Tucson Must Knows

Things I’ve Discovered from Driving Over 100,000 Miles In Tucson
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how one looks at it, I’ve spent over three thousand hours driving the streets of Tucson Arizona. During my adventures over the years I’ve discovered some great places to eat and have found my friends were well pleased with this information. Some of the “Must See” areas around Tucson are also listed.


Best Tucson Restaurants According to Robert

To qualify as one of “Robs Chosen” the requirements are

1) Reasonably priced
2) Not a national chain
3) Great Food
4) Reasonably priced

Yes Reasonably priced is on the list twice. I have three kids who will be going to college, and expensive lunches or dinners for me are not going to help them get there.

#1 Bistro 44
An elegant restaurant for the price of Chilies or Applebee’s. For atmosphere and value I believe this is the best restaurant in Tucson. So far nobody I’ve sent there has disagreed with me. I usually limit lunch to less than six dollars, so it cost more money for than I’ll normally spend, but for dinner with the wife on Friday night it can’t be beat.

Bistro 44 Restaurant in Tucson

Here is the link to the Bistro 44 home page.
Bistro 44 web page

map to Bistro 44 at 6767 E Tanque Verde Rd #2
(520) 298-2233

Take a look at goggle maps before you go. If you miss your turn, which is easy to do, then it’s a lot of work to get turned around with all the traffic in that area.

#2 Kenny D’s
A great and affordable place for lunch! Chicago style.
The Italian beef sandwich is awesome and so is the Italian Sausage.

Kenny D's Restaurant in Tucson

#3 Macayos
Family style mexican. Started here in Tucson and now they have 18 restaurants in the west. The Baja Burro with hot spicy cheese sauce is the best. I thought they were local only, but the burro is good enough to keep them on my list even though they are up to 18 restaurants now.

Macayos web page

7040 E Broadway. Recently remodeled & looks nice. South West corner of Broadway and Kolb. Its the big orange building.

7360 North Oracle. I haven’t been to this one and don’t recall the intersection.

more restaurants and greasy spoons coming – but I have to get into them first. (Feb 23 2010)


Other Tucson Information Worth Knowing

The Fastest Way Across Town

Are you headed all the way across town? Which of the following will ALWAYS be the fastest way across Tucson?

Diagram of how to get across town quickly Stairstep diagram

The answer might surprise you, it’s B, if you are paying attention to the lights and planning ahead. Here’s the principle – since both A and B are the same distance, driving is better than sitting. Sounds simple right? With a small bit of planning you can spend more time driving and a lot less time sitting at stop lights.

Here’s how. As you are heading across town start out normally. Look ahead and note of the color of the light and how long until you get to the intersection. If its been green for a long time, then it will probably be red by the time you get there. Since moving is better than sitting change lanes and turn if you can. The green arrows typically follow green lights. So a stale green light is telling you a green arrow is coming. By turning you keep moving and getting closer to your destination. If you are turning right, then stop and then turn right on red. You are still going, while others are waiting at the light.

Stay in the middle lane most of the time, which is the fastest. and then plan your turns based on what the stop light is doing. Plus, watch the left turn cues. If they are more than 3/4 full then it will be faster to keep going straight, even if you have to wait through the red, since most of the intersections in town can’t completely empty the turn cue before turning red. So a left turn cue more than 3/4 full will probably take two light cycles to empty out.

I’ve used this strategy for years and have consistently beat painters to job sites when I was pulling a big (slow) trailer in traffic. And this is without driving fast. On a typical day this will save 20 minutes on a drive across town.


North to South East, Or Vice-Versa

The fastest way between North and mid or south east Tucson is Swan Road, though Craycroft much better now that the road construction has settled down. During rush hour I avoid Speedway between Columbus and Craycroft like the plague.


The Best Ace Hardware Stores In Tucson

There are 10 Ace Hardware’s in Tucson and two of them stand out. One at at 22nd and Kolb, on the north side of 22nd just east of the stop light is well stocked. The other one is at Swan and Sunrise in the strip mall behind the Mc Donalds at the North East corner. If your a homeowner and need a bolt to fix a weed eater or have some other project with a small specialty part these two Ace stores are a great place to start – and there are usually people standing around waiting to help you. My better half always goes to Ace, even though it is more expensive than the big box hardware stores, since there is always someone to help her get what she wants.


Tucson Racquet Club

This place is a great value for families. They have all sorts of summer activities for kids. There are a ridiculous amount of tennis courts, plus a pool, hot tubs, weight room and much more. It was built in 1967 and is definitely showing its age, but if you get past that it has a lot to offer.



ROC 193501

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