The Best Burritos in All 50 States
The burrito, perhaps more than any other food, has come to be the symbol of Mexican-American cuisine. As with so many foods, its exact origin is debated; but it’s generally agreed that its cultural stronghold in the United States is larger than in Mexico, especially Southern Mexico where burritos are less popular.
In the United States, its styles are many: Tex-Mex, San Francisco Mission, Colorado green chili-smothered, Durango. This is to say nothing of fast-food permutations, bibimbap burritos, or the Sushirritos of late. Consequently, in compiling a list of the best burritos in the United States—a tall order—we had quite a challenge in front of us. How do we rank apples and oranges? Do more traditional versions from taco trucks automatically get priority over Tex-Mex spots? If a sushi burrito just happens to be the most enjoyable and popularly recommended option in an area, do we include it even if it deviates from puristic definition?
There aren’t hard-and-fast answers to these questions; in the pursuit of some criteria, however, we did try to include burritos that more or less fit the idea of what you think of when you think of the word “burrito.” Something warm (if it’s cold, it’s a wrap), wrapped in a flour tortilla. Something that satisfies that “burrito” craving, the kind we’d drive an extra twenty minutes for at 10 a.m. or 11 p.m. We also strived to represent the diverse Latinx communities across this nation, and the Cuban, Salvadorian, Mexican, and more cultures from which they stem. Sometimes these businesses are the first to make culinary inroads in regions not necessarily known for their global cuisines—and we celebrate that.
The restaurants and food trucks we found all over the country were amazing. We’re excited to share them with you.
Alabama: Los Angeles Burrito, Alabaster
Despite the recently held vigil to mourn the demise of a Taco Bell in Montgomery, Alabama, the state’s culinary repertoire of Mexicana extends well beyond fast-food chains. Los Angeles Burrito in Alabaster—about thirty minutes south of Birmingham—executes a satisfying ode to the item after which it’s named. Unlike the yellow paper-wrapped burritos of L.A. or their foil-wrapped Mission-style counterparts, this version is served horizontally on a plate, smothered with crema, lettuce, and avocado. For those still feeling peckish, the street tacos here—featuring handmade corn tortillas—are very good, too. Bandito Burrito in Huntsville also deserves mention, and its vegetarian green bean burrito, filled with green chile and beans (no actual green beans), makes a solid visit.
Alaska: El Dorado, Anchorage
If you ask locals what the best Mexican food they’ve had in Anchorage is, odds are, they’ll point you to El Dorado Mexican Restaurant. Decidedly Tex-Mex, its burritos are served smothered in salsa, and the carne asada is the standout option here. While the burrito might not be spicy enough for some palates, it’s well-flavored, and El Dorado does an excellent job of catering to a wide clientele. The food is everything Tex-Mex should be: Cheese-laden, approachable, and hitting the right notes of fat and salt. And honestly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option around these parts.
Arizona: Anita's Street Market, Tucson
The first fact to engender your trust about Anita's Street Market is that it makes its own tortillas: Both larger flour varieties to wrap their burritos, and smaller ones with masa for their tacos. Both are great. The flour tortillas are soft and stretchy, with just the right amount of pull. They’re wrapped in a distinctive fashion here, so that you basically end up several folds of chewy tortilla stuffed inside the burrito. While some may criticize this as too high of a tortilla-to-filling ratio, many are fans because the tortillas are just that good. They are the filling. Unlike the horizontal smothered burritos of Tex-Mex fame, these burritos come wrapped simply in that distinctive yellow paper, begging for salsa, which adds all the spice. When you visit start with the carne asada and move on from there.
Arkansas: Mugs Cafe, North Little Rock
Breakfast burritos might just be the best burritos, and Mugs Cafe has one of the best in the area. Their chorizo-stuffed burrito, served naked on a plate, doesn’t pull any crazy punches: It’s just high quality housemade chorizo, eggs, and pepper jack cheese rolled with onions and cilantro in a tortilla. And it’s a thing of beauty. Wash it down with their Eiskaffee, a cold brew and vanilla ice cream float. Burritos aside, do try their biscuits and gravy topped with the tenderest of omelets, a dish for which they’re well known.
California: Al & Bea’s, Los Angeles
Despite the merits of the massive and rice-filled Mission burrito, named for the San Francisco neighborhood where it was popularized in the 1960s, we have to go with a Los Angeles spot for the California pick. No other city has been such a historical stronghold of Mexican-American cuisine, with the possible exception of San Antonio—which is often credited with the invention of nachos, tortilla chips, and Fritos. (Although there are some who assert that tortilla chips were invented in Los Angeles.) Regardless of your opinion, it’s in this city that Al & Bea’s has been alive and kicking for half a century. Specifically, it’s located in the historically Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights, where so much of the city’s excellent Mexican food is to be found. If you visit Al & Bea’s, the bean and cheese burrito is your requisite order: Smooth-as-lava refried beans, mixed with gooey cheddar cheese, and red or green chile are all wrapped in a tender flour tortilla. Bite into it, and the savory concoction gushes out to meet you. (Pro tip: Use tortilla chips to salvage the remnants.) While you’re in the area, walk five minutes to Restaurant Santa Cecilia, in Mariachi Plaza, for one oversized al pastor taco. While it’s not roasted on a trompo, the complexity of its marinade more than makes up for the flavor. Then, if you’re still hungry—if you’re not, wait a while and listen to the mariachi players who congregate here on weekends—head over to El Mercadito, that multi-level Latin indoor market also in the neighborhood. Get the (gluten-free) deep-fried, gorditas made only of corn at La Cocina on the top floor. Thank us later.
Colorado: La Fuente, Denver
Colorado loves a smothered burrito: Preferably one as big as its Mission-style counterpart, swimming in pork green chile that is such a favorite in the Southwest. La Fuente serves all its handheld burritos with the option of getting them smothered, so you can experience the best of both worlds no matter what your preference. While so many burrito spots go for quantity—local spot Jack-n-Grill is famous for its seven-pound challenge, for example—La Fuente delivers on quality of ingredients, so you never end up with a mouthful of potato. Get the smothered steak and beans burrito and thank us later.
Connecticut: Tacos La Rosa, Willimantic
In a state not necessarily known for its Mexican food, Tacos La Rosa is a welcome surprise. Although the bare bones restaurant is better known for its tacos—the milanesa is particularly good—the burritos here are delicious. Get your stuffed with chorizo or chicken. Both are well-sized, and the best part? They don’t have rice as filler.
Delaware: Burrito Express, Bear
Don’t judge a book by its cover: If you can look past the strip-mall location off the highway, you’ll be well rewarded by some of the best Mexican food in the Northeast. Though Burrito Express offers more complex dishes of nopales and a soul-warming caldo de pollo, burritos are its titular focus. Here they’re stuffed to Chipotle-size, overflowing with rice, tomatoes, lettuce, and your choice of meat: Chicken is probably the most popular and the best bet to start, even though some might dismiss the choice as boring. You won’t be disappointed.
Florida: A-Mari-Mix Fresh Mex Fusion, Miami
The standout offering at this Cuban-inspired spot are the burritos and tacos stuffed with ropa vieja, that tomato-y stew of shredded beef so popular in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean. It comes with rice—but not too much—and a healthy helping of tomatoes and lettuce to cut the fat. If you want to be really decadent, get it smothered with red and green enchilada sauce and buried under a mountain of melted cheese. It’ll be the hugest enchilada you’ve ever seen.
Georgia: Tlaloc El Mexicano, Athens
This spot gets slammed on the weekends, and with good reason: It has some of the best Mexican and Salvadorian food in the state. You’ll find papusas, lengua tacos, and your more predictable combo plates, and all are very good—and yes, the burritos are spectacular. Come on a weekday if you can.
Hawaii: Kono’s North Shore, chain
With three locations and counting, Kono’s is the local chain that combines the best of Hawaii’s slow roasted pork tradition with everything that makes breakfast burritos so great: Chewy, warm flour tortillas with the perfect bite and give, chock full of buttery potatoes and eggs. If you want to go double on the pork, get the Chuns bomber burrito, packed with 12-hour roasted kalua pork and bacon. A nap might be in order afterwards. So what if you just woke up?
Idaho: Joel’s, Standpoint
Idaho is most definitely not known for its Mexican cuisine, but this family-run establishment draws serious crowds for its vegetarian burritos, salmon tacos, and a spicy chicken asada burrito complete with salsa and guacamole. The move is to get here early (Joel’s closes at 4 p.m.) and feast out on the patio.
Illinois: Gorditas La Tia Susy, Chicago
Featuring housemade corn and flour tortillas, eating here might just be as great as at eating at your tia’s—or someone else's tia's, those of us who don’t have an aunt with food this good. Durango-style burritos are the specialty here: Longer, thinner burritos that aren’t tied up on the ends, simply folded over. They also aren’t nearly as stuffed as most burritos you might envision, but don’t let that deter you. The tortilla really merits a lot of the focus here, and lives up to the challenge with its incredibly fresh texture.
Indiana: Carniceria Guanajuato, multiple
This restaurant and Mexican grocery store is a wonderland of Hispanic foods, both hot and grocery items. Here, the huge steak burritos are the standout order, stuffed with tender carne asada and nary any rice filler to be seen. The chicken version is also very good, albeit seemingly less popular. Both are lightly grilled on the outside to form the lightest crust, which provides contrasting crunch to the tender morsels of meat within.
Iowa: EI Bajio, Cedar Rapids
While Cedar Rapids isn’t known for its Mexican food—although it does have its fair share of James Beard Award-nominated chefs in other culinary genres—El Bajio doesn’t seem to notice. The restaurant, barely two years old, is helmed by Javier Garcia and Andrew Torres, who parlay influences of Mexico’s Bajio region. While they decidedly deserve the burrito nomination—we recommend the El Burro breakfast burrito with fresh eggs and chorizo—the truth is, this commonplace item is the tip of their culinary iceberg. There are complex green moles, stewed tongue—guisado de lengua—and a birria that’s heavy on the beef instead of the typical goat. Everything is delicious; order it all.
Kansas—Red Kitchen Tamales, Lenexa
While so often the tortilla is merely a necessary carrier for the savory fillings within, a truly good burrito stands out because the tortilla could be eaten on its own, with a pinch of salt and perhaps a pad of butter. That’s the case at Red Kitchen Tamales, which, despite the name, also focuses on delivering great burritos and quesadillas. (Tamales are currently served just a couple times a week.) The bacon breakfast burrito and chicken tinga are both great options; as this is a stall inside the Lenexa Public Market, the menu rotates more often than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Kentucky—Tortillería Y Taquería Ramírez, Lexington
While we wouldn’t blame you for being singularly focused on tracking down some Burgoo or a Hot Brown while you’re in town, the fact is that Tortillería Y Taquería Ramírez is some of the best food that Lexington has to offer. The asada and carnitas meat are prepared with a great deal of attention, but the fact remains that, like truly any good taco institution, the first order of focus is the mother ingredient of corn. As the restaurant’s name indicates, it’s a functioning tortillería that’s become the heart of the city’s Mexican community, self-described as Mexington.
Louisiana—Rollin Fatties food truck, New Orleans
With a name like Rollin Fatties, who needs marketing? The name might lure curious first timers to the food truck—well, and the 140 five star Yelp reviews—but it’s the food that keeps them coming back. The fatties, AKA burritos, are bursting at the seams with pulled chipotle chicken, black beans, cabbage slaw, chipotle cream, and jack cheese. Drooling yet? Bonus points for thoughtful vegan options: BBQ tofu for the win.
Maine: El El Frijoles, Sargentville
While most of our list skews towards celebrating more traditional flavors, there are a few spots that merit mention because they are such products of place. El El Frijoles is one of them. The spicy lobster burrito here is a must-get, accompanied by a side of fresh guac and a couple of lobster tacos to boot. Eat them outside on the picnic benches in the warmer summer months for a sublime afternoon.
Maryland: Pop Tacos, Baltimore
Yet another Korean-inspired Mexican spot on our list. While the burrito bowls here might just be more popular than the burritos, for the carb lovers among us, the latter is where it’s at. The spicy pork burrito is our pick, although the sauce might run a little sweeter for some. Get it with brown rice and melted jack cheese for an ooey-gooey yet sturdy combo, and wash it all down with their green tea.
Massachusetts: Sabroso Taqueria, Boston
While El Pelon may be the gold standard, Sabroso deserves a mention here. The fast casual chain with two brick and mortar locations lives up to its name—sabroso means tasty in Spanish—and odds are, it’ll make the top five in a Bostonians’ mention of taco spots. The style is admittedly more Chipotle-esque than street taco, with an emphasis on bright, clean flavor profiles. While it’s not your go to hole-in-the-wall spot, it’s delicious in its own right. Get the shrimp burrito (also available in bowl format), and you won’t regret it.
Michigan: Beltline Bar, Grand Rapids
Michigan takes pride in its wet burritos, and the “world famous” variation at Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids is particularly noteworthy. The gargantuan burrito—filled with a very church picnic combination of seasoned ground beef, refried beans, lettuce and tomato—is smothered with melted Colby cheese and red enchilada sauce. Sure, it’s over-the-top, but it’s also divine.
Minnesota: Andale Taqueria Y Mercado, Richfield
Andale Taqueria Y Mercado exemplifies the incredibly cosmopolitan culinary climate for which the Twin Cities doesn’t get enough credit. The restaurant portion serves sometimes harder to find meats like cecina, that cured beef that comes in thin sheets, and queso de puerco, melt in your mouth pork head cheese. If you’re feeling indecisive, get the carne asada burrito.
Mississippi: Tamale Shak, Golfport
Tamale Shak is the cutest little beach shack Gulfport didn’t know it needed. The shrimp tacos and tamale pie amidst the bright, license-plate covered walls are what you need to complete your beach town experience; but the beef burritos are really where it’s at. Get it smothered with green chile.
Missouri: Scott’s Kitchen, Kansas City
True to Kansas City barbecue, Scott Umscheid takes the best of burnt ends—the fattier cuts of smoked brisket—and puts them in tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls. A decade-long competitor in barbecue competitions, Umscheid’s expertise is evident all across the menu, but the burnt ends breakfast burrito especially is a thing of beauty. Filled with melty scrambled eggs, queso fresco, and salsa, it’s everything you ever wanted in a breakfast burrito: Nothing more, nothing less. Pick two up before you fly out of town—Scott’s Kitchen is right by the airport—and eat them on the plane.
Montana: The Knead Cafe, Kalispell
Thai burrito with steak? Yes, please. Stop for it on your way to Glacier National Park, as most people do—The Knead is located about a half hour outside the park, in Kalispell. Smothered with a green curry-reminiscent sauce, it’s the best thing you’ve never had. If you’re passing through Kalispell in the morning, their breakfast burritos are also very, very good. This place gets bonus points for having extremely welcoming waitstaff and ownership as well.
Nebraska: Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh, Omaha
You can’t have a conversation about the best burritos in Omaha—or Nebraska—with Abelardo’s coming up. The chain has ten locations scattered across the state (plus more in Iowa), and is known for their stuffed breakfast burritos which run larger than normal. The salsas tend to be a little watered down, but that’s a small tradeoff in this case. The carne asada burritos are quite good as well.
Nevada: KoMex Fusion Express, Las Vegas
Venture off the strip while in Vegas and you’ll discover gems like KoMex Fusion Express, which merges Korean, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine flawlessly. The aptly named Fusion Burrito features your choice of bulgogi (beef), dak-bulgogi (chicken) or daeji bulgogi (pork) with Mexican rice, green and brown onions, pico de gallo, cilantro and lettuce. Swap the Spanish rice for fried rice if you really mean business.
New Hampshire: California Burritos, Nashua
This spot is more Mission-reminiscent than L.A.-like, but it might be the closest you’ll get to Best Coast Mexican food in New Hampshire, so we’ll take it. In true San Francisco style, the burritos here are fat and thick, filled with white rice, black beans, and your choice of protein. The fillings lean more fresh-forward than greasy: Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. If you’re looking to branch out beyond burritos, the fish tacos and carne asada fries are also amazing.
New Jersey: Tacoria, multiple locations
We love Tacoria, which call itself a "Mexican Street Kitchen." Their golden avocado option wins them the nomination alone: They’re breaded and deep-fried avocados, which you can sub as a filling instead of chicken or steak. Judging by their popularity, they’re not just for vegetarians. (There are three locations in the state, and we wouldn't be surprised if they're currently plotting U.S. domination.) Stuffed with just the right amount of rice, salsa, and cheese that actually melts into a gooey amalgam, their burritos everything we want. Our second place menu item: the nachos.
New Mexico: The Pantry, Santa Fe
The Pantry has been serving breakfast to New Mexicans since 1948. You’ll want to order the adovada burrito here, and only you can decide if you want it red, green or Christmas (which refers to the type of chile sauce that covers the burrito). Inside the tortilla you’ll find chile- and vinegar-laced adovada pork; a layer of melted cheddar blankets the top. Pro tip: Ask for your breakfast potatoes inside your burrito, as opposed to on the side.
New York: Solaz, Ithaca
Set on the shore of Cayuga Lake, the Ithaca Farmer's Market offers stunning produce, some of the country’s best Cambodian food and refined breakfast burritos made by a California expat. At Solaz, tortillas are grilled on a portable camp stove and filled with fluffy eggs and locally sourced ingredients including zucchini, corn and mushrooms. Bring your burrito out onto the dock, where you can stuff your face while watching kayakers paddle by.
North Carolina: Taqueria El Toro, Raleigh
As much as we wanted to nominate Taco Billy’s for this listing—the tacos at this Asheville spot are nearly as big as burritos, thus almost qualifying—in the interest of staying true to our aim, we proudly pick Taqueria El Toro, a Raleigh spot that is sure to be listed in any Raleighite’s top five. Offering a massive burrito boasting grill marks and crisped on the outside, the cabeza and tripas are both great picks. If you’re too timid for head meat or offal, the carne asada and shredded chicken are both consistently quite solid. The salsa bar boasts a respectable variety of options, including the requisite charred blistered jalapenos, sweet with heat. If, after visiting Taqueria El Toro you still haven’t gotten your burrito fix, head across town for the surf and turf burrito at Salt & Lime Cabo Grill, which is a very close second.
North Dakota: Taco Bros Food Truck, Fargo
So, here’s the thing about Taco Bros Food. It’s a truck, the tiniest of trucks, and the kinds of burritos it throws down might not even fit your definition of a burrito. The burritos have been known to be square, like a galette, instead of rolled; the salsa might be dripping into the side of the plate, instead of nestled within the burrito or housed safely in a dipping cup. No matter. It’s all good. Addressing the criticism of “inauthenticity” on Yelp, chef owner Octavio Gomez responded, “Well I'd have to say that while it's true that it's not ‘authentic,’ we don't use that word on our truck, we say it's ‘Real Mexican Real Good.’ I'm the Real Mexican that made that.” The a word in food writing has come to be shunned in recent years, not the least because the very idea of authenticity is a moving target. How does one authentically make a Mexican-American product that was reputedly popularized in America? More importantly, the glorification of authenticity is usually linked to the diminished perception of a chef’s skill and creativity, instead reducing him or her to be the culinary ambassador for a whole culture. Moreover, chefs from certain cultural backgrounds get far more pressured to be authentic, while others simply don’t. (When was the last time someone asked if René Redzepi’s fare was authentic?) All this is to say: Perhaps a square burrito isn’t your thing. And that’s okay. But try it first, and then get back to us.
Ohio: Lalo, Cincinnati
Lalo’s drunken brisket burrito is yet another success story of what business partners Trang Vo and Ed Reyes call the Chino-Latino mashup. Following the path that Roy Choi so popularized when he was nominated for Food and Wine Best New Chef in 2010—the first food truck chef ever to earn the honor—Lalo does fusion right. There are curry chicken empanadas, a must get, and “Mexican-style” pad thai with optional carnitas. The drunken brisket burrito is thus named for being braised in white wine before being rolled with beans and rice, smothered in brisket jus, and topped with queso fresco. While we can’t knock the institution that is Skyline Chili—which has a venerated burrito of its own—Lalo is the one that stole our hearts.
Oklahoma: Taqueria Sanchez, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City chef Jason Campbell found Taqueria Sanchez when he was new to OKC and on the hunt for “real-deal tacos.” Campbell says, “It's a taco truck that stays in the same place, it's open super late, and it always has a long line—probably because they serve amazing tacos for only $1 and burritos for $4.” Locals come for off-cuts like the juicy cabeza (braised cow head), lengua (beef tongue) and beef cheek bundled in a warm and pliant flour tortilla with rice and beans.
Oregon: The Spicy Spoon, Portland
If you’re a fan of wet burritos, you have to come here. They’re possibly the most popular order at this Portland restaurant, which has managed to maintain a 4.5 Yelp rating with 300+ reviews—which is is saying something. The smothered burritos here are truly smothered, boasting an ample amount of salsa. They’re also low on the rice, being filled mostly with meat and beans—just the way it should be. Bonus points for having a vegan option (this is Portland, after all).
Pennsylvania: Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria, Philadelphia
Three words: al pastor burrito. That’s where it’s at at this taqueria, which has a far more extensive menu than the casual “taqueria” title might suggest. Their al pastor is cooked on a trompo per tradition, and the burritos are enormous and with a relatively low proportion of beans. They also have harder to find vegetarian options, like huitlacoche, that faintly truffle-like corn that’s sometimes called corn smut. Their squash blossom burrito is also excellent.
Rhode Island: Chilangos, Providence
Off the beaten path of College Hill, where mediocre eateries can run rampant, feasting off the captive audience of mostly carless college kids from Brown University, Chilangos is worth the (very moderate) trek. Get the burrito villa: An al pastor-stuffed behemoth with oaxaca cheese and chipotle salsa. The meat is super flavorful.
South Carolina: Tacos Nayarit, Columbia
What started as a food truck is now a successful brick and mortar, parlaying the Chipotle-style model of building your own burrito into tacos, burritos, and gorditas. Get the shredded beef burrito, and wash it down with a not-too-sweet horchata and a churro.
South Dakota: Tortilleria Hernandez, Sioux Falls
Really, you can't go wrong with burritos from a tortilleria—the tortillas are so fresh, half of what makes a good burrito is already nailed down. Here, the burritos are served massive and naked in styrofoam containers, begging to be portioned with a fork and a knife. There's no seating, so you'll have to get your order to go, but odds are you'll end up eating it in the car and won't be able to wait until you get home. Order the al pastor, which is succulent, well-spiced, and not overly greasy.
Tennessee: The Flying Squirrel, Chattanooga
Voted one of the best designed bar in the United States by the American Institute of Architects, this gastropub is equally known for its food. While the shareable plates like garlic fries and tacos are must order at happy hour and dinner, the Korean barbecue burrito is a solid brunch offering. Ride your bike here on a Sunday morning, park it outside, and enjoy this behemoth of a fusion burrito outside on the patio or inside the huge, bustling, sunlit interior. The food is worth the trip alone, but the vibe is also what makes this spot so special, and epitomizes the hipness of Chatt.
Texas: Delicious Mexican Eatery, El Paso
The border city of El Paso has some serious Mexican-food contenders, but if it’s sophisticated guisados-filled burritos you’re after, look no further than Delicious Mexican Eatery. The burritos here are much more slender than their California counterparts, featuring flavorful stews like potato and beef slow-cooked with Hatch green chiles.
Utah: Boltcutter, Salt Lake City
In a market not necessarily known for its Mexican-inspired or vegan options, Salt Lake City’s Boltcutter manages to marry the best of both. Riffing off increasingly popular plant-based alternatives—shredded jackfruit instead of porky carnitas, for example—it really does an excellent job of delivering the flavors and textures of Mexican American cuisine. Get the sin carne burrito, which, true to name, is without meat: The gluten-based seitan has the perfect amount of bite, and the refried beans add additional body for the burrito. The nachos are a very, very close second.
Vermont: Firebird Cafe, Essex Junction
While you’d be forgiven for coming here and ordering their chorizo benedict—for which they’re probably best known—the burritos are also very, very, good. The Supremo Burrito is smothered in a chipotle chile sauce, fat and forkworthy with three fluffy eggs, cheese, and avocado inside. If you come with a crowd, also order the carnitas omelette and huevos rancheros, and split all three.
Virginia: Tacos Mexico, Richmond
When in doubt, follow the crowds. This place is often packed. If you’re looking for the style of fare so prevalent on the streets of East L.A. or Mexico City, Tacos Mexico might be the closest you’ll come in Virginia. Here, juicy lengua and crispy tripa are served alongside the more standard al pastor and chorizo; the latter two are especially flavorful. We recommend the steak burrito. The tacos here are also very good, with the tortillas being a little larger than the standard street-style tacos.
Washington: Los Agaves, Seattle
Located in the bustle of Pike Place Market—which, despite its touristy vibe is filled with longtime Seattle businesses that locals still frequent—Los Agaves is a stone’s throw from excellent croissants, Greek fare, and chowder galore. (The tell-tale line of the Pike Place Starbucks store nearby is recognizable and to be avoided.) It’s in this commotion that you’ll find the most unexpectedly great Mexican-American food in Seattle. Right off the bat, we’ll admit that these are not Mexico City-style street tacos or Durango-style burritos, the kind that are so ripe on the streets of Los Angeles. To approximate that, you can head down south a couple miles to Rainier Valley, where you’ll find a couple trucks set up along Rainier Avenue. The fare at these particular trucks can be a bit greasy, due to meat that’s cooked at too low of a temperature, and thus sits in its pool of oil—but it’s still satisfying. Los Agaves, however, wins our nomination for its execution of casual modern Mexican flavors. The meats are superbly spiced, and the queso is supremely cravable. Chef owner Jaime Mendez’s skill and personality come through in every taco and burrito served. They’re decidedly California-inspired, opting for garnishes beyond the cilantro and onion to which minimalists adhere; heavy on the fresh lettuce and tomato. Come with a friend, order a burrito and split an order of the nachos, which are a must get.
West Virginia: Black Bear Burritos, Evansdale
The burritos at this restaurant are decidedly not aspiring to be a facsimile of Mexican flavors, so don’t come here if you’re looking for cabeza street tacos or the like. That said, Black Bear’s Thai peanut sauce-doused burritos are utterly craveable, filled with sweet pineapple, steamed crunchy broccoli, and your choice of meat. It might be a bit sweet for some palates, but that’s what hot sauce is for. Other burrito combinations might come off as idiosyncratic—the Sergeant Pepper’s, which marries red beans, rice, and kiwi salsa—but it all works. The vibe at both locations of this restaurant is one to which all local restaurants aspire.
Wisconsin: La Rosita Latina Grocery Store, Monona
While rice has its place in burritos, the contrast of crisp lettuce and salty, greasy chorizo without the interference of carbs is a beautiful thing. That’s what you’ll find at La Rosita, yet another grocery store on our list. Here, the al pastor is well seasoned without being greasy, the steak moreish without being weighed down with untrimmed tendon and fat. The in-store eatery also has cecina, which is sometimes harder to find. Wash your burrito down with a fresh papaya juice and finish it with a tamarind paleta, a Mexican ice pop that comes in several flavors.
Wyoming: Fiesta Mexican Restaurant, Jackson
While Jackson Hole is known as a ski mecca for the well-heeled, and hotels and restaurant prices swell accordingly, Fiesta is a restaurant refreshingly without pretense. If you tired of the American wagyu steaks and smoked trout which grace the menus at so many resorts in town, this is the best place to scratch that Mexican food itch. The burritos here feature rice, but not too much; stuff them silly with seasoned shrimp and steak. (The California burrito on offer combines both.) Wash it down with a marg, simple and sweet and salty.