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Andrew Brown

Award-Winning Journalist Andrew Brown

By Stacey Gregory

Andrew Brown is on a mission to document Tucson. This award-winning journalist (11 Rocky Mountain Regional Emmys and four Edward R. Murrow Awards!) is a third-generation 
Arizonan who graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and has been telling stories in Arizona ever since. 

Brown covers art, culture, and the environment through the show he helps produce on PBS, Arizona Illustrated. Tucson Street Portraits on Instagram is his place to capture the color and vibe of Tucson through portraits. 

“Working in media, I travel to all parts of the city, and I see so many characters,” said Brown. “Tucson developed a cool style; people want to stand out, and I started documenting them.” 

He’s created a community page to show how much he appreciates Tucson and its people. An account where each portrait posted remains a mystery, raising questions rather than answers. 

“I love men with flowers. That’s always an untold story there. Did they do something wrong, or is it a romantic gesture?” said Brown. “Interactions with people who are ambivalent are my favorite.”

Between his career sending him all over town to just enjoying the Old Pubelo, he has amassed recommendations to pass along to you. 

Andrew Brown
A Tasteful Journey with Brown

Of course, Mexican dishes top the list, and Martin’s Comida Chingona, an old-school Mexican restaurant on Historic Fourth Avenue that serves healthy and fresh food, is where it’s at. But don’t ask for any modifications to the menu if you want to get the best food in town. In the morning, Brown is at Frank’s Restaurant for a great chorizo breakfast burrito complemented by the excellent service and warm and funky environment.

He also loves James Beard semi-finalist Chef Wendy Garcia of Tumerico and La Chaiteria. For Brown, Tumerico Café is one of the best restaurants in Tucson that happens to be vegan and vegetarian. The only thing that could make this menu better for him is adding meat. La Chaiteria serves Latin-inspired food with vegan and vegetarian options, and Vice President Kamala Harris stopped by in 2021.

While Barrio Bakery gets a lot of love in Tucson, Brown likes the bread at Time Market. He says one of the best culinary options in Tucson is Rocco’s Frank and Jack Special of six wings and a slice of deep-dish pizza. There’s also a supermarket that makes his list.

“There is no way you would ever find Roma Imports unless someone told you about it,” said Brown. “Try Matt’s Special, the best sandwich in Tucson. They have a killer frozen food section. Grab a lasagna to go.”

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
Top Things to Do Around T-Town

It might be a surprise, but during the monsoon season, there are waterfalls in the desert. Brown reccomends starting your journey by viewing one off of the Douglas Spring trailhead in Saguaro Park East. Tumamoc Hill is his other favorite outdoor space for its beautiful reflection of the community. 

“Tumamoc is culturally, socially, economically, and racially diverse,” he said. “I love being out there and seeing families and hearing people speak different languages.” 

He’d also like you to explore Tucson’s plant nurseries. Brown points out that Tucson is one of the best places in the world to grow desert-adapted plants. His favorite nurseries are Arid Lands, B & B Cactus, Plants for the Southwest, and Spadefoot.

“Plant nerds from around the world travel to Tucson to find cool desert plants,” he said.

When it comes to an evening out, he supports Rogue Theatre, a small award-winning community arts theater featuring creative productions of classic and contemporary plays. He says the plays are super stellar and always beautifully done. When it’s time for a cocktail, he has four go-to’s: The Shelter, Che’s Lounge, Tap & Bottle Downtown, and Royal Room. 

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