Chicharrones, pork rinds, pig skins, cracklins, cueritos. Whatever you call them, you know you like them. And it may be news to some, but this versatile taco filling, football-watch-party-staple, and snack-aisle favorite is not that bad for you. We’re talking a zero-carb, gluten-free snack that’s inexpensive to boot. These babies are found everywhere from barbecue joints to taquerias. Here are seven worthy places to find them.
AZ BBQ Company
1534 East Ray Road, #110, Gilbert
Gilbert-based AZ BBQ Company has a fun section of the menu called Specialties. Among them is a stunner of a platter called Loaded Chicharrons – a basket of homemade pork rinds served under a pile of brisket chili, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions. Enjoy them in the modest, Southwestern-style diner setting that is the dining room or take them to-go. If you're thinking barbecue, this spot has some interesting choices.
Mother Bunch Brewing
825 North Seventh Street, #102
This industrial-looking microbrewery may be known for its handcrafted beer, but the Shared Plates section of an expansive menu offers an order of salty pork rinds. These pork skins have been seasoned with Mother Bunch Brewing's secret spices, house-popped, and served with homemade salsa. Pair that with their signature Mother IPA, and you’ll be feeling good for a while.
Pig & Pickle
2922 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
This Scottsdale gastropub may be known for its servings of unfried meat, but Pig & Pickle definitely kicks out a good serving of chicharrones as well. During happy hour (every day from 3 to 6 p.m.), Pig & Pickle offers chicharrones with lime salt and smoked paprika, and boy are they crunchy. The lunch and dinner menus also offer pozole with chicharrones, house slaw, and a lime wedge. Order a signature cocktail to go with it and worry about the crumbs later.
Restaurant Huauchinangos Mexican Food
1620 West University Drive, #5, Mesa
There are a couple of pork options with some puff at this beloved Mesa-based Mexican eatery. An order of huaraches can come topped with chicharrones (and a number of other delicious looking choices like marinated pork and grilled beef). You can also get a taco, burrito, soup, quesadillas, gorditas, and tostadas topped with the real thing. The world is your fried pork skin at Restaurant Huauchinangos Mexican Food.
501 East Roosevelt Street
Set in the heart of Roosevelt Row, Tacos Chelo is beautifully designed restaurant with a tailored menu of starters, tacos, veggies, and a slew of fun cocktails. It’s a collaboration between main chef Suny Santana, artist Gennaro Garcia, and restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin. But since this is about chicharrones, we’ll let you know that this hot spot's version comes sprinkled with chimayo chile and accompanied by sides of lime, guacamole, and Cholula sauce. The weighty chicharrón sheets can get messy, but it’s worth it.
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2320 North 32nd Street
This homestyle, counter-service Mexican restaurant serves up an excellent order of chicharrón tacos. Tacos Sahuaro serves these delicacies a little on the soupy side in a medium-spicy red chile sauce along with tender slivers of pork. It’s a specialty we’ve known about for a while and wholly endorse.
Taqueria La Hacienda #1
206 East Buckeye Road
This cash-only, late-night taco truck is known as a savior to those looking for a fourth-meal-style taco during the weekend, or even a close-to-the-airport snack. But the Taqueria La Hacienda #1 Sonoran-style taco truck is best known for its chicharrón taco. It’s a messy but great combination of crispy pork skin doused in a red sauce and served under a heap of rich and tender buche (pork stomach) meat. It comes highly recommended.