The chorizo breakfast burrito from Jerry’s. Photo by Brian Addison.
It is a California staple that New Yorkers will just never understand: the breakfast burrito. While the bagel’n’coffee combo is all an East Coaster needs, Californians want nothing more than a giant tortilla wrapped around egg and some fillings to fulfill the needs of a gluttonous morning.
We know a literal breakfast burrito crawl would be beyond debilitating even for the heartiest of appetites (though we happily invite bottomless stomachs to take on the challenge of eating as many as possible in one day)… But that doesn’t mean we won’t bring up the gold mine-like stretch that is 4th Street. Surely we could have made a list of breakfast burritos throughout the city, but 4th from Grand to Elm avenues is home to ten—yes, ten—of the best places to mow down on breakfast burritos in Long Beach.
Coffee Cup Cafe (4th & Grand Avenue)
The Baja Breakfast Burrito is one of this LB grub hub’s best offerings (and, in my humble opinion, the establishment that offers the best breakfast period). It has a California influence—the avocado and sour cream on top with black beans inside are a dead giveaway—but is thoroughly delectable. Though the steak and soyrizo protein options are delicious, the chicken wins as the protein of choice—impressive considering the former two are typically the most flavorful.
Oh, and one more tip: order the potatoes well-done and ask for their spicy chile verde salsa instead of the house salsa. You’ll be a happy camper, trust me.
Taqueria La Mexicana (4th & Coronado Avenue)
Like Jerry’s, Taqueria La Mexicana keeps it basic when approaching the all-powerful breakfast burrito—with one awesome exception: French fries. Yes, decadence takes a new form here, by swapping out hash browns in favor of good ol’ French fries. The rolled goodness automatically comes with a plentiful dose of diced ham so if you’re feeling like something different, don’t forget to ask (and make sure to also ask for extra hot sauce: the single tiny container of flavor isn’t enough for the whole burrito).
And at a total of $5, the thing is a fulfilling steal—just expect a wait because Taqueria La Mexicana is always busy.
Kafe Neo (4th & Temple)
Only in Southern California would one find a breakfast burrito which breaks the sanctity of keeping it Mexican—and Kafe Neo happily provides us a Grecian take on the morning fave. Though they have a veggie and classic option (the latter filled with bacon and sausage), we say go all-Greek with the Greek Burrito: eggs, loukaniko (an orange-y Greek sausage), spinach, taters and feta. Opa!
Shillelagh (4th & Temple)
A Post winner for “Best Hangover Breakfast” in 2012, Shillelagh has always been friendly to the vegetarians of Long Beach—and they do not fail with their veggie chorizo burrito. Filled with soyrizo, eggs, potatoes and cheese, what makes this breakfast burrito stand out is their use of red enchilada sauce. It thereby mimics an enchilada, but on a bigger, more awesome scale. And of course, there’s a reason it won “Best Hangover Breakfast”: sitting next to O’Connell’s provides you with the ability to order a bloody Mary or screwdriver for a little hair of the dog, should your previous evening have proved debauched.
The breakfast burrito from Retro Row’s P3.
P3 (4th & Junipero Avenue)
P3 (pronounced “P-Cubed”) is open bright’n’early at 7AM to offer breakfast (including a breakfast pizza). Their spin on the breakfast burrito comes with a choice of soy or pork chorizo. Scrumptous and filling, it is also paired with egg, potatoes, housemade salsa and cheese while topped with avocado and a lime-crème drizzle. For $8, it leans on the more expensive side but that drizzle is as addicting as Lola’s green crack sauce.
Golden Burgers (4th & Junipero Avenue)
This joint is a necessary part of life for anyone who makes this area of Long Beach their home. Nostalgic and diner-y, Golden Burgers harkens to a that old-school, unapologetically American, greasy-spoon of a cafe—but of course, it’s operated by a Mexican family, making it even more awesome than Denny’s could ever dream of being. And though you can gorge on the impeccable chili cheese pastrami fries for breakfast (make sure to the get the pastrami well-done and share), their breakfast burrito is classic and solid (and worth sharing, too!). Filled with a ton of hash browns, chorizo, eggs and cheese, its closest comparison would be Jerry’s, which is…
Jerry’s Place (4th & Walnut)
…right up the street. Formerly Tony’s Breakfast Place—Tony passed and the new owners decided re-brand the tiny breakfast joint about a year ago—Jerry’s offers what is your straight-up, no-accoutrements breakfast burrito [pictured at top of article]. You have your standard choice of meats, including chorizo, stuffed with a hefty pile of hash browns, paired with a couple of eggs and cheese. Voila. And the housemade salsas—roja and verde, of course—are almost equally delicious but I lean towards the verde, which has a hint of habañero and makes the world a better place.
Even better? Join the two house pups—an extra-friendly English bulldog and a loving blue-coat pit—on their backdoor patio.
Holé Molé (4th & Almond Avenue)
Say what you want about the chain, but Holé Molé is a staple for Long Beachers—mostly for their amazingly cheap prices and late hours, particularly for patrons of the surrounding dive bars which happily satisfy our thirst. Beyond that, though, breakfast is served all day, so that means you’re not relegated to the early hours of the day to enjoy our morning craving. And for $3.99 (not to mention you can turn it into a bowl, torta or quesadilla), it is an absolute score. Though many options exist—the classic ABC or steak’n’egg or machaca or…—we suggest the Toluca, a beautiful blend of eggs, chorizo, spinach, pico de gallo, avocado and cheese.
Tito’s breakfast burrito with bacon.
Tito’s Bakery (4th & Cerritos Avenue)
This is—personally speaking—my favorite breakfast burrito in Long Beach. I’ll be frank: it’s a taqueria in a tortilla for $5.25. One of the few places who isn’t afraid of refried beans, one gets a slather of those delicious kernels of protein (and surely lard, considering how smooth and delectable they are) paired with potatoes, eggs, onions, cheese and your choice of chorizo, bacon (chopped fresh and cooked right there—not precooked for days beforehand so specifically request crispy if that’s your preference), shredded beef, or chicken (though the latter is not listed).
Wrapped, tossed into a small paper bag with a grilled jalapeño, this is the kind of breakfast burrito that by its end will be soaked, hard to hold, and bring a sense of sadness when the last bite is consumed. But that’s okay, because you can always order another if you dare—or you can just go full beached-whale status and have some pan dulce.
Berlin (4th & Elm Avenue)
Berlin has become this microcosm of its own: the joint has not only transformed the neighborhood, but has become a morning staple for many Long Beachers. So naturally, they require a breakfast burrito, affectionately called the ABC for avocado, bacon, and cheese (or you can go pure vegetarian or be a bit more Mexican and opt for chorizo). It’s massive, it’s cheap, and even better? On weekends, throw down $20 for bottomless mimosas and sit on the parklet. For. The. Win.
Note: The Pike Bar & Restaurant at 4th & Hermosa serves breakfast on weekends (where on Saturday and Sunday, instead of opening at 11AM, they open at 9AM) and is home to Mimi Masher’s Favorite Breakfast Burrito. Though one of our favorite watering holes, we weren’t aware the Pike served breakfast so to all our readers: give ’em some love on the weekend and stop by an iconic Long Beach bar for a breakfast burrito.