Here at U of A, we've got the bars, the late night snacks, the expensive meals only your parents take you to and we've got Sam Fox Restaurant Concepts. My friends and I are major Sam Fox groupies, and when given the opportunity, we indulge at all the concepts. Sam has created many restaurants around the Scottsdale and Tucson areas as well as in other states like locations in Southern California and Texas. As a college student, it’s nice to splurge sometimes and treat yourself after a long week of studying. In Tucson, we're fortunate to have five of his concepts: Blanco, North, Wildflower and recently Culinary Dropout. Each concept is different and better than the last. 

Sam Fox

Sam Fox is the ultimate foodie. His vision for food, plating and restaurant design is truly unbelievable. He opened his very first restaurant in Tucson called, Gilligans and ever since has been creating and producing the best restaurants around. Here are 5 examples of why Sam Fox is a food genius.

1. North

North is my go-to birthday dinner affair in Tucson. The atmosphere is elegant, but the bill won't break your wallet completely. I love their simple spaghetti because it has fennel in it which is my favorite garnish. Their scallops are one of their other delectable offerings. The scallops come on top of a sweet corn risotto, asparagus, crispy shallot and pancetta gremolata. The Short Rib Raditori which comes with arugula, breadcrumbs, parmesan cream and fresh horseradish is also a great option. Make sure to start with simple Zucca chips or fried zucchini slices with salt. Simple and delicious.

2. Blanco 

Rachel Hurvitz

Blanco hands down offers one of the best happy hours in Tucson. If you are twenty-one years or older, check out the best pairing, a six dollar margarita with a 3 dollar taco. Their happy hour is amazing for college students on a budget and allows students to escape campus and enjoy margaritas and sangria with the beautiful Foothills behind us. They have many different tacos and tortas. For tacos, they serve chicken, carnitas, and machaca beef. As for tortas, they have chicken, machaca beef, bbq pork, and shrimp. Blanco also serves nachos, quesadillas, and dips during happy hour. The full menu is much more extensive. Craving Mexican? Try Blanco Tacos + Tequila.

3. Wildflower

Wildflower is the fanciest restaurant of the four, thus far. The restaurant is decorated beautifully and looks like it belongs on the west coast. My favorites on the menu include the cold smoked salmon and the Short Rib Ravioli. You see the pattern? I love Short Ribs. The cold smoked salmon comes with four potato pancakes topped with chive crème Fraiche and smoked salmon. This dish is perfect to share. The Short Rib Ravioli comes with truffle cream, swiss chard, roasted mushroom, red chili flakes and breadcrumbs. For dessert, the cinnamon doughnuts are a must which comes with two dipping sauces; the vanilla custard and berry marmalade.

4. Culinary Dropout 

CD originated in Scottsdale, Arizona near Old Town Scottsdale and the infamous Scottsdale Fashion Square. There is also a second location located in Central Phoenix connected to a cool spot called The Yard. The Yard has games and activities to play while enjoying a drink during happy hour weekdays from 3-6pm or on the weekend with family and friends. Another location is near the Arizona State University campus which Is perfect for college students as well. The hot spot attracts young adults who love to mingle and have a good time. Check out their outstanding menu!

#SpoonTip: Make sure to try the Pretzels and Fondue!

5. Zin Burger

Zin Burger is the ultimate college kid splurge. Not too expensive but also nothing like the food on University. My friends and I go during happy hour and share baskets of fries which is affordable for college students. Their burgers are all 12 dollars and under. If you are feeling like treating yourself, get a shake or slice of pie for dessert. You will not regret it!

I know what I am craving. Now go out and try one of Sam Fox's amazing Restaurant Concepts, you won't regret it!