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Photo by Brian Addison. Above: our No. 1 breakfast burrito found at Tito’s Bakery on 4th.
Editor’s note: this article was updated on March 9, 2018.
4th Street is, unbeknownst to some, a breakfast burrito mecca of that spans from taqueria-in-a-wrapped-tortilla to American to vegan, from Ximeno all the way to Elm—and for any Long Beacher, this treasure of a morning meal is essential to daily living and therefore makes this list essential to know.
While I am certainly not suggesting that crawl is possible—maybe if there are 10 of you and you all take a bite or two as you go along—there has to be more recognition that one of Long Beach’s greatest stretches of road is also home to a plethora of any self-respecting Southern Californian’s favorite breakfast food (including the city’s best breakfast burrito).
Let’s begin from the west and head east to discover over ten of Long Beach’s breakfast burritos…
Berlin Bistro (420 E 4th St.)
Berlin Bistro, when it simultaneously opened with Fingerprints back in 2010, altered the neighborhood in the best way possible: by bringing folks to the sidewalks of a struggling East Village.
Now with sidewalk dining, the joint still has its classic breakfast burrito—with egg, avocado, cheese, and potato (feel free to add bacon).
If you stop in for weekend brunch, you can score breakfast burritos stuffed with house-cured ham, avocado, eggs, havarti cheese, sour cream, and hashbrowns.
Tito’s Bakery on 4th (1107 E 4th St.)
[Pictured at top]
Here, Long Beach, is the home of the best breakfast burrito in town (and remains for me one of the most underrated joints in the city). Nope, this isn’t your heavy-cheese-and-egg concoction that borders the American palate preference but this is a goddamned taqueria rolled into a tortilla for $6.
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, cilantro, and your choice of chorizo, chicharrones, 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 pollo is not listed).
Wrapped, tossed into a small paper bag with a grilled jalapeño and your choice of red or green salsa—get both, FYI—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.
Holé Molé (1327 E 4th St.)
Photo courtesy of Pauline Loto
I’ve said it over and I’ll say it again: whatever you want to say about the chain, one thing remains true: 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. Their Obispo (right off 4th) location has even begun serving brunch, y’all, complete with mimosas.
And for $3.99—FYI: you can also turn it into a bowl, torta or quesadilla—and at ten different options, Holé Molé is an absolute score. Take their KISS burrito, pictured above: standing for “Keep It Simple, Señor,” this breakfast burrito comes with a choice of meat, eggs, and cheese. Voila. You can do classics like ABC or steak’n’egg or machaca. Or you can go a little bit more explorative by getting the Toluca (eggs, chorizo, spinach, pico de gallo, avocado and cheese) or the Vegi (spinach, mushrooms, anaheim chile, pico de gallo, ranchero sauce, avocado, and cheese).
Jerry’s Place (1537 E 4th St.)
Photo by Brian Addison
When Tony passed in 2012, Tony’s Breakfast Place had a hole left in it—but its new owners decided, rather than carrying the weight of a legacy they felt they couldn’t uphold, re-branded the tiny breakfast joint into what is now known as Jerry’s Place.
Enjoy the patio, complete with a Ron Swanson painted into the mural and judging you, and enjoy what I’ve said is you straight-up, no-accoutrements breakfast burrito. 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. Boom. 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.
The Pike (1836 E 4th St.)
Photo courtesy of Mimi Masher
Let’s just be frank: the Pike Bar & Grill is both a Long Beach icon and legend, serving up what many consider some of the best bar food in the city along with a vibrant atmosphere that is throughly unique to its space.
But on that menu, hidden in a corner, is a weekend breakfast special: Mimi’s Favorite Breakfast Burrito. Named after self-proclaimed burrito connoisseur and all around Long Beach lover Mimi Masher, this masterful burrito keeps it classic: bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese and pico de gallo.
Portfolio Coffeehouse (2300 E 4th St.)
This Long Beach house of caffeination, about to hit three decades serving Retro Row hipsters and punks and everyone in between, has long had a classic breakfast burrito—filled with eggs, Jack cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, and roasted bell peppers—that its patrons are openly addicted to.
And while we are sad that the coffeehouse’s introduction of Wild Chive on the weekends once brought what is arguably the city’s best vegan burrito, dubbed the Grilled Burrizo, to Retro Row, we are equally as happy that the success of the vegan brunch affair has made the move to its larger location at MADE by Millworks in DTLB. (And they now have a weekly dinner.)
Golden Burger (2301 E 4th St.)
Photo by Brian Addison
I, admittedly, typically go to Golden Burger for two things: chili cheese pastrami fries with a side of hot yellow peppers or the bacon cheeseburger because I want to sulk in food with no care for arteries.
Like other staple Long Beach diners—Louis Burgers (home to the city’s best chili cheese fries), Douglas Burgers, and the sort, the kinda joints that somehow all have the sorta-same menu—Golden Burger is nostalgic, seeped with history and proof that any of these locally owned greasy spoons are ten times better than IHOP.
Their breakfast burrito is classic and solid: filled with a ton of hash browns, chorizo, eggs and cheese, its closest comparison would be Jerry’s.
MVP’s Grill & Patio (2742 E 4th St.)
Photo by Brian Addison
When Shillelagh announced they were leaving their longtime home next door to dive staple O’Connell’s, we were sad—but when we also heard that MVP’s would be moving from their home westerly on 4th (now home to underrated grub hub Prime), we were once again happy.
And they brought something new with them: the almighty three-egg breakfast burrito. Eight of them to be precise. Sticking to their sports-centric nature, you can order everything from the Babe Ruth (a meaty monster with bacon, ham, sausage, potatoes, egg and cheese) to my fave, the Magician Marlin Brisco (their house asada, which also comes in their regular Jorge Campos burrito, egg, and cheese—that’s it).
The only major bummer: they’re served until 11AM only so get there early.
Prime by Shenandoah (3701 E 4th St.)
Photo courtesy of Prime.
Prime is also on my list of Long Beach’s most underrated places to eat—and for good reason.
The space occupied by Prime holds a bit of history: it is the OG locale of MVPs Burgers (which moved into the space formerly occupied by Shillelagh at 4th & Temple, as mentioned above) and formerly the Whistle Stop, which came and went with the blow of its namesake.
Now, typically, you’ll find Prime’s crumbly, meaty, green chorizo with orecchiette mac’n’cheese and potatoes or in a quesadilla. But you can, indeed, get it in their spectacular breakfast burritos.
Coffee Cup Cafe (3734 E 4th St.)
Photo by Brian Addison
Coffee Cup Cafe is one of the true staples of Long Beach breakfast—y’know, up there with The Breakfast Bar and The Potholder in terms of status as a local icon—and their Baja Breakfast Burrito is one of the grub hub’s best offerings. (And in all honesty, I hope one day they take their undeniably fantastic Chicken Chile Verde and convert it into a breakfast burrito because I would be on cloud nine.)
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, a few more tips: order the potatoes well-done, get the toppings on the side (because you might not finish and you won’t be taking home a soggy burrito), and ask for their spicy chile verde salsa instead of the house salsa.
Egg Heaven Cafe (4358 E 4th St.)
Photo by Brian Addison
Long Beach’s Egg Heaven Cafe in Belmont Heights is one of the oldest breakfast joints in the city. Tiny but mighty, you’ll find similarities between it and the more popular Potholder locations—and that’s because they have the same menus, even down to the way they cook their potatoes. The Maui at Potholder? That’s the Queen Maria at Egg Heaven Cafe. (The only caveat is that Potholder’s menu is larger.)
They do, however, also have a breakfast burrito (opposite the intersection from our last option below, which is also the opposite by being vegan). It’s your Amexicana version: eggs, cheese, beans, sour cream, avocado, and good ol’ housemade salsa (that leans toward the Pace Picante).
The Grain Cafe (4403 E 4th St.)
Photo courtesy of Mish S.
Long Beach is becoming a vegan mecca: from Under the Sun and Plant Junkie in DTLB to Seabirds and this joint on 4th, vegan lovers around the region are flocking to Long Beach to experience fantastic vegan grub.
LA’s famed Grain Cafe—known for everything from their crepes to their tempeh bacon and tofu egg options—opened up shop at the northeast corner of 4th and Ximeno, taking over the old pizza’n’pasta joint, Mama Mia’s Pizza, that ran there for years.
The addition of Grain Cafe offers an alternative to most of the burritos I feature on the crawl—and that’s because it’s entirely vegan: tofu egg, onions, tomatoes, tempeh sausage, potatoes, vegan cheese, and tempeh bacon, wrapped in a spinach tortilla, and served with baked potato cubes.
Go get your vegan on.