Breakfast Burritos of the Front Range

Many a famed Coloradoan has left their legacy on the climbing world.  Read: Josh Wharton, Johnny Copp, John Gill, Daniel Woods.  These crushers of new and old were fueled by passion, tenacity, and most importantly: The Breakfast Burrito!

If you happen to be stopping through the Colorado Front Range in dire need of some morning-time sending power, check out one of these vetted purveyors of the tortilla.


Each restaurant is 5 point system (5 out of 5 being the highest) in the following categories:

Size: Does this burrito fit in your hand, or does it require a wheelbarrow?

Customization: How many ingredients can you stuff in there while still avoiding the dreaded tortilla rupture?

Price: Can your dirt-bag tendencies afford this price of luxury?  Higher score = Less expensive.


Location: Estes Park
Nearby Climbing Areas: Lumpy Ridge, Rocky Mountain National Park

Notchtop — A small, family owned operation just off the main drag.
Size: 4/5 — Bigger than most, but the lack of included sides costs it one star.
Customization: 5/5 — I normally spring for the veggie burrito, but I always add bacon!
Price: 4/5 — With an average price of $7.95 this burrito offers plenty of breakfast goodness at a great value.

Location: Lyons
Nearby Climbing Areas: St. Vrain Canyon, Boulder Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park

Stone Cup — Located at the crossroads of St. Vrain Canyon and US-36 in Lyons, this coffee shop is a favorite pitstop among local climbers on the way up to Estes.
Size: 3/5 — Fair size, but leaves you with room for a little something more, maybe a muffin.
Customization: 2/5 -— Handmade in house, but not many topping choices outside of the standards: eggs, potatoes, black beans, onions, tomatoes, cheddar, green chile sauce.
Price: 5/5 — $6.75 for the veggie burrito makes this one a great choice for some inexpensive send fuel!

Location: Boulder
Nearby Climbing Areas: Eldorado Canyon, Boulder Canyon, Flatirons

Snooze — Located in the heart of Boulder’s downtown: Pearl Street. Get there early or prepare to wait among many a hungover undergrad.
Size: 5/5 — This burrito clocks in at the size of a small child and includes hash browns.  The only burrito on the list to achieve the coveted 5 stars in this category.
Customization: 5/5 — With over 37 choices of fillings, this fully custom burrito once again tops the charts.
Price: 1/5 — Start near $9 for the basic and then add about 75 cents per veggie and $1 per meat. If you make this burrito a regular in your morning routine, depleted funds may force you to stick to those backyard crags.

Whole Foods — If you make it through the parking lot without getting hit or having a full frustration meltdown, you’ll be rewarded with the land of wheat grass and globally conscious cookies.
Size: 3/5 — This burrito won’t fill you up, but it also won’t slow you down.  A modestly sized tortilla bundle makes this average for this category.
Customization: 5/5 — Whole Foods is the king of adding whatever you want for the right price. Seriously, try to find something they won’t let you put in the burrito.
Price: 4/5 — At $3.99 for the vegetarian and $4.99 for the meat option, Whole Foods serves it up at a great value.   

Santiago’s — Conveniently located throughout the front range and known for being CHEAP! Boulder location is up on the University Hill.
Size: 1/5 — This burrito only comes in a fist sized option marking it very low on the size scale.
Customization: 2/5 — The only customization here is the amount of heat you want in the burrito.  While the ingredients are somewhat mysterious, the taste is amazing.
Price: 5/5 — At a whopping $2.25, Santiago’s has been a staple of the CU Boulder college-kid diet since opening in 1990.

Location: Golden
Nearby Climbing Areas: Clear Creek Canyon, North Table Mountain, Eldorado Canyon.

Café 13 — With plenty of sit-down work space, Café 13 is an instant favorite for the traveling “work from home” climber.
Size: 3/5 — Standard tortilla size gives this burrito an average rating. Not massive, but perhaps just filling enough.
Customization: 2/5 — Comes with egg, pork, potato, pico de gallo, black bean & corn relish, and cheddar jack cheese; quality ingredients, no doubt, but not many options for customization
Price: 2/5 - $9 makes this on the more expensive end of the scale, but I’ve yet to eat a better burrito in Golden!

- Wade Morris

Photos credited to:

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