The 9 Best Burritos In Chicago
We've noticed readers' complaints about our recent best of lists being overloaded with North side and downtown locations. Hell, our best pizzas list turned out to be a civic nightmare.
This week we're looking at the best burritos in Chicago and, to make sure we have some balance south of Bridgeport (if not Madison Street) we reached out to readers on the Chicagoist Facebook page for recommendations.
So here is a list of 9 burritos that exemplify the best the city has to offer. It's a mix of staff and reader favorites, with a few of those choices intersecting. Again, no list is definitive, but we at least wanted to include you in the choosing this time.
L'Patron (Photo via L'Patron's Facebook page.)
The almost constant line of people out the door could pass for a poll of public opinion on this Logan Square takeout joint, even though it doesn't take more than a dozen or so customers to fill this lime-colored brick box on Diversey at California. Tortas and tacos fly off the grill here, too, but let's talk burritos. L'Patron's aren't the infant-sized food bombs common among many grab-and-go Mexican restaurants. But fresh and often unexpected ingredients fulfill a promise of quality that comes with owner Ernesto Gonzales, a Rick Bayless group alumnus. Carne asada and fried tilapia are cooked to perfection. Vegetarian burrito fillings vary daily — everything from sweet potatoes to garlic roasted corn and mushrooms — in addition to a poblano rajas option. And it's still as cheap as you'd hope for a takeout joint. No wonder they're lining up. —Chris Bentley
L'Patron is located at 2815 W. Diversey Ave., 773-252-6335
Everyone has their favorite taco standby in their neighborhood, the place you can count on whether it is subpar or outstanding to get the job done when you have a craving for tacos, burritos or tortas. I’m just lucky to have my standby be one of favorite taquerias in the city that has some of the best al pastor around. Taqueria Moran is situated right under the California Blue Line tracks and in its cramped quarters serves juicy perfectly seasoned al pastor along with my favorite horchata in the city, wonderfully fresh and flavorful guacamole and carnitas mole that hit the spot. My boyfriend and I opt to go there for brunch instead of the crowded Cozy Corner on weekends, and I always end up ordering my favorite; a burrito al pastor. I either order an appetizer of guacamole and slather some on my burrito, or I order my burrito “suizo” and it comes out covered in cheese and a tangy red sauce. The sweetness of the al pastor and the bits of pineapple match up perfectly with acidity in the red sauce. I usually end up taking half the burrito home since the portions are large, and it heats up perfectly in the microwave later for an afternoon snack. Service is quick and friendly at this family ran joint and the crowd is a mixture of the different locals that live in the neighborhood. —Lisa White
Taqueria Moran is located at 2226 N California Ave
La Pasadita on Ashland has the greatest steak burrito. It's made to order and the grill is so well seasoned that you cannot replicate the char flavor. It's a simple flavor for over 25 years. —recommended by readers Jeffery Cohen and Sourman Khoury
La Pasadita is located at 1141 N. Ashland Ave
A Ukrainian Village staple for 30 years, this restaurant's food is always on point, especially its beef, steak and vegetarian burritos. The meat is charred and tasty. The vegetables are fresh. The ambiance is clean and decorative. I prefer ordering the burritos here topped with melted cheese, especially if I know I'll be greeting the sunrise with bleary eyes after a night of last call futility. —Chuck Sudo (suggested by reader Joseph Anthony Dell'Aquila)
Tecalitlan is located at 1814 W Chicago Ave.
The Motherclucker at Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill. (Photo credit: Chicagoist/Chuck Sudo)
The "Motherclucker" At Carbón
The chicken burrito at Carbón is a feat of gastronomic strength. This burrito is teeming with chicken marinated in a tequila lime sauce and served with ample amounts of onions and cilantro. This burrito weighs almost as much as a litter of puppies but it is worth every bite and, for my money, is the standout among Carbón's killer burrito lineup. —Chuck Sudo
Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill has two locations: 300 W. 26th St. and 810 N. Marshfield Ave.
Nana's Breakfast Burrito
One of Chicago's most popular brunch spots is also home to a hell of a burrito containing massive amounts of scrambled eggs, potatoes, refried beans, sour cream, tomatillo salsa and house made chorizo so spicy you would be insulting the kitchen if you asked for Cholula hot sauce. Order this with a hot cup of coffee, lick your fingers clean and waddle home for a well-earned nap. —Chuck Sudo
Nana is located at 3267 S. Halsted St.
One of our picks for the best taco joints in Chicago makes burritos with the same care and flavor. The al pastor at this local chain is amazing, so fill your burrito full of that, although the ground beef, chorizo and beef tongue options will also suffice. Vegetarians will also find a home at Zacatacos. —Chuck Sudo (suggested by Jacob Brigell)
Zacatacos has locations at 5925 S. Pulaski Rd. and 3949 W. 71st. St. in Chicago, 8460 S. Harlem Ave. in Bridgeview, 6224 W. Cermak Rd. in Berwyn, and 3837 S. Harlem Ave. in Berwyn.
El Gallo de Oro
Head over to Marquette Park for a dizzying array of burritos with a litany of ingredients including a combo burrito with your choice of any two fillings. (I recommend goat and tongue.) The burritos are prepared to order and will have you wanting more even as your body tells you to stop. Be warned: Bring cash—El Gallo de Oro doesn't accept credit. —Chuck Sudo (as suggested by Ryan Lockwood)
El Gallo de Oro is located at 2952 W. 63rd St.
This West Lawn restaurant on the edge of Midway Airport has plentiful outdoor seating during the warm months, ample indoor seating when it's cold or inclement and an amazing burrito with your choice of beef, steak, chicken, chorizo or pork, served with beans, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Eat this with a slightly salty yet tart margarita to keep the appetite going. —Chuck Sudo
La Valentina is located at 4506 W. 63rd St.