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Mr. President, We’re a Little Hurt That You Didn’t Ask Us For a Burrito Recommendation

President Obama made headlines Monday when he stopped by Chipotle Mexican Grill to grab lunch. It seems like he might be a little out of touch, in more ways than one. First, he ordered a burrito bowl — doesn’t he know how important the tortilla is in the burrito-eating experience?  Second, shouldn’t he be aware of D.C.’s superior burrito options by now?

As readers may be aware, we’ve researched more than 67,000 burrito-selling establishments as part of our national search for America’s best burrito. Chipotle did not make our Burrito Bracket of the top 64 taquerias in the country. With a Value Over Replacement Burrito (VORB) of +2.6, Chipotle is not the worst you could do in the D.C. area, but it’s far from the best. Our research and the reviews of our burrito correspondent, Anna Maria Barry-Jester, give us a clearer view of what the best options are.

The next time the president has a burrito craving, he’d do well to check out one of these establishments:

Pedro & Vinny’s

The award for highest VORB in the area goes to Pedro & Vinny’s, with +7.9. Yelp reviews date to September 2006, so not all of the data is particularly recent. But the reviews that mention burritos average out to 4.21 stars out of five. Anna dined at Pedro & Vinny’s, and though the burrito isn’t advancing to the next round, it had its fine points. “The mango habanero salsa is the winning element, sweet with a spicy hangover,” she wrote.

Rito Loco

Rito Loco is the runner-up in the battle for D.C.’s best burrito, at least as far as VORB is concerned, with a +7.0. It has half as many reviews as Pedro & Vinny’s, but they date back only to August 2012. Reviews mentioning burritos average 4.26 stars. But even so, 55 percent of burrito-mentioning reviews were five stars, so a majority of those patrons were more than pleased with their experience.


Though not in D.C. proper, Tortacos is a short drive from the city. This may not be the best location if Obama plans on “just walking over … for lunch” as he did Monday, but if he decides to go with the full motorcade, Tortacos isn’t a bad bet. It’s the only other D.C.-area establishment that made it into our bracket (it’s across the Maryland border in our Northeast region), so we’ll have to see how Anna scores it based on her own experience. If we’re just going off the VORB of +7.6, Tortacos is a worthy option.

Hayley Munguia is a former social media editor and a data reporter for FiveThirtyEight.