Difference Between Taco vs Burrito

Difference Between Taco vs Burrito

If you don’t know the difference between burrito and taco, then you must have been living under a rock for the past few decades! These culinary delights have been enjoyed by people all over the world for years, but interestingly, many people often get the two mixed up.

The goal of today’s post is to finally spell out the exact differences between these Mexican-inspired foods so that you know exactly what to order next time you’re at a restaurant. We’ll provide definitions of each dish in conjunction with a quick comparison table. If you’re ready to find out more, simply read on.

Definition of Taco

The definition of taco is: “A meal or snack that consists of either a shell-shaped tortilla made out of soft flour or a hard corn shell filled with meat, vegetables, and grains arranged in an open format where the contents are visible.”

When we’re comparing taco vs burrito, the soft flour shell mentioned in the above description is a guaranteed inclusion with a burrito whereas it is optional with a taco. Tacos can either be hard or soft, but there is no such variation when it comes to burritos.

Interestingly, both food types also share almost identical fillings, save perhaps for rice and beans. With tacos, you’ll often find that you’ve got a combination of meat and shredded vegetables.

However, the difference with burritos is that rice and beans are often also thrown into the mix to help create a more substantial meal as a burrito is more of a main dish. Tacos can also be served as main dishes, but they are commonly eaten as snacks.

Regardless of whether or not the tacos being eaten are hard or soft shelled, the main defining feature of a taco is that the contents of the shell are left open and exposed. This is in stark contrast to a burrito where the contents are enclosed and wrapped inside of the soft flour shell.

Definition of Burrito

The definition of burrito is: “A main meal dish that features a combination of meat, vegetables, or rice and beans combined with salsa and guacamole encased in a soft flour shell.”

As we’ve already stated the difference between taco and burrito at large lies in the arrangement of the fillings chosen by the individual. With a burrito, you’ll always find that the fillings are fully encased and not visible, which is the opposite of a taco.

The soft flour shell isn’t optional with a burrito, either. The dish simply wouldn’t work with a hard corn flour shell as you couldn’t effectively wrap up and conceal the filling. This means that there is only one way to make and serve a burrito, but there are two ways to serve a taco.

Portion sizes are another tell-tale sign that these two dishes are very different from one another. Burritos are almost always served as a main dish and tacos as an appetizer or snack. You can of course use either dish for the opposite function, but it isn’t common to do so.

When people consume tacos as a main dish, they often have several at once, but with a burrito, most people will simply consume one as it is more substantial when compared to a taco.

Main Differences Between Taco vs Burrito

We’ll now outline the key variations between burrito vs taco in a quick reference table.

Basis of Comparison:BurritoTaco
Arrangement of fillings?EnclosedOpen
Type of shell:Always softHard or soft
Typical fillings?Rice, meat, beans, shredded vegetables, salsa, guacamoleMeat, shredded vegetables, guacamole, salsa
Shell ingredients?Soft flourSoft flour or hard corn
Typically served as?A main dishA snack

Difference Between Taco and Burrito: Conclusion

You should now know exactly what makes these two popular Mexican dishes completely different from one another, which means no more disappointment when ordering them if you get the wrong one!

Burritos are usually a main course with enclosed contents and tacos usually a snack with open contents. Other than that, and as we’ve highlighted today, they are very similar dishes!