There are two dominant schools of burrito lovers at Tufts: those who prefer the smaller, more traditional style of Anna’s burritos and those who prefer the fresh, hefty wraps of Chipotle. Though both these chains put up a fair fight, venture a little further from Davis Square and you’ll find an even better option.
Located in the heart of Harvard Square, Felipe’s is a bustling taqueria with delightful ambiance and mouth-watering food. On a Friday night, the place was crowded and merry, with a line that stretched out the door. Though wait times may feel a bit lengthy, the food is absolutely worth it. In addition, the atmosphere of this burrito haven puts customers in a good mood, even those who are hungrily waiting. Dim yellow lighting and wood paneling span the building two floors, with an upper balcony that overlooks the crowded first level. Like Chipotle and Anna’s, Felipe’s is set up cafeteria-style. Patrons pick and choose the ingredients they wish to include in their meal while looking (not reaching) over a two-way glass pane.
At Felipe’s, burritos come in two sizes — regular and super; the latter is around the size of a Chipotle burrito. Similar to Anna’s, though, cheese is melted onto the tortilla before chefs add other ingredients, which is the more authentic way of preparing burritos in Mexican cuisine. The options for proteins are multifarious, including al pastor (caramelized pork), chorizo (spicy sausage), carnitas, steak, fish, shrimp and either grilled or shredded chicken. The marinated meat is smoky and spicy, perfectly offset by gooey beans and melted cheese. Cilantro and chipotle onions garnish the rice inside, adding a zesty tinge every few bites.
Aside from burritos, Felipe’s also offers other entrees, including tacos, quesadillas and chimichangas — deep-fried burritos that might make your heart stop. Chimichangas are an especially popular dish at the restaurant, which contributed to the lengthiness of the line because they take a little longer to prepare than the other entrees. The deep-fried texture adds a pleasing crunch, offset by a rich, delicious queso dip. Finally, the guacamole at Felipe’s is a standout, as it is perfectly fresh with a slightly spicy kick to it.
Felipe’s does offer vegetarian dishes for anyone who wants to avoid a heavy, meat-centric dinner. All the entrees can be ordered with fresh grilled vegetables that the server will chop up in front of you. In addition, the restaurant also offers a tortilla salad, which contains a medley of veggies and pico de gallo in a tortilla bowl. The “appetizers” — flautas, mini-quesadillas, soup and other dishes — prove to be enough for a light meal on their own.
For a college student, the best part about Felipe’s might be its affordability. A regular burrito only costs $5; there is no extra charge for meat, but there is a $1.50 charge for specialty proteins like fish, shrimp or steak. Guacamole and queso only cost an additional dollar. Nothing on the menu exceeds $10, which is almost unheard of in most restaurants and downright impossible to find at a restaurant as good as Felipe’s.
For penny-pinchers and foodies alike, Felipe’s is an impeccable choice for a weekend dinner. Considering its jovial vibe and delectable cuisine, it’s no surprise that the restaurant attracts so many customers looking to explore the Harvard Square food scene.
Felipe’s Taqueria is located at 21 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Mass. 02138. They can be reached by phone at (617) 354-9944 or online. They are open Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.