Café Poca Cosa: A Must Eat in Tucson

This past weekend, I got the chance to visit Tucson. There were plenty of trifles to treasure, including meeting Jake’s family for the first time and a black and orange, raging thunderstorm over the desert on the drive home. There was also plenty to eat, and among those places was Café Poca Cosa.

I had already been told about this place by a Phoenix real estate agent. She said I had to eat at Café Poca Cosa. Honestly, I don’t think she was giving me an option; I think she was giving me an order—an order that, in hindsight, I was happy to accept.

Café Poca Cosa is located in downtown Tucson on East Pennington Street. It’s a random restaurant on a somewhat deserted street, vacant of other restaurants. Upon entrance, it felt like we were in the middle of some hip artist’s frontal lobe. I glanced outside. Nope, we hadn’t been teleported to a Frida Kahlo painting. We were still in the desert, still in Tucson. Yet, the inside felt so … warm. Comforting. Stylish. Red. It felt like a place I would love, and I did, as soon as I sat at the bar, waiting for a table.

“You two want to get drunk?” a cheerful, attractive Mexican woman chirped at Jake and me. I laughed, but for a second, I thought, With the overabundance of expensive tequila over your shoulder? Would LOVE to, lady. I would soon learn, this lady was the owner and chef—Suzana Davila. We were escorted to our table. And yeah, I had a margarita at 1 PM.

I LOVE this painting.

So the way it works at Café Poca Cosa: the menu changes twice daily. There are no “menus” to look at. (Well, there’s a drink menu, but with all that tequila, there had to be a drink menu). Instead, there is a chalkboard. Your server will bring a chalkboard to the table and tell you about the options of the day. Me being 1) a Midwesterner 2) a previous habitant of the Lowcountry, this Mexican food was foreign to me. I know about enchiladas, tacos, burritos…but outside of the norm, I’m a lost puppy. So, of course, I went with the Plato Poca Cosa—three dishes from the chalkboard, chosen at random by the chef.

I have no idea what I ate.

I know it was straight out of my wildest dreams.

One of the dishes had pineapple. There was steak and tomatoes to the left.  OH! I recognized a Mole sauce on chicken. And as I mentioned, I recognized the tequila in my fancy margarita glass. Other than that, beats me. What I do know? It was amazing. Every bite. Every morsel. Every dish.

Café Poca Cosa is a place you just gotta see to believe. The ambiance is sensual and delightful. The margaritas will put you on the floor. The food made me wanna do a little dance down the streets of downtown Tucson. And Suzana Davila was a chick I hope I meet again someday. In fact, I’d love to buy her a drink.

You have to go. Not a pleasant suggestion; that’s an order.

Website: http://cafepocacosatucson.com/.

7 thoughts on “Café Poca Cosa: A Must Eat in Tucson

  1. Hi there!

    I found your blog via Twitter.

    I don’t really get down to Tucson all that often, but the next time I do, I’ll be sure to keep Café Poca Cosa in mind.

    The painting that you spotlighted caught my eye instantly as the work of Daniel Martin Diaz.

    You can find his work online at http://www.danielmartindiaz.com.

    I became familiar with his work via his shows at Perihelion Art in downtown Phoenix. Their website is http://www.perihelionarts.com.

    Also, welcome to Phoenix! Hope you come to love it as much as I do.

    Thank you for the mention of Ignite Phoenix (and “How Improv …”) in the previous blog. This is my first Ignite presentation and I’m pretty excited!

    Take care and hope to run into you!

  2. Great article & I’m so glad you liked it. I had the plato poca cosa myself when I went there. Our friends who live in Tucson tell us that the current site is fairly new. They used to be in a non descript “hole in the wall” kind of a small space for years. I loved the Frida Kahlo analogy btw 🙂

    Looking forward to your next review – I’ll have to think of some other places to recommend, I mean order you to go to, LOL!

    – Uzi

  3. I would suggest to head to Downtown Glendale. Some of the best eats around! I’ve been in AZ for 4 years now and can’t believe all the great places to eat here!!!

    • Tell me more. Specific places?? I live in the west valley, and we’ve done very little exploring yet. Would love your input!

      • I live in the west valley as well. (There is simply too much to see and do and eat!)
        Here are our 3 favorite places (let me know what you think when you go)

        La Piazza Al Forno (brick oven pizza and pasta stuff)
        5803 W. Glendale Ave

        Haus Murphys (German food/beer/best fries ever!!)
        5739 W. Glendale Ave

        Lenny’s Burger Shop right next door to Haus Murphys but the one in Phx is better (15414 North 19th Ave. PHX – it is in the getto)

        Also try: Kiss the Cook
        4915 W. Glendale Ave (outside of “downtown area”)

      • Thank you thank you for your suggestions! I’m hungry just hearing about these places 🙂 Will check them out, and maybe, you’ll see another restaurant review soon!

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