Apart from maybe craft beers, nothing has taken off in Ireland in the last 5 years quite like the burrito. What began as an exotic Mexican wrap is now a staple part of any self-respecting young Irish student’s diet. I have eaten many burritos in my time, including burritos from La Mission in San Francisco, the alleged birthplace of the burrito we know and love today. I’ve had good burritos, dodgy burritos and everything in between. I’ve tried America’s infamous ‘Chipotle’ (massively over-rated) and I’ve travelled far and wide across this fair city to bring you this list of the top 5 burritos in Dublin (in my humble opinion).
The only stand-alone restaurant on this list, Mama’s Revenge on Nassau Street is a favourite haunt of Trinity College students. The setting is great, really intimate with one of the walls covered in messages written in marker by happy customers. Personally, a little bit over-priced and a lack of options brings this down but it’s still less than a tenner and the burritos are comfortably the biggest you will get on this list so bonus points for that.
Pablo Picante’s has three locations across the city centre at Clarendon Street, Temple Bar and Baggot Street. As opposed to some of its competitors, Picante’s has set burritos on its menu which isn’t really something I enjoy but thankfully they’re excellent. Only try the ‘Super Picante’ dressing if you’re feeling brave!
Burritos and Blues suffers in my eyes by dint of the fact that their Wexford Street branch is situated across the road from the Boojum on Kevin Street. It is often that you’ll see a queue out the door at Boojum and empty seats in B&B which is a shame because they do some good stuff. They have also done some good marketing over the years, with last year seeing them giving out “free burritos” in exchange for a voluntary donation to charity. They also run a great promotion on Wednesdays wherein the customer gets their burrito for free if they correctly call heads or tails on a coin toss. A really smart and innovative way to attract impoverished but plucky students from DIT Aungier & Kevin Street which are within walking distance. Portions are a little small but apart from that, this place gets the thumbs up from me. The other branch is to be found in the IFSC.
Here it is. The big one. A debate that has separated people for generations. Boojum or Tolteca? I have flip-flopped between the two for a few years but at the moment Boojum is taking the silver medal. Having studied in Aungier Street, I have eaten in the Kevin Street branch more times than I care to mention. I’ve actually never bothered to walk across town to try their branch on Abbey Street but the one on the Millenium Walkway is also nice. The reasons I rate Tolteca higher are that the quality in Boojum seems to have slipped recently. The wraps fall apart easier than Tolteca’s, the chicken seems to have gotten fattier and finally, the fact that they don’t offer tortilla chips as a filling. The loyalty card system which awards a free burrito with every ten purchased and a free t-shirt after 40 coupled with a competitive student discount has young scholars coming back in their droves.
Some people say that you shouldn’t trust the bigger companies for quality because they are mass-producing everything but I think Tolteca are nailing it. Of all the places mentioned, this is the only one where I have been to every establishment, of which there are four. The original on Suffolk Street is another Trinity favourite, while the others are located on Baggot Street (conveniently placed beside two busy pubs), Rathmines and Camden Street. Going in the opposite direction to Boojum, I think Tolteca have really upped their game in the last year or so. The wraps are the right consistency, they offer so many fillings (including tortilla chips!) and the food is reasonably priced. Long may it continue.