Top 4 Burrito Restaurants in the Quad Cities

A chicken burrito.

Samuel Rivera

A chicken burrito.

Carson Knebel, Student Life Editor

When you’re hungry, there is nothing better to curb your hunger with than a burrito. The Mexican comfort food has become a go-to meal for people nationwide. In this listicle, we will be covering the top four burrito restaurant chains.

1. Pancheros

When it comes to burritos, Pancheros does it right. It all starts with their fresh pressed tortillas that are pressed and cooked right in front of you. Pancheros’ rice is consistently moist and fluffy, creating the perfect filling for a burrito. While Pancheros’ meats are not the best of all the burrito restaurants, they are still good, and the fresh tortillas more than make up for the lack of seasoning in their meats. Pancheros’ queso is quite nice. It is very smooth and has a slight spicy kick. Pancheros’ selection of add-ons is great as well. What really brings the best burrito title home for Pancheros is their attention to detail. Not only are they the only restaurant that doesn’t have pre-made tortillas, but they also are the only restaurant that mixes up all of the ingredients in their burritos before they wrap the burrito. This ensures that you are getting a balanced bite every time. I cannot count the number of times at other restaurants that I have bitten into my burrito and taken a bite of only cheese and sour cream. By mixing their burritos, Pancheros prevents this and customers appreciate them going the extra mile. For all of these reasons, Pancheros has been crowned the king of fast food burritos in the Quad Cities. At Pancheros, they truly do have burritos better built.

2. Chipotle

Chipotle is a great burrito restaurant, and they come in a very close second to Pancheros. Chipotle’s meats are filled with flavor and are definitely better than the meats at Pancheros. At Chipotle, the rice is also very good but sometimes has too much cilantro for my liking. Chipotle is not stingy at all when scooping ingredients, and I often find myself getting burritos bigger than I can eat from there. With that being said, due to the large servings of ingredients at Chipotle, you almost have to get your burrito double wrapped in order to prevent the burrito from ripping and spilling your filling. Chipotle also has a large selection of salsas and toppings that are all very good. The tortillas and the fact that Chipotle does not mix the ingredients in their burritos are the main details that hold Chipotle back from first place. Overall, Chipotle serves excellent burritos.

3. Qdoba

Qdoba, like Chipotle, is a very solid burrito joint that could easily take first place with a few adjustments. Unfortunately for Qdoba, there are a few things holding it back from the burrito throne. While their meats are juicy and flavorful, their rice lacks moisture and is often dry and unappetizing. Qdoba’s tortillas are mid-tier. The queso at Qdoba is excellent, though, and might be the best of all the restaurants. For these reasons Qdoba has earned a third place ranking on the top burrito list.

4. California Burritos 

Although California Burritos is loved by Bettendorf locals, it has come in fourth place on the burrito ranking. Everytime I step up to the counter I am greeted with, “What can I get ya boss man?” California Burritos are different because they have the freshest tasting ingredients and the widest variety of salsas. But their extremely dry and sometimes undercooked rice really drags them down. The rice is sometimes hard and gets caught in your throat when you swallow. California Burritos offers a great medley of salsas including a pineapple pico salsa that is very tasty. Overall, they provide a great burrito that always has a unique fresh taste.

There are many great restaurant options in the Quad Cities for burritos, but Pancheros tops the list. All of the restaurants listed above make great burritos that will fill your stomach and delight your taste buds.