A New Challenger to the Burrito Throne

Papalote’s chicken mole is exceptional.

Chicken Mole Burrito. photo by Ryan Basso

Burritos in this city are like cocktails, with so many fantastic choices and variations, it really isn’t possible to have a favorite. When it comes to enjoying your tubular tortilla bomb it all depends on your mood and the context in which you’re eating. Whether you’re sitting in Dolores Park on a sunny afternoon or nesting on the couch for some Netflix binging, there is a burrito for whatever state of mind you’re in. Maybe you’re in the mood for carnitas, maybe it’s a vegetarian kind of night, flour tortilla or corn? Maybe you have one taqueria that does your favorite al pastor and another with a soyrizo that has challenged all your carnivorous principles. The point is you can enjoy them all, and right now there is an exceptional burrito that I simply cannot stay away from.

Since 1999, Papalote has been making some of the most coveted burritos in the city, and arguably the best salsa in Northern California. With two locations, the original on 24th St. and the other on Fulton in Nopa, Papalote has solidified their spot on San Francisco’s “must try” list. It wasn’t until recently that I decided  to take my own advice and step out of my usual to try something a little different, and boy, it might just be the best decision I’ve made all year.

Papalote’s chicken mole is the official burrito of Fall 2019. The shredded chicken is juicy and tender, tearing apart like succulent fabric. Accented with the textures of snappy beans and fluffy rice, the traditional sauce’s nuttiness coats everything and completely steals the show. The dark mole fills the fresh tortilla’s nooks and crannies with deep, rustic flavors of chocolate, chile peppers, and red fruits. While more commonly styled burritos have tangy and spicy flavors, this mole possesses a distinct warming quality. It taste like the feeling of a handmade sweater. I’ve never eaten a burrito on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but if I were planning on it, this would be the one. Go ahead and spread a little of Papalote’s famous smoky salsa on each bite and you’ll have something really special.

Sometimes it’s just nice to switch things up a little bit. This burrito is a fantastic example of how change can be a good thing every now and again. Try new things, your favorites aren’t going anywhere. Do yourself a favor, go order a soupy, delicious mole burrito. Your soul will thank you.

Papalote,

3409 24th St., (415) 970-8815

1777 Fulton St., (415) 776-0106

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