The Story of Frank's
Read about the Frank's from our perspective and from our friends and family
Frank’s is not elegant dining. It is a little bit different, warm, and funky. Great home-style food served hot and quickly. Come on in – you’ll like us!
Frank Basile opened the restaurant in 1972. Since August 1982 it has had Mark Smith and Deb Richards at the helm. Our classic American diner (with Mexican flair) has served over a “bazillion” eggs to neighbors and visitors alike.
Days were slow at the beginning, with customers being taken care of by one cook, one server, and one busser—often Mark and Deb. As business increased, so did our team and with those additions began our Frank’s Family. Now, we have many team members who have been at Frank’s for over two and three decades. Four members of the team even took the whole “family” thing literally and now their children help serve Tucson's best breakfast.
Happily, the Frank’s Family also includes many regular customers. Some were brought in as kids by their parents and now carry on the tradition with their own kids and grand kids! We also have some weekly regulars who come in for our early bird special, or bring in their aging parents for old-times-sake.
As a family, we’ve celebrated many birthdays at Frank’s and we even had a proposal take place at our “Table 12” (they said yes!). So come join us, we’d love to have you. And in the meantime, check out our FaceBook page. Our thousands of followers from all over the world enjoy our daily jokes and sweet sentiments that are all intentionally not political.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"Singing with Marshall as I was paying on the way out, something about him and his joy of the simple things like filling up a coffee cup and singing along w/ the oldies is an amazing comfort and escape from the world outside. love you guys!"
"I’ve been going to Frank’s since I moved to Tucson in the 80s. I used to stop in about once a week, order green chili omelet with English muffin and home fries. Now I live in Seattle and it’s every couple years, still the same order. I am always so happy to see Candace and Pam. They are like family to me. I always meet my buddies there. It’s my happy place."
"Our little Eve was about 4 years old and dad would take her there one to 3 times a week. She paid her first bill there. Learned. She would go pay the bill and come back and give her dad a high five...down low... to slow...pound it bump fist... elbow it, then head bonk it then shoot it & ca-boot it.. people would watch and smile If he gave her the correct change she did not understand and would wait for change not understanding...woman tried to explain but Eve had a puzzled look on her face... like she should get back more money...."
"I dined at Frank’s on the morning of my wedding. I had my usual Huevos Rancheros. I was getting excited about the day, and said to my parents “ugh, I’m feeling a bit nauseous”. They waitress, who didn’t know I was getting married later said “that’s what you get for ordering your eggs over easy”. Classic Franks!"
"I started going to Frank’s when I was in graduate school in the 90s until I moved out-of-state. I moved back to Tucson when my kids were young, and I introduced them to Frank’s. Then my dad moved to Tucson a few years ago and has become a fan of Frank’s. Here’s a pic I took of my dad, brother and sons at Frank’s earlier this month. Elegant dining elsewhere! Happy 40th!"
"We moved into the Palo Verde neighborhood just over nine years ago and one of our first foodie stops in our new neighborhood was Frank’s for breakfast. It was an instant hit and we’ve come so many times we lost count long ago. It’s our go-to for breakfast when company is in town or any time! Hands down one of the best breakfast joints in this town! Congratulations and here’s to many more! Cheers!"
"Returning to Tucson after 42 years and this was my first restaurant visit and I was blown away. The people that work there so kind and respectful. And I heard someone singing oldies—A beautiful voice! And then we were so lucky this person came to our table to bus some of our dishes and sang to us. I took it personally as I love music and singing as a welcome to me returning home to Tucson. I am a 70 year old indigenous elder super picky about feeling welcome and being able to sit down in a busy restaurant and feel the love of humanity treating each other so beautifully! Thank you everyone at Frank’s!"
"Breakfast with my dad at Frank's!"
"Best breakfast in Tucson! Their signature coffee is the best it’s ground just for them."
"Used to go to Frank's when i was little with my dad (1985-87ish). Candice and Pam both worked there then."
"Twenty years ago, when I worked at The Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tony, the head Gardener, often warned me about eating at Frank's. I had wondered out loud, casually several times about Frank"s in within his hearing and several times he said " Oh, don't go there." I found out that he went to Frank's and I think he just didn't want to see me there. Sadly, Tony died on my birthday not long after. Later I worked with someone who tostada's at Frank's at night. This surprised me because I didn't think she was that type of woman. I wondered if I should finally go there, but a deep seated seed had been down by old Tony, so I would just look at the restaurant as I drove slowly by. Now my daughter lives and works quite near Frank's. We've talked about going to Frank's for breakfast, once even almost turning into the parking lot. I said, "Let's drive by, and if it doesn't seem crowded, we'll go in, but something spooked me at the last minute, and although I slowed down, I then sped up instead of turning in. "What happened?" said my daughter. "I guess we're not going to Frank's." I feel I’m getting closer to finally going. Maybe if I walk there it will seem more, I don't know-- easier."
"I met my husband because of Frank's."
"Been going since 1987...4 generations strong! Ages 1-86 at the breakfast table and loving it!"
"I used to get blood draws at a lab down on Alvernon and one time driving towards another breakfast place we came upon Frank’s and decided to try it. It’s so quirky we liked it immediately. My girlfriend is very picky and demanding
and they had no problem making for her a breakfast sandwich on hoagie bread, butter on one side, mayonnaise on the other, egg medium done. Since then we go anytime we need a pick me up. I became friends with Deb when I
started stalking her on Instagram because I love the stuff she posts on their Facebook page. And the rest is history. Here’s to many more years of good food and great people. Mazeltov!"
"Frank's has been the light in the dark for me. From the first time I walked into the door I was met by Marshall singing and playful banter between the staff and knew that this was the spot for me. Like cheers it's become a spot where everyone knows my name and I love it."
"Came in at 10 minutes before closing for lunch and was greeted with “Well you’ve sure got some balls”. I’ll bet you can guess who said that. Our beloved Candace."
"Frank's got us through the start of covid-19! In the summer of 2020 when we were staying home what kept us going was our weekly Frank's. Almost every Saturday we'd wake up, call Frank's and order some combo of a burrito, chili fries, chili, huevos rancheros, or a cinnamon roll. I'd walk on over and pick it up and we'd spend the day playing games and enjoying the delish meal. Waking into Frank's and seeing everyone's friendly face even in such a time was almost as good as the food! Now that I've moved further away, I really miss just walking over and getting a great meal. You guys rock!"
"We had just moved here in 1999 from New Jersey. We heard all about the food at Franks and went to have breakfast there one morning. We chose to sit outside in the patio to eat and just watch the cars going by on Pima street. The food was great but the thing I recall the most vividly was a car driving by with naked butts hanging out of each window. Fit the first and last time in our lives we had been mooned, and it happened at Franks!"
"After moving to Tucson from San Diego, I was so happy to find a neighborhood diner that served amazing breakfast and had some of the friendliest people I've ever met who worked there. Frank's is walking distance from our house, and it's become a tradition for my husband and I to get a late breakfast there on Saturday mornings. We've come to know the always-bubbly Pam, and she knows us as the couple who always gets the same omelet (cheddar, green pepper & onion) and the "super tanker" of orange juice. Thank you to Frank's and the amazing staff who make mornings what they should be :) Happy 40th, Frank's!"
"I was introduced to Franks and Franciscos back in 2009. My guy at the time Wolf, wanted me to meet Candace Ann, so we went. Best food at both places!! And the waitress? Candace was to die for! Sassy, bold, and beautiful!! She became a friend for life, even after I moved back to Alabama. I miss her, and ya'll, Arizona, and even Wolf, he was a good person!! Much love to all!"
"Happy Anniversary!!! I have been coming to Frank's since I moved to Tucson in 1993 and have never been