The Best Burrito in Mill Valley

Graphic+by+Lily+Lunn

Graphic by Lily Lunn

By Lexa Lemberg

For as long as I can remember, burritos have been my favorite food. Every place I move or travel to, finding the best burrito in the area has been my mission. Now, I am putting the burritos in Mill Valley up to the test and seeing which one reigns supreme. Some may argue I am not a real burrito connoisseur, as I have a very simple order consisting of rice, beans, cheese, and guacamole. However, despite its simplicity, this order is divine and the perfect test to find the best burrito as it puts an emphasis on basic ingredients, which are the basis of every good burrito. Without quality ingredients and tasteful rice and beans, a burrito cannot be of value.

First up is Grilly’s—a Tam student staple. During lunch, a long line can be seen snaking around the building, filled with students eagerly awaiting their food. While popular, I believe it is overrated. The burrito is on the cheaper side at $7.50, but I find the ratio of ingredients often incorrect at Grilly’s. The beans are very liquidy, spreading to both the rice and cheese, leaving the burrito with an overwhelming bean flavor. The burritos are on the smaller size, but a good portion and well worth the money. As for the overall experience, Grilly’s has generous seating with a large, heated outdoor patio making it a great place to grab dinner with friends or a large group. 

Next up is Joe’s Taco Lounge. The interior boasts fun and lively decor, complete with hundreds of hot sauce variations lined on a shelf around the perimeter of the dining area. Joe’s is home to one of my favorite burritos in the area, and my go-to for Mexican food. While their burritos are extraordinary, I can’t live without another menu item: chips and guacamole. The chips are light, crispy, salty, and are homemade every day in house. The guacamole has the perfect amount of acidity and a nice, smooth texture. Their burritos ($7.95) most definitely live up to the appetizer. Compared to Grilly’s, they are very large in size and always have the ideal ratio of ingredients. There is a perfect balance of rice, beans, cheese, and guacamole, each having an intense and unique flavor, creating a harmonious blend. The chipotle salsa is a must—it is a balanced blend between spicy, sweet, and notes of chipotle peppers.

The last burrito I tried was Lucinda’s. Despite having lived here for five years, I had yet to try this coveted burrito. Throughout my time here, many people have expressed their love for this burrito, putting a stop at Lucinda’s an item on my to-do list for many months. Their burrito is significantly cheaper than its counterparts at $3.80. This was my first time trying Lucinda’s, and unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The burrito itself was very mushy, with the beans overpowering both the rice and cheese. There were two size options, regular and large, and I found the regular was more than sufficient for a meal. After the disappointment of the burrito, I eagerly tried the guacamole, looking for redemption. I was also disappointed as it lacked both flavor and texture. However, if you are looking for the highest value for your money, Lucinda’s is the place to go. Contrary to both Grilly’s and Joe’s, Lucinda’s is take-out only with no seating in house. 

As a whole, I was disappointed by Lucinda’s and had much higher expectations. Grilly’s just missed the mark, while Joe’s proved much better than its counterparts. Its flawless ratio of ingredients cannot be beat—all parts, perfectly seasoned, compliment each other to form a harmonious blend of flavors. Based on my trials, I believe that Joe’s Taco Lounge is home to the best burrito in Mill Valley.