The city of Tucson has indeed become an "unlikely" food star, having received recognition from UNESCO, so it only makes sense that you start stumbling upon more Tucson food posts. But if you're going to talk food in Tucson, you have to give baked goods some light too. Not just any baked goods, though, we're talking pan dulce.
If you've never had pan dulce before, long story short, it's absolutely delicious and you are missing out. Pan dulce (sweet bread being the direct English translation) are like donuts on steroids. They come in all varieties, they come in their own lingo, and they introduce themselves in every Mexican child's young life.
There are several panaderias (bakeries that typically specialize in Mexican baked goods) in Tucson where you can get your pan dulce fix. Check out some that are listed below!
La Estrella -
5266 S. 12th Ave Tucson, AZ
La Estrella is the Tucson staple for pan dulce. You ask a local where to get pan dulce and most will recommend you go here (and that you arrive early). They have a couple locations in town and there are several businesses that carry their baked sweets. La Estrella's pan dulce is fresh, the right kind of fluffy and flavorful.
The main location not only carries pan dulce but also, tamales and menudo (and all the other ingredients you may need to accompany them)! Wake up early on a weekend morning, take your olla (cooking pot) for a menudo fill, grab a dozena (dozen) of tamales, and select the pan dulce you'd like to take home to the family (or just to yourself)!
El Herradero -
4211 E 22nd St. Tucson, AZ
The second place you may want to check out is El Herradero. They carry the main variety of pan dulce and also specialize in meats (aka - Caniceria y Panaderia)! Carniceria means butcher shop, in case you didn't know.
El Herradero has several locations around Tucson. Next time you pass one, do a quick pitstop. Well worth it to satisfy both the sweet tooth and a day of cooking on the grill!
Alejandro's Tortilla Factory -
5330 S 12th Ave Tucson, AZ
Alejandro's Tortilla Factory bakes in house and offers a large variety of pan dulce! They are located within a market called Mercadito La Unica.
Obviously, they also offer corn and flour tortillas, chips and bread that are made fresh daily. It doesn't stop there though because they have a restaurant in the market, La Cocina de Lorena, where you can grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner too!
P.S. - they make deliveries to Tucson and Phoenix.
El Rio Bakery -
901 N Grande Ave Tucson, AZ
El Rio is located on the Westside of Tucson and has been around for decades! They offer pan dulce and Mexican food. Many say their empanadas and soups are especially delicious.
Have you had pan dulce in Tucson elsewhere that deserves recognition? Share in the comments below!