Best Burritos in the U.S.

Garbo's Grill
Photo: © Nick Doll Photography

What do you picture when you hear the word “burrito”? Perhaps you hail from California and envision a massive flour tortilla stuffed with carne asada and French fries. Maybe you think of a Michigan wet burrito smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese. Or maybe the burrito you grew up with is a slender package; nothing more than a tender tortilla filled with a complex guisado. This nation boasts infinite variations on the dish—from classics like the bean-and-cheese at Al & Bea’s in Los Angeles, to new notables like the bulgogi-filled version at KoMex Fusion in Las Vegas. So roll up your sleeves, peel back the foil, and dig in to F&W’s guide to the country’s essential burritos.—Erin Mosbaugh

01 of 22

Los Angeles: Breakfast Burrito at Tacos Villa Corona

Drive too fast down Glendale Boulevard and you might miss this miniscule burrito shack; that would be a travesty, given that Villa Corona’s papas breakfast burrito is exemplary (just ask Anthony Bourdain). The foil-wrapped masterpiece, filled with diced potatoes, mozzarella cheese and egg—along with your choice of beans, spinach, bacon, chorizo or steak—is assembled by the owner herself, Maria Flores, who founded the Atwater institution in 1994. Pros know to order the papas burrito with beans, spinach and bacon, and to pour on the fiery red salsa served in tiny plastic cups on the side. If you’re still hungry (no judgment), follow up with the chilaquiles-filled variation.

02 of 22

Ithaca: Breakfast Burrito at Solaz

best burrito solaz
© Bethany Dixon

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.

03 of 22

Los Angeles: Bean & Cheese Burrito at Al & Bea’s

Al and Bea's
Courtesy of Al & Beas

The bean-and-cheese burrito at this 50-year-old Boyle Heights institution has only four components: silky, lard-laden refried beans, sharp cheddar cheese, red or green chile and a tender flour tortilla. It’s a focused and sophisticated bundle, best washed down with a tall cup of Orange Bang. (Pro tip: The burrito’s molten interior will inevitably gush out like lava; use tortilla chips to salvage the remnants.)

04 of 22

Los Angeles: Burrito de Birria at Burritos La Palma

Burritos La Palma
Courtesy of La Palma

Burritos La Palma, a popular chain of restaurants in Zacatecas, Mexico, opened a stateside location in the San Gabriel Valley in 2012. The specialty at this burrito mecca is the homemade flaky flour tortilla filled with birria (slow-cooked, spicy shredded beef), which you can order con todo (with beans and cheese) or covered in salsa and melted cheese, like enchiladas. If you can’t make it out to El Monte, La Palma has a lunch truck in Orange County and a stand at Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.

05 of 22

San Francisco: Burrito Dorado at La Taqueria

La Taqueria
© @lataueriasf

San Francisco’s classic Mission-style burritos—named after the predominantly Latino Mission District—are hefty beasts wrapped in aluminum foil. While the Mission burrito typically includes rice, the version at La Taqueria foregoes the arroz as to not detract from the high-quality meat, whole fried pinto beans, and made-from-scratch salsa and guacamole. The carne asada (minimally seasoned, grilled top sirloin) and carnitas are crowd-favorite fillings. Those in the know ask for the “burrito dorado,” or a burrito grilled until golden on the plancha.

06 of 22

San Francisco: Pastor Burrito at Taqueria Cancún

Comedian Marc Maron once identified himself as “a Cancún guy,” as do many San Francisco burrito obsessives who can’t get enough of the pastor, sour cream, rice, beans, and avocado-stuffed burritos at this Mission taqueria. The ingredients are well integrated throughout, and the pastor adds a hint of sweetness to the mix.

2288 Mission Street between 18th and 19th Streets

07 of 22

Grand Rapids: Wet Burrito at Beltline Bar

Beltline Bar
Courtesy of Beltline Bar

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 American 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.

08 of 22

Sandpoint: Chicken Asada Burrito at Joel’s

Joel's Mexican
Courtesy of Joel's Mexican Restaurant

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 4pm) and feast out on the patio.

09 of 22

Chicago: Al Pastor Burrito at El Famous Burrito

Chicago has one of the largest Mexican populations in the country, so it’s no wonder the city’s burrito options are vast and impressive. The version at Illinois mini-chain El Famous Burrito is anything but modest: it’s the size of a football, packed with your choice of al pastor, beef, pork, steak, shrimp, or lengua (beef tongue). You may be stuffed post-burrito, but don’t skip out on the tamales and churros.

10 of 22

NYC: Chile Relleno Burrito at B'klyn Burro

B'klyn Burro
Courtesy of B'klyn Burro

San Francisco-style Mission burritos reign supreme at B’klyn Burro in Clinton Hill. Owner and California-native Pepe Urquijo started his burrito operation as a pop-up at various bars in Brooklyn; soon enough, Urquijo opened a permanent location on Fulton Street where you can get a chile relleno burrito—stuffed with a cheese-filled, breaded and deep-fried Poblano pepper—any day of the week.

11 of 22

NYC: Burrito at Dos Toros Taqueria

Dos Toros
© @DosToro

Two brothers from Berkeley, California revolutionized the New York City burrito scene when they opened the first Dos Toros in Union Square. There are now a dozen locations, and each serves steamed flour tortillas packed with meats, beans, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and hot sauce. Dos Toros loyalists know that the superb DT quesadilla is actually more quesarito (quesadilla-burrito hybrid) than quesadilla.

12 of 22

Austin: #6 Brisket & Queso Burrito at Cabo Bob's

Cabo Bob's
© @cabobobs

Cabo Bob’s is a decidedly Texan burrito joint. The establishment smokes its meat over oak charcoal on a Big Green Egg and fills many of its burritos with queso—an oozy fondue-like cheese dip native to Texas. The real winner at Cabo Bob’s features chunks of smoky brisket, creamy queso, pinto beans, brown rice, grilled poblano peppers and spicy 66 Red Sauce all wrapped up in a tortilla flavored with Ancho chilies.

13 of 22

San Diego: 2-in-1 Burrito at Lolita's Taco Shop

© Juan Farfan

Lolita’s California burrito—featuring French fries, carne asada, sour cream and cheddar cheese—is the most popular choice at this decades-old San Diego mini chain. But don’t sleep on the 2-in-1 burrito, an over-the-top (but genius) creation in which two crunchy taquitos are folded up inside a flour tortilla with carne asada, guacamole, cheddar, cotija and jack cheese.

14 of 22

Oklahoma City: Cabeza Burrito at Taqueria Sanchez

Taqueria Sanchez
© Sergio Sanchez

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.

15 of 22

Boston: El Guapo at El Pelon Taqueria

El Pelon
© The Social Diner

It’s not everyday you find golden fried sweet plantains inside your burrito, but that’s the standard at this Fenway Park-adjacent institution. The El Guapo “handsome man” burrito pairs plantains with grilled steak, fire-roasted salsa, Spanish rice, black beans, cooling crema and lettuce. Guac is 99 cents extra and well worth it.

16 of 22

Encinitas: California Burrito at Juanitas Taco Shop

Located on the side of the road in the sleepy beach town of Encinitas, this no-frills taqueria draws locals with its French fry-stuffed California burritos. Although the default Cali burrito comes with carne asada, you’d be wise to ask for juicy Tepatitlán-style carnitas instead, complete with bits of caramelized pork.

17 of 22

Seattle: Carnitas Burrito at El Camion

El Camion
Courtesy of El Camion

El Camion began as a food truck located at the edge of a Home Depot parking lot. Thanks to its homemade salsas and burritos the size of your arm, the operation has expanded to include one permanent location and three trucks throughout Seattle. Decked out in colorful skulls and lucha masks, the restaurant will fool you into thinking you’re closer to the Mexican border than to the Canadian one.

18 of 22

Santa Fe: Carne Adovada burrito at The Pantry

The Pantry
© Vantage Photography

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 opposed to on the side.

19 of 22

El Paso: Chile Verde Burrito at Delicious Mexican Eatery

Delicious Mexican Eatery
© Ray Borrego

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.

20 of 22

Denver: Smothered Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico

Covered in house chile verde and stuffed with a breaded and fried, cheese-filled poblano pepper, the chile relleno burrito at this taco shack is the breakfast dish of your dreams.

21 of 22

Las Vegas: Bulgogi Fusion Burrito at KoMex Fusion Express

Komex Fushion
© Sonny Yi

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.

22 of 22

Key West: Cayo Fish Burrito at Garbo's Grill

Garbo's Grill
© Nick Doll Photography

This two-wheeler parks a block from the beach in Key West. After a dip in the ocean, opt for the fresh mahi mahi-filled burrito with red cabbage, mango, jalapeño, cilantro, onion and housemade Carribean sauce. If you’re still hungry, an order of the bulgogi tacos is sure to satisfy.

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