With Mexico just a short drive away, San Diego has become a hotspot for authentic, fresh south-of-the-border flavors. When you’re craving a burrito, though, there are a few places that really stand out. The necessary ingredients for success: low prices, giant servings, and taste-bud-pleasing, hold-this-with-two-hands meals. Who serves the best burrito in San Diego? Prepare to be hungry as I point out some of the best San Diego restaurants to get your burrito fix.
Roberto’s Taco Shop
Serving quality Mexican food to San Diegans for over 50 years, Roberto’s is a mainstay for many locals. It’s easy for visitors to overlook the small, nondescript restaurants. However, there are six locations in San Diego alone and many more throughout the greater San Diego region so there’s no need to go out of your way for a bite. Every location seems to have a different vibe, but generally, you can look for a sombrero-topped amigo and the scrolling name of “Roberto’s” on the sign. You’ll know that’s the place.
The menu covers everything under the Southern California sun; choose from combination platters, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, chimichangas and more. For burritos, you can’t beat the carne asada burrito. Hand-rolled on a homemade tortilla, it’s chockfull of perfectly seasoned carne asada and topped with loads of guacamole (no extra charge!) and fresh pico. It’s simple but oh-so-good. I dare you to finish it all! You can even order a horchata—a cinnamon, vanilla rice drink—to compliment your meal. It sounds unusual but it’s a nice, sweet juxtaposition to the burrito’s flavor profile.
If burrito is in the name, you know they’re a specialty. At Burritos Santana the menu has over 10 burrito combinations, ranging from shrimp burritos with achiote sauce to a chile relleno burrito rolled with beans, rice, and sour cream. There’s even a California burrito piled with your choice of chicken or carne asada, with fries, salsa, and cheese. Yes, you read right—fries. This San Diego classic is giant as it’s stuffed to the seams with ingredients. It starts with a layer of finely chopped asada, then the middle is loaded with fresh fries, topped with mounds of cheese and mixed with fresh salsa for an extra kick. It’s a flavorful punch in the mouth. And people can’t seem to get enough.
Santana’s menu is rather massive, though, so feel free to try out the other options. Notable mentions: flying saucer tostada, carne asada nachos, carne asada burrito, Buenos Dias breakfast burrito, and carnitas tacos. It’s all so good I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Lolita’s Mexican Food
Lolita’s Mexican Food has earned a top-notch reputation during their over 30 years of serving quality Mexican food. With multiple locations throughout the greater San Diego region, it’s easy to find a location nearby. I usually find myself at the Kearney Mesa establishment, which is consistently busy due to its cult following. If you plan to eat around lunch, be prepared for a bit of a line. The wait is worth it, though! Even though lines can be a pain, they certainly speak to the demand for this award-winning food. This is the first place I ever tried carne asada French fries, and they’re hands-down still the best I’ve ever had. Crispy, fresh fries are topped with carne asada, guacamole, sour cream, cheddar, and cojita cheese, this spin on nachos is like a carne asada open-faced burrito. Word on the street Lolita’s started this style of fries—all the more reason for theirs to be the best.
Of course, you’ve got to try the burritos too. The Monster, topped with carne asada, beans, rice, cheddar, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream & salsa Mexicana, is a behemoth of a meal while the Tijuana puts a seafood spin on the burrito staple. Lolita’s breakfast is great too—try the breakfast quesadilla. The chorizo and egg burrito is so good they serve it all day.
Eat at any of these restaurants to be served some of the best burritos in San Diego. Bring your appetite—you’ll need it!