Tucson is known for the dramatic beauty of its prized destination, the Sonoran Desert, with gigantic saguaro and incredibly beautiful landscape. It has romanced many visitors for decades. But it seems there’s another “Sonoran” item the people are raving about – the Sonoran dogs. If you’re already wondering, how come others are into a mere snack? Let us just tell you, the Sonoran dogs in Arizona are the best and most delicious Mexican-inspired hot dog of all time.
It’s time to bite into this unique and tasty hotdog!
What’s a Sonoran dog?
Forget about the ordinary hotdog with a bit of ketchup, mayo, and mustard. This one is different and more meticulously done. The frank is wrapped in bacon and grilled until it’s super crispy. Once done, it is stuffed into a bolillo (which is a split-top roll) and made even more delicious with a variety of toppings. It has pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mustard, and jalapeño salsa. Typically, roasted chile güero (or a pale pepper) is served on the side.
It already sounds so delicious, right? Well, good thing we know where you can taste the best dogs in the state!
Where Can You Get the Best Sonoran Dogs in Arizona?
1. Nogales Hot Dogs
If you haven’t been officially introduced to the Sonoran dogs in Arizona, the Nogales Hot Dogs might be the perfect place to start. Enjoy the tasteful adventure by taking a bite into the delicious dogs that are almost “perfect” in every way. Aside from the wonderful bacon-wrapped dog, you’ll also love the extra condiments such as guacamole, mushrooms, a deliciously spicy and sour pepper, and cheese.
Nogales Hot Dogs have been around for more than a decade, and you know it’s only because their dogs are too good for words.
Location: 1945 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, Arizona
2. El Guero Canelo
Imagine getting a spur of the moment one fine day and ending up inside the walls of El Guero Canelo. That will probably be the best decision you’ve ever made. If you’re in the Tucson area, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to try this restaurant’s take on the famous dogs.
They are one of, if not the most famous Sonoran hot dog stand and restaurant, in Arizona. They have been the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 American Classics award. It’s only given to distinct restaurants who possess a “timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community.”
- 5201 S. 12th Ave., Tucson, Arizona
- 2480 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, Arizona
- 5802 E 22nd St, Tucson, Arizona
- 4519 S 12th Ave., Tucson, Arizona
3. 143 Street Tacos
The nice little taco restaurant just so happens to be home to one of the best Sonoran dogs in Arizona. Drop by 143 Street Tacos if you’re in need of a quick bite. They serve fresh and delicious dogs and you don’t even have to wait for long because their service is fast.
They take pride in their buns which are completely housemade and surprisingly fluffy. It’s just perfect for a Sonoran dog.
Location: 255 W Wilcox Dr, Sierra Vista, Arizona
4. Red Hot Grill
Aha! Here’s another good place. You can never go wrong in visiting a Mexican-American joint inside the Chase Arizona Diamondbacks sporting complex. You can just enjoy snacking up on the game time faves (ehem, Sonoran dogs) which are piled with lots of pinto beans, cotija cheese and pico de gallo.
Location: 401 E Jefferson St. Phoenix, Arizona
5. BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs
Here’s the thing. BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs already got regional and national recognition from the New York Post, Travel Channel’s Food Wars, and National Geographic for their Sonoran dogs. So this place has got no red flags. Why don’t you drop by and try their franks dressed up Sonoran-style? We are 100% sure you won’t regret it. In fact, we’re sensing you’ll just thank us for telling you about this gem of a restaurant!
- 2680 N. 1st Ave.Tucson, Arizona
- 5118 S 12th Ave, Tucson, Arizona
6. Hot Dogs Alvarado
Don’t wait ’til you get lost somewhere around Eloy and get so hungry before coming to this sweet and talked-about hotdog joint. Hot Dogs Alvarado is known as a “must-stop” when passing through Arizona on I-10 across from Flying J at exit 208A in Eloy, Arizona. They serve the most delicious Sonoran dogs, which are huge and affordable. It will definitely satisfy not just your hunger, but your cravings as well.
Location: 1005 S Sunshine Blvd, Eloy, Arizona
7. Aqui Con El Nene
We hear a lot of people saying this. “If you’re looking for the best Sonoran dogs in Arizona, you should also drop by Aqui Con El Nene.” It is the truth. They serve a bologna tasting dog wrapped in bacon, then it is topped with onions grilled over the flat top. The green chile salsa, beans, diced tomatoes, crema, and the strip of mustard make it much more mouth-watering. After placing your order, you can just go to the condiments bar so you get your various sauces, salsas, as well as pickled vegetables. It won’t be long until they call you on a speaker so you can enjoy your Sonoran dog.
Location: 4415 N Flowing Wells Rd, Tucson, Arizona
Your next Sonoran dog go-to stop may just be located in Mesa. Micky’s is famous for its hotdogs in different versions. Of course, it helps to know that this is a hole in the wall with little outdoor seating area. It’s not really fancy, but one bite out of their Sonoran dog, and you’ll know the drive is so so worth it.
Location: 108 W Broadway Rd, Mesa, Arizona
General Note: Expect some operational changes and adjustments given the COVID-19 situation. Some stores may be closed or only serve food for takeaway and/or delivery.
What do you think about this list? Are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments below.
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