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just moved to east bay - looking for a burrito

My two favorite burrito places in the Bay Area are Taqueria Cancun in the Mission and La Costena in Mountain View on Rengstorff.

I like cactus for tacos in Berkeley/Oakland, but can't find a burrito place that compares to the two mentioned above. Any suggestions? Please tell me this exists close to where I live and I don't have to go to the mission for burritos...although I guess that's not a horrible thing either.

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  1. La Mission on University in Berkeley is the best i've had in the East Bay.

    1. Taqueria La Bamba, carnitas. Be patient.
      12345 San Pablo Avenue Richmond, CA 94805‎

      1. Close to where you live? The East Bay is a big place!

        I had a work crew at my parents' house in Montclair, and ran down to the El Agavero restaurant in Montclair Village for burritos. They were surprisingly good -- the place is owned by the same people that own the Guadalajara Restaurant and El Novillo taco truck. I got the super burritos and they were huge -- I don't think anyone finished his.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I'll add a note about El Agavero restaurant in Montclair Village: they have a Happy Hour special of half-off for their starters. This means you can get a large, carnitas-stuffed cheese quesadilla that comes with guacamole and sour cream, for a bargain $5.50. This is an entree-sized plate for one person, or big enough for four people to share as a starter.

          We're not big on Happy Hour stuff since we don't drink - but we do eat early, and we were very pleasantly surprised by this bargain plate. Warning: it's not a big restaurant, and there's a lot of family action with kids here. Parking can sometimes be an issue, although the city garage on LaSalle is open until the early evening hours.

          1. re: jaiko

            Oh yeah, I actually made my order in the late afternoon and got the quesadilla for myself and the other woman. Huge! We didn't finish those, either!

        2. Picante in West Berkeley and Hotsy Totsy taco truck in Albany.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sydthekyd

            Thanks for the Hotsy Totsy tip! The asada burrito I just had was excellent. It apparently includes cheese, lettuce and crema for the base price of $4.50 (but I opted for just rice and beans).

            1. re: ernie in berkeley

              that sounds like a good deal, though lettuce in burritos is just wrong. wilts down to unappetizing mush.

              1. re: drewskiSF

                No lettuce. The only green stuff is a bit of cilantro. I had the carnitas without cheese and it was really good. So much better than the last burrito I had from Gordo's. The meat was in large, tender chunks -- no crunchy bits, but not dried out either. Came with thin, moderately spicy salsa, sliced radishes and jalapenos. Not fancy, but nice.

              1. re: Glencora

                According to the club's website, noon until midnight every day except Tuesday. They were open at 11:30 AM today, though.

                1. re: ernie in berkeley

                  Thanks. It didn't occur to me that they'd even have a website. I see Tuesday is stew day. I think I'd rather have a burrito, though.

              1. I like the burritos at the Oakland branch of El Farolito on International Blvd.

                1. It is a crime that no one is speaking up for Gordo's on Solano (Albany? El Cerrito? Berkeley? Something like that.)

                  The call at Gordo's is Regular Carnitas Hot. There's something about the blessed combination of Beans and Carnitas without intervening Fancy and Veg. Don't get the black beans, just get the default pinto beans.

                  I don't think Gordo's rises to La Costena level, but it's a lot closer than much of what's listed here.

                  1. We first discovered Gordo's on Clement & 23rd Ave. in SF's Richmond District, when we lived nearby. That was their first shop to open, and we are talking almost 40 yrs ago.

                    When we moved to the EBay in 1989, we were very happy to find Gordo's was both in Berkeley and Albany. We tried the Albany one but settled on the Berkeley one - a little easier to get to after work.

                    But over the years, Gordo's got increasingly erratic. Carnitas would be dried out and obviously long-ago leftover. Meat got scanty, even when you paid for "extra meat". Finally it got to the point where we realized that at least 50% of the time, we weren't happy with the quality of what we received. That was the point where we stopped going to Gordo's at all, and began a search that continues, to find a successor.

                    Their burritos were good but it was their quesadilla tacos that we loved. Real greasy spoon stuff but absolutely addictive with carnitas stuffed inside it. Nobody else makes them the way Gordo's does, although it's surprisingly simple: all they do is melt the cheese slices on the tortillas as they fry them, with the corn tortillas folded in half and the flour tortilla folded lengthwise into thirds.

                    We probably should go back and try the Albany location, to see if we can get more consistent food from them. We began to dislike the Berkeley staff after a while; they had a real "we don't give a s*** attitude". It became a turn-off, especially because we'd been regulars for over a decade.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jaiko

                      Gordo's on Solano is excellent. I always order a super burrito with pinto beans. Hubs always gets super grilled chicken. I always ask for hot sauce-- very fresh and delicious. The counter guys are efficient and if you take the time to say hello they are very nice and will start to smile when they see you come in. A+.