Los Angeles: 10 Breakfast Burritos We Love

[Photographs: Farley Elliott]

The Winners!

Favorite Fancypants: Snug Harbor

‪2323 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica CA 90403 (map); 310-828-2991

Favorite Budget: Lucy's Drive In

1373 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles CA 90019 (map); 323-938-4337

Los Angeles is a city full of American brunch spots, unrivaled Mexican food, and a wonderful knack for blurring the borders between the two. Where, then, are all of the great breakfast burritos? The answer is a bit muddled. With thousands of taco trucks, taquerias, and upscale breakfast eateries, they're absolutely everywhere in Los Angeles. Yet, the truly great examples are undeniably hard to find.

What is it that pushes a breakfast burrito beyond hangover helper and into the realm of mid-morning revelation?

  • Tortilla: Don't be fooled into thinking the tortilla is just a role player. Many an Angeleno lunch truck manages to put out sub-par breakfast fare simply by letting their low-quality tortillas stiffen up before serving. Grilled or steamed, the tortilla is an essential ingredient to the whole operation.
  • Eggs and Potatoes: If fluffy, moist scrambled eggs are the key to helping a good breakfast burrito set sail, then truly great ones aren't anchored down by an overabundance of potatoes. They can be boiled, seasoned, hashed, or fried—just don't overtake my breakfast-in-a-wrapper.
  • Meat and Cheese: Beyond the basics, a choice of meat and cheese are to a certain extent up to the individual. However, truly mind-blowing chorizo can be an absolute game-changer, and a lot of places will excel at one meat while failing at another. Then again, you can never go wrong with the full combo, which consists of ham, bacon, and sausage together, AKA the Triple Swine.
  • Salsa: Any way you choose to enjoy, be sure to grab some of the house salsa—this is still a burrito after all.

Favorite Fancypants Burrito: Snug Harbor

1. Snug Harbor: Sunrise Burrito ($13)

Sunrise Burrito ($13): Snug Harbor has been a port in a storm for the breakfast crowd on the Westside since 1944. Their Sunrise Burrito is a perfectly-balanced execution of eggs, tomato, onion, avocado, cheddar cheese and steak - cooked to order, of course. They'll also throw any of their scrambles into a tortilla, if you're so inclined. Protip: ask for the chef's own secret salsa verde if you're in need of a kick.

2323 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica CA 90403 (map); 310-828-2991; Open daily at 6AM

Favorite Budget Burrito: Lucy's Drive In


The Bacon, Cheese, Egg, Potato Burrito ($5): How can a bright yellow building in the middle of hardworking Mid-City not stand out? Yet, Lucy's manages to keep a low profile, quietly serving up one of the simplest and most delicious breakfast burritos in town. Long strips of griddled bacon bring a hit of salt, while the cheese and eggs keep you more than satiated. But the real secret here?

A thin, fried patty of hashbrowns that bests anything you'll find at the golden arches. Smaller in size and price point than many of its competitors, Lucy's delivers more than enough flavor to match.

1373 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles CA 90019 (map); 323-938-4337

Read about all the rest of the burritos in the slideshow »