The south has barbecue. New England has lobster rolls. And New Mexico has burritos smothered in our signature red or green (chile). We love burritos here, and our local eateries have created as many versions as there are places to eat them. The first Thursday of April marks National Burrito Day. It may be a made-up holiday, but we’re all for it. Here are eight of the best burritos from across the state, no foolin’.
1. Cocina Azul, Albuquerque
Diners flock to this New Mexican food joint with several locations across the Duke City for Frank Sr.’s red and green chile, which has won fans far beyond the city limits. When it comes to burritos, the Cocina Azul chefs don’t skimp. They load up hearty plate-sized dishes with slow-roasted ribeye steak, juicy brisket, or carne adovada (pork cushion marinated in Hatch red chile).
2. The Pantry, Santa Fe
The Pantry has been a City Different staple since it opened in 1948, and, in pre-pandemic times at least, diners would often encounter lines out the door on the weekends. The long queue is worth it for the restaurant’s menu of New Mexican favorites. The Pantry’s smothered burrito comes with a choice of beef, chicken, or tender carne adovada. If that doesn’t pack enough punch, add some green chile cheese fries on the side.
3. Tia Sophia’s, Santa Fe
This family-owned and operated eatery just off the Plaza consistently wins fans for its piquant chile sauce, which is smothered on just about everything it serves including burritos. The standard burrito line-up includes a choice of ground beef, chicken, ground beef and beans, bean, or rice and beans. However, there are also several weekly specials worth planning for, including Monday’s shredded beef burrito with bell peppers, onions, and tomato sauce.
4. Antonio’s The Taste of Mexico
In Taos, diners get a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine along with New Mexico favorites at Antonio’s. When it comes to burritos, the menu always dishes out the burrito supremo with choice of chicken, grass fed beef, or calabacitas piled high with sour cream, beans, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, and red or green chile. However, be on the lookout for specials like a lobster burrito when Mexico’s coastal cuisine meets New Mexico’s traditional chile.
5. El Parasol, Española
What started in 1958 with two brothers selling their mother’s beef tacos and red pork tamales under an umbrella on an Española street blossomed into a family dynasty with restaurants in multiple communities. But the mothership remains in Española, where diners can enjoy a variety of burrito varieties from vegetarian bean to chicharron.
6. The Range Café, Bernalillo
The Range is known for its comfort fare and ample portions, and its burritos are no exception. Burritos swimming in chile are stuffed with arroz verde, pinto beans, white cheddar and a choice of calabacitas, shredded beef, chicken, or carne adovada. While you’re visiting the Bernalillo location, check out the restaurant’s collection of signed plates with celebrity signatures from Ted Danson to Brian Cranston.
7. Teofilo’s Restaurant, Los Lunas
Set in a 1913 home, this family-run restaurant uses recipes that stand the test of time. Everything is as authentic as abuela’s cuisine. The burrito starts with a local flour tortilla and can be filled with ground beef, refried beans, shredded chicken, or calabacitas. It’s served with refried beans, rice, and two light and puffy sopaipillas.
8. Josafina’s Old Gate, Mesilla
This restaurant is housed in the former home of Josefina Gamboa Biel, who opened her residence to countless friends, family, and tourists over the 35 years she lived there. That homey ambiance still prevails in the adobe abode and influences the restaurant’s menu. The Burrito Fresca Plate comes with a refreshing combination of Spanish rice, whole beans, avocado, cheese, lettuce, homemade salsa, beans, and rice. You can add on meat to this vegetarian burrito if you wish.
From Taos to Mesilla and all points in between, these are the burritos that top our list. What are your favorite takes on this classic dish?