Burritos are so integral to San Francisco that we’re sure at least one person has made an official motion to add one on the city seal. And as hard as that would be to get passed, it’s just as easy to find great burritos around the city. These are our 12 favorites.
El Castillito is home to our favorite burrito in the city, at least as far as carnitas are concerned. This place is on the border between the Mission, Duboce Triangle, and the Lower Haight, so you won’t bump into it on a romp around the Mission. But if you live close by, it’s a good stop before hitting the grocery store across the street, or use it as a reason to not have to go grocery shopping at all - you always end up buying moon pies at the Safeway anyway.
If you don’t live in the Mission, just getting there can be more expensive than the burrito you’re going to find. So if you live close to Divis, head to The City Taqueria instead. The City Taqueria feels like a Mission transplant in Lower Pac Heights, so you can order anything you’d typically go for on Mission Street, but the thing to get here is the grilled-to-order pollo asado.
Thanks to it being a truck, Senor Sisig is the only place on our list that can receive a parking ticket. But since it stops at different spots around the city throughout the day, it also means you can wait for it to come to you rather than the other way around. Senor Sisig makes Fillipino food, including some serious burritos, and coming here is one of the few times we’ll put Mission style aside for something else because their California Sisig Burrito with french fries subbed in for rice and beans is fantastic.
Taqueria Cancun is our barometer for good burritos in this city. All of the normal burritos are solid, especially the carnitas, but the best thing here is the Burrito Mojado, which is doused in red chili sauce, topped with red and green salsa and sour cream, and is big enough to split between two people. Odds are your first trip here will be at 1am on a Friday, and that’s perfectly fine as long as you remember the next morning what this place is called because you’ll want to come back soon.
Papalote Mexican Grill
The big P logo outside makes it look like a corporate franchise, but instead of clowns or burger thieves, Papalote just has really good burritos filled with well-seasoned meats. We like the mole chicken, but everything on the menu is good. Another big plus of this place is the salsa they give you with your chips that you’ll end up pouring on each bite of your burrito. If you want to put it on everything else too, they sell it in jars at the front.
Hook Fish Co. takes its seafood more seriously than Mystery Inc. relies on their ability to spot old men in masks, and we’ll go out of our way for anything here - from the crab cakes to the poke. This feeling extends to the grilled fish burrito too. It’s more of a wrap than a burrito, but it’s still loaded with beans, rice, pico de gallo, avocado, and aioli in addition to the fish.
Thanks to it being pretty far down 24th Street, Taqueria San Francisco doesn’t get the foot traffic that most other great burrito places in the Mission get, and that’s one of the reasons we love it. The other is that they make consistently great burritos time after time. We like the al pastor and the carnitas, but the carne asada is solid too. Use the time you save not waiting in line to do something productive, like going to one of the book stores down the street or deciding to finally buy one of those big playground parachutes for backyard parties on Amazon.
Garaje has a mixed menu of things like fast food-style burgers and tacos with interesting fillings like Thai shrimp, but the best things here are the zapatos. They’re griddle-pressed burritos with cheese, refritos, avocado, salsa, and your choice of meat, which in this case should definitely be the manteca fried carnitas that we’d put against any place in the Mission’s any day. Pair this with any of the craft beers from their list and you’re set. If you don’t want to spend $8,000 on food inside a Giants game, come here first.
Tacorea does a mix of Korean and American-Mexican food that works perfectly. You’d be fine coming here for some tacos with “Kanye” asada and tater tots, but the best thing here is the Tacorea Kimchi Burrito. It’s filled with spicy pork, sauteed kimchi, rice, cheese, and a few other things, and it’s nothing short of amazing. The one drawback is that there are maybe 20 seats in here, so you’re best getting takeout.
Like a lot of great burrito spots, Taqueria El Buen Sabor has a pretty standard menu that they just do a little better than most other places. The carnitas are great, but our favorite thing is the breakfast burrito with chorizo and eggs that we’ll order any time of day. This place isn’t huge, and you may end up sitting facing a wall like Erik from the 5th grade, but it’s worth sticking it out.
La Espiga De Oro functions more like a restaurant attached to a small convenience store than a burrito joint, with a full menu of large plates and pupusas, dried chilis for sale, and a coffee station. If you’re here early, the breakfast burrito is solid, but it’s worth coming for lunch for the chicharron burrito. It’s full of spiced rice and tomatoes, stuffed with fried pork that shatters when you bite into it, and griddled until the outside is blistered.
This place is a Mission Classic, and you’re just as likely to find us here in the middle of the day as waiting late night with 50 of our newest friends. Once you get through that line, get the al pastor and be satisfied that you can check one more thing off your SF bucket list.