Can some of you give me your top choices for a proper Mission burrito?

Chowseeker I hope you don’t mind

I too will be going up north in the months to come so this thread has been helpful. Looking at some airbnb’s the other day.

Can some of you give me your top choices for a proper Mission burrito?

@beefnoguy, I know I want to eat at Hakka, any recs for Canto food?

Taqueria La Cumbre is the granddaddy of the Mission Burrito in the same way Philippe’s is supposedly the granddaddy of the French Dip.

But for my money, the time spent in line, as well as the excess calories, it’s La Taqueria in the Mission District.

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Per my brother, from the Mission itself:

La Taqueria on missionary at 26th. Taqueria cancun at Mission and 18th-ish. El farlito at 2mission and 24th are my top 3 picks in that order.

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All kinda gringo places. SF can’t hold a candle to LA for traditional Mexican.

Though come to think of it, Mission-style burritos are kinda gringo.

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La Cumbre was my favorite but it’s not what it once was.

The Mission-style burrito originated at El Faro.

Not replying to you Robert or Jeet. Just got stuck here from Chowseekers thread, /Why would you waste time standing in line for a Mission Style burrito . Limited time it would be at the bottom of the list coming from LA .

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Thirty years ago I didn’t find Mission-style burritos to be at all ‘gringo-ish’ as we were the only gringos in those places. And now at Tahoe we have a place where, once again, we’re the only gringos.

El Faro invented the Mission-style burrito in 1961. La Cumbre opened in 1967. They were the first to add carne asada, sometime in the mid-70s.

6/6/2018, updating with a working link:

Which Mission-style burrito place didn’t have gringos in 1987? La Cumbre certainly did. They were invented to please gringos.

The places where I’d see mostly Mexicans were more about tacos.

When we went to El Faro and La Cumbre we were the only gringos.

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When I went to La Cumbre at least twice a week in the 70s it was mostly gringos lining up. When I lived around the corner from the original El Faro around '76 I was usually the only customer, which didn’t surprise me since La Cumbre was so much better. Damn, I wish I had a time machine. I went not long ago out of curiosity and it was sadly disappointing.

I like El Burrito Express 2 on Divisadero for burritos. They do a great job making sure each bite gets a bit of each component, and they offer nice hunks of fresh avocado if you please (as opposed to guacamole). I’m with Robert though. To satisfy my pent up Mexican cravings I usually have to wait until I’m visiting LA. I’ve been disappointed more times than I can count with mexican in SF.

I moved up here in 1985 and La Cumbre was da bomb. “Next for esteak, next for esteak.” Since it seemed like 80% of the people ordered just steak burritos, there was a dedicated person most of the time. I now stop in maybe once every 5 years and it is, as you say, sadly disappointing. Those burritos, along with $2.95 five spice chicken at Nhu’s, got me through school on my lack of even enough money for a budget.


Here are some of my favorites (more like HK style food)

Golden Gate Bakery in SF Chinatown for the daan taat, but call before going. I walked by last night and the owners decided to shutter for 2 weeks vacation. Not sure when this 2 weeks starts or ends. It’s even more expensive that Tai Cheong (though cookie crust, unlike GG’s puff pastry that’s not as puffy as before) in Hong Kong…$1.75 a piece here, but very very tasty.

Tak Kee Lee (Noriega) in the Sunset - hit them up for breakfast. You can customize your noodle bowl with upwards of 3 items. Satay beef, pork chop, pickled mustard greens pork strips, zacai pork strip, sunny fried egg, spam, with either rice noodles (mai fun) or instant noodles are very solid, hit the spot and fantastic value. If the older guy with glasses is at the cashier (he makes the drinks), the HK style lemon tea is the best in town. Otherwise HK milk tea very good and ditto for their milk tea coffee. If you miss the breakfast, their lemongrass fried chicken wing rice plate is ridiculously good. Mostly Cantonese expat locals. If you like Cantonese shui gow, Ming Tai a few doors down is not bad for that.

Yum’s Bistro (Fremont) - it’s further away from SF but it’s the best in town for anything from seafood to stir fry.

Marco Polo Gelato (Taraval street) - this is so uniquely fun and SF. If you love durian, their durian gelato is ridiculously good. If not, try their Chinese dragonwell green tea flavor, black sesame (my favorite). They also have jackfruit, lychee, guava, taro, red bean. Up the street from there is Smile House Cafe which is probably the best HK cafe that focuses on fun funky fusion. Don’t expect good service there. The HK style Hainan Chicken Rice is decent, and their tom yum baked spaghetti is great. If you like ox tongue, try the ox tongue spaghetti in spicy tomato sauce, quite fun. And their signature cold milk tea in a bottle resting in a bucket of ice is nicely done. No iced coffee here though.

Dragon Beaux in SF (on Geary Blvd) for dim sum. Go early (a bit before they open).

If you must do Koi Palace, Dublin and Milpitas locations are better bets, though a lot further away.

Ming Kee on Ocean is an interesting neighborhood roasties deli. If you have quota to spare, do a roasties combo rice plate but more importantly go for the soy sauce chicken (the non range chicken will be plumper and meatier). Cha siu is ok but they slice it thin. Ming is one of very few roasties butchers who is actually a HK expat (and not Toishanese form China). On the way there you will pass by Zanze’s cheesecake, if somehow they are open and have inventory, their cheesecakes are so damn good, and oftentimes even lighter than many Japanese style cheesecakes (you have to cut it with a floss line…) Pick up a small and try it.


I think that post belongs in Where to eat in SF?

Depending on traffic, Yum’s Bistro is 45 to 90 minutes from SF Civic Center.

Zanze’s is great and I’ve never had cheesecake like it. Best to call ahead and reserve one.

I can’t believe I missed this. Papalote is the best burrito in SF by far imo. Try the grilled chicken super burrito with refried black beans and plenty of orange salsa in the side.

I cut my teeth on the carne asada burrito at La Cumbre but it’s a shadow of its former self.

La Taqueria is a popular rec … by people who do not like burritos. It’s fine but nowhere near the best and not truly Mission style.

Yeah, you’d think that it had changed hands, but when I went a couple of years ago it was still owned by the son of the original owners.

Just saw this. I hate that. Back 25 years ago it was our go-to place.