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Best Burrito in NY?

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.

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Taqueria Cancun
1003 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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  1. 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 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

        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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: 2slices

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

            2. re: hboogz

              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

                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

                  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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                      1. re: Intangible

                        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

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

                          1. re: Claire

                            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

                            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. 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. 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. 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

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

                            1. re: Flaco

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                          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.