have scripted this as wall-to-wall funny. The Muppet charm comes on strong, while Thatcher manages to capture that oddly cozy creepiness that is Disney’s Haunted Mansion. (Yes, the purple wallpaper and hitchhiking ghosts!)



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I’m in the camp that thinks Muppets Now was pretty damn great, and it irritates me that a second season hasn’t been greenlit. Disney took the franchise in a fun, modern direction while maintaining some of its old school charm. This little delight does a lot to cure my Muppet craving. Haunted Mansion feels very much like Muppets in their ’70s heyday. Apart from when Disney pimps out the Mansion for Halloween with the Nightmare Before Christmas theme, the Mansion has remained as old school as things get. The film’s faithful treatment of the mansion and the Muppets make this one feel like it could’ve been made decades ago. It’s a solid, eternally good representation of both entities. As for those pesky humans who traipse through, there is Will Forte as The Host, who gets a nice chance to ape the sound of the ride’s forever Ghost Host vocalist (shout out to the late Paul Frees), delivering of some of the ride’s best lines. Danny Trejo, Ed Asner and, yes, Pat Sajak, cameo as ghosts. While the regular Muppets make appearances from their “everybody is alive” Halloween party, they also

OCTOBER 21, 2021


inexplicably show up as ghosts in the Mansion, which makes no sense, and you won’t care. Hey Disney, go ahead and scrap all of your plans for live action takes on your rides and those live remakes of your animated classics. You have the Muppets. Give us Muppets of the Lost Ark, Muppets Jungle Cruise, Muppets Peter Pan, Muppets Snow White, Muppets Make Churros, Muppets Ride the Disney Old Timey Train as a Means of Taking a Nap During Long Day at Park, Muppets Remove All Traces of Racism from Splash Mountain, Muppets Puke on the Teacup Ride, Muppets Go Bankrupt After Buying Park Hoppers for Themselves, Muppets Take the California Out of California Adventure and Puss Out by Putting In a Bunch of Pixar Stuff, etc. And let’s not forget, Disney has Fox now, so let’s get a Ridley Scott directed Muppets Alien movie. The possibilities are endless, and no sweat for the licensing rights for all of that crap. In short, please, please, please give us more Muppets, and feel free to mix in the Disney. They go good together, as this sure-to-be-viewed-annually Halloween treat has proven. ■



OCTOBER 21, 2021

By Xavier Omar Otero tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com Packed like lemmings in shiny metal boxes. So much great music is passing through town this week. Find out more.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS… THURSDAY, OCT. 21 For the past decade, these idiosyncratic indie rockers have sharpened their teeth on the gritty Phoenix music scene. Perennial outsiders, Emby Alexander remain true to the DIY ethos. At Club Congress. With Soda Sun...

FRIDAY, OCT. 22 His music is an allusion to a bygone era, where musical pioneers Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison (and pompadours) held sway. His latest studio album, First Comes The Night (2015) reflects Nashville’s musical traditions, but moreover this singer-songwriter’s passion. “I don’t think, ‘I’m going to sell 40 million records.’ I think, ‘How am I going to make a hell of a record even if it’s for 40 people who’ll listen to it a million times.’” For Chris Isaak “the thrill is not gone.” At Fox Tucson Theatre... As founding members of New Edition, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe charted several hits during the 1980s: Like “Candy Girl” and “Cool It Now.” In 1989, after New Edition went on hiatus, with hip-hop starting to pop off in clubs, Bell Biv Devoe began to experiment. Combining what they call “hip-hop, smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop feel to


it,” their debut album, Poison (1990), is credited as pioneering new jack swing. Bell Biv Devoe recreate the magic. At AVA Amphitheater. With ATCK and DJ Lux... While most country artists remain tight-lipped regarding their views on COVID-19, having built his career on being a renegade, this honky-tonk wrangler isn’t backing down now. When the cover photo for Ruthless (2021) was due, Allan was on a yacht in the Dominican Republic. When record label brass asked him to return to Nashville, he said no. “I’ll come back when there’s a vaccine,’” Allan told People. “Unfiltered” Gary Allan remains true. At Tucson Music Hall... With note-for-note renditions handpicked from the Beatles’ extensive catalog, The Fab Four tip the hat. At Rialto Theater... These charros of rock blend traditional mariachi sounds with the head banging hits from the classic rock era. The Outlaw Mariachi promise to make your body shake and groove. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... Almost impossible to describe, these Chicagoans’ debut EP Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities (2015) helped the struggling band ascend from the DIY basements where they cut their teeth. Post Animal are out on the road in support of their latest LP Forward Motion Godyssey (2020). At 191 Toole. With Reptailens...

SATURDAY, OCT. 23 Never far from controversy—placing a slew of legal troubles aside—Born 2 Rap (2019), the rapper’s ninth studio album, was announced to be his last. Back from retirement, The Game headlines the West Coast Music Festival 2021. With XZIBIT, Too Short and many more. At Rillito Racetrack... Encompassing cumbia, hip hop and R&B, Kumbia Kings was the brainchild of A.B. Quintanilla (the older brother of “The Queen of Tejano”) after Selena’s untimely passing. In keeping with the title of their 1999 debut album, Kumbia Kings continue to embody Amor, Familia y Respeto. At AVA Amphitheater. With Grupo Metál... Tucson Do Yourself finds local artists covering the songs of other Tucson acts. Featuring local faves Golden Boots, Los Esplifs, Mariachi Luz de Luna, Birds+Arrows, Night Weather, Tom Walbank and Tire Biters. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... With their DNA linked to the ‘70s, The Guardian described this band’s sound as “Blending the sludgy, doom-laden riffs of Black Sabbath with the urgent pop-punk of The Runaways.” Fronted by live wire Arrow de Wilde, Starcrawler will Devour You. At 191 Toole. With Surfbort...


Chris Isaak performs at the Fox Theatre on Friday, Oct. 22.

most kids, when your dad is John Bonham you end up bashing on your little drum kit for rock stars, like Jimmy Page and members of Bad Company. Carving a niche all his own, he’s gone on to work with luminaries like David Gilmore, Slash, Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, and Muddy Waters. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening pays tribute to his late father’s iconic band. At Tucson Music Hall... A period of upheaval left Lydia Loveless feeling unanchored and adrift. On Daughter (2020) Loveless worked to redefine herself. Like photographs of time, Lately (2021) is a record Lilly Hiatt wrote to document the troubles she endured the previous year. “Tears were shed, lives were lost, and loneliness was a way of life,” says Hiatt. Singer-songwriters Lydia Loveless and Lilly Hiatt journey into independence. At Hotel Congress (plaza)...

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 27 Swing revivalists, Squirrel Nut Zippers, are touring in support of Lost Songs Of Doc Souchon (2020), their latest release. At Rialto Theater. With Little Cloud... Rising from the mayhem of Mexico City, with 8.8 million inhabitants, these indie rockers slam together catchy pop tunes, danceable Latin and afrobeat rhythms, and sweet, understated melodies to create something akin to “tropipop.” Straddling two worlds, Little Jesus collide cultures. At Club Congress...

THURSDAY, OCT. 28 SUNDAY, OCT. 24 Bringing contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American pop culture—in the process earning six Grammy Awards and numerous Gospel Music Association Dove Awards—she has earned the distinction as “The Queen of Christian Pop.” Amy Grant celebrates 30 years of Heart in Motion. At Fox Tucson Theatre...

TUESDAY, OCT. 26 Like many talented kids, when Jason Bonham was a child he got called to entertain family friends. Except, unlike

Performing bolero, pop, cumbia and salsa, in addition to being the recipient of numerous international awards and distinctions, this Chilean firebrand is the most-streamed Chilean artist ever. La Chica de Rojo, Mon LaFerte, with an emphasis on sentimentality, offers a taste of música cebolla. At Rialto Theater. With Flor de Toloache... Stalled at the precarious intersection between seductive fantasy and thorny reality—the foundation upon which the dream factory that is L.A. was erected—noisy, jangly, surf-punks Egg Drop Soup “lash out at all the bullshit dreams” they so willfully chase. At Club Congress. With Lucky Baby Daddy and Female Gaze... Until next week, XOXO...


TRULIEVE AMAZING Trulieve deal to acquire Harvest finalized, creating nationwide cannabis empire By David Abbott tucsoneditor@tucsonlocalmedia.com THE $2.1 BILLION ACQUISITION OF Harvest Health & Recreation by Florida cannabis behemoth Trulieve Cannabis Corp. has finally been consummated, creating the largest marijuana company in the U.S., with a combined 149 dispensaries and operations in 11 states. Harvest has 39 operating shops in five states, including one in Tucson at 2734 E. Grant Road, and was the first operator to sell adult-use marijuana in the state after the Arizona Department of Health Services gave the green light to legal sales in Arizona on Jan. 22. “We are excited to move forward as part of Trulieve,” Harvest co-founder and CEO Steve White wrote in a recent email to the Weedly. “The combined organization has the resources and talent to continue

expanding access to cannabis and deliver outstanding customer experiences.” The deal was initially announced on May 10 and completed on Oct. 1, several weeks after the Harvest board voted to move forward, after a roller coaster of public relations headaches that never really threatened the deal, but were troubling enough for Trulieve to mention in a January filing with the Security Exchange Commission. Trulieve’s problems started in 2015, when the U.S. Grand Jury for the North District of Florida began an investigation into T.J. Burnette, husband of the company’s President and CEO Kim Rivers, in connection with alleged corruption by “local officials” in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2017, Rivers was subpoenaed about Burnette’s activities, related to her involvement with Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency and “political contributions [she] made through an associated business.” Rivers was not the target of the investigation nor charged with any crimes, according to the SEC filing, but in August 2021, Burnette was convicted of five of nine federal corruption-related charges in a highly publicized Florida trial, according to a report in the Tallahassee Democrat. In addition to the Florida problems, Harvest was at the receiving end of a hand-

ful of investor lawsuits, but they were all dismissed prior to the board vote to move forward with the deal. “Anytime there’s a significant public transaction, there are certain plaintiffs’ law firms that, almost as a matter of course, file lawsuits,” White said in a Sept. 23 interview with the Weedly. “It’s a fairly common, very routine thing that happens ... almost kind of a tax that you pay, because of our open legal system, so [it’s] not a big deal.” The acquisition positions Trulieve to become a nationwide force to be reckoned with, if and when federal legalization happens. According to the press release announcing the deal, Trulieve and Harvest have “cash equivalents” of $289 million

OCTOBER 21, 2021


and $71 million, respectively, as well as Trulieve’s recent $350 million in debt financing and Harvest’s $55 million received from the sale of its Florida license that was a condition of the deal. Cannabis has also given Tempe native White a lot of political clout, both in Arizona and Florida. In the runup to last year’s election that legalized adult-use marijuana, he donated $1.8 million to help Prop 207 pass. White will continue to be a player in the marijuana business and will continue to advocate for expanded pot legalization. “I will be staying on at Trulieve as part of the executive team working to continue building out the organization,” he said. ■




OCTOBER 21, 2021

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Christmas classic covered by Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, among others 6 Kind of gorilla 10 Second-best era 13 Matrimony 14 ___ Park (neighborhood in central Los Angeles) 15 Neologism for the “best ever” 17 Six Premier League teams play in it 19 Other: Sp. 20 Apt foreign rhyme of “moon” 21 2016 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame 22 Prom purchase 23 Discharges 25 Do a certain veterinary job 27 Nudge 28 Old-fashioned possessive 29 Whitman of “Arrested Development” 31 Japanese company with six stars in its logo 33 With 44-Across, bit of consolation … or a feature of this puzzle’s grid? 36 Like 2017 and 2027 37 Something found in strands 39 Easy basket 41 Gore and more 42 Welcome at the front door 44 See 33-Across 46 Parts of soft palates 48 Score specification 1

49 Some significant others,

for short 52 Crop problem 53 Hairy Tibetan beasts 56 ___ the Saxon (Ivanhoe’s father in “Ivanhoe”) 58 Christmas trees 60 “___ kidding!” 62 Sound heard before many a classic movie 63 Make amends? 64 [Silence] 66 Certain pizza topping, slangily 67 Forthright 68 Game played on a 91' x 13' court 69 Attractive older fellow 70 Forks and knives, e.g. 71 Symbol of privilege


Simple solution to a big problem 2 “Just stop already!” 3 Laura of “Ozark” 4 Mine locales 5 Caps or cones preceder 6 Cannellini, e.g. 7 The National Mall has more than 300 of them 8 Shabbily made 9 Famously sleepy animals 10 Terribly eager 11 Monopoly square between Marvin Gardens and Pacific Avenue 12 Extremely catchy tunes 16 Gift of persuasiveness 18 Like some healthier potato chips 24 “I did NOT need to hear that!,” in brief 1












14 18










31 34






46 52 59

41 45

48 54



49 56

61 65






49 Player at the highest-

elevation N.F.L. stadium

30 Heinous 32


33 Compete in the

America’s Cup, say

50 Debacle 51

34 Prefix with genetics 35 An ice place to go?

Lacking 38 Nearly massless subatomic particle 40 Some flower girls 42 Marvel character with metallic skin 43 Thumbs-down 45 Dec. 31 47 “Here’s an idea …” 37

Metonym for the movie industry

54 Super Mario creature

that resembles a turtle

55 More confident 57


59 Pixy ___ (candy brand) 61

Philosopher Descartes

65 Airer of Ken Burns


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26 “Absolutely!”






















UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST Casas Adobes Congregational Church An Open and Affirming Congregation of the UCC

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