When Did Breakfast Burritos First Become A Thing?

Back in 2019, someone ruffled a few feathers — and generated some headlines — by filing a petition to trademark the term "breakfast burrito." At the time, Eater reported the incident, pointing out that the term has been in use for decades and questioning who could do such a thing. While the culprit may have never been fully identified, according to the patent application filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Eater and its readers can rest easy, since the case has since been abandoned.

Naturally, it may be difficult to picture a world in which any one entity can claim ownership over something as ubiquitous and popular as breakfast burritos. From McDonald's tortilla-wrapped version filled with eggs, green peppers, sausage, cheese, and onions (via McDonald's website) to Taco Bell's lineup including breakfast burritos fillings like bacon, potatoes, and steak (via Taco Bell's website), breakfast burritos appear on fast food menus throughout the country today. Of course, this wasn't always the case.

The breakfast burrito may have made a name for itself in the '70s

Breakfast burritos have deep roots in the state of New Mexico, even becoming what Independent Travel Cats described as "sort of the unofficial morning food for festival goers" at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. According to an article from the Catron Courier available via Press Reader, New Mexicans have been eating scrambled eggs and potatoes on tortillas for some time, but the bragging rights for creating the term "breakfast burrito" may belong to one restaurant in particular.

Tia Sophia's in Santa Fe doesn't claim to have invented the concept of the breakfast burrito but it does claim to be the first restaurant to use "breakfast burrito" on its menu. The Catron Courier reports that Tia Sophia's put a breakfast burrito on its menu in the '70s and that the first breakfast burrito included ground beef and potatoes but was missing one of the more common ingredients in breakfast burritos today. It didn't have eggs!

Tia Sophia's is still open today, by the looks of its Facebook account, and offers a variety of fillings for its breakfast burritos including bacon, ham, sausage, bologna, beans, potatoes, and eggs with red chile, green chile, and cheese as possible toppings. Tia Sophia's breakfast burritos even got a glowing review from one celebrity chef. According to the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis called the restaurant's breakfast burrito "the perfect hearty breakfast."