Tucson Gift Guide

The best presents from Southern Arizona businesses

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I attended Cultivate Tucson this past weekend, and once again the event succeeded at reminding me that this seemingly small, Southern Arizona city is flooded with talented, local artisans – and they sell really pretty stuff.

If you’re stumped on ideas for Christmas gifts, but like the idea of supporting Tucson makers, designers and businesses, check out this holiday gift guide I put together.

This includes presents for guys, gals, coworkers and in-laws. Oh, and if you’re related to me and reading this, act surprised on December 25th!

Businesses mentioned in this gift guide
Bandito Vintage Barrio Bread Bon Boutique Classic Rock Couture Eco Gro Exo Roast Co. Fine Life Co. Generation Cool HF Coors Mabel’s on 4th MAST Rosie’s Barkét Time Market Tiny Town Gallery Wooden Tooth Records

What I’d get for my husband

Toast Tongs, because I can’t tell you how many times he’s yelped while trying to wrangle walnut bread from our toaster | Mabel’s on 4th, $2.98

This shirt/map of Tucson, because the only thing he loves more than maps (very convenient in foreign countries!) is Tucson | Tiny Town Gallery, $15

What I’d get my older sister

Pasta Flour from Hayden Flour Mills | available at Time Market, $8.50

Perfect Pasta Timer | Mabel’s on 4th, $6.98
So she can continue to make my stomach grumble with the delicious-looking (and I’m sure tasting) meals she cooks and uploads to Instagram.

Pasta
Image via Mabel’s on 4th

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Best Places in Tucson to Eat Alone

Hungry minus company? Check out the best places in Tucson to dine alone.

In college, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant/bar. We were told that if a patron came in to dine alone, we should—without saying anything—drop a magazine off at their table.

I think the idea—or the stigma, perhaps—was that people who dine alone are lonely, and a magazine might keep them company. Now, I think dropping a magazine off at a solo diner’s table is a little insulting. People dine alone for lots of reasons: to think, to escape thinking, because they’re traveling for business, because they hate people, etc.

Personally, I view eating alone as a reward. After a long day, it’s a treat to hang out and snack, enjoying the sunshine with my dog at my feet, not saying a word to anyone (can you tell that I’m an introvert?). On the flip side, I also eat alone when my job is overwhelming—the walk to and from a restaurant distracts me from work worries, and I set my phone down and concentrate on each bite, returning refocused.

Due to dozens of solo meals, I’ve discovered a few Tucson gems that cater to the “just one, please” crowd. Check out my picks and answers to anticipated questions below. And if you see me eating at any of them, no pity please! I can assure you that I’m perfectly content.

Continue reading “Best Places in Tucson to Eat Alone”