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Best Burrito in NY?

ftgsandwich Jan 11, 2009 10:19 AM

I am on a quest for the best burrito in new york.

When I was living up in Williamsburg I tried Loco Burrito and LA Burrito (affiliated) and found they're burritos lacking. Their 3 bean taco special is a can't beat price-wise (though they can be a touch soggy).

As Far as the downtown brooklyn area, I've tried Calexico, Castro's, Bigote's; all just didn't live up to my expectations, though all are decent in a pinch.

I suspect the key might be to venture up to Queens.

I am looking for something along the lines of Cancun Taqueria in San Francisco. Amazing. Something you don't have to eat with a fork and knife: you know, Mission style.

Of course I am not interested in big chains like Qdoba or Chipotle's.

I know I a not being very specific in terms of locale, but I just can't seem to find anything that matches my expectations: fresh cilantro, sliced aguacates, etc.

Taqueria Cancun
1003 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

  1. w
    Widmark Jan 12, 2009 06:25 AM

    not mission style, but the Chicken Mole burrito at De Mole is awesome and everybody I've recommended it to seems to agree.

    1. i
      Intangible Jan 12, 2009 07:22 AM

      I would not bother coming to queens for a burrito. I wouldn't consider NYC a burrito town. If you are looking for a mission style burrito close to new york, get on the chicken bus to Boston and hit up Anna's Taqueria for a super burrito. I have eaten burritos at almost every place you mention above as well as the burritos at De Mole...we do not have mission style in NYC. Anna's steams the torillas with cheese then adds rice, whole beans, and excellent meat with amazing salsa and guac. It's like eating at Chipotle except not gross. I would suggest switching over to tacos while in NYC... www.annastaqueria.com

      16 Replies
      1. re: Intangible
        ftgsandwich Jan 12, 2009 10:08 AM

        Anna's Taqueria is the shit!

        I grew up in Watertown and used to go there all the time.

        thanks for the input, intangible.

        1. re: Intangible
          hboogz Jan 12, 2009 01:12 PM

          You would not bother eating burrito's in queens ? is that what you're insinuating ? you obviously have an aversion to queens.. If you're basing your opinion based on what you've been able or unable to find on roosevelt ave -- you should re-consider. In Queens, if you know what you want or how you want your burrito prepared, all you really have to do is ask and it'll be done. It's a NY thing, sometimes you have to be a little clearer, work a little harder, look a little deeper to get exactly what you want.

          1. re: hboogz
            Intangible Jan 12, 2009 07:40 PM

            no aversion to queens...I've lived here in sunnyside/woodside areas for the last 7 years. You just haven't been to burrito heaven my friend... a steamed tortilla style burrito with whole bean. I know there is good mexican in queens, I eat it all the time but it ust never compares to something like anna's in boston.

            1. re: Intangible
              2slices Jan 21, 2009 05:44 AM

              I always thought boca grande was better than Anna's. Either way those are SF mission style burritos.

              1. re: 2slices
                ftgsandwich Jan 24, 2009 10:50 AM

                i assumed it was the other way around. i prefer anna's

            2. re: hboogz
              Mandymac Jan 13, 2009 09:42 AM

              I understand the reasoning--there is a lot of good MEXICAN food in Queens, but burritos are CAL-MEX. It has to do with regional specialties. The great cooks of Jackson Heights did not come up cooking in the Mission District.

              1. re: hboogz
                zemilideias Jan 14, 2009 05:04 AM

                Hmmm....funny, I don't understand your comment even though I live in Queens and adore its food--the best in NYC. But "Missions Style" Burritos ain't recent immigrant fare in Queens, and if you're looking for skippy-doodle williamsburgh or even Park Slope food in Queenz you'll be sorely disappointed. So, Queens supporters, if you thinkn you're being dissed then come out and tell us where to get a good "Mission Style" skippyburgher in the royalist of boroughs! I'm not sure I'm up for just walking into any of my neighborhood's Mexican groceries or delicious taco joints (the two combined in Astoria off Bwy and 29th St. in the grocery store with lunch counter thre are excelelnt) and directing them as to how to make a proper West Coast burrito...In fact, ,given the way beans are used in those places it'd be quite hard

                1. re: zemilideias
                  joeyz Mar 27, 2010 05:28 PM

                  Nice - the place in Astoria you're talking about is Tulcingo. I've been going there for YEARS, when I finally discovered that there is some good, real Mexican food in NY (i.e. at places like that). I would literally travel from Brooklyn to Queens just for their Bistec ala Mexicana (which is GREAT).

              2. re: Intangible
                hboogz Jan 12, 2009 01:17 PM

                and you think Chipotlle's gross ? that's pretty damned harsh and, personally, pretty dumbfounding. Chipotle is probably one of the more neutral, freshest tasting "tex-mex" or what i would call "amex" foods around, for the price and sheer convenience. Gross ? please, stop it... IMHO of course.

                1. re: hboogz
                  Claire Jan 12, 2009 01:51 PM

                  Got to agree with the comments above. You can get anything in Queens and Chipotle's is hardly "gross." I don't go there often, but the few times I've stopped in, I've found the food to be exceptionally fresh and pretty tasty.

                  Also Intangible, you suggest that the poster skip Queens and instead hop on a bus to Boston. Great advice. Practical too.

                  1. re: hboogz
                    Intangible Jan 12, 2009 07:47 PM

                    Chipotle is gross, sorry. Chowhounds might find it tasty and "fresh" but come on... maybe when I'm drunk and it's convenient.

                    1. re: Intangible
                      Claire Jan 13, 2009 04:04 AM

                      That may be the problem. Try going when you're sober.

                      1. re: Intangible
                        guide boy Jan 13, 2009 04:06 AM

                        Agreed. Chipotle is gross. All that capital from Micky D's and they couldn't even steam the tortilla. The whole thing was chalky in my mouth. Erstaz "fresh" does not mean not gross. In Poblano-heavy NY, Mex restaurants just make burritos for skippy doodle. Yeah, so stick to the tacos.

                        1. re: guide boy
                          Claire Jan 13, 2009 07:57 AM

                          What's "erstaz" about it? And what does "skippy doodle" mean?

                          1. re: Claire
                            hhhippo Jan 14, 2009 09:52 PM

                            Heh, it's true: if you want to use a fancy word, you should spell it right. But I think a chain restaurant attempting to recreate and standardize Mexican or even Cal-Mex cuisine on a national basis will always appear "ersatz" to some types of people.

                            No idea what "skippy doodle" means exactly, but I assume it's a pejorative term directed at people who don't obsess over culinary authenticity when patronizing ethnic restaurants.

                            All that being said, I think a valid point is being made. If you must have a burrito in NYC (and we all get specific cravings), you might find a decent one, but you shouldn't expect it to taste like an SF-style burrito. Just like you shouldn't expect bagels or pizza out in SF to taste like what you get here. And I agree, if you're out for Mexican in NYC, tacos are usually the superior option, though most of my experiences have been in and around Sunset Park, not Queens.

                            Can't comment on Chipotle, as I've never eaten at one.

                          2. re: guide boy
                            Andrew Hyatt Jan 18, 2009 05:41 PM

                            This talk of steaming tortillas being good surprises me. Steaming is common, yes, but it's common because it's fast. The best places do not steam, which leaves a soggy and insipid tortilla. Instead, they toast the tortilla.

                    2. bobjbkln Jan 12, 2009 08:11 AM

                      BTW, I think Bigote's didn't make it. I've passed by several times in the past week at all times of the day and the gates were down.

                      1. b
                        bhill Jan 12, 2009 02:23 PM

                        Head to Sunset Park. The best burrito I've had in 5+ years here was at Tacos Matamoros. Now, it came on a plate, knife and fork style, but the taste was every bit as good as you'd find at el farrolito, pancho villa, or any other good mission joint.

                        1. Flaco Jan 12, 2009 03:52 PM

                          Many decent Puebla/Guerrero places are adding burritos for the gabachos I guess. The tipping point will be when the big commercial Brooklyn tortilla makers come up with a fresh daily tortilla grande de harina like you'd get in South Tucson, East LA or the Mission.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Flaco
                            zemilideias Jan 14, 2009 05:07 AM

                            Exactly...there's the difference between Brooklyn and Queens...Brookly in increasingly Skippy Doodle

                            1. re: Flaco
                              guide boy Jan 14, 2009 06:00 AM

                              And with lard, si Dios quiere.

                              And makers of said burritos might want to skip the lettuce and rice that makes Chipotle/McD's such a sockful of bland swill.

                              Orale, Flaco.

                              1. re: guide boy
                                Claire Jan 14, 2009 06:35 AM

                                I'm curious. Every burritto I've had in New York, and I'm not counting Chipotle's here, has included rice. We usually order them from Tacos Nuevos Mexicano and similar places. My husband grew up in a Mexican neighborhood in LA, and he's never said anything about rice being an usual ingredient in a burrito. We've had them with rice in CA when we visit, too.

                                1. re: Claire
                                  guide boy Jan 14, 2009 08:08 PM

                                  Yeah, lots of burritos have rice in them, and beans and cheese and meat and salad and maybe sour cream and guacamole. Gringo food, and maybe some people's sock full of goodness. But less is usually more, and Mexican burritos tend to simpler, like carne enchilada wrapped in a tortilla, or whole beans and machaca together. Sometimes 7-11 sells nice frozen ones with beef and cheese, that you heat up in the microwave, preferably when drunk. Still way better than Chipotle.

                                  1. re: guide boy
                                    joeyz Mar 27, 2010 05:36 PM

                                    Exactly. The real Mexican-style burritos I grew up eating in "for us, by us" Mexican places in Chicago and the Chi-town burbs were much more minimalist - primarily just meat and cheese. Still the best burritos I've ever had, by far.

                                  2. re: Claire
                                    pgunn Jan 16, 2009 01:57 AM

                                    SF style= rice in the burrito, i think it's nasty myself...

                                    SoCal style= no rice...

                                    and yeah, while there are tons of places that do SF style burritos in NYC, i have never had a decent SoCal style burrito here... gave up and have switched to tacos...

                                    1. re: pgunn
                                      Flaco Jan 17, 2009 06:08 AM

                                      SF claims they invented the burrito! The whole "where's my Mission burrito, where's my fish taco" is just gabacho whining. Sure, I miss Anelcys in LA (now Guadalupe's Place? at Melrose & Western) and Guero Canelo at 12th and Utah in South Tucson but I've switched to tortas and cemitas without complaint. NYC has great Mexican food...

                                      1. re: Flaco
                                        PAL Jan 17, 2009 08:25 AM

                                        Yes, agreed. The carne asada cemita that I had at Tacos Matamoros was better than any burrito I've had in San Francisco.

                                        Trying to find a great burrito in NYC is like trying to find an Italian Beef sandwich in San Antonio. Regional foods don't successfully travel unless there is a mass migration (Buffalo chicken wings in Raleigh or Charlotte) and even so the result is never the same as it is on home turf (i.e. bagels in South Florida--yuck.)

                                        1. re: PAL
                                          hhhippo Jan 17, 2009 09:17 AM

                                          Agreed as well on tortas: your very average NYC torta is much tastier than an above average NYC burrito.

                                          Also: In San Antonio?! I'd love to be able to find an Italian Beef here in NYC! (Off topic, I know, but I've tried to recreate them here by asking sandwich shops to slather jus and hot peppers on Bklyn-style roast beef. Just isn't the same!)

                                        2. re: Flaco
                                          Barry Strugatz Oct 7, 2009 07:53 PM

                                          I agree. East L.A. style is the best. I like El Tepeyac out there. But I did see that the new taco place on Lafayette has machaca on the menu.

                                2. rodmur Jan 12, 2009 08:28 PM

                                  I rather like Taco Chulo. Not what I would call Mexican, but still a tasty burrito nonetheless.


                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: rodmur
                                    PlomeekSoup Jan 13, 2009 06:22 AM

                                    I like Taco Chulo as well, and the burritos at Cinco de Mayo in Bayside (on Bell Blvd) are good. Neither offer mission style (I love Taqueria Cancun in SF! and Anna's Taqueria in Boston!) but the closest I've had to mission style burritos are at places like Benny's/Harry's Burritos and Blockheads in Manhattan. Steamed tortillas folded loooooooooong, yummy rice, whole beans, etc.

                                    1. re: PlomeekSoup
                                      ftgsandwich Jan 18, 2009 06:38 PM

                                      Thanks for the input, guys, i'll try em out.

                                      1. re: PlomeekSoup
                                        joeyz Mar 27, 2010 05:44 PM

                                        Benny's are Blockheads are perfect examples of everything that's wrong with the watered down "Mexican" food found in Manhattan. BLAND BLAND BLAND.

                                    2. Puppimus Jan 13, 2009 07:58 AM

                                      Buddy's Burritos (on Court Street in Cobble Hill) makes burritos that are huge and pretty tasty -- I think they are Mission-style, but then again, I'm not exactly sure what that means. Worth a try if you're in the neighborhood; probably not worth traveling great distances for.

                                      Buddy's Burrito & Taco Bar
                                      260 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Puppimus
                                        ftgsandwich Jul 13, 2009 08:18 AM

                                        I'll have to check 'em out. Thanks!

                                        1. re: Puppimus
                                          KateC. Dec 16, 2009 09:31 AM

                                          Oh my god, do not go anywhere near Buddy's Burritos. The salsa tastes like Italian red sauce with fake smoke flavoring. The guacomole appears to be dyed green vegetable oil. The place is vile.

                                        2. NYJewboy Jan 13, 2009 09:37 AM

                                          Taco Chulo is run by the nicest people you will ever meet. Their ingredients are always fresh, and organic when possible. Having said that, it is not exactly what I would call great Mexican. It is pretty mediocre taste wise.

                                          I prefer Hecho en Dumbo's little burritas.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: NYJewboy
                                            Claire Jan 13, 2009 10:32 AM

                                            Hecho's burritas are great.

                                            1. re: Claire
                                              hboogz Jan 13, 2009 03:38 PM

                                              where in DUMBO is Hecho's ?

                                              1. re: hboogz
                                                NYJewboy Jan 13, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                Hecho En Dumbo is on Front street, next to the galleries.

                                                1. re: NYJewboy
                                                  squid kun Jan 13, 2009 11:39 PM

                                                  Here's place info (plus links to previous threads) ...

                                                  Hecho en Dumbo
                                                  111 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

                                          2. a
                                            AimeeD Jan 13, 2009 01:50 PM

                                            La Taqueria in Park Slope.
                                            My husband is a CA guy and he loves their Al Pastor. Closest thing he's found to a Mission style burrito in NY.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: AimeeD
                                              CGFoodie Jan 22, 2009 07:55 AM

                                              I totally agree, Aimee - Taqueria in Park Slope rocks. I eat there at least once a week and it's spoiled me for other burritos. They have a good selection, the ingredients are fresh and the food is plentiful. They also recentty redid their dining room at the one on 7th ave, so it now includes a bar that serves two for one margaritas for happy hour.

                                              There are two locations, the one on 5th ave has a garden.

                                            2. s
                                              SpiceJunkies Jan 13, 2009 03:21 PM

                                              Al pastor from Los Dos Compadres. Oh crap that is in Santa Clara CA. Well just enjoy what we do well here in NYC. Which luckily is about everything else. I don't mind Benny's but that may just be because growing up here in NYC was the first burrito I ever had. But they are cheap and so are the margarita's.
                                              But for a more exploratory eating experience I suggest La Vega in Corona Queens. Although I haven't tried their burritos' La Vega right below the 7 way out on Roosevelt and 103rd has great tacos, sopes and tostadas. A little bodega with a side restaurant and surprisingly good.

                                              1. g
                                                Geo8rge Jan 16, 2009 06:44 PM

                                                Assumeing it still exists: Kitchen Market, like 8th ave and 20th I think.


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Geo8rge
                                                  squid kun Jan 17, 2009 12:08 AM

                                                  Closed a year and a half ago ... http://www.chow.com/manhattan_digest/...

                                                2. g
                                                  guyonatlantic Jan 17, 2009 09:10 AM

                                                  Taqueria de los Muertos on Washington between St. Marks and Prospect in Prospect Heights has a quite good, though not entirely authentic SF style burrito. The beans and rice taste right and the meat is moist if not quite as flavorful as some of the best in the Bay. They put their tortillas on the grill instead of steaming them, and they don't wrap them in foil, but other than that... pretty damn tasty. Proportions good, not too goopy with sour cream and guac. I think the owner and the cooks are from California. Definitely better than La Taqueria and Rachel's in Park Slope (WHO PUT LETTUCE IN THE BURRITOS)

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: guyonatlantic
                                                    millerd Jan 17, 2009 05:06 PM

                                                    I agree, Taqueria de los Muertos is one of my favorites, probably the best burrito in Brooklyn I can think of. It also has good tacos. And it clearly has the coolest name.

                                                    1. re: millerd
                                                      Nehna Jan 18, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                      How far do they deliver? I'm guessing not Cobble Hill eh? ;)

                                                      1. re: Nehna
                                                        aravenel Oct 2, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                        Not even into Park Slope unfortunately.

                                                    2. re: guyonatlantic
                                                      ftgsandwich Jan 18, 2009 06:47 PM

                                                      I'll have to check em out. Thanks, guyonatlantic!

                                                      1. re: guyonatlantic
                                                        ftgsandwich Jan 25, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                        I tried it yesterday, and while I couldn't pick it up, it was quite tasty with really friendly service. My one criticism is that the tortilla could've been more fresh. The tomatillo salsa was great, though

                                                      2. m
                                                        montoya040 Jan 20, 2009 09:27 AM

                                                        Anyone ver try Blockheads on 2nd avenue around the 50's in manhattan. That place is great and the burritos are amazing. Im probably not a good person to answer this debate though. I love every burrito ive evr eaten. I even love a steak grilled stuffed burrito from the always delicious taco bells !!!!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: montoya040
                                                          joeyz Mar 27, 2010 05:47 PM

                                                          No, those burritos are far from great.

                                                        2. g
                                                          gangly handful Jan 26, 2009 06:09 AM

                                                          It is probably not "the best in NY" as the OP requested, but the burritos at Fast and Fresh Deli on Hoyt just above Atlantic are very very good. The only drawback? They close at 6:30, which is before I get home from work.

                                                          1. f
                                                            ftgsandwich Jul 13, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                            I am coming to realize the way to go is along the lines of the trucks at the baseball fields in Red Hook.

                                                            The best I think I've had in Brooklyn is the Mexican family that has a cart on Bedford Ave near metropolitan ave. They'll even through some asparagus in if you ask them and they make some insane fresh watermelon juice!

                                                            1. w
                                                              Widmark Jul 13, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                              newly opened La Copenita in Woodside, same people as Super Taco truck, make a really nice classic burritto...not mission style.

                                                              1. s
                                                                sircharles Jul 13, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                I'm from the bay area and love burritos. Chibutthole is horrible. Cancun is great. I recently discovered a great burrito in New York! Never thought it would happen. In Williamsburg (or maybe its Bushwick) there's a place called Taco Santana. They have a great al pastor burrito. Its on Kent, just off of broadway. I've tried other things there, but the al pastor is by far the best. Also, around the corner is a little mexican market called Mexico 2000. They have great tacos. Again Al pastor is the way to go....

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: sircharles
                                                                  Puppimus Oct 7, 2009 02:56 PM

                                                                  This is old, but for the record, Taco Santana is on KEAP off B'way, not Kent.

                                                                2. s
                                                                  sparerack Sep 22, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                  I suggest a little trip to the Brooklyn Fleamarket in Fort Greene on a saturday. You won't find burritos, but you will find some nice tacos, quesadillas, tortas, grilled corn and aguafresca.
                                                                  There's also a pupusa stand that's very popular.

                                                                  The vendors are from Red Hook.


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: sparerack
                                                                    HankyT Oct 9, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                                    I've always liked the burritos (and pretty much everything else) at Lupe's on 6th Ave and Watts just above Canal St. Plus it's been there a long time and reminds me of Hank's Wild Years.

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    Allieschwa Oct 10, 2009 09:22 AM

                                                                    You've gotta come to Sunset Park for real Mexican Food! The mole Burrito at Eclipse on 43rd and 4th avenue is TO DIE FOR

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      bhill Nov 8, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                                      The answer is Calexico. I've been searching over 5 years for a killer burrito in NYC and I finally found one. At $10, it's about 2x as expensive as a burrito in SF, but the ingredients are really fresh and the flavors are amazing and well-integrated. The Pollo Asado is cooked on a grill and appears to be mostly thight meat. Crispy and juicy at the same time. The steak is also juicy and delicious- not your usual thin meat reheated on a griddle. They use an avocado/lime sauce that really pulls the whole thing together, but I've ordered guac and sour cream as well to get the ultimate flavor explosion.

                                                                      They get my vote, hands down.

                                                                      122 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: bhill
                                                                        BigV Nov 8, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                                        100% agree with bhill.

                                                                        1. re: bhill
                                                                          PlomeekSoup Nov 11, 2009 11:14 AM

                                                                          I tried Calexico last night based on your recommendation, and I have to say, I have found a new destination for burrito nirvana.

                                                                          I had guac and chips to start, and enjoyed a tofu asado burrito and a black bean taco. I found everything super fresh, tasty, and well prepared. The tofu was cubed and blackened on one side; very light and soft without being watery or tasteless. Their "crack sauce" is a creamy, delicious chipotle sauce, and I sampled several of the free salsas available near the counter. Everything was delicious, and it didn't hurt that they were playing the Ramones while I was there...

                                                                          Truly a great discovery, so thanks!

                                                                          122 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                                                        2. k
                                                                          KateC. Dec 16, 2009 09:27 AM

                                                                          I am from San Francisco, lived in Queens, now in Brooklyn. My favorite SF tacqueria is La Tacqueria -- for the steak tacos, not the burrito. The best burrito I have had in New York is the pork burrito at Taco Bite in South Williamsburg (off the JMZ Marcy, not the L). It is excellent, although different from SF burritos. More pure meat and rice, not so much other stuff. They also serve cocktails and green salad and the service is excellent. I did once order a burrito in Jackson Heights but it was so disgusting I never tried another.

                                                                          1. j
                                                                            joeyz Mar 27, 2010 05:22 PM

                                                                            I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and ever since I've moved to New York I have yet to find a burrito that even comes close to the burritos I grew up eating. Seriously, the place near my high school (El Burrito Mexicana in Lisle, IL) makes what to this day I would be inclined to pick for my deathbed meal. The suburbs and city of Chicago are filled with great places and none of them are trying to be "mission-style". I'm sure real mission burritos are great but I don't know how it is the this became the standard for what burritos are supposedly supposed to be. A real burrito (Chicago-style) has no rice and is primarily good quality meat and plenty of Mexican cheese (plus a not-overpowering amount of beans, lettuce, and tomato, and maybe some cilantro and onions). I don't know why it's so uncommon for burritos here to have some good hunks of quaeso blanco inside. Plenty of good salsa on the side for liberal application to your burrito is also key. One popular option (which, when done right, is DELICIOUS) is chorizo and eggs as a filling. I shouldn't have to go back to Illinois for burritos like these. Stop drinking the faux-mission Kool-Aid.

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