Chipotle Closes Free Food Loophole, Starts Charging for Side Tortillas

"Yeah, I'll have a burrito bowl with a side of heartbreak."

Chipotle burrito bowl
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Chipotle superfans know a thing or two about hacking the menu. Despite its reputation as the home of overpriced guacamole, the fast-casual Mexican chain has historically offered plenty of workarounds to get more bang for your buck: extra rice and beans come free of charge, veggie dishes include guac, and there's no limit to the number of salsas you can pile onto your meal.

Chipotle has officially shut down one particularly beautiful loophole, though, marking an end to the burrito bowl's glory days. Before now, hungry customers could order a burrito bowl, which holds more filling than a burrito, and ask for a warm tortilla on the side, which came at no added charge. This prevented people from having to choose between the heftiness of a burrito bowl and the tasty carbs of a burrito. Why pick one when you can enjoy the best of both?

As of Monday, the free side tortilla ceased to exist. In its place? A 25-cent tortilla on the side. One single quarter is a small price to pay, but painful nonetheless.

chipotle app shows $0.25 charge for side tortillas
At this point, tortillas might as well appear in the "Side" category. | Chipotle

What does this change mean for devotees of the burrito-bowl-with-a-side-tortilla?

Realistically, probably nothing, because $0.25 is just cheap enough to make it worth it. But that doesn't pardon Chipotle for cracking down on the shortcuts that kept its most loyal customers satisfied. We won't soon forget this.

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist who ordered a burrito bowl with a free side tortilla on Sunday night without realizing how blessed he was. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.