TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The tastes and traditions of Tucson make the cuisine here so unique.
And for the first time this year, there’s a whole week dedicated to celebrating some of southern Arizona’s best dishes.
Sonoran Restaurant Week is a 10-day celebration and certain local eateries are providing three-course meals as low as $25.
The event supports the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, which helps thousands of our neighbors across the region.
One of the restaurants involved is Penca, which is located at 50 E. Broadway in downtown Tucson.
The mind behind Penca’s menu executive chef David Solorzano.
“I just kind of have things that you could kind of find in Sonoran flavor profiles," said Solorzano, pointing to his special menu.
They’ve been prepping for the week and have already seen people stop in to taste the special menu.
“It’s a really good outlet to have people experience a lot more of the cuisine we offer, as well as (that) of other restaurants that are participating,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to highlight a lot of things this region of the country has."
These 10 days are way to boost tourism that’s continued to climb on its own.
In 2016, visitors spent $610 million on food services in Pima County. In 2017, that went to $662 million. Last year, it zoomed to $694 million, according to Dan Gibson with Visit Tucson.
“We can’t attribute all of that to our efforts," she said. "But along with a general rise in spending by tourists we believe the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation and an incredible rise in media coverage of Tucson food certainly made a difference.”
Sonoran Restaurant Week Ends on Sunday, Sept. 15.
A full list of participating restaurants: https://www.sonoranrestaurantweek.com/