Best of Denver

The Ten Best Handheld Breakfast Burritos in Denver

This is what you're hoping your office mates have remembered when you're on your way into work every morning.
This is what you're hoping your office mates have remembered when you're on your way into work every morning. Mark Antonation

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click to enlarge Breakfast burritos can be ordered all day at El Taco de Mexico. - WESTWORD
Breakfast burritos can be ordered all day at El Taco de Mexico.
Westword
El Taco de Mexico
714 Santa Fe Drive
303-623-3926
El Taco de Mexico isn't just a hole-in-the-wall stop for a quick breakfast; it's one of Denver's most iconic eateries, where a seat at the diner-style counter is a cherished perch for any fan of Mexican food. The breakfast burritos here come with rice and beans in addition to scrambled eggs, making them stand out a little from the competition. Add chorizo, ham, bacon or potato for some extra heft.

El Zarape
1065 Federal Boulevard
303-893-0394
El Zarape is tucked away on Federal Boulevard, nestled into a shared parking lot with a used-car dealership. The best clue to its location: a line of cars that spills out onto Federal as hungry drivers wait for their unbeatable breakfast burritos. A homemade tortilla is wrapped around freshly fried potatoes, eggs and your choice of breakfast meat, wrapped in aluminum foil and then stashed in a paper bag with two packages of salsa.

click to enlarge Breakfast is hearty at Illegal Pete's. - KING JOSH
Breakfast is hearty at Illegal Pete's.
King Josh
Illegal Pete's
Multiple locations
Illegal Pete's has built a reputation on forearm-sized burritos bursting with fresh ingredients, but fewer citizens are aware that breakfast is just as good an option at this homegrown chain. You won't find slender two-buck specials here; the burritos start at $4.49, but you can load them up with goodies beyond the basic egg-and-potato combo. As a bonus on Saturday, October 14, customers will be able to get a free breakfast burrito between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at all Denver locations (though options will be limited to keep the line moving).

Quijote's
1043 Broadway
720-542-8484

Quijote's is a quiet little joint on Broadway that fills up for lunch despite the many options nearby. But in the wee hours of the morning, you can stop in for a solid breakfast burrito and grab a fresh juice — not to mention really good coffee — to balance out your meal.

Santiago's is synonymous with breakfast burritos in Denver. - SANTIAGO'S
Santiago's is synonymous with breakfast burritos in Denver.
Santiago's
Santiago's
Multiple locations
Beyond the burrito peddlers making the rounds with Igloo coolers packed with breakfast for all, Santiago's is the company that has made breakfast burritos nearly ubiquitous in Denver. Since 1990, Carmen Morales's chain has guaranteed that crews of construction workers, desk jockeys and other early risers can face the day with foil-wrapped repasts clutched tightly in hand.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation