Feature

Tucson: A showcase for Mexican fare

Tucson's 12th Avenue is the place to find hearty Mexican food, much of it influenced by the tastes of Sonora.

Tour Tucson’s 12th Avenue, and you’ll see restaurants serving carne asada, prickly-pear nopales pieces, and other cuisine reflecting the “influence of the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora,” said Jane Stern and Michael Stern in Saveur. In fact, much traditional Sonoran fare, “including chimichangas and air-dried carne seca, was created or popularized in Tucson.”
   
Perfecto’s
For locals, this cafe is the stop for chimichangas, “manta ray–and–shrimp soup,” and, on weekends, menudo, “a tripe-and-hominy stew that is believed to cure a hangover.” 5404 S. 12th Ave., (520) 889-5651

El Güero Canelo
“Flamboyant” specialties here include the Sonoran hot dog, which is “wrapped in bacon, grilled, and then festooned with tomatoes, pinto beans, onions, mustard, hot sauce, and mayonnaise.” 5201 S. 12th Ave., (520) 295-9005

La Estrella Bakery
The oven in this stucco bunker pumps out panes dulces (pastry breads), fresh yeast doughnuts, and bolillo rolls—“essential for the Sonoran hot dog.” 5266 S. 12th Ave., (520) 741-0656

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