Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival

Third Annual Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival Expands Festivities to Full Week, Celebrating Local Culture and Heritage

Submitted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance


For the third year, the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is partnering with Visit Tucson to celebrate the best 23 miles of Mexican food north of the border, combined with the Southern Arizona arts community. On Saturday, June 16th, at 6 PM at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort, SAACA will host the Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival, featuring spectacular food and spirit samplings, along with live, interactive arts experiences. The event will highlight some of the most authentic and delicious food offered in the United States, sampling familiar favorites like tacos, fajitas, and molé to some possibly less familiar classics such raspados, sopes, and elotes.

An authentic food and cultural event supporting tourism and the arts


This year's event will expand Tucson 23 into a week-long celebration of Visit Tucson's Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food directly from the source: the restaurants. In the week leading up to the main event at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, participating restaurants will provide specials with the theme of Taste the 23 Restaurant Week to celebrate the amazing culinary assets in Southern Arizona, starting on June 10, 2018. Select restaurants will host additional arts & entertainment experiences as part of the Taste the 23 Week! Specials are being added daily.


“We’re thrilled to see the Tucson 23 festival return to the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass for another exciting year," said Dan Gibson, Visit Tucson's Communications Director. "Since 2017’s event, there’s been even more national and international attention for the Mexican food found in our corner of the Sonoran Desert – including a James Beard award for our own El Guero Canelo - and on June 16 people will have a great opportunity to celebrate the Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food all in one place.”

In addition to the culinary delights, The Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival will feature traditional Latin music and beautiful dance performances. Additionally, there will be several large 6' x 6' hand-made murals, created by local artists, available for photo opportunities. A thirst quenching variety of local Sonoran micro-brews will also be featured alongside new takes on traditional Mexican cocktails featuring the finest selection of tequila, mezcal and other local spirits.


The Tucson 23's venue partner, JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, is offering Tucson 23 ticketholders special weekend getaway packages as well as hosting several pre-event activities exclusively for Tucson 23 attendees staying at the hotel, allowing guests to delve even deeper into Mexico's rich traditions and flavors. The pre-event activities include: a celebrity chef dinner with Seis Chef Erika Bostick, cooking classes, tortilla making, a tequila infusion demonstration, and Mexican wines, as well as spa and golf specials. Attendees of the Tucson 23 will be given exclusive access to these special offers following their event ticket purchase.


Tickets to The Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival include unlimited food tastings from all participating restaurants. Beer, tequila and cocktail sampling, and live entertainment will highlight the best in live performances, with mariachi, flamenco guitar, and Ballet Folklorico. Tickets are available at here or by calling (520) 797-3959 x 105.

More details with regard to specials, activities and participating restaurants, exhibitors, and entertainment schedule will be announced in the coming weeks on the website at https://www.saaca.org/tucson23.html 

Official event hashtag: #Tucson23. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.


About The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food

Tucson is home to the most authentic Mexican north of the border. The highest concentration of these restaurants is found within a 23-mile area that includes the City of South Tucson, Downtown, and lower midtown. At these terrific eateries, many of which are family-owned and decades old, the settings are casual, the ingredients are fresh, and the experience is unforgettable.

About Visit Tucson

Visit Tucson is the official destination marketing organization for Tucson and southern Arizona. Its mission is to drive economic development by connecting visitors with their ideal travel and meetings experiences. Visit Tucson is financially supported by the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the Town of Oro Valley and more than 500 individual and business partners. For more information, go to VisitTucson.org.

About JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

Nestled on 50 acres in the saguaro-covered foothills of Tucson National Park, the AAA Four Diamond Starr Pass Resort & Spa is considered one of Tucson's premier destination resorts. Featuring 575 guestrooms (including 35 suites) with picturesque views, the resort offers 88,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, six dining experiences, 20,000 square-foot Hashani Spa, fitness center, a collection of outdoor water features including the meandering Starr Canyon River and Monsoon Falls waterslide, the Blur Teen Lounge and Rising Starr Kid's Club, two tennis courts and access to multiple hiking and biking trails on property. Starr Pass Golf Club features 27 holes of championship golf designed by Arnold Palmer. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is located just 12 miles from Tucson International Airport. With easy access to Interstate 10, the resort is a short 90 minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Visit us online, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort is located at 3800 W. Starr Pass Boulevard in Tucson.

About Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA)

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote engagement in arts and culture, helping our communities produce strong, inspired citizens. SAACA enlists artists, businesses, governments, and individuals to expand artistic and cultural opportunities in their respective communities. To enhance access to the arts and to promote cultural awareness in the communities it serves, SAACA presents large-scale festivals, events and other programs. The Alliance also promotes educational opportunities in the arts and culture for all ages.


The Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival
When: Saturday, June 16 at 6 p.m.
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa,
3800 W Starr Pass Blvd,
Tucson, AZ 85745 (map)
Cost: $60
Online: www.saaca.org
Phone: (520) 797-3959 x 105



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  • Casino Del Sol
  • Charro Steak
  • Cocteleria La Palma Mariscos Y Mas
  • El Charro
  • El Coronado Family Restaurant
  • El Cisne Cocina de Mexico
  • Fermented Tea Company
  • Gringo Grill + Cantina
  • Mexico City Kitchen
  • Oasis Fruit Cones
  • [POPPED] Artisan Popcorn
  • Perfecto's Restaurant
  • Pima Community College - Culinary Arts
  • Pure Love Juice
  • Reforma Cocina
  • Rigo's Restaurant
  • Rollies Mexican Patio
  • Seis Kitchen
  • Sir Veza's Taco Garage



  • Roger Clyne's Mexican Moonshine Tequila
  • Three Wells Distilling Company
  • Barrio Brewing
  • Estrella Jaliscos
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