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Sustainable and Healthy Food – Tucson Gems

Sprouts at the Santa Cruz River Farmer’s Market – cut to order!  We picked up some pea sprouts.

This was our first trip to Tucson, AZ and we were jazzed to find so many gems throughout the city (1 farmer’s market and 3 vegetarian/vegan restaurants).  We were just starting our juice fast so we waited until we had 5 full days of only juice to venture out to eat. We were there for 7 days and had some great weather (days in the 70’s) and then a cold front with major wind came through.  Luckily that wasn’t until our last 2 days.  We kept hearing about the year-round die hard farmer’s market and had to go.  There are several Tucson FM’s but this one gets most of the hype and they are open every Thursday afternoon.  The Santa Cruz River Farmer’s Market is all about the people.  Eating Well magazine has recognized it as one of “America’s Top 10 Farmers’ Markets. “

Santa Cruz River Farmer’s Market in Tucson

What’s great about this particular FM is that it benefits low-income and higher-income folks alike!  All the different vendors are informed about the shopping system, and accept food stamp benefits as payment just the way they accept cash payments.   Go Tucson!

Great selection of dried wares

They had great peppers, parsnips, turnips, salsa, garlic, greens, tomatoes, sprouts, and honey.  We stocked up for juicing.

About 1/2 the vendors are inside this plaza – Salsas Rangel makes 39 types of salsa. Our favorite is serrano/banana. Yummy!

While out gallivanting, we also found 3 wonderful restaurants – Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Govinda’s Natural Buffet and the Tucson Tamale Company.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls – Great selection of vegetarian and vegan apps, breakfast, dinner, salads and desserts.  We went no dairy and had polenta with spinach/mushroom gravy and lime pie – delicious.

Govinda’s Natural Buffet – Excellent vegetarian cuisine buffet style – $10 for dinner. They blend fresh vegetables, whole grains and spices to create yummy offerings.  We went on Thursday night – vegan night – and had salad with cashew dressing, mock crab cakes, broccoli/almond veggies in a soy cream sauce over brown rice and curry veggies.

Tucson Tamale Company – Some of the best tamales we have EVER had – great selection of meat, vegetarian and vegan tamales. Here are the ones we had and took home 🙂

Vegetarian Tamales

Blue – Blue corn masa, squash, tomato, corn, onion, green chile and cheese

The Tucson Tamale…Signature Tamale.  Spicy!  Lots and Lots of Cheese in Grilled Jalapeño Masa

Vegan Tamales

Austin…Organic Spinach, Mushrooms, Spices (w/Sesame Seeds) in Blue Corn Masa

New DelhiOrganic Vegetable Medley with carrot, grean beans, potato, corn, onion, coconut milk and mild yellow curry

Boise…Sweet potatoes roasted and blended with sun dried tomatoes and all wrapped in a Yam Masa

Vegan Blue TamaleCalabacitas (Squash, Tomatoes, Onions, Green Chile) in Organic Blue Corn Masa  

On our last afternoon in Tucson we saw a beautiful rainbow:

Rainbow at Old Tucson

Shop locally – Eat locally.  Thanks to Welocally for the map based widget that allows us to map the great sustainable businesses/places we visit!


  1. We love Tucson! We’re planning on moving there, someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later. The farmer’s markets look great and we adore Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

  2. No problem Cece! Love what you are doing and cant wait to see what places you go to next! We love helping bloggers share their experiences about great places they go with their readers. Keep on trucking down the green highway ladies!

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