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NYC’s 5 Best Burritos

March 19, 2012 1:00 PM

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(credit: Mexicue/Facebook)

(credit: Mexicue/Facebook)

Let’s get one thing straight: the “burrito,” as we know it, is an American invention. It’s okay if your favorite burrito isn’t “authentic” because there is no such thing. Outside of border towns and resorts, finding a “burrito” in Mexico is next to impossible. Black beans, sour cream and smoked chipotle are fine, as are breakfast concoctions, pineapple and good old-fashioned shredded meats like machaca and ropa vieja.
dos toros taqueria NYCs 5 Best Burritos

(credit: Dos Toros Taqueria/Facebook)

Dos Toros Taqueria

11 Carmine Street (btwn Bleecker & 6th Ave.)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 667-2051

Price: $6 to $8
Hours: Mon – 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Tues to Fri 11:30am to 11 p.m.; Sat -Noon – to 11 p.m.; Sun- Noon to 10:30 p.m.

For some inexplicable reason, San Francisco Mission-style burritos have become the go-to definition of the “best” burritos in the 21st century. Former Bay Area siblings Leo and Oliver Kremer do them up right at this second Dos Toros outpost, creating massive, stuffed affairs with multiple ingredients and slathered in pico de gallo. They also emphasize earth-friendly elements like locally grown, junk-free chicken, organic beans and compostable tableware. Plus, the Kremers are super nice. There’s no delivery, but they do cater.

mexicue burritos NYCs 5 Best Burritos

(credit: Mexicue/Facebook)

Mexicue

345 Seventh Ave
New York, NY 10001
(212) 244-0002

Price: $8.95 for two plus house-made tortilla chips
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

If facing down a Mission burrito the size of a beached manatee isn’t your thing, check out the brand-new burrito “bullets” at this unusual fusion of Southern BBQ and Mexican wrappings. Bullets are small but filling and feature meat, pakprika-lime rice and beans in 10-inch flour tortillas. The Berkshire pulled pork runs a little sweet, but the burnt ends chili is addictive. With two stores and a roving food truck, you’re sure to find a Mexicue burrito near you. One request: Lime segments to accompany the great selection of Mexican beers.

newmexicoplace NYCs 5 Best Burritos

(credit: New Mexico Place/Facebook)

New Mexico Place Restaurant

189 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(718) 302-4573

No web site, place orders here
Price: $5.75
Hours: Mon-Sun: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m.

Push your way past San Francisco expats and mustachioed hipsters and you’ll find delicious, creative foodstuff in this no-frills, definitely authentic (can you say Huaraches?) venue. Burritos are large, flavorful and well priced. Leave the carnitas (fried pork) for tacos and go with the juicier beef or spicy pork. The restaurant is also meatless-friendly, and incredibly accommodating to off-the-menu requests. Order in and avoid delivery, which can be inconsistent.

laesquina NYCs 5 Best Burritos

(credit: esquinanyc.com)

La Esquina Taqueria

106 Kenmare St (at Lafayette St)
New York, NY 10012
(646) 613-1333

Price: $4.50
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat-Sun Noon – 2 a.m.

Breakfast burritos first appeared on menus in Arizona and New Mexico in the late 1970s and are best consumed hungover. La Esquina, simultaneous trendster mainstay and addictive foodspot, offers not one, but three breakfast burritos at its walk-up Taqueria. Chorizo with scrambled eggs and potatoes is agreeably greasy, with just the right amount of spice. You’ll also find the veggie-friendly Aguacate con Queso and the bacon salsa-highlighted Tocino.

tortillaflats NYCs 5 Best Burritos

(credit: Tortilla Flats/Facebook)

Tortilla Flats

767 Washington Street (at W 12th)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 243-1053

Price: $8.95
Hours: Mon-Sat Noon to Midnight (bar to 2 a.m., 4 a.m. on Fri and Sat); Sun Noon to 11 p.m. (bar to 2 a.m.)

Finding “authentic” Mission or Sonoran burritos is all well and good, but sometimes you just want a great classic Tex-Mex party spot with solid food and pitchers of ‘ritas. Tortilla Flats, once a vanguard on the edge of the MPD and now a mainstay, is that place. Chalupas, chimichangas, sombreros and late-night happy, dancing people are de rigueur. Burritos are old-school gringo fare, filled with beef, chicken, veggies or black beans. What more could you want?

Robert Haynes-Peterson is an editor and freelance writer living in New York. He is certified by the American Sommelier Association through its 24-week Vinification and Viticulture program, and the government of Mexico through its Master Mezcalier program (continuing). His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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