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Best California Burrito in San Diego

  • 5 min read

Best California Burrito in San Diego

The California burrito is not just the signature dish of San Diego, it’s the epitome of the San Diego lifestyle. A California Burrito (also referred to as Cali Burrito) is a type of burrito that originated in San Diego, California. It typically consists of carne asada, sour cream, guac, cheese, and french fries all wrapped up in a large tortilla.

On our SanDiegoHumor Instagram stories, we asked our followers where their favorite California Burrito was in San Diego. We had over 600 votes, and after aggregating all of the submissions ... we have the results for the top restaurants for the best California burrito in San Diego.

1. Lolita’s Mexican Food 

(51 votes)

Lolita's is a nice cafe-style restaurant with an upscale feel. San Diegans agree that Lolita’s California burritos are the best. One of the things that makes them special is that fact that they use skinny-cut fries instead of thick-cut fries. This gives them a lot more crunch to the bite and helps to ensure that the meat to fries ratio is perfect. And speaking of the meat, it’s exceptionally well seasoned. Order the California burrito with the guacamole, which is fresh and flavorful. If you still have room after finishing off the burrito, try the churros for dessert. They’re also pretty incredible.

2. The Taco Stand

(37 votes)

The California burritos at the Taco Stand have cheese toasted directly onto the tortilla, giving them a unique and extra-special flavor. The beef is exquisitely seasoned. The sauces are really unforgettable, especially the avocado, habanero, and chipotle sauces. And it doesn’t hurt that these things come with a lot of cheese. All of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together instead of clumped into one side, and that produces a powerful, even explosive, flavor and a much more enjoyable meal. The California burritos are fairly large, too, and a lot of people end up with leftovers.

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3. Mike’s Taco Club (OB) / Harry's Taco Club (PB)

(36 votes)

There’s a lot of hype out there about Mike’s California burritos, and the hype is truly warranted. The carne asada is really juicy and grilled to perfection. The fries are seasoned, and this adds a really nice touch to the classic Cali burrito taste. The Surf and Turf California burrito comes with shrimp that is well-cooked and very flavorful. The chipotle sauce is out of this world. Mike’s is also famous for its margaritas and its horchata. In 2020, Mike's Taco Club opened another location called 'Harry's Taco Club' located in Pacific Beach. The PB location is right next to our favorite bar in PB, Cass Street Bar & Grill. 

4. Roberto’s Taco Shop 

(33 votes)

What makes the California burritos at Roberto’s really stand apart is the carne asada. It is perfectly seasoned, and gives the burrito a distinct and memorable flavor. The cheese is done a little differently than most other restaurants do it. Instead of being finely grated, the cheese is coarsely grated, sometimes even lumpy. There is a good balance between meat and fries. The spicy red salsa is one of the best salsas in the whole San Diego area.

5. Ortiz’s Taco Shop

(21 votes)

Ortiz’s is a hidden gem of a Mom and Pop place that makes a truly memorable California burrito. The carne asada is quite tender and well seasoned. The cheese is a high-quality, tasty soft cheese that really complements the other ingredients. The fries are nice and crispy, and surprisingly flavorful. The horchata here is also incredible, and makes for a good accompaniment to the California burrito.

6. Nico’s Mexican Food

(17 votes)

Nico’s is a great spot to get beach food, especially if that beach food is a California burrito. There’s not a lot of room inside, but service is fast and the beach is nearby, so it’s best to get your order to go. The California burritos are large, of course, but what makes them special is the balance of the ingredients. Nico’s gets the balance just right and, as a result, it has one of the best California burritos in San Diego and, therefore, the world. The salsa are also incredible, especially the green one.

7. La Perla Concina

(17 votes)

La Perla has a wonderful small, cozy café ambience. It also has what locals consider to be one of the best California burritos around. La Perla’s classic California burrito has well-seasoned, flavorful carne asada and delightfully crispy fries. It also has the perfect cheese: gooey enough to melt around and stick to all of the other ingredients, giving the burrito the perfect texture and flavor. If you want to try something a little different, try to Oaxaca California burrito, which is basically a standard Cali burrito wrapped in a quesadilla. This is also a great place for side dishes, which are always fresh and flavorful.

8. Vallarta Express

(14 votes)

Vallarta Express is famous for its tasty salsas, particularly its green and orange salsas. It’s also famous for doing the classic California burrito just right. It doesn’t have any special exotic ingredients. Instead, it makes the most of the classic Cali burrito fillings. The burrito is packed with carne asada which is nice and juicy, the fries are cooked to a perfect crispy texture, and the pico de gallo has a fresh and subtle flavor. Taken all together, they produce a burrito that is more than the sum of its components.

9. Lucha Libre Taco Shop

(14 votes)

This place has a fun, unique “Mexican wrestling” ambiance. Here you can savor several variations on the California burrito. Of course, the Classic California Steak Burrito is our go-to but there’s the Pluckin’ California burrito, for example, which is made of chicken, pico de gallo, fries, cheese, and avocado. It’s best enjoyed with the restaurant’s legendary cilantro crema sauce. If you want something with a powerful, savory chile marinade, try the Adobada California burrito. If you want to try something really different, though, go with the Surfin’ California burrito. It has shrimp and carne asada, pico de gallo, cheese, fries, avocado, and a tasty secret sauce.