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Last modified on July 9th, 2018 at 1:27 pm
Like Chicago and New York, Tucson has its own beloved style of hot dog.
The Sonoran hot dog originates from Hermosillo, Mexico and features a slightly sweet bun, bacon-wrapped wiener, pinto beans, onions, tomato, salsa verde, mustard, and mayonnaise.
Deviants may include other toppings such as sliced mushrooms, grated cheese, or crushed potato chips, Tucsonans tend to prefer the classic with a toasty bun.
Some connoisseurs claim a special finesse is required for toasting the bun, while others claim the ratio of ingredients are what make or break a dog. While we can’t say which is the most important, here’s a list of joints that deliver the whole package.
This northwest classic serves their Sonoran dogs chipilón-style with cheese melted onto the bread. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the Taco Yaqui, which features two tortillas with a roasted green chile stuffed with carne asada, mushrooms, and melty cheese.
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One of the two Sonoran dog legends in town, BK rocks the mesquite grill with other meats as well. The salsa bar’s guacamole with cottage cheese is a point of heated debate, so give it a try to draw your own conclusion.
For more information, visit bktacos.com.
The other half of the two rival Sonoran dog legends in Tucson, El Güero Canelo now has three local locations. Order the Sammy Dog for two franks in one bun. If you’re in Phoenix and need your Sonoran fix, check out their location at 5131 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85035.
For more information, visit elguerocanelo.com.
Even though there are various El Sinaloense trucks around town, the location at 1526 N. Alvernon Way has the magic touch that created the most detailed following. We haven’t pinpointed why yet, but can confirm it’s a beautifully balanced dog.
For more information, visit El Sinaloense’s page on Yelp.
The Super Chipilones feature buns toasted with an abundance of garlic powder for a more savory bite.
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A key difference is the mayo distribution — La Carreta spreads the mayo over the tomatoes rather than the common drizzle. The accompanying guero chile has what seems to be Tajín sprinkled on, which provides a welcome lime acidity to contrast the loaded dog.
For a minor but impactful addition, pay $0.50 for chorizo on top. The crumbly, salty bits on top provide meaty savoriness in those bites where you normally get bun but no hot dog.
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While the candy and piñata shop isn’t open anymore, the food truck still comes out weekend nights in the same spot. Come for the buns toasted with cheese melted inside.
For more information, visit the Karamelo King page on Yelp.
The fluffy buns toasted with butter keep customers coming back. Shaded seating is available both next to the truck and within it.
For more information, visit the Ruiz Hot Dogs page on Yelp.
Where is your favorite Sonoran hot dog in town? Let us know in the comments.
For something on the sweeter side, check out our article on the Best Raspado Spots in Tucson.