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Eight Tucson Lunch Spots (Cheap but Good)


Posted on | April 2, 2009 | 4 Comments

Okay, we tried for lunches at nice places where you can eat for under $10/person, and maybe a bit less–sometimes a lot less.

Eight good lunch bargains, all priced reasonably.

Village Bakehouse

7882 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson 85704(520) 531-0977
First, let me say we adore the bread. I mean, it’s really, really delish. They usually offer specials, too. When I checked last week, they told me about 1/2 sandwich (your choice of about five different fillings, including a vegetarian selection) PLUS either a cup of soup or a salad. That for $6.95. Or you can skip the soup and order just a half sandwich, which runs from . . . oh, about $5 to $5.50, give or take. A full sandwich (and these are BIG) costs about $6.50 or $7.00. Be sure to order some bread or pastry to take home to the Tiny Tightwads. The people here are soooooo nice. I love the food and also enjoy just chatting with the staff. Eat on the patio, if the weather is nice.

Zivaz Mexican Bistro

4590 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, 85711(520) 325-1234
We loooove pretty much everything here, but the lunch specials (called platillos zivaz) are always the ones that say, “lunch size $7.40. As in . . . 2 tacos, (chicken or veggie) for $7.40 Or try a couple of quesadillas for $7.40. Or maybe crispy rolled corn tortilla chicken taquitos with salad for . . . yep, you guessed it . . . $7.40 You can’t go wrong here. Oh, and the Tiny Tightwads can have a taco or 2 enchiladas for $3.45 or some chicken fingers with beans for $4.95. It’s all good.

Roma Caffe

4140 W. Ina Rd. (520) 744-2929.
Gooooood Italian food here–and plenty of it. Closed Mondays, but they have decent lunch specials, especially for crowds. If you show up for lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (actually the deal is for dinner, too) you’ll get salad, housemade bread, and enough pasta for 3-4 people for . . . $20. That’s about $5 each–and quite a bargain. But if you want to order off the regular menu, remember that lunch prices here are roughly half of what you’d pay at dinner. For example, a single pasta plate runs $11 at dinner. Lunch? Oh, about $6.25. Chicken parmigiana costs $16.50 at dinner. The same delish food will cost you $7.95 for lunch. The owner says he serves enough that usually everybody takes some home.

Beyond Bread

  • 3026 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson 85719 (520) 322-9965
  • 6260 E. Speedway. Tucson, 85712 (520) 747-7477

What is lunch without a sandwich, right? And where might one go for a good sandwich? Hmmm. Let me think–a bakery? Beyond Bread has fab bread (and I love the way they let you taste while you stand in line). Anyway, they offer a daily lunch special, which runs about $7, that is usually quite large and always tasty. I like Bob’s BLT for $6.50, but you have TONS of choices. Btw, the Tiny Tightwads can get half a smooth peanut butter sandwich (Yes, it has jam. Of course it has jam.) That’s $2.65. Good choice for lunch.

Roma Imports

627 S. Vine Ave. Tucson 85719(520) 792-3173
This little eatery is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s FUN (and the food is just wonderful.) Sometimes we buy a package of frozen pasta from their retail store to take home for dinner. The food is simply great (did I already say that?) and the prices represent good bargains. Now, remember this restaurant offers fresh, homemade food, so the offerings will vary a bit. You can always get a very fine lunch here for $4.99- -$6.99. They always have a sandwich special (a substantial sandwich) for $4.99. And they always have a platter of spaghetti and meatballs for $6.99. After you’ve tried a meatball sandwich (about $6.00) you may never try something new again–it’s that good. Anyway, this place is fun and worth a trip. Check the website for directions–it’s hard to find.

Fifth Street Deli & Market (used to be Feig’s)

5071 E. 5th St., Tucson 85711 (5th St,. & Rosemont)(520) 325-3354.
We can’t get enough of the corned beef sandwiches here. I loved Feig’s, and so I tried this new place with some trepidation. The corned beef sandwiches are still terrific. You can get half of an extra lean corned beef sandwich for $6.60. You also get a choice of slaw, potatoes, or macaroni. Did I forget the pickle? Never forget the pickle–you get that, too. If you haven’t been here since it was Feig’s, stop by and give it a shot for lunch.

Tucson Tamale Company
2545 E. Broadway. Tucson, 85716(520) 305-4760
This is a bit different because it’s an order-at-the-counter sort of place, but if you love tamales, well . . . go here. Btw, they are health-conscious and use lard-free masa and heart-healthy oils. No trans-fats here–no, sir, not a sign of the little trouble-makers. So, you’re thinking . . . if it’s just healthy, well, maybe some other time. Ah, but the tamales here are GOOD. Big and tasty. The prices are reasonable, too. For example, you can get a couple of tamales here and a side of beans for $6.75. They always have a wide selection of tamale flavors, and often they offer specials. A light lunch (any kind of tamale plus a salad) runs $5.79.

Chile Verde

1 East Congress St,, Tucson (520) 792-8226

Have you eaten here yet? We have and loved it. It’s a cute, funky little place right in the heart of downtown Tucson. Better yet, the food is really tasty. I mean it’s worth a trip downtown, if you haven’t eaten here yet. They just barely slid under our lunch-for-$10 guidelines, but they made it with daily lunch specials (that change all the time) for $9.72. That includes a soft drink, so your ten-spot will cover the meal.

Okay, that’s our roundup for the week. We know there are tons more places with good lunch specials. There are so many, we’ll have to run another lunch roundup soon.
By the way, we have a list of cheap (but good Tucson breakfast spots right here.

Your turn. What’s your favorite Tucson lunch spot? Let us know, okay?
–Posted by Hortense P. Tightwad.

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4 Responses to “Eight Tucson Lunch Spots (Cheap but Good)”

  1. Luz Gonzalez
    April 8th, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

    Sabor Tropical
    5470 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson (520) 323-0266
    Very good Colombian food and price.
    (la corriente for only $6.99).

  2. Phooey
    April 10th, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

    Luz, you make it sound so good that I HAVE to try the food at Sabor Tropical . . . next week! Thanks.

  3. Stacie Anne Strittmatter
    February 3rd, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    $3.95 lunch specials to $5.95 yum Ina location is great Pantano location is great too 22nd food is great service is CHAOS bs no like ugh never reccomend it bleack
    Cheapest yummiest Lunch in town

  4. Marcy Luna
    July 11th, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    El Parador has a $5 lunch menu

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