What are the features of a perfect Churro? To start with, the dough must be just the right texture, fried to a satisfying crisp without being greasy and slightly chewy in the center. Then, there’s the matter of the sugar and cinnamon. You should smell the warmth of the cinnamon before you bite into the characteristic ridges of the star-shaped pastry, a sensation that will be immediately followed by the crunchy sweet taste of the intact sugar crystals. Hungry yet? Would you dip your churro in chocolate? Or, coffee perhaps? Maybe you prefer your churros stuffed in the center with a sweet filling. Regardless of your favorite way to eat a churro, you are undoubtedly on the hunt for the best local delicacy in your neck of the woods.
A Debated History but a Fan Favorite
While it’s not clear in exactly which country the churro was invented (several claim ownership), it is today a favorite among the Spanish, Portuguese, Latin Americans, and certain communities within in the U.S. And, if you didn’t grow up eating them as part of your cultural identity, you have certainly encountered them, along with other sweet and savory treats, sold from stands at carnivals, street fairs, pop-up food truck roundups, and even sporting events.
Churros Near Me?
So, who wins the local churro challenge? Well, that depends on where you call home. California is a big state with a big appetite for Churros. Las Angeles, San Diego and Hollywood all boast lists of bakeries, restaurants and food trucks vying for your good opinion. Or look to Arizona and Texas, the only two states in the U.S. that are home to a city designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). With significantly long food histories, Tucson and San Antonio may be the perfects spots to sink your teeth into a life-changing churro. Of course, if you live on the other side of the country, Washington D.C. has a popular Churro scene as well.
Best Churro in the U.S.
But seriously, who can claim the hands-down, best churro in America? Your answer may somewhat depend on whether your tastes run to the traditional or the adventurous. For example, Brian’s 24 in San Diego offers a dessert called “Tot-Churros” which are as they sound, tater tot shaped churros piled high with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce on top. By contrast, in Tucson, you could stop by El Charro, a local eatery that dates back to 1922 and sample their Sopapillas, Churros y Chocolate on one of their patios for a more casual, unchanged-by-time vibe. Or, hit up Honchos Churros in San Antonio, where you can visit their storefront, or hire their food truck, and sample both traditional and not so traditional sauces – grape jelly and peanut butter anyone?
Regardless of whether you are looking for something classic or reinvented, dipped or filled, the perfect churro should be just the right combination of crunch and chew, cinnamon and sugar, taste and texture.
For reference, here are links to the menus or websites of the restaurants that were listed: