What the World Should Know About the California Burrito

san diego burritoIf you’re a Cali native, then you know about the California Burrito. Born out of San Diego in the 1980’s, this burrito is a California’s staple. It’s a perfect culmination of Californian and Mexican food (Cal-Mex if you will) and served hot for your San Diego surfer or your late-night partier to enjoy. However, there’s a lot the world doesn’t know about the California Burrito, so here’s a guide to fill them in.


What is it?


To summarize, a California Burrito is a burrito stuffed with carne asada, cheese, guacamole, and French fries. It’s one monster of a burrito and comes with all the fixings. Each establishment serves up their burrito differently, everyone adding their own flair to a San Diego original. But the meat and the inclusion of fries is a must if it’s to be considered a ‘California’ burrito.


Who Invented It?


Though no one knows for sure who invented the California burrito, the creation of this Cal-Mex dish is usually credited to the Fresh MXN Chain formerly known as Santana’s.  Many San Diego locals still praise this establishment for having good and authentic California burritos even though some claim otherwise.


Where Can I Get it?


In San Diego, every Mexican restaurant and burrito stand sells some variation of a California Burrito. However, the quality of the burrito can vary drastically depending on the restaurant, so here are some of the best places to find a good California Burrito:


Nico’s Mexican Food: This franchise offers up your average-sized Cali Burrito, but what sets them apart from other places is their ability to blend the ingredients together. Surfers rave about this place and it is easily the go-to spot for many surfers to pick up their usual.


Roberto’s Mexican Food: This establishment, opened in 1964, was one of the first restaurants to start selling the Cali Burrito. Since its introduction to the menu, the Cali Burrito is made the same as it was years ago. Plus, patrons love that even though Roberto’s has shops all over San Diego, no matter what location they go to, their Cali Burrito is always the same.


Lucha Libre: They aren’t one of the original taco shops in San Diego, however, they quickly top the list as one the best. They’ve altered their California burrito slightly to create the Surfin’ California burrito. This version of the San Diego staple was included in an episode of Man v. Food.


Lolita’s: Since opening its doors, this restaurant has been cranking out awesome burritos. Lolita’s is said to be the establishment who popularized the Cali burrito. What separates their California burrito from other’s in the San Diego area is the Black Angus beef they use to make their carne asada.


Fresh MXN: Formerly known as Santana’s this chain restaurant is all over San Diego and are usually given credit for creating the California Burrito. However, many patrons debate whether the Cali Burrito produced by Fresh MXN is still as good as the original that Santana’s first put out. However, this restaurant has convenience over anything.


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