On the Richmond Burrito Trail: Tacos El Chino

On the Richmond Burrito Trail: Tacos El Chino
Tacos El Chino is located at 2300 Humphrey Avenue in Richmond. Photo/Soren Hemmila

After tackling half a dozen burritos, the Richmond Burrito Trail has hit 23th Street. Maybe we were just practicing for this moment when we tackled Richmond’s famed taqueria corridor. 

There are so many taquerias we had to research and create a plan to approach this food mecca. We read reviews about El Tapatio, El Mexicano Deli y Taqueria, Portumex, Tacos Los Primos, Tacos El Chino, El Chaparro, La Selva Taqueria, Taqueria La Estrella and La Gran Chiquita. We considered starting at the San Pablo border and making our way south. We thought about starting at the bottom and heading north. We ended up driving around looking for a crowd.

It was just after noon, and we were hungry. We made a couple of passes on a relatively empty 23rd Street. We weren’t seeing large groups gathering for food, our usual tipoff for an excellent place to eat. We stopped when we saw a group heading into the Tacos El Chino compound at Humphrey Avenue. This is the taqueria with the frog logo.

Behind the metal fence sits a large covered patio filled with tables and chairs, soccer on television screens. Food and drinks come from Tacos El Chino food trucks. Even though you are outside, with music playing, you are worlds away from busy 23rd Street.

We ordered the most basic burrito around: the Super Carne Asada Burrito. We usually forgo steak burritos in favor of something porky or saucy.

The burrito was tasty but tiny. At 524 grams, it has the dubious distinction of being the smallest burrito we’ve encountered on the Richmond Burrito Trail. 

The pint-sized super slab was saucy and had a nice mix of ingredients, including a nice spice to the burrito, which is sometimes missing in our local burritos. The rice was well cooked, the onions and cilantro made themselves known, and the beans were cooked perfectly, just how we like them.

Tacos El Chino's Super Carne Asada Burrito was tasty, but tiny.

The steak was a little chewy, and the tortilla could have spent some time on the grill. Burrito inflation is alive and well at $14.82, they left the super off our burrito. A scroll through historical photos on Yelp shows the price progression. In February 2016, the Super Carne Asada Burrito cost $7.50. The price rose through the years. By January 2020, the super burrito cost $9.50. By 2022, it was up to $10.50.

We’re not looking for a taqueria competing in the Burrito Size Olympics, but a burrito should be filling. Sadly, this little offering left us hungry, and we're pretty sure we could have finished another.

We will be back on the Richmond Burrito Trail next week.

In the comment section, tell us what it takes to make a burrito great!

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