With almost year-round sunshine, stunning desert scenery and mountain terrains, Tucson, Ariz. is a hot spot for adventurers seeking the great outdoors. Take a step into any part of town and the laid back Tucsonans demonstrate a real sense of community with a thriving culture of arts, live music, and — of course — the local array of restaurants. Surprising to many, eating plant-based here is incredibly easy. From the vegan-friendly items one can find at farmers markets to the restaurants that make up a variety of cuisines, planning your next vegan meal is always an adventure in taste. Fortunately, there are a lot of vegan food options in Tucson.
We’ve scoured the city, devoured the food and compiled our top seven picks for vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants you need to try in Tucson. Bonus: we also made this map of the restaurants in Tucson with vegan options that made our list. Happy eating!
HeeMee Coffee + Bakery
HeeMee, located in Downtown Tucson, is a new bakery with vegan-friendly items. Here, coffee made from Yellow Brick Roastery and espresso made from Verve Roastery can be paired with oat or almond milk. Add a vegan pastry like the blueberry crumble and pair it with a vegan sandwich after 11 a.m. (we dig the the beet with arugula), and that’s a great start to the day! Influenced by Korea, Japan, and France, these delicious pastries and sandwiches are made fresh daily. HeeMee is sure to leave your palette satisfied and have you coming back for each day’s new creations. 20 E. Congress St. Suite #110
Just like a visit to Grandma’s house, Tumerico has an instantly inviting atmosphere. This vegan restaurant offers new and made-from-scratch items everyday. A fresh and healthier take on Mexican eats, the goal of Tumerico is to “heal through food.” When available, the earthy mesquite pancakes drizzled with prickly pear syrup at breakfast are a must. For lunch or dinner, try the sopas – eggplant with jackfruit carnitas served on top of a Masa. Pro tip: order the Sonoran Hot Dog when it’s available. Want to take some of Tumerico home with you? Order up the housemade jack fruit carnitas to use in your own culinary masterpieces at home. 2526 E. 6th St.
Right next to San Mercado, the MSA Annex is home to Beaut Burgers modern take on classic burger joints. In the mood for something new? This vegan joint features uncommon burgers like the B9 that comes layered with roasted eggplant, pepita pesto, and housemade mozzarella and the B7, which features peanut butter, tamarind chutney, and romaine. But, that’s not all. Beaut also serves up vegan sandwiches like the Bedeviled, their take on the classic egg salad sandwich. Start your time here with an appetizer like the beer-battered cauliflower bites and end the meal with the decadent Scootcheroo that comes with a dangerously thick layer of heavenly chocolate ganache. Head there for happy hour and take advantage of their $1 limeade or fresh herb fries to add on to your meal. Bonus: it’s dog-friendly. 267 S. Avenida del Convento
Take a break from the daily buzz to sit down for an Artisan-made wood fire pizza in the earthy atmosphere of Falora, a vegan-friendly restaurant in Tucson. Falora’s red, brown, and copper colors bring the restaurant to life with a brick oven as the beating heart. Vegan Italian dishes here range from eats like the kale salad topped with kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and house-made cashew dressing, to the quirky Za Zucca pizza made with butternut squash puree, sliced zucchini, garlic, and sage. Dessert gets even better with a vegan chocolate pie in a nut crust and finished with a fruit puree. By the way, they’ve also got other pizzas you can devour if you hold the cheese. We dig it with grated Brazil nuts. 3000 E. Broadway Blvd.
The Cup Cafe
Well-known to many locals and popular to visitors, the historical Hotel Congress houses The Cup Cafe Restaurant. Their recently upgraded food menu has a vegan option for every meal of the day. For brunch, Tucson Tamale Company collaborates with Cup Cafe bringing a delightful vegan blue corn tamale drizzled with vegan verde crema and a slightly spicy calabacitas served along side our favorite tofu egg scramble with pico de gallo. A lunch must-try are the lettuce wraps filled with chickpea fritters, pickled veggies, smoked cashews, and topped with a harissa vinaigrette. The savory flavors come together as spices heat the palette and a sour sweetness balances it all out. Wash it down with a house made Horchata or a vegan Bloody Mary. Save room for dessert, they’ve got an amazing vegan brownie to satisfy that sweet tooth. The historical building in Downtown Tucson also features a beautiful outdoor area where live music is often played and folks come to enjoy a drink from one of three bars. 311 E. Congress St.
French toast smothered in berries and cream, club sandwiches with shoe string fries, and dinner specials like a Chik’n Fried Steak with mash potatoes and veggies … veganized. Is your stomach growling yet? Lovin’ Spoonfuls isn’t your typical restaurant serving comfort food; it’s a vegan restaurant in Tucson we can’t get enough of. With dishes like the Wildcat Burger layered with their house made soy patty, caramelized onions, tempeh bacon, sriracha mayo and topped with housemade bleu cheese (swoon), or the Thai Curry that’s a rainbow of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, red onions tossed in a housemade red curry, it’s easy to add this to our list. Finish off your visit with a chocolate cream-filled cupcake, one of many locally crafted desserts. Proudly serving all, Lovin’ Spoonfuls takes a stance in the Pride community by offering a safe, relaxed environment to all genders, ages, and people. 2990 N. Campbell Ave. Suite 120
Similar to when parents create fun ways for kids to eat vegetables, Urban Fresh in Downtown Tucson creates absolutely delicious meals that fuel the body with plant-packed nutrients. This vegan restaurant in Tucson is a favorite for grabbing fresh juices, smoothies, or even a burger. Innovative thinking like the rice paper bacon served with their french toast breakfast is what keeps the daily specials selling out! Taking it a step further than most, Urban provides meals created with local produce, unprocessed ingredients, and little to no use of salt, oils, and sugars. Pro tip: when they serve the raw pizza special, run to try it. 73 E. Pennington St.
Talisa is a Tucson based vegan-food blogger. Her vegan journey began in 2016 when she discovered she would be a mother. Two kids and a husband later, she stills find her passion for this vegan lifestyle growing. Talisa has spoken at Vegout Events about vegan living and focuses on leading by example and showcasing her personal journey. Her desire to bring more awareness to this lifestyle is fueled by the benefits she, along with her family, have experienced. It all starts with what we eat, so join her on this journey of discovering vegan food throughout Tucson, Ariz.