Earth Plant-Based Cuisine1325 Grand Avenue
Before you balk at vegan churro, hear out the churr-options at Earth Plant Based Cuisine. There’s a straight-up churro, made fresh to order from a family recipe, and comes out piping hot and perfectly fried. There’s the crazy churro monster shake, a mammoth non-dairy gulp made of churro-flavored soy-based organic ice cream exploding with marshmallow, chocolate sauce, and a giant looped churro. And best of all, there’s the churro ice cream sandwich, an absolute beast of a treat bookended by two perfectly crispy coiled churros. Told ya!
Churro GoNutz4229 West Bell Road
If you prefer your churros with ice cream, Churro GoNutz is your place. A traveling churro trailer and permanent storefront in North Phoenix, the menu is a Willy Wonka exercise in downright deliciousness. It includes the imaginative (think unicorn-themed churro donut with iridescent ice cream, edible glitter, and a sugar horn), the inventive (think churro and ice cream plus bacon crumble and salted caramel), and the ingenious (think Cookie Monster churro!). Not only are the made-to-order churros on point, all crispy and decadent, the ice cream, handcrafted and locally-made by Scooptacular in Laveen, might just be the best you’ve ever had.
Churros Don Lencho6915 West Lower Buckeye Road
Expect a lineup at Churros Don Lencho, a food truck trailer cranking out churros most nights at 68th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. People aren’t there for the ambiance. It’s a roadside stop in the middle of nowhere. They’re there for the churros! They are thin, crispy, and just the right amount of dense, their straightforward churros and pared-down menu prove it doesn’t get much better than freshly fried dough. Get 12 churros for $10, six churros for $5 (with choice of drizzle), and filled churros for $2. Not only are they one of the best churro deals in town, but they might also just be the best tasting. And surprise, surprise, they’re vegan.
Papi Churro7252 South Central Avenue
From the hidden gem vibe to the specialty churro menu, Papi Churro is a delight. Tucked into Alborada Village, a garden and fountain-filled spot near South Mountain, the interior is Instagram cute with white subway tiled walls and puny signs (“you are the cinnamon to my churro” indeed). The churro concoctions are just as photogenic: The churro split piles three flavors of ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce on top of banana and churros, while the aptly named churro toxico, a cajeta-filled chimichanga tossed in cinnamon sugar and topped with ice cream and lechera, chocolate, strawberry drizzle, is ooey-gooey good.
Barrio Café2814 North 16th Street
he longest running churro star in Phoenix is Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s churros rellenos de cajeta from her famed Barrio Café. More than mere churros, the impeccably plated dessert features two ridged batons of deep-fried perfection filled with cajeta, a creamy caramelized goat milk, and coated in cinnamon sugar. Then comes vanilla bean ice cream, candied pecans, more rich caramel sauce, and fresh strawberries. In other words, churros on crack!
Dulce Churro Cafe1674 North Higley Road, Gilbert
1050 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
Dulce Churro Cafe has a lot to brag about. First off, owner Jared Naumann went to churro school in Spain, where he honed his craft. There’s a window where you can watch all the churro action, from your fried-to-order batter being cranked out of the churro gun to it dancing around the bubbling vat of oil. Plus, they offer the most churro choices in town, including peanut butter filling, churro bowls, and a special-order “Thousand-layer” churro cake.
theDinersaur1339 West Thomas Road
When it comes to genius food hybrids, the churrover ranks right up there with the cronut. Invented to Olivia Girard, owner of theDinersaur, the brilliant mashup was born when a client asked for a churro. Still, Girard had to get inventive without a fryer at her disposal. The result is a baked popover rolled in cinnamon sugar and stuffed with vanilla custard. It’s a light and lovely pastry that feels like a chic churro with a surprise inside.
Presidio Cocina Mexicana519 West Thomas Road
The churros at Presidio aren’t your ordinary churros. In keeping with the Michoacán-inspired Mexican homestyle cooking of the upscale taco shop, the churros are based on a family recipe. Light, golden, and crispy on the outside, the inside is dense and doughy, a texture achieved from boiling the dough before frying to give it a more authentic Mexican appeal. Finished with a hefty coating of sugar and a side of sublime butterscotch dipping sauce, they’re a triumph of taste and textures.
Dilla Libre1339 East Northern Avenue
8018 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale
Dilla Libre gets awarded a lot of “bests.” Best quesadillas, best elote, and yes, best churros. One order gets you five sticks of fried-to-order, crispy cajeta-stuffed churros drenched in cinnamon sugar that brings the creamy and crunchy in every bite. Well, add the best dessert deal to their list of accolades. A tray of these tasty temptresses costs only $3. Add a ramekin of melted Mexican chocolate dip for $1. Sharing the whole delicious experience with a friend: Priceless!
Cajeta Churro Cafe3015 East Thomas Road
Crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy in the middle, the hand-cranked and fried-to-order churros at Cajeta Churro Cafe don’t need to hide behind sauces and stuffings. The original and loop churros at this unassuming strip mall spot showcase how a honed recipe made with love doesn’t need all the accouterments. That said, the mini churro bites, which aren’t mini at all, take it up a notch with whipped cream, fresh sliced strawberries, cajeta, and chocolate. And then there’s the El Grande, a seven-churro stack decorated with all of the above plus ice cream.