The seasoned instructors at Belly Dance Tucson demystify the Middle Eastern art of speaking with the hips during a schedule of belly dancing classes for adults and children. Students en route to belly dancing mastery must first participate in eight weeks of the Introductory Technique course. Afterward, each successive class increases in difficulty and begins incorporating finger symbols, veils, and Rubik's cubes that participants must solve with their feet. The studio's kid-friendly classes teach bite-size belly dancers aged 5?10 in a fun, encouraging environment. Specialty workshops and private lessons allow pupils to fine-tune specific skills under the tutelage of a world-renowned dancer. Belly Dance Tucson's professional dancing troupe can also travel to special events and social gatherings to grace crowds with hypnotizing entertainment.
Burgers, beers, and fries are pub staples, but the versions that emerge from the kitchen at Social House Kitchen & Pub are anything but the norm. Fit for foodies and casual diners alike, the menu puts a gastropub spin on its eats. Crispy pork belly and mushroom gravy coat the “loaded” fries, and the American classic burger comes with a crown of candied bacon. Other entrees that shake up familiar dishes include beef short ribs with egg, fish ‘n’ chips with apple slaw, and a dip sandwich finished off with rosemary aioli. Behind the gleaming bar top, bartenders pour out 32 craft brews, which patrons enjoy inside a modern space that features a mixture of rustic wood furnishings and bright white upholstery.
Since 2002 The Loft Cinema, a nonprofit, has unspooled a constantly changing lineup of independent, foreign, and classic films. The classic big screen in the main theater and secondary screen upstairs flicker with a full schedule of small-run documentaries and feature films. Special themed series—such as Late Night Cult Classics, which exposes night owls to quirky hits, and One Hit Wonders, one-night-only showings of thought-provoking documentaries—bring little-seen titles to life in brilliant 35 mm. An eclectic concession stand dispenses snacks both familiar and creative, including popcorn drizzled with real butter, vegan cookies, craft beers, and licorice boom mics that are slowly lowered over guests’ heads.
The chefs at Aussie Cantina serve up authentic Australian eats and American favorites with Southwestern flavors in a friendly pub setting. Specialties from the land Down Under include traditional sausage rolls and meat pies, Australian lamb, and dingo dogs, in addition to build-your-own burgers that may be adorned with such toppings as cheese, egg, beet root, or Hatch green chili. Kangaroo tacos are available seasonally, and cantina cocktails, a wine list, and 24 beers on tap, including Coopers, quench thirsts from lengthy walkabouts. Aussie Cantina, which was built using repurposed materials such as bait barge timber and rusted tin, is located just south of the University of Arizona.
Dante's Fire takes its name from the tale of a fiery inferno, but for Tucson foodies, a trip to the restaurant could be downright heavenly. "This is a small plate lover's paradise," wrote one 10Best contributor of the spot's mostly tapas-style menu. Creative flavor pairings shine in dishes such as chilled corn bisque with preserved tomatoes, crab salad, and basil oil, and the charcuterie plate, which features drunken apricots and house-made bread alongside artisanal meats and cheeses. Chef Ken Foy rounds out the menu with heartier entrees such as brie-topped burgers and truffled chicken marsala.
The cocktail list here is similarly creative. Drink options range from the Tamarind Tiger, made with jalape?o tequila, tamarind syrup, and Averna, to a refreshing martini topped with cucumber foam. For a memorable dessert, try the Foie Pops Deux?an unusual treat made with chocolate streusel, Fireball-vanilla mangoes, coffee reduction, and local honey from the most avant garde beehive in town.
When it first popped up at the intersection of Park and University, Wilko was a quick stop for UA students to grab some espresso or refrigerated food to-go. But a massive overhaul in 2010 transformed the space into a fully functional restaurant, and one that has continually added to its menu since.
As a modern gastropub, Wilko prepares all of its inventive comfort food right on-site. That includes sandwiches, flatbreads, and a group of "Tasty Misfits," which don't fit under any menu category, but come in the form of Sonoran bratwurst or pan-seared tilapia. In addition to the eats, diners can fill up empty water balloons or wash down bites with more than 30 wines, craft cocktails, and more than 10 beers on tap.