Burritos in this city are like rent controlled apartments. There are amazing finds all over the place but you get what you pay for and don’t expect them to change much. The one burrito, however, that escapes regular consideration is the one served at breakfast. Found on just about every brunch menu, the breakfast burrito owes allegiance to no one other than those who do it well. Il Canto Cafe, an Italian coffee shop in the financial district, makes one even Donatello would adore.
Located on Battery Street, between Sacramento Street and Halleck Alley on the first floor of a tall business building, Il Canto Cafe serves up breakfast and lunch items alike, mostly iin the form of sandwiches. The tiny space is cluttered with baskets of fruit and grab n’ go snacks and an extensive menu of coffee drinks, pastries, salads, and paninis.
The treasure buried in the mix is the breakfast burrito ($5.85). The flour tortilla is filled with eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, Italian sausage, green onions, red bell peppers, and sriracha sauce. After the bizarre yet well-rounded mishmash of ingredients are rolled into the gummy tortilla they are pressed in the panini oven until blacked marks score the top and bottom of its newly flattened form. The burrito’s new smoky skin flakes apart with every bite and the oozing cheese glistens like a morning sunrise. The sweet sausage and peppers takes the experience across the ocean from the usual Mexican flavors. Additions include chipotle or pesto sauce, avocado, spinach, bacon, or ham, but I recommend keeping it simple and sticking to the original. With the already molten innards, the burrito doesn’t need anything extra to add to its sloppiness.
Il Canto Cafe is just a coffee shop, but one that just happens to serve one of the best breakfast burritos in the city. There’s no tricks, no secrets, just a good recipe done the right way. Remember that the next time you’re rushing to that important meeting and didn’t have time for your wheaties.
Il Canto Cafe
475 Sacramento Street,