Editor's note: Hi friends, things have changed quickly since this story was written and the spring Cyclovia event has been canceled. You can still support the local businesses highlighted here by going out for a meal or purchasing a gift certificate for later use.
Cyclovia Tucson is turning 10 this year with a 4.5-mile route through downtown and South Tucson on March 29.
If you've never been, it's a day to enjoy car-free roads and explore some of Tucson's awesome neighborhoods by bike, on foot, on skates or from a nice comfy stroller. There's live music, activity stations, vendors and all sorts of other entertainment along the route turning the streets into one big block party that all of Tucson turns out for. Seriously, we bet you'll run into at least five other people you know.
The event lasts all day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and you can join the fun at any point along the route.
We know that you're probably going to work up an appetite doing all that pedaling and walking. There's usually food vendors set up in different spots along the route, but if you're looking for a place to have a seat and take a break here are a few ideas.
If you're feeling brunch-y
If you're starting the route downtown Nook is the perfect place to get good food to fuel your day of fun. Brunch is served on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the menu has everything from light fare like avocado toast to heartier meals like a fancy grilled cheese and a breakfast tamale(!).
If you're in the mood for a pancake the size of a pizza or legendary huevos rancheros (it's made Andi Berlin's list of top plates of the decade) then park your bike here and grab a seat on the patio or inside the bustling indoor seating area.
You can also stop by the 5 Points Farmers Market in the adjacent Jardin Cesar Chavez pocket park and pick up produce, meats, eggs and other goods from local vendors.
If you're in the mood for Mexican
The menu at this small family run shop on the corner of East 22nd Street and South Fourth Avenue has it all: breakfast burros, lunch burros, the three t's (tacos, tostadas, tortas) and steaming bowls of some of the city's best red and white menudo.
There's always a line out the door of this South Tucson gem that's been serving up yummy Mexican comfort food since the early 1950s to locals, celebrities and politicians, so if you see the crowd outside is looking light seize your chance to get your name on the list for a table. You can't go wrong with cheese enchiladas or fried ground beef patty tacos. If you're feeling extra hungry opt for the President's Plate (it's the dish served to then-president Bill Clinton during his visit to Tucson in the 90s) with a bean tostada, birria taco, chile relleno, chicken enchilada and beef tamale.
If you have a sweet tooth
Take a break from your ride to hit up Monsoon Chocolate's bon bon case filled with bite-sized edible works of art, or hydrate with a chocolate beverage (hot or iced).
If you want to get all the Instagram likes
Three new concepts have opened in this South Tucson food hall in the last few months all serving Instagram-worthy dishes. Stop in for lunch and choose from a crispy hot chicken sando and slaw fries from Pop's Hot Chicken, a Mexican seafood tower or ceviche from Mariscos el Bochas, or a giant Sonoran hot dog on a shocking red bun from Monster Sonoran Hot Dogs.
Shop, bike, walk and mingle at Cyclovia Tucson
This fun free event will have live music, free fitness classes, educational activities around water conservation, samples from local vendors and restaurants, shop the farmer’s market and experience historic neighborhoods with iconic Tucson architecture.
Check out the route and fun activities here.
Where: Downtown and along South Fourth Avenue to South Tucson
When: Sunday, March 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More info here.