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Strange El Paso Food Staples El Paso Can’t Live Without – Our Top 5

Johnnie Walker

Every town has it's particular set of favorite foods that are unique to that place. Some cities live for crab cakes, some pizza, some snails (hey, we're not here to judge). But El Paso truly has some unique foods that we stick by, no matter what anyone else might tell us, no matter what the nutritional guides might warn us about, no matter how unappealing it might even look or sound.

We love this stuff!

I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the things we eat here in El Paso that might seem odd, but we consider them almost part of the basic food groups. It might be gross to some, it might be normal, but these seem to be some things we can't seem to live without.

And I'm not going to touch on basic Mexican food, that goes without saying. Who could live without Mexican food? I wouldn't want to live in that world!



Chico’s Tacos

Everywhere but the west side :)



First on the list is the first in your heart.

If you speak the unholy words out loud, “I don't really like Chico's”, you are instantly the leper of your circle of friends, aren't you? It doesn't matter how close you are to your family or friends, if you speak those words, prepare to be ostracized.

When you describe it to people, it sounds like the most disgusting thing we could eat…rolled tacos in tomato water with cheese on top, not high quality red hot dogs on a round hamburger bun with chili…people instantly ask how you could eat that.

Try it…somehow it works, and we love it! People who move away have it shipped to them!


Photo Wikibooks
Photo Wikibooks



Freaking Everywhere



Next up on our list of El Paso food staples is, of course, menudo! Every restaurant has their special recipe, and it seems to be the popular meal on Sundays (after the big party night, you have to relieve that hangover somehow).

If you don't know what menudo is (no I'm not talking about the Puerto Rican boy band), you just have to remember the word STOMACH. Yes, it's another dish with unusual cow parts in it.

It's such a staple here that even the Village Inns serve it on Sundays!


Photo The Farmer's Wife
Photo The Farmer's Wife



Special Treats



Every culture has some sort of flat bread or pizza-like dish, and this is along those lines. Think chicharon (fried pig skin) sheets with goodies on top, like beans (if you want), avacado, tomato, cucumber, cream, chile sauce…watch people's eyes roll back into their heads as they moan with excitement over this treat.




Roscoe’s Burgers

3829 Tompkins Rd



Ask anyone in town where the best burger joint is, and the most popular response will be “Roscoe's”.

They've been around, serving those awesome burgers with just the perfect greasiness since 1955! Head over to their location on Tompkins and experience some of the best burger bliss that can come your way.

Try the chili cheese fries with your burger basket.


Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker


Mexican Sweets




Sometimes I wonder if parents here just love to torment their children with the “treats” they give them. When you think candy, in your mind Willy Wonka dances around throwing chocolate at you and acting strangely.

In El Paso, they put chili powder on EVERYTHING!

It's like a test to see if their kids are strong enough to survive the food they're going to eat later. Or nuclear attack.

Raspado de Chamoy (pictured) is basically a sno-cone. With chili powder on it. Tico is basically a bag of sugar. With chili powder in it. You get the idea. There's even fruit or dried fruit treats with chili powder on them. Pelon Pelo Rico is like a push up candy on fire, there's Rellerindos, Salsa Valentina, Jarrito Tamarindo…the list is almost endless.

Please, buy your kids some chocolate. Oh, wait, you can get chocolate with chili in it too.


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