The 5 Best Burritos in Missoula
“Burrito” isn’t exactly one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Missoula. However, it really ought to be. The fact is, there are many awesome burrito places tucked away in the Garden City. Which ones should you be spending your hard-earned money on? Well, that’s where I come in.
From the exterior, Taco Sano may not look like one of the best burrito places in town, but inside you’ll find a pleasant atmosphere, friendly staff and – of course – yummy burritos. Taco Sano is fairly new on the scene, having been erected in 2009 from the remains of an old Ford dealership, but it’s already garnered a comparable reputation to old Missoula favorites like Taco del Sol and El Diablo. Taco Sano offers up one-of-a-kind meat options, like barbecue beef brisket and salmon, as well as unique sauces like chipotle sour cream, making it a great place to go for an outside-the-box burrito. To top it all off, they’re open a bit later than the other places on this list (‘til 10:30 p.m.), and they also deliver! In fact, you can even order food off their website.
Casa Nina has been my favorite place to eat on The University of Montana campus since the beginning of my freshman year, and I’ve been eating there regularly for nearly five years now. Among other things, Casa Nina serves up burritos with yummy ingredients, several of which often come from The U of M’s Farm to College program. While the burrito-making is overseen by an ever-rotating line of student workers, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great lunch at Casa Nina, as long as you get a student who knows how to properly fold a burrito. Also, if you’re on a tight class schedule and need to eat lunch on the go, the Casa Nina burrito is really your most logical option. It may not be the best burrito in town, but if you ever find yourself on campus around lunchtime, Casa Nina is the way to go.
If you find yourself frequently bar-hopping downtown or attending a lot of events at Caras Park, you’ve probably encountered the El Cazador taco cart on multiple occasions. Moreover, if you’ve ever stopped over to order one of their burritos, then you’ve stumbled upon what is arguably the best drunk food in Missoula. El Cazador has been serving Missoula since 1995, and by this point its reputation precedes it. The meat they use is indescribable and full of flavor, and the same can be said for their beans. Simply put, if you’re ever drunkenly ambling out of the bars late at night in search of an epic meal, you’d do well to seek out the El Cazador taco cart, which is usually stationed near The Rhino.
Oh, and they have a physical restaurant location as well, if you’d prefer to have a “classier” burrito-munching experience. There, you can explore some more elaborate burrito options, like the Burrito Mazatlan, a monster of a burrito that contains chicken, steak and shrimp, among other things, and needs to be eaten with a fork.
Taco del Sol has been a Missoula staple for quite some time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Its success has largely been supplemented by its delicious “mission” burritos, which offer customers their choice of meat, beans and sauces bolstered by Taco del Sol’s signature salsa. Not only are they delicious, though; they’re relatively affordable, having won the Missoula Independent’s award for Best Budget Lunch four years in a row now. Taco del Sol serves up beers from Big Sky, Kettle House and Blackfoot River Brewing, so you can enjoy a nice Montana brew with your burrito. The restaurant also provides plenty of Missoula art to look at while consuming your lunch, proudly displaying the burrito foil art created by customers and the work of local artists. It’s pretty much one of the Missoula-iest places in town.
El Diablo is truly the best burrito in town. There, I said it. You can debate it as much as you like, but don’t you deny the awesomeness that is El Diablo. Their burritos are simply amazing, and the individual ingredients they use are super-fresh. Sure, they may be a couple of dollars more expensive than most of the places on this list (one burrito with guacamole and sour cream will set you back about $8), but they more than justify the cost with their tasty tastiness. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but they’re doing something different over there, and that difference really blows the competition out of the water. In my eyes, very few Missoula lunches compare to an El Diablo pulled pork burrito with cilantro lime sauce and medium salsa. You just can’t compete with that. Sometimes, it’s better to just sit back and let the titans rule.