Renee's Organic Oven is one of your best bets in the Tucson area for healthy organic, as well as gluten-free dining. Featuring a delicious menu of Italian and comfort style food, made with organic ingredients and available with GF substitutions, Renee's is the perfect choice for any Tucson visitors seeking a "healthier" version of Italian.
Renee's is conveniently located on Tanque Verde Rd, making it a good option for anyone heading out to Mt. Lemmon or any other attraction out this way.
If you love Italian food, but avoid it due to gluten or non-organic concerns, you may want to give Renee's a chance. Like all other health restaurants, there is a pretty hefty up charge, so I would not recommend Renee's to anyone who is not overly concerned about healthy/local ingredients. Gluten-free diners will be happy to know that there are an abundance of choices, courtesy of local gluten free bakery Gourmet Girls.
The menu is quite diverse, consisting of both Italian and comfort food options, and is pretty carb hefty, making Renee's a good choice after hiking or biking. There are lots of tasty comfort style appetizers on the menu like bread and butter, meatballs, tostadas, and tacos. I highly recommend the Spinach artichoke dip served with focaccia bread (GF can be substituted). The hummus tostada is another unique tasty choice. The garlic knots, which lacked butter and garlic, were the only disappointment.
Renee's is most well known for their delicious pizza, of which a dozen or so tasty combinations are available. They offer a gluten free crust and dairy free vegan cheese, so it really is one of the most accommodating pizza places in town.
Other menu options include sandwiches, big salads, pastas, ravioli, and soups. Unfortunately, right now they only offer zucchini noodles as the GF pasta option. Hopefully, they will add the option for gluten free rice/corn based noodles in the future. A vegan pesto based sauce is the dairy free pasta option.
As for the dessert menu, there are a variety of tempting GF and vegan specialties including a GF carrot cake, a vegan bundt cake, and a rich flour less chocolate cake. If you visit on your birthday, you can try out the flourless cake for free!
Happy Hour runs from 4-6pm daily and all day on Tuesday and Sunday. During this time, you will be able to take advantage of drink specials, reduced priced appetizers, and special meal deals including a Sip & Slice special which includes a slice of pizza and wine for 11 bucks.
Renee's pales in comparison to regional Arizona chain Picazzo's, which recently closed in the Oro Valley area. Picazzo's offers a 100% GF menu including lasagna and ravioli, amazing happy hour deals, and a better vibe. However, since it is now closed, Renee's is your next best bet. If you ever find yourself in the Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Sedona area check it out - it is one of the best gluten-free restaurants I have ever visited.
Service is one of the highlight at Renee's. Our waitress was very friendly and personable, which seems to be a rarity in this area.
The setting at Renee's is modern and simplistic. It has the vibe of a common modern chain, and thus, it feels like a place you go to more for the specialty food rather than the atmosphere. The ambiance really does match the high price point, however, this is usually the case at any health food restaurant. They do have a nice outdoor patio for the cooler season.
I recommend giving Renee's a shot if you are seeking organic, gluten-free, or vegan food in the Tucson area. The prices are a bit on the high side, however, they offer the tastiest selection of GF and vegan comfort food in the area. Plus, nothing beats lots of hefty appetizers and carbs after a long day of desert hiking.