Picture this: You’re riding your bike through the 131-mile Loop. You’ve got a bottle of water and a granola bar to munch on, but you’re dying for a stack of warm pancakes drizzled in maple syrup — with extra crispy bacon on the side.
Lucky for you, there are dozens of restaurants within biking (or walking) distance from The Loop. If you’re unfamiliar, The Loop is a continuous pathway that spans Tucson and caters to bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians alike.
Although there are countless restaurants near The Loop, here are 31 of them, most of which are less than a mile away — some merely steps away.
After your long bike ride, visit Serial Grillers (1970 W. River Road) for a hearty burger or a slice of pizza. Alternatively, swing by St. Phillips Plaza (4340 N. Campbell Ave.) and grab a bite at Union Public House or Reforma Cocina y Cantina.
If you’re more in the mood for diner food — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — Grumpy’s Grill (2960 W. Ina Road) is a good option.
And if you’ve trod into Oro Valley, Sushi Valley (10509 N. Oracle Road) is waiting to take your order.
Dying for a slab of steak to help fill your stomach? Visit Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse (8500 N. Silverbell Road) for an 8-ounce sirloin or a rack of ribs.
If Mexican food sounds better, La Olla Mexican Cafe (8553 N Silverbell Road) is also close to The Loop, with enough Sonoran-style dishes to cure your craving.
For an Asian alternative, Asian Spice (7850 N. Silverbell Road) is another nearby option.
The Loop doesn’t veer too far into west Tucson, but there are a handful of restaurants west of Interstate 10 that are temptingly close to The Loop.
For something other than Mexican cuisine, head to KG’s Westside Cafe (1951 W. Grant Road) to get your breakfast fix. Pat’s Chili Dogs (1202 W. Niagara St.) and Chinese restaurant Dragon’s View (400 N. Bonita Ave.) are also near The Loop.
If you just want a quick treat, Sonoran Delights (921 W. Congress St.) is a good spot to visit for raspados and Tosti-locos.
SOUTH and SOUTHWEST TUCSON:
Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (5451 E. Benson Highway) is located near Interstate 10, and conveniently located near The Loop, too. The spot has your classic diner options — cheeseburgers, sandwiches, all-day breakfast and a handful of Mexican options.
More restaurants await in The Spectrum shopping center. Jerry Bob’s (5121 S. Calle Santa Cruz) is an option for breakfast. Visit Sonora’s Famous Hot Dogs & Grill (5475 S. Calle Santa Cruz) for a classic Sonoran hot dog — and some not-so-classic hot dogs, too.
The Loop doesn’t venture far into northeast Tucson, but it definitely heads into southeast Tucson. Right on the cusp of what can possibly be considered “south” is Casa Del Rio (1060 S. Pantano Road). The spot has been open since ‘79 and serves what it considers to be the best chimichangas in Tucson. Try ‘em yourself and decide.
Saguaro Corners (3750 S. Old Spanish Trail) serves up comfort food with a twist, and the views will make you wish you were still on your bike rollin’ through the desert.
Literally steps from The Loop is Baggin’s Gourmet Sandwiches (7233 E. Speedway) if you need a quick sandwich break.
The Horseshoe Grill is another option (7713 E. Broadway), as are Bistro 44 (6761 E. Tanque Verde Road), Prep & Pastry (6450 E. Grant Road), and Zinburger (6390 E. Grant Road).
And, for a bonus not-so-east restaurant, visit The Quesadillas (2418 N. Craycroft Road). It’s located pretty much as central as The Loop goes.
Nearly all the restaurants downtown are within walking distance from one another, but some are closer to The Loop than others. Among them: El Minuto Cafe (354 S. Main Ave.), Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant (198 W. Cushing St.), and Cafe a La C’Art (150 N. Main Ave.). In Mercado San Agustin (technically west Tucson, but I’ll count it here), Agustin Kitchen and Seis Kitchen are both good choices.