By KATELYN ROBERTS
Welcome Diner, the pale blue, 1960s structure at Broadway Boulevard and Euclid Avenue, quickly proved it would be more than just a pretty renovation for mid-century architecture fans.
After just five months of operation, the diner extended its hours to 2 a.m.
Its sister restaurant in Phoenix has been named Arizona’s best diner, and both locations have been lauded throughout the state and nationally for their dishes.
Unlike most diners, these offer vegetarian options. There’s one vegan dish if ordered without slaw.
My most memorable dish at both locations was the jackfruit sandwich, which is marinated in a local IPA. Each time I order it, my instinct is to pull a can-I-speak-to-the-manager and ask why they served me real pork.
Even if you do question the vegan purity of your meal, your server will probably be really nice about it because that’s the way they are at Welcome Diner.
Plates range from $8 to $28. The diner is definitely busiest on weekend evenings but will cater to large parties.
Welcome Diner’s Tucson site offers viable parking because it is located conveniently far from downtown and Fourth Avenue.
However, it’s close enough that downtown-dwellers can drive up Broadway Boulevard. Cyclists can ride and lock up out front.
It’s also located less than a mile from Congress Street, so is close enough for diners who want to bar-hop after their meal or for bar-hoppers who want a late-night snack.
That may not be necessary, however, as Welcome Diner offers a surprisingly long list of cocktails, beers on tap and wine selections.
Options include 15 types of wine, 12 classic cocktails, 11 house cocktails, a rotating beer menu and a decent selection of non-alcoholic beverages.
Although Phoenix-based, Welcome Diner has made itself welcome in Tucson by supporting local businesses such as Presta, which roasts the diner’s coffee, and Seven Cups Tea, which provides its tea.
The diner also works with Fiore Di Capra, Time Market, Pivot Produce, McClendons Select, Ramona Farms, Schreiners Sausage, Bake House, E & R Pork, Red Bird and Niman Ranch to create its Southern-inspired menu.
The diner is open every day from 9 a.m.-2 a.m. For more information, visit WelcomeDiner.net or call 622-5100.
Address: 902 E. Broadway Blvd.
Hours: 9 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Photo: Katelyn Roberts
Retro lighting attracts flocks of people looking to fill their bellies with locally crafted food and drinks at the Welcome Diner every day of the week.