***UPDATE: The California Burrito Co has since closed down in Buenos Aires. It does however still have an outlet in Argentina in the city of Rosario, and several others in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. We’ll leave this post here for posterity, in case they ever decide to come back to their roots in BA. You can read more about the company on their website .***
Burritos in Buenos Aires?
Yes, that’s right, Buenos Aires – the city that spicy food forgot – actually boasts a burrito restaurant whose efforts do not fall flat. The California Burrito Co , CBC for short, is spicing up the lives of residents and visitors alike. Word of mouth amongst Yanqui expats and resident food bloggers like Saltshaker  (read here – Wrap it Up! In a tortilla please ) have put CBC on the map as the real deal in your search for an authentic burrito in BA.
As a quick aside, for those of you who don’t know Saltshaker, he writes a food-themed blog with excellent, regular reviews of restaurants in Buenos Aires , in addition to recipes (he is also a chef by trade – with his own ‘closed doors’ restaurant called Casa Saltshaker ) and his thoughts on life in BA. He really knows his stuff when it comes to food, so a Saltshaker thumbs-up for a restaurant means you are in for an excellent meal.
So if you are tiring of the usual Argentine menu suspects, head down to the city center and try your luck with Cal-Mex fast food.
Yes, that’s right, Burritos in Buenos Aires
The restaurant is very clean, sleek and modern looking, and based on the pedestrian street of Lavalle in the bajo (low, sloping down to the river) area of Buenos Aires City Center . The set-up is as follows: you head up to the counter and order your combo: select either a California burrito, a fajita burrito (has peppers & onions instead of beans), a veggie burrito, or 2 tacos (each combo includes a beverage). Then you proceed to select your meat (grilled steak, grilled chicken, beef strips or braised pork) if not going veggie; decide on your extras from a list of rice, beans, cheese, salads, sour cream and guacamole; and finally your sauce, including the spicy rojo, and the even spicier fuego, in addition to some tamer offerings.
It’s all put together in front of your hungry eyes, wrapped up in foil and chucked into a basket. Pay the man at the register and you’re off to your table to wolf it down with you bare hands, making a lot of lovely juicy mess in the process.
Yes indeed, a true BA Burrito.
Pictured is the California Burrito, with chicken, rice, all the extras that would fit, and the spicy rojo sauce. These burritos are huge, very tasty, and satisfying. The sauce is fairly spicy, and they even offer one more step up on their salsa spectrum – fuego (fire). Cool your tounge with a mineral water, fountain soft-drink or pay a little extra to indulge in a Negra Modelo or Corona beer with a slice of lime. CBC also occasionally holds Happy Hour promotions where the Margaritas are two-for-one. Not bad.
Just like Burritos in the US, only in Buenos Aires
American expats will tell you that California Burrito Co is a little bit like Chipotle  in the US, which apparently is a good thing, and the two, they say, are on a par in the quality stakes.
The staff (see right) in CBC are also very friendly, a mix of the American owners and Argentine staff, and they do an excellent job of packaging up your burrito in front of you, advising you on what extras they have, and I am sure, for visitors to Buenos Aires, that there would always be an English speaker on hand to help out if you are feeling a little lost trying to order.
They are famous too! The Associated Press covered the three American CBC owners in a feature earlier this year, entitled ‘Foreign Entrepreneurs Spice Up Argentina’ , which is worth a quick read, and also profiles some other expats making their way into the Argentine world of business.
Oh, and CBC also do salads for those who want to shed the flour tortilla. But don’t let health concerns get in the way of your Burrito.