Our readers told us the surprising spot for the best fry bread in Tucson

A pile of fry bread

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By Stacy Rounds

May 13, 2024

A visit to San Xavier del Bac Mission is an immersive experience that transports visitors back to the late 18th century. This cultural masterpiece blends Spanish, Moorish, native Mexican, and Tohono O’odham influences in its architecture and art. And according to local foodies in the know, nothing beats the fry bread offered up before the Sunday church service. In our recent readers poll, it was named the best fry bread in Tucson by a landslide.

The outer facade of San Xavier del Bac Mission.

Courtesy of San Xavier del Bac Mission

Before we dive into the culinary delights, let’s set the scene. The San Xavier Mission, also affectionately known as the White Dove of the Desert, is an exquisite example of Spanish Colonial architecture. With its dazzling white façade that seems to glow against the backdrop of the Arizona sky, this mission is a photographer’s dream come true. Inside, visitors are greeted by an elaborate display of art — murals, carvings, and sculptures depicting tales of faith and perseverance.

As enchanting as the mission’s aesthetics are, there’s a humble, yet unforgettable, culinary experience awaiting visitors that’s as woven into the fabric of the place as its striking murals. We’re talking about the fry bread served just outside the San Xavier Mission. Made fresh just moments before you bite into it, it’s a fluffy, golden, crispy delight that’s deeply rooted in Tohono O’odham history and tradition and can be used as an alternate taco shell. In other words, it’s heaven.

Made from a simple dough that’s expertly flattened and fried to perfection, each bite of this delectable treat is a blend of history, culture, and pure joy. The fry bread at San Xavier Mission is a slice of the cultural tapestry that makes this region unique. Served plain or topped with honey, beans, or cheese, it’s a customizable experience that ensures every visitor can have their fry bread, and eat it too, exactly how they like it!

So if you’re planning a trip to the Mission, bring your curiosity, bring your appetite, and most importantly, bring your sense of wonder. The San Xavier Mission awaits to tell you its stories, and yes, share its delicious fry bread. And trust me, it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds!




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