When you think about it, the burrito might be the world’s most perfect food. All the food groups are covered with nearly endless combinations of ingredients, and best of all, the whole dish is handheld and doesn’t even require, well—a dish.
For our second-annual ranking of the best ones found in America, we looked at burritos from all across the country and applied several strict criteria: Are all the ingredients fresh? Is there a good selection of meats and add-ons? Can you customize your order, right down to the amount of crema squeezed on top? Is it renowned by critics and locals alike in its city? We didn’t set out to rank the places to buy a burrito; we ranked the burritos themselves, but we know that you don’t buy a burrito in a void. So when you drive by this place does your mouth immediately start to water, forcing you to impulsively pull over and, before you know it, you’re diving face-first into the burrito of your dreams?
Those are the burritos we went looking for, and after compiling an extensive list, sent a survey to journalists and food writers across the country, as well as renowned chefs that are a part of our Culinary Council. Chefs who participated in the survey and will allow their names to be used include Jonathan Waxman (a native Californian with extensive burrito experience) and Cesare Casella (who brings an Italian-rustic viewpoint to the subject). Although there could only be one winner, we found plenty of delectable specimens being made across America, including in New Orleans.
If you’re looking for a great burrito in the Crescent City, look no further than Juan’s Flying Burrito. This “Creole taqueria” has three locations, and everything is made to order and finished a la minute on the grill. If you want to try a little bit of everything, the Flying Burrito is the way to go: grilled steak, shrimp, and chicken; Cheddar and Jack cheese; black beans; yellow rice; salsa; sour cream; and guacamole are rolled up in a tortilla, then given a final go on the grill.
It’s so good it snagged the #29 spot on our list and since no other burrito from the city was named on our ranking, according to our panel of experts, Juan’s is the proud home of the best (flying) burrito in NOLA.