Don’t call it a comeback — sleepy little Tucson might just be the Southwest’s coolest destination. Here are 10 of our favorite spots to check out in the (new) Old Pueblo
1. Mercado San Augustin
From shopping at boutiques like Mast to tacos at Seis Kitchen, this open-air mercado just west of downtown is a popular gathering place for locals and travelers alike.
Don’t miss: Traditional pan dulce from La Estrella bakery
2. Batch Café & Bar
Grilled cheese, doughnuts and whiskey — these are a few of our favorite things. And thanks to their wide variety of offerings of all of the above, Batch is now one of our favorite places.
Don’t miss: The Stud (chocolate frosting, topped with bacon andfilled with a bourbon maple bavarian cream filling)
3. Reilly Craft Pizza
Tucked away on one of downtown’s quiet side streets, Reilly is a welcome addition to the neighborhood’s culinary scene. Classic dishes made with simple ingredients make for a stellar meal.
Don’t miss: The Brussels sprouts served with a homemade hot sauce. Trust us.
4. 5 Points Market and Café
This market-cum-café is the perfect place to while away a morning — enjoy a plate of breakfast toast, watch passers-by through the massive front windows and sip on a cup of locally sourced tea.
Don’t miss: The homemade rosewater lemonade.
5. Desert Vintage
A Tucson institution since 1974, Desert Vintage was given new life when its current owners took over in 2012 — even earning a nod from Vogue as one of 12 vintage dealers to follow on Instagram.
Don’t miss: The massive collection of denim.
6. Exo Coffee
At Exo, coffee is serious business. Before a bean makes it onto their list, they test-roast and cup it to make sure it’s up to snuff. But you don’t have to be a coffee snob to enjoy Exo — the baristas are all well versed in what they’re pouring, so questions are welcome.
Don’t miss: The ever-changing, daily cold brew concoction.
7. Hotel Congress
While most hotels are homes for tourists, Congress is a local’s playground. The massive patio is home to live music almost every night, the Cup Café serves the a stellar morning brunch, and Club Congress is a nightly party for the 20-somethings that don’t quite fit in at the college sports bars.
Don’t miss: The weekend Bloody Mary bar, which makes the long wait for a table in the Cup Cafe more than bearable.
8. The Coronet
There are few restaurants in Tucson that make you feel like you’re at a sidewalk café in Paris — the Coronet is one of them. Tucked into the corner that connects Fourth Avenue to downtown proper, it’s also our favorite place for some stellar people watching.
Don’t miss: The late-night happy hour where you can eat well, well past 10 pm.
This mother-daughter owned boutique isn’t new to Tucson, but it recently moved into its new digs near downtown and it’s France-meets-the-Southwest wares are perfectly at home in the historic building.
Don’t miss: The shelves of gorgeous blankets that make it hard to choose just one.
10. Tough Luck Club
This basement mortuary-turned-bar features some of the best cocktail menus in town, making it the perfect place to hideaway on a hot summer evening.
Don’t miss: The Midnight Rodeo, made with cognac, grilled blackberry syrup and red wine salt.