Within sight of the beautiful mosaic-tiled dome of the Pima County Courthouse resides another Tucson treasure: Roasted Tea & Coffee Shop, where passionate coffee aficionados brew earthy, aromatic cups of joe from small batches of locally roasted beans. The coffee curators' insistence on organic and fair-trade products ensures top-shelf quality for each satisfying sip of espresso and each sweet, creamy latte. Cold-brewed iced coffee, spicy cold chai, and frosty chocolate-milk mochas cool down overheated taste buds while delivering all the rich, complex flavors of the house's carefully selected coffee beans.
You don’t win accolades and awards just for having the best smoothie flavors. The ingredients matter as well. That’s why the blender-operating staff at Xoom eschew the use of high-fructose corn syrup, added sugars, and ice cream in favor of natural, organic ingredients that satiate nutrient levels as well as taste buds. The smoothie menu focuses on 100% fruit juice, blended with organic milk, nutrient boosters, and energizing shots of espresso to ready your body for a fast-paced day of activity or telling the Kool-Aid Man you’re changing the locks on his favorite wall entrance to your house.
El Rio Bakery & Restaurant's culinary artisans begin baking fresh breads at 3 a.m., and open their doors daily at 6 a.m. to dole out assorted Mexican baked treats. Fresh Mexican classics abound on the lunch and dinner menu, including the chili menudo ($3.50/pint, $6.89/quart), a tripe soup traditionally believed to cure hangovers and temporary grant eaters the power to start fires with their eyes. Combination platters, such as the chili relleno served with rice, beans, and choice of tortillas ($5.59), satisfy aggressive appetites, while individual pastries such as the cochitos—gingerbread cookies shaped like little pigs—eschew refined sugar in favor of molasses and honey ($0.55 each). Among a colorful mural, painted by a local artist, an in-house tortilla factory spins delicate disks of varying diameters, and corresponding likelihoods of representing the different planets in a solar system mobile, with 14-inch burro tortillas ($3.50/ dozen) and 6-inch wheat tortillas ($2/dozen).
Rhino Pub welcomes ravenous revelers with a spacious, sports-centric atmosphere and an appetite-appeasing menu stocked with mouth-watering grub and energizing coffee drinks. Twenty-four beers on tap paired with the luminous glow of 12 TVs attract suds-loving sports fans, and Tuesday's karaoke and Thursday's live music lure a mix of singers, dancers, and the occasional lonely tambourinist. Customers can take an entertainment break and quell carnivorous yens with a bacon cheeseburger, served with a choice of fries or tots ($7.95), or replenish dance tanks with a 16 oz. cappuccino ($3.25). Rhino Pub's inviting atmosphere sports neon lounge lights, long black high-top tables, and free WiFi, making it the ideal place to flirt with a like-minded super-fan or exchange romantic emails with the cute laptop across the bar.
It was a fateful day that Campus Candy founder Mark Tarnofsky dropped his daughter off at Indiana University about four years ago. On a mission to track down a simple candy bar, the dutiful dad found himself roaming far afield until he finally landed at a distant drugstore. Convinced that college kids want candy within constant reach, Tarnofsky started his first store right there, and soon expanded to the schools in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Each outlet sells more than 500 different types of candy, all of which may be repurposed as toppings on a rotating menu of frozen yogurt. By slinging bulk candy at a fixed price, Campus Candy stores make it easy for college kids to load up on diverse desserts without filling their schedules with bonbon-making classes.
At Allegro il Gelato Naturale, two native Italians, one of whom is a graduate of Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, use old-world recipes to create fresh gelato daily. Their frozen treat is free of concentrates and artificial flavors, made instead from whole organic milk and natural stabilizers such as guar gum and hugs. These choice ingredients form both traditional and unusual flavors, including chocolate, custard, hazelnut, and mint ($3.50–$5 for a cup, $4.25–$5.75 for a cone). Allegro's treatmakers also prepare seasonal sorbets in flavors such as pear, apple, and kiwi, using only fresh fruit, real sugar, and mountain spring water. On colder days, sip a soothing hot chocolate ($2.50) or eye-opening espresso ($2).