Cafe a la C'Art is a wonderful little restaurant on the grounds of the beautiful Tucson Museum of Art. The fantastic food and beautiful outdoor patio has earned it the distinction of one of the top 10 museum restaurants in the world by U.S. Food & Wine Magazine.
If you are looking for a nice upscale casual place for brunch where you can lounge outside even during the hot summer months, then Cafe a la C'Art is one of just a handful of great choices around Tucson. Regardless of whether or not you are visiting the museum, the cafe is a fantastic little breakfast gem to check out if you are heading downtown for the day.
Weekend brunch is the best time to visit the cafe due to the laid-back setting, slightly cooler weather, and affordable pricing, although dinner is more of a romantic experience with the pretty lights strung up around the garden.
The cafe offers a small selection of breakfast entrees including the most delicious skillets and breakfast burritos. I love that the skillets are actually loaded with big fresh veggies as opposed to the tiny pieces they give you at most breakfast places. The potatoes are home cooked and perfectly seasoned. Not sure where they get there bread from, but you can tell that it is local and fresh.
The only minor disappointment was the poor quality espresso drinks, which was quite odd considering they had a full espresso bar on site. Perhaps it was a bad batch of coffee or an untrained barista was working there that particular day. The regular drip coffee on the other hand was decent, although far from the best downtown.
Cafe a la C'Art also offers one of the best selection of desserts in town. As soon as you walk in and see all the freshly made homemade treats like cakes and muffins, it's really hard to leave without treating yourself a bit! Try their signature Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake or the Chocolate Bomb.
Despite the great food and setting, service was a bit aloof and no one bothered to clear our plates or ask how we enjoyed our meal. This is a counter service restaurant, however, they should hire a few employees to attend to the needs of guests, particularly at this high of a price point.
The Monet inspired garden patio is just the perfect setting for a leisurely slow paced weekend brunch. There are lots of trees and surprisingly a lot of shade for Tucson, which is great because it's super hot here most of the year and the sun can be pretty brutal even during the cool season. With all the leafy green trees, you almost feel as if you are taking a mini escape from the desert, which as we all know is not a bad thing during the intense summer heat season.
Anyone seeking a relaxed, yet upscale dining experience in Tucson as opposed to a crowded, noisy diner, should definitely make some room for breakfast at Cafe a la C'Art. The shady garden patio and fresh chef inspired cuisine make it one of my top picks in downtown Tucson.