It’s hard to argue that the burrito isn’t a perfect food. It’s a savory, handheld package filled with a wide variety of compatible ingredients. The burrito is infinitely customizable and adaptable and even potentially vegetarian- or vegan-friendly. But if you’ve been around the burrito block a few times, you probably know that most burritos are good but some burritos are great. And if you want to try America’s greatest burrito, then you should visit La Taqueria in San Francisco.
Run by Miguel Jara and his family since 1973, the always-bustling La Taqueria isn’t just San Francisco’s most famous burrito joint, it’s also its best. It all comes down to the quality of the ingredients, and the care that Jara puts into making every component of every burrito. According to Eater, the carne asada (the most popular filling option) is thin-sliced top sirloin, brushed with a secret marinade and grilled fresh throughout the day. Carnitas are simmered with aromatics, slow-cooked in their own fat until crispy and then griddled and chopped to order. And even the beans are carefully cooked, boiled for three hours, fried for an hour and served whole.
La Taqueria is located in San Francisco’s Mission District, which is famously the birthplace of the Mission-style burrito, which is big, bountiful, rolled up tight and foil-wrapped. (This style was the inspiration for Chipotle and is therefore what many of us think of when we think of a burrito). The “super” burritos here are steamed with a slice of Monterey Jack cheese, then beans, meat, fresh pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream and serrano pepper-based hot sauce are rolled up inside. (La Taqueria bucks the standard Mission-style burrito trend and dispenses with the rice.) If you ask for a burrito dorado — which you absolutely should — it’ll be seared on a plancha until golden brown on both sides.
Are you hungry yet? One bite of this burrito and you’ll agree that it’s an absolute masterpiece. Not only is it one of the 101 most iconic dishes in America, but it also ranks No. 1 on our list of the best burritos in America.