Recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Tucson is one of Arizona’s top food destinations. From local flavors inspired by the region’s Native American and Mexican heritage to international cuisines, you’ll never be short on places to eat. And these restaurants aren’t only for patrons with opposable thumbs. Pets are frequently seen in the dining crowd at these top dog friendly restaurants in Tucson. So, grab your leash and immerse yourself in its renowned dining scene.

Urban Fresh

Who would’ve thought that urban eats could be so farm fresh? The Pennington St. outdoor food court is a shared patio for enjoying healthy local eats like Urban Fresh with your pet. The dessert has more than just rocks and saguaros because this restaurant sources many of its plant-based ingredients locally to create vegan food you won’t forget.

Located in Downtown Tucson, Urban Fresh is newly renovated to keep its restaurant as fresh as its food. This vegan restaurant specializes in sandwiches, wraps, salads, and other greens—and it’s all 100% plant-based! The friendly owners are always around to greet you when approaching the counter and happily share their recommendations for the tastiest dishes based on your preference.

The vegan-friendly menu features items like the Green Goddess Wrap, Pad Thai Wrap, Yin and Yang Salad, and even unique plant-based raw pizza and green chili burgers. Wash it down with a smoothie that’s both nutritious and helps cool you down in the heat.

Amenities and More: Vegan Options, Veteran-Owned, Covered Outdoor Seating, EV Charging Station Available, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 73 E Pennington St., Tucson, AZ 85701

Barista Del Barrio

Browsing the Instagram page of Barista Del Barrio will make anybody crave its specialized Mexican breakfast dishes. And the food looks and tastes even better when you experience it in person. So, drive to the other side of the Santa Cruz River, where the sounds of live mariachi music will guide you to this pet-friendly restaurant.

As a pet owner, you know not to be fooled by size. Just as small dogs have the biggest bite, this quaint restaurant shack will do the same. Hope you’re patient because it’s common to see a long line waiting to order at the outdoor window. It’s worth the wait because word spreads fast in Tucson about the best breakfast burritos and tacos in town.

Barista Del Barrio is only open for breakfast hours. You have until noon to get your paws on one of its sausage burritos, green corn tamale burritos, and freshly brewed horchata cold brew. Pick a seat on the pet-friendly patio decorated with murals from local AZ artists to enjoy your food while it’s still hot.

Amenities and More: Latinx-Owned, Offers Military Discount, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Android Pay, Accepts Apple Pay, Vegan Options

Address: 1002 N. Grande Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745

Los Ponchos Hot Dogs

Sonoran hotdogs are a staple in Tucson cuisine, and nobody does it better than Los Ponchos Hot Dogs. For many, pop-up events are the first experience they’ll have with this mobile hot dog stand. But afterward, you’ll be on a dog hunt around town to find the next location they’ll be to try its famous hot dogs again.

Los Ponchos has a simple menu, but with so many topping options, every hot dog looks different. The large grill is always sizzling with rows of hot dogs, bacon-wrapped wieners, and open-faced buns for toasting to perfection. The traditional Sonoran style stuffs the buns with roasted onions, beans, and diced tomatoes. Its signature creation is the quesadog, a unique quesadilla recipe loaded with hot dogs and other toppings.

Once served, the topping station lets you add your own special touch to your hot dog, with options ranging from traditional condiments to salsa and jalapeños.

A few tables are set up onsite to eat your hot dog with your dog.

Amenities and More: Accepts Credit Cards, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 1901 E Fort Lowell Rd, Tucson, AZ 85719

Red Light Lounge

Recently featured during Sonoran Restaurant Week, the Red Light Lounge gives all local pet owners a reason to stop by. This dog-friendly restaurant is located inside the Downtown Clifton motel, where you and your pet can intermingle with the motel guests and locals in the know about this Tucson foodie gem.

The restaurant setting is one of the best parts about the Red Light Lounge. Pet-friendly tables are set up in the motel’s outdoor courtyard area and often feature live music from local musicians, artists, and vendors selling everything from crafts to jewelry.

However, it’s the consistent quality of excellent food that keeps even the locals returning often. The Red Light Lounge serves traditional American eats, with specialty burgers like the Red Light Burger and Clifton Burger, Latin-inspired eats like the aguachili Amarillo and roasted poblano, and treats like the masa pretzels and flan.

The Red Light Lounge is open daily at 4 PM and stays open as late as 11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Amenities and More: Takes Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards, Wheelchair Accessible, Covered Outdoor Seating

Address: 485 S Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

The Little One

From the moment The Little One opens for business at 9 AM, music and Spanish chatter can be heard from the kitchen. It’s a sure sign that this pet-friendly restaurant’s main chef (and 1/3 sister owner) is back to work and ready to serve Tucson’s Mexican food-loving community. It’s a humble name for a restaurant making big noise in this gastronomy hot spot.

The Little One opened more than 35 years ago and remains a popular spot for good food and an environment where everyone feels like family—even pets. The mini palm trees and straw fencing decorating the outdoor patio add tons of character to the downtown concrete jungle. And prepare yourself for mandatory (air) hugs for you and your pet before being served.

The warm welcome is a prelude to the warm feeling you’ll have in your stomach after eating the home-cooked food. It serves popular Mexican dishes like the Pollo en Mole Negro, Cochinto en Cream de Chipotle, and vegetarian options like the vegetarian tamale de elote.

Amenities and More: Women-Owned, Latinx-Owned, Waiter Service, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Credit Cards, Vegan Options

Address: 151 N Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

Kukai

Got a taste for a unique dining experience in Tucson? The MSA Annex is an architect-designed space that transformed shipping containers into a collection of shops and restaurants. Kukai, a Japanese restaurant, is one of the featured venues that also showcases the culinary diversity in Tucson.

MSA Annex is a destination for dining with your pet in Tucson, thanks to the outdoor courtyard. Canvas textiles hang overhead, providing shade while you and your dog relax at the patio seating. Order at the outdoor window and your food will be announced before you get too comfortable in your seat.

The menu at Kukai has several dishes direct from Japan—sushi rolls, takoyaki, and onigiri. Warm yourself up on cool evenings with a bowl of hot miso soup. Don’t forget to check the board for daily specials to try unique Japanese dishes not typically on the menu.

Hang out after your meal and enjoy the evening atmosphere with drinks from neighboring food vendors or browse the various retail shops for Tucson-made gifts.

Amenities and More: Latinx-Owned, Vegan Options, Accepts Credit Cards

Address: 267 S Avenida Del Convento Ste. 11, Tucson, AZ 85745

Ermanos Bar

Walking down Historic 4th Avenue in Tucson will take you past many popular shops, bars, and restaurants. If your pet accompanies you on the stroll, Ermanos Bar is a dog-friendly restaurant to visit that keeps you in the mix while enjoying a meal.

The outdoor patio at Ermanos Bar hosts many events, sometimes even with a live DJ. But most days, it’s just the preferred place to eat, where you can sit with your pet amongst the crowd of students from the nearby University of Arizona campus or tourists wandering down the historic avenue.

Bring your appetite because this menu has plenty that will catch your eye. Order a round of craft brew for the table and chow down on a charcuterie board while awaiting your food. It has hearty seafood entrees like lobster rolls, fish and chips, and salmon salad. Meat lovers have options like the zip burger and fried chicken sandwich, while vegetarians can enjoy a freshly-made kale salad and buffalo cauliflower.

Amenities and More: Vegan Options, Accepts Credit Cards, Waiter Service, Happy Hour Specials, Heated Outdoor Seating, Wheelchair Accessible

Address: 220 N 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

Med Cuisine

If there’s one thing that Med Cuisine does right, it is to make sure you leave full—and often with leftovers. From large platters to overstuffed gyros, you’ll be lucky if your stomach survives until dessert.

Med Cuisine is a local Mediterranean restaurant with a huge outdoor patio for pets. It’s great for groups with seats set beneath a pergola or in the open air. Don’t mind getting comfortable because you’ll have a friendly waiter hosting you during your meal. It has a full bar serving cocktails or save your appetite to attempt the challenge of finishing your entire plate before leaving.

Popular dishes from Med Cuisine include the lamb gyro, chicken grill wrap, kibbeh, and tenderloin wrap if you want to use your hands. Or order one of its signature platters—mixed grill, gyro, or vegan—if you’re the fork/spoon type. Other Mediterranean dishes include kabobs and shawarmas. While each dish has plenty of flavors, pouring on the tzatziki sauce makes the taste irresistible.

Amenities and More: Women-Owned, Waiter Service, Vegan Options, Accepts Credit Cards, Heated Outdoor Seating

Address: 1763 E Prince Rd, Tucson, AZ 85719

Nook

“Eat well, live well.” A motto that Nook believes in so much it decorates its walls with the quote as a daily reminder. It’s carved out its own nook and cranny in Downtown Tucson to provide a space where even pets can join in on the dining experience.

Established in 2015, Nook is a contemporary eatery serving healthy meals. Nestled between buildings, Nook gives a slight break from the downtown activity with its private patio space. It’s a gated area with large umbrellas over the tables to also hide you from the desert sun.

Nook is open daily for breakfast and lunch hours, so don’t hit snooze on your pet’s alarm clock. However, you’ll be glad you made it down because it offers a tasty way to start the day. It has Mexican-style brunch favorites such as hues rancheros, carnitas Benedict, and breakfast tamale pies. For something sweeter, order the chocolate chip or cinnamon roll griddle cakes with a side of fruity blueberry scones.

Amenities and More: Accepts Apple Pay, Accepts Credit Cards, Waiter Service, Offers Military Discount, Wheelchair Service

Address: 1 E Congress Ste. 102, Tucson, AZ 85701

The Delta Bar & Grill

Eating at The Delta Bar & Grill will let you experiment with unique flavor combinations. Think kool-aid flavored pickles, watermelon brisket, and blackberry BBQ trout. But how else would you stand out in a city full of amazing food options?

The Delta Bar & Grill is a go-to spot for everyone, whether grabbing a few drinks and appetizers at the bar or hanging out on the outdoor patio with your pet. Warm up by the heat lamps while funky lights illuminate the patio for you to see what you’re eating. But a taste test is always a must because looks can be deceiving.

Thankfully, odd eats aren’t the only thing on the menu if you feel less experimental. Those with simpler tastes can opt for dishes like the crunchy, glazed pork belly skewers, a bowl of Texas poutine, savory seafood gumbo, or the birria burger.

The Delta Bar & Grill is open as late as midnight, a few nights out of the week. After eating, stick around to enjoy music from the live DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays.

Amenities and More: Vegan Options, Accepts Apple Pay, Accepts Android Pay, Waiter Service, Happy Hour Specials, Wheelchair Accessible, Heated Outdoor Seating

Address: 135 S 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

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Special Reports Team