Pico de Gallo

Mexican | Southwestern
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
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Pico de Gallo is a taqueria that started as a taco stand but has grown into several small rooms by enclosing its al fresco porches. It is self-service, meaning you walk in and study the day’s menu posted on the wall. If you’re not totally familiar with Tucson-style Mexican food, you will likely be able to discuss things with Adan Delgado, son of proprietors Ignacio and Antonia. He explained to us that the purple beverage in the vat next to the sweet rice drink known as horchata is wild-berry lemonade; and that the day’s special taco, cahuamanta, was manta ray.

Once you place your order, you pay for it, then find a free table. When the food is ready, one of the staff will summon you to the counter to fetch your plates. Everything except for big bowls of soup comes on disposable dishware with plastic utensils.

Pico de Gallo serves Sonoran-style dishes found on many local menus, including tacos of spiced beef and fried fish; burros and quesadillas; and tamales by the dozen. Coctel de elote (corn cocktail) is always on the menu, but it is not quite the beverage its name suggests. It does come in a large Styrofoam cup, the cup filled with an extraordinary stew of warm corn kernels, drifts of soft melted cheese, hot chili, and lime. Spoon it up like soup; it is corn-sweet and lime-zesty.

Marshaled in a refrigerated case at the counter are plastic red cups filled with the restaurant’s namesake, pico de gallo. In this case, the “nip of the rooster” is a blast of salt, chili powder and lemon juice, sprinkled on top of a ravishing bouquet of watermelon, coconut, pineapple, mango, and even some jicama.

The most compelling thing to eat at Pico de Gallo is the fundamental foodstuff, a soft corn tortilla, either on the side of something else or as the wrap for a taco. Look into the kitchen as you place your order and you will see a big white mound of moistened masa from which the cook pinches off a piece each time a tortilla is needed. When you order three corn tacos, let’s say filled with birria, chicharron, and carne asada, each of the three tortillas will be made to order on the grill. They are soft, earthy, and full-flavored in a way that is an entirely different league from store-bought ones.

What to Eat
Pico de Gallo, Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo
Must-Try
Pico de gallo is of the most refreshing dishes a tongue can know.
Pico de Gallo, Tacos
Tacos
Must-Try
Carne asada is moist, intensely beefy, and just-right inside soft warm corn tortillas.
Pico de Gallo, Horchata
Horchata
Must-Try
Silky horchata is sprinkled with coarse-ground cinnamon.
Pico de Gallo, Birria Burrito
Birria Burrito
Must-Try
Big burrito is filled with birria, which is chile-infused beef.
Pico de Gallo, Fish Tacos
Fish Tacos
Must-Try
Traditional fish taco, at its best in a freshly made corn shell
Pico de Gallo, Tamales
Tamales
Must-Try
Beef tamale, with pickled carrots and onions
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday9am - 9pm
Monday9am - 9pm
Tuesday9am - 9pm
Wednesday9am - 9pm
Thursday9am - 9pm
Friday9am - 9pm
Saturday9am - 9pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 8 MILES | 27 min

Among the countless Mexican restaurants in Tucson, these five give the best feel for the amazing range of styles and specialties, from the outlandish Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo to humble neighborhood tacos at Pico de Gallo, and to chef Suzanna Davila's magnificent meals at Cafe Poca Cosa, where you never know what…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

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