El Minuto Restaurant

354 S. Main Street
Tucson, Arizona
(505) 882-4145.

Founded in 1936, El Minuto Café is located in what was once Barrio El Hoyo and what is today downtown Tucson. A popular eatery for generations of Tucsonians, the warm festive environment is welcoming and relaxed. The menu includes traditional

El Minuto Interior

Mexican dishes such as fajitas, chile rellenos, tacos and enchiladas but also includes Chimichangas, breaded fried shrimp and cheese crisps. Wine and beer are available. LATINOPIA recommends the green chile con carne (chile verde pork) and the albondiga soup.

El Charro Cafe

311 North Court Avenue
Tucson, Arizona
(520) 662-1922

In business since 1922, El Charro Café  touts itself as the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant which it may well be (Latinopia was not around in 1922 and so declines to challenge the claim). The original El Charro is located in what was once the family

El Charro Interior

residence of founder and chef Monica Flin. It’s a building full of dining rooms with warm low-key lighting and a large back patio. A coffee bar and gift shop are adjacent to the main restaurant. There are four other locations in the Tucson area. The restaurant has provided excellent Mexican cuisine for generations of Tucsonians, with a menu that features such Southern Arizona plates as Enchiladas Sonorenses.. The El Charro Carne Seca Chimichanga was voted one of the 50 best plates in America by USA Today. Monica Flin claims to have invented the name “chimichanga” but other Arizonans and a few New Mexicans challenge that assertion.  LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the Tres Moles Enchiladas–barbacoa in mole colorado, shrimp in mole tomatillo and chicken in classic mole poblano.

Mi Nidito Restaurant

1813 South Fourth Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85713
(520) 622-5081

Another favorite Tucson eatery, Mi Nidito was founded in 1952 and is located in Tucson’s Southside barrio. Visitors are greeted with a colorful mural in front of the “Little Nest” restaurant, so named because the original restaurant was so tiny. The menu includes all traditional Mexican plates such as chile rellenos,

Mi Nidito Interior

enchiladas, tacos and birria as well as less common offerings like nopallitos (prickley pear), carne seca and jumbo breaded shrimp. All dishes are ably prepared and the service is atttentive. LATINOPIA RECOMMENDS the cocido, a tasty soup made of tender beef and vegetables and for dessert try the fresh mangoes with whipped cream!