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California Burrito. Keri Bridgwater

15 California Burritos to Try Right Now in San Diego

Here’s where to find this San Diego classic

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Mention adding French fries to a burrito to someone from the Bay Area or Texas — anywhere really — and their reaction may be one of confusion. But whoever thinks carne asada and French fries don’t belong together forgets that meat and potatoes are a universal duo. Despite raised eyebrows from those not in the know, the California burrito was created in San Diego and is arguably the city’s most well-known dish.

And just like every real San Diegan knows where to find the best parking spots at the beach and which surface street routes to take to avoid afternoon traffic on the 805, every true local has a favorite spot for California burritos. The list below features some of our top picks.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sayulitas Mexican Food

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The Pac-Man and Lumpia burritos at Sayulita’s take the California burrito formula and incorporate in Filipino ingredients. The former loads tocino and chipotle sauce to the mix while the latter places the crispy fried rolls inside with the usual carne asada, fries, cheese, crema, and guacamole. The classic Cali is also worth a taste.

Super Sergio's

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This Convoy area drive-thru has one of the best California burritos north of the 8. Pull in for a classic Cali, with carne asada, fries cheese, and pico de gallo inside. With window service until 2 a.m., this is also one of the most accessible late-night eats in the area. South Bay residents need not make the long trek, as Super Sergios also has a location on Sweetwater Road in National City.

Rigoberto's Taco Shop

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A favorite of many Pacific Beach residents, you can find huge nachos and tasty burritos at this taco shop. Rigoberto’s California burrito is the perfect meal following a day at the beach or right before hitting the neighborhood’s rowdy bars. Featuring a drive-thru, weekend service runs through 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday to help you ease those late night munchies. The Southeast location on Federal Boulevard operates its drive-thru around the clock. 

La Perla Cocina

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While the standard California burrito at this Pacific Beach Mexican food stop deserves a spot on anyone’s list of favorites, the Oaxacalifornia Burrito is a truly unique take on the beloved local staple. The usual carne asada, fries, pico, and guacamole get wrapped inside a large Oaxaca cheese quesadilla that features gooey, stretchy Oaxaca cheese in every bite.

JV's Mexican Food

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A Morena Avenue institution, this taco shop keeps the area’s workforce and visitors well fed with its always dependable recipes. As one of the heftier entries on this lineup, JV’s is generous with the literal meat and potatoes inside its California Burrito while dispensing a good amount of guacamole and sour cream.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

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A California burrito made with juicy steak, thick fries and a chipotle crema quickly became the original Mission Hills location’s calling cards in the brand’s early days. The California burrito along with a slew of spin off variations, including birria, al pastor, “surfing” shrimp, and alambres still bring in customers, with crowds flocking to both the flagship and North Park locations.

El Pollo Grill

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Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this family-owned local chain specializing in preparing perfect poultry for tacos, salads and burritos. While other spots around town also swap proteins in their California burritos, El Pollo Grill’s chicken is a game changer when rolled into a tortillas with the usual French fries and melty cheese along with fresh guacamole and rich crema. El Pollo Grill also runs two South Bay locations, one on Bonita Road and the other in Otay Ranch.

El Pollo Grill’s classic California burrito
El Pollo Grill | Facebook

Humberto's Taco Shop

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The constant flow of faithful regulars and regulars for lunch and dinner are a testament to this 25th Street institution’s quality and consistency. Humberto’s Taco Shop offers one of San Diego’s finest California burritos, loading in the right ratio of fries, seasoned carne asada, and pico de gallo onto a flour tortilla. If you are east of the Golden Hill area, Humberto’s runs a sister location on 47th Street near the 805 exit.

California burrito at Humberto’s Phaedra Cook

Pokez Mexican Restaurant

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Pokez offers some of downtown San Diego’s best taco shop fare, along with vegetarian and vegan versions of burritos, roll tacos tacos, and more. The menu holds a solid California burrito for omnivores, with carne asada, fries, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream, as well as vegan variants that swap out the traditional cuts of beef for crispy tofu or Beyond Beef.

Adalberto's Mexican Food

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Tucked between downtown, Golden Hill, and Sherman Heights, Adalberto’s has one of the finest California burritos in the heart of the city. Its version wraps carne asada, fries, cheese, and fresh pico de gallo into a tortilla but leaves off the guacamole and sour cream.

¡Salud!

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This Barrio Logan icon features a California burrito, and a pretty good one at that, but the Califas taco is its must-order take on the San Diego-born meal. Carne asada, or your choice of protein, along with the classic burrito’s fillings and garnishes are placed atop smaller flour tortilla, which creates a new way to experience the tried and true dish.

Roberto's Taco Shop

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San Diego’s original taco shop is often credited with creating the California burrito and spawning the ubiquitous “-Berto’s” Mexican food genre. It’s only natural that Robertos does it right at its several locations around town, made with carne asada, French fries, chopped salsa, and cheddar cheese just like when the recipe was rolled out in the 80s. The surf and turf California, available at some locations, adds shrimp, pico, and a proprietary dressing into the mix to prove the originators can also build on the classic. 

Lolita's Mexican Food

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This taco shop empire hailing from the South Bay has some of the best fries in the game, meaning your California burrito will have the golden, crispy-fried goodness that many seek out. The quality of the beef and cheese is good too. Lolita’s operates seven local outposts, from Chula Vista to Kearny Mesa.

Asada Mexican Restaurant

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This Chula Vista favorite on Main Street features round-the-clock service and a drive-thru, making it easy for you to sate any possible 4 a.m. California burrito cravings. Asada’s slings a straightforward, no-frills take on the classic that makes it one of the most consistent choices in the South Bay.

Asada Mexican Restaurant

Don Pancho's Taco Shop

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Quick service and great burritos make this one of Imperial Beach’s top spots for taco shop fare. The California burrito here includes all the usual fixings along with a dab of sour cream. The house salsas are quite good too, so either green or red will pair well with your meal.

Sayulitas Mexican Food

The Pac-Man and Lumpia burritos at Sayulita’s take the California burrito formula and incorporate in Filipino ingredients. The former loads tocino and chipotle sauce to the mix while the latter places the crispy fried rolls inside with the usual carne asada, fries, cheese, crema, and guacamole. The classic Cali is also worth a taste.

Super Sergio's

This Convoy area drive-thru has one of the best California burritos north of the 8. Pull in for a classic Cali, with carne asada, fries cheese, and pico de gallo inside. With window service until 2 a.m., this is also one of the most accessible late-night eats in the area. South Bay residents need not make the long trek, as Super Sergios also has a location on Sweetwater Road in National City.

Rigoberto's Taco Shop

A favorite of many Pacific Beach residents, you can find huge nachos and tasty burritos at this taco shop. Rigoberto’s California burrito is the perfect meal following a day at the beach or right before hitting the neighborhood’s rowdy bars. Featuring a drive-thru, weekend service runs through 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday to help you ease those late night munchies. The Southeast location on Federal Boulevard operates its drive-thru around the clock. 

La Perla Cocina

While the standard California burrito at this Pacific Beach Mexican food stop deserves a spot on anyone’s list of favorites, the Oaxacalifornia Burrito is a truly unique take on the beloved local staple. The usual carne asada, fries, pico, and guacamole get wrapped inside a large Oaxaca cheese quesadilla that features gooey, stretchy Oaxaca cheese in every bite.

JV's Mexican Food

A Morena Avenue institution, this taco shop keeps the area’s workforce and visitors well fed with its always dependable recipes. As one of the heftier entries on this lineup, JV’s is generous with the literal meat and potatoes inside its California Burrito while dispensing a good amount of guacamole and sour cream.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

A California burrito made with juicy steak, thick fries and a chipotle crema quickly became the original Mission Hills location’s calling cards in the brand’s early days. The California burrito along with a slew of spin off variations, including birria, al pastor, “surfing” shrimp, and alambres still bring in customers, with crowds flocking to both the flagship and North Park locations.

El Pollo Grill

El Pollo Grill’s classic California burrito
El Pollo Grill | Facebook

Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this family-owned local chain specializing in preparing perfect poultry for tacos, salads and burritos. While other spots around town also swap proteins in their California burritos, El Pollo Grill’s chicken is a game changer when rolled into a tortillas with the usual French fries and melty cheese along with fresh guacamole and rich crema. El Pollo Grill also runs two South Bay locations, one on Bonita Road and the other in Otay Ranch.

El Pollo Grill’s classic California burrito
El Pollo Grill | Facebook

Humberto's Taco Shop

California burrito at Humberto’s Phaedra Cook

The constant flow of faithful regulars and regulars for lunch and dinner are a testament to this 25th Street institution’s quality and consistency. Humberto’s Taco Shop offers one of San Diego’s finest California burritos, loading in the right ratio of fries, seasoned carne asada, and pico de gallo onto a flour tortilla. If you are east of the Golden Hill area, Humberto’s runs a sister location on 47th Street near the 805 exit.

California burrito at Humberto’s Phaedra Cook

Pokez Mexican Restaurant

Pokez offers some of downtown San Diego’s best taco shop fare, along with vegetarian and vegan versions of burritos, roll tacos tacos, and more. The menu holds a solid California burrito for omnivores, with carne asada, fries, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream, as well as vegan variants that swap out the traditional cuts of beef for crispy tofu or Beyond Beef.

Adalberto's Mexican Food

Tucked between downtown, Golden Hill, and Sherman Heights, Adalberto’s has one of the finest California burritos in the heart of the city. Its version wraps carne asada, fries, cheese, and fresh pico de gallo into a tortilla but leaves off the guacamole and sour cream.

¡Salud!

This Barrio Logan icon features a California burrito, and a pretty good one at that, but the Califas taco is its must-order take on the San Diego-born meal. Carne asada, or your choice of protein, along with the classic burrito’s fillings and garnishes are placed atop smaller flour tortilla, which creates a new way to experience the tried and true dish.

Roberto's Taco Shop

San Diego’s original taco shop is often credited with creating the California burrito and spawning the ubiquitous “-Berto’s” Mexican food genre. It’s only natural that Robertos does it right at its several locations around town, made with carne asada, French fries, chopped salsa, and cheddar cheese just like when the recipe was rolled out in the 80s. The surf and turf California, available at some locations, adds shrimp, pico, and a proprietary dressing into the mix to prove the originators can also build on the classic. 

Lolita's Mexican Food

This taco shop empire hailing from the South Bay has some of the best fries in the game, meaning your California burrito will have the golden, crispy-fried goodness that many seek out. The quality of the beef and cheese is good too. Lolita’s operates seven local outposts, from Chula Vista to Kearny Mesa.

Asada Mexican Restaurant

Asada Mexican Restaurant

This Chula Vista favorite on Main Street features round-the-clock service and a drive-thru, making it easy for you to sate any possible 4 a.m. California burrito cravings. Asada’s slings a straightforward, no-frills take on the classic that makes it one of the most consistent choices in the South Bay.

Asada Mexican Restaurant

Don Pancho's Taco Shop

Quick service and great burritos make this one of Imperial Beach’s top spots for taco shop fare. The California burrito here includes all the usual fixings along with a dab of sour cream. The house salsas are quite good too, so either green or red will pair well with your meal.

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