El Charro Café has been serving guests in Tucson, Arizona since 1922. El Charro has four locations in Tucson including downtown, Oro Valley, Tucson International Airport and Ventana. It is the oldest family-owned mexican restaurant in the nation. 

The El Charro Café downtown location is the original family home of the Flores family, and turned into El Charro Cafe in 1969. It is also one of the many restaurants introduced under the Flores Concepts title. Flores Concepts and "Si Charro!" is the name of El Charro's parent company that entails eight local restaurants, with El Charro Café being their oldest and most historic concept. Ray Flores is the current president of Si Charro. 


El Charro (Downtown, Oro Valley & Ventana)

Charro Steak & Del Ray (188 E Broadway Blvd. & 178 E Broadway Blvd.)

Charrovida (7109 N Oracle Rd)

Charro Chico (3699 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ 85719)

The Monica (40 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701) 

El Charro Café tells a beautiful story about the profound love for traditional hispanic dishes. The Flores family brought in some fun to historic downtown Tucson with Charro Steak and their 100% grass-fed beef. Charro Del Rey introduces 100% sustainable seafood. Sir Veza's opens up the gates to a bar scene and comfort food. Pub 1922 is home to 22 beers on tap. And Carlotta’s Kitchen, a family-oriented restaurant, is manifested by good eats by Chef Carlotta Flores, co-founder and operator of Flores Concepts. 

The Flores family has made quite a remarkable impact on the Tucson/ Southern Arizona community. This restaurant is known for its authentic Mexican food tied in with traditional Sonoran flavors.

El Charro Café has been mentioned in several magazines and radio opportunities for its tasty and authentic cuisine. According to the restaurant’s website, the Original Chef/ owner, Tia Monica Flin, who passed away and handed the title down to her niece Carlotta, created the first “Chimichanga.” A Chimichanga is a fried burrito and has become widely popular over the past decades in Southern Arizona. Monica Flin was in the kitchen cooking, and she was making burritos for the kids that were running around. The kids ended up bumping into Flinn while she was cooking, dropped the burritos into the fryer and instead of saying a bad word in Spanish she said, “Chimichanga!” The woman with the current title as chef is Flin’s great grandniece, Carlotta Flores. Flores and her family continue to keep the El Charro locations a success as they continue to be recognized in numerous magazines for their delicious Mexican food. 


The Café has a history in the town of Tucson but also stays up to date with its local college students. The menu stays up to date with the current eating trends, with a designated vegan section on every menu all across the different concepts. Flores Concepts actually has a whole-hearted vegan restaurant called Charro Vida. Vida opened last summer and opens the table to healthy, sustainable, plant based cuisine. With a high demographic of vegans in Tucson, a ton of those lay in the college realm. The Café also does really cool networking opportunities with the University of Arizona, having the first El Charro being downtown, very close to campus. The Café introduced its first ever Greek life brunch. This weekly event proceeded last year from around March-August, every Sunday. The goal of this event is to meet the needs of hungry college students in the Greek community who are 21 years and older, while providing sustainable, healthy, and delicious brunch items, alongside bottomless mimosas. With a good turn out regarding last years event, there is high hopes that this year will bring together close fellowship and good eats for students. 

El Charro Café also attract upperclassmen with their lengthy drink menu that includes a natural margarita with agave. El Charro has an outside patio that can host large parties for things like game days or birthday parties. It is also the perfect meeting spot from campus to downtown. Allowing students to hit up El Charro for dinner then head into downtown for the bar scene after.  


The Downtown location’s address is 311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719.

The hours of this location are 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM Monday through  Sunday. 

The Oro Valley location’s address is 7725 N Oracle Rd., Oro Valley, AZ 85704.

The hours of this location are 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM Monday through Sunday.

The location in Ventana is located at 6910 E. Sunrise Dr., Tucson, AZ 85710.

This location is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM. 

El Charro is also located at concourse B of the Tucson International Airport.

The hours of this location open at 4 AM and the closing depends on when the last plane leaves.


El Charro Café offers a unique full menu which can be found on their website. There is a regular menu, dessert menu, happy hour menu, kid’s menu, lunch menu, and a menu which includes party trays.

The menu is one that can appeal to customers who are vegan and gluten free. There are also items that can be considered breakfast, which can even be ordered at dinner time.

Items include enchiladas, salads, soups, a chimichanga platter, tacos, burgers, guacamole, nachos, cheesecrisps, and quesadillas.

El Charro's most popular item on the menu is the Carne seca, or strips of beef steak that are sun dried, shredded and then reconstituted with chilies, tomatoes and onions. 

The menu is reasonably prices with main entrees ranging from $12 to $16.

The restaurant also offers options to order online from sites such as Grubhub, Eatstreet, and Eat 24 so that customers can get their food delivered to their home or work.


I enjoy visiting El Charro Café. The food is delicious and authentic. I also love the ambiance, because you feel as if you are in the heart of Mexico. Authentic and comfortable. The interior is traditional and cozy as the exterior is authentic and welcoming. This is my favorite Mexican restaurant. My family and I fell in love with El Charro Café. I currently work at one of Flores Concept's restaurants, Charro Vida (mentioned above). I love working here! I don't feel like I go to work a 9-5 in a cubicle, I feel as if I am going into work to make a difference in the lives of others while having fun with my coworkers. My brother worked at El Charro Café when he was in high-school and we both shared alike experiences while working for the company. He now works at Charro Del Rey, Flores' seafood concept downtown. We both feel valued and comfortable in the restaurant industry and at Flores Concepts, respectively. We are a Charro-loving family and appreciate the accountability and outstanding customer service at every meal. 

"EL CHARRO CAFE" story by Jennifer Zucker