A $22 burrito? San Francisco restaurant owner says he's keeping up with inflation

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A edifice successful San Francisco’s Mission District is catching attraction online aft precocious bumping nan value of its signature burrito from $11 to $22.

The proprietor of La Vaca Birria says it’s not an effort to make much money, but an effort to proceed to break moreover arsenic prices for everything rise.

When you locomotion into nan restaurant, it smells, “either for illustration birria, aliases charcoal,” said Ricardo Lopez, proprietor of La Vaca Birria.

For nan past 2 years, he has operated nan spot -- built retired of a erstwhile grounds shop successful nan Mission.

His imagination has been to make nan benignant of nutrient his aunts, uncles and mother utilized to make — but kicked up a notch.    

The only problem is, nan value of astir everything he uses to make his nutrient has gone up. Like onions for example.

“Before COVID, they were for illustration $9 a sack astatine Restaurant Depot, I utilized to prime them up. During COVID, and after, it was $40 dollars. Right now, it’s $80,” said Lopez.

Their signature burrito is nan astir celebrated and astir each constituent that goes into it has doubled successful cost. That’s nan logic nan proprietor said its value has, too.

A burrito from La Vaca Birria successful San Francisco.A burrito from La Vaca Birria successful San Francisco.NBC Bay Area

In fact, nan latest Consumer Price Index shows prices for food, state and lodging each roseate past period nationwide. 

To beryllium fair, Lopez has besides made a conscious determination to bargain premium beef to make his birria — which is Mexican marinated beef.

And has chosen not to bargain immoderate prepared foods from suppliers. Meaning everything is made from scratch — pinch nan objection of nan tortillas — which he gets from a section shop.

And each that effort is besides reflected successful nan prices.

“The nutrient that you make successful your pueblo backmost successful Mexico, it’s very labour intensive,” said Lopez. “And nan only measurement you get that present is astatine those good eating restaurants, doing everything from scratch.”

Judging from nan luncheon unreserved connected Tuesday, his determination not to skimp connected ingredients, aliases trim staff, seems to beryllium paying off.

“If it conscionable takes america arsenic consumers to salary a small spot much to support people’s dreams, and get really bully nutrient back, past that’s good pinch me,” said customer Rain Damon Espinas. 

And Lopez said he knows group tin take to spell to nan burrito shop a fewer doors down for a $9 dollar option, which he says is bully too.

And for regulars who person decided to trim back, Lopez said, “It’s either that aliases support nan value nan same, don’t make immoderate money and we adjacent our doors astatine 1 point.”


Sergio Quintana

Sergio Quintana is simply a wide duty newsman for NBC Bay Area.