El Manantial

Food Truck | Hot Dog | Mexican | Southwestern
Memorable
One of the best
Save

El Manantial is a mobile restaurant and, like the more permanent places that sell Sonoran hot dogs, it is two separate kitchens: one where tacos, burros, caramelos, tortas and quesadillas are made, another dedicated strictly to hot dogs. The former is a truck, the latter a small trailer.

I consider El Manantial’s Sonoran hot dog to be among the city’s best: an all-beef frank swaddled in bacon, nestled in a fresh bun, and dressed with the full galaxy of condiments – tomatoes, beans, mustard, mayo and very hot jalapeno sauce. As is customary in the Old Pueblo, each hot dog is accompanied by a roasted guero pepper, especially wonderful here because it also is wrapped in smoky bacon. As happens on the wiener, the cooking process glues the bacon to the outside of the pepper, creating a lusty laminate of chewy pork and firm-walled vegetable. The bite of the pepper is offset by a droplet of creamy melted cheese stuffed inside the pod.

Because it has no foundation and is located in a vacant lot, El Manantial has no permanent address. It has been in its current spot for quite a while and it is extremely popular, so I strongly suggest you head for Park Avenue and 36th Street to check it out. If it’s gone, track it down.

What to Eat
El Manantial, Sonoran Hot Dog
Sonoran Hot Dog
Must-Try
A beautiful 'hot dog estilo Sonora' comes in a flimsy paper boat; but that big bun has enough capacity to keep all the myriad ingredients in their place.
El Manantial, Guero Pepper
Guero Pepper
Must-Try
All Sonoran hot dogs are served with roasted guero peppers on the side. El Manantial dolls its up by encasing it in bacon. As it roasts, the bacon's salty-sweet luxury permeates the firm walls of the hot pepper, creating dramatic animal-vegetable synergy.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10 am - 11 pm
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday10 am - 11 pm
Wednesday10 am - 11 pm
Thursday10 am - 11 pm
Friday10 am - 11 pm
Saturday10 am - 11 pm
Roadtrips
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…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • 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.

  • Tucson Tamale Company

    Tucson, Arizona

    Hail the tamale! Tuscon Tamale makes some of the Southwest’s very best, countless varieites: meaty, spicy, vegan, vegetarian. An Arizona must.

  • B Line

    Tucson, Arizona

    A culinary highlight of Tucson’s 4th Avenue, The B Line’s eclectic menu includes southwestern, Italian & vegetarian fare plus world-class desserts.