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Thursday, January 5, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Burritos

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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El Metate. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • El Metate.
7. El Metate

Apart from the fact that El Metate's dining room, with its faux-finish walls and thick wood tables, is the kind of place we enjoy hanging out at over a book or conversation, the taqueria makes a mean SF burrito. El Metate rolls them tight, which means you're rarely stuck with a mouthful of pure rice. Whether black or pinto, the beans are always good enough to pick out, creamy and meaty (in the figurative sense), and the al pastor and the steak are solid.

La Alteña. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • La Alteña.

6. Taqueria La Alteña

La Alteña, a pleasant enough space whose back door leads into the Mission Market, makes it onto the top rankings for two specialties. Its chorizo, torridly spiced, emitting blasts of cumin and garlic, is always worth building a burrito around. And La Alteña's one of the few taquerias to offer proper pork al pastor -- spit-roasted pork coated in a bright-red marinade. And that pastor: fatty enough to survive a re-crisping on the griddle, densely porky, with the barest hint of sweetness, is so rich that SFoodie never bothers with super-ing our burrito out with sour cream or cheese.

El Toro. - PECANPIEGUY/FLICKR

5. El Toro Taqueria

If you asked SFoodie where you could find the archetypal Mission burrito, we'd have to point you to El Toro, Pancho Villa's smaller, faster sister taqueria, which has been our ol' reliable for two decades. The carnitas isn't so great here, and we've never understood the appeal of a mole burrito, but the pollo asado and al pastor soak up a lot of marinade before the meats make it to the grill, and the beans and rice are always solid. The burrito rollers spoon on enough cilnatro'd-up pico de gallo to give the burrito a bright, oniony crunch, augmented by whatever you find on the salsa bar.

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