Fry Bread House

Review by: ayersian

The first time we tried an Indian, or frybread, taco was at an actual Native American powwow that we stumbled upon near the border of North Dakota and Manitoba. The taco was a plate-sized circle of fried dough piled with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream: interesting, but not something we’d go out of our way to sample again. Since that time, we have sampled frybread tacos across several western states, but most have paled in comparison to Fry Bread House in Phoenix (note one additional exception: Salt Lake City’s Navajo Hogan, recommended to us by WanderingJew!).

Bruce Bilmes’ sister Pete introduced us to this unassuming, one-room café during a marathon one-day food tour of the capitol city. Fry Bread House is run by Cecelia Miller of the Sonoran desert Tohono O’odham Nation, and she and her all-Native American staff serve the lightest, airiest fry bread we’ve had. One writer likened it to New Orleans beignets, and we would agree as long as said scribe were thinking of the heavenly, feather-light beignets at Metairie’s Morning Call as opposed to the weighty, powdered-sugar-smothered dunkers at the French Quarter’s Café du Monde.

Miller tops the pillowy fry bread with savory refried beans, green chile beef, onions, lettuce, cheese and sour cream, while the dessert version is sprinkled simply with powdered sugar. Drizzling it with honey or homemade chocolate sauce are certainly acceptable options. Fry Bread House is one of five winners of the 2012 America’s Classics Awards from the James Beard Foundation, which only confirms what most Roadfooders have known all along: Miller’s fry bread creations are truly regional, truly authentic, and truly delicious.

What To Eat

Ultimate Taco

Sweet Fry Bread

Hominy Stew

Chocolate and butter fry bread


Green Chile Beef Taco


Fry Bread House Recipes


What do you think of Fry Bread House?

2 Responses to “Fry Bread House”

Ben Weiner

September 11th, 2012

One of the greatest Roadfood experiences I have ever had, hands down. I drove a long way to try out some one-of-a-kind Native American grub, only to find that the restaurant was closed for the entire weekend. Before I had a chance to leave, the owner came outside to let me know of this unfortunate fact. However, upon learning that I was from out-of-town, she said she wouldn’t mind firing up the stove just for me. She let me inside and started to cook.

This experience by itself would have been sufficient, but the food that followed was every bit as good as the hospitality. I started with one of their signature Native American tacos, a fried bread shell filled with chorizo, beans, lettuce, and cheese. For those familiar, it has the taste and consistency of a chalupa from Taco Bell, only about 10 times better and twice the size. Every bite of the taco was truly awesome. The owner insisted that I have dessert, and when it comes to fry bread, I couldn’t resist. The chocolate and butter fry bread was outstanding, most similar to an elephant ear at a carnival. Awesome dessert.

The Fry Bread House recently received the James Beard award for American Classics and deservingly so. I won’t soon forget how the owner went out of her way to accommodate me, or how amazing the food was. I’d recommend this place to anyone from anywhere, without question.



    June 4th, 2022

    can you tell me how I can make fry bread


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