8 Reasons SD California Burritos Are Inferior to SF Mission Burritos

Joe Starkey/Natalie Holtz
Joe Starkey/Natalie Holtz

It seems somewhat far-fetched to even acknowledge that there's a plausible debate to be had about this matter, but the people of San Diego -- having apparently tired of strictly eating Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax containers -- supposedly also do burritos. And they somehow have the adorable audacity to think their burritos are better than ours. So I will counter that argument with a little something I like to call "logic" and "irrefutable factual evidence." To wit:

Joe Starkey

1. Ours improve on the original

Nobody looks at the first iPhone and thinks, "man, I’m really pining for the days when my phone only got HTML email." Meat, cheese, and salsa are great. But you know what’s better? Meat, cheese, salsa, guacamole, rice, beans, and sour cream. In math circles, it’s called addition by addition, I think.

Flickr/Elise Dicharry

2. Plus, San Diego didn't even have them first

Historians trace the rise of burritos in the United States to El Cholo Spanish cafe in LA in the '30s. Both San Francisco and San Diego got them in the 1960s, despite us being hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the source. You can literally pole vault to Mexico if you’ve got a good walking stick and a pair of decent Tevas. What’s your excuse, San Diego? You can't always be surfing.


3. Our style is everywhere

If it’s true that mimicry is the highest form of flattery, then we have hit the flattery apex, which might explain why our style is the most imitated and popular burrito style IN THE WORLD. Maybe you’ve heard of Chipotle? The best you can do is put 40 Roberto’s in Las Vegas, and THAT DOESN’T EVEN COUNT THE ONES IN HENDERSON.

Flickr/John Dalton

4. Even math favors us

FiveThirtyEight Editor in Chief/statistician Nate Silver uses "statistical analysis to tell compelling stories." One of these compelling stories involved analyzing data on 67K restaurants to find the 64 best burritos in the country. And then he made a burrito bracket, and tasted them all. And guess who won? I’ll give you a hint: NOT A PLACE IN SAN DIEGO.

Joe Starkey

5. Foil > no foil

Aluminum foil helps keep your burrito warm, and holds it together when all of that oozing meat and cheese heaven starts to mix into some sort of gastronomical alchemy of the gods. Also, you can make an effing beautiful foil swan when you’re done, and celebrate art. When San Diego burritos fall apart in your hands, SD residents have no choice but to wipe the detritus on their vanity license plates and Frog’s gym memberships.

Flickr/eric molina

6. California burritos are gross 

There, I said it. I know everyone in this age of frankenfood loves to Instagram pictures of food combinations and be like "OH CRAP, BUT NOW IMAGINE IT WITH BACON! #BACONLYFE," but guess what? Just stuffing fries inside a burrito does not a burrito make. The fries get soggy, and take up space that could be filled with carnitas, or some other actual flavorful item. If you want extra calories, here’s a delicious idea: get another burrito.

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

7. It's very personal

My dad has lived in San Diego since I was 14, so I’ve got long experience in the SoCal burrito game, and -- with the exception of a few admittedly decent places -- burrito complacency exists hard. Meanwhile, the fight for best Mission burrito rages on every day. People in SF battle about it in a very personal way. Are you an El Farolito guy? Taqueria Cancun? La Taqueria? SF residents demand to know where your allegiances lie because they’re that passionate about it. San Diego residents only demand to know if they can get a bonus gas tank in their Hummer so that they can actually drive the 110 minutes from their home in El Cajon to Sorrento Valley to experience the new food truck trend.


8. A piece of advice

Stick to those cute little fish tacos you do, San Diego. Those are actually pretty good.

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Kevin Alexander is Thrillist's Food/Drink Executive Editor and has been into La Taqueria since, like, the '90s. Follow him to the table with all the hot sauces @KAlexander03.