The Definitive Lakewood Burrito Review


Tommy Foertch '23

 Although not originating from the US, the burrito has become an integral part of American cuisine. We have taken the burrito and formed it to fit a moderately more unhealthy country that is the US. That being said, burritos are liked by almost everyone, including myself. As an avid burrito fan, I wanted to discover the best burrito in my area. So, for the past couple of months, I have been scouring the Lakewood area to find out which restaurant is home to the best burrito in the land. Note; I am not including restaurants like Chipotle or Qdoba; I am sticking solely to small chains or standalone restaurants. I will rank four of my favorite restaurant burritos from least favorite to most favorite. 

#4: Hola Tacos

This smaller Mexican restaurant is on Madison Avenue, just down the street from Madison Park. This quaint little restaurant was very welcoming and had excellent service. I purchased a chicken burrito with cheese, rice, black beans, guacamole, and queso. Note; I tried to stick to an order similar to such during all of my investigations. The burrito tasted great. The chicken was well seasoned and tender, the queso was among the best I’ve had on a burrito and it was a relatively large size for a burrito. This is why it is making this list over many other restaurants, that being said, it had a few downsides as well. First off, I don’t want to make the price that large of a factor but the price of this burrito was exorbitant for its size. The $16 burrito was splendid, as I have admitted earlier, but the taste, although being a great burrito, does not make up for its obnoxious cost. My critiques for this burrito would be to offer a larger range of toppings because their standard burrito failed to contain most of the unique and flavorful ingredients that other restaurants such as Ohio City Burrito and Cilantro Taqueria had.

#3 Ohio City Burrito

Ohio city burrito has multiple locations around the Cleveland and Lakewood area. The location I tried was the Lakewood store right down the street from St. Edward High school. The burrito I bought was a chicken burrito with rice, cheese, queso, guacamole, black beans, and corn salsa. It was a great burrito, the man making my burrito completely packed it and for that I am grateful. The chicken was flavorful, although not as flavorful as Hola Tacos, OCB made up for this with their amazing Queso and Guacamole. Their queso was not too overpowering but brought a lot to the show. Their guacamole, which seems to serve as their signature topping, was flavorful and unique. After all said and done, my chicken burrito and fountain drink turned out to be roughly $12. Their large selection of fountain drinks and unique lemonades was very appreciated as well. Their Horchata fountain was something that I, although not a fan of the drink, was appreciative of the fountain because it was something unique and something that no other restaurant that I have tested had. One of the few negatives of Ohio City Burrito is the chicken. The chicken was not amazing. It was not bad or anything close to that but out of the other 3 restaurants on this list, I have them ranked as the worst. Their chicken seemed somewhat bland and lacking of seasoning but the rest of OCB’s flavorful ingredients made up for this loss and that is why I place Ohio city burrito at #3.

#2 Cilantro Taqueria

The Cilantro Taqueria I went to is located at 18260 Detroit Road in Lakewood. They also have three other locations in the Cleveland area. The location I went to was the Lakewood one. The restaurant is located in a dinner type building with an interesting hallway where you walk through and order. The small hut-like building was everything I wished some of the other restaurants had. The burrito I ordered was similar to the one I described in the OCB review. The sheer size of this burrito shocked me. This burrito was massive and the man wrapping my burrito was fighting to keep it all in the tortilla, I appreciate this greatly. The cost of this burrito was roughly $13 after everything was said and done, a price that is not very forgiving but not absolutely absurd for the sheer size and amount of food in the burrito. The chicken was unusual as it was cut up into these thick shoelace-like pieces. The chicken was also unique because the chicken was sitting in a bat of broth. This choice to keep the chicken sitting in a pool of broth at all times made the chicken most flavorful. The chicken was very flavorful but because of its sheer size and the time it takes to consume the burrito, by the time you’re half way through the burrito, it takes on an almost soup-like consistency. This transformation from a once well formed burrito into a soupy glob is the only reason why this burrito is coming in at the number 2 spot. Everything else is just wonderful. The chicken, as I stated earlier, was glorious. The melty cheese and the corn salsa is great and the refried beans were some of the best I’ve ever had in my life. Overall, this was a great burrito with great flavors and a great variety of toppings, but the soup-like consistency was just not something I found very appealing after I was midway through the enormous burrito.

#1 Taco Tontos

Taco Tontos is located at 13321 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Listen, I’ve been working on this burrito article for quite some time now. I’ve scoured the Lakewood and Ohio city area for just about every taco/burrito joint and I’ve tried every place on this list multiple times but not because I was unsure about who I thought had the best burrito because that answer was clear since the moment I stepped into Taco Tontos. This joint was recommended to me by fellow student Jostahn Kuehner ‘23 who had been harassing me to try this place for months. I walked in the place and was immediately greeted by a warm environment and staff. I sat down and ordered a burrito with chicken, Black beans, Queso, cheese, guac, black beans, white rice and corn salsa. The ordering process was not necessarily my favorite because the way you order is you order one of their already complete burritos and just edit it, add on or take off whatever you’d like. This process would be fine if they didn’t charge you an extra $.75 per topping on top of the already $9.00 burrito. But as inconvenient and annoying as this was, my $13 burrito I ordered was one of the best I’ve ever had. The chicken was exquisitely seasoned and cut, the queso was mighty flavorful and the tortilla was seared in a way that was just straight up pleasant. Consuming this burrito was a borderline spiritual awakening for myself and one that I just can’t put into words. In simpler words, this burrito revealed to me that God was real and was present in Lakewood, Ohio. The venue had a warm, welcoming, rustic feeling. With a constant stream of door-dashers and deliverymen constantly running in and out, you could immediately tell this restaurant plays an integral role in the city of Lakewood with having the highest quality burritos in the city. I seriously, after having this restaurant multiple times, could not come up with any downsides other than the fact that their ordering process is not ideal for someone who likes to load up their burritos with every topping possible. In conclusion, Taco Tontos is home to the best damn burrito in Lakewood and I’m not going to waste any more of your time that you could be using to be eating one of their burritos.