written by Julie Lee | photo courtesy of Cha Taqueria & Bar
Let’s be honest, most of us have let idle our New Year’s resolutions already, and we’re back to eating real food and chugging craft beers. Nothing is more satisfying on a cold, wet Portland day than a big, bumpin’ burrito. Here are some favorites.
Tienda Y Panaderia Santa Cruz
Located in back of a St. John’s grocery store, this joint isn’t fancy, has limited seating, and churns out some of the best darn authentic Mexican food around. The carnitas burrito with avocado sauce is legendary, every delicious bite compensating for any lack of ambience.
8630 N. Lombard
Cha Taqueria & Bar
Owner Javier Hurtado is a local icon and firmly committed to the farm-to-table concept. With on-site fresh salsa, organically grown vegetables, naturally raised meats and sustainable seafood, Cha Cha Cha Taqueria offers a fresh, healthy burrito option. Our favorite is the gigantic burrito del mar, stuffed with fresh seafood.
305 NW 21st Ave. and six other locations | chataqueria.com
Located on an island of misfit food carts (just three carts in a SW Portland parking lot) is an authentic, hunger-satiating burrito in our value category. The carne asada burrito with rice is our pick and worth any wait in line. It’s no-frills, tasty and a cool $6.
804 SW 12th Ave.
Bo Kwon’s Koi Fusion
Speaking of food carts, if you haven’t heard of Koi Fusion’s Portland takeover, you haven’t been paying attention. What started as (another) food cart in 2009 is now three locations, two trucks, a catering division and a national spotlight, featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times and CNN. Build your own Korean, Mexican fusion burrito bomb with any of the regular fixings plus a kimchi alternative, then choose your meat from a variety of mouthwatering options including Kali short ribs, bulgolgi BBQ beef, thinly sliced pork or chicken, and spicy tofu for the veggie-heads.
Yes, Canyon Grill is a burger joint, one of the best in the city. A little-known tip is that owners Perry and Opal also serve up one of the best burritos in town as a house special, the aptly named Big AZZ Burrito. This is either a challenge or two meals: a monster burrito stuffed with house-made, slow simmered pork verde, tater tots, avocado, sour cream and cheese, spilling over north and south ends of the plate and dominating taste buds. Pair it with the grown-up root beer float, boasting a 5.5% alcohol content, and you’ve successfully yet deliciously waved adios to those resolutions for another year.
8825 SW Canyon Rd. | thecanyongrill.com