Tucson’s culinary journey began thousands of years ago, when Native American tribes developed an agricultural base along the Santa Cruz River. In modern times, restaurants ranging from tiny taquerias to fine dining spaces all contributed to the local food culture. El Charro, serving Mexican cuisine since 1922, still attracts crowds from all over. Folks head straight to Pat’s for a hot dog, Lucky Wishbone for some fried chicken or eegee’s for a grinder and a cold, frosty drink. On any given night, the patio at El Corral is filled with diners anticipating their famous prime rib and tamale pie. Local food writer Rita Connelly brings to life the stories of beloved eateries that have endured for decades and continue to delight with incredible flavors.