Best of Tucson, Tucson Weekly, Oct. 22, 2020

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STAFF ADMINISTRATION Jason Joseph, President/Publisher Jaime Hood, General Manager, Ext. 12 Casey Anderson, Ad Director/ Associate Publisher, Ext. 22 Claudine Sowards, Accounting, Ext. 13 Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, Ext. 10 EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, Ext. 38 Austin Counts, Managing Editor, Ext. 36 Jeff Gardner, Associate Editor, Ext. 43 Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, Ext. 35 Nicole Ludden, Staff Reporter, Ext. 42 Contributors: Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Xavier Omar Otero, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, David Safier, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Eric Swedlund, Mark Whittaker PRODUCTION David Abbott, Production Manager, Ext. 18 Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, Ext. 26 CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, Ext. 17, ADVERTISING Kristin Chester, Account Executive, Ext. 25 Candace Murray, Account Executive, Ext. 24 Lisa Hopper, Account Executive Ext. 39 Tyler Vondrak, Account Executive, Ext. 27 NATIONAL ADVERTISING VMG Advertising, (888) 278-9866 or (212) 475-2529 Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by 13 Street Media 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. First Class subscriptions, mailed in an envelope, cost $112 yearly/53 issues. Sorry, no refunds on subscriptions. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of 10/13 Communications. Back issues of the Tucson Weekly are available for $1 each plus postage for the current year. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright © 2019 by Thirteenth Street Media. 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.


Best of Tucson® 2020: CONTENTS The Lost Treasures of Tucson


ometimes, it’s a mystery how Best of Tucson® comes together. And sometimes, it comes together as a mystery.

We got our first clues from our readers. More than 12,000 of you sang like canaries when we asked you about Tucson’s finest galleries, cafés, bands, upscale restaurants, dive bars, taco joints and so much more. You love this town as much as we do.



mitts. And new web editor Michael Truelsen put it online, where it will live forever. Special thanks to our sales team led by femme fatale Casey Anderson: “Cheerful” Kristin Chester, Lisa “The Hop” Hopper, “Merry” Candace Murray and Tyler “The Dragon” Vondrak. Without their hustle, you wouldn’t be holding Best of Tucson® in your hands.

Here at the office, Jaime Hood and Claudine Sowards wore green eyeshades After former web editor Tara and kept all the numbers in line. A big Foulkrod fully investigated the ballots note of gratibefore she beat CONGRATU tude goes to it out of town, WINNERS LATIONS TO THIS Y Mr. Big, aka our newshawks EA FROM TUC SON LOCA R''SS our indefatigastarted to L MEDIA! ble publisher crack the case.





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Jason Joseph. Managing ® editor Austin Finally, a Counts, assohuge thanks ciate editor res to our adverTreasu ! Jeff Gardner, t s o L n tisers, both in o he s T c u calendar of T this issue and editor Emily over the past Dieckman, three-and-acolumnist Tom half decades Danehy, comewe’ve been Presented by dy l putting the k e e W dent Linda Ray Tucson Weekly on the and and arts writer streets. None Margaret of this would Regan wrote have been about the winners, while Danehy worked possible without their support. Best of the graveyard shift to craft a short story, Tucson® has always been about celebrat“The Lost Treasures of Tucson,” that ing our town’s finest independent busiruns through our pages. nesses and the artists, performers, barOur resident artistic genius Ryan Dyson handled the art design and the cover, while ace designer Madison Wehr came out of retirement to lend a design hand on the ads. Shutterbugs Hector Acuña and Bandit Riveredge snapped the photos. Production chief David Abbott stitched it all together. The sharp-eyed team of staff writer Nicole Ludden and proofreader Sheryl Kocher dug through the pages looking for typos. Distribution manager Alex Carrasco and his delivery crew got the paper onto the streets and into your

tenders, baristas, shop owners, chefs and others who make Tucson a special place. Now, more than ever, they’re behind the eight ball and need our support if we’re not going to lose more Tucson treasures.





OK, I’m gonna shut my yap. Now grab yourself a cuppa joe and get wise to the Best of Tucson.® Jim Nintzel Executive Editor

Design concepts by Ryan Dyson






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I: On the Case

t was still way too hot for late October. Yeah, this was Tucson, but it was too much Tucson. D.A. DiMarco drove south on Oracle toward Downtown, debating with herself as to whether to run the air conditioner, making her part of the problem, or somehow try to make the windows-down trip without ending up sitting in a pool of butt-sweat soup. She remembered reading in an old newspaper that some guy named Jeff Smith, when asked what the best thing about Tucson was, replied “October.” Today, he’d have to say “Sometime after Thanksgiving.” Tucson holds onto its summer heat like somebody grabbing the last biscuit on the plate at the rescue mission. She found a parking space on Stone and decided to walk to the Courthouse. As she traversed the Main Library courtyard, her ears were assaulted by the combined chorus of pigeons and self-proclaimed street musicians doing unspeakable things to their guitars. It sounded like Tom Waits doing a bad impression of Tom Waits. DiMarco entered the Court building and saw her old volleyball teammate from college, Autumn, who hugged D.A. and said, “Thanks for coming. I have to admit I was surprised to hear that you had started working as a private investigator.” “Yeah well, the engineering stuff just got to me. I got tired of working to make a road as perfect and safe as possible and then have drivers misuse and abuse it. It’s like if a master glassblower took three months to make a beautiful vase and then found out that the Clampetts were using it as door stop.” Autumn said, “So, is this permanent?” “I don’t know. I have money saved up. I thought I’d give it a try for a year or so. What is it that you need?” “Have you ever heard of Tucson’s Lost Treasures?” “No, what are they: Costco sheet cakes, pay phones, and radio stations that don’t have erectile dysfunction commercials?” Autumn laughed, then took out her phone and handed it to D.A. “This is what we think the Lost Treasures look like,” Autumn explained. “Three artifacts that our experts believe were crafted somewhere in this area, circa 1500. They bounced around Mexico for centuries, then mysteriously appeared here in 1941. They were seen by the public for a couple days, then disappeared again.” “So, the Tucson Museum of Art wants them?” “Yes. We had the Indigenous Arts and Culture display that was a big success. We’d like to relaunch it with these artifacts, if you can find them. It would be huge for me.” “I have to ask, why me? And why’d we meet here?” “Whoever’s been hiding these things might not see you coming. And the museum has eyes and ears. I think I’m being followed. That guy with the dyed blond hair over there keeps staring at me.” “You’re six-foot-one and gorgeous. It’d be weird if he didn’t stare at you. Send those pictures to my phone.” Autumn’s face tightened. “All right, but you be careful.”

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

To put it simply, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun needs to be seen to be believed. The Gallery is unique: its architecture and landscape are just as important as the art works housed inside. Described as the “life’s work” of Southwestern painter-sculptor-visionary Ted DeGrazia, the Gallery in the Sun is 10 acres of adobe buildings, desert sculptures and impressionistic paintings. DeGrazia’s delightful, energetic depictions of Southwestern life have been beloved by generations of Arizonans. Established in 1950, the place is the embodiment of Ted DeGrazia’s boundless creativity.

2. Madaras Gallery 3. Etherton Gallery

Best Movie Theater Loft Cinema

3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

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The Loft Cinema is much more than an ambitious movie theater that shows high quality films. Beyond screening everything from arthouse cinema to mondo cult classics, The Loft succeeds in being a hub for the community, allowing local organizations to rent out theaters, hosting outdoor movies in the city’s parks, and presenting rousing singalongs in its home base. Even during this downer year, The Loft is keeping busy with film streaming, private rentals and outdoor screenings in its own backyard. It’s a harmonious relationship: Tucson is lucky to have a place as magical as The Loft, and the cinema is lucky to have hordes of devoted fans.

2. Roadhouse 3. Harkins Arizona Pavilions

Best Art Classes Sonoran Glass School 633 W. 18th St.

Perhaps it’s the heat required by glassblowing that makes the Sonoran Glass School a natural fit for Tucson, but this great school makes sure their classes go beyond the basics of the craft. The staff artists teach furnace glassblowing and torchworking and even kiln fusing, which has artists-in-the-making using cold glass to make stained glass and mosaics. Classes, going from beginner to advanced, are offered to individuals, couples and whole families.

2. Tipsy Picassos 3. Creative Juice

Private Parties Team Building Kids Birthday Parties Fundraising Events

Thank you Tucson for nominating us! We treasure the time we spend with all of you!

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Musical Instrument Store

about hopping into a new musical lifestyle, many of the teachers offer the first two lessons for free.

Rainbow Guitars

3. Allegro School of Music

2550 N. Campbell Ave.

It’s fitting that this year’s best instrument store has the word “rainbow” in its name; anyone who’s paid them a visit can see why. It’s the full spectrum of guitars on offer that makes this dazzling Rainbow unique; their styles range from standard acoustics to multi-thousand-dollar electrics. The store’s electronics run the gamut as well, whether you’re looking for a delay pedal or a professional recording setup. And don’t let the name fool you: Rainbow Guitars also sells keyboards and drum kits.

2. Chicago Music Store 3. Instrumental Music Center

Best Music School

Chicago Music Store 5646 E. Speedway Blvd. 45 S. Sixth Ave. Recently celebrating a century of serving Tucson, Chicago Music Store has another streak going: landing first in Best of Tucson year-after-year! And it’s no wonder the store is so adored by locals: the place has staff ready to teach you how to play the piano, guitar, saxophone, bass, violin, flute, banjo and even the accordion. And if you aren’t sure

2. The Schoolhouse of Rock

Best Art Treasure Etherton Gallery 135 S. Sixth Ave.

STAFF PICK: Housed in the historic Oddfellows Hall building downtown, Etherton Gallery is a treasury of museum-quality photography and contemporary art. The gallery, 39 years in the business, is known internationally for its expertise in photography; exhibitions cover work from the medium’s early days in the 19th century all the way up to the 21st century. Renowned photographers of the likes of Danny Lyon, Joel-Peter Witkin and Tucson’s own Kate Breakey routinely cover the walls. Proprietor Terry Etherton also exhibits paintings and mixed media works by local artists. The beloved venue has been weathering the pandemic, and on Oct. 27 opens its first new show since March. El Sueño features color photos by Alejandro Cartagena, who photographs – from above – Mexican workers riding in truck beds, and Tom Kiefer, known for exquisite images of migrant belongings seized by Border Patrol. The gallery’s opening parties are legendary, but this time around only 10 art lovers at a time can come in to see the show.

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Theater Company Gaslight Theatre Company


Best Author Francisco Cantú

The secret to Gaslight’s charm—and placement as the Best of Tucson—is how they truly have something for everyone. Their rotating show schedule throughout the year means whether you enjoy oldies concerts, Western comedies, holiday shows or parodies of Hollywood blockbusters, the Gaslight has something for you. Their cutout props, old-school stage tricks and goofy humor have an endearing quality that’s hard to beat. Pair that with all the food and drink options from their kitchen, and you have a theater worthy of being named number one.

The purpose of writing is not simply to tell stories, but to tell stories that matter. Francisco Cantú’s stories that matter have propelled him onto the international stage. A former Border Patrol agent who worked throughout the Southwest, Cantú’s borderlands memoir The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border recounted the horrifying behavior of border agents toward migrants, including dumping out life-saving water in the desert. Haunted by what he saw, Cantú fled the force after almost four years. His book was widely discussed and it landed at the top of several yearend best-of lists and secured a nomination for 2018’s National Book Critics Circle Award. But more importantly, he told a local—and international—story that needed to be told.

2. Arizona Theatre Company 3. Unscrewed Theater

2. J.A. Jance 3. Kimi Eisele

7010 E. Broadway Blvd.


Best Visual Artist Jessica Gonzales

In a town filled with murals and vibrant art, it’s no small feat to be voted the Old Pueblo’s best visual artist. But Jessica Gonzalez’s energetic combination of botanical designs, soulful faces and arresting colors makes her work rise to the top. Her murals adorn several establishments across town, including Hotel McCoy, the Loft Cinema and Antigone Books. Check out her jaw-dropping “Goddess of Agave” mural on the west side of the Tucson Warehouse and Transfer building. Not only is Gonzalez’s art imaginative and technically impressive; the style matches Tucson’s mood to a big, beautiful T.

2. Joe Pagac 3. Diana Madaras



Best Outdoor Art Installation Ben’s Bells Mosaic Murals

Why are these mosaics the most celebrated outdoor art installations in town? Well, aside from the much-needed reminder to be kind, they’re nearly as prolific as saguaros around these parts. For lesser art pieces, this could be redundant, but Ben’s Bells’ mosaics are often as gorgeous as they are important, showing how many pieces can unite in harmony. How fitting—since all of Ben’s Bells are meant to promote kindness.

2. Joe Pagac’s murals 3. Rattlesnake Bridge

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Dance Studio

BreakOut Studios 5811 E. Speedway Blvd.

BreakOut Studios hopped to the top of Best of Tucson thanks to its commitment to community, through dance and movement. Even in a year when most physical and interpersonal activities were greatly hampered, BreakOut Studios kept active with a livestream schedule of cardio, tap, jazz, funk and ballet classes for members and open for the community.

2. The Drop Dead Studio 3. Floor Polish

Best Dance Company Ballet Tucson

200 S. Tucson Blvd. It takes a strong presence to win the


Oct. 22, 2020

nickname “Tucson’s Dance Company,” but Ballet Tucson has been building its stellar reputation for more than 30 years. With a seasonal rotation, Ballet Tucson wows local audiences by dancing both historic classics and innovative modern works. The only professional ballet company in town—that means they pay their dancers—the troupe has in recent years danced the work of the revered George Balanchine as well as contemporary dances by the likes of Christopher Wheeldon. And more than stunning on stage, this nonprofit also hosts dance workshops and classes for local kids. Many of the studio’s welltrained students have gone off to professional careers, at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet and other respected troupes. COVID-19 shut down the fall schedule, but Tucson dance fans are hoping for a comeback in the New Year.

2. Ballet Folklorico Tapatio 3. Zuzi

Best Place to Take a Phoenician


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

Just in time for this much deserved Best of Tucson win, the Tucson Museum of Art unveiled its new Kasser Family Wing of Latin American Art. Over the summer, pre-Columbian and up-tothe minute contemporary art went on view in a new space that spans over 3,000 years of the art history of the Americas. The wing’s thousands of square feet of new art space hold pieces stretching back centuries, including gorgeous clay figures and textiles created by artists in Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere. Expansions like this show why TMA rises to the top of local museums – it’s more than a museum, it’s a whole block! The museum is steward to several historic houses and holds an extensive collection of local art; its wideopen galleries allow you to wander through a wide variety of ever-changing exhibitions.

2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s Ironwood Gallery 3. University of Arizona Museum of Art

Mount Lemmon

Even after a summer of unprecedented heat and fire, the magic of Mount Lemmon lives on. The Bighorn Fire burned across the Catalinas for multiple weeks, but as the mountain highway reopened, Tucsonans were happy to see the majority of the forest, the scenic lookouts and the alpine communities still standing. The Coronado National Forest has opened some trails, vistas and picnic areas, but others remain closed. Rules can change daily so check with the Forest Service at fs.usda. gov/coronado or call 388-8300 to get updates. In any case you can take a gorgeous drive up to the top. Your visiting Phoenician will surely recognize how lucky we are to have Mount Lemmon and rejoice with you.

2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 3. eegee’s

Best Event Venue Arizona Inn

Best Annual Festival

2200 E. Elm Street

4th Ave. Street Fair

Whether your event is a wedding, a graduation or even a memorial service, the grand old Arizona Inn is the Tucson place to go. It’s drenched in history -- Eleanor Roosevelt is just one celebrity who stayed there – and ever since it opened in 1930 it’s been a charming oasis for modern-day locals and visitors. Set in a quiet midtown neighborhood, the hotel is painted southwest pink, and its event rooms and casitas are surrounded by meticulously tended gardens. A bar, a restaurant and a delightful patio eatery serve the hungry. And at Christmas time every year the town’s best holiday tree twinkles through the windows.

The fact the street fair beat out all the other wonderful festivals throughout town proves that the magic of Tucson isn’t just our culture, but our inventiveness. At the 4th Ave. Street Fair, you can wander

2. La Paloma 3. Stillwell House & Garden

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between vendor stalls, finding custom jewelry, screen-printed clothing, kitchen gadgets, junkyard sculptures and designer notebooks, and then treat yourself to a cool drink at the lemonade stand. The Street Fair takes everything that’s great about a county fair and combines it with the wonderfully wacky style of Fourth Avenue—it’s a treasure trove of a festival you can find only in Tucson. The fair planned for this

Arizona’s Music Store Since 1919!

For guitars, keyboards, folk instruments, amps, effects, PA gear, strings, brass, woodwinds, and everything in between, please pay us a visit and see how we do it. 45 S. 6th Avenue | 520‑622‑3341

5646 E. Speedway Blvd | 520‑886‑1516



December has been canceled but it surely will be back. More than half a million guests each year can’t be wrong.

2. All Souls Procession 3. Tucson Meet Yourself

Best Place to Donate Your Time and/or Money


Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona In a year with such a need for volunteering and charity, the fact the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona rose to the top shows just how important it is for Tucson. More than working to keep Southern Arizona hunger-free, CFBSA also facilitates community gardening, supports farmers markets, advocates for public policy and does leadership training for civic engagement. CFBSA is a network of hundreds of locals who simply want to better the place we call home. CONGRATU WINNERS LATIONS TO THIS Y EA FROM TUC SON LOCA R''SS L MEDIA!

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2. Humane Society 3. PACC

Best Charity Event

El Tour de Tucson What makes El Tour de Tucson the best local charity event? Aside from raising more than $5 million for various good causes over the years, this bike-raceturned-block-party embodies Tucson—and not just because the town is full of cyclists. El Tour de Tucson focuses on health, fitness and community engagement, all while offering up a great time for everyone involved. El Tour provides four main racing routes, ranging from 28 miles to 100, all convening downtown for a celebration of local culture. Last year saw an estimated 10,000 riders attend. Normally held in November, this year the race has been postponed to April 10, because of— what else?—the pandemic.

2. Puttin’ on the Dog (Humane Society) 3. THE EVENT (Boys and Girls Club)

Oct. 22, 2020

Most Missed Gallery

Davis Dominguez 154 E. Sixth St.

STAFF PICK: Davis Dominguez Gallery closed its doors in June after 43 years in the business. This isn’t a COVID-19 story though, even if the pandemic did force the farewell shows to go online. Proprietors Candice Davis and Mike Dominguez had already planned to retire. Over their nearly half a century as gallerists, the busy pair staged some 250 exhibitions of contemporary art, showing many beloved artists, from the late Bruce McGrew to Bailey Doogan to Judith Stewart. Clearly, the loss of the gallery leaves a big hole in the arts scene. But their efforts did more than promote contemporary art—by moving to the Tucson Warehouse and Transfer Building in the 1990s, they helped revitalize the downtown when it was in sorry shape. They deserve a big thanks!


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he drove west on River, past La Cholla. This was the kind of road she had complained about to Autumn. She drove along at 50 mph, five more than the speed limit, and lost track of the number of cars that whizzed past her. The last one was some kind of Jeep with four guys in it. They flew past her, at first flipping her off and then slowing down to try to talk to her. She thought, those are the kind of guys who, if they went to a $5-a-carload drive-in, at least three of them would try to hide in the trunk, thinking they were getting away with something. She went north past Thornydale and then pulled into the Octopus Car Wash. She got into one of the lanes, asked for the Tuesday special, and then moved up in the line. The Glass Guy was talking to some poor old lady, trying to convince her that the microscopic chip in her windshield was about to explode like something from a Michael Bay movie (and that her insurance sucked). D.A. got out and went to find The Man. In every small town and big city, there’s that one guy who knows everything and everybody. In Tucson, it was Jeremiah. He saw her coming and bellowed, “Hey Baby Doll, where you been?” “I’ve been busy.” “Oh yeah? You still making the world safe for bad drivers like me?” “No, I’m a detective now.” He let out a huge laugh. “Yeah, I can see that. Get you a raincoat and you could pass for Columbo.” “I’m partial to The Rockford Files although some people might suggest Remington Steele. Anyway, do you know anything about Tucson’s Lost Treasures?” “Tucson’s treasure ain’t lost. Pat’s Chili Dogs is still there. Two hot chili dogs and some of those greasy fries…Man, you’ll see God.” She took out her phone and showed him the pictures. He squinted his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck. “You know, I’ve seen those before. Lemme think.” As her car emerged from the wash, Jeremiah exclaimed, “I’ve seen a picture of those! Remember when they opened that time capsule at Amphi High a few years ago? They had a picture in the time capsule of some guys holding those things. I remember I thought it was weird, but they said that the high school had just opened up and they were thinking of using one of those things as the school mascot. But the scorpion was too scary and the bird wasn’t scary enough. The Gila monster was just plain ugly, so they settled on Panthers.” D.A. remembered that the manager of the Hotel Congress had played on the legendary Amphi football teams in the late 1990s. She’d stop by and see him. Pat’s Chili Dogs was sorta on the way. She got in her car to drive away, not noticing the guy with the dyed blond hair pulling up in his too-loud vintage Camaro to where Jeremiah was standing.

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Best Stay at Home Activity Netflix

Best Farmers Market

Rillito Park Heirloom Farmers Market 4502 N. First Ave.

Those who’ve spent a weekend morning at the Rillito Park Farmers Market know why it scored first place for Best of Tucson. The market has the standard staples of fresh produce and spices, but also sports fresh-cooked dishes from various national cuisines, a variety of salsas and jerky (a dried meat) as well as potted plants for sale, and, as a bonus, live music lofting overhead. The market can be packed even on 100-degree days, showing just how beloved it is. More than a food market, it’s a community hub brimming with Tucson-style diversity and connection.

2. Food in Root St. Philip’s Plaza 3. Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market at Mercado San Agustin

Best Farmers Market Vendor Sleeping Frog Farms

The Benson-based Sleeping Frog Farms aims to improve the health of both the land and the community by growing high-quality produce without the use of chemicals. And if you’ve seen the Sleeping Frog growers at a local farmers market, you know they walk the walk. They offer a wide range of fruits, vegetables, honey, beans and leafy greens, all grown right here in Pima County and keeping Southern Arizona healthy.

2. Mouth of the South Salsa 3. Adventure Coffee Roasters

There are a few ways you can look at Netflix beating out such time-honored hobbies as “reading,” but we’ll say this: In a year that might as well be titled the Year of the Recluse, it’s a good thing we had Netflix. They’ve come a long way from their DVD mailing days. Now they keep us busy with a wide range of instantly streaming documentaries, comedy specials, thrilling TV shows and original films from big-name directors. Well played, Netflix.

2. Reading 3. Cooking

Best Gym Nerd Gym

15 E. Toole Ave. With a name like that, you know Nerd Gym has it in their DNA to change the status of gyms. Inviting those who’ve been let down by “regular gyms,” Nerd Gym offers individualized workouts in their semi-private fitness studio. More than a gym, Nerd Gym strives to be a welcoming space for everyone to pursue their fitness goals.

2. Let’s Sweat 3. The Gym of Tucson

Best Crossfit

Old Pueblo Crossfit

7225 E. Broadway Blvd. #170 If you’re gonna be rescuing friends and laying haymakers on goons, you better build up some muscle. Old Pueblo Crossfit doesn’t just offer crossfit—you can also learn jiu jitsu, yoga, bodybuilding, and even first responder-inspired training. It’s a fitness club covering stamina, strength, flexibility and coordination. And if you aren’t sure, they’re happy to offer a free session.

2. Crossfit 520 3. CrossFit Now

Best Yoga Studio 4th Avenue Yoga

Oct. 22, 2020

intimacy, feeling comfortable is key! And Fascinations knows that.

2. Adult Expectations 3. Jellywink Boutique

413 E. Fifth Street

Right off Fourth Avenue, this yoga studio is perfect for the quirky, creative community surrounding it. 4th Avenue Yoga offers both leisurely and fast-paced classes, as well as hot yoga and discussions on the form’s history and roots. They offer yoga classes for both skilled practitioners and beginners, keeping to the ethos of listening to your body and always growing.

2. Yoga Oasis 3. Tucson Yoga

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

With its neon lights catching the eyes of Speedway passersby, Lucky Strike perfectly fits the bill of the beloved hometown bowling alley: fresh pizza, arcade games, a full-service bar and plenty of zany carpet. Combine this with a helpful and friendly staff and you’re bound to have a pleasant outing, even if you need to use the bumpers.

2. Fiesta Lanes 3. Tucson Bowl

Best Sex Toy Shop Fascinations

3658 E. Speedway Blvd. For the first-timer, a trip to the local sex toy shop can be nervewracking. But not at a place like Fascinations, which has a staff so helpful and courteous you might just become a regular. And for the regulars, they’ve got an extensive inventory of toys, attire, lubricants and more to keep you coming back. When it comes to

Best Marijuana Dispensary Earth’s Healing 78 W. River Road

2075 E. Benson Hwy. Describing themselves as “specialists in feeling better,” Earth’s Healing has won over the hearts of Tucson cardholders with their wide variety of cannabis. This includes more than 70 types of edibles, 50 strains of flower and dozens of concentrates. And with two locations in Tucson, you won’t have to go far to experience the “power of Mother Nature.”

2. Downtown Dispensary 3. Prime Leaf

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Auto Repair Dan’s Toy Shop

2502 E. Fort Lowell Road Much like the humble Toyota they focus much of their work on, the mechanics at Dan’s Toy Shop have won over Tucson thanks to their combination of reliability and quality. Look up any review site and you’ll see locals praising the midtown repair shop for their professionalism and service. When you have the kind of headache only a check engine light can give you, a place like Dan’s is what you’re looking for.

2. Next Generation Automotive 3. Sooter’s Auto Service

Best Car Wash Mister Car Wash Multiple locations

It stands to show how beloved Mister Car Wash is by the fact that no one at the


Weekly is surprised that they landed in first place. If you didn’t think community and car washes could go hand-in-hand, you’ve never been to Mister Car Wash, a company that engages in local fundraising and has a defined set of core values. This year, they even ran a program to register their employees to vote. The employees love it, and you should too. Mister Car Wash simply is Tucson’s car wash.

as ceramics, lawn ornaments and more. We’re talking multiple greenhouses filled with so many gorgeous plants you’ll forget that you’re in a desert.

2. Octopus Car Wash 3. Surf Thru Car Wash

Best Animal Supply Store

Best Plant Nursery

Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery 8005 E. Speedway Blvd.

Is there anything quite like the atmosphere of a plant nursery? Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery nails it with their gorgeous grounds, offering a wide variety of desert plants and fruit trees, as well

2. Green Things 3. Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery

OK Feed & Supply 3701 E. Fort Lowell Road

Celebrating more than 80 years of supplying Tucson’s livestock and pets, OK Feed has taken this Best of Tucson trophy in the past. Sure, your average pet store can offer food for dogs and cats, but why stop at food? (And why stop at dogs and cats?) OK offers pet toys, dental care, vitamins and supplements, training accessories and fancy shampoos for all your animals. It’s a supply store for any pet, no matter how big or small, feathered or furry, fanged or fabulous.

2. Arizona Feeds 3. Tropical Kingdom


Best Computer Repair Geeks 2 You

3731 E. Speedway Blvd. When it comes to the arcane skill of computer repair, you’d really only want someone you’d trust your life with—because, well, isn’t that what our computers are these days? Geeks 2 You offers a wide variety of services on both Windows and Mac computers, from virus removal to screen repair, data recovery to system cleaning. If your computer is acting up, you’re already having a bad day, so you’d better go somewhere that knows how to solve it.

2. SWS Electronics & Computers 3. University of Arizona Bookstore

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Oct. 22, 2020


Best Place to Get Your Pet Groomed

Best Alternative Health Center

2860 W. Ina Road #124

2231 E. Speedway Blvd.

Our pets are basically family these days, so we should aim for what’s best for them. As Wags My Tail says: grooming your dog isn’t just cosmetic, it can be critical to their well-being. Some furry dogs just feel unhappy with all that fur. That’s why they offer more than hair cuts. Wags My Tail can serve as a full treatment center, with nail cuts, ear cleaning, blow drying, foot pad cleaning and more. And with their “speedy spa,” your pup can get a full, essential cleaning in an hour.

It might not be any one service at Natural Healing Care Center that landed them as Best of Tucson, but the fact they’ve established themselves as a one-stop-shop for holistic and natural medicines. Whether you’re looking for acupuncture, massage therapy, mind/body medicines, nutrition recommendations, CBD, or getting your MMJ card, Natural Healing Care Center is the place to rejuvenate.

Wags My Tail

2. Bark Avenue Dog Wash 3. Broadway Grooming

Best Veterinary Clinic

Pet Doctor

6464 N. Oracle Road 2661 N. First Ave. Pet Doctor brands themselves as Tucson’s affordable pet clinic, but don’t let that distract from their wide range of professional veterinary care. They cover the basics like spay and neuter, but also offer radiology, pharmacy, cremation and vaccination services. Pet Doctor has won over Tucson with their skilled and caring staff, as well as their partnerships with several local pet rescue and shelter initiatives.

2. Catalina Pet Hospital 3. University Pet Clinic


Natural Healing Care Center

Best Hotel

Hotel Congress 311 E. Congress St.

What’s left to say about Hotel Congress after more than a century as the core of Tucson? As a hotel, it succeeds with its quaint rooms, delicious food and multiple bars. But what makes it the best hotel is that it’s more than a hotel: It’s home to festivals and concerts throughout the year, historic events, local art, and maybe even a few ghosts. Hotel Congress is exactly the kind of place we’d want serving as the cornerstone of downtown.

2. Tumbleweeds Health Center 3. Dr. Reeferalz

Best CBD Store

2. Arizona Inn 3. La Paloma

Green Halo

7710 S. Wilmot Road In a rough year like 2020, stress relief is crucial. So when a CBD store rises to the top amid so much anxiety, you know they’re doing something right. Green Halo offers a wide range of CBD products at varying strengths and prices, but never varying quality: gummies, capsules, tinctures, patches, ointment and more. It’s your destination if you need to relax and still have your wits about you.

2. Earth’s Healing 3. Your CBD Store

Best Photographer Sean Parker

Sean Parker didn’t win Best of Tucson because he’s a world renowned photographer, but because he perfectly captures the vibe of the Sonoran Desert, and he does so with a masterful touch. A look at his shots of saguaros illuminated by the night sky or mid-monsoon

lightning bolts are proof of his skill. They’re vibrant, powerful and sometimes surreal. Parker captures Tucson the way we see it in our minds.

2. Jade Beall 3. Casey James

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Best Thrift Store Buffalo Exchange Multiple Locations

The fact Buffalo Exchange has locations in more than a dozen states shows how effective their model is, and how lucky Tucson is to house its headquarters. More than an average thrift store, it’s a destination for high-quality vintage clothes for those who are looking to buy or sell. Kerstin Block and company are spreading a bit of that Tucson inventiveness and quirk throughout the country.

2. Casa de los Niños Thrift Store 3. Tucson Thrift

Best Place to Get a Massage Massage Envy Multiple Locations

Massage Envy wants you to feel like

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your best self again, and they do this through a variety of services: stretches, facials, rapid tension relief and the classic massage. But because everyone’s body is different, they know the key is to organize a personal message. Whether you’re looking to improve your mood, to sleep better or to reduce aches, Massage Envy quite literally has your back.

2. Rubs Massage 3. Greentoes

Best Cigar/ Tobacco Shop Moon Smoke Shop Multiple Locations

Moon Smoke Shop really means it when they brand themselves as “Tucson’s One Stop Smoke Shop.” Now it’s one thing for them to be selling what you need, but it’s entirely different when they’re selling something you didn’t know you needed. Whether it’s pipes, rolling


Oct. 22, 2020

paper, hookahs, e-cigarettes, vaporizers, tobacco or rigs, Moon has you covered. And with three locations across town, you won’t have to go far to get what you need.

2. Anthony’s Cigar Emporium 3. Chico’s Smoke Shop

Best Place to Buy a Car Jim Click

Multiple Locations Is it any surprise Jim Click won this category? Even if you haven’t bought a car from one of his dealerships, he’s likely the first name that pops in your head when you think of where to get a car in Tucson. He holds such a powerful place around town not only for his professionalism, but for using some of that success to support local charities and vocational schools as well.

2. Precision Toyota 3. Desert Toyota

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

While the words luxury and desert might not sound too connected, a trip to JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass resort will show you otherwise. The grounds feature multiple pools, spas, golf courses, and even a custom aromatherapy bar. With so many ways to unwind and escape without actually leaving Tucson, it’s no wonder Starr Pass is continuing its Best of Tucson winning streak.

2. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa 3. Hacienda del Sol

Best Handyman Nathan’s Handyman Service

Nathan’s Handyman Service argues they have Tucson’s best handymen, and are prepared to prove it in nearly any manner of work around the house: drywall, painting, plumbing, power washing, ceiling fans, roof coating, electrical, doors and windows and more. What could that “more” entail? As registered contractors, they’re ready to show you.


2. Ronnie’s Handyman and Home Service 3. De La Tierra Services



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III: In the Fashion of a Detective

he guy at Hotel Congress hadn’t been much help. He gave her a few names of people who had been around Amphi for decades. Maybe they would know somebody who knew somebody. She knew that’s was what most detective work boiled down to—talking to people, doing research, finding a pattern or a clue. It wasn’t Sam Spade smackin’ around some dame (thank God!) or Adrian Monk OCD-ing somebody into submission. If anything, she was probably most like Gus on Psych, even though he was a guy and African-American, and, you know, fictional. Autumn had told her that she had an advantage because no one would suspect her of being a detective. But she didn’t want to be the kind of detective who snuck around, peeking in windows. She wanted to be the “ask the right questions, get the right answers” kind. Maybe, sometimes, she should try to look the part. One time when she was in high school, she went as Carmen Sandiego for Halloween. It was a great costume—trench coat, high boots, wide-brimmed hat. But, if she was dressed like that, no matter what question she asked somebody, the answer was likely to come back “Ecuador.” She drove to Buffalo Exchange and went inside. Twenty minutes later, she emerged wearing her new (used) fedora. The phone rang and she pushed the button on the steering wheel to answer. Before she could say “Hello,” she heard, “Hey, this is Jeremiah. I gotta give you a heads-up. Right after you left the car wash, this guy came in asking about you. Who you were, what you and I were talking about. He even offered me some money.” “What did you tell him?” “Nothin’, of course.” “What did he look like?” “Kinda squirrely. Weird dyed-blond hair. He looked like he wanted to be in a K-Pop band but he wasn’t Asian enough. Actually, he wasn’t Asian, at all. You need to watch your back, girl.” “Thanks, J.” She needed to go out to Canyon Ranch to check on something, but that would have to wait for another day. When she was a kid, she had read Nancy Drew #111, in which Nancy and her friends spent a week at the exclusive Spa Solaire at the base of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson. Yeah, maybe instead of Gus, she could be Nancy Drew. She had an appointment to get a pedicure at Greentoes. She had had green toes once. The libero had passed the ball too close to the net, so D.A. did a quick set. The middle came in and pounded the ball but landed on D.A.’s foot. She had green (and purple) toes for a week after that. This time, her toenails were a bright “Yeah, I’m here!” red. She got in her car and closed the door. Before she could start the car, she glanced over at the passenger’s seat and saw a real, live Gila monster, nearly two feet long, full of cold blood and bad intent.

Oct. 22, 2020

Fashion & Style

Oct. 22, 2020


Best Home Furnishings Sam Levitz

Multiple locations

Best Clothing

Creations Boutique Multiple locations

Creations is the type of store that, if you’ve ever walked by it on Fourth Avenue, makes you want to stop in to take a quick peek even if you’re in a hurry/broke/not in need of any more clothes. And once you’re in there? You and your timeframe/ budget/plans to downsize your wardrobe are done for. Surrounded by comfy, cute, bohemian clothes, jewelry and other apparel, you have no choice but to treat yourself. But with reasonable prices and quality stuff, Creations will make sure you don’t regret it.

2. Buffalo Exchange 3. Razorz Edge

Best Resale Clothing

Buffalo Exchange 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.

A longtime favorite for this category, Buffalo Exchange takes the cake again for its high-quality, high-fashion selection. Locations of this treasure of a store are beloved all over the country, but it started right here in Tucson. It’s the perfect place to go to combine the latest styles with some vintage flair, and to do so just a little bit more sustainably.

2. Twice as Nice 3. How Sweet It Was Vintage

With all of us spending so (so, sooooo) much time at home lately, it feels more important than ever to make sure home is a place that feels comfy, cozy and just the way you like it. And Sam Levitz has been a trusted provider of all things home furnishings for years. You can make an appointment to wander the floor of their showroom or browse their website (conveniently divided into categories like “rustic” “farmhouse” and “midcentury modern,” or into categories by furniture type). They Sam-ply can’t be beat.

2. AZ Modern 3. Baker’s Home Furnishings

Best Vintage Shopping How Sweet It Was 424 E. Sixth St.

There’s something special about wearing vintage clothing, and feeling just a little bit more like you’re a part of a larger story, or inheriting an item that has its own past. Open since 1974, How Sweet It Was is Tucson’s original vintage clothing shop. Right now, they’re doing weekly virtual vintage sales, donating 20 percent of sales to nonprofits. You can also schedule onehour shopping appointments if you’re missing the in-person experience.

2. Buffalo Exchange 3. Speedway Antique Mall

Best Hair Salon Gadabout

Multiple locations Gadabout, the longtime incumbent in the “best hair salon” category, takes the cake again with their dedication to self-expression, collaboration and craftsmanship. Whether you want a cut and color, waxing,


a facial or a mani-pedi, Gadabout will have you covered. And they do plenty more too, including treatments like dermaplaning, microneedling and microblading. We all need haircuts, so why not get yourself the best?

2. English Salon Spa 3. Circa79

Best Place to get Great Hair Color English Salon Spa 27 N. Scott Ave.

When you’re going on the lam, you sometimes need to change your look, maybe go from a redhead to a brunette. When that happens, head downtown to English Salon Spa. Sure, they do everything from nails to facials, waxing and haircuts. They even carry local and certified green products. But they take the cake in this category for their fantastic coloring services. They’ll get you the hair you want, while also keeping it healthy. And what more could you want from a salon?

2. Gadabout 3. The Village Salon

Best Day Spa Canyon Ranch

8600 E. Rockcliff Road You can only do so many at-home facemasks before they start to lose their luster, you know? The atmosphere at this local resort is so pleasant that, honestly, just stepping foot on the property, and maybe even driving by the property, may count as self-care. But if you’re looking to really treat yourself, spend a day at their spa. They’ve got nine different kinds of facials, manicures, pedicures, a hair salon, a detoxifying mud cocoon and a massage called “A Slice of Heaven… The Ultimate Massage!” Relaxation in overdrive, because you deserve it.

2. Greentoes 3. English Salon Spa

Best Jewelry Silver Sea Jewelry 330 N. Fourth Ave.

Silver Sea is a precious little Fourth Avenue staple filled to the brim with tons of awesome, handcrafted pieces (both local and from all over the world). Due to COVID-19, they’re currently doing home shopping, so you can check their Facebook page for updates on what’s available. As their page says, “The shop is closed, but the sparkle continues!” And Lord knows we could all use a little bit of sparkle these days, whether it’s in the form of an Ethiopian opal ring or a seashell necklace.

2. Cheyenne Cannon Jewelry 3. Heliotrope

Best Lash Boutique

Lashes del Sol Multiple Locations

If you’ve ever talked to anybody who’s gotten lash extensions, they’ve no doubt told you how much they love them. It’s one of those small things that can make you feel vastly more confident. They offer subtle sets to slightly enhance your existing eyelashes, volume sets for a



more dramatic look and a hybrid version that combines the two. And you can even choose between working with a master lash artist, a regular lash artist and an apprentice, depending on your budget.

2. Amazing Lash 3. Beauty Republic

Best Nail Salon Greentoes

Multiple locations In 2011, Christina Rossetti Thompson, a native Tucsonan and full-time teacher, had a dream that she needed to slow down, and create a place where she could do it. Then she did it! She opened Greentoes, an eco-friendly mani pedi studio that uses organic and vegan products, in 2012. They also offer facials, massages, body scrubs and more.

2. Final Touch 3. Pink and White Nails

Best Tanning Salon Beach Bunnie

943 E. University Blvd. #179 If you’re looking for the perfect bronze skin tone to look good for a party, wedding or your own damn self, Beach Bunnie has you covered (literally). Get a spray tan (all-organic mixtures available upon request) that lasts up to 12 days, or choose from several different types and levels of tanning bed experiences. They even do muscle contouring services! Staff are all certified with the National Tanning Training Institute as well.

2. English Salon Sap 3. Celebrity Tanning

Best Florist Inglis Florists Multiple locations

If you want to send your sweetheart a dozen roses, then Inglis has certainly got you covered. But they’ve also got you covered if you want to send your sweetheart a succulent garden in a cool little pot shaped like a camper, send your boss a bouquet and a teddy bear to congratulate him on the new baby, or send your graduating niece a gorgeous tropical floral artwork. Sending someone you love a bouquet and supporting a local business at the same time sure is a great way to feel good about yourself, and we recommend it.

2. Mayfield Florist 3. Bloom Maven

Best Eyeglass/ Optical Retailer Alvernon Optical Multiple locations

There are an abundance of websites these days where you can buy a million different pairs of glasses, but the experience of

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being able to try on your specs in person really is irreplaceable. That’s just one reason we’re so glad to still have places like Alvernon Optical, which has been in business for more than 50 years! They do eye exams from top doctors, provide glasses repair and also sell new eyeglasses. They’ve got safety precautions in place to protect against COVID-19 and will take great care of you and your peepers.

2. Lesco Optical 3. Family Vision

Best Local Clothing Designer Villain Clothing Co.

Established in 2005, this local clothing company specializes in streetwear with a timeless vibe—think old school tattoo art, or something you could rock while driving down the street in a classic car. Do something cool by supporting a local business, and look cool while you’re doing it. A win-win if we ever saw one.

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Tattoo Parlor

Black Rose Tattooers Multiple locations

Black Rose has stayed in business for the last 25 years by providing such a solid blend of quality and variety. If you want a custom piece that will take several hours-long sessions, their talented team of artists will work with you to get you what you’re looking for. Want something quick and simple? They do that too! When you’re using your body as a canvas, you want an artist you can trust, and artists like that are plentiful at Black Rose.

2. Sacred Art 3. Enchanted Dragon Tattoos

Best Tattoo Artist

Lisa Cardenas (Haunted Hands) Lisa Cardenas has been the owner of the tattoo studio Haunted Hands since 2012, been tattooing since 2008, and been an artist for even longer than that. This is her fifth time winning in this category, and if that doesn’t tell you just how much Tucsonans love her excellent linework, use of colors and creativity, then we don’t know what does!

2. Anthony Michaels (Metro Tattoo) 3. Ed Slocum (Tattoo Artistry)


Best Tattoo Removal/ Alteration Oops! Laser

5655 E. Grant Road Most of us don’t want the same things we wanted when we were 22. For some of us, that means no longer wanting the tattoo we got when we were 22. If you decide to go down the removal route, Oops is here to come to the rescue — professionally and affordably. They’ve got a friendly, talented staff who will help make sure your expectations are clear and that this will not be an experience that ever has you saying, “Oops!”

Best Barber Shop Headliners

Multiple Locations You always feel fresher after a good haircut, but in 2020, where many of us have spent months either going without haircuts or DIYing our way through the pandemic with varying levels of success, a professional cut feels particularly luxurious. Treat yourself affordably at Headliners, where they cater to all hair types and all hair desires. Just want a


trim? Sure. Want an intricate owl shaved onto the back of your head? That’s no problem either.

2. Gentleman Jacks Barber Lounge 3. The Barber Lounge

2. Trinity Art Collective 3. Manda Frazier

Best Place to Get Pierced

Straight to the Point 1927 E. Grant Road

Even if you’ve never been inside Straight to the Point, you can tell from the cool piece of tree art outside the building that they’re something special. Step inside and into an environment that’s clean, cozy, professional and irrefutably pleasant. They use implant-grade materials, unmatched safety and sterilization procedures and a full suite of support for every customer. It feels like a hole in one, no matter how many holes you actually get.

Thank you for voting

Best of Tucson 7 years in a row!

2. Sacred Art Tattoo Studio 3. Enchanted Dragon


Thank You Tucson!

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*This offer is only valid with a complete pair purchase of frame and eyeglass lenses, and is not valid with some proprietary brands. The offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or discounts/coupons, but can be used in conjunction with most vision insurance plans as long as the out-of-pocket minimum has been met. Must bring in offer to redeem in stores. This offer is valid for 14 months after the published date of the issue. Some exclusions may apply. Please see store for full details. 20AVN-25477



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IV: Leapin’ Lizards!

he Gila monster didn’t move. D.A. wasn’t sure if it was bored, puzzled, or ready to strike. One thing was certain: it wasn’t dead. She had her phone in her hand and very softly asked it to tell her about Gila monsters. When The Voice came on, her unwanted passenger stood up a bit, but had no other reaction. Over the next 37 seconds, they both learned that the Gila monster is venomous, but not deadly. When The Voice got to the part about the creature’s “sluggish nature,” D.A. grabbed the door handle and exited the vehicle as quickly and athletically as possible. Once clear, she went around and opened the passenger’s side door. The creature didn’t move. She yelled at it; nothing. She made a jerking motion; still nothing. She closed both car doors and called Animal Control. When they finally arrived and removed it, the woman held the creature in one hand and handed D.A. a piece of paper. “This was attached to the Gila monster with a rubber band.” D.A. thanked her and opened the paper. It read: “Stay away from El Viejo!” She tracked down one of the names that she got at Hotel Congress. A woman named Shirley lived in a mobile-home park out by Old Tucson. D.A. decided to go through Gates Pass, marveling at the number of hikers and cyclists who were out on a triple-digit weekday. When she pulled into the park, she saw a man fixing a sign post. She stopped to ask for directions to Shirley’s place. He peered into the car and said, “I remember you! Good setter, but you telegraphed your dinks.” She was taken aback. “Well, why did they work so well?” “The other team must’ve felt sorry for you,” he laughed. “Yeah well, I saw you on the news. You’re Whip Stark.” He nodded and raised his eyebrows. “At least once.” He directed her to Shirley’s place. “Thanks for seeing me.” “Honey, at my age, I’m happy to see anybody. What can I do for you?” “I’m looking for information on the Lost Treasures.” Shirley cackled, “Oh, those things. My oldest brother was a part of that group. He died in the War. At his graduation, he let me touch the scorpion. It had this one jewel that was always cool to the touch. They called in the Piedra Fria, the Cool Rock. Even if you left it out in the sun, that one gem would stay cool. I don’t know how they did it.” “You don’t believe in magic?” “Dear, look where I’m living. Do you think I believe in magic?” Shirley remembered a younger guy she had dated “a million years ago” who had told her a story about the artifacts. She might ask him. D.A. approached her car warily. She unlocked the door and opened it slowly. Then she saw them, on the car’s hood. Three small scorpions, skittering around, trying to get out of the heat. “Okay, where’s the roadrunner?”




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just a few examples. Be sure to check out the butterfly pavilion and the chrysalis exhibit. And during the holidays, you won’t want to miss the luminaria celebration, where you might catch a glimpse of Santa or The Grinch.

2. Tohono Chul 3. Reid Park Rose Garden

Best Bike Riding The Loop

Best Dog Park

Brandi Fenton Memorial Park 3482 E. River Road

Brandi Fenton is a great place to take yourself, your friends, your kids, and—of course—your dogs. The off-leash park has double-entry gates, separate areas for small and large dogs, water bowls, a plastic bag holder and plenty of shade. As one reviewer on Bring Fido put it, “You’ll make friends, and so will your dog.” Bow wow how could you let yourself miss out?

2. Reid Park 3. Morris K. Udall Regional Park

Best Public Garden

Tucson Botanical Gardens 2150 N. Alvernon Way

Our local botanical gardens are the perfect place to go to be reminded of all the beauty the desert can hold. Spend an afternoon wandering through a wide variety of garden types: the cactus and succulent garden, the moonlight garden, the Zen garden, and the herb garden are

There’s no place like The Chuck Huckelberry Loop! With more than 130 miles of paved pathways that connect Tucson, South Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and unincorporated Pima County, you can travel all over the place. If you’re a biker for whom the journey is really the destination, you can be assured the journey will be pleasant too. Art installations and natural views keep the path beautiful, water fountains and restrooms come in handy for long trips, and the sheer variety of pathways will keep you from ever getting bored.

2. Mount Lemmon 3. Reid Park

Best Biking Group/ Community

Best Day Trip Mount Lemmon

Talk about having a rough year—Mount Lemmon saw the horrifying Bighorn Fire tear across 100,000 acres this summer. But the mountain is already recovering and a day trip to Mount Lemmon remains nothing short of magic. In just about an hour, you make your way up from saguaro city all the way to a beautiful forest full of conifers and quaint little log cabin stores. It’s always a treat to spend a day on one of the mountain’s many hiking trails, or to pick up some fudge in Summerhaven. But a drive up Mount Lemmon is one of those things that’s enjoyable in and of itself, even if you drive up and right back down.


What sets Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage (BICAS) apart is that this nonprofit isn’t just about getting together to ride bikes. The group offers programs about how to fix bicycles, and how to create unique art out of salvaged bicycle materials. Many of these programs are geared specifically toward youth. They believe bikes and other human-powered machines are an essential part of sustainable transportation, and hope to make them more accessible.

2. El Groupo 3. Tucson Women Shredders

2. Bisbee 3. Tombstone

Best Hike Seven Falls

Yes, there really are seven waterfalls on this hike! It feels like that’s all we really need to say, but we’ll add a few other details for garnish: This 8.2 mile hike is moderately easy, with only 917 feet in elevation gain and with flush toilets available at the beginning of the trail. There are some water crossings (not a big problem this year, with our measly monsoon), and all the saguaros, cholla and ocotillos you could ever hope to see.

2. Sabino Canyon 3. Tumamoc Hill

Best Backpacking Trail Arizona Trail

How lucky are we to live in a place where it’s hard to decide what the best local backpacking trail is? The 800-mile



We’re humbled.

It means the world that you think so highly of us. The feeling is mutual! We promise to keep doing the very best we can to share the wonderful gifts that nature have given us. Thank you! • • (520) 326-9686

Oct. 22, 2020

Oct. 22, 2020

Arizona trail links biomes ranging from deserts to forests to mountains across Mexico, Arizona and Utah. It’s divided into 43 individual passages, each with its own unique flavor and points of interest. It’s finally cooling down, so it’s the perfect time to explore this beautiful piece of nature in our own backyard.

Congratulations to this year’s


2. Sabino Canyon 3. Aravaipa Canyon


Best Campground Patagonia Lake State Park

There are a lot of beautiful places to camp in Arizona, but we think everyone can agree that any campground near a body of water, which can make a summer day vastly more bearable, automatically gets an extra 1,000,000 points of credit. That being said, Patagonia has a lot going for it, with nice, private campgrounds (including little islands you can reserve all to yourselves), boat rentals and gorgeous, panoramic views.

2. Madera Canyon 3. Catalina State Park

winners from

Best Park Reid Park

900 S. Randolph Way This 156.2-acre park has everything you could ever ask for from a park and more. A rose garden, horseshoe pits, ponds and public art! Baseball fields, a performance center, ramadas, picnic tables and grills! Playgrounds and a dog park! AN ENTIRE ZOO. If you’re looking for a pleasant place to spend an afternoon and do some exploring, a morning workout location, or the perfect picnic spot, Reid Park will deliver.

2. Agua Caliente 3. Brandi Fenton Memorial Park

Best Outdoor Recreation/ Sporting Goods Store Summit Hut

5251 E. Speedway Blvd. 7745 N. Oracle Road Summit Hut has the shiny, put-together quality of a larger outdoors store, with the cozy, friendly feel of a locally grown busi-

ness. Gear up to go camping, backpacking, climbing, biking, running, birding, traveling or even to the gym. Summit Hut is chock-full of the supplies, clothing and even food you need for your next adventure or workout. The helpful staff is always there to lend a hand, and, if you decline a plastic bag while checking out, you even get a chance to support a local nonprofit.

2. Miller’s Surplus 3. The Running Shop

Best Bike Shop Ajo Bikes

1301 E. Ajo Way The history of Ajo Bikes—which used to be located in the basement of the Loft Cinema, then in an old Circle K building, before finding its current location—is remarkably and completely Tucson-y. And they can tend to a wide array of bike needs, whether you want a repair, need to pick up a part or are just ready to buy a whole new bike. Their huge selection and friendly service don’t disappoint.

2. BICAS 3. Sabino Cycles

Best Golf Course Starr Pass

3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. Even if you’re not a golfer, you may be a fan of the gorgeous views available from Starr Pass. If you are, hopefully you already know about the three nine-hole courses at this resort, complete with a clubhouse and golf shop, a driving range and a clubhouse restaurant. They offer rentals and lessons as well! Whether you choose Roadrunner, Rattler or Coyote Course, you’re in for a beautiful time.

2. Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club 3. La Paloma Golf Course



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V: Artifact Backtrack

itting in the shade of a ramada at Brandi Fenton Park, D.A. watched the park employee approach, age and a bad hip making him do a really sad John Wayne. “Thanks for meeting me,” D.A. said. “Oh, it’s my pleasure. I don’t get to talk to too many people since my wife passed a few years ago. Now I just run this splash pad, but these days, an old man sitting around watching kids have fun sends up warning flags. I’m retiring soon and then it’ll just be me and my remote.” “What can you tell me about the Lost Treasures?” He chuckled. “I can pass along the myths and the tall tales. One of the stories might be true but I wouldn’t bet my flat-screen TV on it.” Leaning forward, she said, “I’d like to hear it.” “Well, first off, let me say that my Uncle Roy wasn’t a bad person, per se, but he wouldn’t have been valedictorian in a graduating class of one. “Anyway, he told his cousin, Leroy, about the statues and Leroy said they should steal them and take them to this guy he knew in Alamosa, Colorado. They could sell them and buy a couple nice horses. That’s about as far ahead as they planned.” The rest of the story went as follows: They grabbed the items and took off. The trip went badly from the start. The old truck broke down twice and the weather was surprisingly cold for late October. They made it through Santa Fe and were only about 50 miles from their destination. They were passing through a small town when they had a blowout. The truck went off the road and Leroy suffered a badly broken arm. They were lawbreakers on the run so they didn’t want to ask for help. They crossed the road to an old cemetery and decided to pull up one of the white wooden crosses to make a splint for Leroy’s arm. Roy didn’t want to desecrate the grave but Leroy was screaming in agony, so Roy yanked the cross out of the ground. As he did so, he looked up at the setting sun and saw three people up on a ridge, standing near one of those big box cameras on a tripod. Roy screamed, “They’re takin’ pictures of us! We gotta go!” They got the truck out of the ditch and headed back to Tucson. When they got back, he put the artifacts back and wanted nothing to do with them after that. “When that photo became famous, Uncle Roy freaked out.” D.A. gasped, “Do you mean ‘Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico’?!” “That’s the one. ’Til the day he died, he swore he could see himself and Leroy in that picture, down by the cemetery. He took me to that museum at the UA and showed me a couple smudges that he swears was them.” She laughed. “So Ansel Adams foiled a robbery and became a millionaire with one click of the camera.”

Oct. 22, 2020

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Oct. 22, 2020


Best Daycare The Sandbox

2701 N. Swan Road

Best Children’s Entertainer Mr. Nature

Mr. Nature is an instrument-toting, birthday-party-attending, folk-singing entertainer who is the perfect guest for birthday parties, park gatherings or other get-togethers with kids. Or at least he would be the perfect guest, if we weren’t for the damn bug that’s going around! But even if you can’t have Mr. Nature over, you can buy and stream his music, listen to him on Saturday mornings on Downtown Radio and tune in to his virtual music hour on Friday mornings. We can’t wait until coronavirus is over and we can spend time with him in person again.

2. Green Jellybean 3. Friends of Make Pretends (Zack Armstrong)

Best Fun for the Whole Family Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road While exhibits like the packrat playhouse and the Warden Oasis Theater are temporarily closed and animal shows and interpretive talks are on hold, the Desert Museum is still a place of wonder for kids and adults alike. Since attendance is limited, you have to make a reservation in advance, but as long as you wear a face mask, you and the kids are welcome back to the sprawling zoo that makes learning about the desert a hands-on, fun experience.

2. Reid Park Zoo 3. Golf N’ Stuff

Choosing the right daycare can be daunting. The Sandbox has been around since 1980, and they’ll keep your kids engaged with art and music, educational opportunities and plenty of outdoor activities. There are even field trip opportunities. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Sandbox also celebrates multiculturalism and the importance of play.

2. Tucson Jewish Community Center 3. Northwest YMCA

Best Kids’ Clothing Store Twice as Nice 4155 W. Ina Road

7333 E. Broadway Blvd. For nearly four decades, Twice as Nice has been buying those gently used kids clothes and flipping them at bargain prices. Really, why should you buy brandnew clothes for rugrats that are gonna outgrow them within a year—or maybe a month, if they hit a growth spurt? Not only will you find clothes and toys for the kids, but you might even find some outfits dad would look great in and jewelry that will complete your outfit if you ever get out of the house again.

2. Little Bird Nesting Company 3. Broadway Babies

Best Place for a Children’s Party Skate Country 7980 E. 22nd St.

What’s more fun for a kid than strapping on wheels and going for a spin? And a certain pint-sized source tells us they have “the best popcorn and really yummy lemonade.” Talk about a classic birthday party. Turn up the jams and have yourself a skate time!

2. Get Air 3. Pump It Up

Best Playground Reid Park

900 S. Randolph Way It’s no mystery why our readers love the recently renovated playground at Reid Park. When you get tired of rolling down slides or climbing up the monkey bars, you can go feed the ducks in the lake, take a ride on a train, stop by a pool, visit the zoo or maybe even see a ballgame. What’s not to love?

2. Brandi Fenton Memorial Park 3. Himmel Park

Best Public Pool/ Splashpad Brandi Fenton Memorial Park 3482 E. River Road

This northside attraction is a perennial winner in the category—maybe because it’s got extraordinary flower buckets that pour down on kids and super-cool water cannons—but they may need to up their game, given that the City of Tucson is working on opening up a bunch of new splash pads around town. All we can say is: The more, the merrier!

2. Oro Valley Aquatic Center 3. Marana Splashpad

Best Restaurant With a Kids Menu Little Anthony’s Diner 7010 E. Broadway Blvd.

Despite the pandemic, Little Anthony’s is still finding ways to bring the fun, with


limited seating in the classic diner along with carhop and carryout service and— Hollywood confidential—evening shows featuring tributes to the likes of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. The kids menu hits all the major food groups, from chicken nuggets to hot dogs to burgers to mac and cheese. Plus, adults can enjoy the usual diner standbys—blue plate specials like meatloaf and chicken-fried steak along with sandwiches, burgers and salads, alongside shakes, malts and other decadent desserts.

2. Rollie’s Mexican Patio 3. Zinburger


Best Story Time

Drag Queen Story Hour Remember being a kid? Everyone loves dressing up, gender roles aren’t so rigidly defined and imagination reigns supreme? When you think about that, then, really, who better to lead story hours in libraries, schools and bookstores than a group of drag queens? By providing kids glamorous and positive queer role models who are unabashedly themselves, these queens do so much more than just read kids fictional stories.

Best Toy Store Mildred & Dildred 2905 E. Skyline Drive

Mildred & Dildred humbly bills itself “a rather excellent toy store” and they won’t get any argument from us. They have all the stuff kids love—stuffed animals, dolls, costumes, books and a dizzying array of gizmos. If you time your visit right, you can even catch a storytime session. And they’re usually on hand at the Loft Cinema’s Kids Fest to keep the little ones busy with crafts and balloons before the show starts. To keep things safe during the pandemic, they are mailing orders and offering free delivery in a limited area. We know where we’re doing our holiday shopping this year.

2. Heroes and Villains 3. Retro Toys and More

2. Mildred & Dildred 3. Musical Storytime with the Desert Museum

Best Summer Camp

Triangle Y Ranch Camp The Triangle Y Ranch Camp really is the quintessential summer camp: obstacle courses, hiking, swimming, singing camp songs and making s’mores are really what it’s all about. They host about 1,000 camp-

Oct. 22, 2020

ers every season who spend their days learning about nature, making new friends and learning how to express themselves. They say it’s better to spend your money on experiences than on physical items, and this is one of those experiences that’s truly priceless for kids.

2. Reid Park Zoo 3. Humane Society of Southern Arizona

Best Way to Entertain Kids During the Summer Children’s Museum Tucson 200 S. Sixth Ave.

11015 N. Oracle Road When we think of the places the ’rona has taken from us, the Tucson Children’s Museum is at the top of the list. When you’ve got a few hours to kill with the kids, there are few places that are more fun than the downtown branch, where kids can shop for groceries, put on a play, practice their crafts, blast (soft) balls across a room, roll down a slide and generally just keep their little hands busy. We love this place so much that we may just take advantage of their private-party option if they don’t reopen soon!

2. Swimming/Splash Pad 3. Golf N Stuff


Oct. 22, 2020



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weather and sports with a maximum of content and a minimum of chatty talk.

2. KOLD Tucson News Now 13 3. KVOA News 4 Tucson

Best Radio Station for News KUAZ/NPR/AZPM (89.1 FM)

Best TV Newscast

KGUN 9 On Your Side All three local networks do a decent job of providing a mix of local and national news. (Although, occasionally, all three are guilty of starting off their nightly newscasts with a story that leaves the viewer screaming at the screen, “How is THAT news?”) KGUN sticks close to the successful formula of providing news,

Remember when radio stations used to provide news? Heck, there was a station here in town that called itself Newsradio. Those days are mostly long gone. Former news stations now just spout right-wing talk-radio propaganda, pausing only at the top and bottom of the hour to bring listeners sorta’-news from the biggest purveyor on right-wing propaganda in America. KUAZ brings the informed listener NPR and the BBC. Y’know, all things considered, that’s a blessing.

2. KIIM (99.5 FM) 3. KRQ (93.7 FM)



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Oct. 22, 2020

Best Local Twitter Feed

Best Radio Station for Music

What makes What’s Up Tucson stand above the rest is their understanding of their platform. What’s Up Tucson wins as the best local Twitter feed thanks to their up-to-the-minute coverage of everything from traffic info to police reports to humorous sights around town. It’s a great destination for keeping your finger to the Pueblo’s pulse.

220 S. Fourth Ave.


2. @tucsonfoodie 3. @tmztucson

KXCI (91.3 FM)

With DJs like Jim Blackwood, Cathy Rivers and Bridgitte Thum, it’s easy to see why KXCI has won over the heart and ears of the city, and why they’ve consistently landed first in Best of Tucson. Not every city can boast a truly community radio station, but that’s only the beginning of what makes KXCI so great. Whether you’re interested in pump-up jams or soothing tracks, live or studio, KXCI has you covered and then some.

2.KRQ (93.7 FM) 3. KLPX (96.1 FM)

Best Blog

Tucson Foodie Tucson Foodie cuts right to the chase for what’s important and interesting around town: the cuisine. But thankfully, they’re more than a list of restaurants. Tucson Foodie offers interviews with local chefs, features a calendar of local food events, and even covers daily news. What better way to understand a city like Tucson?

2.This Is Tucson 3. The Classy Alcoholic

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Local Weatherperson Lisa Villegas (KOLD)

Remember the Bon Jovi line, “Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye?” It is the nature of local news in a mid-size market like Tucson to view a stint in the Old Pueblo as a stepping stone to bigger (markets) and better (pay). Most are looking to move onward and upward. In her three years at KOLD, Villegas built a loyal following. Shortly after the BOT voting closed, Villegas got her shot and moved on to Seattle, a place that’s greener both in landscape and remuneration.

2. April Madison (KGUN9) 3. Matt Brode (KVOA)

Best Radio Host Hannah Levin (91.3 KXCI)

For more than five years, Hannah Levin has helped Tucson finish out their work day as the host of “The Home Stretch,” a radio show where you can hear a wide range of contemporary and classic music, as well as live performances and interviews. If it’s not her skill and experience in the DJ biz, it’s her passion for radio and Tucson that won over voters.

2. Ken Carr (101.7 KDRI) 3. Frank Brinsley (96.1 KLPX)

Best Bookstore

Bookmans Entertainment Exchange Multiple locations

A crazy idea—a store that cycles through used books, music, magazines, and videos—quickly caught on and then became a Tucson institution. Bookmans has it all and does it all. It hosts gatherings, provides an opportunity to clean out that closet/garage/bookshelf, and gives the avid reader the chance to go back and read the earlier novels of that hot writer they just discovered.

2. Antigone Books 3. Mostly Books


Best Comic Store Heroes and Villains

Best Local Sportscaster

4533 E. Broadway Blvd.

Paul Cicala (KVOA)

Between distribution hassles and the pandemic, it’s been a rough year for comic-book stores and we’ve lost a few in town. But just a Captain America never gives up, neither does the crew at Heroes and Villains. New comics, back issues, trade paperbacks, action figures and other collectables—these guys have it all.


2. Fantasy Comics 3. R-Galaxy


Best Instagram Visit Tucson

Whether it’s a gorgeous sunset, outdoor opportunities or even breaking news, Visit Tucson has proven itself a must for anyone interested in the view around town. More than 50,000 followers can’t be wrong: Visit Tucson is the showcase for Southern Arizona.

2. Damien Alameda (KOLD) 3. Brian Jeffries (UA Athletics)

2. Tucson Foodie 3. Brunch Babes

Best Video Games Store Zia Records

3370 E. Speedway Blvd. With most video games being bought online these days and the national video games chain stores closing down, Zia has managed to carve out a niche and a very loyal clientele. Zia takes care of its customers and holds special events to keep people coming back for the latest releases. But remember, as always, I’ma’ Luigi, Number One!

2. Heroes and Villains 3. Tucson Games and Gadgets

Best Local TV News Anchor

Dan Marries (KOLD) Calm and cool, straightforward and informative, professional and likeable. That’s pretty much the description for a news anchor straight out of the manual. Dan Marries joins with Brook Wagner to form a solid local news team. Marries puts in the time in the community, adding to his stature and trustworthiness.

2. Valerie Cavazos (KGUN9) 3. Priscilla Casper (KVOA)

Best Video Store Casa Video

2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Well, it looks like it’s gonna be a while before we’re back in crowded movie theaters, so home cinema is the way to go. And sure, streaming is an option, but there are plenty of movies that aren’t available on the various platforms. That’s why Casa Video remains a great option. And while they are open and you are welcome to browse, they’ve adapted to the pandemic by offering to bring your movies right out to the car if you pick them out online and you can keep your rentals for two weeks. Plus, as the specials—two-for-one nights, free family rentals, etc.—are still available. And they’re still filling growlers with locally brewed beer. What’s not to love?

2. Zia Records 3. People’s Choice Video



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VI: Answers with a Side of Salsa

hen she got home, she parked in the driveway, figuring she’d just change clothes and head back out. As she approached the front door, she saw a note taped to it. She grabbed the note. “Stay away from El Viejo!” She flipped the paper over and saw that it had been written on the back of a torn restaurant receipt. She recognized the part of the logo that remained. The original Guadalajara Grill on Prince is one of the most ridiculousl ridiculously popular restaurants in Tucson history. It’s run by Señora Vega, a bundle of energy who apparently had never met a person who didn’t love her. She had figured out how to squeeze 48 hours into each day and sometimes appeared to be in her original restaurant and the equally ridiculously popular one on North Oracle at the same time. D.A. and her teammates used to have team meals at the original restaurant. Señora Vega was coming out of the kitchen when D.A. walked in. They hugged. “Ay, Mijita, where have you been?” “I’ve been working. I know you’re busy, but I was wondering if you know somebody called El Viejo.” “That applies to every guy who has asked me out on a date in the past two years.” “Señora…” “I know a man who used to own one of those restaurants in South Tucson. You know the kind—great food but you can’t trust the furniture. But he retired quite a while ago. He was old 20 years ago. I mean, just imagine the oldest person you’ve ever met and then imagine that you’re talking to that guy’s father. You should ask Bennie, my bartender. He used to work on the South side. Maybe he’ll know something.” D.A. took a seat at the bar. When Bennie approached, D.A. said, “Diet soda, please.” “You sure you don’t want to try one of my specialties?” Out of curiosity, she said, “Which are?” “Death By Snakebite, Heat Exhaustion, and the Martha McSally?” “Martha McSally?! What’s in that?” “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to make one. Everybody prefers Death By Snakebite and Heat Exhaustion.” “Do you know a guy named El Viejo?” “Of course. El Viejo is a legend. I think we’re related but we’re separated by generations and cousins and uncles and stuff. He hangs out at a dive bar near Downtown.” “As opposed to a dive bar in the Foothills?” “Yeah, huh? Why do you want to talk to him?” “Because somebody keeps trying to get me not to talk to him?” “By ‘somebody,’ do you mean a short guy with dyed-blond hair?” “He’s the one.” He closed his eyes and shook his head. “That’s my idiot cousin. Gimme your number. I’ll ask El Viejo if he wants to talk to you, then I’ll get back to you.” She thanked him, left a hefty tip and an un-drunk soda, and then left. She didn’t drink alcohol, but if she did, she would just have to try that Martha McSally.


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Oct. 22, 2020

Casual Dining



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

Best Curbside Pickup Baggin’s

Multiple locations Curbside pickup has certainly become a bigger part of our lives in 2020 than most of us were expecting, eh? There’s something particularly satisfying about picking up a nice, hearty sandwich from Baggin’s (with one of those delicious little cookies on the side) for lunch or dinner. They’re even doing bag lunch bundles, if you want to make five hungry people VERY happy. Then you can strut around braggin’ about your Baggin’s.

2. Seis 3. Tito and Pep

Best Delivery Tap & Bottle

Multiple locations You know what else has become a bigger part of so many of our lives this year? Alcohol delivery. So thank goodness for Tap & Bottle, which delivers a huge variety of craft beers, sake, mead, hard cider, wine and even non-alcoholic beverages. You just gotta be within seven miles of the location you’re ordering from (there are two), and bing, bang, boom, beer!

2. Fresco Pizza 3. Borderlands Brewing

Every city needs a pizzeria where you can stop and sloppily gobble down a slice toward the end of a long night out downtown. Brooklyn serves this role, yes, but their quality ingredients and attention to detail make them more than just a latenight drunk spot. In fact, their variety of subs, calzones, hot wings and gelato make them a fantastic place to eat any time of day. Don’t think twice—just go get a slice.

2. Empire 3. Time Market

Best Delicatessen

Best Caterer

Dickman’s Meat & Deli

El Molinito

6472 N. Oracle Road

Multiple locations

7955 E. Broadway

Mexican food is usually a great option for big catered events (ah, remember big events?): Who doesn’t like beans, cheese, meat and tortillas? You’ll never go wrong with El Molinito, with an array of suggested combination plates (including a vegetarian special!) or the option to customize your catering order, they have no shortage of options. And you’ll have no shortage of happy guests chowing down at your next event.

Dickman’s is the place to go when you want high-quality beef, chicken, pork and fish—and that’s just getting started with the selection in their freezers. You want venison for your stew? Check. Alligator for your gumbo? Check. Squirrel for your— well, we don’t really want to know what you’re gonna do with the squirrel, but you can probably get it at Dickman’s, along with almost any other meat you might be looking for. And while you’re there, get yourself a deli sandwich.

2. Baggin’s 3. Feast

Best Diner Baja Cafe

Multiple locations If you’ve been to Baja Cafe, your stomach is probably rumbling in anticipation right now just thinking about it. If you’re a savory breakfast person, you can’t go wrong with the Baja Breakfast, the King Kong or one of their many varieties of eggs benedict. Got a sweet tooth?

2. Roma Imports 3. 4th Ave. Deli Try their snickerdoodle pancakes, the Pineapple Express or the Two-Pan Sam Lemon Blueberry Pancakes. It’s just so yummy, words are not enough. If you haven’t gone, go, for Pete’s sake.

2. Bisbee Breakfast Club 3. Little Anthony’s Diner

Best Specialty Food Store AJ’s Fine Foods 2805 E. Skyline Drive

If you’re already the type of person who enjoys grocery shopping, you’ll have a field day at AJ’s, which has a huge selection of everything from produce to meats and all the aisles in between. Check out the huge selection of international wines, the bakery or the entire bar dedicated to olives and antipasto! It’s also a lovely place to stop for lunch or a treat even if you’re not grocery shopping. Practically a theme-park for food lovers, it’s also up in La Encantada, near some stunning views of the Santa Catalinas.

2. Roma Imports 3. Lee Lee International Supermarket


Best Desserts

Monsoon Chocolate 234 E. 22nd St.

Do you ever see a piece of food that is so beautiful, so intricately crafted, so painstakingly and lovingly put together that you almost don’t feel like you can eat it? You might feel that way about Monsoon Chocolate’s handcrafted bon bons for about two minutes, before you give in and start devouring. With flavors like mezcal caramel, Exo coffee truffle, vegan masala chai and grapefruit fennel pollen, resistance is futile: how can you


not want to tuck in?

2. Beyond Bread 3. Village Bakehouse

Best Ice Cream The Screamery Multiple locations

At The Screamery, all the ice cream is made from scratch right here in the Old Pueblo. In fact, they’re Arizona’s first ice

Oct. 22, 2020

cream pasteurizers. Try the ice cream nachos or hearty banana split if you’re feeling extra hungry. If you can’t decide between chocolate, cookie dough, bacon and bourbon, pumpkin spice, orange screamsicle and lavender honey, get a flight so you can sample six different flavors.

2. HUB Ice Cream Factory 3. Frost Gelato

Best Fresh-Baked Bread Barrio Bread

18 S. Eastbourne Ave. 2020 turned out to be the year where a whole bunch of us learned how to make our own bread. But even if you have, there are some things that the artisan bakers over at Barrio can do that are difficult to replicate at home. Owner Don Guerra named the biz after the Spanish word for “neighborhood” because his first homemade loaves of bread went to some very lucky neighbors. So what’ll it be? A classic baguette? Apricot-cranberry? Pain au Levain? They’ve got all this and plenty more!

2. La Baguette 3. Time Market

Best Hot Dog El Güero Canelo Multiple locations

You wanna start a fight in Tucson? That Trump-Biden stuff is just Chump Town. The real action comes when you start talking hot dogs—Sonoran style or hot chili (enchiloso, not temperature). For what seems like forever, Pat’s Chili Dogs on Grande, with their burn-your-mouth chili dog and the real-potato fries, ruled the Old Pueblo. But then came the Sonoran-style hot dog, a truly insidious creation that features a frank wrapped in…mmm, bacon! El Güero Canelo started on the South side, but has now expanded to three locations. All three are built around the featured item, the Sonoran-style hot dog with the aforementioned bacon, beans, grilled and fresh onion, tomato, mustard, mayo and jalapeño sauce. But there are so many more delights on the menu. Burros, tortas, tacos, quesadillas… However, none of those come with bacon, so we’re back to the star of the show.

2. BK Carne Asada and Hot Dogs 3. Pat’s Chili Dogs

Best Bagel

The Bagel Joint 7315 N. Oracle Road

Around this time of year, we start hearing the myth that will not die about how a turkey can drown during a rainstorm by looking up in the air and having rainwater go into their tilted nostrils. It’s definitely a myth and fortunately, the same applies to humans. That’s a good thing because, for decades, the mere mention of bagels in Tucson caused the noses of transplanted Easterners to tilt skyward while uttering something

along the lines of “The only place you can get a REAL bagel is in New York City.” Apparently, that’s also a myth because the people behind this year’s BOT winner of Best Bagel hail from Boston! They feature a wide variety of bagel flavors and for 10 bucks, you get the Boston Dozen—12 bagels plus two free. Their cream cheeses include honey walnut raisin, smoked salmon, and garden vegetable, but then there is the welcome nod to the American Southwest—the El Diablo, which includes a mix of jalapeño, hot cherry pepper and sriracha. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Their breakfast sandwiches come with a choice of ham, bacon, sausage or chorizo. And their gift from Beantown to Refried Beantown is a choice of cheeses that includes Pepper Jack, Swiss, American, Provolone, and, ahem, Cheddah!

2. The B-Line 3. Bernie’s Bagels

Best Barbecue BrushFire BBQ Co. 2745 N. Campbell Ave. 7080 E. 22nd St. Sure, we all have plenty of time to slowcook our own barbecue now, but it’s probably not going to be nearly as good as the succulent ribs, smokey brisket or juicy


Oct. 22, 2020

chicken we’ll find at BrushFire BBQ Co. One really good thing about barbecue: It’s really good to-go. Brushfire offers curbside pickup as well as delivery through the usual services.

2. Holy Smokin’ Butts 3. Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

Best Burger Zinburger

6390 E. Grant Road Zinburger’s whole menu is mouthwatering (try the double truffle fries or the salted caramel shake). But let’s talk about the main event: the Zinburger itself. While they’ve got a solid selection of burger choices, you can’t go wrong with the combination of manchego cheese, zinfandel braised onion, lettuce, mayo and certified angus beef. We’ve heard of a win-win situation, but we’d call this a win-Zin.

2. Lindy’s on 4th 3. Diablo Burger

Best Veggie Burger

Graze Premium Burgers 2721 E. Speedway Blvd. 5635 E. Broadway Blvd. Our staff vegetarians can attest: It is a beautiful period in history to be a vegetarian. Most places have veggie-friendly options, but not everywhere has options

as delicious as Graze. The smoky vegan patty is crafted out of Arizona tepary beans and other superfoods, then topped with lettuce, red onion, cucumber and their special sauce. And it all goes atop a yummy brioche bun. It’s one of those meals that you’ll still be thinking about days later, wondering how early is too early to go back.

2. Zinburger 3. Beaut Burger

Best Place to Get a Sandwich Beyond Bread Multiple locations

If you’re a Tucson native who grew up with Beyond Bread as a part of your life, then you might not even realize how special it is. The quality ingredients, the incredible flavors and the sheer amount of options mean that Tucsonans have, in our opinion, one of the best places to get a sandwich anywhere. Have you tried the Kalid’s Kurry? What about Colette’s Cordon Bleu? The Maya’s Market? Charlie’s Chicken? Beyond Bread has something truly delicious for everyone.

2. Bison Witches 3. Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Best Pizzeria

Rocco’s Little Chicago 2707 E. Broadway Blvd.

If you’ve ever had Chicago-style pizza, whether the classic thin, deep dish or stuffed, you know it can be almost a transcendent experience. When done right, the combination of insane amounts of cheese, mouthwatering sauce and the toppings of your choice will have you feeling physically full and spiritually fulfilled. And oh boy, does Rocco’s do it right. They’ve got plenty of sides, dessert and appetizer options, plus to-go packages. They even have gluten-free pizza!

2. Brooklyn Pizza Company 3. Empire Pizza & Pub

Best Wings

Wings Over Broadway 8838 E. Broadway Blvd. 5004 E. Broadway Blvd. For more than two decades, Wings Over Broadway has been frying up wings, so they have definitely passed the 10,000hour rule and can consider themselves experts. The wings come in your choice


of more than a dozen sauces, whether you want ’em habanero spicy, sweet BBQ or the ol’ red-hot standby. These wings sing.

2. Rocco’s Little Chicago 3. ATL Wings

Best Smoothies/ Juice Bar Goodness Fresh Food and Juice Bar 2502 N. Campbell Ave.

“Goodness” really is a perfect name for such a lovely little spot. While they’ve got a stellar menu all around, the smoothies are definitely one of the stars. This is the kind of place that can make a smoothie with egg white protein and chia seeds taste amazing. Their juices are also labeled by what they can help with: Try the “Healing Vibes” juice for an energy boost and softer skin, for example, or the “Green Bully” to support healthy joints and vision.


2. Urban Fresh 3. Nekter

Best Food Truck Pops Hot Chicken

Spicy chicken is perhaps one of life’s simplest pleasures. At Pop’s, they really take it to the next level. Choose your spice level, from no spice to x-hot, and pick out a sandwich, which comes with a pickle and avocado slaw. They’ve got delicious side and drink options if you’re looking to further complement this truly transcendent sandwich.

2. Geronimo’s Revenge 3. You Sly Dog

Best Coffee Coffee Times

3401 E. Speedway Blvd. Ah, there’s nothing like pulling off Speedway to treat yourself to the Coffee

n Best i n Tucso 3 201 Since


Times drive through. Their daily specials, cheerful baristas, broad selection and speedy service are just a few of the features that have made this small but mighty building a Tucson staple for more than 20 years. Treat yourself to the Coffee Time(s) of your life next time you’re on your way down Tucson’s main drag.

2. Exo Roast Co. 3. Savaya

Oct. 22, 2020

you see a sign for on the side of the road when you’re on a family road trip: “World’s Wackiest Donuts!” Except instead of being 33 miles out of the way and disappointing, it’s right here in town and it’s as wonderful as it sounds.

2. Cartel Coffee 3. Black Crown Coffee Co.

2. Donut Wheel 3. La Estrella Bakery

The Scented Leaf

Best Donuts

Best Cafe Hangout

101 E. Fort Lowell Road

415 N. Fourth Ave.

Amy’s Donuts

As is tradition, in lieu of trying to use original words to describe what’s so great about the wonderfully zany Amy’s Donuts, we will list some of their donut options: Andes Mint, Chips Ahoy, Chocolate Coconut Yeast, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cotton Candy, Heart Attack, Maple Bacon Fudge, Peanut Butter Oreo and Bizmallow Caramel. They also have more traditional options, like glazed donuts and apple fritters. Amy’s feels like the kind of place

Now O Takeo ffering Din eu Come t, and Deli In, very! on in we ar and see wh e the y best!

Wings • Burgers • Drinks 8838 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710 520-207-5883

Cafe Passe

It’s easy to spend hours at Cafe Passe, chatting with friends, getting work done on your laptop, or reading a good book. Their patio—covered in vines, well-shaded and home to a fantastic community bulletin board—is so pleasant that it’s not uncommon to see plenty of people there even in the ungodly hot summer months. They’ve got a fantastic selection of food and drinks, with plenty of healthy options so you can sip or munch away as the hours go by.

Best Tea

Multiple locations

If you’re a tea lover, you’ll love that Scented Leaf has more than 60 different types of tea! If you like to try unique flavor combos, you might like the honey vanilla nectar, the green tea mango, or the blueberry bliss. If you like to stick strictly to the classics, like earl grey, chamomile or yerba mate, they’ve got you covered as well. One of the most fun things about Scented Leaf—besides the solid atmosphere and friendly tea-ristas, are the variety of iced teas they have on tap. Grab a cup, or buy some leaves to make tea at home. Tea you there!

2. Seven Cups 3. Baggin’s


Oct. 22, 2020

Best Drive Thru eegee’s

Multiple locations You wanna talk about Tucson treasures? Look no farther than our very own fast food chain, which no one else seems to have or understand. How lucky are we to know the joy of being able to pull up into a drive through and order a meatball sub, some crinkle-cut fries, and—of course—a refreshing eegee? Truly a perfect pick-meup.

2. BK Tacos 3. Nico’s Mexican Food

Best Family Dining Little Anthony’s

7010 E. Broadway Blvd. There’s nothing like the vibes inside a classic ’50s diner to make you feel like one big happy family. With a huge variety of food for the grownups, plenty of options to satisfy picky kids and classic milkshakes and banana splits for all ages to enjoy, you’ll leave with a full belly and a full heart. Bonus fun if you go on a weekend where they’re holding one of their classic car shows and check out some of the coolest rides in town.

2. American Eat Co. 3. Rollie’s Mexican Patio

Best Sandwich (the actual sandwich)

Unforgettable (Baggin’s) It’s amazing how many killer sandwiches are available to Tucsonans. The national chains (Firehouse, Subway, Jersey Mike’s, et al) actually have some pretty decent fare (although Ireland doesn’t believe that Subway’s bread is actually bread). But there are so many truly amazing offerings from Tucson home-grown sandwich shops. Baggin’s offers everything from a Ham and Cheese Croissant


to the Chicken Cheesesteak to the Southwestern Tuna. But the fan favorite is the Unforgettable, a breast of turkey with avocado, bacon, mayo, tomato, sprouts and cream cheese, all served on 12-grain bread.

Best Eggs Benedict

2. Grinder (eegee’s) 3. Bart’s Bag (Beyond Bread)

Baja Café wins this one by the dizzying list of variations on eggs benny: Not only the classic version with seared ham and two poached eggs atop English muffins and slathered with hollandaise sauce, but options like the coyote (English muffin topped with Hatch green chilies, three slices of jalapeño bacon, two poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise), the Wyatt Earp (tamale pie topped with seared

Best Place to Get a Salad Choice Greens

2829 E. Speedway Blvd.

Baja Cafe

Multiple locations

pulled pork, two strips of chipotle bacon, fire-roasted green chilies, onion, tomato, melted cheese, two poached eggs with avocado hollandaise, pico de gallo and cotija) and the black widow (English muffins topped with herbed cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, braised spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, two poached eggs and basil pesto hollandaise). They even have one with mac ’n’ cheese!

2. Prep & Pastry 3. Blue Willow

Sometimes, taking yourself to a nice meal out means eating too much food you know isn’t good for you, and feeling bad about yourself the second the meal is over. Not so at Choice Greens, where you can carefully craft salads that can be described as nothing less than kick-ass. You can put everything from mango to jicama to couscous to salmon on your salad! They’ve got yummy paninis and soups as well. It’s the kind of place that will make you say, “Why don’t I start making more salads at home?” (They won’t be the same, but it’s an inspiring thought to have nonetheless.)

2. Beyond Bread 3. Bison Witches

Best French Fries Serial Grillers Multiple locations

There are a lot of different types of fries in this world, and some people have strong opinions about the best type — crinkle cut, steak, shoestring? But true fry fans can all come together in support of a delicious fry when they taste one. The perfectly crisp, impeccably seasoned french fries are like a beautiful orchestra for your taste buds. And that is exactly what you will find at Serial Grillers.

2. eegee’s 3. Graze

Best eegee’s Flavor Watermelon

At the Tucson Weekly, we stand behind the founding principles of the eegee’s frozen drink: It should be flavorful, it should be colorful, and it should above all be refreshing. With the integrity of Tucson’s most iconic drink in the balance, the outcome of this voting category could have changed life as we know it forever (more than it already has been this year, we mean). So thank goodness Tucsonans came together in support of watermelon, the objectively best eegee’s flavor.

2. Orange Dream 3. Pina Colada



Best Signature Dish Carne Seca at El Charro


duck confit while sipping on a mimosa du jour to help drown out the previous evening’s festivities. If breakfast isn’t your thing, their Commoner’s Burger is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of connoisseurs.

Multiple locations El Charro’s sun-dried carne seca has become a thing of legend. This stringy dry beef combines perfectly with El Charro’s red salsa to produce one of Southern Arizona’s finest plates. Whether you enjoy it in a burro, a taco or with that lavish platter with beans, rice, guacamole, salad or more, you won’t forget it. Carne seca? We’ll take ya!

2. El Plato at Cafe Poca Cosa 3. Huevos Rancheros at 5 Points

2. Baja Cafe 3. Blue Willow

Best Chinese Best Breakfast

Golden Dragon

Multiple locations

There is definitely something to be said for longevity in the restaurant business, and the fact that the Golden Dragon has been serving Tucsonans fine-dining Chinese cuisine for 30 years speaks volumes. The secret to their success is simple. They offer a varied menu with dishes featuring beef, duck, pork, seafood and vegetables, and they somehow manage to be informal and upscale at the same time. There was that joke at the beginning of Annie Hall where two women were eating at a diner. One woman said, “The food here is not very good” and the other added, “Yes, and such small portions.” They absolutely were not talking about Golden Dragon, a consistent Best of Tucson winner over the years.

Bisbee Breakfast Club The Bisbee Breakfast Club, with an ever-growing stable of locations across town, delivers your standard delicious diner breakfast: eggs and bacon, omelettes, pancakes, waffles and the like, all done with style and a unique touch. This is just how you want to start your day.

2. Baja Cafe 3. Prep & Pastry

Best Brunch Prep & Pastry

6450 E. Grant Road 2660 N. Campbell Road When it comes to weekend brunch, Prep & Pastry can’t be beat. Enjoy their classic French toast and pork belly or cast-iron

ZEMAMS Ethiopian Restaurants

Oct. 22, 2020

6433 N. Oracle Road

2. Bamboo Terrace 3. Guilin Chinese Restaurant

Celebrating 27 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


Thank You for Supporting Local Restaurants

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


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


Oct. 22, 2020

Best Greek

Opa! Greek Cuisine at American Eat Co. 1439 S. Fourth Ave.

Opa continues to serve some of the best gyros, salads and all around great Mediterranean fare you can find in Tucson. Using authentic Greek recipes, coupled with locally sourced ingredients set this eatery apart for the pack. Make sure to try their gyro or spicy chicken souvlaki next time you’re at American Eat Co. on Tucson’s southside. Oh yeah, their spanakopita is so delicious you’ll think Zeus himself came down from Mt. Olympus to bake it.

2. Pappoule’s 3. Fronimo’s Greek Cafe

Best French

Ghini’s French Caffe 1803 E. Prince Road

If you ever wanted to sample the cuisine of Southern France but only got a few francs in your pocket, Chef Ghini has got you covered. Whether it’s eggs provencale, strawberry crepes, chicken basil and cream pasta or Croque Monsieur (my personal favorite), it’s hard not to find a dish you’ll absolutely love. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ghini’s French Caffe is sure to please your palette.

2. Wild Garlic Grill 3. Le Rendez-vous

Best Indian Saffron

7607 N. Oracle Road They say that Saffron is the world’s most legendary spice—and our readers say Saffron is Tucson’s most legendary Indian restaurant. You’ll find delicious samosas, paneers, masalas, biryani and all the rest, all prepared with care and style. It’s no naansense: Saffron is right-on!

2. Sher-E-Punjab 3. India Oven

Best Italian Caruso’s Italian Restaurant

2310 N. Country Club Road

The Weekly once ran an article about how the Tucson school system was segregated back in the 1940s. One of the people interviewed for the story told of how he had attended the all-Black Dunbar school before moving on to the sorta-integrated Tucson High. After his graduation, the Korean War broke out and he got drafted. On his last night in Tucson before shipping out, he took his girlfriend out to dinner at Caruso’s. Looking back after 50 years, he remembered what both of them had had for dinner. That’s special. In just 12 years from now, Caruso’s will be celebrating a century of serving Tucsonans fine Italian fare! To call it an institution is to damn it with faint praise. It’s legendary. It’s spectacular. It’s Caruso’s.

People absolutely rave about Za’atar. It’s one of those places where you don’t even want to start eating right away; you want to just sit for a while and smell stuff. There are the pita and flatbreads that are baked in a brick oven that owner Ari Baban built by hand. There is the hummus used in the appetizers and the chicken shish-kebab. The word za’atar actually means thyme, but it’s more generally used to mean a blend of spices used in Middle Eastern cooking. They also offer an array of sandwiches, which are your choice of falafel, shawarmas and gyros. Some people go there for the Arabic coffee, which is to regular coffee what Lady Gaga is to understated fashion. A Tucson delight.

2. Mama Louisa’s 3. Tavolino


2741 N. Campbell Ave.

520.624.5765 Tues-Sun: 4pm-8pm Fri-Sat: 11:30am-9pm Sun: 11:30am-8pm 434 N 4th Ave.


434 N. Fourth Ave.

Best Japanese

Homemade Taste of Italy on Historic 4th Avenue

Best Middle Eastern


Stepping into Yoshimatsu really is like being transported into another world full of adorable kitty keepsakes, toy robots and absolutely delicious Japanese food. Whether you’re looking for sushi, a ramen bowl or a teriyaki chicken bento box, Yoshimatsu delivers. And they’re even carrying cute handmade Japanese fashion masks. Humble little Yoshimatsu has skipped back and forth across Campbell Avenue, but it’s never skipped far from our hearts.

2. Obon Sushi 3. Ikkyu

2. Zayna Mediterranean 3. Shish Kebab House

Best Contemporary/ Fusion Restaurant

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails 135 S. Sixth Ave.

Janos Wilder has shed a few layers of skin from his start in the Tucson Museum of Art’s lovely Carriage House to his stint in the Foothills to his glorious return to DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails. But through all these incarnations, his commitment to celebrating the food of the Sonoran desert has never wavered. That said, Janos remains endlessly inventive in bringing together flavors and techniques, so the menu is an ever-evolving adventure across the globe. And you can even learn how to do it yourself at his cooking classes in the glorious Carriage House across the alley from the restaurant’s home in the Oddfellows Hall. We can’t wait for him to reopen.

2. The Parish 3. Tito & Pep



Best Steakhouse Silver Saddle

310 E. Benson Hwy. Would Raul Grijalva lie to you? Well, he’s a career politician, so there’s always that chance. But if he happens to be raving about the Silver Saddle Steakhouse and Tapadera Lounge, he ain’t lyin’. They grill ribeye steaks over an open mesquite wood fire pit and then serve the meat on a sizzling cast-iron plate. The Silver Saddle has been family-owned since 1984 and is an absolute Tucson treasure.

2. Pinnacle Peak 3. Fleming’s

Best Sushi Sushi Garden

Multiple locations Currently open for takeout and delivery

only, Sushi Garden is best known for its all-you-can-eat sushi, both for lunch and dinner. The lunch buffet includes sushi rolls; beef, chicken, and seafood entrees; soup, rice, salad bar, and desserts. The evening sushi is handcrafted by skilled sushi chefs. Our favorite admonition on the website menu: Fill your belly, not your plate. Minimum charge of $5 for leftover rice or wasted food. Yeah tell ’em!

2. Yoshimatsu 3. Sushi on Oracle

Best Thai

Bangkok Café

2511 E. Speedway Blvd. Located near the University of Arizona, Bangkok Café is family-owned by May Morris, who was born and raised in a restaurant family in Thailand, and her husband, Bob, a native Tucsonan who lived in Thailand for several years and is smart enough to love his wife and her food. The chefs at the Bangkok Café are all from Thailand and everything is cooked to order. Among the favorites are

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

7002 E Broadway | 2970 N Campbell | 3930 W Ina 6am-2pm 7am-2pm 6:30am-2pm Thank You Tucson! We could not have done it without you! Thank you for all the nominations, well wishes and amazing support! We are honored to be here for you All Three Locations have been overwhelmed with Love, Kindness, & Patience -

YOU Tucson, deserve the Best WE have to Give!

Oct. 22, 2020

the Gai Satay, which is a bamboo skewer of Satay BBQ chicken with peanut sauce. It’s served with toast and sweet and sour cucumber. Another tantalizing choice is the Kaw Paw Saparod, fried rice with fresh pineapple, chicken, cashews, shrimp, green onions and raisins.

2. Senae Thai Bistro 3. Karuna’s

Best Vietnamese Miss Saigon

Multiple locations No. 66 on the Miss Saigon menu is Chicken Veggie Delight, but really, that’s a bit redundant. Whether you’re looking for fresh spring rolls, rich pho, vermicelli bowls, wok-tossed vegetables or any other Vietnamese fare, you can be assured it will be a delight. You don’t expand to four locations without doing something right! Don’t miss out on Miss Saigon.

2. Ha Long Bay

3. Pho Can Tho

Best Vegetarian/ Vegan Tumerico

2526 E. Sixth St. Featuring scratch-made local food, Tumerico brings a vegan approach to Mexican and Cuban dishes with astonishing results. One of the favorites is the Cuban dish Ropa Vieja (which translates to “old clothes,” but tastes way better). It includes jackfruit carnitas with mushrooms and poblanos in a cilantro sauce. Other featured dishes include the Frida Kahlo Tostadas, with zucchini and mushrooms; the Chilorio Plate, with soy chorizo and vegan carnitas; and the Nopalitos Plate, with cactus and onions in a red sauce.

2. Lovin’ Spoonfuls 3. Urban Fresh


Oct. 22, 2020

Best Upscale Restaurant Vivace

6440 N. Campbell Ave. The view is spectacular from Vivace’s Foothills location, and so is the food. Daniel Scordato continues the tradition of the family name with elegant preparations of salads, pastas, and entrees such as grilled chicken with eggplant and mushroom, pork parmigiano, roasted shrimp with seafood stuffing and, of course, osso buco. It’s the perfect location for a special occasion.

Founded more than a quarter-century ago by refugee Amanuel Gegremariam, Zemam’s has long been Tucson’s go-to place for a mix of Ethiopian dishes such as Yedoro Alica (chicken cooked in a spicy berbere sauce) and Yekik Wat (yellow split peas mashed with onions, garlic and green peppers) atop that spongy injera bread. Unfortunately, the very communal nature of eating their meals means that they’ve temporarily shuttered their Speedway location and are offering just takeout from the Broadway location. We can’t wait to sit down in this place for a meal with friends again.

2. Cafe Desta 3. Queen Sheba

2. Cafe Poca Cosa 3. Kingfisher

Best African Zemam’s

2731 E. Broadway Blvd. 119 E. Speedway Blvd.


than 40 years ago, but it happened. You have to wonder if that’s how Mateo Otero feels after being named the Best Chef in Tucson over Janos Wilder… AGAIN! But Otero has a rabid local fan following, including (we’re guessing) Wilder himself. He serves up a dizzying array of what he proudly calls Sonoran Chicano food, the kind his nana used to make and the kind that has been served and savored in Tucson for more than a century.

2. Janos Wilder 3. Travis Peters

Best Place to Eat Lunch Downtown

Best Chef Mateo Otero

One of our contributors once stole the ball from Basketball Hall of Fame member Paul Westphal. Sure, it was in a pickup game at some nondescript park in Orange County and it happened more

Street Taco

58 W. Congress St. This fast-casual joint knows how to make a taco: a fresh tortilla, grilled meats, plenty of fixin’s and a side of rice and beans. You’ll also find tortas, burros and Sonoran dogs. This ain’t a fancy downtown lunch with the suits, but it’s

sure a delicious and inexpensive one.

2. Bison Witches 3. The Little One

Best Downtown Restaurant Cafe Poca Cosa

110 E. Pennington St. In the latest bit of heartbreaking news brought to us by the coronavirus, Suzana Davila recently announced she wouldn’t be reopening Cafe Poca Cosa, the dazzling restaurant she opened in a tiny storefront way back in the 1980s. A native of Guaymas, Sonora, Davila is a passionate dynamo who built one of the most memorable restaurants this town has ever seen. Cafe Poca Cosa was known for its fancy cocktails, fresh food and family dining style, but the real stroke of genius was a menu that changed daily and was brought to the table on a chalkboard by the waitstaff, who would explain the virtues of each dish. Poca Cosa’s praises were

Traditional Jamaican Cuisine - Authentic - Family Owned

Special: 6 Wings for $1 w/ purchase of a meal

Thank you Tucson for Voting for Us!

It is our pleasure to serve you “The Spice of Life.”

Expires: 1/1/2021

Mon - Thurs: 11-8 Sat 11-9 Closed Sunday

Thank You!

Yo u wo n’t lo ve u s u nti l yo u t r y us! 520-861-2271 3156 E Ft Lowell

It is our pleasure to serve you

“The Spice of Life”

2511 E Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716 (520) 323-6 (520) 323-6555

2511 E Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716



Oct. 22, 2020

sung in the pages of the New York Times, Gourmet and Great Chefs of America, among many others. The restaurant will be missed by many.

Best Central Restaurant

Best Eastside Restaurant

Best Southside Restaurant

2. El Charro 3. Hub Restaurant and Creamery

2616 N. Campbell Ave.

Multiple locations

1813 S. Fourth Ave.

Set in a charming onetime bungalow right in the heart of Campbell Avenue, Blue Willow has been cooking up hearty fare for Tucsonans for more than four decades. Whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’re gonna find delicious diner comfort food with a Sonoran accent—fresh salads, delicious sandwiches, sweet pancakes and crepes, omelettes and entrees such as meatloaf, salmon cakes or poblano chicken. To safely serve during the pandemic, Blue Willow has set up a fast-casual window for ordering and the open-air patio remains a delightful garden to enjoy a meal. It’s hard to imagine Tucson without the Blue Willow.

These Serial Grillers have come a long way from the days of running a food truck! Not only do they have an eastside restaurant—they have branches in Vail, on the northside and in Marana. With a menu featuring sandwiches, pizzas and salads named for your favorite horror movies (A burger named Leatherface, a pizza named Red Dragon, a salad named Candyman), Serial Grillers is extra-fun around Halloween. And if opening four brick-andmortar restaurants in the last seven years isn’t enough, they’ve also opened Craft, a tasting room featuring a wide range of microbrews, and are launching a new barbecue joint. It’s the kind of success most people would sell their souls for.

South Fourth Avenue has been home to legendary Mexican restaurants, but none more so than Mi Nidito, the humble little nest that has hosted the likes of Julio Iglesias, William Shatner, Madeleine Albright, Kurt Russell and even President Bill Clinton (You can order the President’s Plate—featuring a bean tostada, birria taco, chile relleño, chicken enchilada and a beef tamale—but we’re not sure you can finish it.) While the pandemic means seating is limited (as if waiting for a table wasn’t bad enough!), Mi Nidito is also offering takeout to serve its longtime and loyal customers.

Best Northwest Restaurant The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Road Sometimes, you just have a craving for the taste of the Crescent City—some jambalaya, some gumbo, some andouille sausage and beer-battered catfish. When in the mood, there’s no better place to satisfy that hunger than The Parish, where you can wash it down with a glass of Abita. Let the good times roll!

Blue Willow

2. Wildflower 3. Charro Vida

2. Kingfisher 3. Tito & Pep

Serial Grillers

2. Saguaro Corners 3. Zona 78

Mi Nidito

2. Rollies Mexican Patio 3. Tacos APSON

THANK YOU, TUCSON! Thank You for Voting Us the Best! It’s all about food, serving the community by healing though food. Food is home. home. Food is family.

Coming so on to Oro Vall ey! Award-winning Regional Mexican Cuisine at Mercado San Agustin and Joesler Village. Offering a Savory Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Two locations 4th Ave Location 402 E 4thst. Corner of 4th Avenue & 4th Street 520 2702055

6th St location 2526 E. 6 St. 520-240-6947

Menu as well Full Bar & Happy Hour at our Joesler Village location.

Dine-in or Take-out available at both locations. Mercado San Agustin 130 S. Avenida Del Convento #a Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 622-2002 Joesler Village 1765 E. River Road #131 Tucson, AZ 85718 (520) 612-7630

Oct. 22, 2020


Best Foothills Restaurant

Best Place to Eat Gluten Free

2870 E. Skyline Drive

2526 E Sixth St.

Chef Steven Schultz has picked up lessons about food in Paris and California’s Carmel Valley, so it’s no surprise that Wild Garlic Grill’s menu brings you fresh fish, beef and chicken prepared with a French accent. You really can’t go wrong with a San Francisco Pier Soup, a grilled Cabrilla seabass with roasted corn salsa and an avocado tapenade, or braised lamb shank with Oregon wild mushroom burgundy wine sauce and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Dine in or take out, this is a meal you won’t soon forget.

Tumerico has proven themselves as a restaurant unwilling to sacrifice flavor for the sake of meeting dietary needs. Whether you’re cutting out gluten, or a strict vegan, Tumerico’s new-by-the-day dishes are sure to wow with their taste and their portions.

2. Vivace 3. North Italia Restaurant

Best Jamaican

Best Westside Restaurant

5305 E. Speedway Blvd.

Wild Garlic Grill

Seis Kitchen and Catering

130 S. Avenida Del Convento 1765 E. River Road There’s a reason our readers named Seis as one of their top choices in so many categories in this year’s Best of Tucson: They’re so damned good. Seis boasts styles from six regions in Mexico and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Whether you’re going with the puerco verde from Northern Mexico, the Yucatan’s poc chuc, Jalisco’s birria or any of the others, you’re gonna love it. We prefer the tacos on that hearty corn tortilla, but the salads and burros are spectacular, too. The salsa, beans, rice, calabacitas and other sides are on point, too. The breakfast burros will start your day off right and the cocktail menu will help you bring it to a close. Plus, the downtown location offers a delightful outdoor dining experience within the lovely confines of Mercado San Agustin.

2. Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe 3. Tanias 33



2. Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro 3. Baggin’s

CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen

Feeling adventurous? Wanting to try something new? Well, CeeDee Jamaican Kitchen has Curry Goat. Yeah, well now tell me how adventurous you are. If you’re suddenly feeling a little bit less so, they have dynamite Jerk Chicken, Coconut Shrimp, Curry Chicken or Beef, and Irish Moss, which is a type of red algae that was reportedly Bob Marley’s favorite dish. Can’t go wrong there.

Best Seafood Kingfisher

2564 E. Grant Road Kingfisher is all kinds of great (the burger is legendary), but it excels in seafood. You can’t go wrong with the oysters, the grilled and chilled shrimp or the clam chowder. And when it comes to the entrees, Kingfisher brings you everything from fish and chips (made with thick chunks of Alaskan cod and fat fries) macadamia nut-crusted Hawaiian fish and a pan-seared salmon with a grilled pineapple-miso glaze. And don’t miss the grilled seabass tostada! Kingfisher is following a strict safety protocol, but if you don’t feel safe dining in, they’ll pack it up to-go for you.

2. Mariscos Chihuahua 3. Charro del Rey

2. D’s Island Grill

Best Korean Takamatsu

5532 E. Speedway Blvd. While they’re currently not offering their popular all-you-can-eat sushi, they are open for dining, featuring an extensive Korean menu, highlighted by traditional favorites Kim Bop, a sushi roll with marinated ribeye steak, yellow radish, carrots, egg and spinach; and Kimchee Pajeon, Korean-style flat cakes with kimchee and vegetables.

2. Korea House 3. Kimchi Time

Congratulations to this year’s

To our loyAl fooDiES AnD friEnDS. ThAnk you for chooSinG uS & SupporTinG our locAlly oWnED fAmily rESTAurAnT.


520-206-0017 • 2870 E. SkylinE Dr. TucSon Az. 85718 •

winners from


Best New Restaurant Fat Noodle

811 E. Wetmore Road If you’re bold enough to call yourself Fat Noodle Ramen House, you’d better deliver some fat (and phat) noodles. And they do, in spectacular style. How about their signature FN Burger, a sesame ginger beef patty with lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo—all sandwiched between two “buns” made of noodles! It seems like it’s something that you just have to try at least once. There is a wide variety of “FatSnacks,” including spring rolls, tempura and sticky wings. And the main courses range from House Ramen (which is nothing like those little packets that got you through college) to Miso to Spicy Shiitake.

2. Tito & Pep 3. Sonoran Brunch Company

Best Outdoor Dining La Cocina

201 N. Court Ave. The downtown gathering space formerly known as La Cocina has rebranded itself as LaCo—for Love and Community, which is what this spot has always offered. Jo Schneider, who also brought us Bentley’s, has created a wondrous eatery built around a lush garden inside the ancient walls of Old Town Artisans. In the Before Times, La Cocina offered fine food, drink and music. When they had to shut their doors thanks to COVID-19, they continued


to offer meals for out-of-work restaurant employees. And they have a tentative reopening date of Oct. 22 -- which is the same day Best of Tucson hits the streets. Let’s hope all goes according to plan, because La Cocina is most definitely one of our lost treasures.

2. Cup Cafe 3. Saguaro Corners

Best Dining with a View Hacienda del Sol

5501 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road A one-time girls school nestled in the Catalina Foothills, Hacienda del Sol has enough rustic charm and sophisticated lodging to land a Forbes four-star rating as well as placement on the National Registry of Historic Spaces. But you don’t have to stay there to enjoy a classic American meal of seafood, steak, chicken or salad at the Grill at Hacienda del Sol, alongside a spectacular view of the valley below. Or if you’d prefer open-air dining, Terraza Garden Patio and Lounge is serving up breakfast, lunch or dinner. Given Hacienda del Sol’s origins, this really is old-school Tucson dining at its best.

2. Vivace 3. Saguaro Corners

Best Restaurant to Dazzle Out-ofTown Visitors

Pinnacle Peak

6541 E. Tanque Verde Blvd. A visit to Trail Dust Town, with its oldschool carousel, stagecoach Ferris Wheel and that train ride that concludes with a pulse-pounding charge through an exploding mine, remains a step into a more nostalgic Tucson. Take a visitor there to browse the candy shop, pan for gold and catch a little magic show (And maybe pick up a trick or two yourself!) Once you’ve done all that, head over to Pinnacle Peak for an old-school steakhouse experience. Be sure to make your guest wear a tie so they can snip it right off.

2. Cafe Poca Cosa 3. El Charro


Oct. 22, 2020

son for days. While not researched by the FDA, the menudo at Tanias 33 not only cures hangovers but tastes amazing. Don’t be fooled by imitators and their inferior menudo.

2. El Minuto 3. Los Jarritos

Best Panaderia Barrio Bread

18 S. Eastbourne Ave. Anyone’s first bite of Barrio Bread is usually considered a life-changing experience. It’s been said baker Don Guerra’s bread is so good it makes the eater want to punch Dr. Atkins in the face for ever suggesting people limit their carbohydrate intake. Using centuries-old baking techniques and locally grown heritage grains, Guerra’s dedication to his craft has received national accolades, including recognition as a 2020 James Beard Awards Outstanding Baker semifinalist.

2. La Estrella Bakery 3. Alejandro’s

Best Menudo Tanias 33

Best Carnicería El Herradero Supermarket

614 N. Grande Ave.

1310 W. Prince Road

The medicinal properties of menudo should be studied to find out why that fatty, deep red broth loaded with chewy tripe and firm posole can cure hangovers that would typically sideline a per-

Do you like carne? I mean, do you really like carne? Then come on down to El Herradero Supermarket, where you will find some of the best, most fresh cuts and marinated meats needed to get the






Thank You For Making Barrio Bread One of the Best of Tucson!



18 S. Eastbourne Ave.

Oct. 22, 2020

Sunday BBQ off to a good start. And if you don’t feel like cooking, they’ll even grill the meat for you on weekends. In addition to all things meat related, the store also features a grocery section and a bit of produce, making it a one-stop shop for all your needs. Make sure to try their tamales!

2. Los Amigos Meat Market 3. Carnicería El Novillo

Best Salsa

BOCA Tacos y Tequila 533 N. Fourth Ave.

BOCA Tacos y Tequila pride themselves on making salsa that are hotter than your wife. Yes, the salsa are on the spicy side but it’s not all heat—the salsa combinations Chef Maria Mazon creates are absolutely bursting with flavor while stinging your tongue (in a good way). As Chef Mazon likes to say: Come for the tacos, stay for the salsa.



Best Tortillas

Anita Street Market 849 N. Anita Ave.

If you never had a fresh tortilla, then you probably haven’t been in Southern Arizona that long. Those of us who call the Sonoran Desert our home know there are few things on the face of God’s green earth better than Anita Street Market’s fresh tortillas, especially when they’re still steaming. Take it a step further and have a member of Anita Street’s staff turn your tortilla into one of the best burritos you can find on this side of Sonora.

2. La Estrella Bakery 3. Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory

2. Guadalajara Grill 3. El Charro Cafe

Thank You

for voting us one of the Best of Tucson! Now 4 Locations To Serve You!

• • • •

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


Best Burrito


Best Birria

Nico’s Mexican Food

Rollies Mexican Patio

For decades, Nico’s has been a staple across Southern Arizona for serving up burritos that are always delicious. While there is no shortage of great taco stands and burrito joints in Tucson, Nico’s stands out for the consistent quality and freshness. Definitely try their carne asada burrito or any of their breakfast burritos next time you’re in the area.

Chef Mateo Otero understands what good birria is. In fact, his birria tacos have such a cult following the chef regularly takes this beefy staple to the next level creating specials like birria ramen noodles or his birria burro pan-fried in chili oil. Really, anything you get here is sure to satisfy while showcasing Otero’s creativity.

Multiple locations

2. Tanias 33 3. Seis Kitchen and Catering

4573 S. 12th Ave.

Oct. 22, 2020

When you can’t decide whether you want to enjoy a bloody Mary or a Mexican lager, choose a michelada. BK Tacos takes their michelada to a new level by mixing up a tasty concoction of Mexican beer, tomato and clam juice, fresh celery and their secret spicy sauce. Trust us, that secret spicy sauce makes all the difference in the world. Fade away Tucson’s long, hot days with BK’s delightful libation.

It’s admittedly pretty difficult to mess up guacamole. But it’s almost just as difficult to make guacamole as perfectly balanced and seasoned as they do it at Guadalajara Grill. Honestly, if you get the handmade salsa AND the guacamole, you might as well just ask for your entree in a to-go box, because you won’t be able to stop eating chips and dips. And you will regret nothing.

2. The Neighborhood 3. Mi Nidito

2. El Charro 3. Seis

2. Mi Niditio 3. Seis Kitchen

Best Guacamole

Best Michelada

Multiple locations

BK Tacos

Guadalajara Grill

Best Tamales

Tucson Tamale Company Multiple locations

2680 N. First Ave.

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

Best Torta

El Güero Canelo Multiple locations

4573 S. 12th Avenue 520-300-6289 • 520-500-4221 Your online source for news in the Northwest

The torta is one of those culinary delights that defy classification—is it a sandwich or a burrito? Does it matter? Not really. Put it in your pie hole and pipe down. Not only does El Güero make Tucson’s best hot dogs, now they also make the city’s best torta. We’re hoping one day they’ll combine the two into some sort of Sonoran dog torta (Sammy style), but until then, appreciate what they do make and order both.

2. Rollies Mexican Patio 3. Seis Kitchen

Oct. 22, 2020



Thank you Tucson for Voting Us One of Your Favorite Micheladas!

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3940 E 29th St | Everyday 11am-10pm | 520-207-4004 *We follow all local CDC and DHS Guidelines to ensure your safety while dining with us



Oct. 22, 2020

Nobody makes tamales quite like Tucson Tamale Company. Perhaps the secret is their dedication to the craft. Perhaps it’s the masa they use. Or maybe it’s the endlessly creative variations on the standard tamale, whether they are stuffing a Thanksgiving dinner or an Indian buffet into the masa inside that corn husk. No matter what it is, the taste can’t be beat. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or some kind of tamale fusion, this place never disappoints.


5330 S. 12th Ave.

Best Margarita El Charro

Multiple locations While so many Mexican restaurants claim to have the best margarita, El Charro actually delivers the goods. Their Margarita Elegante with Patron Reposado is legendary, but it doesn’t stop there. El Charro’s bartenders mix up some of the best creations in the margarita world using strawberries, mango and even prickly pear juice. We challenge you to find a better mixture of tequila, triple sec, lime and salt anywhere in Pima County.

La Estrella Bakery Multiple locations

La Estrella is a force to be reckoned with when it comes Mexican pastries in the Old Pueblo. Make the trip down to their storefront to get all sorts of fresh baked sweets like pan de muerto, rosca de reyes or pan fino. If you stop by in person, don’t forget to pick up a dozen tortillas.

2. Frost 3. Chocolate Iguana

2. Guadalajara Grill 3. Reforma

Best Elote Charro Steak

188 E. Broadway Blvd.

2. Boca 3. Penca

Best Empanadas

2. El Charro 3. Lerua’s

Best Dulceria

While typically known as a snack or a side dish, Charro Steak’s equites de crema eats like a meal. The delicious blend of charred corn topped with homemade crema, cojito and chile spice is roasted to perfection and large enough to share. Pair it with a steak or share it with a friend.

Just as empanadas come in a huge, delightful variety of flavors and types, Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory does so much more than just make tortillas. Lucky for us they do. A local favorite for the four decades it’s been around, this family-owned biz is a perfect example of how food tastes better when it’s made with a little bit of love.

2. La Estrella 3. El Rio Bakery

Best Raspados Oasis Fruit Cones 4126 S. 12th Ave.

If you weren’t treating yourself to raspados regularly throughout this year’s record breakingly hot summer, then you were sure missing out. This Mexican/Latin American version of shaved ice comes in more than two dozen different flavors

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

Los Amigos Meat Market

3929 S. 12th Ave



Oct. 22, 2020

at Oasis, including pineapple, tamarindo, banana, milk, coconut and plum. Add freshly chopped fruit and ice cream to make your own combination.

2. Raspados Paraiso 3. Sonoran Delights

Best Mariachi Band

Tucson High Mariachi There are few performances as infectiously enthusiastic and full of passion as those of mariachi bands. And there’s something extra special about watching youth perform. Mariachi Rayos Del Sol has been performing for Tucsonans--keeping our spirits soaring and our feet tapping--for more than 25 years. And we’re so lucky to have them!


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

Show me a person who doesn’t like a piñata and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t like to party. Whether filled with candy or little bottles of booze, a piñata always gets a good response from young and old alike. Piñata Factory is the premiere place to purchase those papier-mâché party starters in the Old Pueblo. Need a SpongeBob piñata for your nephew’s birthday? They’ve got it. Need a Trump piñata for Election Day? They’ve got that too. Stop by and see why Pima County is coo-coo for the Piñata Factory.

2. Mariachi Aztlán de Pueblo High School 3. Mariachi Sonido de Mexico

2. El Herradero 3. El Super

Thanks Tucson for Voting Us One of Your Favorite Southside Restaurants! try d n a own d e re! o m m Co d os an c a t r ou Mon-Thurs 10am-10pm Fri-Sat 10am-12am Sun 11am-10pm

3501 S 12th Ave • 520-670-1248 •





t s e Bof cson Tu 2020



Best Tacos Street Taco

58 W. Congress St. 10785 N. Oracle Road When the craving for tacos strikes while traversing downtown streets or avoiding the speed traps of Oro Valley, those in the know go to Street Taco. Everything they serve is super fresh and sure to make mouths happy. Their carne asada, topped with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole and served on a corn tortilla is a thin slice of heaven for even the choosiest of foodies. But the goodness doesn’t end there, many delightful items await your tastebuds. Be sure to wash it down with a bottled Mexican Coca-Cola or Barrio Blonde.

res u s a e r st T The Lo f Tucson! o k e e W ucson

Oct. 22, 2020

Presented by and

2. Seis Kitchen 3. Rollies Mexican Patio


Oct. 22, 2020

Th e

Bofest cson Tu 2020



Spirits & Nightlife

asures e r T t s The Lo ucson! of T


VII: The Secrets of El Viejo

he expected a dive bar to be dark and cool and, for some reason, she thought everything would be sticky. But it wasn’t. Somehow, El Viejo looked even older than they had described. But when he talked, his voice was steady and calm, almost soothing. “I’m sorry for the trouble my grandson caused. He was trying to protect me.” She rolled her eyes. “I guess it’s time…Those things you’re looking for are nothing but trouble. They’re cursed. You’ve seen the picture of us holding them?” She nodded. “We were the first graduating class of Amphi High School, May of 1941. We were wild kids, not evil, but wild. The Senior Class President gave us twenty bucks to buy a senior gift for the school. But we blew the money on beer and tacos. So, one of the guys said that he had a crazy aunt, a bruja, who lived outside of town. She had the three things on her counter so we just took ’em and came up with the story about the mascot.” “She let you have them?” “She said they were cursed and she didn’t want them. Then she said some crazy story about Pancho Villa but we didn’t understand her.” He took a sip, then continued. “We presented them at graduation, but then a couple of the guys wondered if they were really valuable, so we broke in the school the next day and stole them. They wouldn’t be missed until school re-opened in the fall. We made a deal that we would sit on them for a year and then try to sell them and split the money nine ways. Stupid plan. Joey got killed that summer for messin’ with the wrong girl. And do you know about Roy?” “Yes.” “Then the war broke out and we all joined up. Only five of us came back. When we got together, Roy and I said we wanted nothing to do with those things. The other three guys pried some of the stones out of the scorpion. One guy sold his and started a construction company that helped build the new high school on Stone. But his life was a mess and he died broke. Second guy didn’t turn out much better. “The guy who had the Piedra Fria became a priest, but he died young, too. The Piedra Fria got passed around. I heard that the last guy who had it sold it to a collector and used the money to start a business. “That’s it. Are you going to turn me in?” She said, “For what? Telling a story? The statute of limitation on those things probably expired about the time the atom bomb was dropped on Japan.” As she got up to leave, he said, “Don’t be there when they dig ’em up. Curses don’t know direction. Y’know, we don’t need those Lost Treasures. Tucson has plenty of treasures.” She walked, smiling, out into the Halloween Day sunlight. It was hot, but not too much. ibit





The Parish bills itself as “Tucson’s only Southern Fusion Gastropub,” reflecting the tastes of its three co-owners who hail from Tucson, Louisiana, and Texas. The menu is varied and exciting, but many people rave about the infused spirits that make Happy Hour a very special time at this northside restaurant.

Best Pool Hall

Red Garter Bar & Grill 3143 E. Speedway Blvd.

What more do you need in a pool hall besides pool tables, cold beer and greasy burgers? Red Garter has all of this and more, including plenty of big-screen TVs so you can watch sports when you’re not gripping your stick and sinking your balls. Just be careful of the hustlers!

2. Pockets Pool & Pub 3. Sky Bar

Best Cocktail Menu Highwire Lounge 14 S. Arizona Ave.

The word “mixology” might sound like puffery, but that’s only if you’ve never enjoyed one of Highwire’s many custom cocktails. Highwire has everything you could hope for in a downtown cocktail lounge: specialized drinks, a relaxing outdoor courtyard, and plenty of food offerings from nearby Johnny Gibson’s. If it’s not the Mexican candy shot, eegee’s + rum, or hibiscus cooler that wins you over, it’s their selection of daily specials.

2. 47 Scott 3. Sidecar

Best Signature Cocktail The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Road

2. Che’s Lounge 3. Highwire Lounge

Best Beer Selection Tap & Bottle Multiple locations

Tap & Bottle may not have the largest selection of beer in town, but it has more than enough to satisfy us. Everything from pilsners, porters, IPAs, stouts, saisons and lambics from all over Arizona and the world are to be had at both of their locations in town. The bottle shop also has a stellar wine selection of regional favorites and classics celebrated across the globe. Tap & Bottle also has a fantastic tap room to taste different brews before you choose which six-pack or growler you’ll bring home.

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Place to Get a Glass of Wine

ly-like-to-be-funky Downtown. Revel features an international wine selection, an extensive selection of beers and hand-crafted meat-and-cheese plates.

220 N. Fourth Ave.

2. Ermanos 3. Postinos


Curation is the name of the game at Ermanos, which offers a wide variety of wines and a knowledgeable staff that will help an embarrassed wine beginner find their favorite (what is a tempranillo, anyhow?) Whether you want a wine from Italy, Spain, Argentina or Arizona, you can enjoy it here in Tucson, thanks to Ermanos.

2. Arizona Wine Collective 3. Feast

Best Wine Bar Revel

416 E. Ninth St. Currently open only for takeout on Friday-Sunday, Revel is located between funky Fourth Avenue and would-real-

Best Happy Hour Bison Witches 326 N. Fourth Ave

What makes Bison Witches’ happy hour stand above the rest? They offer more than one happy hour every day, for one. In addition to their daily happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., they also host a special from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. During these most magical times, special priced drinks include Cruzan Rum, Captain Morgan, Ballantine’s Scotch, Sauza Tequila, Maker’s Mark Bourbon and more. And their location right on Fourth Ave. makes them convenient and tasty.

2. El Charro

2. Arizona Beer House 3. Tucson Hop Shop

Best Brewery

Barrio Brewing Co. 800 E. 16th St.

It’s not just that Barrio Brewing makes some damn fine beer (we’re looking at you, Ruby Red and Citrazona), it’s that on top of being master brewers, they find time to cook up great food and host special occasions, all while being 100 percent employee-owned. Barrio Brewing is the complete package.

2. Dragoon Brewing Company 3. Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.

Best Neighborhood Bar Che’s Lounge 350 N. Fourth Ave.

Tucson fixture Che’s Lounge has been a cornerstone (get it?) on Fourth Avenue for 20 years. It recently reopened with limited seating, but during the lockdown, they were offering “just add booze” take-out cocktails. One favorite is the Tucson Water, a crazy mix of Sprite, pineapple, saladitos (dried, salted plums), Tajin (a Mexican spice blend of chili peppers, lime and sea salt), citrus and “extra love.” As mentioned, it’s easing back into limited operation and we all look forward to a return of the easy ambience, cool jukebox, live shows and even local art exhibits.

2. The Shelter Cocktail Lounge 3. Owl’s Club


Oct. 22, 2020

3. Downtown Kitchen and Cocktail

Best Sports Bar Trident Grill Multiple locations

What do you really want from a sports bar? Plenty of TVs to watch the games, a friendly atmosphere, plenty of cold beer and a decent menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and some blue-plate specials for when you bring a big appetite. Trident, which now has locations across the city, scores every time.

2. Red Garter 3. Mulligan’s

Best Gay Bar IBT’s

616 N. Fourth Ave. Some of us are old enough to remember when IBT’s was scandalous. Established during the Reagan Era in 1985, IBT’s has been THE gay bar/nightclub for a third of a century and it shows no signs of being anything other than a great place to see, be seen, and shake your backside (as Reagan would have said). They

have a big dance floor, karaoke, and a fun lineup of drag shows. We suppose there might be somebody out there who would still consider it scandalous, but Doug Ducey lives in Phoenix.

2. Surly Wench Pub 3. Brodie’s Tavern

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

What can you say about the Buffet that hasn’t already been said about downtown Tucson before the big renaissance—it’s dark, dingy and Tucsonans love the shit out of the place. While other watering holes tend to keep up with trends to keep ’em coming in, Tucson’s oldest bar rarely changes. It doesn’t need to. Tucson will still show up to the Buff bright and early at 6 a.m., each and every day.

2. The Shelter Cocktail Lounge 3. Golden Nugget

Best Locally Brewed Beer 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.

2. Dragoon IPA (Dragoon Brewing Company) 3. Barrio Rojo (Barrio Brewing)

Best Bartender

Olivia Reardon (Rialto/ St. Charles Tavern) Not only does she tear it up on stage with Miss Olivia and the Interlopers, Olivia Reardon mixes up a mean bloody Mary on Sundays at St. Charles Tavern. But mixology skills and singing aren’t the only things that make Miss Olivia the best bartender around these days—it’s her personality. Anyone lucky enough to be in her presence while she’s tending bar knows this to be true.

2. Jasmine Pierce (Surly Wench) 3. Ty Hammett

Best Shot

Mexican Candy Shot (Highwire) 14 S. Arizona Ave.

This sweet and legendary cocktail is a powerful combination of cultures, not unlike Tucson itself. Served on a specialty spoon and glistening with spice, these Sonoran pearls are dangerously enjoyable, especially when paired with their twin, the pop rocks shot.

2. Harry Potter Shot (Club Congress) 3. Mexican Candy Shot (Elliott’s)

Best Bloody Mary Prep & Pastry

2660 N. Campbell Ave. 6450 E. Grant Road It stands to reason that one of Tucson’s brunch destinations would have a killer Bloody Mary, Sonoran style. With vodka that’s infused with guajillo pepper and garlic and an herbed mustard mix, their House Bloody Mary is the perfect pickme-up cocktail, and even comes with a “morning snack garnish”!

2. Hotel Congress 3. Che’s Lounge

Best Old Fashioned


Independent Distillery 30 S. Arizona Ave.

Embodying the spirit of “independent,” this local distillery creates their Old Fashions in a unique and precise way, featuring house-made bitters poured over a sugar cube, and mixed with a touch of soda water and Old Forester Rye Whisky. The staff of Independent Distillery prides themselves on being able to discuss their drink ethos at large, and their commitment to the Old Fashioned is no exception.

2. Owl’s Club 3. 47 Scott

Best Bar Menu Sky Bar

536 N. Fourth Ave. Fourth Avenue’s Sky Bar pride themselves on having the best mixed drinks in the universe. Now they have the honor of boasting the best bar menu in the Old Pueblo. But this should be expected considering the place voted “Best Place to get a Slice” is attached to your bar. More than just pizza, Skybar also has delicious subs and other grub to nosh on while sippin’ on a Pop Rocklaced Get Schwifty.

2. Ermanos 2. Highwire Lounge

Best Country Western Bar The Maverick

6622 E. Tanque Verde Road Lyle Lovett, with able backing from soul singers Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens--both late of the ’80s funk band Was (Not Was)—does a song called “You’re Not From Texas.” The song pokes gentle fun at newcomers and interlopers whose pants are too short and who put their boots on funny. We’ve always heard that song in our



head when we drive by The Maverick and think about going in. However, we’re told that it is one of the friendliest places in all of Tucson, a good old honky-tonk country-western place with a full restaurant, a bar, live music and plenty of dancing. What’s not to like? Heck, they even give dance lessons so even if you’re not from The Maverick, you’ll fit right in, in no time flat.

2. Whiskey Roads 3. Cowpony

Best Nightclub Club Congress 311 E. Congress St.

Club Congress has held this spot for decades, and while they are closed thanks to the pandemic, we fully expect them to hold it for decades in the future once they can reopen. This is the spot to hear up-and-coming bands so you can say you saw them when they are old veterans who are still on the touring circuit, comedians, poets, magicians and performers of all stripes. Count on us to be back on reopening night.

2. Playground Bar & Lounge 3. IBT’s Bar + Food

Best Comedian Ali Musa

Ali Musa’s comedy is made for this moment. He’s an affable Arab American whose best jokes are about his dad, Mexican food and the character of a southside Circle K. He’s also the hardest working comedian in Tucson. He hits every open mic, and guests on booked shows internet-cast from all over the southwest. Find him frequently on Facebook and Instagram, in his own weekly comedy podcast and hosting an IRL Sunday open mic at the County Line Lounge & Grill. He can work clean, too, an asset often underrated by striving comedians.

2. Mo Urban 3. Chris Seidman

Oct. 22, 2020

Best Comedy Night

Best Venue for Live Music

2900 E. Broadway Blvd.

318 E. Congress St.

Laffs Comedy Caffe Through decades of economic and cultural changes, the Bynum family has adapted Laff’s Comedy Caffe to provide a great evening to its guests. As Tucson’s only supper club, Laff’s brings top regional and national comedians to town, but its philosophy and its stage also support development of local talent. Laffs can be the best date night, too. Its menu offers a wide range of well prepared, can’t-go-wrong favorites at reasonable prices, and the long-table seating is perfect for special occasions and making new friends.

The Rialto Theatre

We like to keep BOT upbeat, but it’s been a grim year for the Rialto Theatre. The arrival of the pandemic meant the historic downtown venue had to go dark just months before a planned centennial party that would have rocked this town inside out. We’d like the salute the entire Rialto crew, from former executive director Curtis McCrary to the stagehands, bartenders, board members and supporters who made the Rialto our local rock ’n’ roll palace over the last quarter-century. The theater faced plenty of ups and downs since it opened in 1920, so we have faith they’ll be back someday—and we hope it’s soon. We know they’ll be back. FU coronavirus, indeed.

2. Club Congress 3. AVA Amphitheater Casino del Sol

2. Unscrewed Theater 3. Tucson Improv Movement

Best Jukebox St. Charles Tavern 1632 S. Fourth Ave.

For years, downtown barflys have engaged in heated discussions over which establishment has the best, most eclectic mix of music on their jukebox—Che’s Lounge or St. Charles Tavern? While both dive bars boast fantastic selections that any red-blooded individual would be blessed to hear while knocking back a few crispy boys, St. Charles takes the distinction this year. My guess as to how they did it is due to the tavern’s secret weapon: repetitious play of the Texas Tornados classic “(Hey Baby) Que Paso.” Seriously, if you don’t like that song, you don’t like music.

2. Che’s 3. Tap Room

Best Place to Sing Karaoke The Depot

3501 E. Fort Lowell Road Here’s a great Final Jeopardy question: This fictional movie character is on the American Film Institute’s list of Top 50 Movie Villains and Top 50 Movie

Heroes. (Answer below so you can think about it.) Along those same lines, one of the greatest and worst inventions of all time is the Karaoke Machine. It allows people to release their inhibitions, tap into their as-yet-undiscovered musical talents and overcome their fear of making complete fools of themselves in public. It can also (sometimes simultaneously) subject an audience to a sound akin to that of a cat being tortured by a wildebeest. The Depot offers unrestrained karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights. You’re invited and you’ve been warned. (Oh yeah, the answer: The Top 50 Hero and Villain is The Terminator— the original one portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

one (like in the wedding scene in Love Actually where the guy plays Donny Osmond singing “Puppy Love”). Mother Tierra would never do that…unless her dizzying mix of musical styles had whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that she needs some Osmondia to cool things down. Catch her at Soul Food Wednesdays at Club Congress.

2. IBT’s 3. Margarita Bay

Tempest DuJour is back! She’s hosting a Game Show Night at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Bumsted’s at Wonderland. BOT voters apparently missed her towering eminence and golden heart. She has been laying low following an allegedly ill-considered reference to transsexual women she made during one of her many benefit appearances. Critically, the fallout cost her the lead in Club Congress’s fabulous

Best DJ

Mother Tierra What makes a great DJ? It’s hard to say. It’s so much easier to identify a bad

2. DJ Herm 3. DJ Jahmar

Best Drag Queen Tempest DuJour

Oct. 22, 2020






Bofest cson Tu 2020




Family Owned & Operated Since 1978

Thank You Tucson! 2642 N Campbell Ave Tucson, Arizona (520) 327-0452

D r iv e Now O-Tp h r u en !

Sunday/Monday: 12-6 drive thru only Tuesday/Wednesday: 10-8 Thursday - Saturday: 10-9

Oct. 22, 2020

Tucson comedy mainstay, Retro Game Show. Not even her international fame touring with Ru Paul’s Drag Race shielded her from the fallout. We’re delighted she’s out of Time Out and can’t wait to see the outfits.

2. Lucinda Holliday 3. Diva

A l l of ! e r o l E xp e a su re s ou r T r

Best Burlesque Surly Wench First Fridays Burlesque

With a name like The Surly Wench, you wouldn’t expect the place to put on something called The Mike Pence Revue. No, they bring the burlesque in a way that is over the over-the-top. Their First Fridays Burlesque (presented on the first Friday of each month) is a raucous undertaking—bold, bawdy, and wildly entertaining.

2. Lola Torch

Best Musical Act Calexico

The pandemic cheated us out of Calexico’s planned performance at the Tucson Folk Festival this year, so it’s been way too long since we heard the blaring trumpets announce the start of “Crystal Frontier.” The members of the band may be scattered from here to El Paso to Boise to Germany to Spain these days, but Calexico still calls Tucson home. We’re sure we’ll see them again as soon as it’s safe for us to get together and dance—a day that can’t come soon enough. And isn’t it just about

time for them to drop a new album?

2. Miss Olivia and the Interlopers 3. Drew Cooper

Best Jazz

Pete Swan Trio Pete Swan is a drummer extraordinaire, equally able to move things along or hang back and let others get their licks in. The Pete Swan Trio plays lounges and venues like Haciendo Del Sol, treating fans to a show that is reverent of big band jazz’s past while spinning out clever new vibes. Groups like this will see to it that a true American art form will never disappear.

2. Street Blues Family 3. Tucson Jazz Society

Best Folk Leila Lopez

A native Tucsonan, Leila Lopez has been making music almost her entire life. In this time of COVID-19, she has been performing shows that are streamed. In a review of one of her albums, Lopez was described as “vulnerable, resilient and authentic, kind and loving…and her richly layered folk songs are imbued with these attributes.” Check out her albums and the rest of her work online.

2. Birds and Arrows 3. Big Grin

Oct. 22, 2020




Best Reggae Neon Prophet

OK, this is crazy. Neon Prophet has been pumping out reggae music for 34 years. That’s almost as long as the entire amount of time that Bob Marley was alive. The band’s dedication to the music and their audience has created a bond and a phenomenon in the desert. Band members may come and go (and some may even die) but Neon Prophet endures. While the band’s roots are in reggae, you’ll also hear some jazz, soul, hip-hop, Latin and funk. Next time there’s a live show, try to catch them. They may only be around for another 34 years.

2. Jahmar International 3. Desert Fish

Best Cover Band 80s and Gentlemen

BEST NAME EVER! This group has been around for more than a decade, providing fans in Arizona and Southern


Oct. 22, 2020

California with a high-energy show of rock anthems, power ballads, and hits ranging from pop to New Wave. They play night clubs and weddings, festivals and casinos, and they do it all with expert musicianship and a deep love for the music and their audience.

2. Miss Olivia & the Interlopers 3. The Jack

Best Punk Acorn Bcorn

Sisters Marina and Leann Cornelius have been bringing punk ferocity and instrumental dexterity to Tucson for more than a decade. But unlike many aggressive musicians, Acorn Bcorn (as the name may imply) are hardly onenote. Their music can jump from blistering noise to a slow dirge, and actually flow at the same time!

2. The Besmirchers 3. FRACK!

Best R&B

Miss Olivia & The Interlopers Miss Olivia & The Interlopers—aka Miss Olivia—know a thing or two about putting on a show. With frontwoman Reardon’s commanding voice and the titular interloper’s instrumental cohesion, this R&B group has rocked the house all throughout downtown and Fourth Avenue. A debut EP, Tiny Tales, dropped earlier this year and impressively captured the soulful power of their live shows.

2. Just Najima 3. Funky Bonz

Oct. 22, 2020




Best Rock Drop D

In the world of rock, stage presence can make or break you. Lucky for Tucson audiences, the folks in Drop D know how to get a crowd moving regardless of what they’re covering. Those who’ve caught one of their raucous live shows know what we’re talking about.

2. Miss Olivia & the Interlopers 3. Chateau Chateau

Best Hip-Hop Act Street Blues Family

This year’s Best of Tucson winners knew exactly what they were doing putting “family” in their name. This collective of local musicians spreads positive vibes in a wide variety of genres, from soul to jazz to hip-hop. Reymon Murphy and co. have lit up stages all around town, and even stayed busy with live streams during this socially distant year.

2. Cash Lansky 3. Jivin’ Scientists

Best Country Act Hank Topless

Hank Topless is a treasure for connoisseurs of county music far and wide. With his live band, Topless whips his audience into a beer-soaked frenzy that could give Walon a run for his money. When playing solo, Topless exudes the soul and fingerpicking precision that’s on par with late, great Rev. Gary Davis. He isn’t merely a mortal donning a cowboy hat and crooning country songs of yesteryear. Topless is the personification of country music in Pima County and definitely worth your time should you happen to catch one of his shows.

2. Drew Cooper 3. Loveland


Best Liquor Store Plaza Liquors and Fine Wines 2642 N. Campbell Ave.

With so many of our watering holes closed during the pandemic, we’ve definitely had to pick up our bartending game at home. There’s no better place to shop for supplies than midtown’s Plaza Liquors. Plenty of beer from local and independent breweries, wines from around the world, top-shelf booze and a knowledgeable staff to guide us through the mysteries of where it all comes from and how it all goes together. Bottoms up!

2. Liquor Dan 3. Tap & Bottle

Best Casino Casino del Sol

5655 W. Valencia Road Casino del Sol is so much more than just gambling. Sure, the resort has loose slots, blackjack, poker, bingo and more to wager on. They also have some of the best eating establishments Tucson has to offer with cuisine ranging from burgers and fries all the way to sushi. Make sure to stop by PY Steakhouse while you’re there. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Desert Diamond

Best Strip Club Curves Cabaret 2130 N. Oracle Road

Physical distancing is putting a bit of a kink in the strip club biz these days, but before the pandemic hit, Curves was the place for gentlemen and the occasional lady to venture into a little sinful activity. The lovely ladies put on an excellent show, customers were treated well and the bouncers knew how to nip trouble in the bud.

2. Ten’s Showclub 3. Raiders Reef

Oct. 22, 2020

Oct. 22, 2020






t s e Bof cson Tu 2020


es r u s a e t Tr s o L e Th on! s c u T of

Epilogue: The Missing Stone • Some people from the University set up some kind advanced microwave array that can “see” through concrete and, just by dumb luck, they found the artifacts inside the second pillar they tested. The Roadrunner and the Gila Monster were just rectangular shapes wrapped in cellophane and then a piece of a tarp, but the Scorpion was distinctive. They were about five feet up from the ground. Someone had just walked up during the pouring process, embedded them in the drying concrete and then poured a little more to cover them up. They probably wouldn’t have been discovered for another 50 years when the school was finally demolished. • After a heated debate among the Board members, the Museum agreed to pay D.A. her fee. She had found the artifacts, but hadn’t recovered them. Such recovery would probably have to wait for years after protracted legal battles involving (among others) the Museum, the school district, and the Mexican government. • El Viejo, the Righteous, lives on. • D.A. went back to working as an engineer, but only after the head of the firm agreed that she could continue her detective work on the side if a case arose. It bothered her that she hadn’t discovered what had happened to the mystical ruby, the Piedra Fria. El Viejo had told her that the jewel had been passed down to someone who fenced it and used the money to start a business empire. After amassing a fortune, that person had moved on to something bigger. While sitting in line at eegee’s to get an order of French fries with ranch dressing (which one should never try to eat while in a moving vehicle), she turned on the news. There was something about how the Governor had established an exploratory committee and was considering running for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retired astronaut. D.A. sighed at hearing the news of further upward mediocrity, then it hit her. Wait…Piedra Fria…Cold Stone!... Nah!!

Oct. 22, 2020

Oct. 22, 2020

Index Arts & Culture ......... 5 Best Gallery

Best Dance Studio

Best Visual Artist

Best Outdoor Art Installation

Best Art Museum

Best Movie Theater Best Art Classes

Best Musical Instrument Store Best Music School

Best Theater Company Best Author

Best Dance Company

Best Farmers Market Vendor Best Stay-at-Home Activity Best Gym

Best Plant Nursery

Best Animal Supply Store Best Computer Repair

Best Place to Get Your Pet

Best Resale Clothing

Best Home Furnishings Best Vintage Shopping Best Jewelry

Best Hair Salon

Best Place to get Great Hair Color Best Day Spa

Best Lash Boutique Best Nail Salon

Best Hike

Best Backpacking Trail

Best Bike Shop Best Day Trip

Best Golf Course

Best Story Time

Best Charity Event

Best Daycare

Best Kids’ Clothing Store

Best Place for a Children’s Party


Best Veterinary Clinic Best Hotel

Best Alternative Health Center

Best CBD Store

Best Thrift Store

Best Place to Get a Massage

Best Cigar/Tobacco Shop Best Place to Buy a Car

Best Summer Staycation Best Handyman

Fashion & Style . . . 18 Best Clothing

Best Biking Group/ Community

Best Fun for the Whole Family

Best Place to Donate Your Time and/or Money

Best Photographer

Best Car Wash

Best Outdoor Recreation/ Sporting Goods Store

Best Park

Best Public Pool/Splashpad

Best Bowling Alley Best Auto Repair

Best Bike Riding

Best Public Garden

Best Children’s Entertainer

Best Crossfit

Best Sex Toy Shop

Best Campground

Best Annual Festival

Best Marijuana Dispensary

Best Yoga Studio

Best Dog Park

Kids’ Stuff. . . . . . . . 26

Best Event Venue

Best Tanning Salon Best Florist

Best Eyeglass/Optical Retailer Best Local Clothing Designer Best Tattoo Parlor Best Tattoo Artist

Best Tattoo Removal/ Alteration

Best Place to Get Pierced Best Barber Shop


Outdoors . . . . . . . . . 22 Restaurants . . . . . . 38

Best Place to Take a Phoenician

City life . . . . . . . . . . 11 Best Farmers Market


Best Restaurant With a Kids Menu Best Summer Camp Best Toy Store

Best Way to Entertain Kids During the Summer

Media Mix . . . . . . . 29 Best TV Newscast

Best Radio Station for News

Best Local Twitter Feed Best Radio Station for Music

Best Local Weatherperson Best Radio Host Best Bookstore

Best Video Store

Best Comic Store

Best Video Games Store Best Blog

Best Local TV News Anchor

Best Local Sportscaster Best Instagram

Casual Dining . . . . . 32 Best Curbside Pickup

Best Pizzeria

Best Place to Grab a Slice

Best Smoothies/Juice Bar

Best Delivery Best Caterer Best Diner

Best Specialty Food Store Best Delicatessen Best Desserts

Best Ice Cream

Best Fresh-Baked Bread Best Bagel

Best Barbecue Best Burger

Best Veggie Burger Best Place to Get a Sandwich

Best Wings

Best Food Truck Best Coffee

Best Donuts

Best Cafe Hangout Best Tea

Best Drive Thru

Best eegee’s Flavor Best Family Dining

Best Sandwich (the actual sandwich) Best Place to Get a Salad Best Hot Dog

Best Eggs Benedict

Best Breakfast Best Brunch Best Chinese Best Greek Best French Best Indian Best Italian Best Japanese Best Middle Eastern Best Contemporary/ Fusion Restaurant Best Seafood Best Steakhouse Best Sushi Best Thai Best Vietnamese Best Vegetarian/Vegan Best Upscale Restaurant Best African Best Chef

Best Place to Eat Lunch Downtown Best Downtown Restaurant Best Northwest Restaurant Best Central Restaurant Best Eastside Restaurant Best Southside Restaurant Best Foothills Restaurant Best Westside Restaurant Best Place to Eat Gluten Free Best Jamaican Best Korean Best New Restaurant Best Outdoor Dining Best Signature Dish Best Dining with a View Best Restaurant to Dazzle Out-of-Town Visitors

Comida . . . . . . . . . . 44 Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Dulceria Menudo Panaderia Carnicería Salsa Tortillas Burrito Place to Buy a Piñata Birria Michelada

Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best Best

Guacamole Tamales Torta Margarita Elote Empanadas Tacos Raspados Mariachi Band

Spirits & Nightlife . 51 Best Neighborhood Bar Best Pool Hall Best Cocktail Menu Best Signature Cocktail Best Beer Selection Best Brewery Best Locally Brewed Beer Best Place to Get a Glass of Wine Best Wine Bar Best Happy Hour Best Sports Bar Best Gay Bar Best Dive Bar Best Bartender Best Shot Best Bloody Mary Best Old Fashioned Best Bar Menu Best Country Western Bar Best Nightclub Best Comedian

Best Comedy Night Best Jukebox Best Place to Sing Karaoke Best DJ Best Drag Queen Best Burlesque Best Venue for Live Music Best Musical Act Best Jazz Best Folk Best Reggae Best Cover Band Best Punk Best Rock Best Hip-Hop Act Best Country Act Best R&B Best Liquor Store Best Casino Best Strip Club



Oct. 22, 2020