California Burrito: The Delicious and Iconic San Diego Creation

California Burrito

If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you have probably heard of the California burrito, a mouth-watering dish that originated in San Diego, California. This tasty and satisfying burrito has become a staple food in Southern California and beyond. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, and cultural significance of the California burrito.

History of the California Burrito

The origins of the California burrito can be traced back to the 1980s in San Diego. Some say that it was first created at a small taco shop in Mission Beach, while others claim that it was invented at a different restaurant in North County. Regardless of its precise origins, the California burrito quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.

What Makes a California Burrito?

The California burrito is a variation of a traditional burrito, but it has several distinctive features that make it stand out. First and foremost, it contains french fries, which give it a unique and delicious texture. The other key ingredients are carne asada, cheese, and sour cream. Some variations may also include guacamole, salsa, or pico de gallo.

How to Make a California Burrito

Making a California burrito is not difficult, and you can easily prepare it at home if you have the right ingredients. Here is a simple recipe that you can follow:


  • 1 pound carne asada
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut the potatoes into thin slices and fry them until they are crispy.
  3. Season the carne asada with salt and pepper, and grill it until it is cooked to your liking.
  4. Warm up the tortillas in the oven or on a stove.
  5. Assemble the burritos by placing the carne asada, cheese, french fries, and sour cream in the center of each tortilla.
  6. Roll up the tortillas tightly, tucking in the sides as you go.
  7. Serve the burritos immediately, garnished with additional sour cream or guacamole if desired.

Cultural Significance

The California burrito has become an iconic food in San Diego and other parts of California. It is often associated with surf culture and beach life, and many people enjoy it as a convenient and satisfying meal after a day at the beach. In recent years, the popularity of the California burrito has spread beyond California, and it can now be found in many other parts of the country.

Health Considerations

While the California burrito is undoubtedly delicious, it is not the healthiest food choice. It is high in calories, fat, and sodium, and it may not be suitable for people with certain dietary restrictions. If you are trying to eat a balanced and healthy diet, you may want to enjoy a California burrito as an occasional treat rather than a regular meal.


The California burrito is a delicious and iconic food that has become a beloved part of Southern California culture. It is a simple but satisfying meal that combines classic Mexican ingredients with a uniquely American twist. Whether you are a longtime fan or trying it for the first time, the California burrito is sure to please your taste buds.


  1. What makes a California burrito different from a regular burrito?

The main difference is the inclusion of French fries, which adds a unique texture and flavor to the dish. Additionally, California burritos typically focus on carne asada as the primary protein.

  1. Where did the California burrito originate?

While its exact origins are unclear, it is believed that the California burrito first appeared in San Diego, California, in the 1980s.

  1. Can I make a vegan California burrito?

Absolutely! Substitute the carne asada with a plant-based protein like tofu, tempeh, or seitan, and use vegan cheese and sour cream.

  1. How can I make my California burrito spicier?

You can add jalapeños or other spicy peppers to the burrito, use a spicier salsa, or serve it with hot sauce on the side for a customizable heat level.

  1. What side dishes pair well with a California burrito?

Side dishes like tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole,and a simple salad with a tangy dressing complement the flavors of a California burrito well. Other options include Mexican rice, refried beans, or grilled corn on the cob with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder.

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