Tucson: Food Wars – BK or El Guero Canelo – Sonoran Hot Dogs

Grilled hot dogs
Image via Wikipedia

A few months ago the Travel Channel’s Food Wars, the TV show, was in Tucson to determine who has the best Sonoran hot dog.

The show airs Tuesday – April 6 – check your local programming.

As the food police or food media, I was privy to pre-watching the show but sworn to strict secrecy as to who the winner is. I know the winner. Yep, I do. But you’ll have to watch the show to find out or if you don’t have cable, I’ll post the winner here after the show airs.

I can tell you that the show looks like everyone involved from the restaurants to the fans to the judges had a great time that day.

Let’s talk about the judges — Rita Connelly, restaurant critic from Tucson Weekly, Tom McNamara from KVOA-TV, and John Fina from the UA.

Then there were two brothers whose names I cannot remember. One brother lived for Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo and the other brother lived for the Sonoran hot dogs at BK’s. It’s a simple story told with much heart and I swear I could smell those grilled onions sizzling through the TV. Where is Smellivision when we need it?

Check out the contenders — El Guero Canelo and BK’s.

Which is your favorite?


  1. Karyn Zoldan

    In case you didn’t see the show, BK was the winner. In a blind taste test, two of the three judges plus the two brothers chose BK. Rita Connelly was the only person to choose El Guero Canelo.

    Coincidentally, I had a BK hot dog for the first time on Sunday. A Phoenix friend was running an errand in South Tucson so I suggested we get a Sonoran hot dog, something he had never heard of.

    El Guero Canelo was closed on Easter but BK was open and thriving.

    Hot dog was delicious. The bun was slightly sweet. All the flavors melded together and I didn’t even have heartburn.

    What could be better than a bacon wrapped hot dog with all the over the border fixings?

    Last time (a few years ago) I had an El Guero Canelo Sonoran hot dog I loved it too.

  2. Rita Connelly

    I love my job. I get to eat so much great food. I get to meet wonderful people and make good friends. And I get to do fun things like be a judge at the Sonoran Hot Dog Food Wars on The Travel Channel.

    The whole process took about three hours but the time flew by in a flash. The fans were great. Very enthusiastic and rabid about their fave. People brought their tricked out cars.

    I got to meet one of my favorite UofA former football players, John Fina and Tom McNamara whom I watch every night on the news.

    I was the only female which I think had something to do with me being the only one who chose Guero’s dog.

    They were different dogs, of course. The bacon on the one I liked was crispier and the all the flavors just came together better.

    My biggest worry was that I’s spill something on me. and I didn’t, phew.

    The one brother acutally picked the wrong dog and that was the first time that had ever happened. Historic!

    It was one of the best afternoons I’ve had in ages.

  3. Alejandro D

    I just heard about this and got excited.
    I grew up in Tucson and have been a BK fan since I was a little kid. Guero’s have always been good and received more attention but I never thought they were as good as BK.
    My bestfriend and I used to always get in arguments over this and it makes me happy the BK won 😀

  4. Rita Connelly

    also try Angela’s a little food truck on the corner of Primce & Stone.

    Grilled buns add a whole other layer of flavor. Plus they’re cheap

  5. Larry Skagen

    Lived in Tucson for 25 years and never had a Sonoran Hot Dog. My wife and I were watching this show and called our friends (The Lujans) to ask if they had, and what their perspective was? Hands down they said El Guero Canelo. They laughed and said if BK’s won it was because all the judges must be white, we laughed because it was true and she was just guessing.

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