13 Types of Burritos Across America and Mexico
Come along on a tortilla-wrapped romp around the region as we explore different types of burritos.
Gemma Escribano / EyeEm/gettyimages
Technically, a burrito is a type of taco, but with two requirements: it has to be made with a flour tortilla and it must be folded with closed ends. Those rules aside, the sky’s the limit for this dish. You’ll find tortillas stuffed with stew, octopus, french fries and more in this list of different types of burritos.
“Load ’em up!” could be America’s burrito-building philosophy. But in northern Mexico, burritos are often pared down to a single, yet complex, ingredient: a guiso or stew. Made with chicken, beef or pork, this braised meat makes for a flavorful filling. Give these slender burritos a go by making your own carne guisada.
Go figure that a hybrid Tex-Mex burrito would be a hybrid food in itself. This wet burrito borrows a slathering of sauce from its cousin the enchilada. For more inspiration, check out this list of Tex-Mex recipes.
Brace yourself for a truly American spin: California burritos come stuffed with French fries in addition to carne asada, guacamole, sour cream, cheese and pico de gallo. Also dubbed the “San Diego burrito” because of its birth city, this Golden State goliath dates back to the 1980s, when it was dreamed up in a Roberto’s Taco Shop.
via Taqueria La Cumbre/Facebook
Another California creation, the Mission-style burrito is known for its size and generous helpings of rice and beans. Two San Francisco restaurants in the city’s Mission neighborhood claim to be home to this massive meal: Taqueria La Cumbre and El Faro. If you plan on making your own, perfect your tortilla skills with this primer on how to fold a burrito.
via Burritos La Palma/Facebook
Like so many Hollywood meals, the LA-style burrito is light on carbs (hey, even a roll-up needs to be ready for its close-up). While northern California prefers to stuff an entire plate into a tortilla, LA sticks to just meat and cheese and skips the rice. Gobble up this version at Burritos La Palma in El Monte.
Bean and Cheese Burrito
Beans and cheese is about as bare-bones as you can get with a burrito. (Take away the beans and you have a quesadilla!) The simplicity of this style is what makes it so popular at fast-food restaurants and in the frozen food section.
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It’s unclear who originally bundled their bacon and eggs in a flour tortilla, but Tia Sophia’s restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico claims to be the first to use the name “breakfast burrito” on their menu in the 1970s. Wrap your own morning meal with these breakfast burrito recipes.
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Chile Colorado Burrito
Here’s one that’s a bit misleading. Chile Colorado Burritos don’t hail from Denver or Crested Butte—or anywhere else in the Centennial State. They’re actually called “colorado” because of the hue of their meat (colorado is Spanish for “colored red”). This traditional Mexican dish is typically prepared with beef or pork stewed in a red chili sauce.
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As if seasoned meat mixed with cheese, peppers and salsa weren’t indulgent enough, why not drop the whole thing in a deep fryer? That’s a chimichanga and we have Arizona to thank for this creation. The deep-fried flavor bombs originated in Tucson about 100 years ago. But you can make your own no matter where you live with this recipe for chimichangas.
California is likely the birthplace of the Korean burrito. The Golden State should seriously consider changing its nickname to the Burrito State! LA is where two favorite cuisines—Mexican and Korean—started to mix, and pork and beef bulgogi, along with chicken katsu and kimchi found their way into burritos. Try one with 36-hour Asian marinated steak at Tacos Tu Madre in West Hollywood.
via La Burrita Marina USA/Facebook
In seaside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, you’ll find burritas mixtas (yep, that’s the feminine burrita). These wraps are often filled with fish, shrimp and octopus, then pressed against the griddle to brown the tortilla. If you can’t make it to Mexico, you can catch La Burrita Marina food truck in Jurupa Valley, California for a fishy feast.
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Of course bean-and-cheese burritos can be vegetarian-friendly, but this type of burrito really showcases vegetables. This recipe for Black Bean Burritos combines beans with green pepper, tomato, fresh cilantro and avocado. Elsewhere you might find roasted zucchini, red onion and mushroom together in a tortilla.
From the Mexican state of Sonora, burro percherón is a traditional dish made from an oversized tortilla (usually 12 to 16 inches in diameter). These sizeable wraps are spread with mayonnaise and stuffed with avocado slices and finely chopped grilled meat. Try one at Percheron Mexican Grill in Tucson, Arizona. Just be sure to bring your appetite.