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    What Are The Hidden Gems of Tucson Sonoran Dogs?

    When it comes to iconic foods in the Southwest United States, many people think of Tex-Mex or BBQ. However, a lesser-known food item is just as beloved by those in the know: the Sonoran dog. 

    A specialty of Tucson, Arizona, the Sonoran dog is a delicious and unique take on the classic hot dog. While it may not be as well-known as some other regional foods, the Sonoran dog is a hidden gem worth seeking out for anyone interested in trying something new.

    What is Sonoran Dog?

    Before we dive into the hidden gems of Tucson’s Sonoran dogs, let’s first establish what exactly a Sonoran dog is. At its most basic, a Sonoran dog is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and cooked until crispy. It is then placed in a soft, slightly sweet bolillo bun and topped with a variety of condiments.

    The most common toppings include pinto beans, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, mustard, and mayonnaise. Some versions may also include jalapeños, guacamole, or cheese.

    The Origin Of Sonoran Dog

    The Sonoran dog is believed to have originated in the Mexican state of Sonora, which is right next door to Arizona. Specifically, the dish is said to have been created in the city of Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora. It was there that the smoky, bacon-wrapped hot dog was first dreamed up. 

    One of the key influences on the Sonoran dog was the culinary traditions of the Yaqui people, an indigenous group that lives in both Sonora and Arizona. Over time, the Sonoran dog made its way north to Tucson, Arizona, where it became a beloved part of the city’s street food scene. 

    Today, you can find Sonoran dogs being sold from food trucks and stands all over Tucson, and the dish has become an iconic part of the culinary landscape of both Sonora and Arizona.

    Hidden Gems of Tucson’s Sonoran Dogs

    Now that we know what a Sonoran dog is let’s take a closer look at some of the hidden gems of Tucson’s Sonoran dog scene.

    1. El Guero Canelo

    No Sonoran dogs in Tucson discussion would be complete without mentioning El Guero Canelo. This beloved local chain has been serving some of the city’s best Sonoran dogs since 1993. In addition to their classic Sonoran dog, El Guero Canelo offers a range of other Mexican street foods, such as carne asada tacos and burritos.

    One thing that sets El Guero Canelo apart from other Sonoran dog stands is the quality of their bacon. They use thick bacon cooked until perfectly crispy, which adds a satisfying crunch to every bite. The restaurant also offers a variety of salsas and toppings so that you can customize your Sonoran dog to your liking.

    2. BK Tacos

    While BK Tacos is primarily known for its tacos (as the name suggests), they also serve up a mean Sonoran dog. Their version features a slightly spicier hot dog than most, which pairs perfectly with the smoky bacon. The restaurant also offers a range of unique toppings, such as pineapple, which adds a sweet and tangy element.

    3. La Estrella Bakery

    La Estrella Bakery is a local bakery that also happens to serve some of the best Sonoran dogs in Tucson. Their version features a soft, slightly sweet bun that perfectly complements the savory flavors of the hot dog and bacon. They also offer a range of toppings, including their signature avocado sauce, which adds a creamy and slightly spicy element to the dish.

    4. El Sinaloense

    El Sinaloense is a small food truck that serves up some of the best Sonoran dogs in Tucson. Their version features a perfectly grilled hot dog wrapped in crispy bacon and topped with a range of condiments, including pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and onions. The truck also offers a range of other Mexican streets foods, such as tacos and tortas.

    5. Los Tacos Apson

    Los Tacos Apson is a Tucson institution that has been serving delicious Sonoran dogs for over 50 years. Their version is a classic take on the dish, featuring a perfectly cooked hot dog wrapped in crispy bacon and topped with pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and onions. 

    One of the standout elements of Los Tacos Apson’s Sonoran dog is the bolillo bun, which is toasted to perfection and provides the ideal base for the dish. The restaurant also offers a range of other Mexican streets foods, such as carne asada and chile rellenos.

    6. Ruiz Hot Dogs

    Ruiz Hot Dogs is a popular hot dog stand in Tucson, Arizona that has been serving up delicious Sonoran hot dogs for over 50 years. Despite its simple setup, Ruiz Hot Dogs has gained a cult following and has been featured in various publications, including the Food Network and Travel Channel. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in trying Tucson’s famous Sonoran hot dogs

    7. Aqui Con El Nene

    Aqui Con El Nene is a popular food truck in Tucson that serves some of the best Sonoran hotdogs in Tucson. Their version features a perfectly grilled hot dog wrapped in crispy bacon and topped with a range of condiments, including pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and onions. 

    They also offer a variety of other Mexican street foods, such as tacos and quesadillas. The food truck is known for its friendly service and affordable prices, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

    8. La Carreta del Rorro

    La Carreta del Rorro is a family-owned food truck that has been serving up delicious Sonoran hot dogs in Tucson for over a decade. Their Sonoran hot dogs are made with a juicy hot dog wrapped in crispy bacon and served on a soft bun. 

    They offer a variety of toppings, including pinto beans, diced tomatoes, and chopped onions. The food truck is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, known for its authentic flavors and friendly service

    9. Portillo’s Tucson

    Portillo’s is a chain of restaurants that originated in Chicago, Illinois, but has expanded to several states in the United States, including Arizona. The Tucson location of Portillo’s offers a variety of classic American foods, including their take on the Sonoran hot dog. Their version features a juicy hot dog wrapped in crispy bacon and served on a poppy seed bun. 

    They also offer a range of toppings, such as diced tomatoes, onions, and mustard. While Portillo’s may not be a traditional Sonoran hot dog stand, their version is still a tasty and satisfying option for those craving the unique flavors of this beloved regional food.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the Sonoran dog is a hidden gem of Tucson’s vibrant street food scene. This delicious take on the classic hot dog is beloved by locals and visitors alike, and for a good reason. While there are many Sonoran dogs stands and restaurants throughout Tucson. 

    Whether you’re a longtime Tucson resident or just passing through, be sure to seek out the city’s Sonoran dog scene. It’s a hidden gem that is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you craving more.

     

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