Caruso's, 434 N. Fourth Ave.
The food at Caruso's is perfectly fine. But what keeps bringing people back over and over again is Caruso's charm, great service, consistency and an outdoor patio that's a dining delight. When you put all that together with the competently prepared food, then it becomes apparent why year after year, the folks under this big top that is Tucson vote Caruso's at or near the top of the list. It's been around for many decades, and it'll probably be around for many more.
Gavi, 6960 E. Sunrise Drive, 7865 E. Broadway Blvd., 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.
A member of the mollusk family, calamari (also known as squid) should be chewy and mild. One of the signs of a good Italian restaurant is when the calamari doesn't resemble gummi bears. At Gavi, seafood served Italian style remains one of the great crowd pleasers. Mama Mia
. We might not have that stud Rocco DiSpirito, but we do have Gavi meatballs, small-fisted balls of flavorful meat in a very red spicy tomatoey paste of a sauce perfect for mooshing with hot crusty rolls. Every location has its own personality, but fortunately, all serve the same finely brewed cup of coffee (from Arbuckle). Even though we're bursting at the seams and think we can't possibly eat another bite ... our mouth collides with a cannoli. That's amore
Vivace, 4310 N. Campbell Ave.