Sonoran cuisine has its origins in hunting, fishing and gathering, so most of the dishes are based on meat, fish, shellfish and vegetables.
Let’s get to know in this article the 15 typical Sonoran dishes that you should try on your visit to these Mexican lands.
1. Handled Beans
Let’s start the gastronomic tour with one of the most ordered dishes in state restaurants: maneado beans.
These are beans that are fried in lard or oil and then mashed in the pan to turn them into a sauce that is served with fried tortillas or snacks.
Locals put any kind of fatty cheese on it to help give them a creamy consistency.
The color will depend on the chiles that are used in this preparation, the most recommended, the Anaheim.
Restaurants often vary the recipe a bit by adding chorizo. It is customary to eat them alone or accompanied with roast meat, scrambled eggs or machaca.
It is a broth that is served more in the city of Obregón. Beef rib-based soup accompanied with green beans, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, chickpeas, cabbage and corn. The Yaqui cook it on firewood.
Wakabaki is a dish prepared for special occasions such as patron saint festivities, weddings, bowling, novenas, Day of the Dead, among other occasions.
The term “wakabaki” derives from the Mayan. Its meaning is “cooked cow”. It comes from the Yaqui ethnic group that knows how to use all the culinary resources that nature provides. In many food places in Sonora it is also known as “cooked”.
Typical dish from Sonora and other northern areas such as Baja California, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and part of the United States. It is known that its origin is in Obregón and in the 80’s.
Chimichanga is a flour-based tortilla filled with shredded meat, which is then shaped into a square or rectangular shape. It is fried in oil or butter and accompanied by a sauce made with chopped tomatoes, chiltepin, chili and coriander. Some people add beans and cheese on top.
The thickness of the chimichangas in Sonora is equivalent to what would be three sheets of newspaper, while the size is equal to that of a large pizza folded rectangularly.
4. Tacos cebocitos
Cities like Hermosillo, Guaymas and Obregón have cebocitos tacos as one of the typical dishes of Sonora. A dish that is normally eaten with the hands.
The juicy and tender meat is roasted and inserted into tortillas with tomato juice. You will find this dish in many restaurants, especially in the capital of Sonora, Hermosillo.
5. Charcoal roast beef tacos
The tortillas are made with flour and the cuts of meat used to prepare these tacos are generally fajilla, flank steak, rib eye, needles, and cabrería.
The quality of Sonoran cattle brings a unique flavor to these tacos. Cambray onion is also usually grilled over charcoal to accompany the dish.
Consommé or stew whose main ingredient is manta ray meat accompanied by shrimp. A dish to which tomato, chili, celery, carrots and spices are also added.
The base ingredient was originally the meat of the loggerhead sea turtle, a marine species now protected by hunting that has left it at risk of extinction.
The name of the dish also known as loggerhead is derived from the fusion of the names of these two species.
You can eat it in two ways. Ask to be served as consommé, whose name is “bichi” or that it is accompanied by meat, (it is known as “juice”). If you also add shrimp, it is called “chuqui”.
Some people eat it as part of a taco filling. Either option is exquisite.
7. Deviled Shrimp
Typical dish in Sonora and Sinaloa. The base of this stew is shrimp that are cooked in water, oil or butter. A ketchup sauce containing orange juice and marinated chipotle peppers is also usually added.
If you don’t want to accompany the diabla shrimp with ketchup sauce, ask for mashed potatoes with milk cream. You can also change the chipotle peppers for ancho peppers and instead of the orange juice, add white wine. Accompany the shrimp with a good beer.
This recipe is a dish that you will surely find in the coastal area.
8. The crush
A dish that existed before the arrival of the Spanish to these lands of America.
The machaca was prepared only with meat that was put to dry in the sun and then shredded and a lot of salt. The drying technique contributes to the preservation of the meat.
That was a provision that the indigenous people carried with them to feed themselves during their long trips. The best sample of that tradition is the one found today in Sonora and in other northern Mexican states.
The difference is that currently beef, venison, turtle and fish are used.
This meat is the main ingredient of several typical dishes in Sonora, such as burritos made with corn tortillas, machaca with vegetables, machaca broth, machaca with potatoes, machaca with eggs, among others.
In Hermosillo you will find places where they prepare this typical food from Sonora machaca.
Sweet dish very similar to a cookie made with wheat flour. In Sinaloa and Baja California there are variations of this delicious recipe that dates back to the last years of the 19th century. But its origin was in the Sinaloan city of Hermosillo.
Coyota means “daughter of India and Spanish”. María Ochoa, a resident of Hermosillo, used to bake bread and one of her friends, Agustina Araiza, gave her this delicious recipe that has been imported to Arizona for years after being approved by the US government.
This dessert is prepared with the following materials: wheat flour, sugar, milk, vegetable shortening and piloncillo, the latter is for the filling, the others for the dough.
Many places have changed the original recipe and instead of filling it with piloncillo, they put dulce de leche or guava.
They are delicious giant shrimp, crab and octopus toasts chopped into pieces. These shellfish are served cold in a kind of broth that is really a marinade very similar to ceviche and that is also accompanied with lemon juice, onion, tomato and avocado (pico de gallo). All on a corn tostada.
The cachoreadas can also be bathed in Sonora or chiltepín sauce. Some people choose to place sliced onion and avocado on top.
In Hermosillo you will find many places where you can taste this gastronomic wonder, one of the typical dishes of Sonora.
11. Often Sonoran
It is known that this dish dates back to between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and that it was what was given to the peasants in times of war.
They provided them with the leftovers of the cattle (all the internal organs) since the selected cuts were sent to the fields to feed the military.
Sonoran Menudos are made with beef belly, a very common delicacy in the cold season, on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. In Mexico it is consumed during these festivities because it counteracts the effects of a hangover.
It is a soup that, in addition to the belly, has beef legs, precooked hominy corn, cilantro, lemon juice, bay leaf, salt, pepper, crushed red chili, oregano, and onion.
Menudo is known in various parts of America, Spain and the Philippines, with names such as “mondongo”, “callos” and “guatitas”.
It is said that in Sonora and Sinaloa the white menudo that goes with chiltepin is very popular. So try it on your next trip to these lands.
12. Painted hen
Although it is not yet clear where it was made for the first time, the most accepted version is that it originated in the mountains of Sonora.
Beef is the base of this rich dish that is accompanied with pinto beans and corn kernels. It is because of the colors of the grains that it is known as pint.
There are many places in Sonora where you will find this typical dish with a unique and exquisite flavor, especially in Hermosillo.
13. Cheese broth
It is not only a typical Sonoran dish, but also one of the most sought after, which was originally only eaten in the city of Álamos. Today it is one of the richest soups in northern Mexico.
The recipe includes fresh cheese, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken broth, chilaca chili, pepper and salt. The cheese comes from the ranches of Sonora.
You can find it in many restaurants in Álamo, Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregón, where they usually accompany it with tortilla chips or tortillas.
14. Head studs
Sonorans have a peculiar way of preparing beef head and the flavor they give it is exquisite.
To cook head tacos, an underground oven cooking process is used, which implies that it is cooked slowly. If there are no ovens of this type, cooking is carried out in pots also cooking slowly.
That is why and because of the daily demand that the taquerias begin to prepare it very early.
It is made with head meat, coriander balls, bay leaves, onion, red chili powder, garlic and salt.
Restaurants and venues that prepare them serve them with green onions, cilantro, and cabbage; all this inside a corn tortilla.
It is a typical Sonoran dish that we invite you to try. You will get it in many locals and restaurants in Hermosillo, Obregón, Guaymas and many other cities in Sonora.
15. Pumpkin Atole
Dish with many varieties prepared in almost the entire Mexican Republic. In Sonora, for example, the Yaqui ethnic group peels and cooks the pumpkin. Water, piloncillo and nixtamal are also used, a preparation in which corn grains are ground after being mixed with lime and water.
If you travel to Sonora in the fall, take advantage and try this atol, which is one of the typical dishes of Sonora.
An extra and novel dish
Dogos or Sonoran-style hot dogs
Sonoran version of American hot dogs, but with a unique flavor due to its very interesting ingredients. The Sonoran version became popular in the 1980s.
The sausage is beef and finely chopped bacon, tomatoes, chorizo, beans, chopped jalapeño pepper, caramelized white onion, guacamole, pickles, cheese, mayonnaise and other sauces are added, which generally vary according to the place and the customer’s tastes. among her, the corn.
There may be places in several cities where one or another ingredient is added. Some have mushrooms.
Check out the video below to see how delicious they are:
These are the 15 best typical dishes of Sonora, a combination of flavors that will always await you in this Mexican state.
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