Beyond Bread is Tucson's local version of Panera Bread. Fresh baked daily breads, homemade soups, and fresh veggie loaded salads and sandwiches comprise the menu. Many locals prefer it to Panera Bread due to the fresh ingredients used and local ambiance.
With several convenient locations throughout the city, Beyond Bread is a convenient casual lunch choice, whether it be after an area hike or bike ride, after a round of golf, or after an afternoon of shopping.
Beyond Bread offers a small breakfast menu consisting of quick serve items like pastries and quiche, omelets, and egg sandwiches. If you are looking for a casual place to enjoy a light meal and cup of coffee before any area activity, Beyond Bread is a good choice.
The best time to visit, however, is during lunch hours when you can test out their delicious soups, sandwiches, salads, or even go all out with a creamy mac and cheese dish. The highlight of the menu is the delicious tomato basil soup, which is fortunately offered daily. They do not offer a huge soup menu like Panera, but the choices they do offer are decent.
The sandwiches here are decent, although could be perked up a bit with more sauces and/or spices. I like the fact that you can substitute any bread you like. Annie's Addiction is a tasty vegetarian option filled with hummus, cucumber, sprouts, tomatoes, and red onions. The sandwiches are quite hard to eat as they are so stuffed - so much so that we usually take home half for a leftover the next day!
Avi's Avo is another tasty selection. If you love turkey, then this is the choice for you. This delicious sandwich includes roasted turkey, mayonnaise, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts on ciabatta bread.
All sandwiches come with chips, an apple, or carrots. You can also upgrade to a soup, pasta salad, or salad.
Beyond Bread makes all their bread in-house. Over 30 different varieties are offered, and oftentimes, they have samples where you can test out new favorites. They use only unbleached, unbromated flours and do not add sugar to most of the breads - definitely a plus for the health conscious.
The pastry selections, made fresh daily, are really tempting. They offer all sorts of muffins, cakes, brownies, cookie bars, tarts, and even specialty seasonal selections.
In all honesty, the food (while decent) is not quite up to par with Panera, and the pricing is higher. However, it's always good to support local businesses, and Beyond Bread is still one of the better casual lunch choices in Tucson.
Service is usually quite friendly, unless it's a super busy day. You may feel rushed during busy times as the staff starts to get impatient as lines of customers wait to place their order.
The dining area is pretty large, although usually always still packed due to the popularity. The vibe is very relaxed and laid-back, making it a great casual choice after any outdoor activity.
Overall, Beyond Bread is a decent choice for lunch if you happen to be near one of the 4 locations spread throughout Tucson. After a lengthy hike or bike ride, Beyond Bread comes in as a nice laid-back choice to refuel and relax for a bit.