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“First place I'd take out of towners”
Review of Cafe Poca Cosa

Cafe Poca Cosa
Ranked #11 of 1,990 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$30
Cuisines: Mexican, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: El Presidio
Level Contributor
598 reviews
334 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
“First place I'd take out of towners”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

My wife and I have lived in Tucson our entire lives and eaten at every place in the metro area but Cafe Poca Cosa is our choice to take guests to give them a flavor of Tucson regional cuisine. Food is consistently outstanding, drinks strong, service cheerful. When events are going on downtown there can be a await. Menu always changes. Cant go wrong getting one of the moles or tamale pies

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sccrref
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,480 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Best Dining Experience of the Year Nominee.”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We arrived in Tucson early one weekday afternoon, and wanted to have a late lunch/early dinner. We picked Cafe Poca Cosa because it was highly rated on tripadvisor.com, was mentioned in multiple guidebooks, and was near where we were staying. We did not expect to have one of the more memorable dining experiences in recent years. But that is what happened.
The decor is, in one word, "upscale," with black and white leather banquettes and chairs; the walls are painted in complementary southwestern colors. The waitstaff is well-dressed; some of the women wore cocktail dresses. A mix of latin jazz and 1950s pop tunes played in the background. Close your eyes, and you are in 1960s Mexico City or Montevideo, not in downtown Tucson on a weekday afternoon.
The menu does change twice daily; it changed while we were there, as dinner was approaching. Freshness of ingredients is paramount here. Our first dish was Pescado (cod), baked Toluca-style in foil with tomatoes, garlic and spices. Our second dish was Carne Asada in the style of "Hongo Amontado," a marinated and grilled skirt steak. Each entree is served as a "plato," which means it comes with several types of fresh lettuces, fresh sliced red and yellow peppers, fresh jicama julienne, fresh cubed watermelon and a fresh pineapple wedge. The kitchen also sent small bowls of rice and mexican beans (not water mixed with beans) and fresh flour tortillas to the table. The mix of flavors and textures works beautifully here.
Service was exemplary. Skirt steak is a tougher piece of meat than filet or ribeye. I did not believe the carne asada was too tough, but my guest did not care for it. We mentioned it to our waiter, and the chef sent out a small plate of shredded beef with queso fresco for my guest. We appreciated that kindness.
To win the fifth star for food, a restaurant must serve at least one memorable dish: either the best I've ever had or the best example in multiple years. At Cafe Poca Cosa, that dish is the flourless chocolate cake. It is served hot, with chocolate sauce, plenty of fresh whipped cream, a fresh blackberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries. This was easily the best dessert I have had in the last six months, and the best flourless chocolate cake I've had in several years.
The year is less than 25 percent complete, but our visit to Cafe Poca Cosa is a Best Dining Experience nominee for 2012. We look forward to returning to this restaurant next time we are in Tucson!

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BechamelDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Cod
Level Contributor
85 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Best Mexican Cuisine”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

Chef owner..Suzana Davila
Limited menu, changes twice every day, all fresh ingredients, they don't own a freezer.
We had a choice of eight entrees, 3 chicken , 3 beef , one fish and one veggie.
One additional choice was a combo plate of 3 of that day's offerings. You have no choice of which three, a bit of dining roulette. I opted for the combo because all entrees were enticing which in itself is amazing....usually I'm lucky if I can find 2 or 3 items on a menu with 3 times the offerings that spark my interest. One of my three entrees was a veggie tamale with a banana sauce...exceptionally good.
The only negative, and this is minor, you get salad with your entree but it's served on top of your entree. Makes for a unique presentation but hides much of your entree which is hard to see any way in a dark dining room. The room is upscale and tables are comfortably spaced. Bathroom was attractively constructed and clean.
Highly recommended. Perhaps the best Mexican cuisine I've had.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank capecodollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“VERY good food !!!”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

This restaurant is expensive and even at 5PM Saturday night you should have a reservation. We did not have one but they made every effort to get us in (45 minutes). People with reservations were seated right away. No printed menu, as it changes twice a day. Different, but pleasant, experience.

Visited February 2012
Thank J D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Love the changing menu”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Love the Chef's Plate - it's always good. Homemade, fresh, and innovative Mexican food

1 Thank scootersik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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