Boston’s Burrito Mystery

It is a well-known fact that we are deeply obsessed with burritos. Secretly, a steak burrito stuffed with cheese, salsa, guacamole, and rice is always what we want for lunch. We think that Boston is criminally underrated as a burrito city. Sure, it’s no San Francisco, but it’s a damn sight better than New York (other ways in which we are better than New York: baseball. We’ve been in a stellar mood all day). We love that Boston has so many great options for burritos and tacos, but we have to wonder: why do most of the city’s taquerias appear in clusters? We’ve written about the Brookline burrito battle before, but that’s not the only obscene cluster of burritos in town. Harvard Square, Davis Square, the greater Fenway area and, of course, East Boston contain over 21 taquerias (we’re including Boloco in these estimates, despite its untraditional nature).

We did some calculations, and it seems that Brookline has the highest concentration of burrito options with seven taquerias, including two locations of Anna’s Taqueria (the ne plus ultra of Boston burritos as far as we’re concerned). Fenway is not far behind with five burrito options, while Harvard Square will tie with Fenway as soon as Chipotle opens its doors. Davis Square (the LiveJournal community for which has “It’s not just for burritos any more” as its motto) will soon offer burritophiles three options and then there’s East Boston. We have three menus for the neighborhood that list tacos and burritos, but truly, that’s a drop in the bucket, since many of the area’s excellent taquerias don’t have menus.

How did these dense areas of guac-y goodness come about? While it seems to us that if we were in charge of location scouting for Chipotle or Boloco or Qdoba, we would try to avoid opening shops in locations that already offer excellent burritos, we can’t help but notice that, with the exception of Brookline (which is close enough to Allston to count) and East Boston (which has a huge Central and South American population), all the aforementioned neighborhoods are located very near to local colleges. College students are poor. Burritos are cheap. Therefore, taquerias do well in college neighborhoods.

What about you? In which neighborhood(s) would you like to see burrito development?


Boston’s Burrito Mystery