Tucson travels

January 18, 2017

Last week I returned from a trip back home to Tucson where I spent a couple weeks soaking up as much sunshine, burritos and tequila as my body could handle. Which, truth be told, wasn’t much as unfortunately I was struck down with the flu a couple days after arriving, and spent 4 days bed-bound, and several more just floating around in a haze while I recovered. It was so bad that I lost 6 pounds. BUT! Not to worry – I more than made up for it once I felt ok again and I can confirm that every last pound has been reclaimed. Which leads me to the first part of my blog…


Some of the restaurants I visited on this trip have been reviewed in previous Tucson posts, so rather than going into detail about them, I’m simply going to list them with a link and a few photos. But feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section!

Blue Willow – my go-to brunch spot. They have an awesome vegan menu and the indoor/outdoor seating area is so charming.

vegan breakfast burrito – tofu, potatoes and guacamole

La Cocina – one of my favorite places in Tucson. It’s located downtown in the Old Artisan’s village and is Tucson’s best kept secret. The courtyard is the perfect spot to sit and have a drink or dinner when the sun is shining.

entrance to La Cocina

guacamole and chips in the courtyard

one of the inside bars / cantinas

El Charro – Tucson’s oldest Mexican restaurant, with a great vegan menu now.

some seriously good guac and some of the best salsa can be found here

avocado jalapeno tacos

Sachiko Sushi – with a couple of locations in Tucson, these guys are my favourite spot for veggie sushi and noodles.

seaweed salad

agadashi tofu

vegan sushi

Zemams – absolutely deeelicious Ethiopian food where it’s BYOB.

Ra Sushi – pretty decent sushi, but a great atmosphere and lovely views of the mountains.

Union Public House – large sports bar with outdoor seating in a pretty courtyard and a few vegan options on the menu.

pretzel, salad and hummus plate

WholeFoods – we went here a LOT. The vegan grocery selection is amazing, and their fresh food area is chock full of awesome vegan options.

so much vegan goodness

vegan pizza topped with Daiya and a very large salad/hot box

Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails – we had dinner here on NYE and the vegan option was SO disappointing.

warm salad starter

undercooked vegetable main

Magpies – local Tucson pizza chain that does Daiya cheese.

we ordered delivery one night

a little heavy on the Daiya cheese, but still good

Lovin’ Spoonfuls – 100% vegan restaurant with loads of junk food as well as healthy options.

fried ravioli!!

vegan reuben sandwich

Mexican burger – the patty was way too salty but otherwise it was good

Yard House – big sports bar at the Park Place Mall, but it has an amazing selection of vegan options and delicious Gardein dishes.

vegan Gardein wings

vegan burger

Nimbus Brewery – local brewery where you can eat and drink where they actually brew the beer (a warehouse in the middle of nowhere)

Christmas Eve Dinner – ok, not a restaurant, but our Christmas dinner was 100% vegan (thanks mom!)

I managed about half, as I was still suffering from the flu at this point

a few days earlier I made my vegan smoked cheese ball for the winter solstice and we had tamales + bean chili for our main course


Tucson is amazing for outdoor enthusiasts. We managed to hit nearly all of my favorite hikes, and they were just as beautiful as I remember. Plus, the washes were all flowing as we had a LOT of rain over Christmas.

Milagrosa Canyon

scaling the walls in Milagrosa Canyon

the beginning of our hike to Bridal Wreath Falls

the top of Bridal Wreath Falls

the start of Soldier’s Trail

hiking along the wash on Soldier’s Trail

forging the river on Soldier’s Trail

views from Soldier’s Trail

hike to Tanque Verde Falls

the bottom of the Tanque Verde Falls (and the calmest water)

Tanque Verde Falls

Bushwhacking to “the secret pools”

the secret pools

all the washes were flowing after the rainstorms


There is so much to do in Tucson and Arizona in general, and I only got to do about half of the things I wanted to on this trip.

The changing Tucson skyline – I could never tire of the desert sky


Air and Space Museum – the museum is incredibly large and informative, with several hangers full of planes and memorabilia. My favourite part though is the outdoor airplane graveyard.

Bike riding – Tucson is a hot spot for cyclists as we enjoy good weather year-round. Hop on a bike and ride a portion of “The Loop” – 100+ miles of paved pathways around the city.

we managed 22 miles of the loop – not bad going!

The Botanical Gardens – located mid-town on the site of the historic Porter property, Reader’s Digest named Tucson Botanical Gardens as the best Secret Garden in America, and it’s easy to see why.

the butterfly exhibit

The Frida Kahlo exhibit was on while we were there – all the way from NYC!

Sports – there is always something happening sports-wise in Tucson. While we were there we got to enjoy a basketball game at my old University.

Go Cats!

It was another really lovely trip back home and I was sad to see it end, but I’m ready for big things this year. Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2017!