READERS' PICK: The Shanty, for a number of its qualities, has earned a place among Tucson's classics. Year after year readers recognize it for its patio -- and rightly so. Defined by the bar itself, and a historic building to the east, the patio looks out onto quiet Ninth Street and the freshly powdered face of the old Coronado Hotel. (Though heavy, climbing vines obscure a clear view and buffer patrons from passersby.) Mature orange trees promise olfactory bliss in springtime, but a tiered fountain renders the patio implacably serene year round. From a glass of red sipped in the lingering sunlight of a cool November's eve, to August's condensation-covered cool-one, guzzled in deep shade, you won't thirst for anything more here. The comforting call of the rails, just down the block, and the satisfying clink of billiards inside add the perfect symphony to this urbane, back-porch watering hole.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Chuy's Baja Broiler and Chuy's Mesquite Broiler, eight locations. No matter where you live, there's bound to be a Chuy's relatively close by. Their eight locations span an impressive grid: Ina, Grant, Speedway, 22nd Street, Valencia, Oracle, Campbell and Wilmot. You can't miss their colorfully painted facades, each with a shaded patio designed to remind you of happier times on Mexican beaches (down to the "ocean" spray of their patio misters). Our favorite Chuy's is the North Campbell Avenue location, where we've whiled away many a monsoon afternoon with an icy margarita and a full view of the running Rillito River.
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