A Guide to the Best Places at University of Arizona

University of Arizona Campus

By Nicole Yesel

By Nicole Yesel
Unigo Campus Rep at UA

As a freshman, it can be challenging to find things to do around your campus. Especially if you are from out of town and all of your friends just happen to be too. Then again, it can be hard to think outside the box of your usual routine even if you’re not a freshman. So if you happen to wondering exactly what to do in Tucson, here are a few of the best places to go:


Best place to study: Coffee X-Change
Distance from campus: 1.25 miles
Address: 2443 N. Campbell Ave.
Phone: 520-327-6783

There are many places to study near and on campus at the UA. Coffee X-Change gets the number one spot for four reasons: Its computer friendly, easy on the wallet, open 24 hours a day and not only does it have great coffee, but also fantastic food. Katherine Sommer, a creative writing senior suggests that you try the turkey sandwich. “I have to stop myself from getting one every time I come here to study. I want one even when I’m not hungry,” said Sommer. Coffee X-Change offers free Wi-Fi and with outlets to plug in your computer for a charge. Although you do need a car, and it can be a bit crowded, it’s worth the drive – just bring some earphones and you’re ready to get some serious work done.


Best Pizza: No Anchovies 
Distance from campus: .1 mile
Address: 870 E. University Blvd
Phone: 520-623-3333
Web: http://www.noanchoviespizza.com/

Right off campus, on University Blvd., there exits the perfect place to grab a slice of pizza: No Anchovies. As the name implies, there are no anchovies served on the pizza. Your choices are laid out in front of you behind glass so you know exactly what you are getting - and the staff heats it up and serves it hot and fresh within a matter of minutes. Charles Higman, a senior political science major comments on why he likes No Anchovies so much, “It’s fast and they have a bar that I can drink at or at least get drafts from.” Along with  draft beers, the restaurant offers a big patio that is perfect to sit out on almost any day of the year. And don’t worry – for those cold Arizona nights, they set up heaters so you can still enjoy your outdoor experience.


Best under-21-nightspot: Lucky Strike Bowl
Distance from campus: 2.9 miles
Address: 4015 E. Speedway Blvd.
Phone: 520-327-4926
Web: www.vantagebowlingcenters.com/luckystrike

Most students that are under 21 at the UA spend their time congregating at one another’s houses. However, if you are looking for something different, Lucky Strike Bowl is a great place to go to hang out. Lucky Strike offers Cyberbowl on Friday and Saturday nights. Lucky Strike describes this as “futuristic light show and videos.”
All and all, it makes for a fun time. Friday nights are $11 for unlimited games from 10 p.m. to closing. Go early otherwise you won’t get a lane! “It’s just something fun to do – and it’s the closest bowling alley to campus – that’s why I like it,” said Samantha Bankston, a pre-business freshman.


Best bar: O’Malley’s
Distance from campus: 1.8 miles
Address: 247 N. Fourth Ave.
Phone: 520-623-8600

Choosing the best college bar is highly subjective. O’Malley’s takes the cake because, whether or not it’s the best, it’s where students like to go. Located on Fourth Ave., a central going-out spot filled with bars, O’Malley’s offers an “Irish Pub” style décor, though much bigger than any real pub. Thursday night is the night to check this place out. An ‘80s cover band plays all night (The Mockingbirds) and 2-for-1 drinks are available until last call. Faye BrietReed, a child studies senior shares her love for the place, “I always see someone I know and I love seeing people I know so it’s great to come here.” And it’s true   everyone who’s going out usually comes through O’Malley’s at some point in the night, making it a great place to mingle and grab a drink or even rock out to some Blondie covers.


Best place to take a date without breaking the bank: 
DeAnza Drive-In Theatre
Distance from campus: 4.3 miles
Address: 1401 S. Alvernon Way
Phone: 520-745-2240
Web: driveinmemories.com/drivein/deanza.htm

Most students don’t realize it, but yes, Tucson does have a drive-in theater and it’s a lot of fun to go to. It’s also cheap. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. every night and tickets are only $6.
Karyn Reis, a communications senior, explains why she thinks DeAnza is the best date spot, “It’s cheap and they play movies.” So what could be better than snuggling up to your honey in a private theatre box (your car) and hunkering down for a couple of hours to watch a movie? Bring your own popcorn and assorted sweets for half the price of theatre treats - you could even bring a bottle of wine to spice up the night (as long as you can still drive home!).


Best place to get coffee: Starbucks on University Blvd.
Distance from campus: .2 miles
Address: 802 E. University Blvd.
Phone: 520-620-9344

While it isn’t the most original place to get a cup of coffee, it’s close to campus and has a great courtyard right next to it so you can sip on your coffee while looking at a beautiful fountain and sit under the shade of a tree. The inside is also unique. Like many buildings on University Blvd., this Starbucks used to be a house. The fireplace is still in tact and the building has a very cozy feeling all throughout the place.

Also try…

Epic Café: 745 N Fourth Ave.
Distance from campus: 1.5 miles

The Chocolate Iguana: 500 N Fourth Ave.
Distance from campus: 1.6 miles


Best restaurant to take your parents to: Cup Café 
Distance from campus: 2.3 miles
Address: 311 E. Congress St.
Phone: 520-798-1618
Web: http://www.hotelcongress.com/cup/

The Cup Café is part of downtown’s historic Hotel Congress. “It’s a great place to take your parents because the food is amazing and it’s a piece of history,” said Sandra Dryden, a French senior. This restaurant’s food is a blend of southwest and traditional American dishes. The combination is a winner - it has exceptional breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can stop by any time of day to admire the penny paved floors, rotating display of mouthwatering sweets, wine bottle chandelier and learn some Tucson history while you are at it.

Also try…

Rio Café: 2526 E. Grant Rd.
Distance from campus: 2 miles
Web: http://www.rio-cafe.com/

Café Poca Cosa: 110 E. Pennington St.
Distance from campus: 2.4 miles
Web: http://cafepocacosatucson.com/


Best place to grab a late night meal: Nico’s Mexican Food / Taco Shop
Distance from campus: 4.9 miles
Address: 1855 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Phone: 520-327-3190

Many students make the horrible mistake of going to Los Betos or some other greasy Mexican food joint when they get the late night munchies. Nico’s Mexican food is indeed greasy like any Mexican food, but is by far the best late night taco place around. So it’s worth the extra couple of minutes it takes getting there by car instead of copping out and walking to the Los Betos near campus. “You can just taste the difference and I always end up meeting the most random people there… that’s why it’s fun to go,” Dryden said. So don’t settle for the closest thing, go for what tastes the best – trust me, your stomach will thank you for it the next morning.

Also try…

Grill: 100 E. Congress St.
Distance from campus: 2.4 miles


Best place to watch a game: Sam Hughs Place Championship Dining (AKA “Championship”)
Distance from campus: .75 miles
Address: 446 N. Campbell Ave. Suite 150
Phone: 520-747-5223
Web: http://www.samhughesplace.us/

Championship is the place where many students go to watch games. It has a fancier atmosphere, but the dress is Tucson casual, which means sandals and flip-flops are OK, though people usually go for something more dressed up than that. Whether you are on the patio, inside at the bar or in the dining room there is food, drinks and TVs to be had. “I like it because wherever I’m at, I can see a TV with a sports game on it,” said Higman. It’s not unusual for a line to form outside so get there early on big game days if you want a seat!

Also try…

Buffalo Wild Wings: 1390 W. Irvington Rd.
Distance from campus: 9.6 miles


Best Ethnic Food: Zemam’s
Distance from campus: 2.8 miles
Address: 2731 E. Broadway Blvd.
Phone: 520-323-9928

Zemam’s is what could be described as a sort of, “dive restaurant.” Situated right off the road in a converted house, this authentic Ethiopian cuisine restaurant is by far one of the best places to get a unique food experience in Tucson. The prices are decent and it’s a great place to go to get a couple of dishes and share with the people you are with. “I love the spongy bread that they put everything on. It tastes so good,” said Ruchika Agrawal, an economics student. Agrawal does not eat meat and also commented; “They also have a great variety of vegetarian dishes which is great for me.”

Also try…
Char’s Thai Restaurant: 5039 E. Fifth St.
Distance from campus: 4.2 miles