The burrito is America's Mexican food, and here in Phoenix, we're lucky to have some of the nation's best — fresh, flavorful, and more often than not, fearsome in size. Check out our list of 10 burritos that'll remind you why you choose to live in Arizona.
Green Chile BurritoRito's Mexican Food
The green chile burro at Rito's is a legend in downtown Phoenix (and in newer locations along Seventh Street and in Surprise). Green chile-loving folk once lined up out the door when Rito's was a lunch-only burrito bungalow, and it's little wonder why. A light flour tortilla contrasts nicely with the tender beef and spicy green chile sauce that inevitably spills out after the first bite. If you really want to outdo yourself, you can order the green chile burrito enchilada style, though be prepared for a serious food coma later.
Pollo BurroAsadero Norte de Sonora
122 North 16th Street
The chicken burrito at Asadero Norte de Sonora is refreshing on multiple levels. First, there's what precedes the burrito, a complimentary cup of frijoles a la charra as well as chips and salsa. Then there's the burrito itself, which is 100 percent fresh: green guacamole, crisp cabbage, light sauce, and chopped rotisserie chicken with the skin on. Contrary to most garnishments, the cucumber slices, radishes, lime, and grilled jalapeno accompanying your burrito actually complement the dish, rather than simply providing an aesthetic enhancement.
Carne Adovada BurritoLos Dos Molinos
There's a reason why Los Dos Molinos has the motto "Some Like It Hot." Nearly everything on the menu packs a punch, and the carne adovada burrito is no exception. Red-sauce-drenched pork (you can opt for green if you like) is packed inside a thick tortilla that's smothered in more red sauce, plus cheese accompanied by refried beans and rice. It's the kind of burrito that requires a fork, a knife, and a bottomless pitcher of water (or a kick-ass margarita).
Carne Asada BurritoAsadero Toro
1715 West McDowell Road
Serious meat-lovers would do well to visit Asadero Toro, the fairgrounds-facing fast food restaurant on McDowell Road. The restaurant's carne asada burrito gets straight to the point: Inside the large flour tortilla is nothing but grilled beef — no fillers, no sauces, just straight-up meat. What you do with your beef burrito is entirely up to you. Asadero Toro offers an ample serve-yourself condiments bar complete with a variety of salsas, peppers, freshly chopped vegetable garnishes, citrus, and more. And if you find all that meat in your burrito to be too straightforward, for an additional cost you easily can add a side of rice or beans to your plate.
Arizona BurritoBarrio Queen
Serious foodies have long argued over what Arizona's official state dish should be. The chimichanga? The Sonoran hot dog? We're not here to take sides, but we are willing to mention a serious contender: the Arizona Burrito at Barrio Queen. The restaurant and tequileria serves up a pork green chile burrito topped with melted Oaxaca cheese, green tomatillo sauce, red onion, crema fresca, and cilantro. It's a burrito any state would be proud to claim as its own.
Red Chile BurritoComedor Guadalajara
1830 South Central Avenue
It's true that Comedor Guadalajara keeps strange hours (closed Monday and Tuesday). But the generous portions and ample flavor are well worth moving your schedule around. Case in point: the red chile burrito, enchilada-style. Tear open the visible parts of tortilla that remain underneath your melted cheese and enchilada sauce, and watch as the flood gates open. Thick chunks of marinated beef swimming in a red chile sauce pour out onto your plate and mix with everything your tum holds dear — tortilla, beans, and rice. It's like a delicious natural disaster.
Bean and Cheese BurritoCarolina's
1202 East Mohave Street
Let's be clear right off the bat: The tortillas at Carolina's are where the magic really happens. That's not to say the contents of their burritos aren't good — they're downright drool-worthy — but the house-made tortillas are Carolina's claim to fame, year after year, after year. The nice thing about ordering a simple bean-and-cheese burrito here is that there's nothing that overpowers the amazing taste of the blanket-size flour casing.
Chicken Burrito with Red or Green SauceLos Taquitos
Don't let the name fool you: The wow factor of the menu isn't limited to the tacos at Los Taquitos. The burritos are just as fresh and flavor-packed as the rest of the stuff coming out of the kitchen. The chicken burrito features beans, chicken, onions, and cilantro, wrapped up in a warm, grilled flour tortilla. For added taste, pour on the spicy green or red salsas — but be warned, customers within earshot will definitely hear whatever noises you make when you take that first bite.
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Carne Asada BurritoLa Frontera Comida Mexicana
209 North 16th Street
Unlike some of the others on this list, the carne asada burrito at La Frontera Comida Mexicana doesn't come from a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but rather a food truck on 16th and Van Buren streets. The mobile burrito features Sonoran-style marinated steak that's sweet, smoky, and tender, with a citrus marinade. This beef contains so much flavor that it can stand on its own, without the addition of beans or rice. The burrito is topped with fresh cilantro and onions and can also be dressed up with hot sauce and guacamole at your taste buds' discretion.
The Devil's Mess Breakfast BurritoPhoenix Public Market Cafe
14 East Pierce Street
Those who go to the Phoenix Public Market just to shop the open-air market aren't really taking in the full experience. There are food trucks, yes. Samples, of course. But have you ever tried the Devil's Mess Breakfast Burrito at the cafe inside? It's a hearty helping of three scrambled eggs, Schreiner’s chorizo, chiles, onions, and spinach with a side of fire-roasted salsa. This breakfast burrito is just the fuel you need to power through your farmers market excursions — or the rest of your workday.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 19, 2013. It was updated on February 10, 2020.