Growing by the Bay

Burrito Eater

burrito eater
photo from is an incredibly thorough guide to the city’s taquerias and burrito restaurants. Through today it has reviewed 454 burritos since New Year’s Day 2003.

Top-rated? Taqueria La Castro, 4001 18th St. Runner-up? Papalote, 3409 24th St.:

Papalote’s burritos are rendered with such mechanical consistency, some have wondered if there’s a mustachioed robot assembling them in an unseen corner of their tiny kitchen. The victor of our 2004 postseason tournament and close runner-up in our 2006 Slab Scrum, Papalote has become a quietly infallible kingpin of the Mission’s vaunted taqueria scene — slightly off the beaten path, humbly sized, family operated, and pretty much a sure thing every time. Pancho Villa may have the security guard and the gymnasium-size dining hall, La Taqueria may have the tacky neon sign proclaiming its burritos the greatest things since sliced sesos, and Cancun may have the poor white hipster cred. In our book, Papalote steamhammers them all. Specify a foil wrap, if that’s your game of cards, and check the rotating art exhibits on display. Breakfast available. Credit cards accepted.

UPDATE: Gridskipper has posted a good page on SF burritos, keyed to a map of the city.


Emporium Dome, Westfield Centre (Bloomingdale’s), San Francisco


San Jose Flea Market


  1. Nancy

    Now, how can I stay on my diet with this sort of information just dying to be checked out? Evil, evil and evil.

  2. tom

    Serve it up with a hangtown fry and a frisco pisco and you’ll be done for the week!

  3. I’ll take some GUTS please.

Some rights reserved 2021 Tom’s Garden. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (attribution, noncommercial, no derivs: 3.0) License (US), although some of the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed. Text and images by Thomas Christensen unless otherwise noted. For print permissions or other inquiries please request via