10 brave burritos entered the ring. One champion emerged.
There’s a constant debate raging in SF about where to get the best burrito. But we can all agree on one thing: a stellar burrito should be stuffed to the motherfucking max.
We visited 10 of the Mission’s major burrito joints and brought a kitchen scale to see whose was the most big-boned.
1. The burrito used for random sampling must be a super burrito — i.e. comes with guacamole, sour cream and cheese — with carnitas.
2. When given a choice of beans, they must be black beans.
3. Acceptable dad jokes include: exclaiming the burrito is “bigger than my torso!”, bicep-curling the burrito(s), claiming you “got your cardio for the day,” and putting the burrito near one’s crotch to make a mildly funny penis joke.
Though the burrito at La Taq (2889 Mission St.) was recently lauded as the “best in America,” its lack of rice lands it dead last in the weight competition, clocking in at a piddly 1.076.
Of course, if you’re a burrito purist who thinks rice is the Nickelback of burrito ingredients, you’ll be fine with this. But if you’re going for sheer volume, you’re going to want something a little heftier than La Taq.
The super burrito we got from Little Chihuahua (581 Valencia St.) was, well, little. Unlike La Taq, this burrito does have rice, but only weight one-third of a pound more.
More like Taqueria CAN’T-cun.* (2288 Mission St.)
*Joke submitted by Mat Honan
The burrito at El Buen Sabor (699 Valencia St.) came with a generous portion of carnitas, but its dearth of sour cream landed it in the average range.
La Cumbre (515 Valencia St.) is famous for being the birthplace of the “mission-style” burrito, but when it comes to quantitative juiciness of carnitas, La Cumbre lands smack-dab in the middle of our list.
Pancho Villa (3071 16th St.) is probably more known for their incredible salsa bar than their burritos. Their burrito was certainly pretty and packed a solid carnitas punch. After, we amassed a full second meal from the pickled vegetables at the salsa bar.
Papalote (3409 24th St.) DOESN’T HAVE CARNITAS, so we settled for chile verde pork instead. This is one hefty burrito, and clocking in at $10.73, it’s also the priciest one we sampled. Good for when drunk you feels a little ~fancy.~
A towering burrito legend, there was no way El Farolito (2779 Mission St.) was going to let us down in the weight department. All that unhealthy but delicious rice and cheese put this bad boy well over the 1.5 threshold, and at $7.34 for a super carnitas, it was also the cheapest. Vaya con dios.
We made it this far without a horrible “size matters” joke, but let’s just say: the super burrito we got from Taqueria Vallarta (3033 24th St.) was GIGANTIC. It was as big as a human forearm! (Above: forearm for scale.) Overflowing with carnitas, Vallarta’s effort came in like a wrecking ball.
THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE MISSION. Guadalajara (3146 24th St.) is a little off the beaten path, and it’s hardly the hipster hangout with it’s Chi-Chi’s-in-the-’80s decor (although perhaps both of these things would qualify it as the ultimate hipster hangout.) But Taqueria Guadalajara served us the heaviest super burrito we could find, punching us in the jaw with over one and three-quarter pounds of swift burrito uppercut.
Best bang for your buck: El Farolito, at $4.50/pound of burrito
Worst bang for your buck: La Taq at $9.04/pound (Little Chihuahua for the burritos with rice at $7.75/pound)
“Size Matters” Honorable Mention: Taqueria Vallarta
Burrito we would probably get while shitfaced taking all of this into account: El Farolito