Nate Silver’s burrito bracket collected 64 great burritos from across the country, and with a dedicated burrito journalist, FiveThirtyEight took on a mission to find the best burrito in America.
Armed with a statistical guide to burrito awesomeness Anna Maria Berry-Jester narrowed the bracket down to four, and finally declared a winner: La Taqueria in San Francisco.
Any Angeleno can tell you that the best of the burrito bracket is in our own backyard -- the L.A. picks from Barry-Jester’s list all had scores high enough to be contenders in the finals, had they not been knocked out early in killer bracket, any many other SoCal greats were excluded from the list completely.
Garrett Snyder, associate editor at LA Magazine, recommends Al & Beas and Mexicanos 30-30. He says that Boyle Heights is LA's burrito epicenter, and that the Wilmington/Long Beach area has a vast collection of all-star breakfast burritos.
"The first place to ever have a burrito on their menu was actually El Cholo, in the 30s," Snyder says. Since then, Southern California burritos have come a long way, with a burrito roster that has grown to include Korean-infused burritos, sushi burritos, and more.
How do SoCal burritos stand out from others across the state? Snyder says that San Francisco's mission-style burritos are more "everything but the kitchen sink" than L.A.'s more "minimalist" offerings. San Diego sets itself apart with true "California" burritos, an "intermingling of American culture, Tex-Mex, and Mexican culture," with more Americanized burritos that sometimes include fries.
We want to know about the greatest burritos here in the L.A. area: the simplest bean and cheeses, masterfully cooked meats, innovative fusion, and succulent seafood.
Should there be rice in burritos? Avocado? Can breakfast burritos compete alongside the best of the rest? Where have you found your most beloved Southern California burritos?
Didn't find what you were looking for in the quiz? Tell us where you get your favorite burrito in the comments below. And check out all of these options that our listeners recommended.
Garrett Snyder, associate food editor at Los Angeles Magazine