HOME > Chowhound > California >


Good Buritto in San Diego

  • d

We just moved to San Diego, North County actually, from
San Francisco. I am having good food withdrawals. While I miss great Asian and Ethiopian food, currently I am craving a great buritto filled with lots of good stuff. One that has high quality flavorful meat, beans, rice, cheese, quacamole and salsa.

I understand, the burritos served at local taquerias are probably more authentic, they are just not what I am look for. I want more than bad meat in a burrito

Can anysone send me in the right direction? I'd be even more thrilled if you knew of such a burrito in North County.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    San Diego de la Veggie

    I might get laughed off Chowhound, but have you tried Chipotle? Lemon/cilantro rice, carnitas with juniper berries, pinto beans spiked with bacon fat, the best guacamole around, and on and on. for a fast-food place, they do okay. Maybe better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: San Diego de la Veggie

      No laughter here. The stuff at Chipotle's is very tasty, and the quality of the ingredients (e.g., Nieman Ranch pork) is enough to place them several notches above the usual run of fast food chain joints. To use a tired phrase, "It's not your father's burrito." Maybe that's why I so seldom eat there. When it comes to burritos or tacos, I want something a little more Mexican -- the kind of stuff you get at the little places where the staff slips out the back door when the migra van gets too close. But hey, that's just me.
      . . jim strain in san diego.

      1. re: Jim Strain

        I didn't know they had Chipotle down here. I had a burrito from them in the Bay Area and thought if was ok but since there were so many great taquerias around, I never went back. Maybe it is time to try them again.


    2. b
      Brian Saunders

      JV Taco Shop on 1112 Morena Avenue. It's not in your neighboorhood; it's east of Sea World, on the east side of I-5. Tap the address into a map program and you'll see how to get there.

      I'm not entirely in love with the place, but they do about as good as anybody in the "genre", IMO, and I think they'll have some burritos you will find more than acceptable. :)

      1. f

        In North County, try Juanita's (yes a stand) on HWY 101 in Encinitas.

        2 Replies
        1. re: FaithCrawford

          I second that, FaithCrawford. Juanita's is often considered the best by locals, and I have seen it written up in many reputable publications.

          1. re: krisajohnson1

            i will give a third cheer for juanitas. ive been going there since the 80s and its consistantly been great. while standing in line theres always a mix of hispanic familes, surfers, people who just hopped out of thier BMWs. Try the green sauce on the tables.....it will light you up.

        2. Try Karina's in Encinitas, on Highway 101, just north of Leucadia Bl., on the west side of the road. Good tortas and seafood , too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: EK

            Karina's has delicious ceviche.

          2. Well depending on what kind of burrito you are looking for all of these place are great in there own right. For an authentic taco shop in North County non better that El Nopalito in Encinitas on Santa Fe, just east of 5 were the 7/11 is. The best chips and salsa and great burritos. For a sitdown great Mexician experience go to Fidel's in Solana Beach, off of Stevens I can't remember the name of the street but you can find it. There is one in Carlsbad but I like the one in S.B. better. If you don't like either of these places you really don't like good Mexican. Sorry.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Olivia07

              Unfortunately I can't sing any praise for El Nopalito. It's a kind of place I want to like, but everything I've had there has been just blah. But much worse then blah are their chips and anything else that comes out of their deep fryer; all such items seems to carry with it a horrible color and the terrible taste and smell of tired and over-used, oxidized oil. My suspicion is that in order to save money they do not replace or cut in new oil in their fryer very often.

              For me my bet goes to Los Panchos on the SW corner of San Marcos Blvd. and Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and their wonderful carnitas burrito.

              1. re: cgfan

                Oh, thanks for that, we will have to try Los Panchos.

                I agree about the chips from El Nopalito. At first, I was like, "Oh yummy." But then I noticed the burnt oil taste and an hour or so later my stomach did as well.

                1. re: Enorah

                  Enorah: Thanks for chiming in... I've always wondered if it was just me...

                  After many a visit to El Nopalito, (you see, I really do want to like this place...), and over several dishes, I've always noticed the same issue time and time again with their chips and anything else that's fried... Yuck!

            2. by no means authentic, but i'm a fan of the shrimp burritos at beach city burrito in cardiff. they also have great fish tacos which are occassionally offerred as $1 special. i agree with your taco shop meat reference. i'm not a fan of the overly stuffed gut bombs either.

              1. I can tell you that SD burritos are different from SF burritos significantly. The most obvious thing is that in SD they usually only put the meat, if you order a carne asada burrito you are going to get carne asada in a tortilla. In SF you get rice, beans, salsa, cheese, some other kinds of things, etc. There are many postings about this on CHOW.

                I was told "no" when I asked for rice on a burrito here once!

                I have had great quality food at POKEZ but it's downtown near the ballpark so it's been crowded on game days plus the service is amazingly horrible, but it's kind of cool in a SF-arty-pseudo-anarchistic sense.

                I disagree that if you don't like Fidel's you don't like Mexican, I think Fidel's is a bit bland and Ohio-Mex.

                In North County I've not had exceptional burritos but the tacos at El Callejon Encinitas are pretty good, Juanita's in Leucadia does good carnitas and Especial Del Norte does good Mexi-soups and has cheap pitchers.

                But a good Mission SF Burrito beats anything I've had down here by far. (TAQ San Jose & El Farolito, et. al.)....

                san diego food blog

                1 Reply
                1. re: stangoldsmith

                  "I disagree that if you don't like Fidel's you don't like Mexican, I think Fidel's is a bit bland and Ohio-Mex."

                  I think there are two superior options in the genre within a short walk of Fidel's (Tony's Jacal and Don Chuy's), but perhaps that is just my opinion. As I said in another thread recently, it seems that there almost is a religious zeal among Fidel's fans, though.

                2. Go to this hole-in-a-wall called Benny's. It's located in South Park, which is south of North Park and I believe it's somewhere between A and C Street. Order their carne asada burrito. It's the best.

                  (Shrimp burrito is pretty good too.)

                  1. Deb,

                    No kidding...if you know of a 'Taco Truck' that comes in or around the area you work, you might give one a try.

                    Some of the best tasting burritos can be found on some of those (and some of the worst).

                    One use to visit us in UTC called 'The Truck'. I'd match their Machaca Burrito against anyones. Soooo good...just don't worry about the grease, that's the best part! These trucks service our migrant workers in the area. Though poor, they expect to eat well for their hard work...the Trucks really try for them.

                    I'm a bit lost in North County with all the new development. I know that in South Bay no one can beat Super Sergio's on Sweetwater Rd. for the best Carne Asada burrito in town!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MisterM

                      There's also a Super Sergio's on Convoy amid all the Asian offerings, and it's pretty darn good too.

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        Cool!. Tanks DD!

                        See Deb!
                        There's hope yet. One even CLOSER to you. They're takin' over, I tell ya!

                        1. re: DiningDiva



                          This ain't cuisine, but it's my favorite Carne Asada burrito in town- my research has been exhaustive. I'm probably wearing about 10 of these right at my beltline.


                      2. about 15 minutes south of the north county area there's a good mexican food place on miramar rd. right by the base. it's in the area where Subway is. the burrito place is right next to a karate place. it's called palomino's i believe. they have great tasting burritos and other foods and its a pretty good value.

                        1. My favorite is the carne asade burrito at Rudy's on Stevens in Solana Beach. It's a small food market in a strip center about 3 blocks south of Lomas Sante Fe. There's often a line, but it moves fast. I know some that drive 20 miles for one of his burritos.

                          1. I know about the Palomino's on Clairemont Mesa Blvd but have never been to one on Miramar Road.

                            1. My wife and I ate at the Palominos #1 last night (9272 Miramar Rd, Ste 19) after shopping for furniture. I had the carne asada burrito and she had the chicken burrito. Both were excellent, with a prominent grilled meat flavor and extremely fresh & tasty salsa fresca/pico de gallo. So far they are the best burritos I've had at a small take out place since I started re-acquainting myself with the local Mexican restaurants 6 months ago. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed living in Oakland for the last 13 years one thing I really missed about San Diego was all the wonderful, inexpensive Mexican take out restaurants.

                              1. I'm from the Bay Area as well and trust me, there is plenty of great Mexican out here, it is different though but with time you'll find some favorites.

                                There's something for everyone if you head to "Old Town San Diego", which you should check out if you're new to town anyways. For very authentic and very good food try Rancho Coronado. For Baja style mexican try Rockin Baja Lobster. You'll find solid food and good menus at Old Town Mexican Cafe or Coyote Cafe. For EXCELLENT "gourmet" mexican try Zoccolo's. Take a Friday night and head to Old Town have a margarita walk around and try the one that appeals to you. Also, just outside old town Blue Agave has great authentic Mole sauces.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: SDMonkey

                                  Don't go to Old Town Mexican cafe. It's probably one of the most overrated places in Old Town.

                                  1. re: shrimpyeats

                                    I know OMTC gets a bad rap and some of it is deserved. But I really do like the carnitas there as well as the fresh tortillas, my s.o. likes the rot. chicken. I would not wait hours to eat there as some people do. I also avoid it in the summer because it is hotter than you know what in there as well as way too many touristas. It is still a heck of a lot better than Rockin Baja Lobster or Coyote Cafe.

                                2. If you're ever in University Heights-Kensington-Hillcrest area, try El Zarape on Park Blvd near Adams. They have a few tables but it's mostly takeout. I love their veggie burrito and my friends love the grilled chicken.

                                  1. I know you didnt ask but my favorite chinese restraunt recently reopened in Bonsall Peking Wok( next to the movie theater) try the pork w/ string beans, two flavor shrimp, crispy duck, paper wraped chicken and egg flour soup. the carne @ Los Cabos in vista is my fav, it is just a little hole in the wall.

                                    1. Cant believe no one said this,...One word,ROBERTOS! The one on ohio and el cajon blvd. Is THE best!!! Best burritos ever,..I should know,..Born and raised in san diego I have become quite the authority on this subject!!!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Bullybeer

                                        poster said she wants more than a burrito filled with bad meat. that's how i would describe the many robertos, rolbertos, albertos, filbertos...

                                        1. re: DoctorQuality

                                          and the poster said it more than four years ago....

                                          1. re: Cathy

                                            but its still a relevant topic, no?

                                            1. re: kare_raisu

                                              So many places come and go and so if someone is new here, they have to go through prior posts, either looking at dates or reading everything. Also, it is a personal taste preference saying the "bertos" have 'bad meat'. Maybe some locations are not as good as others, but define "bad"...because the can't be spoiled-consistently- and the restaurant still be allowed to operate.

                                              Personally, I get a bean burrito and quesedilla the first time I try a new Taco Shop. If those are not done right (and a lot of times those two items aren't) then I don't bother gong back to try any meat products.

                                      2. Probably my favorite burrito in SD is at La Perla Tapatio. I stumbled on it on a bike ride one day and have been back several times. I think its on the corner on Vandegrift and N. River Road (West of Bonsall). They also have a nice Panaderia there. Unlike any burrito I have had elsewhere in a good way.

                                        1. I am really interested in this Bol Corona out in Bonita. They may be the first restaurant burrito in Mexico starting in 1934. Closeset to Sonora style with just a guiso filling.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: kare_raisu

                                            hey kare i always thought that burritos were a L.A. invention. You would not see them in Mexico. When I was a little panchito in WLA, my dad would take me down to a place on Sawtelle that had great burritos. He grew up with the Picos and they told him this was a Californio thing. Of couse my dad could of been wrong but do you think burritos are really Mexican or just a norte california item.

                                            1. re: littlestevie


                                              I think that burittos did indeed orignate in the northern state of Sonora during the 19th century, but resembled little what we call burritos today.

                                              I hope my friend eat nopal chimes in as he is much better equiped than I to answer this question then I.