Get an inside look at the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S.
Best of the Barrio Culinary Tour
Offered By Gray Line Tucson
When considering the many culinary options in the heavily Hispanic region of South Tucson, Gray Line chose to offer family-owned establishments that are truly eager to share their passion with you. The tour begins at La Estrella Bakery, where the aroma at the threshold will beckon you to delve deeper into the kitchens of this little bakery. Here, you not only discover fresh pastries and how they're made, but you also learn about the various Mexican traditions they are used for. It's essentially a lesson in Hispanic culture and the reason behind the many holidays and celebrations, of which food is such a large part. After this gustatory delight, the tour takes you to several different types of Mexican restaurants focusing on tacos, burritos, ceviche, fish, and Sonoran hot dogs and finishes with a sweet raspado, a combination of shaved ice, ice cream, and fresh hand-cut fruit.
Attendees: 1 min./52 max.
Length: 4 hours
Contact: Gary Price, Sales Manager
Desert Flavors at Tohono Chul
A Taste Of Sonoran Desert Native Foods
Many are familiar with the sweet, red fruits of the saguaro or prickly pear, but have you tasted the carob-like flavor of a ripe mesquite pod or put a zing in your mouth by biting into the "mother of all chiles"? Join the ethnobotanists at Tohono Chul Park and experience a taste of the desert. This tour begins with a presentation about the plants traditionally and currently used by the native peoples of the Southwest. After a visit to the park's ethnobotanical garden, the group may apply what was learned and practice some hands-on plant preparation. Finally, a meal of local plants is served.
Attendees: 10 min./30 max.
Length: 3 hours
- Starters: Tepary Bean Paté with Mesquite Crackers, Sonoran Salad with Nopales (prickly pear pads), Cholla Buds and Prickly Pear Vinaigrette.
- Breads: Blue Corn and Pepper/Cumin.
- Entrées: Buffalo Chile Posole or Tepary Bean/Green Chile Posole (Vegetarian).
- Desserts: Mesquite Baklava or Chocolate/Dulce de Leche Mesquite Brownies.
Contact: Jo Falls, Director of Public Programs
Cooking Demonstration at Tucson Botanical Gardens
Four Seasons Cooking Techniques
Join Tucson's top chefs at the Tucson Botanical Gardens for a tasty cooking demonstration using fresh ingredients from the garden to make delicious and delectable meals. Perhaps a savory sauce with homegrown herbs or a hot-and-spicy appetizer laced with colorful fresh chiles. This incredible culinary experience begins with a tour of the "Garden of the Season" giving insight into the unique growing process behind each ingredient. Afterward, sit back and enjoy the cooking demonstration and the meal inspired by the garden you just visited.
Attendees: 15 min./40 max.
Length: 2 hours
Reservations: Must be made at least a month in advance, at which time a 50% deposit is due. If the group cancels less than two weeks in advance, the deposit will not be refunded. The remaining balance is due the day of the tour.
Sample Menu: Choose from ham sandwich with fontina cheese, apples, and Dijon mustard served with a side-salad; roasted red pepper hummus plate with grilled vegetables, pita bread, and side salad; fruit salad served on field greens with honey-lime dressing and candied pistachios; gazpacho with focaccia bread and a side salad.
Contact: Yarina Hynd
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