Mama Louisa's Italian Restaurant

4.1
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335 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
A Family Tradition since 1956. Homemade pastas and aged sauces offer a traditional Italian flavor. The menu offers a wide range of Italian favorites from lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, manicotti, canneloni, chicken, veal, shrimp, pizzas and our signature pasta dish Joe's Special. Soup and Salad bar available for all meals. Full Bar. Lunch Special, Mon-Sat, 11-2 Soup Salad and Pasta Bar. Early Evenings and Happy Hour 3-6 pm. The decor of the restaurant features hand-painted murals from the 1950's and 1970's .
What 335 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
3.9
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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FF
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

The dish I wanted to order was not available but they had not taken it off the menu yet. Waitress did not know that until she tried to put our order in. The dish I did get was ok, pretty much the same as what I could make at home.

J
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is excellent. Great taste , real Italian feeling .Many choises on the menu . Very friendly waitress .

d
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had an enjoyable dining experience at Mama Louisa's over University of A'rizona's Family Weekend. We made a reservation that afternoon and took our daughter and her roommate out to dinner. We were immediately greeted in a friendly manner and shown to our table. The atmosphere was colorful and pleasant. The ambiance is more casual and bright which made us feel relaxed and in the mood for fun. The service was prompt and accommodating. All our questions were answered and any adjustments to our food were readily welcomed and accommodated. The service made the night the success it was! The appetizers (Salads and Bread, including the one we ordered that was a loaf with olive oil for dipping) were all delicious, but us left us little room for the generous main course portions. The pasta dishes are on the heavier side, but yummy, so we got boxes to bring the rest home. That made out college students very happy!!! We will definitely be returning. I recommend this place for more of a family or large group outing than for a romantic night out.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Good food. Restaurant smelled old and musty upon entering.

CB
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Mama Louisa's is a quality locally owned restaurant that makes you feel like family and serves very good food and has decent prices and specials.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Husband birthday

k
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place! Great food, great service!! We do birthday's and other celebrations here. We are never disappointed!

d
Tucson
4 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

As always the food and service was great. They serve Flying Leap wine a local winery

HG
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Someone recommended this restaurant to me. I'm not sure why except he said it was a mom and pops. My initial impression was this restaurant was a dive. It turned out I was right. It was cave like and questionably clean. The flatware was dirty. The pasta sauce was tasty but the pasta was overly cooked. Any good Italian would know that pasta should be el dente not mushy. Overall this visit was a disappointment.

p
Adelaide / SA
6 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Salad bar greens were very fresh, and additions to the greens included many choices. Would like the salad dressings to be labeled.

I love Joe's Special accompanied by the 2-meatball side. So that's what I ordered. The helpings are very large. There was enough for me to have the leftovers at home the following evening. My dining partners seemed to equally like their dinners.

Server was superb!

M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely the most amazing experience! Food was unbelievable and our server went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed. We will be back!

OT
Dallas
11 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

I love Italian food, and I thought I would give Mama Louisa’s a try because it was nearby my hotel. I was turned off by the look of the restaurant when I drove up. It just looked very dated, but I did not want to judge a book by its cover. Inside, the ambience was also lacking. I ordered a Caesar salad and lasagna, which should be a staple of any Italian restaurant. The Caesar salad was huge, but not very good. The lasagna looked unappetizing, and looks were not deceiving. Overall, the most disappointing dining experience I can recall.

JL
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I tried the house special which was excellent! Unfortunately my wife did not like her spaghetti and meatballs.

JB
Tucson
5 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious authentic Italian food

GB
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great. The waitress was pleasant and helpful with the menu. There is nothing like restaurants that are 3rd and 4th generation. When we were in Pennsylvania we stopped at Terrizios 4th generation family owned and like Mama Louisa’s the food was amazing. Thank Mama Louisa’s.

H
Phoenix
113 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a neighborhood gem and if you are looking for one of the best Italian restaurants in Tucson, you should make it a point to eat at Mama Luisa's. It was established in 1956 so 63 years of experience means something, especially in this case.

The sauces were excellent and the Meatballs (made fresh) and the Italian sausage (also fresh) were GREAT.

s
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

they calamari and creme brûlée were as good as Italy

DP
Tucson
54 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Boy, reviews sure don't tell the story, when we walked into this restaurant it had such a terrible smell, musty and damp, décor was so old and thrown together. I didn't want to stay but we did. We ordered 2 Kettle One on the rocks, after 10 min the waitress came back and told us they were all out, the big party in the next room drank it all up, I peeked around the corner to see this big party. NOT.!!
I ordered the lasagna it was actually good, my husband ordered the veal parm with linguine, the noodles tasted like they were cooked twice, overdone, yuck! /it was real veal that was surprising, not chewy and tough , my husband didn't like their sauce at all. I'm sorry to say we will never go back, this restaurant needs to been demolished and re-built. Also the wait staff was hard to even look at.
We were going to order a bottle of Chianti but we decided to eat and leave, no reason to hang out.

RC
Tucson
4 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a special Father’s Day. The food was great and the restaurant looked wonderful.

M
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I haven’t been to Mama Louisas in several years and I had family visiting from out of town so I chose this restaurant. All of Our party of 5 thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food. I hope to return again soon! 👍

MB
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have loved this restaurant for years. Food is always delicious.

LS
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 4

I was gluttened. I am a celiac. The restaurant was recommended by other celiacs. I indicated on the reservation that I am a celiac. I informed my server before ordering, and she acknowledged that they would take the appropriate precautions, including separately boiling the pasta. The next morning, I had the classic celiac GI distress symptoms of being gluttened. I tested the leftovers I brought home with my Nima sensor, which turned up positive for the presence of gluten. Therefore, I cannot trust this restaurant. They either are unable or unwilling to be able to properly serve celiacs.

P
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Chicken Marsala looked and tasted like brown gravy on chicken. Sent it back. Basic spaghetti was just as bad.

AM
Tucson
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Despite our party of 12 and another large party, the service was amazing and we wanted for nothing. The food is next level!

OT
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Just a couple of minor issues, the salad bar could have been taken care of better than it was. As I know it was Mother’s Day and you were busy. But you had plenty of help have multi task instead of most of the time two of them by the cash register! One could have tidied up the salad bar area. The other issue was you fettuccine alfredo with prosciutto and peas, there was only three tiny pieces of prosciutto in the bowl. So fifteenth dollars for basically pasta. I won’t be buying that particular again.

y
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food, Great service and moderately priced. The Italian wedding soup is phenomenal.

E
Tucson
13 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This is the second time we have been to Mama Louisa's for dinner. Might have been a mistake going on the evening before Mother's Day. The place was packed with very large groups and seating was very tight. Felt sorry for some of the smaller tables trying to compete for space with the larger groups. There was no way some of the diner's would be able to move their chairs to leave or visit the bathroom. Food was great as usual, while food preparation was a little slow based upon the number of tables being served. They could have used a few more members of the waiting staff to help out with the rush of customers. It was evident some of the waiting staff were overwhelmed with the number of tables they were responsible for during the meal.

J
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

We visited ML on Sunday, April 28th. The restaurant was not crowded, yet our meal took 1 hour to make it to our table. We had 4 orders of pasta with sauce, and 1 chicken parm. 1 hour?? When the food finally arrived, it was practically inedible. 2 of the orders had the wrong pasta, everything was cold....it was really not a good experience. The waitress was apologetic, but by that point we were all frustrated and upset. I've had good meals at ML, but something was definitely off in the kitchen on Sunday.

WW
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been going to Mama Louisa's for many years and have always had a great experience.
It's great Italian food in a homey atmosphere.

SG
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service and good food. Nice salad and soup bar.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quick seating and service. Food was great.

JD
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

For the first time our main course seemed a little overcooked. Always a favorite place to eat.

DP
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. All served quickly and hot. The breadsticks were very good plus they have a military discount!

OT
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 2

Not worthy of reputatipn

DK
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The wait staff was outstanding. They were very attentive and helpful.

A
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The waitress was patient and friendly.
The minestrone soup was a bit too salty for my tastes.

E
Tucson
13 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed the food as all our meals were very well prepared. The Kids Menu options were great as our 5 year old grandchild ate everything knowing icecream was coming for dessert.

DB
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in from out of town and found this place from the Open Table App. Great, family owned restaurant with homemade Italian food.

DW
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a reservation and arrived early. At checkin we were told the table is being prepared. When we were not seated on time, we inquired and the waitress pointed to the table in the bar area and said there is your table. Not sure if we should seat ourselves, she again said there is your table.
After seating ourselves, a waitress came to great us. We asked to be seated in the dining room as per our reservation... she did. She was over the top in attention to us. Served us with kindness. Prepared our leftovers and was very thankful for our choosing their restaurant. Nice save!

TR
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You betcha! Great food, very friendly waitress.....enjoyed the whole time there!