Chinos-8.jpgDon’t know if it’s our proximity to the Fifth of May, but folks are talking burritos in the unlikeliest of places today. I KNOW the Mission is where it’s at, but sometimes you need Mexican and you’re neither in the Mission nor are you planning on going there. It happens — deal.

For example, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, Tenderblog has taken on quite a task — they’re running down the Tenderloin’s burrito options (they call them “Tenderrito”s, which means “Tenderoni” has been in my head all day, which makes no sense because it’s not like they’re running down ‘loin-based Mac and Cheese dishes, but the mind is a mysterious thing), starting with a fourfer of Chunky’s, El Super Burrito, Los Compadres, and El Castillito. Day 2 of their quest brings a look at Cilantro, and today* it’s Taqueria El Sol that gets the Tenderblog treatment.

SFist, A site that long ago awarded the burritos of both Papalote (available in the Western Addition) and the aforementioned ‘loin-based El Castillito today points readers towards SoMa diner HRD‘s Spicy Kim Chee burrito (their “JoJo’s breakfast burrito” is also recommended). Sure, why not?

I asked Sarah B., of Richmond SF Blog fame, where she goes for Mexican in her hood. Her picks are Gordo (they have locations on Geary and Clement — there’s one in the Inner Sunset, too) and (ack, audio autoplay!) Chino’s on Balboa and 35th.

I, myself, am based in the Outer Sunset, and am therefore reliant on El Beach Burrito, which is, um, inconsistent. I’m far more likely to take a trip all the fuck the way up to Irving and 20th to The Taco Shop at Underdogs. Their offerings certainly defy traditional expectations, but it more than does the trick.

What do you guys do — when you non-Mission dwellers want a burrito, do you travel to the Mission, or do you have a local joint you hit up? Let’s hear it!

*The dates on Tenderblog’s posts are weird, but I swear all these articles are recent!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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  • Xenu

    Might also wanna check this article from Sunset out regarding the “best” burritos (warning: burrito preferences may incite riots)

  • eltejano

    I like Pancho’s on Geary @ Stanyan (there’s another one on Polk) or Gordo’s a bit further out like Sarah B wrote.

  • Greg Dewar

    La Fonda in the Inner Sunset is really good. They have burritos (and will hold the rice and replace it with lettuce if you ask nicely). They also have tortas. Their salsa bar is so so though.

    There’s also that one on Taraval that my friends out there really like… but I can’t recall the name of it.

    Now, in order for this comment thread to sing, I need to fire off a salvo which is this: many of the best taco/burrito places are in South San Francisco. When I worked there there were like, 5 or 6 places and they were all GREAT.

    and if you’re stuck in Burlingame (yay!) La Corneta has an outpost down there.

  • Brock Keeling

    burritos taste like the poop that comes out of my bottom.

  • Xenu

    Hey Brock, can I eat your poop?

  • Eve Batey

    Greg, I used to LOVE Los Compadres on Grand Avenue, but they got all “classy” (repainted, new tables, etc) and with that their ingredients went downhill. Last time I was there — premade (like, from a container) guoc. SO TRAGIC.

  • Xenu

    The one on Taraval has gotta be El Burrito Express.

  • aimarie

    Little Chihuahua at Divisadero and Page is the best for my money, and not just because of their convenient proximity to me. I would personally rank it up there in my top few favorite taquerias in the city for their quality ingredients, versatile vegetarian options (hellooo plantain burrito!), delicious guacamole, extensive salsa bar, and of course the agave wine margaritas.

  • Hulka

    The El Burrito Express locations in Pac Heights (Divisadero and Bush) and the Outer Sunset (Taraval and, I think, 25th) are both good. Can’t vouch for the others.

  • Jimbo

    La Corneta in Glen Park. NOM!

  • sagitta100

    Personally, I like the 3 pepper burrito or the chicken mole burrito from La Playa Taqueria on outer Noriega better than anything El Burrito Express or El Beach Burrito serves up.

  • John Murphy

    You have to leave the city.

    Grullense – Redwood City
    La Bamba – Mountain View
    Guadalajara Market #2 – San Jose (apologies to Super Taqueria and Muchos).

  • johnny0

    La Tapatia, Grand Ave, SSF. Awesome chile verde burritos, plus a full range of mexicatessen delights.

  • Neo Displacer

    Oh Brock! I often agree and I live in the Mission with access to 1001 taquerias. For some reason the last 10 years have seen a drop in quality. It seems most burrito rollers don’t give a shit about how they make them. I switched to tacos and haven’t looked back.

  • Greg Dewar

    ugh. so sad!

    La Morena in SSF has some of the best caritas I ever had. Taqueria San Bruno (in SSF, not San Bruno) has great food, but the standout is this green chili/avocado salsa that one could literally drink out of a shot glass it’s that good. And, if you’re sick of tacos and burritos, Mar y Mar in San Bruno makes amazing bacon wrapped prawns, and fish dishes.

  • phlavor

    NOOOOO! Don’t tell them.

    Seriously I’ve been going here for years and the best thing they ever did was double the space so you can wait in a long line inside instead of outside. I don’t know what they do differently in the Mission location but it’s not the same. The rolling has dropped off a bit though.

  • Alex Zepeda

    That one on Taraval? El Burrito Express on 26th? Eh… the carnitas are good (a bit salty, very tender and moist), the tamales are WAY too salty and otherwise gigantic. I’m not a huge fan of the gravy that seems to accompany the meat. Love their chips, but not the salsa so much (and it’s a pain to get them to provide you with salsa). But hey, for the Sunset, it’s not bad.

    My favorite by far has got to be the El Castillo on Mason/Market. Castillo has been consistently excellent. Everything’s fresh. Their salsa rocks. Chorizo burrito? Fab. Veggie burrito? Not full of onions like Cancun (blech). Tacos al pastor? Omnomnom. Service? Tops.

    FWIW, El Farolito improved recently. It doesn’t smell as funky as it did in the recent past, and it the food seems to have returned to its previous quality.

  • Josh

    El Tesoro has a spot inside Mid-City’s grocery store, and yes, there’s seating. Open until midnight and there’s a “happy hour” 3-5pm, where some of the burrito prices get marked down.
    They’re decent, nothing special that I know of, but they’re not awful.