Dining Out

Tucson named world city of gastronomy

Tucson was named America’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy last year.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Creative Cities program — established in 2004 to promote cooperation between cities for “sustainable urban development” — has 116 member cities, and on Dec. 11, 2015, Tucson became one of six Creative Cities in the United States, and the only one selected for gastronomy.

Mexican food may top the list when people think of ethnic cuisine in Tucson, but true foodies know we’ve got it all.   Here are a few of the city’s most popular restaurants:

Tavolino Ristorante Italiano

2890 E. Skyline Drive

531-1913 • tavolinoristorante.com

The cuisine at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano comes straight from Chef Massimo Tenino’s heart and heritage. The menu features authentic, Northern Italian cuisine. Offerings include a delectable selection of fresh salads, homemade pastas, hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas, succulent rotisserie meats and much more. The outstanding wine list, craft cocktail selection and welcoming environment all combine to make Tavolino one of Tucson’s favorite restaurants.

Ali Baba Mediterranean

2545 E. Speedway Blvd.

319-2155 • mediterraneantucson.com

From homemade hummus with pita to exotic specialties like Walnut and Pomegranate Stew, Ali Baba is the place to be for authentic Mediterranean food in Tucson. The extensive menu includes everything from chicken shawarma and lamb shish kabob to falafel platters and fried eggplant. Authentic drinks like cucumber lemonade are a refreshing complement to the tasty meals. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, Ali Baba Mediterranean has been serving Tucson for over 25 years.

Pionic Pizza & Pasta

2643 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 101

327-4992 • pionicpizza.com

At Pionic, owners Scott Sinclair and family offer fun with food for your family, with an unlimited choice of more than 40 toppings that they prep fresh daily. At Pionic, you’re the chef and you can create pizza, pasta, salad, calzones and even pasta on a pizza. They have a state of the art oven that cooks the pizzas at 800ºF so they are ready in as little as 90 seconds. Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, no problem. Owners and staff make sure that at Pionic, everyone gets what they want.