Noodies is the new sister restaurant to downtown's Ceres. If Ceres is inspired by old-world Italy, Noodies is the Italian-American "wild child" follow-up.

Whether you love or hate Tucson's scorching summer temperatures and capricious monsoons, our city does slow down when the snowbirds and students leave. Luckily for those of us who stick around, several courageous restaurateurs have recently opened their eateries, ready for us to enjoy in our slower season.

Here are 8 new restaurants that opened this spring in Tucson — and 8 more on the horizon.


This hibachi restaurant revolutionized the genre by taking the performance element out of the experience. You can get a variety of grill-fried proteins with classic starches like udon noodles and fried rice without all the fuss.

Their Congress Street location is their first outpost in Tucson, but the restaurant got its start in Phoenix as a hibachi food truck. Owner Geraldo “Jerry” Curiel started the business to help support his family when he welcomed a baby during the pandemic.

The restaurant's logo features the controversial rising sun flag, in some cases edited to look like the Arizona flag. Jerry chose the iconography because of its continued use in Japan.

Location: 63 E. Congress St.

Hours: Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Dinner is served from 5-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday | 5-11 p.m. Thursday | 5 p.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday | Sunday service runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Price: Lunch menu ranges from $15-$22. Dinner entrees cost $20-$42 depending on the protein.

For more information, check out their Instagram page.

Licks Catalina

If you’re looking for handmade ice cream in the Oracle area, this is the new spot! They make limited-edition flavors (revealed through obsession-worthy Instagram reels), cereal-infused ice creams, bubble waffle cones and a variety of espresso drinks.

Location: 16130 N. Oracle Road in Catalina

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

Price: Single scoops cost $3.50. A signature dessert cone costs $7.25.

For more information, check out their Instagram page.

While Noodies and sister restaurant Ceres share much in common, pasta fries are one of the many menu items unique to "wild child" Noodies.


If you’re missing Ceres while it closes for summer break, never fear — sister restaurant Noodies just opened, now with extended hours while Ceres is on pause. While certain menu items are similar across restaurants, owner Carolyn O’Connor calls Noodies her second “wild child” with decor inspired by Hong Kong’s diners and fun noodle-themed murals.

If Ceres’ menu is inspired by rustic Italy, Noodies better reflects the Italian-American heritage Carolyn grew up around in Syracuse, New York. Noodies offers house-made pasta and soft-serve gelato alongside an extended menu of sandwiches and ~pasta fries~ in the University area.

Location: 1730 E. Speedway

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday

Price: Entrees cost between $11-$13. Sandwiches between $7.50-$10. Gelato is $4.

For more information, check out their website or our story.

Co-owners Kyla Rice, left, and Matt Rice want to create a welcoming environment at their new restaurant On The Rocks.

On The Rocks

This east-side restaurant offers a classic grill menu of burgers, wings and flatbreads alongside a fun drink menu. With these components, and a family-run atmosphere, it could be your next neighborhood hangout.

Location: 7930 E. Speedway

Hours: 11-2 a.m daily. Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday | 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday

Price: Classic OTR burgers cost $14 and include a side. Signature cocktails cost between $8-$12.

For more information, check out their website.

Peace, Love & Pops

This popsicle boutique has finally landed on University Boulevard! Their creative bases include juice, cream, and dog-friendly options.

Location: 845 E. University Blvd.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday | 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Price: Juice-based pops cost $3.75. Dairy-based pops cost $4.25. Pup pops cost $3.

For more information, check out their website.

Bemo’s Ol’ Joe’s tot-chos are tater tots loaded with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheese and slaw. You can find them exclusively at The Pit food truck park.

The Pit

The Pit is a venue for food trucks more than a restaurant proper — but make no mistake, the outdoor venue is a culinary force of its own. Their roster features some outstanding food, from homemade Lebanese wraps to mouthwateringly over-the-top barbecue. They offer free live music on Friday nights and are located right off The Loop bike trail.

The Pit’s location is in a former abandoned gas station on the east side. The “Scooby Doo”-like setting was revamped by co-owners Amber Donahue and Chris Frisch into a beer den where fridges are well-stocked with cold drinks, with a limited bar menu in the heart of the operation.

Location: 7889 E. 22nd St.

Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily | Check individual vendors for details.

Price: Varies by vendor.

For more information, check out their website or our story.

El Tigre bowl is one of the dishes available at Texas Burrito Company.

Texas Burrito Company

Its name says it all: this Sonoran-Texas fusion restaurant combines south Texas’ wood-smoked meats with Tucson’s salsas and tortillas. It’s the first solo venture of the Scott family, who co-owns the cult classic BBQ Rush (hidden in the middle of a KOA campground near South Country Club Road and East Benson Highway).

Location: 1570 E. Tucson Marketplace Blvd.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

Price: Burritos cost $13 each.

For more information, check out their website or our story.

Turkey tacos were always a fan favorite at Tooley’s. They returned to the menu when the cafe reopened on June 3.

Tooley’s Cafe

After six years, this Tucson classic finally reopened in Lost Barrio, with their original menu from 1989. The restaurant was Patricia Schwabe’s first venture. She now owns the restaurant Penca, with its central-Mexican menu, and the hip bar Owl’s Club. Tooley’s offers a brunch menu of corn cakes, burritos and tacos. In the time since Tooley’s closed, regulars missed their turkey tacos and plate-sized cookies. Now’s your chance to try!

Location: 299 S. Park Ave.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Price: Breakfast entrees average around $10-$11. Lunch ranges anywhere from $6-$12. Breakfast comes with side of fruit, lunch with a side salad. House-made bevs are $4 each.

For more information, check out their Instagram.

Construction has started on a new restaurant called Tabu, in the Gus Taylor building at 128 E. Congress St. The Mexican restaurant is expected to open in late summer.

Restaurants coming soon

As Ten55 Brewing Co. expands to a larger production space in midtown, their old downtown spot will become home to Blue Front. This new venture from Tooley’s Cafe, Penca and Owl’s Club owner Patricia Schwabe will feature a classic diner menu of burgers, milkshakes and tuna melts. Its name nods to an old department store that sold clothes to Tucsonans downtown in the early 1900s. For more information, check out our recent coverage.

Main Gate Square is getting a new Mexican restaurant, run by the masterminds behind Gentle Ben’s and now Bacio Italiano. For more information, read our recent coverage.

Many Tucsonans already love Houlden’s Rise Above from their vegan pastries at coffee shops like Coffee Times, Presta and Red Captain Coffee. Soon we’ll be able to buy directly from Hannah Houlden’s brick and mortar in midtown. For more information, check out their website.

The iconic churro food truck you may have seen around town is opening a brick and mortar in late August. For more information, check out their Facebook page or read our story.

Mojo bills itself as not only a Cuban restaurant, but a rum bar. For more information, check out their website.

This coffee shop is still under construction, but once it opens it’ll give Tucsonans yet another reason to make it up the hill. For more information, check out their menu.

This catering company finally secured its own brick and mortar and will be bringing its beloved baked goods to the Casas Adobes community, starting July 11. For more information, check out their website or read our story.

The Latin-fusion restaurant and bar taking over the Gus Taylor building on Congress Street will offer food, drinks and atmosphere inspired by Mexico City and Sonora. Owners are planning for live music and DJs to set the tone for friends to connect downtown. For more information, check out our recent coverage

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