Ryan Chartrand

What’s better than having a large, warm, delicious and carefully prepared meal? Having that wonderful meal wrapped in an equally tasty tortilla thus making a burrito, the food of the gods. However, not everyone can make the perfect burrito, and Chili Peppers is only good if you’re drunk.

So, if you’re a burrito connoisseur, as I consider myself to be, you need know where the best places to fulfill your burrito desires are. I have taken the liberty to prepare a list of the best burrito places in San Luis Obispo County.

Tacos de Acapulco (Grover Beach)

Although the usual fillings offered for burritos – carnitas, carne asada, pollo, refried beans made with lard – scare away most potential vegetarian and vegan customers, there are a few burrito places that have alternatives on their menus. One of the best that does is Tacos de Acapulco in Grover Beach.

Tucked away in a small shopping center a half mile south of Grover’s main drag, Grand Avenue, Tacos de Acapulco is large enough for you to sit down and enjoy a meal while enjoying a Corona and watching Univision.

On top of that, the burrito makers are fast, friendly and often remember your order even if you’ve only been there once. The extensive menu also includes vegetarian and vegan burritos that are a tasty blend of beans, carrots, potatoes and whatever else you might want to add.

Villa Del Mar (Grover Beach)

Villa Del Mar is yet another excellent burrito stop in Grover Beach. While its burritos are ordinary-fair, the cooks at this restaurant never go wrong, unlike some other hit-and-miss burrito businesses. The carne asada is probably marinated in lemon and lime more so than other places, giving it a sweet taste, and the onions are cooked as opposed to the fresh-diced onions usually stuffed in burritos.

Inside, the restaurant offers booths and a bar where you can sit, as well as a jukebox stuffed full of Spanish music.

But what really makes this place special is its seafood enchiladas made with shrimp and crab covered in a white sauce – all for a steal at $10.95. It may not be a burrito, but an enchilada is close enough to earn Villa Del Mar a space on the best burritos list.

Chacho’s (Oceano)

Chacho’s in Oceano is only one mile south on Highway 1 from Pismo Beach and offers one of the best burritos you can find in South County.

The place is easy to spot – it’s a small square body sitting on the corner of a bare dirt lot and is covered in brightly colored murals and windows with bars over them. A family runs the place, and the youngest member, a precocious girl who, according to her mother, once asked for an old cash register for her birthday often runs the cash register.

If the atmosphere isn’t enough to sell you on this place, be assured: the restaurant’s burritos are definitely deserving of a best burrito title. The secret behind this inconspicuous eatery is not that all the food is made fresh – which it is – but that their tortillas are handmade at Chacho’s, which is a rare find indeed and great assurance that anything you order at Chacho’s will keep you coming back.

Rubio’s (Atascadero)

This list cannot be complete without at least one North County offering, and that offering would have to be Rubio’s. Tucked within a narrow space in Atascadero’s Vons shopping center, Rubio’s has a large menu, but the burritos shine among the Mexican meal masses.

The Mexican rice is fluffy and not dry like most Mexican rice, and the burritos come stocked with fresh shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. They also offer a variety of burrito sizes in case you are on a diet, and their cilantro isn’t chopped but left as whole stems and leaves giving the burrito an extra punch of flavor.

To top it off, they have Mexican soda – that is, soda made in Mexico with real sugar and contained in long recycled bottles. It is some seriously tasty carbonated goodness.

All the seating is in booths, so you can have a little extra privacy. Don’t be surprised if the man at the cashier register is wearing pajama pants with garlic on them.

Romo’s Market (Guadalupe)

For those of you who didn’t try to stalk Johnny Depp when he came to the Central Coast to film “Pirates of the Caribbean 3,” you probably don’t know where Guadalupe is, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. This little town, which was spruced up in 2002 to provide an early 1900s setting for “Seabiscuit” scenes, is hidden south of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1. (Technically Guadalupe is in Santa Barbara County, but I’m willing to overlook that for the sake of a cultural experience and burrito goodness.)

The town is mostly three blocks of store fronts surrounded by farmland. Yet, near the end of this three-block main street is a Mexican market and deli called Romo’s Market.

At the back of this small grocery store, past the deli displaying raw pig feet, is a small metal cart with some burrito fixings. Although there is a menu hanging above the cart, most of the letters are missing and you may think you’re in the wrong place, but if you wait awhile someone will eventually come up and help you.

The burritos automatically come filled with sour cream and guacamole, so if you’re not a fan, speak up quick, but I recommend silence since both are delicious. However, cheese is not included, so if you just can’t live without cheese, inform the person making your burrito. In my case, the thick and flavorful beans on these babies are good enough to make me forget my cheese obsession, making this place a must try for any burrito and adventure-craving fanatic.

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