La Cocina is a festive Southwestern themed outdoor cafe near downtown Tucson. It's popular with both locals and tourists due to the lively patio, live music, and great happy hour specials.
La Cocina serves lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends. If you are looking for a quieter laid-back ambiance, then brunch is your best bet, while those seeking a fun night out on the town should probably check out La Cocina for dinner.
The brunch menu is quite small with just a few basic options such as a breakfast burrito, a traditional 2 egg plate, and a smoked salmon bagel. We tested out the 2 egg plate which was basic, yet tasty. The potatoes were nicely seasoned and the rye bread was delicious.
Lunch/dinner includes a small assortment of both Mexican and American foods including nachos, chicken wings, spring rolls, chips and salsa, salads & sandwiches, and entrees ranging from tacos and a smothered burrito to a Southwestern Pot Roast. For vegetarians, there is a Lemongrass Coconut Curry and a Quinoa bowl filled with veggies and tofu. The menu is small, yet diverse with plenty of options for anyone including gluten-free choices.
We were hesitant to try out the Smothered Burrito as the menu did not appear to be authentic Mexican style food, however, it turned out to be pretty good. This delicious burrito includes your choice of chicken or beef (we opted for the chicken) stuffed with black beans, roasted veggies, Spanish rice, crema, cilantro, cheese, all smothered in a tasty red and green sauce. Th burrito was hefty, satisfying and filling and the perfect choice for us after finishing a long bike ride along the Rillito River.
Service was pretty good here, efficient and fast. The restaurant is relatively non busy in the morning hours compared to at night, and thus, the service is a bit faster and friendlier.
The fun outdoor patio makes La Cocina one of the best choices for a night out in downtown Tucson. The restaurant is very busy on weekend nights due to the lively setting which often includes live music. There are pretty lights strung up on all the trees and the ambiance is great for a social gathering or casual date.
La Cocina is one of the best choices in downtown Tucson for anyone looking for a fun, affordable meal in a great setting.