It’s not entirely clear when burrito madness hit Ireland. It was definitely before the influx of doughnut shops in the capital most certainly after wings became a staple element of every pub-grub menu. Regardless of when it happened, burritos now own their own special mantel in the palette of Dublin diners. With no shortage of choice on offer, I’m taking a look back at my own experience bring you the best burrito in Dublin.
What Makes a Great Burrito?
First things first. There are some core elements that make up the perfect burrito:
- your meat of choice
- sour cream
- guacamole (it’s not extra it’s necessary)
You’ll generally find small variations but that list is kind of the foundation burrito. If you’re brave enough, you can completely take the piss like this guy did and grow the size of your burrito by up to 86% without spending a cent extra!
When I burrito, yes I just verbed that, I personally like chicken, refried pinto beans, tomato salsa and whatever the hottest sauce going is. In a perfect world, crushed tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime too, please. Now, all we need to do is decide who puts all these things together best.
Battling to the death in guacamole covered fields will be:
Let’s roll. See what I did there… because you roll burritos. Never mind. Let’s roll.
Hunting for the Best Burrito in Dublin
Azteca – Lord Edward Street
Just up from Dame Street, you’ll find one of Dublin’s hidden gems full stop. Beyond burritos, you need to pop in and try this place out. There’s a great atmosphere and authentic Mexican vibe to be had if you’re sitting down. Azteca also has lemon and tequila cheesecake which is a little slice of heaven. Don’t worry, I’m not here to be distracted by my sweet tooth, but do check it out.
Full disclosure, when I dined in Azteca, I got a chimichanga. Wait till you hear this. A chimichanga is all the goodness of a burrito; deep-fried. Ignore that cramp in your heart – it’s totally worth it. I was delighted with my meal in Azteca. Along with the chimichanga, I picked up some Mexican beer and tortilla chips. As was in the chimichanga, the tortilla chips are served with the freshest guacamole I’ve tasted in Dublin yet. It’s gorgeous.
Azteca is more of an “I want a burrito on a date” than “I want a burrito for lunch” kind of place. The prices reflect that too as it’s a little more expensive than most places. In return, you get what is arguably the most authentic Mexican food in Dublin along with a nice atmosphere. Protip – don’t go for burritos on a first date.
You can check out their menu over here.
Boojum – Kevin Street
If you mention burritos to anyone, chances are they’ll briefly drool and then mumble “Boojum”. They’ve become the symbol of burritos in the capital and often have queues out the door – especially at lunchtime.
In truth, Boojum is the “Emporer’s New Clothes” of the Dublin burrito scene. Everyone has to say their nice or else people think there’s something wrong with them. Let’s be brave here people. Boojum burritos are watery which has a knock-on effect on the guacamole. That effect is the guac somehow magically evaporating as you eat. I asked for some tortilla chips to be crunched into the filling, only to be told – “we don’t do that here”. Now, this is odd because there was a huge box of tortilla chips in the prep area – that’s why I asked.
The tortilla chips incident wasn’t enough to make me say Boojum only make below average burritos. Boojum’s below average burritos did that all on their own.
Saburritos – Dame Street
When Storm Ophelia hit, many had that awkward moment where they’re told to work from home and have nothing in the fridge for lunch. I’m basing that on the fact it happened to me. Naturally, I thought I’d get out and sample the burritos in a different part of town. I was going to give Boojum and second chance but they closed for the day. Wandering down Aungier Street and seeing a Tesco closed, I didn’t hold much hope. Then turning onto Dame Street, I was greeted by Saburritos, who, despite the impending storm, were still churning out burritos.
I was pleasantly surprised by Saburritos. They were offering a good value meal that seemed to tick every box. However, Boojum fell down because their burritos were watery. Saburritos fall down because their chicken was a little dry. That’s me really looking quite hard to find something to be wrong with them. Largely, I was really happy with my venture into a burrito shop I’ve passed so many times.
TacoTime – Mystery?
This was such a random find and is the second chimichanga to make the list. After a long day at work, I said there’s no way I was cooking and jumped onto JustEat. A quick search for Mexican food later and I knew burritos were on the menu for the night. TacoTime was the top search result and it had great reviews.
A few minutes later, I was tucking into a delicious chimichanga. I’d love to go into the details around how damn good that chimichanga was but after closer inspection, I see they’re no longer on JustEat and seem to have closed their Dublin branch. We’ve lost a truly fantastic burrito there. Pour some guac out for my fallen homies.
Tolteca – Suffolk Street
From what I can remember, Tolteca was where it all began in Dublin. They were offering a two for one burrito offer, possibly only on Tuesdays? I can’t remember because it’s been so long since I ate there. Yeah, you can see where this is going.
Damn. Watery. Burritos.
It’s Boojum all over again. The really funny thing is that you’ll get die-hard Boojum fans saying Tolteca makes terrible burritos and visaversa. You could argue their both right I guess? Let’s not waste any more time on this one.
Zambrero – Pearse Street
Alphabetically last, when it comes to the search for Dublin’s best burrito, Zambrero puts up one hell of a fight. Located on Pearse Street, you’ll probably have to trek a fair bit to get one of these bad boys, but it’s worth the walk. They’ve mastered the art of the lunchtime burrito assembly line, achieving the perfect balance between those core bits and pieces that I mentioned earlier, all essential to a great burrito.
The guacamole tastes great, the meats are the perfect kind of juicy without getting watery and when you ask for crunched tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime – they say no problem at all. There’s one wildcard that might give Zambrero the edge in what has become a photo finish between them and Ateca for the best burrito in Dublin. That wildcard is Zambrero’s red chilli sauce. It might not be as hot as what Camille recently offered up, but that last bite of the burrito is the best. All that saucy goodness has gathered in the bottom, ready to say farewell as you finish your lunch.
Finally, while choosing the best burrito might be the most ‘first world problem’ you’ll ever come across, Zambrero is battling genuine third world problems too. For every meal you buy with them, you’ll also be providing a meal for those in need across Asia, Africa and the Americas through their Plate 4 Plate efforts.
The Verdict: Azteca is the Best Burrito in Dublin
The final result even shocked me. I’m a massive fan of Zambrero and if it’s a tasty bite you’re after for lunch at a good price, they are head and shoulders above the likes of the often heralded Boojum. Sure even for their sauce if nothing else, they’re an absolute winner for lunchtime nibbles.
However, I came here to find the best burrito and that just has to be Azteca. Like I said earlier, the food in Azteca is a step above most Dublin eateries in general regardless of the fact they also make Dublin’s best burrito. The selection they have is awesome and let’s not forget that atmosphere.
I know many will argue I didn’t even eat a burrito there, but the chimichanga I had was simply one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten – full stop. Leave it out of the deep-frier if you want, but it’ll still be Dublin’s best!
Here’s the final list in full with TacoTime falling right down because they left Dublin and broke my heart:
What do you think? Am I bang on or do you have a burrito close to your heart? Let us know in the comments!