We're rolling out excerpts from our new book Travel North America (And Avoid Being a Tourist) all summer long. Chapter six, "Bright Lights, Big Cities," has a section called "Cities We Love and the People Who Love Them," wherein we asked people we admire to share the best of their hometowns. Because no one knows that answer better than the creative spirits who help define them.
We first "met" artisan baker Don Guerra during lockdown when we zoomed into a bread-baking class he was teaching in partnership with Visit Tucson, who were showing off the best their city had to offer. They weren't kidding by selecting him. The founder of Barrio Bread and a multiple James Beard Award nominee, Don is committed to promoting heritage local grains and flours, which you can learn more about through his Barrio Grains before signing up for one of his online baking classes. Ever a community builder, he recently partnered with chef Carlotta Flores of Si Charro to open Barrio Charro. Of course we wanted to hear more of the best of Tucson through his eyes and taste buds.
Best thing about Tucson: The weather, especially from October to May.
Best people-watching: Cup Cafe patio at Hotel Congress.
Favorite neighborhood: Old Fort Lowell.
I don't want tourists to know about: The taquerias on South 12th. We want to keep them a secret so the lines don't get too long.
Most overrated: Complaining about the heat.
Dream meal: Brunch at Loews Ventana Canyon.
Favorite local institution: Ben's Bells, a community project that promotes kindness.
Best movie based in Tucson: Can't Buy Me Love.
In the city escape: The trails on The Loop.
Nearby escape: Madera Canyon.
No trip to Tucson is complete without a stop at a local brewery, like Ten55 Brewing Company.
Don't Stop There. Read the Whole Book!
Excerpted with permission from Travel North America: (and Avoid Being a Tourist) by Pavia Rosati and Jeralyn Gerba, published by Hardie Grant Books, June 2021.
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