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Illustration by Madison Cohen

I’ve always found Flagstaff’s food scene to be something to write home about. There are plenty of local favorites to choose from, but I could never help but be bothered by the missing piece to the puzzle. Flagstaff lacked a place that could satisfy those late night cravings, whether it be nachos, tacos or anything else an overtired college student can imagine. However, a new joint on South San Francisco Street, called Hankerin’, may just be able to serve up a dish that’ll hit the spot. 

The menu at Hankerin’ has a wide variety of options, from green chile chili cheeseburgers to “chicharachos,” a combination of nachos and chicharrones, which are fried pork rinds. My gut told me to stick with the classics, though, so I opted for two different tacos — carne asada and roasted pork. 

The carne asada taco was one of the best I’ve ever had. Not only was it packed with flavor, but the meat was incredibly juicy. Served on a lightly-fried mini corn tortilla, which gave a great crunch, this taco is certainly something I’ll find myself thinking about while I zone out during a study session. As for the roasted pork mini taco, Hankerin’ might have convinced me to order pork every time I grab for tacos now. Until I tried it, I was never a big fan of pork.

For me, what sent these tacos over the edge was the salsa they were topped with. Salsa can make or break my feelings toward a dish, and I’m happy to say Hankerin’ knows how to do it right. I chose the house hot salsa out of multiple options, but be warned: They’re not kidding when they say “hot.” This spicy salsa fresca lived up to its name and I enjoyed every bite.

I also ordered a bowl of chili to go with my tacos. As a self-proclaimed chili connoisseur, how could I not? While it was definitely one of the better bowls I’ve had in Flagstaff — actually homemade, and not the canned stuff typically served in your average diner — I felt this one in particular lacked something. I prefer a little more heat, and the chili at Hankerin’ was definitely more on the mild side. Regardless, I’d probably go back for more; I still can’t resist the hankering for a bowl of chili.

Whether you find yourself wandering down San Francisco Street in the evening or are four hours deep into an essay that you just can’t seem to finish, Hankerin’ is here to handle the cravings that are bound to hit. Open until midnight, it just might be the cherry on top when it comes to Flagstaff’s exciting food scene. This spot lives up to its name — at Hankerin’ there’s something to satisfy any craving.

Rating: 9/10

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