When you think about it, the burrito just might be the world’s most perfect food. Seriously, what’s not to love? All the food groups are covered, and best of all, it's handheld. In honor of this bundle of culinary joy, we’ve recently published our sixth annual ranking of the best burritos in America. Of the 50 burritos in our ranking, four are from New York City.
Even though it might not be as much of a burrito destination as San Francisco, New York is still home to some spectacular burritos, and is also the home base of two thriving mini chains serving up spot-on burritos, Calexico and Dos Toros. The next time the mood for a burrito strikes, head to one of these four fantastic burrito shops.
Chipotle Pork, Calexico
The team behind this Cal-Mex New York City cult favorite started small with a cart in SoHo that quickly became a mob scene during lunchtime. They’ve since expanded to four brick-and-mortar storefronts, a stall inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a massive location in Detroit, and an additional outpost in Bahrain. Though their tacos and rolled quesadillas are things of beauty, the burritos are true works of culinary art. To get a sense of the amount of hard work that went into perfecting their recipes, opt for the chipotle pork to join rice, beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and pico de gallo in your burrito: The meat is slow-roasted for six hours, shredded, and mixed with a smoky, tangy, just-spicy-enough sauce, and the whole package will knock your socks off.
Carnitas, Dos Toros Taquería
A taste of the Bay Area in New York City and Chicago, this rapidly expanding New York mini-chain (currently at 15 locations in New York and three in Chicago, with several more in the works) do their West Coast roots proud. Tortillas (brilliantly) first get a thin slice of cheese melted onto them to serve as a base for perfectly proportioned fillings in order to prevent soakage, and the meat selection is simple: grilled chicken, grilled steak, or slow-cooked carnitas. Opt for the carnitas: tender, juicy, and full of porky flavor. And guess what? Unlike other options around town, it’s always available.
Spicy Pork, Taquería Tlaxcalli
Tucked away on a sleepy corner of The Bronx’s Parkchester neighborhood between a fish market and a hair salon, this narrow and unassuming Taquería is holding its own in an area with no shortage of great Mexican options. Burritos here are approximately the size of a small child, and they’re filled to the brim with high-quality, well-made ingredients and topped with artful lashings of thin guacamole, crema, and chipotle sauce. Consensus among the regulars is that the spicy pork is the best burrito on offer.
Pescados, Essex Taquería
Although one might think it a simple dish, a well-executed Baja-style fried fish burrito can be surprisingly hard to procure in the Big Apple. Luckily, Essex Taqueria knows what they’re doing, as evident in their pescados burrito. Walk into the tiny Lower East Side hole-in-the-wall, give the cashier your order, and watch the chef grill the fish right in front of you before rolling it up, piping hot, into a tortilla along with rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, sour cream, and cheese with salsas verde and roja on the side. One bite will tell you that you’ve found the real deal. These four spots can be found on our national ranking along with the rest of the 50 best burritos in America.