El Guero Canelo

Hot Dog | Mexican | Southwestern
Worth driving from anywhere!

No one has been able to provide conclusive proof of where the Sonoran hot dog first took shape — northern Mexico or southern Arizona — but there is little doubt that the continent’s most baroque wiener, which began appearing at Tucson street carts in the late 1960s, found its chief proponent in 1993 when the Contreras family opened El Guero Canelo. Differences among the city’s many “hot dogs estilo Sonora” are subtle, but no one could dispute that the one served by this happy restaurant is a benchmark.

As made at the cart to the side of the al fresco dining area, each bacon-wrapped beef dog is nestled deep within a big, supple Mexican bun as yeasty as a dinner roll, cut to form a pocket with closed ends that shore in the massive onslaught of condiments. The hot dog is accoutered with chopped tomatoes and onions, a few pinto beans, hot jalapeno sauce, yellow mustard and mayonnaise: a beautifully-balanced package. For those who crave maximum meat, El Guero Canelo’s menu also lists a Sammy Dog: two in one bun, equally well-dressed.

An entire kitchen, apart from the hot dog cart, offers a wide choice of Mexican dishes, from huevos rancheros and breakfast burros to weekend menudo — the posole and tripe hangover remedy that is available with or without ox foot. Dress-your-own tacos are wonderful when filled with juicy, brightly-spiced carne asada.

El Guero Canelo is extremely casual but in no way sloppy. We felt as well-tended by the staff as in a linen-table dining room, but eating here is so much more fun. Mexican party music plays on the loud speaker, regularly interrupted by a scratchy electric voice calling out numbers to let people know their food is ready to be picked up.

What to Eat
El Guero Canelo, Sonoran Hot Dog
Sonoran Hot Dog
The most baroque hot dogs in America
El Guero Canelo, Sammy Dog
Sammy Dog
Sammy Dog: 2 wieners below the folderol
El Guero Canelo, Caramelo
Well-accoutered caramelo
El Guero Canelo, Horchata
Sweet horchata on the left, jamaica on the right
El Guero Canelo, Flan
Soft, spongy flan in rich caramel sauce
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday9 am - 11 pm
Monday10 am - 11 pm
Tuesday10 am - 11 pm
Wednesday10 am - 11 pm
Thursday10 am - 11 pm
Friday8 am - 11:59 pm
Saturday8 am - 11:59 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
3 stops | 8 MILES | 24 min

Scores of vendors throughout Tucson sell the outlandish "hot-dog estilo Sonora," each adding a personal twist to a formula that starts with a supple Mexican bun and a bacon-sheathed hot dog cooked to the point that bacon flavor melts into the dog, leaving the outside patched with streaks of lean. The full condiment line-up includes…

5 stops | 8 MILES | 27 min

Among the countless Mexican restaurants in Tucson, these five give the best feel for the amazing range of styles and specialties, from the outlandish Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo to humble neighborhood tacos at Pico de Gallo, and to chef Suzanna Davila's magnificent meals at Cafe Poca Cosa, where you never know what…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Tumerico

    Tucson, Arizona

    Inventive vegan Mexican food has made Tumerico a popular Tucson beacon of enlightened eating. It’s all from scratch. The menu changes daily.

  • Anita Street Market

    Tucson, Arizona

    Anita Street Market is a neighborhood grocery that sells Sonoran Mexican faves such as burros, enchiladas & tamales. House-made tortillas are fantastic.

  • Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe

    Tucson, Arizona

    While enjoying Teresa’s scrumptious Mexican breakfasts (some of Tucson, Arizona’s best) you can watch tortillas being hand-formed and griddle-cooked.

  • Los Jarritos

    Tucson, Arizona

    Los Jarritos is a 12th Avenue cafe where Tucsonians come to eat and chat and enjoy traditional Sonoran fare from green corn tamales to hangover-cure menudo.

  • BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs

    Tucson, Arizona

    BK Carne Asada is a Tucson, Arizona, restaurant specializing in the baroque and delicious bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog, one of the best in the city.

  • BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs

    Tucson, Arizona

    One of Tucson, Arizona’s premier sources of the Sonoran hot dog, BK’s also has a menu of superior tacos, tortas, caramelos, burros and quesadillas.