The Empire Pizza and Pub staff assembles a mix and match of 23 ingredients—including barbecue sauce and genoa salami—atop 13 New York-style pizzas. Their efforts helped earn the eatery a Best Pizza nod in 2011 by Metromix. They name their specialty pies after notable places in New York, such as Soho’s white pizza with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan and the Jackson Heights slathered in barbecue sauce and sprinkled with chicken, green pepper, and onion. By preparing the pies, subs, and salads for carry-out, delivery, or serving them at the restaurant as late as 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (11 p.m. other days) and as early as 835 B.C.E., the staff accommodates diners of many tastes and schedules.
The arena in which the team’s servers operate features exposed-brick walls lining the narrow layout. A bar at the back pairs libations with pizzas, while vintage lights illuminate the copper ceiling.
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.
Fresh bagels with cream cheese and café drinks are just a few specialties available in the mornings at Cafe Sol. Later in the day, cooks prepare roast beef sandwiches with provolone cheese and au jus, BLTs with avocado, and other satisfying handhelds.
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.
Reviving jaded posses of Tucson tongues with its traditional cuisine, La Fuente Restaurant is a Southwestern outpost for friendly service and live-strummed dinner music. The vast menu offers shareable starters such as the sour cream-flanked cheese quesadillas ($8.99), as well as hearty specialties like the mole poblano, a chicken breast simmered in the semisweet chocolate-chili sauce that cowboys once used primarily as mustache wax ($16.99). Dinner combos eliminate the burden of choice and are served in full-flavored configurations like beef taco, beef tamale, and cheese enchilada ($11.99), or a small eatable army of beef or chicken gorditas ($11.99). Meat-free options abound for green-mouthed plantavores and include a veggie burrito ($12.99) and spinach enchiladas ($11.99 for two).
Rusty's sports a hefty menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, melts, and more in a lively sports-stuffed environment. Belly up to a booth for a plate of hot wings available in seven sauces such as barbecue, teriyaki, and smokin' hot to leave sticky, incriminating evidence of who changed the channel on the booth's personal TV set ($7.99+). Leaf lovers fork through the cucumber, tomato, roast beef, and turkey-topped chef salad ($7.95), while hands-on consumers contemplate the selection of 10 melts, including the Hot-N-Heavy ham melt, a porcine pairing of ham and bacon under american and swiss cheeses ($7.95). Patty pilgrims celebrate Rusty's line up of 16 charbroiled burgers, including the pineapple-enhanced Hula burger ($7.95), barbecue-bathed Brandin' Iron ($6.95), and the of Fame burger, a one-pound round buried under tasty tiers of ham, turkey, bacon, two types of cheese, and a fried egg ($10.95). Patrons practice their knife and fork aptitude as they slice and spear through hefty helpings of Rusty's pot roast dinner ($9.95) or the oversized italian lasagna dinner ($9.95).