We’re not statisticians. We’re people who eat things. And we just don’t think that the La Taqueria burrito is the best burrito in San Francisco.
Here we present our six favorite Mission burritos. No brackets necessary.
There’s a nondescript dining room, a dude rolling tortillas like he’s been doing it forever, and the wafting smell of melting pork fat. Taqueria San Francisco has both the superficial trappings and inherent deliciousness of a world-class burrito deliver-er. We’re partial to the pork offerings (carnitas and al pastor), but go your own way.
Cancún (spelled that way because this isn’t Spring Break, amigos) is an icon in the SF burrito universe. It’s the only burrito-ria with multiple locations that deliver the goods everywhere. For the iconic experience, venture a couple blocks south of the Mission to the Bernal Heights location. You have the option to slather your burrito “mojado” style (piled with salsa/sour cream/guac). Which is legitimately insane, but possibly worth it. You’re gonna die someday anyway.
Our tour down 24th Street continues with this venerable joint, which offers the opportunity to discuss a classic burrito question – super (with sour cream and guac) or regular? In other words, would you prefer to have your hot bundle of carby meat slathered with a cold mayonnaise derivative and filled with cold avocado pockets, or not? You can probably guess where we come down. But yeah, these are good burritos.
Papalote appears disturbingly corporate from the outside. A professionally designed, yet horrendous logo? A line of branded salsas? If the rest of our taqueria picks are cool indie bands, Papalote feels like U2. But like U2 before 1995, this place is awesome. The salsa deserves the accolades – it’s spicy, tangy, and lingers just long enough to make a lasting impression. And the burritos are excellent. The meat is well-seasoned, the tortillas are slightly griddled, and the ratios are just right. We tend to think chicken burritos are flavorless health food cop outs, but not here. Maybe because they call it pollo.
You don’t need us to tell you this is a solid spot. It’s all over the internet. But you can’t really eat at El Farolito by the light of day. It’s good, but this place is about the experience of swaying in line with a hundred of your new closest friends and mainlining whatever meat comes to mind. It’s a classic SF experience.
Another classic 24th Street option. We knew Espiga de Oro was going to be good when the person in in line in front of us bought a ten gallon sack of crispy pigskin to go. It’s safe to venture down the carne asada path here, too, as it’s pretty tasty. But we universally sway pork for the extra fatty flavor. Your mileage may vary. Don’t sleep on the breakfast burrito.