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“Good Choice for Lunch at the Desert Museum”
Review of Ocotillo Cafe

Ocotillo Cafe
Ranked #452 of 1,994 Restaurants in Tucson
Price range: US$12 - US$29
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Description: Regional, southwest influenced entrees, salads, sandwiches served in a casual, relaxing atmosphere. Appropriate if you are looking for a relaxed lunch experience, not appropriate if you are on a tight schedule. Open Daily October-April 11am-2:30pm
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Good Choice for Lunch at the Desert Museum”
Reviewed 27 March 2010

Ocotillo Cafe is unusually good for a restaurant at a zoo or museum. It's a sit down restaurant with pleasant outdoor and indoor seating. We enjoyed our turkey sandwiches which were too big to finish, and those zucchini fries were delicious. The prickly pear tea was refreshing. It's a nice place to go to get away from the crowds and the heat at the Desert Museum, but still it's right in the middle of it so you don't have to drive. Eat and relax, then go back to the Museum.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank itchyfeetp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Central Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good Lunch Alternative at the Desert Museum”
Reviewed 20 March 2009

While visiting the Desert Museum, my husband and I stopped in for a bite at the Ocotillo Cafe.
Essentially a sit-down cafe for high-end sandwiches, it falls in line with the tradition of over-priced park food. I enjoyed the grilled turkey sandwich, while my husband enjoyed the beef and brie sandwich. The ingredients were high-quality, and the zucchini fries that accompanied the sandwiches were delicious!
They do serve beer and wine, but the prickly pear tea was defnitely worthwhile.
Overall, the Ocotillo Cafe was a wonderful alternative to the quick service restaurants. It was a nice break from the screaming children in the park, and the bread with cilantro pesto at the start of the meal was also very good.
Service was on the slow side, but we didn't really mind, as we sat on the patio outside, surrounded by the beautiful desert flowers, which were in bloom.
Not worth the trip for the restaurant itself, but we would reccommend this cafe to anyone planning a visit to the Desert Museum.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GypsyNurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
243 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
“Great food and service”
Reviewed 3 April 2008

While visiting the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson we ate lunch at the Ocotillo Restaurant. The patio is a great place to sit and eat on a warm day with good food and excellent service.

1 Thank Vagabundos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, FL
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Pricey Overrated Restaurant”
Reviewed 21 February 2008

Recommended by our B&B host, the Ocotillo Cafe was a major disappointment. The bread and prickly pear tea were good, but the chicken entree my daughter and I ordered featured lukewarm food, tough chicken with what appeared to be day-old coating, and a sauce far too spicy for me even though the waitress promised no spice. When a cold beef salad was brought to me as the only non-spicy menu alternative, all it had to recommend it was its visual appeal. The ingredients did not go well together and the beef was tough. I suspect it was left over from an entree served two or three days before. The complimentary cheesecake brought to me after I complained about the meal was good. What made matters worse was that restaurant was pricey considering most of the excellent dining alternatives in Tucson. My salad was $16.95. I think the Ocotillo Cafe is overrated because of its location in the Desert Museum, its interior decoration, and its inviting Southwestern ambience.

Thank BarbInGville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Best meal we had in Tucson”
Reviewed 8 April 2007

We were visiting the Desert Musuem and on the recommendation of someone staying at our B&B, we stopped at the Ocotillo Cafe for lunch. We were surprised at what a great little place it was. They started with fresh bread and a cilantro pesto, which was a nice starter. My friend had a pork chop with some type of blackberry based sauce, and grilled veggies. It was a tenderloin chop that was very tender and delicious. The portobello mushrooms were amazing. I had the fruit platter which seems simple, but the fruit was ripe and sweet with a light vanilla balsamic dressing. The service was great. We'd recommend this place highly.

1 Thank sunshineDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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