How to Eat at Chipotle

by Spencer Lund

When you walk into Chipotle, don’t look ashamed or frightened. You’re eating some righteous food, so own up to it. Stride purposely to the first stop at the Chipotle station and in a commanding voice say: “I’ll have a burrito with black beans and steak.”

Other appropriate orders: barbacoa and steak mix or just barbacoa. To paraphrase Anthony Bourdain for a second (who wouldn’t be caught dead in Chipotle), chicken is for people who don’t know what they want.

Also, if you decide to order a burrito bowl, or God forbid, the tacos, then you need to reevaluate where you’re getting your meal. This isn’t some namby-pamby Taco Bell and there are rules. Rule number one is: you can’t half-ass the caloric intake.

Vegetarian Chipotle orders are as ridiculous as they sound, and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re a vegetarian, good for you, but stay the fuck outta my Chipotle. There’s probably some refuse they feed rabbits up the street.

Feel free to add the peppers and onions to your burrito as well, but always include meat [insert lesbian joke to spur certain commentators here]. Also, if you want some extra meat, GO FOR IT! Never shy away from asking for more, as they are 100% of the time amenable to more. You may have to pay for it, but we’ll discuss that later.

In terms of the black vs. pinto bean debate that’s been raging for centuries, pinto beans have always struck me as being too healthy. Also, black beans taste better. I’m too lazy to look up the actual science behind my intuition, but if anyone can prove that pinto beans are actually worse for you than black beans, I will gladly change my Chipotle ritual and you can even read the eulogy at my funeral for my heart failure at 50.

After they’ve added your peppers, onions, steak and black beans, don’t let up. You’ve only just begun. Generally, you now move down the stations, and so you must speak to another employee. That means you need to impress him or her with your confidence all over again, like you did with your commanding voice at the first station. I hope I’m not the first one to tell you this, but don’t throw your jilted Spanish at the poor employees. I don’t care if you spent six months in Spain doing some hot man or woman after taking “like the best Molly EVER” at some rave. You’re not Spanish. If you do speak Spanish as a legitimate first language, go for it. (You can only claim Spanish as a first language if you were born in a country where it is the official or most-spoken language, or you learned it from your parents around the house and learned English later because you live in America. Or I guess England and/or Canada.)

This is the proper way to go about ordering from the second (and generally final) station. This is also where you really come into your own and they’ll respect you more for it.

“I’d like some corn.” Wait until the corn as been added.

“And some tomato.” Wait until the tomato has been scooped and added. Your burrito should look pretty monstrous already, but we have more to add.

“Some hot sauce please…”

This is where things get emphatic.



Cheese and sour cream are the two things you must ask for extra. There’s no clearly defined rule about this, so take advantage of their ambiguity and ask for more. I do this with the meat as well, but then beg off when they inform me it will cost extra. Some day they will not mention this and I will get free extra meat.

This is a big moment here. Maybe add a bit of lettuce, but the real issue of contention here is the guacamole. For all you clowns that swear by the “really fresh guacamole” they make “right in front of you” at your over-priced Dos Caminos, then maybe you want some guacamole on the side here, so you can sniff at it and make foodie comments about how it’s so bland, or there aren’t enough tomatos and onions, yadda yadda yadda. When I have the money (not often), I ask for guacamole even though it’s ridiculous that they charge you an extra $2.50 for it. I also have them add it to my burrito. I will then politely ask them to mush everything together. Just ask — many people forget this.

After everything has been added, your chipoista (I just made that up) should have trouble fitting everything into the burrito. If the burrito tears and they have to add a second tortilla, CONGRATULATIONS, you ordered the proper way.

And if you’ve impressed the manager so much that he says “That’s a big fuckin’ Burrito” as you’re paying, then not only have you done your job well, but I’d like to go out to lunch with you. It was the proudest day of my life. This manager watches burritos being made all day long, so if you have impressed him/her to the extent of f-bomb dropping, you know you’re good.

I know a lot of people are hesitant to ask for them to mix everything, or add something extra, but if you can’t take command of a food-related situation, you probably shouldn’t be going to Chipotle anyway. They’ll respect you less if you stay mum. It’s a man eat dog world out there (quite possibly literally), and if you’re not prepared to do this right, you should just hit some deli salad bar and stay out of my way.

Spencer Lund is an editor at a start-up company, so is extremely poor and only has time for haphazard freelancing. He has a Tumblr that he plans on deleting. You also shouldn’t follow him on Twitter since most of what he Tweets is depressing.

Photo by Aranami from Flickr.