Today on Off the 56, we’re going to sample four California Burritos at four different restaurants to find the top California Burritos in North County San Diego. It’s an age-old debate, but one we’re going to attempt to settle today so follow along!

But before we get into our tour, let’s talk about where the California Burrito came from and what’s in it. First, who made it? Who came up with the idea to combine French fries with burritos in the first place? While the true origin of this uniquely SoCal food is still unclear, a few different places in San Diego claim to be the creator of the California Burrito.

What exactly goes in a California Burrito? Carne asada, which is marinated, chopped up steak, French fries (the main differentiating ingredient in the California burrito – which makes it delicious), cheese, sour cream, and sometimes guacamole.

With that out of the way, we can head to our first stop on the burrito tour, Mi Ranchito in Rancho Peñasquitos, CA. One of our favorite burrito places in the area and especially North County San Diego! Our California Burritos at Mi Ranchito came with carne asada, French fries, sour cream, fresh pico de gallo, and cheese. No guacamole, but still delicious. The fries were perfectly crispy and the pico de gallo was super fresh. The owner is so friendly, he’s always there, and it’s a family owned business. He actually gave us an extra side – he threw in some dessert nachos (he said they are vegan!). Whatever they are, they’re great.

Our next stop on the burrito tour is El Nopalito in Encinitas, CA. El Nopalito is close to Courtney’s heart, because the roasted salsa is hands down, the best salsa – you can drink it in her opinion! All you have to do is try it because you’ll be convinced. We actually picked up a tub of salsa while we were there! But back to the burrito: the carne asada is SO good, you can eat it alone. The burrito is perfectly grilled, has a crunch to it, and the guac is great, too! No pico in this one (but we were ok with that – sometimes simple is best).

The third stop is El Pueblo in Solana Beach. First impression: the fries are really good, we liked the amount of cheese, and the pico de gallo, but it took a while to get to the sour cream (if there was sour cream in there at all). We ordered a margarita because it was the only place that offered them during our burrito tour today. The tortilla, carne asada, and French fries were good, and the burrito overall was good, but we were really missing the sour cream on this one. We think there are better places to pick up a California Burrito!

At this point we wanted to go to sleep after eating three California Burritos – we don’t recommend doing this unless you are a competitive eater – but we powered through for Robertos in Del Mar! The view alone at Robertos makes it one of our favorite spots to get a California Burrito in North County San Diego. Located in the Torrey Pines/Del Mar area, Robertos offers views of the ocean and Torrey Pines State Park. This burrito is a little simpler than others on our tour: no guac and no pico. Just carne asada, fries, cheese, and sour cream. Simple, but delicious!

After four California Burritos and some regrets about eating so many burritos in one day, our top picks for Best Burrito in North County San Diego are:

  1. Robertos
  2. El Nopalito
  3. Mi Ranchito
  4. El Pueblo

Do you agree with our picks? Want to submit one of your own? Leave us a comment below!

If you’re ever looking for more food recommendations here in North San Diego, or specifically Off the 56, let us know. We’re planning to do another “Best Of” video about donuts, so stay tuned!

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