Popular Chipotle Menu Items, Ranked Worst To Best

It's no secret that in terms of fast-casual restaurant chains, Chipotle is among the most popular out there. The healthy-ish Mexican-inspired joint serves up so many different dishes that it can be hard to keep track. But overall, Chipotle is known for its burritos, burrito bowls, salads, and more. And despite a few publicity scandals because of food safety issues, Chipotle continues to be a super popular option for anyone on the go looking for a quality meal.

Though Chipotle definitely only serves Mexican fare, that doesn't mean there isn't a ton of variety. Honestly, just about any craving you might have can probably be satisfied at Chipotle. And each dish can change so much just based on what toppings you add to it, so the flavor combinations are seemingly endless. Still, not all of Chipotle's most popular menu items are created equal, and no matter what you add to them, some are a lot better than others. So, if you're curious about the best of what Chipotle has to offer, keep reading, because the most popular Chipotle menu items ranked from the worst to the best, might surprise you.

18. Chicken Tacos

If you never knew that Chipotle served tacos, don't blame yourself. The menu item isn't as well-known for a reason: It's just not as good as everything else Chipotle has to offer. And if you want to get chicken tacos, you'll be even more disappointed. 

The tacos are a lot like the burritos at Chipotle in the sense that you can add whatever toppings you want, but they differ in a few key ways. First, you can get crunchy or soft taco shells, which sounds intriguing, but the crunchy shells just don't go with the overall vibe at Chipotle. Second, the tacos are significantly smaller than the burritos, which means you can't fit as much filling into them. So really, what's the point? The chicken is also one of the least-flavorful meats on Chipotle's menu, so without all the toppings, the chicken tacos are a total fail. Honestly, you're better off with a burrito.

17. Anything with Sofritas

Because Chipotle likes to brand itself has having plenty of healthy options, as well as options for any diet — from Whole30 to Vegan to Paleo — it makes sense that they would have a plant-based protein option. But unfortunately for anyone on a plant-based diet or just someone avoiding meat, their sofritas are just ... okay.

According to a review of the sofritas from Insider, "The item has a chili-like consistency, and could be added to meat without being overpowering." The review also goes on to describe the sofritas as "chewy" and though flavorful, that doesn't seem to be too enticing. After all, the key to any plant-based protein is the texture, and the texture of the sofritas might be a little off-putting, especially if you've never had it before. That isn't to say that the sofritas are horrible, but anything you order with it, be it a salad or burrito, will probably be just as mediocre.

16. Salad with Chicken

One of the healthiest options at Chipotle would definitely be their salads. Additionally, when it comes to protein, the chicken is also the healthiest protein at the chain, according to the restaurant's nutrition calculator. So, ordering a salad with chicken from Chipotle is definitely not a bad idea. But to truly be healthy, you have to skimp on some of Chipotle's more delicious toppings, so that's not ideal if you want to get the best of the establishment.

A healthy salad with chicken from Chipotle will likely consist of lettuce, chicken, the fajita veggies, black beans, some salsa, and maybe some guacamole if you're feeling extra. That's definitely not the worst combination, but overall, the salad with chicken is the healthy choice for a reason: It's just not as tasty as a burrito, or a bowl, or even a steak salad. That is to say, you could do a lot worse than the salad with chicken from Chipotle, but also a lot better.

15. Cheese Quesadilla Kid's Meal

Okay, as any avid Chipotle fan will know, you don't have to stick to the regular menu when ordering from the chain. Specifically, if you're hungry but not hungry enough to inhale an entire burrito or burrito bowl, then the kid's menu might have something more up your alley. In fact, the kid's meal cheese quesadilla is honestly the perfect snack or smaller portion. It's made fresh, and comes with three sides or toppings of your choosing.

Additionally, the kid's meal cheese quesadilla will also come with a kid's drink and a choice of either fruit or chips. So really, it's pretty filling despite its smaller serving size. Again, it might not be for everyone because it is a small serving, and technically it's made for kids. However, if you just want a snack or are craving a quesadilla, or just want to try something new at Chipotle, this is for you. 

14. Steak Burritos

So, it's no secret that the burritos at Chipotle are definitely one of the chain's most popular options. And honestly, who doesn't love a giant burrito filled with whatever toppings they want, wrapped in a warm tortilla? Seriously, most burritos at Chipotle are pretty good, but FYI, any burrito from Chipotle is going to be messy to eat because they're so big and stuffed full of ingredients.

However, the steak burrito at Chipotle is typically fattier and harder to eat than any of the other kinds of proteins you could add to your burrito. While the steak at Chipotle is full of flavor, it's also more likely to be full of fat, and tougher to chew. So, add that in with the already-existing struggles of eating a Chipotle burrito without all the ingredients falling all over you, and you've got yourself a seriously messy situation. Still, at least it'll taste good!

13. Quesadilla with Carnitas

In case you didn't know, Chipotle now offers a menu item in addition to the burritos, bowls, salads, and tacos. But, there's a catch: You can get an adult-sized quesadilla at Chipotle, but you have to order it on the app ahead of time. So you can't just show up and order one (unless your local Chipotle staff is just super nice and not too busy at the moment).

But, if you can remember to order a quesadilla ahead of time before heading into a Chipotle, it'll definitely be worth it. Quesadillas in general are pretty much always a safe bet for a delicious and filling meal, but if you were to add carnitas to your quesadilla, it might not be the best option. After all, the carnitas at Chipotle is already pretty fatty and flavorful, so add that with all the cheese in a quesadilla, and it's just too much.

12. Carnitas Taco

So, you already know that out of all the menu options that Chipotle has to offer, the tacos aren't typically what most people go for. That is, unless they get a taco with the carnitas meat at Chipotle, because that can be a game changer. The carnitas meat at Chipotle definitely isn't the healthiest protein option, but when put into a soft taco shell (or hard if you must), it's pretty delicious. Then, top it off with some simple ingredients like the pico de gallo and maybe some cheese and sour cream, and you've got yourself a pretty close version to authentic Mexican street tacos.

Now, again, this isn't the best option at Chipotle, just because there are so many other delicious combinations you can make. But, if you're stuck at a Chipotle and are really craving some tacos, this is probably one of the best ways to go about ordering them. The carnitas meat really stands out when you don't overpower it with beans and rice, so definitely give these tacos a try.

11. Barbacoa Bowl

If you've never had the barbacoa meat at Chipotle, then you're seriously missing out. The tender beef dish is seasoned to perfection, slowly cooked and shredded, making it the perfect protein choice if you're seeking more flavor from your Chipotle dish. The barbacoa is definitely different than the lean chicken or even the steak option at Chipotle, though, so if you haven't tried it you should probably start with a bowl.

Ordering a barbacoa bowl from Chipotle is definitely a smart move, because you can customize it however you want, and not deal with the mess of a burrito. Because the barbacoa is so flavorful, you'll want to choose toppings that compliment that, so try it with brown rice, black beans, cheese, and a salsa of your choice. Guacamole would also be great with the meat, but be warned it'll be super rich all together. A Barbacoa bowl from Chipotle is definitely tasty, and once you try it, you'll be ordering barbacoa everything in the future.

10. Chicken Burritos

Perhaps one of the most classic dishes you can order at Chipotle is a chicken burrito. As previously stated, the chicken is the most healthy protein choice at Chipotle, so this is a great choice for a burrito. After all, burritos aren't exactly healthy, so using chicken is a great way to get some balance. The chicken at Chipotle is also pretty flavorful, but not too flavorful, so you can really get creative with your burrito this way. And isn't that the best part of Chipotle?

There's a reason why chicken burritos are so popular at Chipotle, and it's because they're so versatile! They go great with whatever rice or beans or salsa you choose, and are especially great dipped in some queso or guacamole if you aren't afraid of a little fat. Again, chicken isn't the tastiest protein at Chipotle, but it is the most universally pleasing.

9. Salad with Steak

If you want to be healthy when you go to Chipotle, but don't want to compromise on flavor, then try a salad wit hsteak. The steak at Chipotle is actually their second-healthiest protein after the chicken. So, if you want to have a little more flavor than just a chicken salad at Chipotle, go ahead and upgrade to a steak salad instead. This is probably the best salad option because the steak is tasty but not greasy, so it doesn't turn the salad into a soggy mess.

With the steak salad, make sure you also add those fajita veggies because they go so well with the dish. And while this is definitely the best salad option, it's not the best overall option at Chipotle. Because really, who would choose a salad over a burrito or another more indulgent meal? Chipotle is great for healthy options, and this might just top them.

8. Queso Blanco

There are some things on Chipotle's menu that have seemingly been there forever. The chain doesn't typically add new menu items very often, so when they do, it's a big deal. Such was the case with their queso, which went through quite a few changes before becoming the delicious filling or side that it is today.

In 2017, Chipotle first launched queso on their menu, but the dip wasn't exactly met with great reviews. So, they revamped their recipe to a queso blanco, and it's now totally delicious. The queso is made with simple ingredients, but the texture and flavor are both on point. It's great on the side with chips, as something to dip your burrito into, or even something to top your burrito bowl or salad. The queso blanco definitely isn't healthy, but it is tasty and the perfect finishing touch to almost anything you order from Chipotle.

7. Chicken Quesadilla

So, you already know that the chicken at Chipotle is their healthiest protein choice, but it's certainly not as flavorful as some of the other options. Still, the chicken is pretty perfect inside Chipotle's cheesiest offering: their quesadilla. Again, you have to order the quesadilla ahead of time on the app, but it'll be totally worth it once you do.

The chicken quesadilla is a great way to enjoy Chipotle's full-sized quesadilla, and is pretty on-par with what you would expect from a chicken quesadilla at a nicer Mexican food restaurant. The quesadilla also comes with options for three sides or sauces, so you can get pretty creative. Want to dip your chicken quesadilla in queso and guacamole? Go for it! The chicken has such a mild flavor compared to other meats at Chipotle that it really goes with anything, and the crispy and cheesy quesadilla is the perfect vessel for the protein.

6. Steak Quesadilla

Just like the chicken quesadilla at Chipotle, a steak quesadilla is a pretty satisfying meal — especially if you aren't particularly feeling up to a eating giant burrito or are a pickier eater, a steak quesadilla should satisfy anyone. The steak is obviously a little fattier than the chicken, making it a delicious option for the quesadilla which is also filled with cheese. Because it's fatty, though, you might want to think about making it a full meal and choosing beans and rice as two of your sides with just one dipping option.

Really, though, whatever way you choose to eat your steak quesadilla at Chipotle, you can't go wrong. The tortilla is perfectly grilled, the cheese nice and melty, and the steak is a great compliment to the rich and savory flavors. Both the chicken and steak quesadilla are pretty good, but because you can only have three sides or sauces, they're a little limiting in terms of the ingredients you get to taste. Still, they're definitely not the worst thing on the menu, and are probably the most universally appealing.

5. Salad with Barbacoa

Once again, the barbacoa at Chipotle is seriously delicious. Yes, it's fattier and has more calories than some of the other protein options, but that's because it's also a lot more flavorful. And that's why a barbacoa salad is where it's at. Well, if you're going to order a salad at Chipotle, that is. Fair warning, though: the barbacoa is messier since it's a little greasy, but as long as you eat the salad in one sitting, it won't get soggy.

The barbacoa meat at Chipotle is just so good that it can make even the healthiest of salads taste absolutely delicious. Whether you add more veggies or salsas or cheese or sour cream to the salad, though, one thing is necessary and it's guacamole. Seriously, to have the absolute best salad at Chipotle, get it with barbacoa and add the guacamole. It will be so flavorful, so filling, and so satisfying that you won't miss the rice or tortilla at all.

4. Guacamole

Yes, the guacamole is extra money for a reason. Chipotle famously keeps their guacamole recipe super simple; they just use avocados, cilantro, jalapeño, red onion, lemon and lime juice, and salt. The simplicity is what makes it so tasty, though. Sure, adding guacamole to your burrito or salad will cost you an additional $2.45, but it's worth it, honestly.

The guacamole at Chipotle is probably the freshest thing they sell, and it's so tasty you might even lick your bowl clean afterward. And if you think it might be too much to add to your burrito, then just get it on the side to go with an order of chips. Then you've got a delicious appetizer, side dish, or snack for later on. The only reason this isn't the best popular Chipotle menu item is because it's not actually a full-on meal. But don't hesitate to pay extra for it next time you go to Chipotle, because it's completely worth it and can take your meal to the next level.

3. Barbacoa Tacos

If you'll remember, the tacos at Chipotle aren't exactly what they're known for. But, when you order the tacos with barbacoa as the protein, they become one of the best items on the menu. Once again, the key with the tacos is to get the soft shell tortilla with them, and keep the toppings simple. For the barbacoa, stick with some cheese and pico de gallo, although you could definitely do some guacamole on the side, too.

It might sound simple, but the flavor and tenderness of the barbacoa meat is what's going to make these tacos a true stand-out. Again, you don't need a ton of toppings because of that. Honestly, if you haven't ordered these from Chipotle you're missing out. Sure, the tacos aren't as classic a Chipotle menu item as burritos are, but they are pretty popular, and the barbacoa tacos are worth your money.

2. Burrito Bowl with Chicken

One of Chipotle's most popular menu items is popular for a reason: The chicken burrito bowl is delicious, filling, simple, and can be as healthy or unhealthy as you want it to be. You can choose whatever kind of rice or beans, add extra vegetables or not, and then just go crazy on the toppings if that's your thing — and that's what makes the dish so great. Truly, the chicken burrito bowl is almost the best thing Chipotle has to offer.

The chicken is super healthy, but also tasty, and eating it in a bowl form just makes it so much easier to manage. You don't have to try to stuff a giant burrito into your face; instead, you can take your time and scoop exactly the amount of chicken, beans, and rice you want onto your fork and into your mouth. It's a pretty delicious and amazing experience, and while the chicken at Chipotle isn't their most flavorful meat, it is the most popular, because who doesn't like chicken?

1. Carnitas Burrito

For the absolute best of the best at Chipotle, you really can't beat a carnitas burrito. This Chipotle dish is definitely our favorite popular menu item, and for good reason: The burritos are huge, the tortillas they use are so fresh and warm, and the fillings you can add make the burrito even better.

But the most important ingredient for a Chipotle burrito is definitely the carnitas. This meat is one of Chipotle's best, and goes especially well in a burrito. Add in your rice, beans, vegetables, cheese, sour cream, and salsa and you've got a perfect dish. There's a good chance this burrito will have to be cut in half and eaten slowly, because it's that good and that filling. This is truly the best that Chipotle has to offer and if you haven't given it a try yet, then now is the time to do it.