Guide to 16 Restaurants in Vail and Rita Ranch

By Samantha Colaianni

Part one of a Two Part Series

There was a time in Vail when residents were ecstatic that a Dairy Queen opened near the local church and post office. Within the last ten years, however, the Vail and the Rita Ranch area has expanded. Where there was once miles of raw desert now stands a vibrant community, including new and exciting Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants like Serial Grillers and Bowld.

Here’s a list of local favorite Vail and Rita Ranch restaurants to try.

Argenziano’s at 16251 S. Houghton Road

While closer to Corona de Tucson, Argenziano’s was the first Italian restaurant all Vail citizens went to for birthdays and special occasions. They offer both pizzas both classic — like the margherita —and inventive — like the taco pizza. The menu features Italian-American favorites, including meatballs and stuffed shells.

Arizona Pizza Company at 13190 E. Colossal Cave Road, 160

Huge pizza slices, subs, and calzones … it’s comfort food that satisfies. End your meal with a bite of sweetness in cannolo form and delight in the fact that they deliver to Vail residents.

Bowld at 13160 E. Colossal Cave Road, Suite 100

Bowld restaurant and meal prep opened in March 2019. The counter-service restaurant features a menu focused on a variety of bowls and “rowls,” which are items rolled in ham, breaded and fried or griddled.

Civano Coffee House at 5278 S. Civano Boulevard

Tucked away in the Civano neighborhood, the Civano Coffee House is a hidden gem. Whether you’re stopping by for an espresso in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening, the cozy atmosphere invites you to stay and relax. Or, take your coffee to go and walk around the beautiful Civano Nursery.

Hacienda del Lago at 14155 E. Via Rancho del Lago

It might be surprising to learn that there is a golf course and club in Vail, but soon you’ll be looking for reasons to go play a round or two. The Hacienda del Lago is both the clubhouse and the restaurant. Sit on the patio and enjoy the campfire, a comforting stack of hash browns, eggs, and gravy, or stop by for a pint of beer as a celebration after hitting a hole in one — the bar is open until 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

El Coronado Family Restaurant at 7385 S. Houghton Road

El Coronado Family Restaurant has been in operation since 1983. The staff is friendly and helpful and the servings, generous. Standard Mexican fare is served, including enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and combination plates served with beans and rice. Try the Menudo and Shredded Beef Enchilada with green sauce. Weekly specials take place on Tuesday for Taco Tuesday and Saturdays for Margarita Specials.

Happy Wok at 9040 E. Valencia Road

Tucked in a strip mall and labeled as a “dine in and carry out Asian Bistro,” Happy Wok offers Chinese and Asian-fusion appetizers; soups; noodle dishes; Chow- and Lo Mein; fried rice; meat, vegetable, and shrimp plates; and Egg Foo Young. The Chef Specials feature Hot & Spicy Shrimp & Chicken, Hunan Triple Delight, Kung Pao Combo, and Coconut Shrimp, to name a few.

Try the Hunan Triple Delight, specific to the Hunan region of China, which features chicken, beef, shrimp with broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, water chestnut, bamboo, and onion in a spicy Hunan sauce.

Luckie’s Thai Asian Cuisine at 8110. S. Houghton Road, Suite 186

Luckie’s is the quintessential takeout spot, perfect for stopping by after doing your grocery run. The menu includes Thai classics like papaya salad, pad Thai, and larb, and also includes other favorites like Vietnamese pho and Chinese egg foo young. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Luckie’s will provide it both quickly and deliciously.

Part 2 will appear in next month’s Vail Voice.

This article came from Tucson Foodie and can be seen, along with other excellent content, at This article was originally written on June 20, 2018, and most recently updated on May 14, 2019. Kate Severino contributed to this article. Photo credit: Jackie Tran

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