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The Eight Best Burritos in the San Gabriel Valley

A juicy birria burrito, a slow-cooked carnitas burrito, and even a satisfying surf-n-turf shrimp-asada burrito for those who want it all, here are our favorite flour tortilla-wrapped masterpieces in the big bad S.G.V.

3:00 PM PST on January 30, 2024

The birria burrito at Alma Delias.

The birria burrito at Alma Delias.

Here are the best burritos in the San Gabriel Valley. 

Spanning almost 400 square miles, the S.G.V. presents a daunting task for narrowing down the best of any specific dish, let alone burritos. Between South Pasadena and Pomona, there are over 4.1 million people and 30 cities, each boasting dozens of burrito joints.

But only a few reign supreme. 

Why? 

The S.G.V. is home to a sizeable Latino population, including many high-profile ones. So what better place than the San Gabriel Valley to find the best flour tortilla-wrapped masterpieces, in addition to all those delicious dumplings and the zillions of other things this region is famous for? 

Here, you’ll find various burritos, some simple and straightforward, others more elaborate, with specialty ingredients and housemade salsas. Whatever happens to be your vibe, the next time you’re in the mood for a portable hot meal, check out one of these eight best S.G.V. burritos.  

Carnitas Burrito - Taqueria Periban
A carnitas burrito at Taquería Periban. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

Taquería Periban ~ South El Monte

Located in the heart of South El Monte’s industrial district, Taquería Periban serves many Mexican dishes, including quesadillas, tortas, sopes, huaraches, tostadas, nachos, and breakfast items. Or you can simply buy their meat by the pound to take home and do with them what you wish. Depending on which day you go, they also have daily specials and discounts, plus changing aguas frescas del dia. 

That said, we’re not exaggerating when we say everyone must try their burritos at least once. You can get those stuffed with asada, pastor, pollo, machaca, or chorizo. Still, we suggest the carnitas burrito, which is filled with cuero (skin) and buche (stomach), along with onions, cilantro, rice, and beans. The meat is incredibly tender and melt-in-your-mouth juicy, elevated by the charred sear found on the flour tortillas. While great by themselves, the burritos get even better with an assist from the spicy salsa verde.

2129 Chico Ave. South El Monte, CA 91733; Closest transit line: Metro Line 287 - “Rush & Chico Stop.” 

The birria burrito at Alma Delias.
The birria burrito at Alma Delias. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

Alma Delias ~ La Puente

Facing a railroad track on Valley Boulevard, Alma Delias is a warm family establishment with a classic diner feel that makes it perfect for meeting other community members. It’s well-known for tacos and pozole, but you can’t miss out on the burritos either. The specialty birria burrito features super tender meat swimming in juices between the tortilla folds, among a spread of rice, beans, onions, and cilantro. But what makes this stop special is a unique green cucumber salsa, which made this otherwise heavyweight burrito – both in content and size – light and refreshing, resounding with spice and the zip of a little twist of lime. We paired it with their refreshing amaica, which was just the right amount of sweet.

15835 Old Valley Blvd. La Puente, CA 91744; Closest transit line: Foothill 194 - “Stimson Ave & 2nd St Stop.” 

Surf n' turf burrito at La Bufadora Baja Grill. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

La Bufadora Baja Grill ~ Montebello

Located on Via Campo, right next to the 60 freeway, La Bufadora is best known for its seafood tacos. Some of its classics are the tacos with shrimp, fish, or potato, but their burritos offer similar power with just more to love. The menu stocks a melange of meat and seafood burritos, with asada, pastor, chicken, carnitas, shrimp, and fish for you to pick. But why be forced to choose when you can achieve perfection in its surf n’ turf burrito. We like pairing shrimp with asada, which will come wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with beans, rice, cheese, cabbage, onions, cilantro, and tomato. Add the holy trinity to your meal: green salsa, guacamole, and an agua fresca. And best believe it: they don’t skimp here–you will be cleaning up a mess after the first bite.

2809 Via Campo Unit H Montebello, CA 90640; Closest transit line: Metro Line 106 - “Via Campo & Garfield Stop.” 

Pollo Burrito - El Pilon
A pollo burrito at El Pilon. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

El Pilon ~ West Covina

Facing the Regal Edwards movie theater in West Covina’s downtown, El Pilon is a half-market, half-sit-down restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine. Their burritos form the menu's staples and come filled with rice, beans, onions, cilantro, and your choice of meat. We recommend the chicken burrito, which has a unique seasoning to the meat that gives it the flavor it needs. They also offer lunch combos with quesadillas, tostadas, sopes, and other antojitos if you want larger plates. Plus, you can browse the market while waiting for your food, scouring through all the chips, candy, juice, and soda essentials you might need to complete your meal.

322 S. Glendora Ave. West Covina, CA 91790; Closest transit line: Metro Line 178 - “Valinda Aven & Glendora Ave Stop.” 

A platillo Especial at Burritos La Palma.
A platillo Especial at Burritos La Palma. Photo via Eddie Ruiz.

Burritos La Palma ~ El Monte

Burritos La Palma is located in El Monte’s Norwood Village and is the perfect option for the straightforward, no-frills eater. With just ten items on the menu, you won’t get bogged down in too much temptation. But don’t let its sparse offerings fool you–hardly any other burrito joints with bean and cheese burritos, or even birria burritos, are this good. If you’re really hungry, look no further than the platillo especial, which includes two birria burritos covered in green chile pork sauce and cheese, as well as refried beans and lettuce for sides. The birria is incredibly tender, juicy, and spicy without being too overwhelming. Although we wouldn’t recommend eating this like a regular burrito–it’s so sauce-heavy that you’ll need a fork and knife for this one unless you have a forklift.

5120 Peck Rd. El Monte, CA 91732; Closest transit line: Foothill 270 - “Peck Rd & Hemlock St. Stop.”  Multiple locations in Los Angeles and Orange County, too.

Tacos Poncitlan ~ Pasadena

Aburrido Burrito - Tacos Poncitlan
Adobada burrito from Tacos Poncitlan. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

Driving to Pasadena might be too far of a drive for some, but Tacos Poncitlan is a stop worth making time for. They have a wide and varied menu featuring tacos, quesadillas, nachos, combo plates, sandwiches, and breakfast items. We like the classic burrito with rice, refried beans, red onions, cilantro, and meat. This time, we went with adobada, which glistened with red chile sauce and grilled to a nice crunchy and crispy texture. The rice has a richer tomato flavor than expected, which elevates the meat that much more. It’s a nice and comforting place to be if you find yourself in Pasadena and need a familiar meal.

1090 N Allen Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104; Closest transit line: Metro Line 686 - “Allen & Whitefield Stop.” 

Chicharrón Burrito - Papas Tacos.
Chicharrón burrito at Papa's Tacos. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

Papa’s Tacos ~ Alhambra

Tucked inside a Michocana Pedir De Boca, Papa’s Tacos is a hidden gem in Alhambra that offers a lot of different dishes, including tacos, tortas, fries, and burritos. A particular highlight is their chicharron rojo burrito, featuring rice, beans, and cilantro. The chicharron is amazingly tender and the onions were cut into big pieces, packing a nice crunch and giving new dimensions to the meal. The flour tortilla was also soft and tore away with each bite, lacking that gummy feel that can arise in other burritos, making for a pleasant afternoon lunch in all. To finish off your meal, be sure to grab a dessert from La Michocana before you leave the store, which can range from a popsicle to a crepe or slushie. Whatever you decide, this is everything you need for a good meal all in one place!

2130 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA, 91803; Closest transit line: Metro Line 106 - “Garvey & Ramona Stop.”

Asada burrito at Tony's Tacos. Photo by Sofia Aguilar for L.A. TACO.

Tony’s Tacos

If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward burrito that you can grab and go, Tony’s Tacos is the place. They offer a long laundry list of meat options and great burritos located right below the Little Dalton Wash. Popular dishes include the al pastor tacos and quesadilla dorado. For a classic option, we recommend the asada burrito with onions and cilantro, which has all the flavors in an asada taco but in a more engaging eating experience, especially when salsa is added. This is the everyman burrito that anyone can enjoy.

790 E. Alosta Ave. Azusa, CA 91702; Closest transit line: Foothill 188 - “Citrus Avenue & Route 66 Stop.”

Honorable Mention

Burrito de tamal at Lupe's Burritos. Photo by Javier Cabral for L.A. TACO.

Lupe's Burritos ~ East L.A.

Nestled at the crossroads between the 60 and 710 freeways where East L.A. intersects with the S.G.V., Lupe’s Burritos has been a pillar in the community for over 30 years, and for a good reason. They’re sure to have a little something for every taste since the diverse menu includes tacos, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, fries, and burritos. The California Burrito is undoubtedly the most popular, filled with steak, beans, cheese, fries, and guacamole. 

If you’ve got more humble aims, even the simpler burritos like the beef, bean, and cheese burrito knock it out of the park, too. The cheese pull is unreal on that, with a lot of gooey, stretchy tension that gives glory to every bite. We would also recommend adding a drizzle of the requisite hot chile sauce. If your cravings are shifting in a crunchier direction, their taco dorado meal is also a great option. 

4642 E 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90022; Closest transit line: Metro E Line - “Maravilla Station.” 

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