Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular fast casual restaurant chain known for its delicious burritos, tacos, bowls and salads made with fresh ingredients. Customers love Chipotle for its customizable menu with options to build your own entrees, reasonable prices and speedy service. If you’re a fan of Chipotle, you may be wondering what other restaurants have a similar vibe and menu options. Here are some of the top restaurants like Chipotle to consider.
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Moe’s Southwest Grill is often compared to Chipotle as another fast casual Mexican restaurant chain. Like Chipotle, Moe’s is known for its customizable burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and salads. Guests can choose from ingredients like grilled chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa, veggies, beans, rice, salsas and more to build their ideal Mexican feast. Moe’s offers online ordering for quick pickup or delivery.
One unique aspect of Moe’s is its Welcome to Moe’s greeting when you enter, setting a fun and casual tone. Moe’s menu items have quirky names like the Close Talker burrito and John Coctostan quesadilla. While the food tastes fresh, prices are very affordable with combo deals available. Moe’s doesn’t cut quite as many corners as Chipotle in terms of sourcing and quality, but it’s still a solid choice for custom and quick Mexican cuisine.
- Fast casual Mexican restaurant
- Customizable burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos
- Choice of meats, beans, rice, veggies, salsas
- Online ordering available for quick service
- Reasonable prices
Like Chipotle and Moe’s, Qdoba Mexican Eats is a leading fast casual chain serving customizable Mexican menu items. Qdoba’s mantra is “what’s in your bowl?” emphasizing the many combinations possible to build the perfect burrito, taco, nachos, quesadilla or salad. Protein options include chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa and vegetarian options like soyrizo. Top it off with any of Qdoba’s signature salsas and guacamole.
While the core menu is similar, Qdoba differentiates itself by offering more Mexican inspired soups, street tacos and handcrafted queso dips. They also have Impossible plant-based meat substitute. Prices and quality are comparable to Chipotle, making it another excellent quick service option for Mexican.
- Build your own burritos, bowls, tacos, nachos
- Meat, beans, veggies, rice, salsa, guacamole options
- Signatures extras like queso, soups, street tacos
- Fast service for dining in, takeout or delivery
- Reasonable pricing
Freebirds World Burrito
Originating in California, Freebirds World Burrito has grown into a national chain of almost 100 locations. Like the previous restaurants discussed, Freebirds is centered around customizable burritos and bowls packed with your choice of quality ingredients. Signature meats include spicy cilantro lime chicken and tender braised barbacoa. Burritos can then be loaded up with extras like queso, sautéed veggies, shredded cheese, guac and pico de gallo.
Freebirds sets itself apart by offering unique specialty options you won’t find at Chipotle, like the Golden Tex Mex burrito with french fries or Nacho Libre with chips and queso baked inside. While prices are slightly higher than Chipotle, the food quality and flavors are also more elevated.
- Build your own burritos and bowls
- Choice of rices, beans, meats, salsas and toppings
- Specialty signature recipes
- Higher quality ingredients compared to typical fast food
Rubio’s Coastal Grill
For a Baja Mexico inspired option, Rubio’s Coastal Grill offers a fresh take on seafood tacos, burritos and bowls. Founded in San Diego, Rubio’s has expanded to over 200 locations focused on West Coast styles of Mexican cuisine. The menu features fish tacos with options like grilled mahi mahi, shrimp and crispy shrimp. Burritos, bowls and salads can be packed with classics like carne asada steak, Pollo Asado chicken, carnitas or house made guacamole.
Signature sides and extras include street-style taquitos with guacamole, chipotle black beans, cilantro lime rice and tortilla chips. The vibe is laid back California casual with prices fairly comparable to Chipotle. Rubio’s stands out for higher quality seafood focused flavors in a fast casual setting.
- Tacos, burritos, bowls, salads format
- Grilled chicken, steak, carnitas
- Signature guacamole, rice, beans, salsas
- Fresh, fast casual quality
- Reasonable prices
With locations in Colorado and Arizona, Illegal Pete’s offers a Southwestern take on build your own burritos, bowls, tacos and nachos. Burritos come stuffed with choices like chipotle chicken, barbacoa beef, carnitas and more. Burrito fillings are piled high so sizes run bigger than Chipotle. Nachos, quesadillas and tacos offer a nice change of pace from the standard bowl or burrito.
Illegal Pete’s also differentiates itself with its spicier flavor profiles and signature salsas. Salsa choices range from mild green to extra hot habanero, adding more kick than Chipotle’s salsas. Illegal Pete’s has more of a hip, edgy vibe with loud music and decor compared to Chipotle’s subdued tones. Prices are very comparable to Chipotle for generous portions.
- Burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos
- Meats include chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa
- Range of mild to extra hot salsas
- Southwestern flavors
- Generous portions
Pancheros Mexican Grill
Midwestern chain Pancheros distinguishes itself from Chipotle with its fresh pressed tortillas for burritos, tacos, quesadillas and bowls. Tortillas are pressed right on the line as you order. Burritos are also specially wrapped in foil for steaming tableside. Fillings include chicken, steak, carnitas, barbacoa and vegetarian options. Robust salsas and house made guacamole round out the dishes.
Pancheros is praised for its fresh tasting tortillas hot off the press and larger burrito sizes compared to Chipotle. While prices are slightly higher, the quality of the tortillas and steaming process add an extra level of flavor. Pancheros brings a unique experience while still delivering on customizable Mexican favorites.
- Burritos, tacos, bowls, quesadillas
- Choice of meats or vegetarian fillings
- Fresh, hand pressed tortillas
- Tableside foil steaming
- Salsas and guacamole options
Baja Fresh provides a fast casual take on authentic regional Mexican cuisine of Baja California. The menu focuses on simple, fresh ingredients in recipes like Baja ensaladas, tacos, burritos and plates. Proteins include mesquite grilled chicken, carne asada steak, carnitas and grilled fish or shrimp. Sides feature Mexican rice, beans, house made guacamole and salsas.
While the menu is relatively simple, Baja Fresh recreates classic flavors you’d find in Baja Mexico through high quality ingredients. The grilled fish and shrimp tacos are standouts. Baja Fresh delivers a more authentic regional Mexican taste compared to Chipotle’s Americanized adaptations.
- Tacos, burritos, bowls format
- Grilled chicken, steak fillings
- Mexican rice, beans, guacamole
- Simple menu focused on quality
- Fast casual service
Taco Del Mar
Taco Del Mar started in the Pacific Northwest but has expanded across the country for its Baja inspired fish tacos and burritos. The simple menu focuses on doing the basics right. Fillings include wild Alaskan cod and northwest salmon along with mesquite chicken and steak. Toppings stay classic with choices like shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, cheese, lime crema sauce, guacamole, salsa and cilantro.
While not as customizable as Chipotle, the short menu showcases high quality proteins and toppings for delicious fish tacos and burritos. Reasonable prices and ordering efficiency keep the vibe fast casual. Taco Del Mar is perfect for when you’re craving well executed, classic Baja-style tacos.
- Tacos and burritos
- Grilled fish, chicken and steak options
- Traditional toppings like guac, pico, cabbage
- Simplified menu focused on quality
- Fast casual service style
Taco Cabana is another excellent choice for fast casual, Mexican inspired cuisine. The Texas based chain serves up tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, flautas and other Tex-Mex staples. Proteins include shredded chicken, ground beef, steak fajita, grilled shrimp, chorizo and brisket. Traditional sides like refried beans, Spanish rice, queso and freshly made flour tortillas round out the meals.
The food quality and flavors are excellent at Taco Cabana. While the menu is not as customizable as Chipotle, it offers a nice change of pace for different Southwestern and Tex-Mex dishes you won’t find elsewhere. The vibe is casual, affordable and authentic.
- Tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, flautas
- Shredded chicken, steak, chorizo, brisket
- Beans, rice, tortillas, queso
- Authentic Tex-Mex flavors
- Fast casual service and pricing
Other Notable Options
Here are some other excellent fast casual chains to consider that offer a customized, Chipotle style dining experience:
This Tex-Mex chain allows you to build your own burritos, bowls, tacos and nachos just how you like them. Their campechana taco with steak, chorizo and shrimp is a standout.
This southern favorite lets you load up burritos, bowls, tacos and salads with choices like Southwestern chicken, steak, carnitas, chorizo and more. Queso and hand pressed tortillas are highlights.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Obviously Chipotle itself is the prime option if you’re craving their exact style of fast casual Tex-Mex. The protein options, flavor profiles and overall model started here.
Finding Your Closest Option
Utilize food delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub or Postmates to find a customized Mexican restaurant in your area. Most of the major chains discussed above are available for delivery or pickup through these services. You can easily enter your address and browse the various burrito, bowl and taco options near you.
These apps make it convenient to sample different menus and decide your favorites for future visits. Pay attention to any delivery fees and service charges so you understand the full pricing. Also consider downloading the standalone apps for any brands you really enjoy since they sometimes offer exclusive deals.
Key Things to Look For
Here are some key things to evaluate when finding a Mexican restaurant similar to Chipotle:
- Customization – Can you build your own combination burrito, bowl, taco or salad?
- Protein options – Do they offer meats like chicken, steak, carnitas, chorizo, barbacoa, vegetarian?
- Sides – What rice, bean and salsa selections are available? Any queso or guacamole?
- Efficiency – Is the format fast casual with online/app ordering available?
- Quality – Do the ingredients taste fresh and authentic vs mass produced?
- Value – Are prices reasonable for portions? Any combo deals?
Prioritizing these factors will help you find a suitable quick service Mexican restaurant with the customizable experience and menu you’re looking for.
Chipotle remains the originator of the build your own Mexican fast casual concept. But if you’re looking to change up your routine, there are now many excellent alternatives providing fresh takes on burritos, bowls and tacos. Moe’s, Qdoba, Freebirds and Illegal Pete’s are top national chains that closely mimic the Chipotle format. Baja Fresh, Rubio’s and Taco Del Mar also deliver quality with more regional flavors.
Utilize food delivery services to find the closest option and experiment with different menus. Evaluate the level of customization, ingredients, value and convenience to determine your favorites. There are now ample choices to get your customized Mexican fix with delicious new flavors to explore beyond your standard Chipotle order.