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My Hunt for a California Burrito in the Bay Area.

ahh the california burrito: a mess of carne asada, cheese, guac, and...french fries. yes, i said french fries. having been born and raised in the bay area, french fries in my burrito just seems flat out wrong and i really have no desire to try one of these SoCal creations. so why am i on the hunt for one, you ask? my new love interest is from southern california and recently moved to s.f. he misses many things from southern california: his parents, his dog, but mainly his california burrito. he talks about this damn burrito every time i see him. i'd love more than anything to find a place that makes these up here so i can gift him with one for his birthday (romantic-right?) which is in february. the clock is ticking and i need help. thanks!

 
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  1. Take him to Giordano Brothers, add guac. He won't miss the tortilla.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      French fries suffocating in a sandwich is offensive and uncouth. Hated the Primante sand. as much as I wanted to love it.

    2. I think your best bet is to grab some good fries and take them to your favorite burrito joint and ask them to add them to the burrito. The places that I know that have fries do not have good burritos. Best of luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cheesy Oysters

        I never found California Burritos in the bay area. But really, there is not much difference between the mission style burritos and the California Burrito you find in San Diego except the french fries. Maybe I am forgetting something about the California Burrito, but I just remember it being a big carne asada burrito with french fries in it.

        1. re: Cheesy Oysters

          that is a good idea and a funny one. I would go to either Taqueria Guadalajara on 24th at shotwell...for very good a super pastor burrito and they get points for having a hot salsa good.
          Or Taqueria San Francisco for their carnitas or pastor at
          24th at York
          Stop at the McDonalds first on Mission and 24th pick up some fries..

        2. Catering/Taco Trucks will often make a the burito you are looking for.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alan408

            Yeah, there are some (usually the ones that are all-around catering trucks, rather than specifically taco trucks) that have fries, and I'm sure they'll be happy to throw them in a burrito for you. Oh, wait -- I know a place that has good Mexican food and good fries: Araujo's in Alameda, which recently started serving dinner again. I bet they'd put one together for you (the owner, Arturo, is very nice). Plus, they have the best refried beans I've ever eaten (the fact that I eat them at all says something, because I usually don't bother).

            -----
            Araujo's
            1635 Park St, Alameda, CA

          2. My suggestion is just crass and utilitarian, but they have fries *and* burritos at Del Taco...and I bet you could "handshake" the cashier a little cash to make sure they came together just right...

            Other than that, you probably have to pave your own way at a place like Chili's (or any place that has both fries and mex). Not the real thing, but then again, this is not the real SoCal. It could be extra-romantic if you called ahead and arranged it with the staff! I'm sure many a NorCal line cook has unwittingly made himself a California burrito for his quick break meal.

            1. I heard of a place in Fremont/Milpitas(?) before that did the Carne Asada fries (think nachos, but w/ fries). I'm sure they could easily put fries into the burritos.

              Can't think of the name right now. If anyone else has heard of it, please chime in.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kc72

                You may be thinking of the Las Vegas Taqueria. I have had carne asada fries there. (And enjoyed them, but I'm not sure my cholesterol level could take a repeat.)

                1. re: Chipotle

                  Thanks.. where is LV Taqueria located? Did you enjoy the food there?

                  1. re: kc72

                    I did enjoy the food, yes (answering belatedly, sorry). The one I went to is on Milpitas Boulevard -- I've heard that they have another branch in Fremont.

                    -----
                    Taqueria Las Vegas
                    1417 N Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035

              2. my bf is also from SD and i asked the same question a few weeks ago, the response i got was the the burritos in SF are nothing close to what you can get in SD, being so close to the boarder. good luck and let me know which one he likes, and id love to take my bf when we visit next weekend!

                1 Reply
                1. re: kweesee

                  I think it is the guac and hot sauce combo they do so right.

                2. I am not a big fan of the big burrito here. But when I have a craving for the So Calif. El Castillo on Church near Market makes a good Carnitas, Carne Asada ok, you must order with pinto beans and no rice..ask for the verde salsa.. I also ask for the super hot sauce when I do so in Spanish they know that I mean it. You can add the guac as well. It serves the purpose but I guess there is no place like home. Sorry about the dog, I could not imagine. You are very sweet.

                  Also, this might be fun and helpful for your quest-http://www.burritoeater.com/

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lori SF

                    But do they ask "Would you like fries with that?"

                    1. re: wolfe

                      no fries but close to the burritos in SD and I would say some parts of Orange County like Laguna Beach.

                  2. San Francisco is where the burrito gained its popularity. The best burritos are in the mission district S.F. with or without french fries.
                    check this out
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Californ...

                    1. Sound kind of Peruvian to me -- a Lomo Saltado Burrito, anyone?

                      I bet Eat Nopal has a secret source for California Burritos, though.....

                      1. There was a recent thread on yelp about a place that serves carne asada fries called Los Olivo's on Larkin between Post and Sutter. I've never been there but you could always check it out or read the thread to see what people said.
                        http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francis...

                        1. If you don't mind going a little out of the way, how about Adalberto's in Fairfield?

                          Unlike all these other places, which might make one item that might be kind of like what you get in SD, this one is a real SD-style taco joint: California burritos, rolled tacos and guac, carne asada fries, the whole thing.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Agent 510

                            That reminds me, they also have an Adalberto's in Stockton. They have the California burritos there as well.

                            1. re: mk1boyce

                              Menu says potatoes. California Burrito, can it be only with fries or may another another type of potato be used?

                              1. re: wolfe

                                While some shops may make it with potato, it's not conventional would be known as the "oregon" or "arizona" burrito (arizona also includes a reddish sauce with the potatos)

                                1. re: DEFmagic

                                  See my initial review of the Fairfield Adalberto's here:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/17441

                                  California Burrito description on the back of the paper menu says "potato fries."
                                  Carne asada fries & regular fries are listed on the menu so there should be no concern about them being something other than good old fries.

                                  I'll be getting this next time and will report back.

                          2. Hey you forgot the shredded lettuce, orange cheese and sour cream. Any way, I've had a unloaded California burrito...my guess it was developed on request as stoner/surfer food. That's the only explanation I can think of.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ML8000

                              or just a hungry surfer, surfing makes you very hungry..I use to down two California burritos at Roberto's in Del Mar after being out in the water all morning.
                              Awe Roberto's I miss you.

                              1. re: Lori SF

                                'Berto's! I haven't heard a reference to Roberto's in *years*! I had a slight preference to Alberto's but only because it was closer to my high school. Ah, fond memories of the orange hot sauce that could take the tarnish off a penny.
                                And now, I'm totally craving a carne asada burrito, 'Berto's style.
                                Thanks for the flash back!

                            2. Perhaps you could just ask for carne asada fries and ask they wrap it in a tortilla ala
                              Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces.
                              [Bobby wants plain toast, which isn't on the menu]
                              Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
                              Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
                              Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.

                              1. go to haight street. There you can either visit El Bolazo in the upper haight or Zona Rosa, also in the upper haight. Both establishments whip up great burritos with grilled streak or carne asado and all the fixings. no need to go to Fairfield.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: schemsy

                                  Sorry schemsy but I don't see fries, a prerequisite to the California Burrito, on their menus.

                                  1. re: schemsy

                                    El Balazo is Closed,I eat Burritos all over California,have never had potatoes in Burrito,Potato taco's sure,but not in a Burrito,I have potatoes in my Shawarma at Truly Mediterranean

                                  2. i'm dying to find a california burrito around here. please let me know if you do. the best one i have found is from oscar's in sacramento. it is right off of freeport blvd., and it does do justice to the ones i have had from southern california. hit that up the next time you are on your way to tahoe.....just don't go when school's getting out, as it is right across the street from a high school.

                                    1. I'm both slightly intrigued and disgusted by this caloric cousin to the 'mission' burrito. I have nothing against potatoes in burritos (or even tacos) but adding 'guacamole' seems a bit much.

                                      BTW will you Sandy Eggans PLEASE come up with a less presumptuous name than 'California' burrito? Gawd help us if these creations become popular in LA county.

                                      Wait, isn't the 'spuderito' from Ricks in Pasadena something similar :-( ? http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot....

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                        Wow, I haven't had a CA Burrito in a while! My fiance is from LA and he loves CA burritos. I ran across this thread and decided to do a search of my own. El Supper Burrito in Millbrae (see their website http://www.elsuperburrito.com/) serves CA Burritos. I haven't been there, so I can't say whether it's good or not. I plan to go this weekend and will come back with a report.

                                        1. re: cal4ever

                                          cal4ever-

                                          i'm so stoked on your suggestion! this place actually has "california burrito" on the menu-fries and all! let me know if you approve and i will head out to millbrae to check it out! thank you to everyone who offered their own advice, as well!

                                          1. re: radikalbandit

                                            I haven't had the CA burrito but their other burritos are fantastic! I have seen the sign for the CA burrito advertised on the counter.

                                            1. re: radikalbandit

                                              Sorry for not responding sooner. We recently brought a puppy home and she's taken all of my free time!

                                              We had the "california burrito" and I liked it! But, it was certainly not as good as the ones I've had in Southern California. I think it had something to do with the fries. The fries at El Super Burrito are sliced thicker than what I'm use to and are a tad bit soggy. I should have also asked for the tortilla to be placed on the griddle, not the steam press machine. I think that would have made a difference. Don't get me wrong, I would certainly go back.

                                            2. re: cal4ever

                                              I've had the California burrito here many times and it's always very good. It's exactly as the menu says: carne asade, cheese, sour cream, a few slices of avocado, and curly french fries! None of the rice and beans business either.

                                              About half the time I get it as a wet burrito since I figured the additional calories was just a rounding error. Well worth the collateral damage on the diet.

                                          2. I just saw this on the menu at Casa Lopez, a new Mexican place in Sunnyvale. Based on other posts here I guess this would qualify as a San Diego-style Mexican. I doubt I will be trying this particular dish any time soon, but the fish burrito was pretty good.

                                            Michael

                                            -----
                                            Casa Lopez Mexican Food
                                            126 E Fremont Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                                            1. Uhm, so this is a little late, sorry O knew there was something I wanted to report. I saw this thread linked to another and I remembered! I spotted California Burritos at a place called Rulu's in Dublin right off of Alcosta Blvd (680). I don't know how authentic it is, since I think I remember there being bacon in there. But they were able to take that out for me, so since it has the fries in it, you should be able to make it like you want.
                                              The place in itself was good if not a bit bizarre since I am used to more authentic hole in the wall type places. The menu is half Californian cafe and half Mexican, you can get a malibu chicken sandwich with that burrito. Speaking of Malibu, the lady who owns it, not to be stereotypical, but is what you would imagine your typical middle age trying to look young blond and with a bit of plastic surgery woman would look like. Sweetest lady, just not what I expected from an owner of a Mexican place.
                                              Here is a link to their menu:
                                              http://www.rulustaco.com/Menu/tabid/5...
                                              Looking over their menu reminded me too, all the prices are even dollar amounts, 4, 5, etc. Maybe I never noticed it before but seems like that was the first time I've seen that on a menu

                                              Last thing, looking over the post I hope I didn't sound too negative, the burrito was pretty good!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: elliora

                                                Nice find

                                                -----
                                                Rulu's Taqueria & Cafe
                                                8939 San Ramon Rd, Dublin, CA

                                              2. Try Caramba on 2d Street between Market and Mission (just south of Jesse alley). Looks like it's a new addition -- saw a hand-printed sign today saying they had fries "in burrito or on side" for an extra $1.

                                                Weekday lunch only, I believe.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Jeff

                                                  LOL. I just pulled up this thread to add that I was walking by there a couple of days ago and saw that sign. What's the food like there, anyway?

                                                  -----
                                                  Caramba Mexican Food
                                                  78 2nd St, San Francisco, CA

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    It's okay, although I doubt I'd go there on a traditional Saturday burrito run with my son (even if it was open). Every time I go there it seems like they've add more specials (more hand-written signs posted all over the place). They have a chicken bandelleras (sp?) special that looks good, but I'm a creature of habit. I like they're chile relleno burrito. Definitely better than Chipotle. My other FiDi burrito choice is El Faro on Kearny, for their al pastor.

                                                    Burrito Eater likes the french fry burrito: http://www.burritoeater.com/restauran...

                                                2. It is almost a year later, but for anyone still trying to find a California Burrito, The Taco Shop @ Underdog has it on the menu. ... by the original Nick formerly of Nick's Crispy Tacos.
                                                  http://www.tacoshopsf.com/home/index....

                                                  "California"
                                                  Cheese, French fires, pico de gallo salsa with carne asada, carnitas or polllo 7.25"

                                                  I'm not much of a burrito eater, but the pescado "Baja" style is calling my name ... beer-battered fish with cilantro, cabbage & red onions. Lime and roasted tomato salsa 8.50

                                                  It seems like a fish taco but in a burrito the mess would be contained.

                                                  1. There's a Mexican joint on 2nd between Market and Mission that will put fries in the burrito. I have not tried that variation, so cannot say how good they do it.

                                                    The name has changed a couple of times... I don't remember what it is called now, sorry.

                                                    1. For you California Burrito lovers in SF, I have found the place for you. :) I am a HUGE cali fan (from San Diego originally) and about a year ago I came across Taqueria Los Coyotes. Located at 3036 16th street @ Valencia Street, this spot makes a wonderful california burrito that will subside your cravings. They also do a 2 for 1 burrito (if you buy 2 drinks) mon-wed. Good happy hour, too if i remember correctly. Enjoy!

                                                      -----
                                                      Taqueria Los Coyotes No 2
                                                      3036 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                      1. awhile back you post your quest for california burritos in the bay area try a Taqueria in Union City (east bay) 1790 whipple rd., union city ca 94587 I am almost sure the name is Taqueria sol azteca or just azteca (becareful dont get confused cuz they is also another taqueria across the street next to a bar) They'e cali burrito are made up by flour tortilla usually asada or whatever meat a customer requests french fries cheese sour cream & what i love most is that they offer the pico de gallo as an optional but whats even best is that if you want to add something onto a food item or remove it THEY ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO DO IT WHAT IS ASKED. My cousin went to this taqueria and since they didnt have a salad on they;re menu she called me and asked me what i wanted on it and they created me a salad which til this day has been the best i;ve ever ate.

                                                        1. I saw a CA burrito advertised (picture with french fries and all) in a tacqueria on 16th and Mission - I think it's called Los Cayotes. It's across the street - on 16th st - from Wells Fargo. Haven't tried it yet though.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: gci315

                                                            SFRossman did just a bit upthread and pronounced them just fine.
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4777...

                                                          2. If he's from SoCal I'm sure he's familiar with Del Taco. Theres one on Market St, just tell them what you want and they'll hook you up. No handshaking or side deals required. And their crinkle cut fries are great! They'll even put hashbrowns in your breakfast burrito!!

                                                            1. As of 3/26/10, Sancho's Taqueria in Redwood City had a California burrito on their specials board. I tried it and it was spectacular!

                                                              1. Sorry this is a bit late.

                                                                Iguana's in downtown San Jose (http://www.burritozilla.com) offers both carne asada fries and "California Burritos". I've always loved the carne asada fries, but never knew about the California burrito craze. This was all until my friend (who goes to San Diego for school) introduced me to the California burrito.

                                                                However, you don't ask for a California burrito. What you do is order a "Super Burrito", select a choice of meat, request no beans, and add french fries. They do add a dollar for the fries though.

                                                                1. GREAT CALIFORNIA BURRITOS but I LOVE their CARNE ASADa FRies even more!

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Taqueria Sol Azteca
                                                                  1790 Whipple Rd, Union City, CA 94587

                                                                  1. The Chron mentions Taqueria Los Coyotes in the Mission (Mission and 16th). Nice story, kid from San Diego asked for one and the owner didn't know it but said show me and I'll make it.

                                                                    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/i...

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ML8000

                                                                      I tried that place the other week and ordered a California Burrito. The fries tasted great, but overall, the burrito was a bit too dry.

                                                                      1. re: scoobydrew

                                                                        agreed, i actually had the carne asada fries and the whole hting was just kinda meh. too bad.

                                                                        1. re: vulber

                                                                          I guess you lads (or lasses) will have to head to SD to get a decent one. I have to do the same for Baja fish tacos except it's LA.

                                                                    2. If you are heading south of the Bay area off Hwy 101 in Castroville La Fortuna is a hole-in-the-wall bakery that has fantastic carne asada burritos (it's next to the Super Max grocery right off the freeway). Further down 101 in Salinas is La Costa at 1306 N Main, the al pastor burritos here are great. Down 101 a little further in Chualar the Amigo Market has premade chile verde burritos that my horse shoer turned me onto that are so good I can no longer breeze through Chualar without stopping. And right across the street is a little bar/restaurant (I forget the name) where a guy brings his cart in every weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun) and does al pastor tacos with the meat carved off a vertical grill and then seasoned some more and served with a thin guacamole- Yum! (again a tip from my farrier) And just a little further south in Gonzales, just off 101 is Linda Taquiera in the little shopping center next to McDonalds. Good burritos and they do a great Super Papas (think super nachos but done on a plate of French fries) another yum.

                                                                      1. According to Jonathan Kauffman, Nick's Crispy Tacos offshoot Tacko in the Marina has a California burrito that is "genuinely hard to stop eating."

                                                                        http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-08-17/re...

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Nick's Crispy Tacos
                                                                        1500 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                                                        1. Los Coyotes at 16th and Mission has one.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: rlunch

                                                                            Heart warming story about it last june upthread.

                                                                            http://blog.sfgate.com/inthemission/2...

                                                                          2. In case anyone is still looking, the children of the owners of Molcasalsa in SoCal, opened a restaurant here. They have the California burrito as well as carne asada fries and nachos. I only tried the taco, but thought the carne asada was one of the better I've had. They also have San Diego style breakfast burritos with potatoes. Here's my report
                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822623

                                                                            1. La Victoria Taqueria in RWC is now serving a California Burrito. Not on the menu, on the specials board, but I think they're about to become "A Thing". Also the Carne Asada Fries, etc.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                several food trucks are doing these ethnic burritos and including fries in them. Ditto for draping fries with various ingredients (e.g. curry up now has tikka masala fries).

                                                                                1. re: majordanby

                                                                                  Ethnic Burritos? San Diego is Ethnic?

                                                                                  1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                    let me be clear: many food trucks are making burritos with ingredients not traditionally found in a burrito (e.g. korean burrito, filipino burrito, curry burrito). now, ive seen a few of these trucks provide the option of stuffing fries in them (or, draping fries with ingredients like tikka masala, sisig, etc).

                                                                                    1. re: majordanby

                                                                                      To add the two trucks relevant to this conversation that I'm aware of:

                                                                                      Senor Sisig (@senorsisig):
                                                                                      California Sisig Burrito - fries, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and your choice of pork/chicken/tofu)
                                                                                      Note - tried and recommended, esp. w/ pork, spicy option.. might actually be an upgrade over carne asada

                                                                                      Twister Truck (@twistertruck):
                                                                                      San Diego-style Burrito - black beans, french fried potatoes, shredded jack cheese, pico de gallo, avocado sauce, and choice of steak/chicken/pork/seafood
                                                                                      Note - haven't seen/tried this truck yet, but they have a pic of the SD burrito on their website

                                                                                      Not *exactly* what you'd get at, say, Lolita's, but might be worth a try if they're in your 'hood.

                                                                                      1. re: IronicChef

                                                                                        A San Diego-style burrito would not, could not, should not have beans of any variety in them.

                                                                                  2. re: majordanby

                                                                                    The fries at Curry Up Now are sweet potato fries and they are delicious with the CTM.

                                                                                2. quality has improved significantly at los coyotes. will have to go back to olivo's

                                                                                  1. CA burrito spotted at Sol y Luna in Berkeley

                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8484...

                                                                                    1. At Los Cantaros on San Pablo and about 45th they will add french fries to your burrito for an extra charge. The fries actually looked pretty decent, and I like their burritos

                                                                                      1. Spotted at Tortas Boos Voni in SF.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: hyperbowler

                                                                                          Glad I spotted this. Slightly grilled tortilla, strips of flavorful and nicely browned beef, cheese, and small crispy French fries about the size of the beef strips. Far smaller than a Mission style burrito and that's a good thing. I liked this a lot, and far more than any Middle Eastern sandwiched that have fries inside them.

                                                                                           
                                                                                        2. Burrito Express on Taraval has CA Burritos

                                                                                          1. Angelos on 2nd street san jose. Best California burrito and they make an amazing orange sauce as well!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: susieysie4598365

                                                                                              I'm late to the party again.

                                                                                              I finally had, after all these years, a cali burrito (see other thread where "californians don't say cali"... guess not, dudes).

                                                                                              Angelos is a good old fashioned late night (till 3am) taqueria just outside the bar district of san jose. After catching a late set at the SJ Jazz festival, and not having eaten since a small lunch, I was ready for a few calories, and a "cali-burrito" was first on the menu.

                                                                                              I got mine Al Pastor, and it was delightful. A saucy mess (but expertly wrapped). Spicy, crunchy (al pastor and fries), tasty.

                                                                                              Being new to the genre I can't rank it, but you know all be on the lookout.

                                                                                              We seemed to hit the place at a bad time, and it took forever for us to get through the line, and served. Place is clean. Yelp gives 4.5 stars, likely due to the late night drunk factor (see el faralito). Compared to Faralito, the place is cleaner. GF had a regular chicken, which was poorly assembled. Tasty rice, but all rice and beans, didn't find much chicken or salsa.

                                                                                              1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                Couldn't find it on y*lp. Google found it's Angelou's

                                                                                                I guess their search engine isn't that great and couldn't handle the missing 'u'

                                                                                                http://www.angelousmexicangrill.com/

                                                                                                Angelou's Mexican Grill
                                                                                                21 N 2nd St
                                                                                                San Jose, CA 95113

                                                                                                1. re: drewskiSF

                                                                                                  That's the spot, but the in-person menu is very different from the online. In-person, the "Cali-burrito" is loud-n-proud at the top of the board.

                                                                                                  Here's the y*lp
                                                                                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/angelous-mexi...

                                                                                            2. they have it here:
                                                                                              http://www.taquerialoscoyotes.com/men...
                                                                                              enjoy

                                                                                               
                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: metahacker

                                                                                                On 16th between Mission and Valencia roughly across from Pancho Villa. In SF.

                                                                                                1. re: metahacker

                                                                                                  That's where I get mine, when I have the rare hankering for a california burrito. The fries have the right amount of crunch, so that it's not just filling the burrito with starch.